Thursday, December 24, 2009
A scarlet Poincianna starts our summer cycle and the Illawarra Flame tree follows suit – then our native Firewheel lights up the landscape in mid/late December. Three in a row. The Firewheel (Stenocarpus sinuatus) is Queensland's robust rainforest tree. Magical. It manages to bloom right on cue for Christmas and flames in New Year. At least, that's the cycle here, Down Under. A member of the Protea family it's our way of sending Season's Greetings from Cooroy Gardens. Happy holidays, and may all your Christmases grow green.
Friday, December 18, 2009
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Queensland is certainly the place to watch orchids grow. The small pot of Sydney Rock Orchids we brought north from the Darlinghurst garden has really hit its stride this season. Northerners known these as King Orchids, but it's all in the family, Dendrobium speciosum, Australian native. Scientific detectives recently reclassified the species as Thelychiton speciosus but let's choose to give this a miss. The same bureaucrats will no doubt relabel everything again before too many moons have passed.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Decided to put my toe in the water and try some of my orchid art on T shirts. Googled Zazzle.com and set up one of my favourite orchids (Laelia tenebrosa) the national flower of Brazil. Available in a range of colours but white seemed right to me. Suits Latino. But if you are pale and freckled it might be a good idea to have second thoughts.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Big beef and broad brims still the order of the day, To watch the fat cattle parade for prizes you are inclined to think all's right in the world. Great, healthy, hulking beasts trundle past one upon the other as you wonder if there ever was drought. Why does Queensland seem to come out tops when it comes to show/grow food, agriculture, and happy kids. Must be the climate. There is nothing like the Brisbane Exhibition (Ekka) to get the pulses racing. Shonk and sensational side-by-side. Flash-n-trash and everyone in fun. Mind you, this is the last Ekka as we know it. Revamp for next year. I worry that bureaucrats and the electronic age will meet mid stream and bugger the works. The flowers were screwed up. And Dagwood Dogs had thin runny tomato sauce. Chips were ok though. Hmmmmm.
Saturday, July 11, 2009
This could be one of the best days in my life. One of those balmy winter days Queenslanders love to brag about (but don't get to experience all THAT often). Sun shining, sister Gem is holidaying further along the coast, Seyen is chasing orchids in Singapore and tulips in Amsterdam. I'm batching. Garden slightly neglected. Too much for one person.
Saturday, July 4, 2009
Hell. As prettily plumed they may be, it is time for those boney Whistler marauders to clear the property. I have a plan.
The previous blog offering free citrus fruit from the mini orchard met with resounding success. Only a couple of late-fruiting orange trees to go. Well, with chefs galore down Noosa Beach way we may yet come up with a plan to serve massive amounts of Duck in Orange Sauce to round out Noosa's Longweekend (a 10-day festival of arts culture, food and fashion). Fun and games for the once-were rich and famous. Times are tough. But not as tough as these pesky Whistlers. They perch roof and tree top. Have even been known to caca on the old ute.
Then again a turkey dinner might be the go. There is already a story about gay turkeys if you would care to check the blog archive tucked away in the right hand column.
it seems OK to farm fish. I wonder about wild ducks and brush turkeys. You may already have thoughts on the matter. Don't be afraid to speak out. Twitter me at http://twitter.com/MaXful if that's your thing.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Saturday, June 13, 2009
Thursday, June 11, 2009
If you can make a simple line drawing you can start illustrating orchids on the desktop. It takes a certain amount of concentration to coordinate what your eye sees on the screen to what your hand (and mind) do with the mouse but, promise, it does all come together. "Practice makes perfect." Who said that! Notice I added a couple of budding flowers to make a better composition. You may choose to use the recently invented drawing block but, artist from way back, I converted to desktop when only the mouse was alive and well.
Use the pencil tool rather than the brush from the Adobe Illustrator tool selection, and the colour/swatch charts to add the yellows. I tend to mix my own colours in CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and K [denotes] Black). This makes magazine production managers and fine-art printers happy and keeps colour true-to-the-orchid. It is a simple matter to switch to RGB (Red, Green, Blue – the colour system for internet) when the artwork is completed.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Far and away in a land Down Under two pretty ladies live in a garden of orchids. One wakes the orchids in the morning, the other puts them to sleep at night.
This permits yours truly to spend happy hours writing at the computer and illustrating exotica on the desktop. The ladies save my bacon because if it was left entirely to me, the poor orchids would not fair that well. I am inclined to leave people and plants to their own devices when the writing bug really hits. Once in the orchid house the reverse applies. It's easy to lose an hour, a week - a lifetime! in the company of seductive orchis - among the oldest flowering plants on earth.
It's difficult to describe why someone would leave the big smoke after 40 years and go careering back into the tropics just to see his orchids growing in more natural surroundings. The Mac does have a lot to do with it. You are never out of the cycle when the old Apple is ticking away. And nature supplies a never-ending array of subjects for the art files and photo galleries.
Winter does takes its toll. But spring starts the pulses racing and by mid summer (Christmas/New Year in our neck of the woods) the Vandas are up and running as you can see in the shot above. Old bridge timbers stand upright on the edge of a creek gully fronting what remains of a rain forest we are encouraging back to life. I know, I know. Vandas are not indigenous to the area. But don't tell the orchids and no one will be a penny the wiser.
Meantime, please enjoy what's on site.
ps. The orchid umbrella in the pic came from the AOS (American Orchid Society) gift catalogue. We encourage you to join. Their magazine ORCHIDS is a gold mine of storyline and splendid photography. MaX
A pair of young male bush turkeys has moved into our garden. They're causing havoc and hiding somewhere down in the gully by Cooroy Creek. The bane of my life because these guys are a protected species and nought can be done to stop their trot.
Monday, June 8, 2009
Maybe advice-at-a-price folk get it too easy. Fancy paying a thousand dollars to hear some guy tell us what is staring us in the face. Deep down we already know how to balance the books. Stay in. Eat cheap. Learn "NO!" and in heaven's name stop smokin', drinkin', and payin' for info from get-rich-quick gurus
Penny saved : penny earned (old Western adage) is my get-up-and-go. For information and entertainment let's stick with the cost-less and paperless pastimes of the internet. It gets my goat to see pennies from heaven falling into hands of old hat talk-festers whose meet-and-greet style harks back to the 50s. Conference venues and paid seminars are full of past presidents trying to make a fast buck.
The exception to the rule is TED.
I found TED (stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design) through a love of Burma and Amy Tan's fascinating book Saving Fish from Drowning. Googled the author's name and came upon her entertaining and informative speech produced for, well, TED. And there were droves of others. Speakers, that is. Fabulous subjects. Fresh approaches. Free for the taking.
Now. In case you think I'm astroturfing (PRing a flood of artificial blog buzz that's all wind and no skin) forget it. This is real stars-in-my-eye stuff. City born and happy living green scene, there's little time, patience, and wacky hotel charges for attending big city talkfests. Lately it's Stay in. Eat cheap. Hunt through TED. The creative subject matter is what pulls me in. Maybe there's something to catch your attention also. Google TED and let me know.
And may the ancient and assumed Chinese curse to "live in interesting times" better translate as a current blogger's muse –