Tree lit at sunset

Off-Camera Moments

For this post, I thought I would  move beyond sight, and explore some of the other senses.

Twelve things I can’t capture in a photo:

  1. Breathing in the scent of peppermint eucalyptus after rain, and feeling it in my body all the way down to the bottom of my lungs.
  2. Being drowned out by the deafening screech of a flock of cockatoos as they fly overhead, or land in our treetops.
  3. Going to sleep with the sound of frogs and bats (yes, we’ve seen and heard them), and waking up with birdsong.
  4. The huge shudder I felt as I realised the wooden slats preventing possums from getting into the vegetable garden are a wonderful spot for spiders to hang mid-air to snare insects.
  5. Groans, creaks, cracks and flaps of trees moving – even when there is no breeze.
  6. Palpable disillusionment when I found the dead, female Superb Fairy Wren between the two cat food bowls inside our laundry this morning – just days after writing about how well they were sharing the cat enclosure..
  7. The few moments of deep violet sky at the end of a sunset – not just the horizon, but the entire sky.
  8. Realising just how far I would have to walk to find a phone one cold Winter’s night when I accidentally locked myself out of the house.
  9. The divine taste of freshly picked young broad beans with goats cheese and lemon  tossed through pasta!
  10. Fruitless hours spent watching for long-necked turtles in the dam.
  11. Rythms of nature – like the flock of corella’s which flies North over our house after dawn each day  (from wherever they roost) and then back South over our house just before sunset (from wherever they spend their days).  They never land on our property, but we can hear them calling to each other at these times each day on their way through.  Sometimes the intervals between calls sets up a rap-music-like rythm.
  12. Waking up to the sound of 100 or more Ravens one Sunday. It felt like being on the set of ‘The Birds’.

Five moments I wish I had photographed:

  1. Walking through clouds of gold and black ‘wanderer’ style butterflies as I collect the mail, or walk around the dam, or through the bush part of the property.  Butterlies don’t seem to watch where they are going, and I’ve lost count of the number of times I have been hit in the face by a flutterying pair of wings.  When the sunlight catches their wings against the green of the bracken, they are just glorious! These drifts of butterflies have been happening over the past two months – but never when I have a camera with me.
  2. The kookaburra who watched me water the vegetable garden last night.  After months of trying to photograph a kookaburra, it chose a time I was without my camera to sit on a low branch, just watching me…and it didn’t even laugh!
  3. Clio’s ‘what the hell is that?’ face when she first saw a goldfish swimming in the pond in our fernery.
  4. Distant lightning which lit up a dark night sky – I don’t have the right equipment to photograph anything at night.  This was made more compelling because it knocked out our electricity, and we were able to sit in the dark and watch the show put on by the thunderstorm.
  5. Thirteen ducks flying around the endge of our dam – wings all flashing white and black in the sunlight against a backdrop of dark green eucalypt leaves.

And finally, one moment that I DID capture in a photograph – the golden ray at sunset which caught the upper branches of the eucalypt outside my study window.

Tree lit at sunset
The upper branches of this eucalypt glow in the golden sunset light.
Tree lit at sunset
Viewed more closely, it is possible to see the lighter colour of the bark, which reflects back the rays of the setting sun.

Let me know what you think!

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