grass amongst mangroves at the beach
Australia, blogging, Photography

Friendly Friday Challenge- Splendour in the Grass

So often we walk around in nature failing to notice the details, the grass under our feet.

Subtle changes in colour and appearance indicate the passing of the seasons. Many varieties of grass remain invisible, yet are an integral part of the natural landscape.

Senga Grass at Mt Hakone

The theme for this week’s Friendly Friday challenge is:

‘Splendour in the Grass’

grass in close up Australia

Using Grass to Frame a Landscape in Photography

In photographic terms, grass can be used to frame the shot or make an interesting feature in the foreground.

This ‘Moon viewing,’ photo captured during the Tsukimi festival in mid-Autumn, in Japan.

Japanese Senga Grass Fields at Mount Fuji

The Japanese find Splendour in the Sengakuhara Pampas Grass, by strolling along a walking trail, at the western side of Mount Hakone. For it is here that the changing colour of the tall grass offers stunning vistas. In November, the grass turns a shimmering, silvery gold. Wedding proposal and selfies abound at this time of year.

Australian Splendour

In Australia, a country fringed by blue oceans, you will find grass the colour of sunburnt earth, which often makes me yearn for the vivid fluorescent green grass of wetter climates.

Birch
Birch Trees and Grass in Helsinki – so green

Australian deserts display different kinds of saltbush grass.

Australian Desert grasses and Saltbush

In the arid conditions of the Australian landscape, plants have adapted to grow under extreme conditions, such as the grass tree.

Grass Trees in Australia

Grass Trees in their natural habitat

A relic of the Age of Dinosaurs, Xanthorrhoeas, also known as the Grass Tree, grow very slowly and are resistant to bushfire. In fact, fire helps the grass tree produce its flowers. They also have a unique symbiotic relationship with the soil. The presence of a mycorrhizal microbe in the soil around their roots allows them to flourish, even if the soils are nutrient-poor.

Grass Trees in the Garden

Grass Trees are highly sought after in Australian horticulture and as such are often illegally removed from their natural locations. They fetch high prices as ornamental plants. Little do the owners realize that if the soil in their garden does not contain the mycorrhizal enzyme, the grass tree that they paid so dearly for, will wither and die.

Imitating Nature in Growing Grass Trees

Here’s a secret that an old-timer once told me. Take a cup of brown sugar, put it in a bucket of water and water your grass trees once a month for two years with that mixture. The sugar feeds the mycorrhiza and gets it going and your grass tree will survive.

www.abc.net.au/gardening

Create a Friendly Friday Challenge Blog Post

Everyone is welcome to join the Friendly Friday Challenge with your own interpretation of the theme.

Add a pingback to StPA and tag your post with ‘Friendly Friday – Splendour in the Grass.’ Then return to this post and leave a comment below listing your post’s published link.

There is a full set of instructions on how to join the Friendly Friday Photo Challenge on my blog header. This challenge runs until next Thursday.

Last week’s Friendly Friday Challenge initiated some excellent contributions, with the theme of ‘Markets,‘ over at co-host Sandy’s blog.

Would you like to join in this week?

Friendly Friday
eye
Photography

Friendly Friday Photo Challenge – Capturing a Feeling

How seriously do you take your Photography?

Is taking photos just a whim, a bit of fun? A hobby you would like to improve? Or a serious pursuit? Whichever category you fit into, (or don’t), we notice photos that are striking, ones that capture attention, (pun not intended).

This old portrait captures a strong emotion in the eyes

Scott Bourne has some thoughts on the magic behind photography and it was his post that made me re-consider how we take photographs.

Do we snap a shot just as a record of what you saw?

Do we compose for interest?

We might even find an angle that portrays a little more emotion, particularly for street or portrait photography.

If so, we convey a feeling through the photograph to the viewer.

