Leaves Like Fallen: discovering the identity of a native plant 

Say you’re walking around a patch of scrub or remnant vegetation and you see a scattering of green leaves that have fallen onto the ground from somewhere. You’re intrigued, so you kneel down for a closer look and you notice that they’re not fallen, they grew that way. At home you get out your native plant book and learn that they’re the basal leaf of a native orchid, but there’s no flower, so you wonder what will come up. 

The next year, you’re wandering around in that area again and there they are again, but this time there are slugs on them! You kneel down again and see that they’re not slugs at all, they’re the orchid flower and suddenly their identity comes to you: Slaty-helmet orchids! Tricky little doodads. These photos show you how tiny they are – the flower is about the size of my little finger nail. 

I bought a macro lens adapter on Gumtree, and it arrived today, so I rushed up to the amazing nature strip outside my property to investigate properly. The Raynox DCR-250 macro adapter lens did a mighty fine job attached to the zoom lens on my Panasonic Lumix DMC GX7, and has a universal fit so is suitable for many lenses and cameras. 

The lesson is to be watchful, and willing to wait.

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Our Local Heroes: Les

Meet Les, one of our local heroes, who was awarded the French Legion of Honour this year for his service as a paratrooper during the D-Day landings of World War II. With a grin and a sparkle in his eye, he talked to me about his wartime service (only briefly, though, as he’s not a particularly sentimental man), immigrating from the UK to Australia in the fifties, and living in the Western District of Victoria. 

Edit: Sadly, I heard a week later that Les passed away. I feel so fortunate to have met him and had this opportunity to make his portrait. What a wonderful fellow.

Little Red Tiara: checking out a Japanese classic 

You all know I’m a car nut – have been since I was knee-high to a Matchbox car. Well, today on the phone my man told me about a little red car that I should go and see, so after finishing my lunch I did just that. 

This early ’60s Toyota Tiara has been owned by a local mechanic for a decade or so, but he finally decided to let it go to someone who might actually get around to restoring it. Happily, it was purchased from a nearby town, so hopefully we’ll see it around again. 

Check out the dash…push button auto! But where are the turn indicators? This tricky bit of design actually has them integrated with the horn ring. Beep beep tick tack!