Friday, 30 June 2017

Ceramic container bought in Tokyo in April but sent by mail.
Recently arrived and had to be used.
Acacia aphyla and tulips

Hello all,

I've just returned from the tropics. Sam and I took a short but much needed break and headed for the warmth of tropical Queensland. We spent six glorious days in Port Douglas where the weather is absolutely perfect with warm days and balmy nights. A marked difference from cold and miserable Melbourne.

Tapeinochilos ananassae, the spiral ginger plant, blow, would be great for ikebana. Its stems grow in a spiral pattern with the leaves on the outer side of the curve. Nature's work of art.

As if the lush tropical vegetation around the resort was not enough to make this poor ikebanist's heart beat faster, I had to come across this pile of 'rubbish' on the lawn. As I stood looking at the various dry palm fronds, my mind went into overdrive - Oh, the things I could do! My 'beloved' had to gently drag me away.

I came across the flower, in the photo below, growing outside a shop and was fascinated with it. I stopped to photograph it when a kind passer-by volunteered to tell me what it was. It's called 'Bat Plant' - Tacca Integrifolia (thank you google) and it comes in either black or white. This one is the white version. I would love to know what evolutionary purpose is served by this bizarre configuration of bracts, flowers and filaments.

I don't want to turn this post into a travel log but I want to share some highlights. For those who don't already know, the Daintree Rainforest is the oldest in the world, dating back 180 million years, older by tens of millions of years than the Amazon. A sobering thought.

 Swimming in the Kassowary falls in the Daintree rainforest is definitely a highlight. The falls are situated in a privately owned property and there is only one tour company with arrangements to enter the property. Seven of us in a mini bus with a driver rattled through the rainforest, then changed to a very rough looking four wheel drive (photo below) went through locked gates, crossed water ways and arrived at the falls. It was a truly exhilarating experience to swim in the pristine pond under the falls, with fish and turtles swimming around us.

As part of the same tour we went on a short cruise on the Daintree river looking for crocodiles and other wildlife. I stopped to photograph this rather lovely yellow hibiscus, when the driver of the boat pointed to the beautifully coloured tree snake resting on a branch just above the flowers.

Near by Palm Cove boasts these giant Malaleucas, around which shops and restaurants have been built. If you look closely at the photographs, you'll see the trees growing through the roofs of the shops. An odd experience, sitting in a restaurant with a huge tree trunk next to you.

Upon our return from a walk to the Mossman Gorge, we came across this giant Golden Orb Weaver spider. It took my breath away. I estimated its size at 18 cm from tip of front legs to tip of back legs. Its web was over one sq. metre.

So, now we're back home and before I start on the accumulated laundry, I wanted to write this post. To those of you who stayed to the end, I say 'Thank you for your indulgence'.

Until next time,

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Hello all,

The above arrangement is dedicated to my uncle Nick and auntie Elizabeth, who, very kindly, sacrificed the largest of the few fruit on their pomegranate tree. The arrangement covers two themes - "Seasonal Materials' and "Fruit bearing Branches'.

Just over two weeks ago, our Sogetsu group had a workshop, which was conducted by Lee Johnstone. The arrangements were to incorporate two themes - 'To be viewed from all Angles' and 'Seasonal Materials - Atumn/Winter'

I took photographs of my arrangement from three different angles, below. As I had to leave the workshop early, I was not able to take photographs of any other arrangements. So, I recommend you go to our website - to see more.

In class a couple of lessons ago, the senior girls were given the theme 'Green Materials Only'. Below are some examples. They're quite self explanatory.





Freestyle Arrangement by Aurelia

I, normally, don't include photographs of basic arrangements but I was so pleased
by the arrangement, below, by Guy Pascoe, that I felt it deserved to be featured here.

Basic Slanting Moribana reversed
Bye for now,