Just photos today.

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This is my first ever spotting of a Granite Sun OrchidScreen Shot 2014-10-18 at 7.34.39 PMThese were closed a few days ago…and then they majestically opened today.  Fringed Lilies.Screen Shot 2014-10-18 at 7.36.17 PM Screen Shot 2014-10-18 at 7.36.06 PM Screen Shot 2014-10-18 at 7.35.46 PM Screen Shot 2014-10-18 at 7.35.40 PM Screen Shot 2014-10-18 at 7.35.32 PM

Also the first time I’ve ever seen an orange fly!Screen Shot 2014-10-18 at 7.35.25 PM Not sure what I’m interpreting here…

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This thing is about 6 inches long, it landed on me (I freaked) and then it perched on this twig.

Jumping Spiders: Teddy bears of the spider world.

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Opisthoncus parcedentatusScreen Shot 2014-09-29 at 12.40.05 PM

You are the tiniest little spider on the biggest damn leaf on the face of this earth.Screen Shot 2014-09-29 at 12.39.55 PM Screen Shot 2014-09-29 at 12.39.18 PM All I see is struggle, and triumph in this little guy.Screen Shot 2014-09-29 at 12.39.01 PM

This spider particularly wields a massive set of fangs, which are horrifying up close. Opisthoncus polyphemus 

I read yesterday (when I was searching for a stuffed teddy that looked like a jumping spider) that some people consider them to be the teddy bears of the spider world.  I have to agree.

Despite aching this morning I couldn’t help myself… Here are a few little cute spiders I spotted (a few I didn’t capture but they were marked differently to the others).

Spider enthusiasts, I’ve put what I think is the technical name here on this post.  Am I right?  I’m looking at this very helpful website for identification here in Australia:  http://ednieuw.home.xs4all.nl/australian/salticidae/Salticidae.html

Portraits of Jumping Spiders.

Screen Shot 2014-09-28 at 1.11.35 PMScreen Shot 2014-09-28 at 1.12.33 PM Screen Shot 2014-09-28 at 1.12.23 PM Screen Shot 2014-09-28 at 1.12.04 PM Screen Shot 2014-09-28 at 1.11.48 PM Screen Shot 2014-09-28 at 1.11.21 PM My knees are sooooo upset with me at the moment, my back is quite stiff from couching.  But the pain was so worth it! I’ve been crouching most of the morning in Queens Garden amongst the plants trying to capture the curious little jumping spiders that surrounded me.  At first I thought there was only one, but when I looked closer… they were in serious abundance.  Young, old, dark, light, skittish and oddly one that was literally a camera hog. I think, I’ve got 4 different spiders here.  The most fabulous I spent some time filming.  The video is much better today, as I tried using a tripod to keep the camera steady.  He’s just sussing me out.

This weekend I’ve been updating my website.  www.redterrain.com  check it out!

I’ve also been listening to a few songs repeatedly.  Alt – J released a new album this year and a couple of the tracks are stand outs: (not to mention Hunger of The Pine which I wrote about a few months back).  It’s really great stuff.

Every Other Freckle – Alt J

Warm Foothills – Alt J

Gospel of John Hurt – Alt J 

Yesterday I told my doctor she was not very good.

I’ve felt the need to talk to my doctor about this for a very long time.

Each time I visited the office (8x in the past year) she was hurried and spent little time investigating or digging up information connected to my previous visit.  I found this very lax and started to wonder if she even recognised me each time I went in…

(Hmmm…I’ve been here 5 times but she looks vacant and I’m worried she will miss the reoccurring reason I’m here?  Surely she knows why I am here?  Nope…I’ll have to tell her, again).

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Appearances can be deceiving…this bird dropping is actually a very cunning spider.  

A doctor can appear to have all the skills on the surface, but may lack the ability to have empathy or take the time to connect with their patient.

It doesn’t take long to figure it out.Screen Shot 2014-09-27 at 10.34.30 AM

In searching for a connection with my doctor, I really felt I was going out on a limb. (Totally just trying to find a reason to add some photos to the post here if that wasn’t obvious by now! ahah).

