Monthly Archives: August 2013

The fruit of bees is desired by all

Saint Ambrose said this about honey. He also called it “profitable and healthful” and “equally sweet for kings and beggars”. Of course he didn’t know about Pooh Bear, otherwise he might have included him and said “equally sweet for kings and beggars and fictional anthropomorphic bears”.

I’ve always been fascinated by bees. Always working, working, working, never questioning, never wanting change, or payment or holidays.

A little while ago I was out shopping, which usually means having some sort of list with things I am meaning to get (plus socks, we all know, they get eaten). Naturally I end up with not too much from my list, but with plenty of little things for the kids, some fancy paper (I am besotted with paper and stationary) and a book or two. On that day I found “The Honey Spinner” by Grace Pundyk. Awesome book. She describes her travels to many countries around the world following the trail of the liquid gold. Some very interesting facts in the book. Some shocking truths as well.

My fascination in bees is definitely not less after reading that book. If anything I am more picky about what honey I buy.

So when that little purple bush in our garden got all these little pinkish white trumpet flowers, I was quite excited. One reason being that it is still alive, as the dog jumped over it one day in a vain attempt to catch a bird sitting on the fence, and totally squashed it. It hung altogether around looking in really bad shape for a really long time. Now, I spoke to it, I reassured it, soothed it, fertilized it, threatened it … and voila, it has grown steadily all winter and looks awesome now with all the flowers. So pretty, I love flowering plants.

Thanks to the flowers there is a lot of buzzing going on in that little bush, quite crazy. Bees flying from dawn to dusk, and working hard.

Funny how their buzzing  makes me feel calm. I spent two really happy hours shooting them, photographically speaking of course. This is a snippet of my efforts. Buzz Buzz.



Weekends are bad for my health

Weekends are bad for my health. They are great for my spirits, but really bad for my health.

I am a daily cook and weekly baker, so food and taste and smells are very important in our house. My teenager now is very interested in cooking, too, which is really nice. He also actually tries new foods, how awesome is that. And the young one is still the absolute master when it comes to licking the bowl clean (his head is still small enough to fit in it completely ;).

Being Winter in Australia, and for once no danger of Total Fire Ban, it is also marshmallow time. So on weekends after some snags or steak on the barbie we do the open-fire-marshmallow thing with our own carved and fancily decorated bamboo sticks. Marshmallow are pure sugar, in case you didn’t know that. There are those new ones with berry or caramel swirls in them. They do taste great, like all things unhealthy. Big sigh. And of course it’s not only the marshmallows but also the mulled wine I make, that’s the German in me, gotta have my cold hands around that hot mug of goodness.

Life is good. Actually had to put the mug down quite a bit to get some photos.

From Monday to Friday I live on salads. Just saying.


Musical Sunset

“There is nothing more musical than a sunset. He who feels what he sees will find no more beautiful example of development in all that book which is, alas, musicians read but too little, the book of Nature.” Claude Debussy

My taste of music is fairly eclectic, I guess. My ipod just rolls its eyes and shrugs when I upload new songs. I like what I like and my mood and the surroundings I am in play a great role as to what I feel like listening to in that moment.

Sunsets are always classical music. Not opera or musical, no singing. Maybe piano, Tchaikovsky for example, or some Paganini violin, some Beethoven or Grieg. Or Debussy.

I’ve been down at the local jetty plenty of times to capture the sunset. Sunsets are already pretty cool, but sunsets over water are quite magical.

Now everyone who takes photographs will try his hand on sunsets at some stage. Even my young one comes running with his camera when the sky changes its colours. I think what makes them special is that they are a very fleeting moment in time. Couple of minutes and it’s all over.

So, at the local jetty, I’ve never been alone, there’s always half a dozen people with cameras jostling for the best spots, it’s almost getting competitive. This time I was lucky and, after trying a few variations, got the prime spot right smack bang at the end of the jetty. I was setting up my gear very concentrated, I was early enough. There was no wind on the ground, but the clouds were moving fairly fast, which is great. All the photos were taken on the same day, within 15 minutes from each other.

And Pachebel’s Canon was in my ear the whole time. Love that piece. And the peace.