Dragonflies can see it ALL

They have Super Sights

Mating dragonflies on water. Watercolour and inks on paper. J.Leahy. 2012

Dragonflies are loved by most humans. They are very fast, roam free, and live for a short time. They make the most of their lives; something we humans are not often known for. I absolutely love the insect myself. I have done numerous studies (as in art form) on dragonflies, and in the process of researching dragonflies, found a lot of interesting information about them. They are said to be lucky omens in some cultures. I wanted to share this story from Andrew Handley about dragonflies, although, his article implies the insect is monstrous. See the YouTube video for more insight into their habits.

They’re Efficient Hunters


That example did serve a purpose though—dragonflies are incredibly efficient at what they do, bringing in close to 95 percent of the prey they set out to capture. For comparison, sharks, one of nature’s fiercest predators, only manage to catch about half of the prey they hunt. Lions, the shark of the land, are lucky to get their claws on a quarter of their targets. See, even lions don’t calculate to intercept—they chase, zigzagging through the savanna in response to the movement of their prey. If dragonflies were large enough to eat gazelle, lions would be starved into extinction through sheer inefficiency.When a dragonfly sets its sights on a target, it will almost always end up with a meal. 


The dynamics of capturing an object in mid-air are staggeringly complex, so much so that it’s usually something that’s only done by animals with complex nervous systems, like seagulls, or humans. To intercept something moving with its own velocity, you have to be able to predict where it will be in the future. When researchers began studying dragonflies in 1999, they found that rather than “track” their prey—follow it through the air until they caught up with it—they would actually intercept it. In other words, dragonflies ensure a kill by flying to where their prey is going to be. That indicates that dragonflies calculate three things during a hunt: the distance of their prey, the direction it’s moving, and the speed it’s flying. In the space of milliseconds, the dragonfly calculates its angle of approach and, like a horror movie monster, it’s already waiting while the hapless fly stumbles right into its clutches.

Read more from the link below: http://listverse.com/2013/04/18/10-surprisingly-brutal-facts-about-dragonflies/

One Lovely Blog Award



Blogging is isolated and lonely. I am not writing in a newsroom where I can see writers and editors bustling in a typical newsroom I knew.  In a newsroom, I could discuss my story with an editor or another fellow writer, or work with a photographer.  In this blogger-world sometimes I feel, I am alone. I am reaching out to someone, somewhere, whom my story may appeal to. My story is like fresh bait on a hook, dropped in the middle of the deep, dark ocean.  I want the right fish to bite the hook, not any fish. So, the ‘bait’ has to be right. But how do I know if the bait is right? As writers, we don’t. Well I don’t, not 100 per cent anyway. Unless, we get feedback, research data and see some kind of recognition, we really don’t know if what we write is appreciated.

When my site-visit numbers were increasing recently, there were very few comments and ‘likes’ on each post. I have to admit, I felt doubt. I wondered why I would have many people visit my blog each day, and not interact. I would visit the few writers that “liked’ my post and be astounded by how many followers and hits they have had. I searched through their contents. What makes this blog great?, I asked myself. Some blogs were interesting and it made sense as to why they would have such an audience.  Others did not make sense at all – they were just popular. Like everything else, it really does not matter what you write and how you write it. That ‘bait’ will catch the reader that was meant for it. You have to catch your own niche market. I learnt, and told myself only to worry about my next story.

In the background, I did do some content research, adjusted my theme, and the layout. I took a course on content and UX with Open University and shortened my posts. (This post will not be one of those short ones). I kept on writing; refusing to use popular social networks to get my readers – or lure people who knew me. I covered most topics I loved and cared about. The risk was, that I could lose readers because of the varied topics. I borrowed some hints from Opinionated Man. Jason could scratch himself and blog it to get 400 “likes”. He was always true to himself. I enjoyed his narrative posts the most. I kept writing about the things I loved or believed in. It is real. So, my readership doubled in a month. And, somewhere in that increased number, someone connected with my content. My bait was taken.

I won’t call her the right bait but a friend.

