Green

Green is my favourite colour. It is the colour of the leaves on the trees in my garden, the hue of the grass at different times of the year. It is the colour of new growth: fresh shoots signifying a change of season, the promise of the scents of spring.

It isn’t always new life. Sometimes it is the colour of fallen leaves, gum leaves with their seemingly infinite variety of shapes, some with bumps and modules along the veins of the leaves. They still carry their scent, a tang of evaporating bush oils.

Satin bowerbird

Satin bowerbird at Mt Tomah Botanic Gardens

There is the mottled green set in a pattern of scalloped feathers on the undercarriage of a satin bowerbird, either on females or the younger male birds up to the age of seven years, give or take, when their feathers take on the dark plume of blue-black satin.

Pine tree frond

Pine tree frond

Pine trees, tall and straight, are easily characterised by the green needles. Look closer on the trunk to see brown whorls and curling bark in contrast against the green foliage.

Old shop tile at Portland

Tile on old butcher shop at Portland

Polished green tiles in a country town reflect the passing cars and pedestrians. They have raised textures, a bulls head and a rams head. The building once housed a butcher shop, the tiles marked the trade.

Brush Farm at Eastwood, softened by greenery

Brush Farm at Eastwood, softened by greenery

Green is the ivy that curves with thickly cloying tendrils around the fenceposts before skirting along parts of the fence line. It sneaks into available space, softening the hard edges and drawing the eye. For that is what the colour green does.

What’s your favourite colour?

[Photo: green outlook at Lake Pillans, Lithgow]

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My I Spy: something beginning with ‘Y’

Yes, the end of this alphabetical adventure is just around the corner. It is tempting to write that it only felt like yesterday when I came across the idea on Pip Lincolne’s blog to play a version of I Spy. At the time I thought it was a brilliant idea, a way to make use of some of the many photos that I already have plus keep an eye out for objects in my daily life. When I reached the halfway mark I remember thinking that the alphabet was a lot longer than it seemed – the adventure takes six months from start to finish. But it has been such a treat to keep an eye out for objects, familiar and otherwise. Here is what I’ve spotted beginning with Y.

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Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow (Brunfelsia)

Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow (Brunfelsia)

This is one of my favourite plants. The shrub appeared in several spots in my grandparents’ garden on the northern beaches of Sydney. One of my best memories is of walking around the extensive garden in the late afternoon with my Nan, and with endless patience she would tell me the names of plants. They had a wide range of camellias, gorgeous shrubs and trees with a variety of flowers that lit up the garden in the cooler months. The blooms of a brunfelsia bush were modest in comparison, but I loved the mixture of dark purple, lilac and white blooms said to represent yesterday, today and tomorrow.

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Yellow

Yellow

As noted earlier in this quest, my favourite colour is green. In recent years I’ve started to gather red objects around me with yellow also starting to appear. There is something about the vibrancy of a sunflower or a bright yellow pot. This lovely glass bowl looks even lovelier with a small candle flickering within.

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Yellow Tulips, Carrington Hotel

And above are some lovely tulips spotted in the gardens of the Carrington Hotel, Katoomba in early spring.

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Platform Y, Temora

Platform Y

Passing through the central western town of Temora earlier this year, I detoured to take a photo of the old railway station. It was beautiful and ornate, and tucked up the end was Platform Y. I took a photo and continued on, discovering later that this part of the railway station has been repurposed as a youth centre. A brilliant idea and great to see the building have another life.

Have you spotted anything worth yearning for beginning with Y lately? Join me next week for the final instalment of this alphabetical extravaganza as I spy something with my little eye beginning with Z.

[Photo: yellow teapot spied at Bygone Beauties, Leura]

My I Spy: something beginning with ‘K’

At the start of this alphabetical quest, I knew that there would be some letters which might be a bit more challenging than others. K, Q and V seemed to be the likely suspects. Here are a couple of things that I’ve spotted in the K space recently.

