26 Oct 2019

Devil's Workshop

... or, the idle hands of an aging retiree.

I saw some lock picking sets on eBay for about $20 and couldn't resist buying one.

It came with a multitude of tools ...
... and a handy transparent lock to practice on.  With this, you can watch the pins click into place as you pick the lock.
Of all the tools, I have had some success with these ones.  The top one, called the rake, is the easiest to use for cheap unsophisticated locks.   I watch the LockPickingLawyer on YouTube for inspiration.

The grandchildren came over for the school holidays, and what better way to bond with grandpa than to have a good old lock picking session.

I aspire to be a modern day Fagin with my own gang of lock picking urchins.

13 Sep 2019

Winter is Over

It is only in the depths of winter that I can wake up early enough to take Ripper out at sunrise (about 7 am or so), and take advantage of the nice soft golden light for photos. 

Even now, only in the second week of spring, at 7 am the sun is already fairly high and the light is very bright, harsh and contrasty.

Coincidentally, at that time I inherited an iPhone 6 (my previous being an iPhone 4 - also inherited) and tried out its camera one morning.

Here, then, are a few iPhone pics of Ripper, around sunrise, in Adenia Reserve:
Ripper enjoying the riverside mud, chasing water birds and ducks

The mud on his legs don't stay on for long, and by the time we get to the car, would have fallen off.

From the swampy to the grassy areas
And here's one on a rainy morning, with Molly - also a phone pic:
Rainbow in the west, the direction most of our rain comes from.  This photo is taken in our local footy oval.

21 Aug 2019

Finally, A Name for my Tree

Over the years, I have often posted pics of the red tailed black cockatoos which visit this tree of mine and eat the fruit.
I had not known what this tree is called.  Sure, I could have taken a little branch to a nursery and could have found out it's name that way, but lazy me never bothered.

A few months ago I spotted this little Q and A in the gardening pages of the newspaper and finally learnt what the tree is.
I've heard of kaffir limes, but not, till now, a kaffir plum

In the past, I had often wondered if the plum is edible.  These plums start off green and later turn red as they ripen, but the cockatoos come and eat them while still green and nowadays they are all gone before they can turn red.
I'll be lucky now to find a red one for tasting.  Might just have to try a green one!
Right on the top of the tree - spot the plum if you can.

A flash of the red tail as the cockatoo flies off after feasting.

18 Jul 2019

A Dozen Years

My fence has shifted over time and the mortar has cracked and fallen off.
I had to mix some mortar and fill it up again.
I know I'd done this job before - searched my old photos and found I last did it in August 2007.
12 years apart, same job, different dogs, and that little tree on the right is now huge.

22 Jun 2019

RIP Zhaan

First time I met Zhaan - in Melbourne in 2009.  She was about two years old then.
Zhaan died last month.  She was Son No. 2's dog, and a gentler, more good natured dog you would probably never meet.

She was an unusual breed for Australia - a Canaan dog.  When living in Melbourne, Son No.2 was friendly with the American community there, and apparently one of them bred Canaan Dogs.  I believe they are more common in the US.

Zhaan was 3rd generation in from wild dog status.

This breeder had since returned home, and as far as we know, Zhaan was the last of four Canaan dogs in Oz.

Ready to cross the Nullabor in 2011
When Son No. 2 decided to return to Perth, I flew to Melbourne to help him drive with Zhaan across the Nullabor.
On the way to Perth: Snowtown (South Australia) - Zhaan and I outside the disused bank made famous by the bodies in the barrels murder cases.

Zhaan lived with us for about 18 months.  Pic shows her first night with us, sharing the room with Flemington.

With Granddaughter A and Flemington
Following are some photos of our daily walks in Perth.  Even after moving out when Son No. 2 remarried, Zhaan and Molly were in our care for at least two days a week.
Exploring Adenia Reserve with Molly, my daughter-in-law's dog

Dawn at the dog beach - Molly, Zhaan and Flemington

Spring flowers in Adenia Park
In her last 18 months or so, Zhaan had a myriad of health problems.  A leaky heart valve was a major one, and she ended up on lots of medication for that.

She also suffered lots of backache and muscle cramps, for which she had acupuncture at Murdoch University Animal Hospital.  That appeared to help a lot.
She didn't really enjoy this, but it did her good,

Old and grey
My very last photo of Zhaan