I’m moving on, with a “newer” model…wait maybe not.

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You were really good to me when we first met.  You were shiny and new and you produced really consistent images.  I could always rely on you when I was under pressure.

Sadly, you’ve gotten a bit lazy.  You no longer let me take you out and shoot easily.  One of your buttons gave out 2 years ago, and I’ve been working around that hoping you’d magically come right again.

A few weeks ago you became even more hesitant to help me out…another of your features suddenly gave out.  I know I rely on you heavily, and we’ve worked together for nearly 8 years, but it’s time to give you a little break.  I promise I’ll still take you out from time to time.

Unfortunately, my new gear is giving me slight problems… I’ve readjusted a few settings and I’ll try again first thing tomorrow morning.  Below is what I’ve captured on your replacement.  I’ve read a few reviews and it’s looking like this model is actually quite a bit of a dud.  The images are just not sharp.  Probably going to have to return it…. Dang!!!  Canon 7D.

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I know these looks sharp as 4×6 size images, however when blown up there is little to no detail, and it makes me sad.

Have you found this happen with a product you’ve bought?  I’ll be going back tomorrow to select another model… Probably the Mark III, which is going to leave me for broke!

Locals protect Western Australia from Fracking Industry

The town of Eneabba consists of one convenience store, one auto body shop, an elementary school, one tavern and one petrol station.

It is a dry, sandy, vast, empty, desolate landscape.

Total population? 286.

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I will admit freely, that on first glance there was not much to be enthusiastic about Eneabba.

When my partner and I moved to the area we had to convince ourselves that we’d made the right decision. Mike and I discussed this as I watched the rolling horizon sprawl for miles from the passenger seat in our pathetically small car.  I had been warned, but had no idea how people survived let alone farmed in the brutal conditions on this land.  We were only meant to stay for three months. I just needed my second working holiday visa (which in Australia means you need to work in a remote area to extend your visa for a second year).  I was going to check in, do my hard time and then leave. I couldn’t wait to make my exit, and we’d only just arrived.

Through blood, flies, sweat, love, fire, and tears; we lived, worked and relaxed alongside the locals in this isolated town for two years.

Over time, I became enchanted with the place.

The community in Eneabba welcomed us with open arms.  The landscape slowly revealed it’s many natural wonders.

When I wasn’t chasing sheep, or rounding up cattle I was crouched in the bush with my boss observing the exuberant displays of colour exploding through the spiked, brutal bushes from May to December.  She was passionate and quickly showed me the endless variety of wildflowers on her property.

And honestly? It was astounding. The drab lifeless bush that I had initially scanned and discarded was in fact teeming with thousands of varieties of wildflowers.

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Among biologists, this region is regarded as one of the main biodiversity hotspots in Australia (and also world wide). There are over 12,000-recorded species of wildflowers in Western Australia. In fact this region is so highly regarded in it’s diversity that the likes of Sir David Attenborough have been here to study it’s wonders. As a relative comparison the British Isles have 3842 types of plants on record.

While the native flora and fauna have adapted to the harsh, dry conditions; mankind and our counterparts have not. The region’s water is supplied by tapping into subterranean aquifers. This (apart from rain water – which can be sparse) is the only source of water in the region. The locals rely heavily on the bore water to survive and sustain their livelihood (farming cattle and sheep as well as cropping).

This place is special. It’s also worth saving.

The land in this region is currently being pursued relentlessly by the gas industry.

The locals have previously protected the land from coal mining, and have come together again to help protect the countryside from gas mining.  Coorow Shire (where Mike and I spent a season seeding just before we moved to Perth) has just recently called for a moratorium, and it’s very hopeful to know that many other local shires will indeed follow suit.

Right now people are fighting to protect this shared water source from pollution, and prevent future generations disparity over poor choices in our lifetime.

Eneabba is one of those towns.  In fact there are many small communities that are fighting against this terrible industry worldwide.

Australia, United State, Canada and many other countries are all entangled in this mess… If we all speak up and act, it will discourage this damaging, unregulated, dangerous industry from taking hold in small communities and steer us to embrace energy sources that are indeed sustainable.