In short, she was very busy (as most doctors are) taking in many patients every day.  The turn around in this clinic is something like 10 minutes.  I returned to this office for the convenience of booking an appointment.  There was no long wait, and I could always get in if I had an emergency (migraine!  She was very good about treating me during a critical migraine earlier in the year).  I completely get that you can be busy, but what I didn’t always get was a sense of connection, care, empathy… actually none of that.

It was really starting to put me off, and many times I contemplated going to another doctor who might turn out to care just a little bit more.  Even if it was just a fraction.

I liked her.  She was never rude or unpleasant… I just didn’t feel that she cared.

So yesterday after my appointment, I paid my bill and gave the receptionist my biological sample and made up my mind to finally talk to my doctor about our relationship.

I delicately knocked on her door.  She welcomed me back in and told me to make myself comfortable.  So I sat down and we looked each other straight in the eyes.  I was nervous to speak as I didn’t want to offend her, I just needed to pass on some feedback.

I began…sooo so nervous.

“I wanted to talk to you about something that’s been bothering me for a while now. (Sure, what is it?) I’ve felt that I’ve had to bring up some of my previous symptoms…(pause) I know you’re very busy but there have been times when I felt you didn’t really care about me as an individual.  I know that’s hard given the amount of people you see in a day”

She was a little surprised, but immediately thanked me graciously for telling her and being so honest, and asked how often I felt that way (when I said nearly every time I’d been in) she then asked what she could do to make it better.

She took it really well.

I suggested that she take enough time to look into my case and really connect with me.

“From a clients perspective, I have contemplated not coming back to the office because I’ve not felt that you cared about me.  I think that’s really important to have that connection, it keeps people coming back.”

We ended the conversation both smiling.  I think this will be the start of a shift in our doctor/patient relationship.

I recently read in a book “Blink” by Malcom Gladwell, that a doctor is many more times likely to be sued by a client whom they do not have a close relationship with.  Doctors whom have a trusting relationship with their patient are even less likely to be sued because there is a bond (even if they have done something that actually warrants a court case).

That is information that many doctors could benefit from.  Treating people with kindness, empathy and understanding can help create trust and harmony within the relationship.  Those things generally will always have people coming back.

Even though it took me ages to talk about what was troubling me, I feel really good knowing I was honest and I can potentially help her really succeed in giving better service to her clientele.

What I think is key for myself, is that before giving up on our relationship I gave her the opportunity to see where things were going wrong.  I think it’s fair to give that feedback and see if things can change.

Jumping Spiders Take 2.

Screen Shot 2014-09-25 at 7.30.43 PM Screen Shot 2014-09-25 at 7.30.14 PM Screen Shot 2014-09-25 at 7.30.04 PM Screen Shot 2014-09-25 at 7.29.30 PMI tried my luck again for a jumping spider, and this time one revealed itself to me just before it caught it’s meal.  I saw him slowly creep forward and knew he was onto something.  I secretly hoped he would catch another insect while I had my camera with me.

I managed to capture a short film of him carrying his meal away out of sight which is quite cool to watch. 

Tiny Beeeautiful

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After work this evening, I walked over to Queens Gardens and took some photos.  I was on the look out for jumping spiders, but sadly did not spot any.  I did manage to spot some other beautiful details.  Pollen, and the colour pigmentation of  the flowers has been of interest lately, and even though these plants are not native to Australia, I throughly enjoyed all the brilliant colours and textures.

Getting married? I think you might be insecure.

