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Tuesday 18th August 2020

The frogmouth was once thought of as a type of owl until someone decided the beak was not right and so the bird was reclassified. It remains, however, asleep during the day, unless disturbed by humans and other pests, and hunts at night.

Yesterday I came across a frogmouth near the Corrimal caravan park. I hadn’t seen one in that particular location in some time and was delighted to see him. They are not easy to pick out. They blend in nicely with their surroundings but there are trees they like best. Look for them in those trees and you could get lucky. A while back I endeavored to show a frogmouth to a friend but all she saw were so many dried leaves and bark. Click on the picture below to have a look for yourself.

Over the last couple of days I have tried out my camera out on bees with surprisingly good results. The bees I was photographing were small, not like the bees commonly found in the north island of New Zealand where my friend Lyn McConchie lives. Ah! But to see bees so active in my area is the whisper of the spring that will soon arrive. Spring and summer are my favorite times of the year.

Already there are signs that the magpies will soon be going territorial. Yesterday I saw one near Towradgi Beach chasing off two galahs. I just hope I won’t be dive bombed this coming spring. I like magpies but not when they are on the attack.

Years ago, when I was working for the railway, I decided to photograph works of art on sides of buildings and electrical boxes. I don’t mean those squiggles that made no sense. I mean actual works of art that inspire, tell a story or just look beautiful in their own right to do so. Some are commissioned by councils and some are not.

I discovered that each and every suburb I got off the train at and visited had something unique about it in terms of street art. There were the fish heads of Bulli (which have since been removed), the Aboriginal soldier of Redfern, renderings of H. P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu magnificently menacing our world with sea creatures at Fairy Meadow and the stone carvings representing the people from all over the world of an earlier age which adorn the top of the old post office building in Martin Place.

Wollongong with its birds and pretty ladies, as well as its scenes of joy in the surf and sun, are a continuing wonder. There is also Chinese art and, not far from paintings depicting Wollongong as a city of steel manufacture, there once was, inside a café, a well-done picture of the Cheshire cat out of the Alice in Wonderland story. Perhaps this was what prompted the giant, inflatable rabbits that were set up a few years ago and, for a short period of time, to entertain children.

Corrimal possibly had more going for it than most of the smaller suburbs in the Illawarra in terms of street art. There is a great picture of a welcome swallow in motion and human eyes looking at what it is doing. In the Corrimal pub car park, there is a fantastic mural of seaside Italy with seagulls everywhere. The lions that used to guard the entrance to the car park are gone now but I have them on film. On the side of the Coles building there are sharks and whales as well as creatures that could only exist in the artist’s imagination. All is there for the viewer to enjoy. Imagine walking along a path not far from the sports oval, looking up and seeing a shark.

The camera gives you a reason to look for objects of interest, to hunt. When I am out with my camera I sometimes pretend to be a tourist even in places I am familiar with. This changes my perspective and I believe it does so for the better.


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