Saturday, December 31, 2011

Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Firewheel (Stenocarpus sinuatus) is one of Queensland's robust rainforest trees. Each 'wheel'  consists of a number of pencil slim flowers containing male and female parts that spring open in order that pollination may occur. Magical. Firewheel manages to bloom right on cue for Christmas and flames into New Year. At least, that's the cycle here, Down Under. A member of the Protea family it's my favourite way of sending Season's Greetings and all good wishes for 2012 onwards.

Friday, July 8, 2011

A new book on living with orchids

Author and artist Max Fulcher is creating his first eBook for early release 2012. It promises to be a visual treat of orchid photography and includes an informative 'how to' on growing orchids PLUS personal favourites from MaX's art gallery of exquisite orchid illustrations

It includes mind maps, travel trips – the whole enchilada! – knowing orchids, lessons learned

Read what writer Gail Heathwood has to say about encounters with 'The Orchid Teacher'.

“Mastering the desktop has given Max Fulcher a new tool or three to paint with, but the hand that guides the brush needs no help to create these evocative tributes to his Australian journeys

There's a curiously kaleidoscopic quality about Max Fulcher. His words tumble forth, expressing thoughts that instantly generate other thoughts and leaving sentences terminally torn. But if, as the listener, mind and ears can keep the pace, suddenly the whirling stops, and the pattern comes into sharp focus. Invariably, the result is worth all your mental and aural gymnastics.” 

Sunday, May 8, 2011

El gordo negra (the beautiful black fat lady)

She smiled, beckoning from the shop window. Most fetching. Inexpensive. I succumbed. Once inside, an assistant described the moulded piece as polished cement. Black polished cement. And the lady was called el gordo negra (beautiful black fat lady). The woman made her sales pitch, "Spanish derivation. From Brazil". Brazil? Spanish? Portuguese? Whatever. "Only one sold per district," the clincher. Home went el gordo negra to reside in pride of place beside the Chinese jade. Great contrasts.

A month later an identical moulding turned up as a door stopper at the local butchery. Our 'beautiful black fat lady' moved house immediately to the orchid igloo where she lingered many summers in the company of beautiful blossoms. Hot and steamy like the rain forests of Brazil. In this shot, the beloved el gn accompanies an old Aussie favourite. An orchid named Dendrobium Gatton Sunray. Yellow Oncidium orchids Thai Dancing Ladies tickle her toes.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Zebra Finch visit blue Vanda orchids

While not common as in some other locations, families of visiting 'Zebs' make a focal point in our district. The arrival of this pair coincided with the blooming of our favourite orchid, a blue Vanda. Utterly remarkable. A memorable moment. The photograph was so-so. I began a sketch. It waited for months for me to finish the background. Until today when I realised there was little else to say. The idea was complete. The orchids in the background would stay in outline. Sometimes less is more.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Luck in the Logans

Chinese New Year has entered Queensland with a bang! The state is 70% in flood, cyclone YASI (the biggest in 100 years) has wreaked havoc and destroyed all the fruit crops. I'm keeping a goodly supply of lucky Longans in house in case other disasters come knocking. Chinese people say Longans are 'lucky fruit'. They are certainly delicious.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Regatta Hotel RiverCat Stop going under

On January ten Mother Nature threw Brisbane a broadside. I was in the middle of celebrating my seventy sixth birthday. Some birthday present. We watched horrified as Rockhampton on the Central Coast went under, not realising what was to come our way. Then it slowly started to dawn on us as the pictures and news radio forecasts changed. Toowomba fell. Then the Lockyer Valley. Suddenly the gigantic Wivenhoe that dams the upper reaches of the Brisbane river was overflowing and running at 180%. One hundred and eighty percent. Unheard of. Two or three Sydney Harbours of excess water passing our front door every 24 hours. The flood from six stories up.