Friday, 23 November 2012


This week I bought some Seaglass marbles and an end piece ~ the piece they scrape off the glassblower's rod after the completion of the main piece, which could have been something useful, decorative  ... say a bowl, vase, paperweight ...
Anyway, these pieces didn't look much in the Ebay photos, which was good for me, [but of course, not so great for the poor seller!] as noone else bid on them.
What a surprise when they arrived. Old, crusty marbles turned into wonderful treasures with just a little water added. Colours popped and slicked out of the surface, and yielded so many wonderful surprises!

Just waste glass! Well, WASTE NOT WANT NOT!!!!!!

 What a gorgeous thing this is ... mauve and clear, a touch of pink ... beautiful!
This one is really beautiful. Opaque glass, no nicks or deep wounds.

Very dark, just the slightest hint of colour in with the black.

A little Earth from Space!

 Subtle dark green swirls against the black.

Called by the seller ... "Coffee Swirls", it took blowing this beauty up till I could see just how many different layers of colour there were.

I was so happy with these great marbles. Who knows when they were 'born'! But they have a very famous history ~ all were discovered while snorkelling the waters around Murano Island, in Venice! Nowhere is more famous as a glass centre, not even the north-east of England!
I feel so lucky to have acquired these. Some will soon be on their way as Christmas gifts though ... however will I choose?!!!

Saturday, 27 October 2012

What Makes Black Glass Black?

Well, I'm darned if I know! Is it the density of pigment? Is there any pigment in glass? Beats me!
But this is one of the wonders of the current world that absolutely drives me nuts. How can something be black, but all the while be blue? ... or green? ... or red?

A dear friend from England ~ home of the world's best glass! A fact accepted by all except a few lucky Californians!!! ~ sent me the most wonderful and generous gift of glass yesterday, and in this wonderful package were several pieces of the most fantastic black glass.

Gorgeous shapes, just in that one facet of their being. Shape!  But so much more is hidden away in these thick, frosty, black-as-pitch treasures!

With the help of the Sun, early this morning I set about cracking the mysteries that were hidden within!

Some were easier than others, and one is holding firm to its secrets even as I write.

Wanting to take some 'artistic' shots, I set up as the sun breached the eastern sky and let loose with the Nikon.

Here they are ~ What beauties! Black beauties from the stony shores of Seaham Beach!! Tossed and tumbled for decades, maybe even centuries, rounded and smoothed, caressed and pounded, by the cold, relentless waves of the North Sea.

And every one a perfect shape, no nicks or chips! He only picked the best to send me! What a kind person he is!

Now, to get inside one of these black treasures you have to be a bit of a contortionist! Aim and shoot, just doesn't work!

Aim, jiggle, focus, twist, side-step ... maybe ... because somewhere around that waiting glass will be "The Perfect Spot" where the light will flash through and all is revealed.

Some revealed themselves as SideLights! and that was what I called the photos when I posted them on Seaglasslovers.ning and SeaglassArtistsandCollectors.ning!

A dazzling flash of colour appears down one side ~ all you have to do is capture it!

Surprises in RED!

Yes, as incredible as it would seem, this glass without the aid of sunlight light, is black!    

And this is my Hold Out! I think it's green but it won't tell me!

What a generous gift this is! He tells me to use it, and make jewellery with it, but somehow I can't.

Not yet!

Maybe some day .......

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Spring in Australia

Well, it beats me how, for someone with so much to say, everywhere, continually, how I can forget to sign in to my own blog and write a new one! I totally forgot August.
And now here we are, Winter has faded, bar the strong August winds hanging around like an uninvited visitor.
Spring is here.
About a month ago I saw these swans on a farm dam not far from home. Next day, when I took my camera, they were gone. Weekend after, on another dam. A few days later ... gone. Oh well, it served me right for not gluing my camera to my hand!
 But earlier this week here they were again, back on the original dam, with some lovely little surprises.

Isn't this the most delightful little fluffy being?

Mum, dad and the kids were resting on the grass when I arrived, and despite being quite a distance away, they took themselves off to the farm dam.

The water seems dirty, but they were happy to swim, roll, ooze themselves in ecstasy across and through it.
They didn't seem too worried, but I didn't want to harrass them. Thank you Nikon, for my gorgeous 55mm - 300mm lens!


Four wonderful Spring babies and two loving parents! What a wonderful start to Spring.

Adding Photos ...

Can I?

Yes!!! I CAN!!
But things are different now, and the message that the image isn't able to download is obviously wrong. Maybe Picasa wasn't to blame at all. I'm so glad, as  loved the collage function.

Picasa Steals the Show!

Well ... what can I say? I thought Picasa would be wonderful, but all of a sudden I stopped being able to add photos to my blog, and couldn't edit my photos in My Pictures any more.
Talk about cheesed off!
Picasa took over everything excepting my Nikon programs, so yay Nikon, Way to go!
Now let's see if I can add photos here on my laptop, where Picasa never invaded.

Nope! No more photos! Well, maybe that's what you get when you dare to uninstall it.
I still can't edit in the My Pictures setting either, so just let me say, that downloading Picasa for me at least, was a VERY bad idea!

Monday, 30 July 2012

Visitors to my Garden

A few weeks ago, some Black Cockatoos circled a few times and landed in our trees. By the time I raced in and grabbed the camera, I only had time for a couple of shots before they disappeared.

