Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Still more rain and one particularly fussy bird

Well it seems our smart weather forecasting bower bird decided his first bower on the left wasn't quite up to scratch so he has built another female attracting construction on the right. The shell collection is not as impressive but a closeup of his new dancing place shows the attention to decoration is stunning to say the least. He tends to strut from one end of the bower to the other calling to the attentive audience of several females - he obviously knows he does himself proud!
I don't think we have had a dry day in February yet. 377 mm of rain in the last week is a lot of water dropping from the sky. The beach is awash with thousands of mangrove seeds piled in mounds changed daily with the tides but the almond trees are still hanging on, even flowering with some seeds already forming. These two wild almond trees have defied odds and survive along with several others I thought would surely die. High tides again gouged the shoreline carving new patterns......
pulling rocks away and exposing more of the beach kaolin layer, piling the mangrove seeds against it. For the pottery lovers this shows just how close the kaolin is to the ocean.
A couple of videos for the family. Looking up and down the road from the back gate - the kids all love to ride their bikes through these drains but school was in so it was quiet. And of course Nicholas scaring Auntie Aleta - he had just watched Monsters Inc. so was really into scaring us all! This is Nick's favourite movie even though he has watched it heaps and heaps - just ask mum and dad how often!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

The urge to put down words

I still marvel at the connections we can make in cyberspace from places such as mine. Apart from giving glimpses into my world this allows even limited computer savvy participants like me to connect with not only family but like-minded artists. I love my environment as well and feel if others see it as I do they will feel a connection to their own surroundings and want to help protect it for future generations.
It has been an interesting week as I deviated from the arts to finance via the mouse. Wheelings and dealings of the big boys, Rio Tinto and BHP, became interesting reading especially when this mine is part of the package. The billions of dollars tied up in all this is astounding and the league of players involved walk a world few of us really understand. Unfortunately I still equate all this with the surrender of pristine environments to feed this insatiable developing world and it scares me, so I go on my early morning walks and live in optimistic hope some of the special places do remain for my grandchildren to enjoy. Stand up for the Grandmothers.

This grandmother's early morning walk catches the lone jabiru fishing, with a companion behind also casting for breakfast. I caught glimpses of my feathered friend's footsteps along the beach. He must have started at daybreak, quietly ambling along the shoreline. Midnight and I received a cursory look across his shoulder so we turned back and left him to his task.

Rain has been falling nightly, and early mornings often see dappled sand but this particular morning the leaves had left soft stains from the light rain - often the best images are captured in quick moments and this is one. It already sits in a frame thanks to Tania and her great printer.
As for things clay. This looks promising but........ I haven't really got out to do anything exciting. Did make up some porcelain using the local kaolin and also mixed some of the lighter local clay. Its great to throw but too friable so have tried adding potash and a bit of silica. Will have to see how it goes - bit hit and miss just like everything I do but maybe I will be surprised. Of course playing with this heavy iron based clay means I will have to have a huge cleanup when I decide to pull out the porcelain - is that my excuse for being lazy! I keep looking at the layered chunks and think they should go into the kiln as they are - might be interesting?
Now for family viewing. Another Nicholas video - the potter is at work again.