I think since I’ve started this, I may as well just put it out there.  Of course I feel awful knowing this is going to be painful, and hell I find it painful talking about it.  But I started and I think I should finish and say what I mean.
It’s hard to have my own opinion and not upset others as at the heart of it no matter what I guess I just don’t buy in and a few people have taken it personally.
Where does my anti-marriage view come from?
Well, actually from the following statements from various women (never men).
I’ve had a few married women (in particular) tell me when I say we aren’t getting married…
“But!  You’ll feel more whole, and there’s that fact that you just know you’re together forever.  There are a lot of people witnessing the commitment.  It’s such a serious vow to make in front of your friends and family.  I’ve never felt more secure in my relationship”
I can’t tell these people what I’m really thinking…
This is where my opinion stems from.  I believe it’s unusual that a couple would feel more secure by the ceremony.  I think it speaks for a lack of security and insecurity in the relationship that a wedding day is so important for some.
That would really anger a lot of people if I said it out loud (I’ve definitely thought it)… and it’s what I really believe.
Then there’s the whole staged production (acting sometimes), money, materialism (greed) all wrapped into one day which (often) doesn’t feel like love at all to me.
A few weddings I’ve photographed have been a lot of fun, and there was a lot of love.  And a few that I’ve attended, I was just observing a carefully orchestrated vision of what love looked like.  These weddings in particular did not captivate me for the right reasons…
Something like 4 out of 5 marriages these days do not last (found that in an article on line so it’s not a real figure).  Which regardless of it’s academic pull is an enormous statistic, and when I see that percentage I just wonder wether people have got it all wrong…
Government should have no bearing on who I choose to spend my life with.  The system of marriage originated in trading women between families (they were second class citizens when this started) which sparks frustration deep in my gut and I have a serious distain for religion.
Ok phew.  So, that’s what I believe.
Not every wedding feels forced, some are really beautiful…but this idea that it secures your relationship feels wrong, particularly given the amount of divorce.
If the numbers proved me otherwise I might not have such strong feelings about it…
It’s brutal, and judgemental.  I can’t deny that.

I probably offended you…I’m sorry for that.

My post yesterday has been altered.  I do believe marriage is dated (among other things), and my partner and I both agree it doesn’t suit us.  What I didn’t intend was to belittle anyone else’s choices in stating my own.  For that I apologise.

I suppose the topic is frustrating, as I feel very strongly about it.

If someone casually asks me if I’m getting engaged… they might be met with a long rant about religion, government, women’s rights, progressive thinking, societal pressure and individuality.

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Why won’t I marry Mike?

Because he farts in the bed.  haha… I jest!

This topic is contraversial, and personal for me.  My thoughts are peppered (heavily) with feminist ideals, and in previous conversations I’m fairly certain I’ve offended a few of my friends and complete strangers with my strong opinion.

Before I begin, Mike also won’t marry me.

Everyone has the right to choose what best suits them and their significant other.  If you want to get married, that’s amazing.  I would (and have) fully support anyone who makes that choice. Screen Shot 2014-09-14 at 9.46.16 AM

We have been together for nearly 5 years.  We love each other, and want to have a family together. We’re absolutely committed to one another.  But one specific celebratory day in our lives does not determine that we’re suddenly officially glued together for life.

We’ve already made that commitment to each other each and every morning we wake up.

I want people to see that our relationship (and others) can be just as beautiful, loyal and meaningful even if we never marry.

We choose each other every morning we wake up and every evening we lay down, even if that means enduring some terrible flatulence!

Every single day of our relationship is as meaningful as the last.

Fredericks not doing well…

I’m very concerned for Frederick.  He’s been floating around the top of the tank the past few days, and we can’t figure out what’s wrong.  Rayden died about 1.5 weeks ago (seriously thinking about renaming our fish tank “death tank”)…and now this.  We’ve also raised about 60 baby guppies.  Which is now leading us to the problem of facilities.  Our baby tank is soon going to be crowded and our adult tank…can’t hold much more than it already has.

Who knew fish friends were so difficult to take care of.  

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We saw Wuzza on the weekend and I thought I’d add him into the post too. 

My memory of our fish tank as a child, was that it was low maintenance and all joy…not constant death (apart from that one time my younger sister “fed” the fish ketchup and 7UP – which was a totally cute moment, but came with horrifying results.

I can hear Fredericks shell hitting the side of the tank periodically… it’s haunting me.  I just want him to get back to good health, and I promise right here and now I won’t even get upset if he eats a big fish.

Have you ever had pet snails?  Did they eat your fish?  Were they difficult to take care of?