Great ocean Road
Not the standard tourist stop portrait

Scott explains a little more of what he looks for in a photo:

Unfortunately, in today’s instant gratification-hungry world, it’s rare to find someone who will look past the superficial to find something special. Everyone just wants a magic camera, or lens, or camera setting or post-processing, preset. Unfortunately there is no magic anything. What there is well, that is all about SEEING. I want to encourage you to “feel” your way to a photograph.

Scott Bourne – picturemethods.com
daisy

Some people have an eye for photography. Others have to work to develop it. Regardless of your camera budget, if you do have an eye or can develop it, your photos will attract attention.

seeing
Such expression in this cropped photo of eyes.

Friendly Friday Theme – ‘Capturing a Feeling’

This week for Friendly Friday, when you take a photograph try to compose to capture a feeling or emotion.

If you are using your archival photographs, you might crop a photo or edit to exhibit a particular mood that you wish to create.

Today for example, we made a new friend.

A young magpie landed on our fence, literally right behind our heads, as we sipped our morning cup of tea. The bird was bold and curious and his reward for that, was a morsel of cake. We watched his confidence and trust, in us, slowly grow as I hand-fed him a small piece of ham.

I cropped the following photograph to create a feeling of intensity, of concentration and to convey the beginnings of trust in the bird’s eyes.

After tasting the morsel of carrot cake, he must have thought his luck had changed.

I like the contrast of nature and the stark white and ultra modern built environment behind, but feel that some editing would help the photo stand out. But today, I left it as is. What do you think?

This afternoon the bird returned with his mate, who was much more cautious about the ham and preferred a lawn grub or two which is far better for them, anyway.

Posting a Friendly Friday Challenge?

Don’t forget to comment here, tag and pingback to this post.

Instructions on how to join the Friendly Friday Photo Challenge

Friendly Friday

I will be back in two weeks time with another prompt. Next week, for Friendly Friday, you will be in the able hands of Sandy, my Friendly Friday co-host, who will post next week’s challenge.

Friendly Friday
blogging, Photography

Friendly Friday Challenge – Unusual

Many years ago, whilst travelling through country Australia, I snapped a photo of a patch of forest in an old park, where we’d stopped to have lunch. This was the days when you had to drop off your camera film and wait for several days, for it to be developed.

Remember that?

Weeks later, a friend saw the photo in my album and insisted the photo depicted a fairy pointing her finger towards something in the bushes. It was a mystery and a tad spine-tingling to remember there was a plaque, on a monument in that same park where I’d taken the photo, which said, “ in memory of the first white child who died in the valley.”

Photographers often claim to have captured photos with unexplained objects in them. Some turn out to be a simple case of double exposure, minute dust particles or even reflections, called Orbs, whilst others cannot be fully explained at all.

Do you believe in UFO’s or the Unusual?

Source: i.guim.co.uk/img/media/

More recently, as you can see in the photo below, I was in the picturesque town of Sandane, in Norway. I’d arrived in the early afternoon and was snapping photos of the fjord. Actually, it is pretty difficult for me not to take photos when I am presented with such natural beauty.

sandane norway
Sandane, Norway

Walking further along the fjord, a shower of rain interrupted my progress, so I snapped a few photos and quickly turned back for the Gloppen hotel, where I was staying that night. Something strange appeared in the photos, that I noticed only when back in the hotel.

There was a pacman in the sky.

Or was it some kind of chopped Photo Orb?

What is an Orb?

Orbs are a somewhat new phenomenon that appeared at the dawn of the digital camera in the 1990s. At first, the camera manufacturers believed these orbs to be malfunctions of the camera, but to this day they claim that these balls of light are microscopic particles floating in the air. On the other hand, those in the paranormal community hold firm that these orbs are the presence of spirits.

https://www.artmartstl.com/ghostly-orbs-fact-or-fiction/
haunted house
A Haunted house in Iceland with Orbs

How to Tell if an Orb is Dust or Something Unusual

From the abovementioned website, here is some information:

  • *If the orb or orbs in the photo seem to be behind a person or thing, as if peeking out or passing by, it could be supernatural. That’s because reflections don’t fall behind an object or person in a photo.
  • *If the orb has more density in the photo, it might not be a natural particle like dust.
  • *On film, if the orb or orbs seem to have a light of their own and move independently of wind or motion, it could be a spiritual encounter.
strange photo orb
Presumably a dust particle?

