Sunday, 23 March 2014

Ducks and Seeds and Red Leaves

We're joining Elisa of Elisa Loves for another nature walk...

This week we're off to town. We're going to one of our favourite places: the lake. We have a picnic. I've got my camera. I'm hoping to find some early signs of autumn.

A 20 minute drive and we arrive in town. The lake is only a few minutes' walk from the centre, but you wouldn't know it. It's quiet and beautiful, and the shops feel a world away.

We park the car alongside the lake and then look around for a free picnic table. 

Soon the girls are munching and sipping... and singing. Imogen has brought along a Disney song book she found in the library.

A few hopeful ducks arrive. Do we have any bread to give them? They'll have to wait for our crumbs.

In between sipping coffee and nibbling home-baked oaties, I look out over the lake. Soon I'm putting my camera to my eye and taking a few shots.

Too light? Too dark? I hope some of my photos turn out. I can't see many signs of autumn. There's a few red leaves here, and a few yellow ones over there, but generally everything is still so green and lush. 

"Finished eating, girls?" I ask. "Shall we take a walk around the lake?"

We head along the path, back towards the car.

I find a few red tinged leaves...

... and then a whole branch of red leaves.

The girls walk down the path, arm in arm.

I take so long taking my photos, they leave me behind. They are rounding the bend. On one side of them, is the lake. On the other, tall trees rise above them.

"Stand still," I shout to the girls. "I want a photo of you in front of the bush." On one side of the lake is the town. On the other is kilometres of native bushland with walking tracks running through it. 

I take some photos of the ducks. We sometimes bring bread to feed them. Lots of people do. Sometimes there is more bread than the ducks can eat. It floats on the water. I can just imagine the ducks saying, "If we eat any more, we'll sink!"

I spy some seeds.

The path around the lake is 527 metres long. How do we know? We measured it! Every now and then we come to the lake to run: 10 laps or 5.27 kms (of course).

It doesn't take long to reach the playground.

Today there are more ducks than children.

I look back across the lake. This is not a good photo at all but it's the only one that shows the bush behind the lake. Apparently, years ago a bushfire swept down that hill and threatened the town which was blanketed in smoke for many days. We weren't living in this area then. A friend told me that story.

A last picture of a duck. I hope he's a native one. There's a sign saying all non-native ducks will be removed. We think that's rather sad. We believe if you're born here, you belong, whatever your ancestry. It's just as well ducks can't read.

The girls have been very patient. It has taken me a long time to snap my photos. They are waiting on the bridge for me to finish. While they wait, they chat.

So we come to the end of another nature walk. We travel home. I upload my photos and look at them with a critical eye. Some of them look washed out. Why? I do some research and this is what I discover...

On cloudy days, the light is diffuse which is good. But the light is also coming from overhead which is bad. It's better not to take photos out in the open, especially in the middle of the day, on days like this one. But sometimes it's difficult to wait for the right conditions. Sometimes we have no choice.

And anyway, there's always editing. Yes, I learnt something else today. Editing isn't cheating. Every professional photographer edits his photos.

Have you joined Elisa for her nature walk? She went maple syruping. Enjoy!


  1. I hope you'll do these nature walks forever and a day, because they are such a treat. You capture the atmosphere so well that I feel I can smell the air and hear the girls chattering and laughing. I would normally be hard pressed to pick a favorite photo, but this time one just jumps out at me... although jumps is a strong word for it, because I am struck most of all by its gentle glow. The close-up picture of the girls right before the one of the duck "saying" "If we eat any more, we'll sink" ....that of the girls is just magical. The light is beautiful, the bush behind them is a perfect soft backdrop, their expressions are natural and lovely, and it's as if the girls themselves are lit from within!

    1. Nancy,

      I'd put together these nature walk posts even if you were the only person looking at them! You really are so very kind. I wonder if we'll run out of places to go and take photos. I guess we can revisit places when the seasons change as everything looks different then.

      I am so glad you like that particular photo of the girls. I think I might make it my FB cover photo. I've been looking for a new one.

  2. What a beautiful day and what beautiful scenery! I love the pictures of your girls. I think of how it must be wonderful to enjoy this sister/mom time together.

    1. Monica,

      I am seeing more and more as I look around with a photographer's eye. Sometimes it is easy to accept what we have without really seeing it and appreciating it. I am very grateful we live outside the city in such a beautiful place.

      I must say I really enjoy spending time with the girls, and they all love having so many sisters. They are real friends to each other. (Boys are good too!) I love reading about the things you and your mother do together. I hope I will do similar things with my daughters when I am older. Just spending time together will be good!

  3. Love it!! Your daughters are so elegant and beautiful. I grew up with ZERO sisters, so I think it would have been so much fun to grow up with three or four! That photo that shows the! I can only imagine what lurks there in the hills...images of Crocodile Dundee come to mind...hahaha. ;) Thanks for sharing! I love your pics! You really are doing very well considering you just learned w/ your new camera not too long ago!

    1. Elisa,

      Maybe you will end up with a number of daughters! My friend had 3 sons and then 4 daughters.

      What's lurking in the bush? Kangaroos, wallabies, loads of birds, possums, echidnas, wombats, snakes... but no crocodiles! We have investigated many of the trails through that part of the bush. It gets very steep in places. Very beautiful!

      It's always so much fun joining in with your nature walk link up, Thanks for visiting!

  4. What beautiful surroundings! These pictures convey an almost Japanese joy in detalis and nature. I love your nature walks, keep them coming. And the four sisters all look so happy and smiling. I feel sorry for myself, I want more daughters :D

    1. Uglemor,

      The park around the lake is well laid out with many exotic deciduous trees. It is a contrast to the native bush which adjoins it, but I think they both complement each other. It is indeed a beautiful place!

      I am grateful I have so many daughters fairly close in age. They get on with each other very well which is especially good as they don't see their friends very often. Who knows? You might get lots of granddaughters! My mother-in-law always wanted a daughter but had three sons instead. The last time we spoke (she died a few years ago) she told me I was the daughter she never had. isn't that beautiful?