On November 2, a stranger appeared on my blog. She was wearing a China-red dress/top, armed with a natural straw hat with a black band that mysteriously and securely hid her face. I saw this picture after I received the first message from WordPress. It said: “millithom liked your post”.  I have had other “likes’ before so I paid no notice. I thought I would follow-up and view each respond when I had time in the evening. Then there was another ‘like” and another, by the same person. I immediately visited millithom’s blog and was very impressed with what she wrote. I learnt a lot from her. As an aspiring author myself, I was impressed with her book posts on writing in general and helpful advise on publishing. I was really grateful that she could relate to my post and COMMENT! On that same day, after the fourth “like”, millithom was hooked, I think. I say that with no malice. I got a notification that she started “following” me. It was the kind of ‘stalking’ that every blogger loves. The baited hook was taken by that fish. Each day since, this woman I have never seen her face except in an old photo, warmly responds to all my posts. She also writes very encouraging and heart-felt comments. For me and any writer or any blogger who is starting and ‘afraid’, we all need a millithom to put that hope into our doubting minds. I have mine. I also have L.T.Garvin, Poetheart! and Seafarrwide. There is a kind of sisterblog-hood going.

Thank you Millie Thom, blogger, author (Shadow of the Raven), with a gorgeous heart for nominating me for this award. It means a lot to me. I will continue to strive to keep the content of Tribalmystic blog interesting. Thank you Millie, my followers, and returned readers and I would appreciate any feedback to improve this blog. I also appreciate the quiet ones. Your silence and presence are both appreciated and acknowledged.

Wine women and watercolours 264
Self-portrait. JLeahy, Acrylics & Inks on canvas. 2012.

Seven Lovely Things…

As requested by the conditions of this award, I have to tell you seven “lovely” things about me. Ahhhumm.. (I asked my sons and my colleague today) and they made some comments I shall not repeat; so I have to do this task the best I can.

1. I am a queen of surprises. (I am that confident). Even after all these years, I can still surprise my sons in their ‘older age’, family members and friends. I love the intrigue. I love mysteries. I love how happy I make them.

  1. When I was growing up, the children in my village used to call me a spirit. I was lighter skinned but had tanned from hours in the sun. I had straight hair which was blonde from swimming in the sea every day. All that time, I thought I was black. The children kept telling me, I was white. I think it is lovely to be both.

  2.  I easily make friends with strangers and people from all walks of life. I could connect and have a deep conversation with a stranger, that I had just met. It scares my children.

  3. I love nature.  The Ocean, forest, and all life forms. I believe that Earth is in danger. We should all be seriously concerned about what is happening in climate change and each make a commitment to do something about it.

  4. I am who I am because I am the thread that runs in the fabric created by my mother,  grandmother and my people.

  5. I love stories – telling and hearing.

7. I make art from anything..but I love drawing with  pencil and watercolours.

Pencil - Meri Karim Pikinini
Pencil on paper. “Meri Karim Pikinini” JLeahy. 2014


Nominate other blogs I read and like:

1. Millie Thom

2. Seafarrwide

3. MyTwoSentence

  1. Poetheart! 

  2. Notes From An Alien

6. L.T.Garvin 

7. Vera Komnig

  1. Life in Russia

  2. HiMe

  3. When Women Inspire

plus more………




Cool Stuff – Female torsos made from re-cycled materials


This collection of Columbian artist Federico Uribe’s work may be classified more as a “hot stuff” as well as a cool one. Federico is one of my favourite artists in the world. He is known for his great paintings and other art forms but I chose this collection for “Cool Stuff”. How exquisite is this collection, giving life back into discarded day to day materials?

Federico Uribe

Crafting human form in recycled objects defines Federico’s salvaging act of rediscovering use in things abandoned. Uribe randomly selects material raging from keyboards, coins, locks, dominoes, padlocks, paperclips, plastic fruits etc to transform them into beautifully shaped female torsos with enticing sensual presence.


 Art in recycling

The magical pieces of art imbued with great aesthetics assert usefulness in objects discarded. His creative assemblage affirms recycling to save our environment by realizing useful permanence in what had had been sidestepped as throw away.





More on this amazing artist’s work on this blog soon.

