(and sometimes the beast!)




Now I've retired, I no longer work in Cooroy and I must say I will miss the place, especially the Noosa Botanic Gardens. Today, after a farewell lunch, I took my daughter there. The first thing we saw was this very colourful tree snake masquerading as a garden sprinkler in the Scaevola. It was getting a tad irritated by the attention I think as it began swaying and gyrating. Dance competition perhaps?  We left it alone and returned later but it had moved on.
Down to the pond but in the searing heat I only managed one focused shot of one of the two frogs we spotted. 
We saw a couple of turtles and the place is full of white and purple water lilies and lots of dragon flies. Appreciated this red one which kindly stopped near the lily so I could get the money shot before zooming off.
Love the colour of these 2 beehive ginger flowers which were hiding in the undergrowth.

I daresay I'll be back soon...



I have "discovered" a new (to me) and impressive, local photographer, Destin Sparks, and coincidentally, he is running a competition to join a photographic tour of New Zealand (one of my favourite countries).  So, to get into the spirit, I have decided to have a go at the competition. Nothing ventured, nothing gained and I think there'll be a lot to gain if just a smidge of his talent rubs off.

If you are interested in reading about or seeing more of Destin's work (which is for sale) you can visit him on Facebook, Instagram or the website. And of course you could enter too. He's also on twitter and google.

(Destin Sparks is a self-taught photographer based in Brisbane, Australia. Sparks harnesses the power of digital & film medium format cameras to capture rare moments in time and beautiful landscapes from around the world. Sparks' formula to making great photographs is about capturing the perfect lights and colours straight in the camera rather than resorting to Photoshop or post digital processing. Predominately known for his panoramic prints, Sparks also shares his expertise via photo tours and workshops.)



In July last year when I first visited the Noosa Botanic Gardens in Cooroy, I was fascinated by quite big fruits growing on several large shrubs/trees called Elephant Apples.  Today I returned and guess what? The fruits look much the same, slightly more yellow is all, despite the signage saying they flower in summer. When one was cut open it was layers of fibrous flaps enclosing what looked like banana flowers.  There were quite a few lying on the ground and let me say if one hit an elephant on the head, it would get a headache I think. They are pretty hefty "fruit". Read more about the apple  here. It appears I missed the flowering and so will have to keep returning to catch them. Tragic because you know how much I hate the Gardens... not!
Today I was also treated to a climbing frangipani. I've seen native frangipani but this one is a hardy looking vine which I'd not heard of before (not difficult as I'm fairly ignorant about lots of plants) which was climbing up a palm tree. The flowers were subtlety perfumed.
I love cassia and this Rainbow Shower example is also new to me. What a delight! From under the very shady branches the flowers look more yellow but you can see from outside more pink/red and in the close up, lots of different tones. An absolute stunner.

Honestly, the people who live near these Gardens are very, very lucky. I wish it was on my doorstep, not a 30 min drive away.  



It's award season apparently with many such events on the horizon for celebrities.  Here is a red carpet of a different kind.  I think this beauty deserves an award too, for the most glorious showing. The Illawarra Flame tree or brachychiton acerifolius, is one magnificent beauty and grouped together, as in this shot, undeniably eye-catching. Of course, there's always someone who won't play the game, in this case an early bloomer now dressed in green finery, the odd man out.
Just before Christmas I visited a friend at a lovely place called Valla Beach and the flame trees were in flower there too.  This acrobatically inclined, juvenile blue-faced honeyeater was taking advantage.
I'm so used to seeing bright red flame trees that I was shocked to see a fairly subdued red on a neighbour's tree.  Perhaps it's a different kind or the soil is different but I decided I liked it anyway. After all, in the words of Christian Dior "... There is certainly a red for everyone."



In the same vein as my last post, I present a galah Christmas angel... 
...and a cockatoo tree topper.
I wish you a wonderful Christmas and a fabulous 2017.