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December 21, 2015 / diannegray

Do you see what I see?

During the famous birthday week back in November we went into the city (like Ma and Pa Kettle) to meet some friends for Yum Cha.

During the drive, hubby said to me, Wow! Look at that!

Me: What?

Him: That! Right in front of us.

Me: I can’t see what you’re talking about

Him: Right there! (Pointing at the road ahead)

Me: Stop it! There’s nothing there.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I took a picture with my phone and I still couldn’t see it. I’m pretty sure you won’t either, so I’ve circled it for you. Ummm, how could I have missed it?

Boat2

Okay – so I thought it was just a building…

…but when we pulled up further down the road I saw it was a ginormous boat

Boat3

I would love to have jumped aboard that boat and gone sailing off into the sunset, but alas our friends were waiting at the Yum Cha place (and I must say it was the best Yum Cha I’ve had in ages).

Since it’s Christmas week I thought I’d leave you with a couple of nice
***Arty Bits***

The first is a cute flower I saw the other day. It looks like it’s praying.
Let’s hope it’s praying for peace on earth this Christmas (and it works)

Praying flower for Christmas3

The second is called The forest of my mind (need I say more?)The forest of my mind

xxx Have a wonderful Christmas and a happy, safe and prosperous New Year xxx

xxx I want to see you back here in 2016 xxx

December 14, 2015 / diannegray

Chicky babes

There’s been more chirping around the RUC in the past few weeks. I’ve got two Red Finch nests on the side of the house and those little cuties make a lot of noise demanding food. I haven’t climbed up the side of the house to take pictures of them for two reasons:

1. I don’t want to disturb the nests because the parent birds are very sensitive to interference and may not come back if they think I’ve had my big mug peeking into their nests

2. I’m too clumsy on a ladder and I don’t think you want me to break a limb trying to get a pic for you.

These are what the parents look like, so you will have to imagine how cute their offspring are. I’ll try and get a pic when the chicks are learning to fly.

Finches1
I was very excited the other day because I found something extraordinary. Most people don’t get as excited as I do over birds, but this one is special. The Torresian Imperial Pigeon used to be prolific in this area, but were nearly pushed to extinction in the 19th and early 20th centuries. They were thought of as pests and were easy targets for recreational shooting. They also have a large breast (like a chicken) so were eaten regularly by early settlers.
Believe it or not, this is the first time I’ve seen one and here it is hiding in the tree outside the RUC.

Torresian Imperial Pigeon
After I spotted the pigeon and calmed myself, a family of plovers wandered into the yard. They have three chicks so I got a nice shot of one.

Plover chick

Then a fledgling of indeterminable species called out to me from a tree to my left. Its mouth was still open and screaming when I took the pic.

Sheesh – I feel like Dr Doolittle sometimes. Maybe they’re trying to tell me something!

Fledgling

Okay, as if my day wasn’t already full of excitement I saw this calf in the paddock of a property close by and wanted to take it home give it a cuddle.

Calf2
During the afternoon dog walk I spotted these two very pretty butterflies mating (wow – life is SO full around here).

Butterflies2

Now I’m off to have a pre-Christmas wine.

xxxHave a great week!xxx

December 5, 2015 / diannegray

There’s a rhino in my shoe

Before I bore you tell you about the incident with the rhino in my shoe, I have to give a big shout out to Sheila Hurst for her wonderful review of my novel The Everything Theory. We spend a lot of time and love on our stories and it’s awesome when others read them and love them too. Thank you, Sheila!😀

…now back to the rhino in my shoe….

I was happily getting ready to do some gardening last week until I went to put my foot in my gardening shoe.

I haven’t seen one of these beauties in a long time.

