A father in his 40’s who surfed here every day. He was rescued, taken ashore but paramedics could not save him. The shark, believed to be a Great White, left its tooth embedded in the bite mark on his surfboard.
On our anniversary visits, I rarely went in for a swim, preferring to walk in the shallows and then past the old Shark Tower monument, which was erected in the 1960s for lifesavers to use as an observation site.
From that point, I would follow the boardwalk through the pandanus trees around the headland.
Even though we have nets to protect swimmers, the killer shark appears to have swum underneath the six-metre nets that line the shore.
The irony of the local name: ‘Snapper Rocks” Hotel and Surf Club, does not escape me.
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.
The theme for this week’s Friendly Friday challenge is:
‘Splendour in the Grass’
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.
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.
Australian deserts display different kinds of saltbush grass.
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
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 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.
It is quite ironic that my Friendly Friday Challenge Co-host, Sandy, should give us the prompt, Market this week as I was just looking through my photos of the wonderful Market Hall, in Helsinki, Finland.
Where the Hungarians are spoilt for choice in varieties of Paprika in their markets, Helsinki is spoilt for choice in terms of Salmon.
Me, being Australian, have only really known three varieties of Smoked Salmon – Tasmanian, Norwegian and Danish Smoked Salmon.
My eyes opened as wide as saucers when I saw the contents of the cabinets in the Helsinki Markets, the day I arrived in the Finnish capital.
I remember it is not just ordinary salmon, because the thing that struck me about Finns, was that they had taken Salmon to a whole new level, like as in Heinz 52 different varieties.
Now I love Salmon, so I was pretty happy with this, until I realized how hard it would be be to choose which one to buy! I needed help to choose between Tsar’s salmon, Cold Smoked Salmon, Flamed Salmon, Lemon Salmon and Rose Pepper Salmon, etc. and in the end, feeling rather befuddled, I settled on Cured Salmon with Basilic. With a large helping of Salmon Soup? How could I resist?
You need to know that the people of Helsinki eat a good deal of fish, freshwater fish, that is. Even sometimes three times in a day. So when I think of Helsinki, I think of Salmon, and lots of it.”
Stabilize your camera as much as possible – (a tripod or solid base helps)
Move the subject, not the camera
Try adding the effect of different backgrounds
Check your depth of field for focusing
I got a bit fancy with the Canva templates, but the close-up, above, of the little mushrooms, were very worthwhile to highlight. So delicate sitting atop their thin stalks, they appeared to defy gravity.
And now for a slideshow of flowers:-
I added a frame around the pumpkin leaves. It may have been edited with Snapseed, but it is from my archives, so I can’t be sure. I do like the way you can see the furry hairs on the pumpkin leaves. Glaucous is the botanic name for hairy leaves, I think.
“Taking pictures is savouring life intensely
every hundredth of a second.”
Friendly Friday Photo Challenge – Close Examination Prompt
Now it is your turn to write a Friendly Friday post with the theme, “Close Examination.”
Don’t forget to tag your post and link with a pingback here, so all readers can find your post.
Sandy, will have another great prompt for you next week.
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).
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.
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
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.
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.
The Guest post for this week’s Friendly Friday theme of Nostalgia, comes from Lorelle, an Australian Mum of two, passionate traveller and foodie enthusiast, who blogs at A Mindful Traveller.
I had the immense pleasure of meeting the lovely Lorelle a couple of years ago and she has been so kind to write a beautiful narrative about a very different kind of cake, one that is not only full of tradition but also has a special meaning for her and her family.
“Interestingly, there are two forms of nostalgia, restorative and reflective.
For me, Nostalgia is purely reflective. Stepping down memory lane with no need to recreate the past, is gratifying. The memories and more importantly, the feelings associated with those memories, are forever embedded with us.
Food is a remarkable trigger for Nostalgia, as it is a powerful sensory recollection. We all associate certain foods with memories and feelings.
Sri Lankan Connection
Coming from a Sri Lankan family, food is an important cultural way of life. And when I reflect on the vast variety of delicious and tasty Sri Lankan foods, there is one particular dish that is not only my favourite but one that holds special memories as it is only prepared and eaten at that all-important sacred feast of Christmas.