There are ‘Unusual’ things all around us.

Have you ever seen anything unusual?

Take a Seat!

Weekly Friendly Friday Prompt

For this week’s Friendly Friday Challenge, show us something you have photographed that was –

Unusual

or create your own:

Source – Stock Photo

Instructions for Joining Friendly Friday

Sandy will post the next weekly prompt next Friday!

Do include a pingback and leave a comment so all readers can find your post! I look forward to seeing what you come up with.

blogging, History & Traditions, Photography

Friendly Friday: The Colour Pink – Guest Post

Vero writes:

When Amanda asked me to write a post with the prompt, “Pink,” my mind went in many directions first.

Then I paused: what’s really my relationship with this girly colour?

Let’s be honest, no matter how modern you are on the gender stereotyping theme, it will still take yonks before pink is something else than a female shade!

I grew up in the 70s, though, which was supposed to be a decade of change and evolution in the matter. But my mother was rather traditional. My bedroom had a pink wall paper – until very very late.

I wore pink dresses.

But looking at this other photo from my dance class, (ironically, it’s black and white!!); it seems I was suddenly totally opposed to pink and decided to make it very clear!

Being a teenager is very tricky, isn’t it.

You want to fit in but also you want to show the world how different you are from the crowd!

That’s when I started wearing very different items of clothing.

I particularly loved a velvet jacket and suede tie which belonged to my grandfather – 4 sizes too big for me. The results of my combo choices were often extremely peculiar but I guess that’s how I decided to be creative at that time.

And took ballet classes wearing pale pink leotards and tights. In a way, pink was the colour of my childhood.Then the teenage years followed. And they were black. Didn’t we all wear black then? It was the way to merge.


Pink never really came back in my wardrobe in my adult years. Except for fuchsia. Vibrant colours are what define me now. In French, we have a way to qualify vivid shades: we call them “shouting” or “yelling tints.”

As if it was so bright, it could actually make an unpleasant sound.

In my never-ending craving for strong saturation, I even painted my house’s front wall, one Saturday afternoon, in bright pink. My courtyard had already been indoctrinated with a mixture of bleu majorelle (link to jardinmajorelle.com/ang/ ) and anis green !


Click on over to Vero’s blog to read the second instalment of this post.

About the Guest Blogger

Vero was born in a green and quiet Parisian suburb. She left this idyllic scenery in her early twenties to live in England, later settling in the South of France and started a family of three (+dogs!). Now in her forties, she lives in a rural coastal village in Brittany.

Thanks to Vero for this interesting glimpse into her relationship with the colour pink prepared for this week’s Friendly Friday theme.

If you would like to be featured as a guest blogger for a Friendly Friday Challenge post, please contact Amanda or Sandy – hosts of Friendly Friday, via our contact pages.

Friendly Friday
Community, Gardening, Painting, Photography, Traditional Art

Friendly Friday Challenge – Art Unexpected

Sandy over at The Sandy Chronicles, is hosting this week’s Friendly Friday photo challenge and the theme was so tempting, I had to showcase some of my unexpected artsy photographs.

Art can be cathartic, fun, controversial or just a bit hard to understand.

From a pumpkin photobombing in Japan,

  • to the wilds of Australia’s farming communities
mailbox donkey
The Donkey mail
  • Some old photos and some new.
Oops, nearly lost it.
  • A Trick of the eye or a slight of hand

What do you think?

  • Lastly, our Kiwi cousins have a fun sense of humour. Especially if you are a gardener in Wellington.
hidden art

Thanks Sandy for a fun prompt. Are you joining in too?

See you here next week for the new Friendly Friday prompt for Something to Ponder About.