Animals, Beach & Coastal Walking, Urban Walking
Comments 20

Merry…Solstice!

Hey, all.

Well, I’d started another flashback-to-Japan post from the last trip, but it was so bleak and un-Christmasy, even for me, that I’ve decided to spare you such an un-festive come-down until my next post. What a way to kick in the new year it will be!

Happily, I was reminded by the ABC weatherman this morning that today is the Summer Solstice in these parts — “when the Sun’s track across the Australian sky reaches its highest point. It is the day that has the most daylight hours of any in the year.”

That news provided the impetus to throw together something lighter and sunnier, so here are 30-something chronologically presented shots from the last two or three weeks, all from the local area, the majority created in that beautiful few hours before and just after dawn when conditions are so good for walking and taking pictures.

My sleep patterns are still crazed, and I’m surviving on around five hours per night/morning. My stoopid brain has lately settled on 2:00-2:30am as a good time to wrench me awake from invariably vivid — often even lurid — dreams, but I don’t complain much.

I generally get in over an hour of walking before sun-up at around 4:50. I’ve resumed bigger daily averages — managed almost seven miles today — and after an hour of deep sleep on returning home, it’s usually time for the library with its air-conditioning, proximity to good coffee, and safe distance from a tempting bed.

I’m also doing half an hour each day on a new exercise bike, feeding an ever-increasing clientele of grateful birds, and doing weekly photo trips to slightly less local settings.

Work on the Japan pictures proceeds nicely, but the daily photography closer to home and the editing of those pictures has been a welcome break, and in fact I’m enjoying a creative spree of late. I strongly believe that creativity comes in waves that can be nurtured and prolonged.

Here’s hoping I can ride this one a while longer…

Enjoy your holidays and your own waves, and I’ll see you soon.

mmm

A RAINBOW APPEARS ~ The bossiest and bravest of our regular rainbow lorikeet visitors takes prime position at the verandah breakfast station.

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MORNING CRUISE ~ Heading downstream at dawn, Cabbage Tree Creek mouth.

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TABLE FOR THREE ~ Surely no introductions are necessary.

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THE PERFECT SUMMER HEADWEAR ~ Liberties are increasingly being taken by certain members of the tribe.

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DEPARTING BAXTER’S JETTY ~ Getting a tad crowded there anyway.

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PANDANUS & PELICANS – A favourite spot on Cabbage Tree.

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STREET TOUGH ~ I “met” this guy in Shorncliffe a week or so ago, and he/she’s still wary. But let me get closer this time.

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RAINBIRD ~ Braving a shower in the hope of payoff by the Guy With the Food. Sadly it wasn’t worth it, but I made up for it the next day.

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SMILING KITTY ~ This guy, further up our street, often goes into a sort of ecstatic state while rolling & writhing on the driveway.

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HEADING OUT ~ A “tinny” — small aluminium boat with outdoor motor — heading into Moreton Bay on a recent delightful, placid morn.

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HARD HATS ~ A few days of showers brought some nice fungal visitors who only hung around a few more days.

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BEFORE THE FIRST TRAIN ~ Sandgate station well before dawn.

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TWINS ~ A backyard creeper early in the day.

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THE GANG’S ALL HERE ~ Clustered round the tripod waiting for breakfast.

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DISTANT SPRINKLERS ~ I spent a crazed half-hour chasing/being chased by those rotating jets of water, but didn’t like many of the shots I got, so I retired to the security of the group.

AN EXPENSIVE PERCH ~ I always specify "claw-resistant" when I look for a new lens.

AN EXPENSIVE PERCH ~ I always specify “claw-resistant” when I look for a new lens.

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MY RED-HEADED FRIEND ~ I now know his name is Flesh — seriously; he was named by a young kid. Sweet guy, though one morning he switched from enjoying a nice chin scratch to shredding my hand with all four paws and several fangs. It damn near ruined my morning. Cats are about 35% adorable and the rest is A-hole.

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OUT OF THE BLUE ~ I was down in the mud, I mean seriously in the mud, squatting most precariously and painfully as I took the following shot, when I happened to glance to the left…and fluked a shot. Prawn trawler returning downstream on Cabbage Tree, the junction of Nundah Creek at rear.

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THE BEAUTY & MAJESTY OF MUD ~ This barge anchors here till it’s needed out around Shorncliffe for the work on the pier restoration. With the mud, the mangroves, the crabpot and the glorious sunrise, you have a classic South-East Queensland scene that was probably worth almost getting mired for.

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BIG GUY ~ A fabulous  — and very tall — eucalyptus in the park next to Shorncliffe station, dawn.

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GETTING BEE-ZY ~ Agapanthus in a Shorncliffe garden just after sunrise.

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WINDOW SEAT ~ A zamioculcas, perhaps the world’s most indestructible indoor plant (I have four or five) enjoys the morning sun in my living room.

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I’VE GOT THE BLUES ~ As soon as they put up these new walls on the local Salvation Army op-shop (thrift store) recently, I knew they’d be perfect for shooting at night. This was around 4:10am.

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THE UNSOLVABLE EQUATION ~ I have no idea what this title means. Well, I do but I can’t articulate it, sorry.

