Catching the fleeting scenes of many splendored life with a camera.
'Look closely. The beautiful may be small' — Kant

29 January 2013

Light and Shade. Stone and Crystals

Some of the most beautiful effects in nature are created when two or more textures or materials, especially contrasting ones, meet. Crystals and stones, for example, fall into the same category, and yet they exhibit different qualities.

Quartz, amethyst and rock. (© LightColourShade. All rights reserved)

22 January 2013

Flowering Trees. Lagunaria patersonii (Cow itch tree)

Lagunaria patersonia (family Malvaceae), commonly known as the Pyramid Tree  Norfolk Island Hibiscus, Solandra squamea, cow itch tree, primrose tree is an Australian plant endemic to Lord Howe Island, Norfolk Island and parts of coastal Queensland. It has been introduced to many parts of the world. The genus was named in honour of Andrés Laguna, a Spanish botanist and a physician to Pope Julius III.
Its seed capsules are filled with irritating hairs giving rise to another common name, "Cow Itch Tree".
In many parts of Australia, Lagunaria is considered a pest, and is commonly referred to as the "Itchy Bomb tree" due to the tiny, almost invisible, hairs inside the inedible seedpods which, when split open, can lodge in the skin like tiny barbs of broken glass, causing a great deal of pain.

This medium-sized evergreentree is a slow grower, it blooms in early summer, and its propeller-like waxy pink flowers' texture reminds me of rice paper I used in craft classes at school.

Lagunaria patersonii, cow itch tree flowers close-up
(© 2012 LightColourShade. All rights reserved)

18 January 2013

Coots, Mallard Ducks and White Muscovy ducks at Sunset

Few things are probably more soothing for the soul than watch ducks glide on the water in the caleidoscope of flickering patterns created by sunset light.

The Mallard or Wild Duck (Anas platyrhynchos) is a dabbling duck which breeds throughout the temperate and subtropical Americas, Europe, Asia, and North Africa, and has been introduced to New Zealand and Australia.  Mallards belong to the subfamily Anatinae of the waterfowl family Anatidae, they live in wetlands, eat water plants and small animals, and are gregarious. This species is the ancestor of most breeds of domestic ducks.

Mallard duck (Anas platyrhynchos) female on the water
(© LightColourShade. All rights reserved)

9 January 2013

Reflections in Brown and Blue

Some of the most beautiful light effects are created by the play of the sunrays in the water. Since water is a transparent medium, it renders an infinite number of palettes depending on the colours of the surrounding objects and the incident light.
These two feathers were drifting by in perfect sync, they propped each other thus staying in balance... like a perfect couple.

Two drifting feathers. (© 2013 LightColourShade. All rights reserved)

4 January 2013

Night Guest. Common Nightingale (Luscinia megarhynchos)

A couple of weeks ago a small brown bird with a reddish tail started coming every evening at exactly the same time to perch between the rolled up parasol and the ceiling and stay overnight unless it’s windy or rainy. I identified it as a common nightingale.
I usually put a plate with grains and some water for collared doves and any other feathered friend, so I saw this cutie leap across the terrace during the day, trying to snatch some leftovers between the dove raids. My guess is that we owe the honour of the bird’s visits not to the fact that it (I don’t like using “it” for animals, but in this case I just don’t know its sex) especially enjoys our company (much as it would flatter me), but rather to the brilliant strategy this smart feathered creature worked out to avoid competing with doves for grain by day: to stay overnight and be the first to get to the birdfeeder at dawn (just like humans queuing up early for Christmas sales or concert tickets).
Surprisingly, it wasn’t at all bothered by either the activity on the terrace or my camera flash at close range.

Common Nightingale (Luscinia megarhynchos) fluffed up
(© 2013 LightColourShade. All rights reserved)
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