WARNING: Big Beetle (don’t worry – they’re completely harmless)

Rhinoceros Beetle1

Rhinoceros Beetle2

I looked after the beast cute little fella for a couple of days because he looked like he had been in a fight with another male. The males try to throw each other out of the trees by using those enormous pincers on their heads. One day I might get a video of the battle. But in the meantime this guy needed a bit of TLC. I named him Lonely Luke, nursed him back to health and put him in a safe tree where he is still sitting. Hopefully, he will win his next battle and with it the heart of the lady rhino beetle whose honor he fought so valiantly to defend.

When I finally got into the garden after my beetle nursing responsibilities. I saw the bees on the sunflowers. I knew you’d want to see this awesome sight too, so I took a snap.

It’s full size here because it’s a little more attractive and easier on the eye than Lonely Luke.

Sunflower with bee

Below are my two attempts for my ***Arty Bits*** this week.

The first one is called In The Deep

In the deep

…and the second one is Sunflower (of course!)
I was intrigued when I zoomed in on the sunflower and saw it was full of miniature flowers with stamens. Click on the picture and take a better look if you have the time.

Sunflower

xxx Have a happy, sunshiny, singing, dancing week! xxx

November 23, 2015 / diannegray

The week of the day of the birth

It’s been very noisy at the RUC in the last few days. The reason for this cacophony of sound is the onset of fruit (namely lichees and mangos). These sweet suckers attract all sorts of creatures. A few months back the trees were alive with bees (and we should all love those humble little honey makers) and now its birds. Okay, no jokes about the birds and the bees.

The birds currently taking over our airspace are Rainbow Lorikeets. They usually arrive in the hundreds the week of my birthday – but this year they’ve arrived in the thousands.

It’s nice to be so popular:)

I tried to photograph them, but because of their colour they are virtually invisible in the trees. So I thought I’d take a short video to show you just how noisy these beautiful creatures are in the wild. I’m taking this from the front porch of the RUC so I am about four metres up. Imagine how hard this would be if I was at ground level – these trees are TALL.

It was also raining, so the squabbling birds were competing with the sound of the rain.

WARNING: NOISY

Notice how noisy they are? The trees are filled with them, but they’re so hard to see.

After I took the video, a lone lorikeet sat on a branch away from the others and let me take a shot (isn’t that always the way). I named this lone lorikeet The Introvert.

The Introvert

At sunset I noticed the sky had taken on a very pink hue. I took a photo but it’s not nearly as spectacular as how the sky looked in ‘real life’.

Mountain

My birthday is this week so I’ll be celebrating with family and friends (and, of course, the birds).

Father-in-law and hubby are both on the mend and all news is good on the health front. A huge thank you for all your best wishes in the comments in my last post. They worked!

xxxx Have a great week! xxxxx

November 9, 2015 / diannegray

Interpreting dreams

I’m feeling very philosophical today. I remember when I was quite young and my mother asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. My response was a little weird (hey – most of them are), but I told her I wanted to grow up to be a thinker – years later when I found out there were Philosophers in the world, I realised this was the profession I was looking for (and probably still am).

This twinge of my philosophical side must have emerged today because of a strange dream I had last night. I take careful note of my dreams because I often base my stories on them. Without going into too much detail – I was sitting on the side of a volcano that had been dormant for millions of years. It began to erupt and I could see the fire and smoke billowing into the sky above me. I knew there was a lot of danger to the position I was in and no escape, so I stayed to watch the awesomeness of it. It was one of those incredibly strong dreams – the type you know you have to remember. The fact that I’ve never had a volcano dream before makes this one extra interesting.

I’m figuring that my emotions are:

  1. About to explode, or
  2. Have already exploded, or
  3. Exploding as we speak (not an attractive image).

Either way, I’m hoping this erupts in an artistic way and not a destructive way. Volcanoes renew as well as destroy so having never been a destructive person, I’m filled with hope.

The family side of life is a little stressful. Hubby is going in for a hernia op tomorrow and father-in-law is going in for biopsy on Thursday. Living so far from the city means long drives for me on these days to and from the hospital. Did I tell you I hate hospitals? No wonder I’m dreaming of volcanoes.

