OK - So winter was always going to be a bit difficult, and it's not started snowing, but this strange leaf is actually wearing a fur coat! It's soft and furry to the touch but the leaf is actually dry and brittle.
The changing weather has us all confused at the moment. The rains are almost here, but not quite. Each day we are getting hot, dry sunshine, humid rains, and cool nights. This week I'm going to cover the seasons in 4 macro shots. Today is a spring flower.
Another tough choice - the RAM plane coming in to land, or this one of it taking off with a full load of patients to take to the hospital in Lethem.
Terry the pilot is a busy man - flying to remote, rough airstrips in often changable weather conditions, and looking after the patients until they make it to the Lethem hospital. He gets a call out nearly every other day.
Donations to RAM can be made at http://www.ramusa.org/contact/donate.htm, but if you're feeling poor, then it's still worth having a look at the website just for a bit of inspiration!
It was a little bit of a surprise to find a frog in our washing up bowl! Maybe I should have taken it out and photographed it in a bit of a more natural environment? Maybe next time - I think I'll have to get a leaping frog before the year is out...
I love the outbreaks of big, black boulders throughout the open areas of savannah out here. I climbed one of the biggest boulders as a band of rain approached, hoping for something dramatic. The approach of the rain brought a sudden, swirling wind, carrying vultures circling in the updraft. The only dramatic thing was that I got very wet and had to cycle home in the dark!
First thing in the morning this moth flew into our house and sat up in the roof. By mid afternoon I was wondering how I was going to go about catching and photographing it, when it flew down and landed on the door, right next to me. It then happily sat and posed whilst I took a few pics, all using a powerful flash. Easy day!
Later, I finally got that moon shot!
After a few busy days when I've not been spending any time on pictures, I was worried that the blog was going to turn into 'Sunset of the Day' - which considering how stunning they are at the moment, might not be a bad thing! Anyway, just as the sun was going down it burst out of dark cloud and lit the village in this incredible glowing light.
There's rain there - it's just not quite here! Drought has become a popular topic of conversation. The little occasional drops of rain we have disappear immediately in a wave of humidity.
By co-incidence, this is the same truck that featured on Day 59. We were racing to Lethem to get some supplies before the shops shut - the truck was racing us! Another picture taken from the jeep - different lens this time! My 'medium zoom' is still in pieces drying in the sun!
Not sure if I should admit that I took this from the window of the jeep! On the track out of Aishalton we pass a few watering holes which are rapidly drying up as drought approaches. Fairly regularly there are Jabiru drinking at one of these spots. As we approached this one it took off and circled the jeep before flying away.
Taking pictures from the jeep is really hard work. The track is so bumpy that you have to lean out of the window to avoid bashing the camera against the bodywork. The bumpy track is hard on jeeps, people and the camera. Later this day I stopped at a creek to take a picture of some kids swimming. As I took my lens cap off, half of my lens fell out and rolled into the creek! We managed to get it back, and I've managed to rebuild the lens, but there might be some blurring in places where the lens was full of water!!!
Another busy day, and another late image! Sometime in the future I'll catch this again, but this time I'll get into a position where I can take the picture lit by the setting sun, rather than shooting straight into the setting sun! I guess it picks up an atmospheric glow this way round though.
In the back of my mind is a picture of a cow grazing with a egret alongside. This is a common image in Georgetown and is something I've been meaning to photograph for the blog.
Today, I was running out of time, and out of inspiration! It's been a busy day setting up house. Late afternoon I took the easier version of the photo I have imagined! One day, it will be cow and egret!
Percy is a driver and general fixer. After working at Dadanawa in the 60s he came back to Aishalton to drive the first Land Rover here for a group of sisters. This evening he came home from a fishing trip, using bow and arrow, with a bagfull of fish!
The rainy season threatens, and shows signs of arriving, but then the weather clears, the sun shines again, and the creeks stay dry. This storm coming off the mountains on the road down from Lethem to Aishalton was short lived and didn't reach us on the road.
Driving back to the interior on the road through the forest we passed through a small area which was being burnt back. At first I thought it was the Irokwama Ranger Station that was on fire, but it turned out to be a patch of forest next to it. I'm not sure if they are extending, or just chasing back a bit of forest which was encroaching, but it's incredible how little soil is there under those trees. This lush forest is so close to being a barren desert.