CFFC: Really Red

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Red is a troublesome colour. I hunted thru lots of flower photos before I realised that the amount of sunlight changes many reds to orange. Shade-loving Clivias (say ‘Clive-ee-az’) prove my point.

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I do think reds are the better for a bit of contrast.

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Red also packs a punch. When this tree flowers, it opens up a wine bar for local lorikeets. (They’re often planted in Queensland as shade trees around public buildings, like libraries!) The nectar quickly ferments in the heat … much to the delight of the birds … who quickly throw wild parties, sometimes falling drunkenly out of their tree, and incapable of flying straight home.

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Schotia brachypetala, is often called the “Drunken Parrot Tree.” New Year’s for local lorikeets is usually third week in October. The red blossoms are long gone now. It’s all quiet. Shhh.

All text and photos by Meg

Story Twigs the Imagination! by Meg Philp is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

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Now then: Weekly Photo Challenge

The full moon began early yesterday, Christmas Day. I got up and took this shot about 02:30, from my open kitchen window.

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Photos are reminders. They capture what happened then. They give me a chance to reflect. I didn’t see a capital ” A” till afterwards when I downloaded it. What can it mean?

Words on a page, when I read silently, have an echo in my head, sometimes louder than others and rely on me being able to translate them, make meaning  … no,  I won’t go on with this … the reading process is much more complicated.

Words spoken, in old, meaningful stories told to others, are carried on the breath. Stories offer a life force with them, revealing individuals’ personality, emotions, choices and offering imaginative possibilities. In the light of the imagination, a shared tale can connect humans in the present moment … and then it passes into history. Now is just where we can begin – it’s an eternal starting point.

Some wise words about telling stories from an old friend, Joan Bodger-
Since the last time I told that story,
since the last time you heard it,
the earth’s gone around the sun,
the rain’s fallen in the creek
and the creek’s run into the river.
Even if you’ve heard the story before,
even if I tell it word for word,
just like the first time,
you’ve changed and I’ve changed and the story will change.
You never step in the same river twice.

So, our life goes on changing, as the earth spins and the ‘Star Wars’ saga cruises thru cinemas, packed with fans. As this New Year comes around, may the force of meaningful stories and peace be with you.

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98.9% Full Moon from down here on 26 Dec 2015.

All text, except those in italics,  and photos by Meg

Story Twigs the Imagination! by Meg Philp is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

BODGER, Joan. How the heather looks; a joyous journey to the British sources of children’s books. Toronto, McClelland& Stewart. (1999: 233)

Gathering round: Weekly Photo Challenge

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A favourite photo taken at a friend’s son’s wedding in Edinburgh several years ago: all these handsome men gathered around the bride. The groom and his men are all in the same tartan. If you look closely, you can just see him taking the bride’s arm.

They wear the kilt with a sense of honour and tradition, tho’ this style of kilt didn’t evolve till the 1600s, when the earlier length of plaid was gathered into pleats and fastened around the waist. All the other additions like sporran, socks, brogues etc came later and reflect individual taste.

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I think Scots women have a genetic disposition to notice a man in a kilt. There’s an immediate reaction as to whether he’s wearing it too short or too long. Eyes are dawn to his hips, his good legs and that sporran … well … it’s really a purse to keep the car keys in.DSCF0912

 However, that decorative, wee sharp knife, called in the Gaelic “Sgian-dubh” (skee- an- doo), is a remnant from the four centuries ago, a gesture to friends to show that the only weapon he carries is not concealed …

Of course, there was a great music and dancing at that wedding. Boy, did they make those kilts swing!

……….

Reference:

http://www.scottishdance.net/highland/MakingKilt.html.

https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Sgian-dubh

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/gathering/

…..

All text and photos by Meg

Story Twigs the Imagination! by Meg Philp is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

I Spy Plovers

Cyclists hate the nesting season here. One speeding past with a magpie in hot pursuit once yelled out to me in passing,” Why do they pick on me?” He was in black and white lycra at the time. Get too near magpies, or plovers, and they’ll dive bomb you! Kids often learn this the hard way.

Plovers don’t build nests … just scrape the ground and lay their speckled eggs there. They are, however, the most protective of parents.

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A pair of Eastern Plovers live locally. I’ve been paying attention to them for a couple of years. Their territory includes a bowling green and a soccer pitch across the road from each other. When I got a better camera, I was able to follow them more closely … they always kept an eye on me.

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This green keeper goes out of his way to let the faithful plovers raise their chicks. He doesn’t cut the grass too close, leaves ramps out so the hatched chicks can get out of the sunken green, led under the fence, encouraged across the gravel road, down the slope, under another fence and out onto the large field by their careful parents.
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This past year, though, in Nov and June, two sets of chicks didn’t make it past the puffs of grey, fluff stage. Saddened, I blamed nearby cats or butcher birds. Not a sign was left of them. I thought the pair would give up … but was delighted to see this in August.