These customs and traditions allow us to preserve our important ancestral history. Unique, individual stories, wisdom and in this case recipes, passed from generation to generation. As Sri Lankan migrants, my parents continue to pass on their significant heritage to their children, and at important celebrations of the year where family gather, recipes like Sri Lankan Love Cake remind us of where it all began.
History of Sri Lankan Love Cake
This traditional Sri Lankan cake was inspired by the Portuguese from the 1500’s. As the name suggests, Love Cake was originally made to win the heart of an admirer. It is made from cashew nuts, semolina and candied winter melon/squash called puhul dosi (pumpkin preserve). Exotic spices and floral essences create a fragrant, sweet, spiced cake with a soft chewy inside and a crunchy crust.
There are many different variations to Love Cake, with each “Aunty” insisting her recipe is better than the other! Practice is also another requirement. Don’t be alarmed if you do not succeed the first time. Adjusting ingredients or oven temperatures may be necessary.
Sri Lankan Love Cake Recipe
In the recipe below, I have used a bain-marie of water to create that soft chewy centre. By placing a tray of water at the bottom of the oven, the moisture stays within the cake and doesn’t dry it out.
So, it is here that Christmas and its celebratory traditional cakes, bring great Nostalgia of our original family home, my grandparents and the sense of togetherness and family love.
Sri Lankan Love Cake
Makes: 2 rectangular baking trays
Prep Time: 30 mins (Eggs need to be at room temperature)
Cooking Time: 2 hours 15 mins
450g butter, softened
650g cashew nuts (pulsed in a food processor until finely chopped, keeping some larger pieces. Do not blend to a powder consistency)
12 egg yolks (at room temperature)
7 egg whites (at room temperature)
700g caster sugar
500 g preserved pumpkin (puhul dosi), finely chopped or pulsed in a food processor
2 tbsp almond essence
juice of 1 orange
rind of 1 lemon
2 tsp nutmeg, ground
2 tsp cardamon, ground
1 tsp cinnamon, ground
1 tsp clove, ground
Preheat oven to 160°C (fan forced)
Grease two rectangular cake tins and line with foil and then baking paper.
Beat the egg yolks and sugar until pale and creamy.
Combine the softened butter and semolina together in a separate bowl using your fingers. Add this to the egg and sugar mixture in thirds, beating to combine.
Transfer mixture into a very large mixing bowl and using a wooden spoon incorporate the nuts, pumpkin preserve. Then add rosewater, almond essence, honey, juice and rind, stirring well. Add remaining dry spices and mix.
Whip the egg whites into soft peaks and gently fold through the egg whites into the cake batter in two batches, do not over beat mixture. The egg whites will loosen up the mixture.
Pour batter into prepared cake tins.
Place a large tray of water on bottom oven shelf.
Bake the cakes at 160°C for 20 mins on middle oven shelf.
Reduce heat to 150°C and bake for a further 2 hours and 15 minutes.
If the cake is browning too quickly, cover with foil.
Once cooked and brown on top, remove cakes and allow to cool in trays before transferring. Cut into rectangles or squares when cool.
If you are wondering about preserved pumpkin, Lorelle writes to tell me that:
Preserved pumpkin or Puhul dosi, can be purchased from the Indian/Sri Lankan grocers or you could try to make your own. You can alternatively use preserved or candied squash/winter melon or pineapple. A health food store might stock these items.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
There are ‘Unusual’ things all around us.
Have you ever seen anything unusual?
Weekly Friendly Friday Prompt
For this week’s Friendly Friday Challenge, show us something you have photographed that was –
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 !
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.
Young girls are pretty much divided into two camps – generally speaking. You are either a PINK or a PURPLE girl.
As each person’s eye sees colour, and variations of hue, a little differently and individually to the next, what is one person’s dreamy hue might be something another person intensely dislikes.
Pink or Purple?
When we are young and asked what about our favourite colour, most girls will answer pink or purple. Very rarely, yellow or any other colour. This usually translates to little girls wearing predominantly either pink-coloured or purple-coloured clothes and decorations.
And never the Twain shall meet.
