Monday, 24 June 2013

Searching for ROY G BIV Challenge

I had no idea what the initials ROY G BIV stood for when I first saw them. Which is rather a sad admission from one who is as obsessed with colour as I am. (Or color, depending on where you come from.) Red Orange Yellow Green Blue Indigo Violet - the initials are a memory aid for the order of the colours on the spectrum. Why didn't I know that?

This is a challenge set out by Jennifer Coyne Qudeen and Julie B Booth. All rules are on Julie's page but basically you put 5 or more photos relating to the colour of the month on your blog and let Julie or Jennifer know. Then you visit all the other blogs that are in the challenge and experience everyone's great photographs.

I'm actually a day late in putting in my photos of Blue but I plan to take part next month, on the 3rd Thursday of July, when the colour is Indigo. So here are my versions of Blue.
 Forresters Beach, Central Coast, NSW
Our family flag - Here be Pirates
 Driving into the sunset towards Dubbo, NSW Central West
 Altered photo taken in the Queen Victoria Building, Sydney NSW
 My Starry Flounder
 Seats in the train from Sydney to Newcastle NSW

I hope you join me next month when I have a go (in good time) at Searching for Roy G Biv.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Off to Central Western NSW

In my late teens I was a member of a Junior Farmers Club, pretty much the equivalent of the 4H Clubs in the US and Young Farmers in the UK. Years later the Junior Farmers Club was renamed Rural Youth Club but the educational principles remained the same - learning by doing, teaching young people about agriculture. Surprisingly there were several very active clubs around Sydney, catering to young suburban Australians who loved the land, many of whom later became farmers or worked in some agricultural occupation. I lived on my family's flower farm, and belonged to Epping Junior Farmers Club. Educationally I learned to cook and sew, to change a tyre, debate, chair a meeting, judge cakes and cattle, and my major interest was economic entomology. Socially we built amazing exhibits at agricultural shows, went to show camps, conferences, dances and balls, and along the way learned excellent values and social graces. Lots of us married fellow members. It was a fabulous organization.

Last weekend I went to Dubbo to a reunion of 200 Junior Farmers and Rural Youth members. What a great occasion! Luckily we all had large-print name tags so there was no problem recognizing friends perhaps not seen for 30 or 40 years. The years fell away as we hugged and laughed and shared reminiscences. After an excellent dinner and a quite late night about 80 of us fronted up in the rain for a most generous breakfast out at the showground. It was sad to say goodbye but email addresses were shared and photos will be passed around. This is just one photo, of old and loved friends.
 One 'must see' in Dubbo is Taronga Western Plains Zoo so a few hours were spent (just before the rain set in) wandering along bush paths to see the animals. Taronga is a no-cage zoo so is set out in large paddocks of grass and trees and moats, a great way to see the animals. There are some carnivores but mostly herbivorous animals.
Asian Elephant
Black Rhino
Giraffe
Susie the Hippo
Dingo, Australia's Wild Dog
I was at the Dubbo Farmers' Market, where like all such markets there were many dogs on leads, when a man ambled past with a most magnificent Dingo in tow. The Dingo was very alert, ears and nose sussing out the surroundings, and apparently he is a frequent visitor to the markets. The Dingo is not a domesticated dog so seeing one as a pet is quite rare, but this one was obviously considered trustworthy to be in the company of other dogs. I felt privileged to be in the same company as the Dingo, much as I did when I met a Wolf in the US.
There is a camping area in the zoo with a permanent tent site, available for school groups, tourists or anyone who fancies sleeping to the sound of the roaring carnivores. I saw a Sumatran Tiger feeding, but my photos were from too far a distance for my iPhone to get a decent shot. The tiger, named Inda, was small (at 82k) if compared with a female Bengal Tiger (approx. 139k) but she was sleek and muscled and quite threatening even from a very safe distance. And very, very beautiful...

I've just received a parcel from Gracia & Louise, some brass rods I bought from them, and as are all parcels they send out, it was almost too beautiful to unwrap. Not only were the rods (very exciting stuff) carefully packed, but there was a note on one of their lovely cards, and included one of Gracia's zines. This one is 'Johannesburg to Genova' / 'Genova to Johannesburg', featuring collages from the artists' books 'In search of a time the heart does not recall' and 'Before all colour faded'. Thank you Gracia and Louise.

I think winter is finally here. I've dragged out the oil heater and put a wool underlay on my bed. The children are in winter uniforms for school and the dogs are wrestling for the warmest spots in the house. My thoughts are with all those in European floods and especially the 1000 animals moved to safety in the Prague Zoo. Did you see them carrying tigers on blankets? Between tornadoes, floods, war, drought and all the other disasters that feature on our nightly news I am mightily thankful for  my peaceful life and never take it for granted.