They're Back!



After the great rain we had on Tuesday, I thought a visit down to my favourite spot, Waterfall Way, might be worth a look to see if there was any action yet. I was thrilled to see just enough flow to keep me busy for an hour or so. If we can get some good follow up rain (and they're predicting some good falls over the weekend) we could be off and running for the winter.
So my first port of call was Granite Falls where I found some nice channels of water between the granite boulders. I'm right up on top of the falls here...next time I'll get down below. And then a wander up the Moorabool West River to the base of Moorabool Falls. This is the bottom half of the falls - I liked that reflection across the smooth water surface. You can't get in this close when the water's really flowing so I made the most of the opportunity. 

The Hidden Eclipse




On Tuesday there was a partial solar eclipse, due to coincide with sunset, and a good opportunity to get something quite unique. Unfortunately the weather had other ideas. In the last 24 hours we've had almost an inch (25mm) of rain, which is great for the district in general, but not for us photographers hoping for clear skies. In fact the rain was so persistant throughout the day that, whilst I was out an about, I decided to visit Mt Buninyong for a few top-of-the-mount mist shots...the first 2 here. 
It actually cleared pretty well by late afternoon, though not enough to provide a clear view of the sun. A nice burst of colour made its way through the clouds right on sunset, though my favourite from the whole day is the last one here....a simple reflection of the setting sun. I'm not exactly sure when the next eclipse is, but I'll be there!
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Monday Morning Magic





As I suggested in yesterdays post, Monday morning was very colourful. It seems that it's becoming almost a habit to get a great sunrise at Lake Wendouree on Mondays, always a great start to the week. This series is from the area on the west side near the Palm Pond where the newly installed lights added a nice touch, and the colour that built up was awesome.
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Kirk's Colour



As we come to the end of the second month of autumn, around town and the district here in Ballarat, there are some nice patches of autumn colours appearing. Kirk's Reservoir gardens is always a great spot to find colour, and with no clouds at all on this Sunday afternoon, it seemed like a good decision. The autumn colours are turning out better than I expected after the very hot, dry summer we had....and we still have another month to go.
I have a feeling Monday morning is going to be very colourful...........!
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Yellow All Round



On Saturday evening on the south shore of Lake Burrumbeet, there was just enough cloud haze in the sky to give the sunset some strong yellow glow, and the gently lapping waves on the sandy shores of the lake offered some great lines to work with. The yellow glow was helped along by the smoke from burn-offs that are going on in the district as a lot of farms are doing there yearly paddock clean-ups.

Up North at Lawrence on the Creek


After being quite fine and sunny for most of Saturday, by late afternoon it turned very grey and flat. I was out hoping to catch another lake image (did anyone notice all this weeks images were from a different lake?). I was thinking St Georges Lake at Creswick, and popped in for a look, but it was flat and looking like nothing much would happen. So I headed further north, and ended up at Wheelers Bridge at Lawrence, where this section of the often visited Birch's Creek is always worth a look. So in dark and grey conditions I managed to find a couple of interesting spots amongst the rocks.
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White Swan Wonder

The colourful week continues here on Thursday with a visit out to the White Swan Reservoir. I haven't been here for at least a couple of months, so it was very apparent how much the water level has dropped, and in so doing has given me new compositions to play around with. This is the inlet stream running into the reservoir from the superpipe...with some great colours right on sunset.
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Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota

Todays USA National Park image comes from one of the most remote parks we have visited on our travels. Though this looks quite warm and inviting, I do remember this being a VERY cold morning that quickly developed into a lovely autumn day.
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Skyshow at Lake Learmonth

So I made a definite decision on Wednesday not to go to Lake Burrumbeet, even though the conditions looked quite promising. So a bit further north is Lake Learmonth and its fast disappearing shoreline as the water recedes. And, boy oh boy, did I make the right choice! Perfectly positioned to catch these amazing clouds that put on a show for quite a long time. The final burst of colour was a real bonus as the sun sets behind the hills. Still plenty of water and rocks to use here, and with some recent rainfall we may manage to keep the lake in reasonable shape through winter. Its certainly been a very colourful week, and I still have to get back to the images from Lake Burrumbeet on Tuesday. I hope Fon from Learmonth gets to see this set!