When you write, who will you hurt?

Photo: Greg Broom

That was the question of our discussion in creative writing workshop tonight.  My friend Bill Heather is an architect. He is also a writer in my creative writing workshop group. The group is tutored by Isabel D’Avila Winter, a published author. Pamela Jeffs, another writer-friend suggested that I should blog this discussion and my own response, to help writers who are planning to write autobiographies and memoirs or fiction based on real life stories.  I begin with Bill’s email to me and others in our group.

Bill Heather: Hello all you aspiring and proven writers,

  • Is there a limit to what you can mine from your own life experiences for a story?
  • Are authors of autobiographical fiction or memoir at risk of alienating their family and friends in their search for that elusive storyline?
  • Is ruthlessness in search of your best fiction a necessary attribute of a writer?
  • Would you publish a story if it could destroy the marriage of your closest friend?

There are good questions to ponder as we head towards the end of another year, and ones which are addressed in the attached article from the November 2014 issue of the Monthly. Link at the end of my response to Bill.

Omar Momani: Ferguson’s pen mightier than the sword 

My Response to Bill: Dear Bill and friends,

Thank you Bill. I found the article very interesting and very true. The most safe writing would be fiction.

The pen does ‘cut’ deeper than the sword.

Source: http://typem4murder.blogspot.com.au/2013/09/undeniable-proof-that-pen-is-mightier.html


In my Memoir writing, I question everything I write. I know there will be a lot of ‘hurt’ of others as well as my own. I have created pain in many stories I read in our evening workshop. For example, if I had told my mother the old uncle rubbed my sore leg the ‘wrong way’ I think there would have been some serious charges or bloodshed in my family. The man is dead now but if I spoke about it now – what could happen? I don’t know. I also spoke to my mother and step brother about some stories I have written so far, and we discussed them. These stories were all painful…my stepbrother is my late step father’s son. But my step brother is my best friend – we are very close.

So my point is, as often as I do, I ask, should I just change my memoir to fiction and pretend it is not me or get my ‘freedom to express’ in fiction? Perhaps some stories could be written differently, safely..? Those and others are questions I ask myself all the time. 75% of what I have written, I don’t bring it to our workshop, I am scared to. Sometimes, I write the whole thing and then delete it.
Every now and then, I write fiction for the class exercises, because, this gives me the freedom to write freely without guilt, pain, horror and more. I totally lose myself in the ‘fake’ when I write fiction.
I deal with my writing the truth ‘problem’ this way; I write about me, the events, people and places and things that affect me. I write it all, then I decide what I can manage to live with, and I keep that story. I tell myself, ‘stop thinking about everyone else’. I just write ‘my’ story. I can always pull out what I think is too much at the end of the day. The final choice is mine, and I have to live with it.

I hope that makes sense.



Click here to read the article by Ceridwen Dovey : Monthly 11.14 pp42-45


Second Part – Nathan’s story (fiction)

Warning: This may offend. Descriptions and events in the part two of Nathan’s story are not from my imagination but my son’s. As a sequel and at readers’ request, I asked Nathan’s permission to publish this story. He told me I could if I don’t edit it. The story is yet to be titled.

Part One: https://tribalmystic.me/2014/11/16/the-gift-from-god/


Part Two:

They drove through the crowded city. Eventually Jack and Prince Toban arrived at the arena, a colossal bio-dome located in the middle of the Sahara. They were quickly blindfolded and separated. Later, Jack found himself in small, cylindrical cell with an open ceiling. The exit was only just out of reach, but the tree lines were visible nearby, as was a huge LCD screen in place of the sky – in case it wasn’t already obvious I’m doing a Hunger Games thing with this, so just picture THAT and pretend I described it really well instead, and that it was an original idea that I thought up.

A man’s face appeared on the screen/sky. He had piercing blue eyes, which would be quite dazzling if they weren’t detracted from by the octopus shape the man’s facial hair and been shaved and sculpted into, (which is supposedly how everyone is going to look in the future, but whatever). The commentator who literally could not be taken seriously began to explain the gravity of the situation. The last man standing would earn food and prosperity for their district. That mean would go free. After an extremely long countdown (in case everyone forgot, it went for 50 seconds in the movie, which was slightly excessive) the cells were dropped and all hell broke loose as the various gladiators raced to the centre of the arena to arm themselves.

