my view of the natural world


What are we doing to the children?


Surely it’s time to take action against this atrocity?!

Originally posted on O ECOTEXTILES:

Americans live in one of the wealthiest nations in the world, yet American children are less likely to live to age 5 than children in comparable nations – and I was shocked to find that America has the highest infant mortality rate in the industrialized world. [1]


Our children are especially vulnerable to the presence of toxic chemicals in their lives, and unfortunately this means that our children are sicker than we were as kids.

That is due to many different things, but one component can be found in changes to our environment. Since the middle of the last century, we have allowed a slew of chemicals (numbering now over 80,000) to be used in products – chemicals which were untested, many of which we now know to be harmful. In 2009, tests conducted by five laboratories in the U.S., Canada and Europe found up to 232 toxic chemicals in…

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The Result

I mentioned a while back that I’d entered into a photo competition.  Well, on Friday night the awards were presented and I was very lucky to get runner-up in the Open section.  The prize was a voucher for $200 photo printing.

The standard of the more than 200 entries over 6 categories was very high, with many professional photographers entering – all vying for the $1000 first prize money.

The exhibition will be open for the next two weeks, and I’m planning to take some photos of it when I’m in town next week.  With a bit of luck, one or more of my six images may be sold also :-)

Here’s the image:

Working the mobOf course, the funny thing is, that this was taken with my old camera, Fuji 200EXR, before I obtained the Olympus, which just goes to prove, it’s not all about the camera!

One of the aspects about the competition which did concern me however, was the constant reference by the judging panel about winning shots, being the ‘sharpness’ of the image.  It seemed to count more than whether the image imparted feeling or told a story etc…..  Other photographers I spoke with on the night also shared my concerns.  It’s an old debate I know and it appears we’re no closer to resolving it.

PS – No animals were harmed in the making of this image :-)

Reflections at the Marina

Yesterday found Fred and I down at the Robe Marina, once we’d finished the business I was in town for, and I felt the weather was simply lovely.  Foggy, not cold, no wind at all, a very peaceful feel to the day.  Seems I was the only one who felt that way though – I got strange glances when I said to others wasn’t it a lovely morning!


The Lumberjack Show

One of the highly entertaining acts at the 2014 South East Field Days was the Lumberjack Show.  Like most other Aussies, I knew a little about the tradition, but had never seen it in action before.  The team was actually a bit of League of Nations.  Two Canadians, one American, and one New Zealander.  The weather was perfect that day – a real bonus as the previous day had been rain and howling winds.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHamming it up – a long way up!  Note that by this time all equipment has been discarded…..

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFast and furious action as they vied to be the first to finish.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis bloke could pull the funniest faces, and really engaged with the crowd – especially the children.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn a short space of time he’d carved out the face of a rabbit – just putting the whiskers on as a finishing touch.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn despair, for he’d made a ‘mistake’ and ‘accidently’ removed the rabbit’s head…..

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd cleverly created the sweetest little chair!  There was a call then for the youngest audience member to test out the chair….

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYes, she was very cute :-)

More wisecracking took place, and further high jinks, and one of the men then needed to go to the ‘dunny’, which of course, provided the opportunity for further merriment.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGreat little building….

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABut trouble was in store….. one lighted fuse coming right up!


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPoor man – who’d enjoy their peace being disturbed like that!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHowever, after he’d had a good moan and groan, it was time to get on with the final act – rolling the logs.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAt least the weather wasn’t cold, and I’m sure that by this time they’d worked up a sweat, so the dipping wouldn’t have been unwelcome.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAll ages of spectators watched the show….

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThey seemed to enjoy the show as much as I did.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAt the end of the show, several tiny chairs were available for sale, and there were plenty of young lads waiting to purchase theirs and get it autographed.  No girls lined up…..  although I have to say, I was tempted!

Monty Python deserves to have the final say…..

Thinking sideways

Firstly, sorry for my absence in recent times from here, and from commenting on other blogs, but sometimes my other life just gets in the way.  Hopefully I’ll be able to catch on soon.

Today though, I was able to take a trip to Penola to follow up on a project I’m putting together on wine…..  and no, it’s probably not going to be what you think.  More on that down the track as it comes together.

Just as I pulled into the town though, I caught sight of a great many vintage vehicles converging on the park in the main street – it turned out to be a vintage car rally from interstate and they were having their morning tea break at Penola.  Twenty five vehicles of varying ages with fifty people and no, I won’t say anything about THEIR ages!

I only had time for a few shots, but as I did them, I was thinking of the book I’d been reading by Freeman Patterson on Thinking Sideways – and here was the perfect opportunity to try something out.   Instead of trying to avoid sunflare, I took a chance on embracing it – just to see ‘what if ‘ .  In post production I played just slightly with levels, and here’s the result.  Personally I’m happy with it, and think it was worth nearly getting run over by a careless modern car driver backing into me as I crouched low in front of this vehicle.  Well, almost anyway………