Just as most young boys will preference red as their favourite colour. At least in Australia, this is the pattern that we regularly see and hear, with young children.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that a Pink girl won’t wear, or use, other colours at all. It only means that when you ask a young girl what her favourite colour is, she will generally answer “Pink,” or she will answer, “Purple.”
It’s a thing.
The Princess top in the above photo was purchased in Legoland in Denmark and was highly sought after in the Pre-school crowd at my daughter’s Kindergarten, especially so as it was unobtainable, in Australia. Fights even broke out, between the girls, over who got to wear it and there was lots of pouting from the ones that missed out. I had to ban the top from being worn to Kindergarten. My guess is the pink girls were the ones fighting.
One day a play date with a four-year-old friend of my daughter ended in tears. The little girl refused to leave our house unless she was allowed to take the Princess top home with her! My daughter naturally refused such an offer.
As for me: I used to be a purple girl, never a pink girl, but life changes you.
I had a wishy-washy lilac painted room as a child, as pastels were really the fashion. Yet, I have way too much Scandi genetic material to be completely sold on pastels, so a more cleaner, intensive colour is my choice these days. Yet looking through my WordPress archives, I note that most of my photos are indeed shades of purple, usually in the form of flowers.
I did find this gaudy ‘Pet Expo’ photo hidden in my archives:
We also see lots of pink in nature.
Or is it purple?
Join the Weekly Friendly Friday Challenge Theme
To join in, simply create a post, including a pingback, using the theme The Colour Pink, and tag it:
“Friendly Friday – The Colour Pink.”
Be sure to leave a comment below, so everyone can find your published post.
As this is the first post of the month, we ask you to post a little bit more about your chosen photo. This is not compulsory, but it is much more interesting to hear the narrative behind the photo. This does not have to be a lengthy piece.
Here are some ideas if you are stuck on what to write:
What is its significance or history of the photo/s?
Where and when were they taken?
Why was it taken?
Post a recipe/ tell a story that relates to the topic
Monthly Guest Blogger – Vero
We will soon be publishing a Guest post celebrating this theme, from the wonderful blogger Vero, in two parts. The first part will be published here at StPA tomorrow and the second part at Vero’s blog, so do check that out.
If you are interested in submitting a guest post for Friendly Friday, please contact me or Sandy, via the Contact pages, or via our WordPress Profiles.
Weekly Photo Challenge
Next week’s Friendly Friday Photo Challenge will be found at Sandy’s blog. See you there.
I am not that fond of social media, but I do use it. Sounds a bit hypocritical, doesn’t it? I rather like the Facebook ‘Memories’ feature. It reminds me of what I was doing on that same date, in previous years. They are always happy memories. (I generally don’t post sad ones).
Last year at this time, for instance, I took a road trip with an old friend. We stayed overnight at an Eco-resort, a first for me. It was sublime. In the morning we took a walk through the forest and there was a surprise waiting for us, one that I wasn’t so fond of:
Instead of taking the highway home, we opted to follow some back roads. An unscheduled stop in a rural area, to check on a noise in the rear boot, (read: trunk if you are from the USA), led me to discover a surprising panorama. One that only the farmer and the cows might have shared:
However, a bigger surprise was to come a few miles north.
In a park prone to flooding (?!), a kilometre outside of the small country town of Kenilworth, Australia, a town known more for its prize-winning cheese, is a prize-winning Dunny, or public toilet facility.
180 people submitted their designs in a competition, run by the Town’s Council, for the creation of a new public – ah – monument. It was a local architectural illustrator, Michael Lennie, whose design titled Canistrum, Latin for a basket, that was selected.
At a cost of $600,000, the ‘Dunny’ was supposed to represent a basket – the basket being the history of the town and the unfinished basket supports the future history of the town, yet to be written.
But why yellow?
On pondering the glorious throne, of which I did not deem necessary to try out first hand, I pondered whether the artist was having a go at us, or maybe he was a ‘basket case?’ Lol.
The folks up that way do seem to have a wry sense of humour as the next surprise seemed to indicate.
This was spotted on the back road across the mountain.
Jurassic Park anyone?
If you haven’t already guessed, the theme this week for Friendly Friday is:
Show us a Surprise photo or two, or three in a Friendly Friday Post?
Because everyone likes Surprises, don’t they?
Even if they are a prize winning public toilet facility.