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Kangaroo spotted at Hill End

Kangaroo

I have a bit of a thing for look outs. When I’m travelling through somewhere unfamiliar and there is a sign for a look out, I usually take the detour, curious to see whatever is regarded as a local scenic spot. Hill End is an old gold rush town, now under the care of the National Parks of NSW. It is a trip back in time and has been a favourite spot for artists over the decades. On an unsealed road up to a look out, we came across this kangaroo who wasn’t thrilled with the interruption.

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Katoomba Views

Katoomba Views

Living in the mountains does make the K challenge a little easier. This photo was taken from the viewing platform at the Blue Mountains Cultural Centre. I love the expanse of sky and the unfolding mountain views in the distance. Katoomba is an interesting town, and many of the shop fronts along the creatively titled Katoomba Street are worthy of photographic or artistic recording, especially some of the art deco style shop fronts. There are lots of quirky shops, too.

Kookaburra

Kookaburra on the fence

Kookaburra

Kookaburras are one of my favourite birds. I love to hear them laughing in a noisy, boisterous group. It is one of the best sounds I know. They aren’t large birds, and I’m often surprised at how compact and sturdy they are, with solid little bodies. At times they look a bit ruffled, like this one, as if just woken from a nap.

 

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Koru, New Zealand

Koru

I brought this gorgeous glass koru back from a trip to the North Island of New Zealand. I was travelling around the beautiful Coromandel coast when I started to see them all over the place, in various colours and made of different materials. I love the glass, as green is my favourite colour, and it sits on my kitchen windowsill, catching the light. It represents the unfurling new growth of a fern frond, symbolising new life, growth, strength and peace.

Have you spotted anything beginning with K lately?

My I Spy: Something beginning with ‘G’

Good grief! It feels like I’m powering through the alphabet. When I started out, knowing that it would take six months to wind my way through the alphabet, it seemed that it would take an age to make any headway. But here I am, galloping after things that begin with G. This is what I’ve spied lately.

Galah cushion

Galah cushion

Galahs

I love galahs. I love their flash of colours, the way they tend to hang around in flocks, or in pairs as a minimum. They can be spotted in most areas of Australia but for me they evoke wide open spaces where you can see them en masse. There was a lovely photo of a galah recently on Offerings from the Wellspring and you can see it here. The above photo is of a beautiful cushion which was a birthday gift from my sister.

Old Government House, Parramatta

Old Government House, Parramatta

Government House, Parramatta

Originally built in 1799 for Government Hunter as a two-storey house, the building was expanded over the following decades and remained as the official residence until Government House was built in Sydney in 1845. Its location as the country residence for the first 10 governors of New South Wales provided a welcome retreat from life in Sydney Town in the early decades of the colony. It also reinforced the importance of Parramatta’s location from an agricultural perspective. The property remains surrounded by extensive parklands and is a popular destination for locals and those from further afield.

Gymea Lily (Doryanthes excelsa)

These plants have become increasingly popular, particularly in public plantings. I first became aware of them at the Western Plains Cultural Centre in Dubbo, where they were planted in a magnificent procession along the entrance walkway. Prior to blooming, they look rather awkward but when in flower they are magnificent. You can see some brighter images here. I spotted these along the foreshore at Meadowbank wharf, where they stood out even on a dull day.

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Green moss on rocks, Meadowbank

Green rocks

Okay, so perhaps this is being a bit creative with G, but green is my favourite colour and I couldn’t help but take a photo of these green, moss-covered rocks along the Parramatta River at Meadowbank. There were oodles of them as the tide was low, and I found it calming just to look at them. If I’m agitated, I can find peace in looking out at green leaves on trees. I know, small things.

Have you seen anything great starting with G this week?

With thanks to Pip Lincolne for the initial prompt, and Autumn for spying in another hemisphere. You can see early spies here: A, B, C, D, E and F and follow other alphabet spies on Instagram at #MyISpy.