Jack glanced away from where he was going for a brief second, and when he looked back he was being stared down by a sexy older woman who lived near him.  She was more eager to survive than she was to mingle. She slowly raised a bat above her head and…very weakly brought it down, feebly attempting to club her sunset haired opponent. I forgot to specify, she was at least 80, it was honestly quite upsetting to witness. Thankfully (I guess), the assault didn’t last for long. Out of nowhere, she was cleaved in half by a man hated by personal trainers everywhere, who understood the secret to building muscle FAST. Time slowed as the elderly woman’s torso slid free from her lower half; I know that’s kind of horrifying , but she was super old, it wasn’t much of a loss. Have some perspective people.

As the juiced up superhuman before him roared in response to his muscular eyes being splashed with geriatric viscera, our charming protagonist made the (probably very wise) decision to piss off into the woods and wait for the majority of fighting to blow over. Jack climbed a tree and waited, bravely sitting around doing nothing in particular as he counted the cannons firing off, marking the deaths of his fellow competitors. The count had been reduced to Jack and two others when he finally dozed off from exhaustion. He awoke to a shaking coming from the base of the tree; it was the steady chopping of a man attempting to cut down Jack’s hiding pla- I mean…strategic watch post. Taking a closer look at his assailant, Jack recognised him as a three-legged penis enlargement specialist, evident by the-…you know what? I’m not going to describe his dick bulge. These things tend to get away from me but that’s where I’m going to draw the line. Jack had almost no time to act, and even fewer options, or so he thought. That was, until, his eyes focused not on the man inconveniently dressed in track suit pants, but rather on the beach ball of a wasp nest attached to the tree several branches lower. The fire-bearded protagonist grasped one of the spears he had fashioned, and hurled it at the hive.  Something completely unexpected but necessary for me to try sum this up happened.

The spear ricocheted and was flung into the bushes, which gave an angry snarl in response. See, there were several genetically modified creatures in the stadium to keep the contestants on their toes, and due to a lapse of good fortune they had stumbled upon the most fearsome one. Quietly at first, but slowly building until the terrible cacophony of the creature’s guttural roar and insidious hissing in a cruel quartet followed a creature that could only be described as a thing that should-not-be out into the clearing. Standing before them was a colossal two-headed grizzly bear. It’s body was covered in mange and scar tissue, everywhere that is, until it’s shoulders, which slowly cleared into scales along the lengths of it’s arms and inevitably ending with venomous snake heads. Now THAT’S a fucking monster; remember what it was in the movies? Big-ish dogs. My two-headed bear thing took all of 30 seconds to think up. In short, Suzanne Collins is a hack. Anyway, the creature swung at Jack’s would-be opponent. He dodged, but the hissing snake arm smashed clean through the trunk of tree our champion was perched on. Jack boldly leaped, and elegantly crashed through close to every branch of a neighbouring tree, cleverly allowing his hardy legs and ribcage to absorb the brunt of the force. After lifting himself back up, he shot into the thick of the woods with his fellow prey, hoping the vegetation would slow the creature down. Unfortunately it maintained its pursuit with ease, tearing down trees as though they were tissue paper, gnashing all 4 sets of its teeth voraciously the entire while. The pair of contestants burst from the tree line, back into the central arena they began in, and sped their way back to the cornucopia shaped armoury.