How to Join the Friendly Friday Challenge
To participate in the Challenge this week, you need to:
Create a Friendly Friday Post titled: ‘Friendly Friday – Surprise’
In these strange times of pandemic, we are called to act differently from the norm. We adjust our lifestyle to accommodate the lock downs and social distancing, according to our own countries. I like to think of it as the beginning of something new, rather than something lost.
A New Kind of Photography Challenge
With new beginnings, comes change.
Friendly Friday is changing. Slightly.
It is our intention to expand the Friendly Friday challenge.
In the first two weeks of each month, participants are encouraged to dig a little deeper into the theme with their response. adding a short narrative, a story or recipe along with their photo.
Guest Bloggers Wanted
Furthermore, we will be publishing a guest post from a Friendly Friday blogger, in addition to the theme, which will be published on our blogs, in the second week of each month.
If you would like to nominate for a guest post slot on either of the host’s blogs, please let us know in the comments below. More details below.
How has Friendly Friday Changed?
This week and for the first week of each month following, we will set the F.F. theme and, in addition, post either a story, a recipe or a narrative of some kind, along with our photo, addressing the Friendly Friday theme for that week.
As always, it is up to you to interpret the weekly theme, as you see fit. You are only really limited by your imagination.
Bloggers who prefer to simply post a photo, will not be left out as the remaining two or three weeks of each month, will be devoted to the regular Photo challenge in the previous format. i.e. You will be presented with a different photo prompt suggestion for you to interpret as you wish, each week.In this way you will still have an opportunity to publish a photo or photos, on Friendly Friday, if you so choose.
Friendly Friday Theme for this Week
This week, I am challenging you to post a photo and story/recipe/narrative about:
Something New/Something Different
It might not be a food you have tried or a recipe that is the “something different” for you, it might be some other kind of activity, or something from your past that you have suddenly had the opportunity to revisit, something new in your garden, or a different way of doing things.
For me, it was baking with a different food! Read more of what I made, below. But first a reminder on how to participate in Friendly Friday.
How to Join Friendly Friday
To participate in the Challenge this week, you need to:
Create a Friendly Friday Post titled: ‘Something new/something different‘
If you can, include a recipe or write a short narrative or story, but most importantly, include a photo interpreting this week’s theme.
Tag your post,“Friendly Friday – Something New, Something Different”
Leave a comment below so that the hosts and others can find your post (ping backs don’t always work)
Let the hosts know if you would like to be featured as a guest blogger.
My New Beginnings with Something Different
Most people say they don’t have time to cook. Has Covid given us more time? Or only reduced distractions so we are willing to do things we have not done avoided before?
Cooking New and Different Foods
I’ve never in my life used Figs before. Neither have I made a Sourdough Mother. My kids might teasingly say I am a sour mother, so I guess I am halfway there! Lol!
So it is definitely a new beginning in the kitchen.
But let’s get back to the figs.
Fig and Walnut Loaf
I don’t really know anything about figs. Figs are something new and different for me. I might even confess to being a bit terrified of using figs. But I don’t want to admit ignorance. They are, after all, very much on trend at the moment.
Not only do I not know how to prepare figs, or how they can be eaten, I don’t know what they go well with, or their nutritional benefit. In fact the only contact I have had with Figs prior to this, is from my local cafe.
They served a mean Fig and Walnut Loaf, sliced and toasted, with lashings of warm butter, strawberries and icing sugar! Garnished with mint.
It was fantastic, it was filling and I was in love.
Soon after discovering the delight that comes with eating figs, this local cafe closed down. I went into an a kind of fig/walnut withdrawal that might see me raid the walnut jar late in to the night! So it became my mission to find a recipe that would equal the cafe’s culinary delight of Fig and Walnut Loaf.
Today it was done and happily shared with neighbours. It was good, really good and now my addiction has been properly fed, the body will no doubt, demand a repeat performance. Figs may be on the menu for some time to come.
Writing a Guest Post for Friendly Friday
Are you interested in being featured here as a guest blogger?
Would you like to write a guest post to be published here on Friendly Friday?
You may choose your own theme or alternatively use our suggestions, but a guest post would follow the format:
Address the weekly Friendly Friday theme by writing a post.