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Zion National Park, Utah

Todays USA National Park image comes from Zion National Park in Utah. This is the view from behind the the Zion Human History Museum. The Towers of the Virgin are seen with the West Temple on the left. Early morning sunrise from our trip last March. This is worth clicking on for a larger look!
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Why I Keep Going Back…...

If you've been following the blog you know I visit Lake Burrumbeet regularly. So much so that I've been feeling I'm going there too often rather than getting out to different local spots. So on Tuesday as I headed off out of Ballarat, I was going out east, well for about 3 blocks that was before I realised the interesting clouds were out west…and you know where that leads! I think this series will convince anyone that you go where the action is, no matter how many times you may have been to the same spot in the past.
Mirror like reflections gave me plenty to work with, and the massive clouds only added to the drama. This is just a start…..I've got so many from this one visit that it could take a while to get through them all!
Tonight I'm determined to head in a different direction…but who knows…….



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The Bamboo Forest, Haleakala National Park, Maui, Hawaii

Todays USA National Park image comes from last years trip to Hawaii in late February. One of the wettest hikes we have done on our travels along the Pipiwai Trail, part of the Hana section of the National Park. One section of the hike includes this fantastic section of bamboo, its gotta be 20-30 feet in height. In fact it got so wet that on the return leg of the trail I decided it best to put the good camera away, and was using my small, waterproof one. This image was taken with the good one!
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Start and End of the Day at Lake Wendouree

As predicted in yesterdays post, Monday morning was a very colourful start to the day! Mmmmmm, I must be psychic! Some terrific colours with some helpful birds in a great display for the start to a new week. And then later in the day, from almost the same spot, some lovely soft pastels in the sky in the opposite direction to the setting sun.



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Acadia National Park, Maine

Todays USA national park image comes from a colourful Acadia National Park…right in the middle of autumn colour peak, I found this reflection on the Gorge Trail on a morning hike, our last day before we left the park. The autumn colours all across the north east on this trip from September/October 2012 were as amazing as we had been reading about…put it on your bucket list!
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Westward Ho

On Sunday evening I caught some nice rays breaking through the clouds out west of Ballarat. Apart from that, not much else happening on a generally overcast and grey day. I've got a feeling that sunrise on Monday may be a lot more colourful!


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Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

A new series I'm undertaking is to post a new USA National Park image each day….with 51 parks under our belt, its going to take a while (7 weeks 2 days to be exact!).
Todays image comes from our trip last March/April, and a visit to Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah. We've been here a number of times on previous trips, always been a fantastic place to visit. This time the conditions were the best we have had with a perfect new cover of snow across the orange hoodoos. This one is from a hike we did down into the canyon where the newly laid snow made a striking contrast with rock formations.
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The Only Chance…...

….to get something of interest on a very grey, dull Saturday was to head up to Birch's Creek to have a play amongst the rocks and autumn leaves. I never come home from here without a nice image, and just another great example of knowing how to make the most of the conditions, no matter how lifeless it seems.

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Ofu Island, National Park of American Samoa

We've been back 4 weeks already from American Samoa, time that has just flown by. So I wanted o post a few images form the trip, partly to keep it fresh in my mind. We are busily planning our first assault on Alaska for August, but its important not to let previous trips fade away….here's one from awesome Ofu Island. We had this one mile stretch of beach all to ourselves for the afternoon, certainly one of the highlights of our visit to the National Park of American Samoa, our 51st USA National Park - only 8 to go!
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Barbed 'Beet

Out to Lake Burrumbeet on Friday evening with some nice clouds building up on the way out. Decided to look for the fencepost I have photographed before, thinking that the receding shoreline wold allow me to get pretty close to it. Exactly as expected, except someone had hung this old coil of barbed wire on the top of it that gave me a something a bit different to work with.


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Creek Colour

On Thursday I couldn't resist a return visit out to Birch's Creek at Smeaton. Some terrific colours all round as the autumn continues to drop leaves all over, and then some nice reflected light late in the day due to the blood red skies from local burn offs. I've been to this spot so many times, I feel it deserves a name - so from this day forth I'm calling it Smeaton Cascades. If you are out that way looking for it, its located almost under the bridge, a few hundred metres downstream from the Mill.



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Magic

The forecast for Sunday morning was calm and freezing cold and that's exactly how it turned out (minus 3.4, in fact!). I had a fantastic...