Jack’s Walk

©voyager, all rights reserved

The forecast is calling for warmer temps (+9º C!) over the weekend with rain. If it’s true, that should get rid of the rest of our snow and all the damned ice so that Jack and I can walk around our own block again. I don’t want to get too excited, though, because the warm is just a blip and not a trend. It’s supposed to turn cold again on Monday (-9º C!) and stay that way right through next weekend. Oh.

These photos were taken at Pittock Lake. The snow and the sand made these really interesting patterns and I thought I’d share a few with you. [Read more…]

A Day at the Zoo 5: Charly the dog

© Giliell, all rights reserved

Not Charly the Affinity author, obviously. He’s seriously getting old and everybody is dreading what lies ahead. He’s one year older than #1 and our kids and our friend’s kid all grew up with him herding them.

© Giliell, all rights reserved

© Giliell, all rights reserved
Fun with the wide angle lens

© Giliell, all rights reserved

Up and Down Mt. Lofty

Lofty has sent in a few photos from his daily bike ride up and down Mt. Lofty.

The final four pictures of Mt Lofty. The first two are of the summit with its own little wooly cap on the morning the cool weather arrived, lastly two predawn shots over a local vineyard. I circle around the mountain on my bicycle from the south west via the east side and then up the northern ridge, then after a rest at the summit descend down the south ridge at a rapid pace.

©Lofty, all rights reserved

[Read more…]

Jack’s Walk

Nimble-footed, ©voyager, all rights reserved

Well, the sun has gone back into hiding and the world is all gloomy shades of gray again. It’s also a double gravity sort of day for me making our walk in the woods more of a slow plod than a walk. Not so, though, for the nimble-footed creature who left these tracks in the snow. I think he hopped, skipped and jumped all the way along with an energetic flourish and a twitching tail.

Harakka in Autumn: Chapter 10

Ice Swimmer’s here and today he has rocks to show us. Be still my heart…..

Chapter 10 – Southwestern Rocks on Sunday, I

Shaped by Ice Age. ©Ice Swimmer, all rights reserved 

The rounded forms of the rocks come from the Ice Age. The bottom of the glacier was full of rocks embedded into the ice that was quite flexible under the huge pressure, grinding the rocks into rounded shapes. [Read more…]

We haven’t had a spider in a while…

Nightjar has sent some wonderful photos of a wee little spider which you will find below the fold.

This month I haven’t been able to go out with the camera much, but today while gardening I came across this tiny flower spider on an African Daisy and immediately thought I had to share it. Later in the day I checked back on it and it had already managed to catch a little fly! Sadly I couldn’t take a photo because by then there wasn’t enough light available to photograph such a tiny subject with my gear. I will surely keep an eye on it from now on!

[Read more…]

Jack’s Walk

Big Bob, the largest tree in our small forest, ©voyager, all rights reserved

Conditions in town are still too dangerous for walking so Jack and I set out for the forest again and had a quiet, contemplative walk in the sunshine. I can finally see that the sun is climbing higher in the sky and even though it’s still cold the air carries a promise of spring. This is the time of year that I get the most frustrated with winter. I’m fed up with heavy socks and leggings and just plain tired of hats and scarves, mittens and boots. Why is it that the shortest month of the year always feels like it’s the longest?

Tree Tuesday

I’m a bit weary of big and old trees so this week I thought we’d take a look at something a bit different, the Rainbow Eucalyptus tree (Eucalyptus deglupta) sometimes called the Mindanao Gum Tree

Painted Eucalyptus, photo credit Thomas

The Rainbow Eucalyptus is native to the Philippines and is the only species of Eucalyptus that’s native to the northern hemisphere. Like all eucalyptus trees it’s fast growing and it’s precisely all that growing that gives the tree its colour.

According to research by David Lee, professor at Florida International University and author of the book Nature’s Palette: The Science of Plant Color, the change takes place on the microscopic level. When the bark is stripped away, bright green chlorophyll is readily visible through a thin transparent surface layer that’s just one cell thick.

As time passes, reddish brown tannins build up in the surface layer, changing the apparent color. The chlorophyll beneath also dies down with time, creating the incredible fluorescent display that the tree is known for. The tree prefers wet, humid climates, and although the color can be observed anywhere, the display is brightest in the trees that grow in their native Mindanao.

What incredible trees. They can grow in excess of 60 meters and have been successfully introduced as decorative trees to many places including Hawaii and Florida. The trees like humid weather and do best when they’re their feet are wet. In their native Philippines the trees are used for pulp and paper making.

For more information and photos plus a short video I encourage you to check out the whole story at Treeographer.