This post has been a week in the making so I hope you like it. But it is only one photo you say! What’s so hard about that?
Well this is a photo of a Blue Sun Orchid, so named because these little lovelies only show their faces on a nice day when the sun shines brightly on them. Yes, it has been sunny all week, that is not why the photo took so long. I’m confessing to the fact that it has taken a week between me noticing they were ready to flower in the backyard and me getting coordinated enough to be out in the backyard with my camera when they are open. It was just as well that I took the photos when I did as the weather changed the next day and they will probably go back into hiding for a while.
When the sun is not on them they are tightly closed and pretending to be just another piece of grass, if slightly lumpier. Not a very exciting photo for you!
Some years they are bright blue with tiny dark spots although this year they all seem to have gone for the pale blue look. In the past we have also had salmon pink ones as well. Unfortunately I have not seen any of them for a few seasons, hopefully they are just on holiday.
There are over a dozen of these shy little guys in one open section of the Hill and, as the Man has been forbidden from mowing up there for a while, the grasses have grown up around them so they are doing a pretty good job of hiding. I actually thought there was only one or two and was worried that something had happened to kill them off. When I went up there to check them out I was amazed, and very happy, to see so many. There are other single ones scattered under the trees but they get so little sun I am unlikely to ever be organized enough to get a picture of them. 😉
The subject of this post is going to be familiar to you Aussies, and Meeks, look away now.
Some weeks ago I did a post about spiders (ok, I’ve done a few but this one in particular) that ended in a conversation with Bluey about Huntsmen spiders and their love of letter boxes. Yesterday I was unlucky enough to find a small one on my mail and I grabbed my camera to fulfil the promise of sharing the horror with her.
Yes, this is a small Huntsman, only about as big as the palm of my hand, there is no way I am getting this close with a camera to a big one. The photo in that case would be less pleasant, taken after I flipped the mail out of the box with a long stick and stomped on everything. Yeah, never post me anything breakable, ok….
Huntsmen are very long-legged spiders and that makes them look scarily big, but as you can see they are also very flat. I expect that this is some sort of special evolutionary trait to assist their unnoticed entry into houses via the collected mail.
C’mon, take me inside….
I admit that I did the girly “eeeek!” because he ran at me as soon as I lifted the mail so I immediately dropped the flyer straight back into the letterbox and slammed the lid.
I suddenly realized I had a blog post just sitting there if I pulled him back out so I went in, got my camera, took a breath and reached in.
Those awful beady eyes….. ick….
He politely stood still while I took a few shots then the Man drove up the driveway, temporarily distracting me. When I turned back the spider was gone.
Bugger. That just means he is still out there looking for a nice warm, dry house. I’m sure he will be back in residence in a few days but this time I have the photo so next time he may well just get the boot…
A while ago I did a photo post about the wild carnivorous plants in our garden so I thought I would share a photo of the tiny flower that the Sundews produce near the end of their season.
Although each plant produces a spray of these flowers at the top of their stem they usually only show one or two at a time. They start off pink and fade rapidly to white.
I am also using this post to try to make you arachnophobes feel better about the other post I am doing today, sorry to all of you 😀
One of the place names I love the most in Melbourne is the Banana Alley Vaults.
Those three words don’t really belong together do they? The Banana Alley Vaults are at the end of the beautiful Flinders Street Station. They are situated under the rail line and they were originally called the Flinders Street Viaduct.
A post from My Town Melbourne about a tiny cafe under the viaduct (complete with banana yellow banana lounges out the front) prompted this post. I love the look of the whole row of frontages, they look like they are tiny cubbyhouses set into the wall. Clearly they are not all tiny as it is mainly a 24 hour gym under there now.
The vaults themselves have had a chequered history. After they were built they were used for storing fruit and veg for the markets which led to the name Banana Alley.
Businesses were housed under there over the years but they eventually fell into disrepair. In the 1970’s and 80’s the vaults were used by the homeless and the area developed a dangerous reputation before being refurbished by the State Government in the late 1980’s.
I was extremely pleased to find this 1879 drawing of the proposed viaduct in the archives. What an amazing thought that Flinders Street once looked like this!*
The Man and I had recently spent a weekend in the city staying in a hotel which had originally been the Commercial Travellers building and was right across from the Banana Alley vaults. Looking back through the photos I took that weekend I found one taken from the car on the very intersection that this drawing is representing (but not one of the vaults themselves… grrrrr!).
cnr Flinders and Williams Streets 2012.
In this photo a small part of the viaduct is visible on the left and the Yarra Family Hotel is the building on the corner of the drawing but has now been replaced with a big shiny….. thing …. I don’t know what is inside, it is just big and shiny and a disappointing replacement as far as I’m concerned.
*I found a webpage called Melbourne’s Lost Hotels, the second photo down is a great photo of the Yarra Family Hotel with horse and carts etc and the viaduct on the side, remarkably similar to this drawing!
When the kids and I got home from school yesterday the weather was just taking a turn for the worst and I had washing on the line. As we made our way inside we noticed that the change had bought out a multitude of tiny critters and we spotted an interesting spider in the garden that I wanted a photo of.
A dilemma. Do I run out the back and tear the washing off the line before the rain or do I grab my camera and forsake the washing? I’m sure you can guess. I didn’t even bother worrying about the washing, and telling the kids to keep the spider busy, raced inside for my camera.
Red and Black Spider.
Pretty cool eh? These tiny Red and Black Spiders (yep, although it’s unimaginative, that’s their name) are fascinating looking creatures. The ridges on its body make it look so primitive don’t they?
When I came back out, brandishing my camera, it was to find the kids had kept it from running away by scooping it up with a leaf. They thought he was hilarious as he ran up number 1’s arm and was nearly lost in the multitude of colourful armbands that number 1 wears at all times.
Although I only intended to post a photo of the spider wandering around in its native environment I had to add this picture of the beast being restrained just because I admired number 1’s bravery. I like taking photos of spiders, but if one walks on me there is probably going to be very little left that is worth looking at.
“Mum, are these things poisonous?”
This weekend we spent most of the time outside pottering around in the garden. It was beautiful weather until about 5pm on Sunday when it started pouring with rain. Hmmmm… still spring I see…
I don’t really love summer that much, extreme heat sends me to the edge of serial killer-dom. Fine sunny days when all is right in the world though, that I love, and this weekend was a perfect example of one, bliss!
I had a chance to wander around in the garden with my camera too, the lavender hedges out the front were alive with bees. That meant I barely had to step off the verandah to get this shot of a busy bee looking extra furry. I was really pleased with this photo, my camera and I are slowly coming to an understanding. Now if only the critters would stay still long enough for me to get the perfect shot every time!