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AFTER THE BAPTISTS HAVE GONE ~ The old Baptist church on the Sandgate waterfront at dawn. Nowadays it’s a childcare centre. Stingray hole, front left.

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BUTCHERBIRD LOVE ~ This pair owns the waterfront turf near the church.

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AGAVES & WATCHER ~ If I’m ever crazy enough to try online dating, this will be my profile pic. That oughtta save me some work.

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THE INTERLOPER ~ Three of my best pals & some guy.

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ONLY ONE REMAINED ~ When the meat runs out, there’s usually one romantic dreamer who sticks around in case I pull a pleasant surprise.

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VEGETARIAN OPTIONS ~ A noisy miner, widely regarded by many urban birds as the biggest arsehole on the block after crows, drops by for some crumbs. This one has gotten quite bold — now eats from my hand, though if Gilligan the butcherbird is nearby he’ll chase him off and steal the crumbs. It’s called entitlement.

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THE SUBTLE ART OF XMAS DECORATION ~ Last night in my sister’s street not far from here.

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SERPENT AT THE GATE ~ Same house, same power bills.

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MORNING TIDE ~ Walking Lovers’ Walk, hand in hand with myself, half an hour before dawn this morning.

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ON THE ROCKS ~ Stranded seaweed, Shorncliffe.

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BABY SHOOT ~ I did wonder why they were bringing their baby to the seaside at around 4:30am today…

~ And that’s all the Goat wrote

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20 Comments

  1. WOW!, such wonderful shots, what can I say, but say something to the “Rainbow lorikeet.” Aren’t you lucky little lorikeet, you found a space in this photographer’s camera.
    If you were human you would be joyful when you saw yourself in a shot for millions to see. This is the difference between humans and you.Bless you pretty little bird. 🙂

    • Ranu, sincere apologies for my rudeness in not replying for so long! I have had a lot going on in my life – originally it was mostly bad, but this year things are improving. I hope to resume blogging very soon. And you’re right, those lorikeets are amazing. I have been taking a lot of bird pictures lately and hope to share some of the results soon.

    • Danielle, a common theme in the batch of comments I’m responding to now (at last) is: Sorry! I used to pride myself on my prompt attention to comments, but in truth the blog itself has been balancing on the precipice of total abandonment while I got my life in order. Now things are going really well, I’m on a creative high, and almost ready to return to the blog, though perhaps it will change as I have.

      Hope things are going well in north-western Shikoku; I have been (as ever) working on pictures from my Henro adventure of last year, and have decided I’ll definitely be back to do it again in a better frame of mind than last time – possibly within the next year…

  2. Philip Davis says

    Yep…that online profile pic definitely encapsulates your personality.

    And going for long romantic walks…long, long, long romantic walks.

  3. Barbara Smith says

    Happy Xmas, Ian,specially liked the fungus shot, the eucalypt, and the watcher. Excellent for a Tinder hookup!

    • Barb, it’s me, the Goat that Came Back from the Dead. Hey, I think I have the title of my next post there!

      Tinder is for people (I’m told) with libidos. The makers of Zoloft in their wisdom chose to target such urges in their fine product, and I thank them for it. Life is complicated enough!

      • I never really went away, Barb — not physically anyway. But I’m looking forward to resuming communiques soon.

  4. Wow its been a while since I’ve visited the Goat and what a nice treat to see some great work again: Big Guy, window seat, On the Rocks, Morning Tide to name a few. Here’s hoping 2016 is a brighter more upbeat year for you Goat. 🎉Cheers to you as you will reach it before our side of the world. May it inspire and charge you up for better days ahead. Happy New Year! 🎆

    • Hey Paula, I’ll reply here to both your comments. 2016 has been a big improvement on its immediate predecessors. I have been on an epic artistic learn-a-thon and thoroughly enjoying it, though I’m sometimes left feeling completely overwhelmed. In some ways I feel like I’ve finally set out in the direction I was always meant to head, but if anything there’s been too much learning and creating going on to fit into each day. The blog has suffered and I just couldn’t face one more task to deal with. The longer I leave things, the harder it is for me to approach them…

      I’ve had to battle with some major black dogs since mid-2014, but with the aid of medication and my art, I feel a lot more satisfied and optimistic than I did even six months ago. I really hope I can resume posting very soon, though I’m also toying with the idea of changing the look/approach of the blog. I’ll keep you posted and hope 2016 is going well for you too!

  5. Goat,

    (To be read/sung to my slight rewrite of Pink Floyd’s “Comfortably Numb”)

    “Hello?

    Is there any ‘Goat’ out there?

    Just (blog) if you can hear me?

    Is there anyone at home?”

    Howzit, Goat!!???!! Hope all’s well
    Down Under–err, I mean in Australia!

    Best,

    Darius

  6. Hey there, beautiful pics, love the Maggies, the fluke trawler, and the profile pic that made me laugh and laugh. Good to read your voice!!

    • Hey, Sue! Thanks. You will have noticed a certain stretch of silence between posts of late. I’m doing my damnedest (well, maybe not as much as that) to rectify this. I also have a new photoblog covering one of my obsessions that I’ll talk about soon. Hope things go well with you.

      • All things are pretty fine around here, just missing your musings really… good to hear you have a new project!

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