I love the vibrant colours of this particular Lantana. The flowers on this shrub range from brilliant pink, red, yellow to more faded shades of the same colours. When in full bloom they’re mostly this gorgeous brilliant red/orange.
I notice these lovely little prostrate Grevilleas were in bloom on the rockery ledge beside the north-western walking track today. This particular one was only about 3″ high and the flower (with all its ‘cotton candy’ coloured shapes) is about 3/4″ across.
It’s very pretty creeping across the garden bed and giving a nice Autumn show of colour. The flowers are really weird in their abundance of unusual shapes and projections. They almost look like alien creatures from outer space.
Autumn will finish in Melbourne in another 10 days, but there are still some nice coloured leaves around. This is probably the last post I’ll do which include Autumn leaf colour (unless I see something really spectacular and worth sharing on my PhotoBlog).
The last 2 photos in this post were taken on my walk home. The view of the back lane I walk down to get home is almost the same view I photographed 3 years ago with my first little Canon Powershot A3000 IS point & shoot camera. It hasn’t really changed much.
You’re probably starting to think you’ve seen enough Nankeen Night Herons for a while, but truly, they were in such abundance, both close and far away on the island in the middle of the large Ornamental Lake, that I had to do another post on them.
The first heron photo shows the bird close to where I slipped and fell the other week. I couldn’t help but wonder if this is the same bird that comes to this same location every day to sun-bake.
After taking several photos of this bird, I walked around to the southern side of the lake where you can usually see 12-15 herons standing perfectly still on a bare-limbed large tree on the island in the middle of the lake. This afternoon I also saw 4 salmon-pink herons in the tall grass reeds close to where I was standing on the bank. I couldn’t get a single focal point on the birds in the water reeds, so you’ll have to believe me on that one. The water reeds were just too close together and I couldn’t hold the camera steady enough. I daresay a photographer who can focus manually might have got a good photo.
But I did manage to get about 8 herons into the one frame to share with you. You can only see blurred pink blobs in the background in the next shot, but it’s the best I could do. I think I had been walking too much and I was breathing heavily and had trouble keeping the heavy new lens steady in my hands. I think I ended up walking around most of the 38 hectares of the Botanic Gardens about 3 times today, so I well and truly got plenty of exercise.
I don’t normally like images with lots of busy background detail, but at least you can imagine how fascinating it is to observe a group of these birds all in the one place. Occasionally, the two herons on the netting in the foreground would move around a bit, but the ones in the background on that tree stayed pretty much in the one place for all the time I was watching.
And another bird over to one side down near the water. This image is not as sharp in focus, but to be honest (and this is my excuse for the day), I was getting really tired of holding this heavy lens up for about 2 hours…….
I think it was only yesterday I said my new Sigma 150-500mm wouldn’t be good for moving subjects.
I stand corrected.
My new 150-500mm lens works perfectly for moving subjects – I just haven’t mastered being quick enough to capture ‘moving targets’ (with it).
The zoom dial is slow and stiff. For good reason. So you can get a firm grip on the subject and focus perfectly.
Today I found myself in the position of just being too slow to zoom back out from the subject, (duckie), and missed what would have been, potentially, a great shot. I think if I had my 18-200mm telephoto on the DSLR, I would have captured it really well as I’m so quick using the smaller telephoto at the Zoo and Botanic Gardens.
And here’s an image (below) where I actually DID capture the action. It may not be the most exciting ‘shot of the year’, but it does prove that the long telephoto – my new baby – really can capture ‘a slice of the action’.
Below, I have another shot I missed because I was too slow. (It’s all very well to share your good photos, but I think it’s reassuring and helpful to see ‘the ones that got away’ too).
There’s nothing like a photo…..of……a…..chopped off beak.
And just to keep this post in balance…..
Here’s one that didn’t get away – a male Australian Wood Duck.
I’ll master this heavy, long telephoto lens if it’s the last thing I do.
Bird life was disappointingly scarce on both lakes in the Botanic Gardens today (except for the pink Nankeen Night Herons which you’ll see in the next post).
As all you bird lovers know, some days you see lots of birds and some days you’re lucky to see one.
The Zoo has many plants and trees in the Landscaping and even has temperate rainforest areas near the Primate and Thai Elephant village.
I shot a few images of these Proteas growing next to the walking path just before I left the Zoo to come home about 4.00pm. Heaps of sun to light up their centres and I still had the Sigma 150-500mm lens on the DSLR so that’s what I used. The first image was taken on 370mm and the 2nd & 3rd images on 289mm.