Blood Moon Eclipse

Woke early on Saturday morning to see the eclipse just beginning through the window. I put a triple shot coffee in the thermos and headed out the door. My plan was to try and get the moon from across the river on a dark stretch of road where the lights of town didn’t fade out the stars.

By the time I had set up my tripods the eclipse was almost half done although it was still an amazing site, with Mars shining brightly nearby

As the eclipse progressed the colour became a deeper red as it slipped into the shadow of the Earth

The morning sun began to lighten the sky in the east and the moon began to fade as the trees along the river slowly came into view from the darkness where they had been hiding.

In the dawn light the river seemed at peace. There was barely a ripple on the water and the blue sky promised a glorious winter’s day to come

I packed up and set off for home and a hearty breakfast when, as I came around a corner, I came across a landscape of fog carpeting the fields all the way to Mt Coolum which appeared to struggle to hold its head above the misty air. Behind it the first rays of the sun burned the air with a golden glow.

Did anyone get up to see this once in a blood moon spectacle?.. Did you get some good photos? Please share them for all to see if you did.

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Sketching an iPad

On Anzac Day I found myself filling in time near Brisbane while waiting for a response from a person I had arranged to meet up with. As the day dragged on I found myself at the Brisbane Botanical Gardens near Mount Cootha.

There are themed displays under domes and in shade houses that would take days to see properly. The gardens are lovely with nicely laid out pathways and beautifully manicured plants.

It was here that I met Stranger No 3…. Hector was sitting quietly on the stone wall at the side of the path totally absorbed in something on his tablet. My first impression was that one could check out Facebook anytime, anywhere and it seemed that social media had claimed one more addict.

When I came up alongside him, I noticed that he was sketching the scene before him on the tablet. The treescape on the tablet was impressive and I stopped to ask him about it. He old me that there are quite a few apps that can be used for sketching and with the help of a stylus he was able to create a pretty impressive picture.

The app he used allowed him to choose the medium for each drawing…. this one was an oil painting and of course the beauty of this is that there is no cleaning up of brushes etc when the job is done.

Hector is from Chilli and has been here for two months to study. Clearly art is his passion and while his palette may be a tablet, art is art no matter what the form. One wonders what Picasso might have done if he had an iPad.

Sunday Night At The Gold Coast

After a few weeks of full on preparation for the Commonwealth Games, my workload has diminished a little and last night I took a stroll through Broadbeach precinct. It was a tad after 9PM and there were surprisingly few folk out and about given we are in the midst of one of the larger sporting carnivals in the world this year.

The streets had the look that cities get when the crowds have returned to their homes and all that’s left are the cleaners; those nocturnal souls who rejuvenate the sidewalks and parks at the end of day. The blowers that inflated the blow up castle were now silent, and it now spread across the ground like some invasive slim often seen in sci fi movies.

The beach, now deserted, had transformed into a tapestry of texture where thousands of feet had churned through it during the day.

Like an endless desert the night lights cast harsh shadows on the tapestry of sand

Coffee bars still plied their trade while groups of spectators sat watching one of the giant screens, scattered across the city, to see Australia pick up a trifector at the swimming.

Watching the games…. street style

Looking up at the tall apartment buildings, one got the feeling that, despite the enormity of the event, there were many vacancies as the lighted rooms were far out numbered by those which shed no glow.

Wandering the streets, I came across several stages that have been erected to provide spot entertainment for the crowds that have been expected.  I stopped a moment to watch a troop of performers.

A troop of gymnasts strut their stuff on a street stage in Broadbeach

One feature of these games, and a sad indictment on the state of our world today, is the level of detail that has been put towards public safety. Almost everywhere you will see security or police officers, often just standing about, ready to act should there be any reason. Any place where public will gather is shielded with concrete bolards sheathed in colourful covers, preventing any vehicle attacks.

Following the herd, I made my way back to the tram station and so on to Broadbeach South where the line ends. From here I decided that a walk back to my apartment would do me some good. A pleasant night for a stroll.

If you have spent time at the games, what was your experience?

Please leave a comment if you had a great time or what were your grips?