Please share this blog if you are concerned for future generations right to safe water.

You can also retweet if you follow @Redterrain on Twitter.

© 2014 Redterrain

Tomorrow I turn 30.

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Happy Birfday to meeee…  Lamby kisses cause I’m 30!

After what seems like an eternity (made longer by the fact that my loving man friend reminds me constantly) I’m going to tick over into the 30’s crowd tonight at the stroke of midnight.

Turning 30 has me reflecting but also looking ahead…and appreciating what’s happening in my life right now.  I’ve still potentially got another 50 odd years left to fill up, and I feel like I’m only just beginning my journey on this planet.  That is unless aliens turn up…

When you turned 30, did you do something special to celebrate the occasion?

floating blobs of pink.

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I take that previous statement back!!!

From top to bottom:  Spotted Jellyfish, Grey Kangaroo, Australian Raven, Darter, Straw-necked Ibis (Juvenile).

I took my camera to Heirisson Island this morning just before it started to rain.  I was hoping to catch the kangaroo in the soft glow of sunrise, and found myself photographing all sorts of creatures.  I crouched in the water and rain for an hour with majorly aching hips to get a decent photo of some pink jellyfish, and learned a few lessons about lighting underwater (utilising only the sun here).  I did wonder if having dozens of little floaters touching me was safe… luckily if any got too near I wafted them away with the end of my camera.

Well, I’m pretty cold now from being out in the rain all morning, so I’m putting on David Attenborough’s “Life in the Undergrowth” and cuddling up with a blanket, while simultaneously mowing down some soup.

Sunday Sounds:

Riptide – Vance Joy

Garden City Movement – Terracotta

ZHU – Faded

Noosa – Clocktower

Flume – On Top Feat. T. Shirt

Cling-wrap begone!

You could use that term in a rather humorous way if you found your partner to be particularly clingy…however, I’m quite pleased to say I’m using the term very literally.

Several weeks ago I was lured to a website called: www.abeego.com

I’m not sure if it was fate, random clicking, a shared interest in sustainability, or all of the above that led me to discover their environmentally friendly food storage options.  I contacted the owners with a few questions and immediately had a response.  Here is what I learned:

  • The product is strong, and is 100% biodegradable
  • Lasts up to 1 year, then you can chuck it straight into the compost
  • Is all natural, made of beeswax and a blend of organic cotton and hemp  fabric
  • Easy to care for: hand wash with cold water and environmentally sound soap for reuse
  • There are multiple sizes for a variety of uses, so essentially nothing is too big to cover!

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As soon as I received some samples last week, I tore the package open and held the waxed hemp fabric in my hands.  It is lovely to behold, and has a distinct smell of beeswax that is actually quite pleasant.  Mike was home when I opened the goods and so he too was handling and smelling the product.

Immediately I took a piece and wrapped some fresh mozzarella in it.  I also took a chunk of onion, and zucchini and wrapped them separately.

Throughout the week, I’ve used these items while cooking and here is what I’ve found:

  • My mozzarella has retained it’s perfect scent and moisture…absolutely no issues there.
  • My zucchini was still very moist and mould free where as the piece I left unsealed in the fridge was mouldy and dry.
  • The potent onion, also retained it’s moisture and scent.
  • None of these items smelled like beeswax, even the delicate mozzarella.
  • Even more impressive, the stinky onion did not fuze it’s strong odour to the fabric.
  • It was very easy to wrap and unwrap the items.  I am the worlds least fussy gift wrapper, and this product does it’s job even if you don’t make it look pretty.

I am really excited to stop using plastic to wrap our food, and feel really good that we’ve got a product here that we can use again and again…I’ve got peace of mind knowing it’s not going to harm the environment when we’re through using it.  In fact it will give back.  I’ll be ordering some large sheets in the very near future.

Many thanks to Abeego for creating such a thoughtful product!

If you’re interested in learning a little bit more about how much we use and waste as a society, please take a look at this really helpful video:

See if it doesn’t worry you…  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9GorqroigqM