I liked this photo of it in the mist.
A few days ago, they returned. Three of them broke away from the main flock and landed in our White Cedar tree. I'm glad they left when they did, or our poor tree may not have survived.
A few chomps and he was nearly through a fair-sized branch.

Think of a pigeon and triple its size! There you have it!


These great birds come in a RED species as well, but I've only ever seen them in Kakadu National Park. We rescued a young one which had fallen, and took it for care to the ranger's station.

Monday, 23 July 2012

Catching the Wind ~ The SEA EAGLES of Durras Lake

Here are some photos I took recently at North Durras, a tiny village to the north of Batemans Bay on the mid South Coast of NSW.
As part of the National Park, wildlife in this area is protected, so it's a wonderfully prolific place as far as Australian bird and animal life goes.
We're fortunate to have a holiday van there in one of the three Holiday Parks  in the tiny village. Ours is called Joalah, and we have one of the best views in the place. This is something I never, ever take for granted, and it's also something I treasure, and never take for granted.
These are photos of the Sea Eagles which live in the forest surrounding the Lake.
Durras Lake is only small,  and is currently open to the sea. It's clean, pristine even. A perfect place for creatures as perfect as these.
On this last trip down, [July 2012] I've identified three individual birds. Two have this mottled brown colouring and one has very distinct white and dark grey markings.
Into the Sun. Winging it's way across the lake towards Point Upright, this Sea Eagle faces into the sun.

Strong wing beats carry him northwards along the beach to his favoured fishing spot, Calm Cove.
This is one of the larger Eagles, and I would guess his wingspan to be around 5 feet. I find this sort of thing difficult to judge, but I know I took these photos using my 300mm lens from a fair distance away.
So graceful.......
So powerful ...

 Master of his sky.

And yet he was harrassed continually ~ magpies. plovers ... always on his tail.

This is the grey and white one. See the difference? What a magnificent bird he is.

One morning I followed him as he flew towards the trees. As I bashed and crashed my way around the side of the lake, he perched gracefully in a tree several hundred metres round the lake, waiting patiently.

Every time I saw him flying up the lake I would race down to the sand, hoping for a better shot.

The Catch : Yes, he caught something, and as the Eagle itself is very large, so I'm guessing, was the fish. He didn't get to keep it long though.
By the time he got back to me, he was dinnerless. I suspect that happens a lot, and even Eagles go to bed hungry.

Still getting used to my new camera, and the 300mm lens. Working on it, and LOVING IT!!

Take care, and find something to be kind to.

Friday, 15 June 2012

Victory!!! ... or ... It Pays to Ask ...
Late last year I blew my entire Tax Cheque, plus a little more, on a new digital SLR! I've always had an SLR and taken a gazillion photos with it ... way back in the days of film, but eventually the old Olympus OM-1 packed it in, and even with a full service, never quite came back to it's former glory.
So ... research ... shopping ... finally I decided on a Nikon D5100.
It was so damned beautiful, I wasn't even game to open the box! Truly! It sat there for two days, waiting .. tantalising ... calling me ...
I even took a photo of the unopened box with my tiny digital Pentax.
Finally I did the deed and carefully lifted the lid on the treasure chest, put it together, and started shooting ... Wow! What a JOY!!
Over the past six months or so, I've taken a lot of photos, and on the two Seaglass groups I belong to, people seem to like my photos.
But in my mind, I have a very long way to go.
HOWEVER ... the package came with two lenses, and while I didn't have problems with the first lens, [the 18-55mm] there was no way on God's Earth I could get a decent photo with the 55-300mm zoom. And I tried ... and tried ... and tried!

Yes! There's a bird in this tree!
Finally, I gave up and contacted Nikon Australia about my terrible shots and asked could it be the lens? Still under warranty, I wanted to send it back!
                                         "What else can I try", I asked!
"If you have a filter on this lens, remove it! That would be the first thing to try!" was the reply I got back.
Well, OF COURSE I had a filter on it! First thing I did! Wanted to protect that gorgeous Nikkor at all costs.
But ... when I took the filter OFF ... well ... welcome to the world of ...
                                             Nikon Zoom Photography!

I still worry that the lens is 'naked', but will replace the filter with a dedicated Nikon NC.
Ahh ... but I'm so glad I asked!

Thank you so much, Steve, at Nikon Australia. It pays to ask someone who knows!

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Lights and Shades ...

What a week, what a fortnight it's been. Sadly a friend has gone from my life, and despite the lights and shades a friendship with her had always entailed, there was great joy too, that will be sadly missed. I'm sorry to have lost this friend.

Other bonds and ties have strengthened, and while this in no way balances a loss, it is lovely.
I have received a gift of beautiful English Seaglass, collected by a sweet and innocent soul who has been a friend for a while now, and has become closer over the last few weeks. By 'innocent', I mean a person who approaches life with a positive, open face. A 'what-you-see-is-what-you-get' person, always ready to make a friend and be a friend. And to be this way is his first inclination. A rarity in this day and age of reticence and suspicion.

Friends should never measured by their gifts, rather, by the care they take with strengthening the bonds of a friendship and the honesty and openness they offer. It gave me great joy to photograph the beautiful glass my friend sent me, and the better I could make the photos, the more I felt I was saying thank you to him for his generosity. That many others enjoyed the photos as well, was a small gift I was glad to pass on.

Beautiful English Glass

Black and White Multis

Ice Blues and Whites from Seaham

Beautiful glass from England's North-east

How beautiful are these?

And how British?

Thank you Rob!