In the meantime, I’ve been working on my ***Arty Bits*** and here are two of my latest attempts.

I love the little darker flower dude standing out from the crowd on the left of the picture. I called this
Dare To Be Different

Dare to be different

The second one is simply called
Reflection

Reflection

Have you had any weird dreams lately – and are you able to interpret them? 

October 12, 2015 / diannegray

On the homefront

I had a great week last week. My daughter’s visit was just what I needed to get out and about, see the sights and eat loads of great food. She showed me how to poach perfect eggs and make hollandaise sauce. We also made Bacon and Egg Breakfast Dumplings. She is the food photographer extraordinaire so you can drool over the pictures of the dumplings on her Little Food Blog.

(…but I’m sure she won’t mind if I steal borrow one…)

Bacon and Eggs Breakfast Dumplings

And yes – they tasted as good as they look!

After the excitement of the week, hubby and I were sitting around watching TV on Saturday and he said he had an itch on his head. When I checked the suspicious itch I found he had picked up a little passenger in the field – a tick. Luckily (for him) I had watched an ABC documentary a few months back about the newest and most effective way to remove a tick. This amazing product is actually a wart remover (yes, I was a little suspicious as well). In Australia it is sold as Wart-Off and is a spray that freezes an area.

I was pretty excited because I had bought some after watching the show just in case of an event like this. I grabbed him, dragged him outside for better light, promptly pushed him to his knees, grappled his head and snap-froze his little passenger (I have a great bed-side manner).

It worked! The little blighter froze so fast it had no time to pump poison into the area or dig it’s little legs in deeper. It was stiff as a board and dropped off beautifully.

Hubby survived the tick, but I’m not sure if his pride is still in tact.

I also created a few more pictures for my ***Arty Bits*** this week.

The first one was taken during the dog walk on Friday. It had been raining and the leaves were full of beautiful, plump water droplets. I noticed after I had taken it that there were two green ants waiving at me from the unopened buds.

I called it After the Storm

After the Storm

The second one is a beautiful Wild Flower.
I called it Wild 

Wild Flower

Have a great week! xxx

October 4, 2015 / diannegray

Little Shop of Pictures

I take lots of photos of the ‘farm dog’, Tammy, on my daily dog walk. The reason behind this is that her parents, (my mother and father-in-law) can’t join in on this daily ritual. So, (as they say in the corporate world) I like to keep them in the loop.

This is one of their favourites. They have it laminated and stuck on the fridge with pictures of the grandchildren and great grandchild. I would have taken similar shots of my dogs but they don’t know the meaning of sit and stay when they’re playing in the fields.

Tammy1

My work has been going well. I landed a job a few months back writing content for a Government website and I love it. I work in my pajamas from home and the Writer’s Nook is the perfect office😀

I’ve been obsessed with digital art lately and my hubby is now calling the RUC the Little Shop of Pictures. I took a photo of a passion-fruit flower several weeks ago and wanted to do something special with it. But passion-fruit flowers are so awesome and beautiful that I was stumped. Nothing I could do could make it look better than the real thing.

Then hubby saw the photo and said, “I’d love to see the inside of that flower the way the bees see it.”
I thought, “Okay, why don’t you make it a little harder for me, dude!” Sheesh! Some people are so fussy creative.

Anyway, I played around with it for a while and came up with the first of my two ***Arty Bits*** for this week.

I call it A Bees-Eye View

Passionfruit Flower1

 The second piece I’ve been working on is a bunch of flowers with the illusion that they are in a glass bowl.

So far this one doesn’t have a name

Flowerwarp2

My daughter is arriving from Melbourne on Sunday night for a four day visit and I’m scrambling through the joint trying to get everything ready for her. She has a blog – Little Food Blog – so I’m looking forward to trying some of her tasty treats when she gives the RUC kitchen a good working over! Don’t worry – there will be pictures😀

Have a great week! xxxxx

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