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Walking along the fence line every time,  I finally caught a glimpse of three fluffy chicks, in the early morning. As soon as the adult spotted me, she called them back, under her,  with a clicking sound. I got to know what the different calls meant  like Come back quickly / Move out slowly / Don’t go too far / Hide – danger!

Eventually I was able to stop and photograph them.11092015c

A week later, they had moved their home into the middle of  the soccer pitch.

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Though, one chick had gone, the parents were never far away. One acted as scout, the other as shepherd. Soon I could get close enough to see how much they’d grown.

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They started ranging further afield and seemed to get used to me, this strange bird with a black beak and a green cap.

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They roamed together. Now, as big as their parents, the younger birds haven’t got their yellow wattle fully developed. I wanted to get a shot of them flying to finish the story.

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Months later, I’ve been willing them to fly. Several times, they’d wait till I’d given up with my camera, was walking away, and they’d suddenly fly past me, dodging like Spitfires. I noticed that the leader /scout would give three short screeches. (“Fly!”) then the family would follow. Sometimes, they’d been dive-bombed by other birds like Magpies (and one Noisy Miner here).

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Three short screeches … and I caught them taking off as a family, following the scout parent. That’s it. They’re on their way.

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The plover, also know as the Masked Lapwing, has many names in different Aboriginal languages. There’s an ebook called Pitthirrit the Plover for 9 – 11 year olds, available as an app on iPad / iPhone. Produced by the Victorian Aboriginal Corporation for Languages, it’s a traditional story of the Gunitjmara people, the Traditional Owners of southwest Victoria, Australia. Available for $2.99  –  Updated 22 November 2015.

  Click or more info on the plover

This Australian site is a great help – http://www.birdsinbackyards.net

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All text and photos, except where highlighted,  by Meg

Story Twigs the Imagination! by Meg Philp is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

 

Oops! I fell : Weekly Photo Challenge

MSCF2578I was walking along, minding my own business a couple of weeks ago when, at my feet a flurry of colour made me side-step. “Oops! What is that?”

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A fledging was staggering about beside me … probably got a bit too cocky looking down from a hollow, high up in that tall eucalypt nearby. My … there was a lot of squawking going up there.

Instant dilemma. (Thinks: I shouldn’t pick it up. How will it get back up to safety? It can’t fly! Is it hurt? What can I do?) While I worried, the creature took action.

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 It finally got started after two floppy, failed attempts and began to climb. I could hear my grandmother saying … If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. I shakily took photos.

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“Breathe and hold, ” I muttered to myself and the bird, then pressed the shutter.

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The fledgling was a young Scaly-breasted Lorikeet, in a punk phase, totally unfazed by my presence. Other lorikeets were making a racket from bushes on both sides of the path. It’s not for nothing that the collective noun is a “pandemonium” of parrots.

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As the fledgling gingerly climbed higher, its feathers settled when it sat. There was still a way to go to get to safety.

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This all took about 5 minutes. The bird took a breather every so often and preened. There’s the tree I think it fell from, on the left. That pandemonium of lorikeets squawked continuously until the youngster had climbed out of my reach.

I stepped out, heartened by that plucky little bird’s persistence and determination. Boy, that bird taught me a thing or two! It wanted to fly … it was learning to fly! It wasn’t going to quit.

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I need to acknowledge a traditional Aboriginal story and popular children’s picture book here, called How the birds got their colours which features a Rainbow Lorikeet.  Pamela Lofts created the book of this story, which she heard from Mary Albert of the Bardi people of Western Australia. It was published, illustrated with children’s responses as paintings, in 2004 … a classic, widely used in schools and still in print,

This recent YouTube video (Don’t be put off by the 10 sec ad. at the start), directed and filmed by Teagan Spratt and Alannah Bryne retells this Aboriginal legend, as part of a Media Arts assignment in 2014. A significant feature is the explanation by Aboriginal elder Bill Buchanan, as he answers questions about the cultural significance of such stories, told to children.

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All text and photos, except where indicated, are by Meg

Story Twigs the Imagination! by Meg Philp is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

How The Birds Got Their Colours. Dir. Teagan Spratt and Alannah Byrnne. YouTube. YouTube, 1 June 2014. Web. 12 Dec. 2015. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93UIsjYz75k&gt;.

Adult Scaly-breasted Lorikeet

Adult Scaly-breasted Lorikeet

Updated _ Scaly-breasted Lorikeet: Basic Information from Birds in Backyards. Web. Downloaded 3 Jan 2017.<http://www.birdsinbackyards.net/species/Trichoglossus-chlorolepidotus&gt;

Oops!

Eye Spy: Weekly Photo Challenge

On an early morning, wet walk, I spy some glowing lichen and go in for a closer look at the colours and the textures.

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Beautiful, old. It’s been here a long time. Wonder if it has any stories to tell?

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Then I jump back … for I heard the tree say,

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 “What you lookin’ at!”

All text and photos by Meg

PS Thanks to Pam for another viewpoint. Can you spy the black nanny goat in the first photo?  Tip your head slightly to the left. Just goes to show that it all depends on how you look at things!

Story Twigs the Imagination! by Meg Philp is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License