On my recent walking tour of the Orkney islands, our walking guide, Nigel had told us to be on the lookout for the elusive Primula scotica or Scottish Primrose. It was sharp-eyed Elaine who spied it first. Declared to be nationally scarce, it was indeed a lucky find! It is only small, about 13 mm across and maybe 7 – 8 cm tall. This one found on the walk from Skara Brae to Yesnaby.
Scotland has proved to be as photogenic as I had expected. The landscape is breathtaking but it’s the little things that also catch the eye. Here are some of the tiny wildflowers I found on St Kilda and Lewis Islands, in the Outer Hebrides. If you know any of the names of these flowers please let me know in the comments.
Being a tourist in your own town has its advantages. It’s quick, inexpensive and you don’t need much planning. I took myself off to the Wollongong Botanic Gardens on a glorious spring day in search of colourful flowers and interesting textures. I was not disappointed!
It seems like ages since I have been out for the express purpose of taking photos. The Gardens are one of my favourite places for a close-to-home photo safari.
The Gardens are across the road from the University of Wollongong, but it’s best to park in Murphy’s Avenue, Gwynneville. (click here for a map of the area) Because it is right near the Uni, parking can be a bit tricky during Semester time. There is a small designated parking area in the gardens itself. (Enter on Murphy’s Road)
The Gardens are free and a fabulous place for a picnic. There are limited BBQ Facilities near the entrance. An “all-abilities” children’s’ playground with a big sandpit, climbing web and maze will keep kids occupied for ages. The design ensures that is accessible for everyone including those with limited mobility.
In summer, you can take along your family, bean bags, cushions and a picnic dinner and catch a movie on a big outdoor screen as the sun sets and the birds twitter in the trees. Not all movies are suitable for kids but many are, so best to check the program here Sunset Cinema first.
The highlights for me are the Dryland Gardens (good all year) and the rose garden (you need to pick the season). In spring, of course, you will find the garden in full bloom. Since most trees in Australia are evergreen and our Autumn’s are not very cold, there is not much leaf colour as you would find in colder climes.
If you wanted to make a full day of it take a packed lunch, include a walk around the Uni which has pleasant grounds and have a peek at Glennifer Brae, the stately home of the Wollongong Conservatorium of Music, both within an easy stroll from the Garden itself..
There are guided tours run by the Friends of the Botanic Gardens and there are various gardening workshops advertised on the website.
These photos were taken on September 30th and while its officially been spring for a whole month the weather was only just starting to warm up.
I have edited some as black and white to emphasise the textures; especially in the cactus.
These photos were all taken with my Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 and edited in Lightroom. Some frames where further edited using Nik software or Jixipix.
Bah humbug! Today is Mothers’ Day in Australia. The second Sunday in May. I don’t “do” Mothers’ Day. I have told my only daughter not to worry about gifts, or breakfast in bed and all that jazz, because in my honest opinion it is just a marketing beat up. A bit like the diamond lies in this story that is doing the rounds of Facebook.
Mothers’ Day more than any other day epitomises to me the overreach of marketing and consumerism. Hang on, hang on! On second thoughts there is also Easter (buy more chocolate), Christmas (buy gifts nobody really wants or needs because they might get you something), Fathers’ Day, Halloween, Back to School, Valentine’s Day…. the list goes on.
I don’t think there is a time in the calendar when we are not bombarded with messages to BUY things for the one(s) we love. But more and more scientific and psychological research shows that STUFF is not how we get happy. We get happy by DOING things for and with people.
However, if we stop buying things our economy will come to grinding halt and we will all be in dire straits. What to do? It’s an issue I don’t know how to answer but I am trying to do my bit by not buying stuff. My year long challenge to not buy anything new comes to a close at the end of June. I have not succeeded, as I have bought some new things but for the most part I have stuck to my rules of nothing new unless it was a replacement for a broken or worn out thing and essentials.
I ‘spent’ my Mothers’ Day pottering around, not doing much. My Grandson and I inspected the beetles that live in a nearby tree. I rang my own Mother and chatted with her. I wrote a couple of future blog posts and I answered some emails all before cooking a big pot of tasty soup. All in all, a very nice day.
I am glad to say no flowers were killed in preparing this post!
PS: I certainly I don’t want to devalue the effort of others in celebrating or valuing their mothers. I think we could celebrate it without all the marketing hype and make it more genuine.
PPS (Added after publication) one of my friends told me about this article where the founder of Mothers’ Day try to stop the commercialisation pf the day. https://abcnews.go.com/GMA/Family/mother-started-mothers-day/story?id=47333654