They darted into cover, and for the sake of plot convenience, found Toban holed up inside. Their nightmarish pursuer’s many faces clashed up against their shelter’s opening. The trio took this brief moment to make some light small talk, before unanimously deciding to team up in order to survive the snake-bear-bear-snake hybrid. Clouds rolled in and drizzle began to spit as they launched their assault on the monster. Closely chasing an arrow fired into one of the beast’s eyes, the three killed it. Not right away of course, there was a huge, dramatic fight. The thing about that is, describing fight scenes in text is hard to do, and tends to be very, VERY tedious. How many ways can you think of to say “X” hit “Y” with “Z” (or the controversial flip of “X” tried, but missed “Z”)? What’s that? Not many? Yeah, exactly. I’d probably end up being forced to repeat words or phrases, then just get disappointed in myself. I refuse to do that, and will instead promise that a fight between a twin-headed grizzly with snake arms, a Nigerian prince, a guy with a massive penis and Jack Buffington was pretty neat. After administering the killing blow, Toban turned around to face Jack, smiling, until all expression was removed from his face. He coughed, his lungs full of blood, and collapsed to the ground. Standing above Toben’s body trying to retrieve his axe was the final competitor.

Jack flew into a rage, and then the two fought for a while. We have just hit the previous issue again, and it’s a bummer because the mood of this fight would have been way cooler. The really angry protagonist fighting the bad guy in the rain on top of a building is always a really cool scene. So yeah, Jack punched the huge-dick-guy, the huge-dick-guy punched Jack. There were occasional kicks too, but mostly punching. Very dramatic. Eventually, Jack’s opponent slipped and fell onto his back. Our leading man capitalised on this vulnerability by planting his weight on top of him and bearing down on the man. It was sort of uncomfortable at first due to the bulge, but the severity of the beat-down only increased. Soon, the last opponent lay broken. He spat out a broken tooth, and grinned. “Go on, kill me” he growled, “Finish this!! Kill me like I killed your friend!!!” to which, a startled Jack said “What? Toban wasn’t my friend, he pulled me into this gladiator bullshit and nearly got me killed. The guy was a jerk”. He paused, dumbfounded at how absorbed in this contest everyone seemed to be “And I’m not going to kill you, I am completely sure, that legally would count as murder”. So our Hero and his temporary, bitter rival just kind of casually hung out until officials of the games realised they didn’t plan on doing anything. The keeper of the secrets of penis enlargement (who I clearly never thought to name) admitted defeat, and so Jack was named the victor. Well, due to a technicality in Jack’s team assignment, food and prosperity was awarded to Toben’s homeland of continental Africa. Our hero didn’t go home empty-handed however. As thanks for his show of mercy, Jack’s rival took him to his homeland to teach him their age-old secrets. And so ends the story of how, by a single act of kindness, Jack Buffington ended nearly all poverty in a country, and was crowned.


The Gift From God

Nathan Harris


Happy Birthday to my older son Nathan. We called him Nathan, as the biblical meaning, the gift from God. Today, Nathan turned 19.  Our family celebrates Nathan for many things and one of them is reading and writing. Nathan loves story-telling.

Recently, Nathan started an adventure story on Facebook for all his friends’ birthdays. In this story, he weaves his friends (as characters) into the stories, based on the theme he chooses to fit that friend’s personality.

When his brother and I took him to lunch today to celebrate, Nathan mentioned in disappointment that none of his friends even wrote a paragraph about his birthday on Facebook. I laughed. I told him, it did not matter, and he must understand, his friends are not writers like he is.  Writing may not be their thing, and his friends love him anyway.

I wanted to highlight a few things about Nathan.

  • He was born with a strawberry patch on his stomach which his father and I fought over because we thought one or the other accidentally hurt Nathan’s skin. (I thought he did it. He thought I did it). The mark appeared suddenly then disappeared as he grew older.
  • Nathan had a split tonsillitis and the paediatrician said Nathan would have difficulty speaking – that never happened.
  • Before he turned three, he wanted to go to school so badly I took Nathan to a friend’s school. On that first day, Nathan ran out of the car into the school without saying goodbye or a cuddle. I found myself crying in the car while watching my son run to his first class.
  • Nathan fell off our verandah (about three metres high) at five-years-old, and nearly cracked his skull. When he came to, on the way to the hospital, my then three-year-old apologised to me for falling. He survived the fall; got all clear and doctors thought it was amazing.
  • When he was seven, Nathan gave a speech about The Importance Of Family in front of 500 people in a United Nation’s gathering; not knowing, a few months later his father and I would separate.
  • At the same age, he corrected text books and his teachers said, it would be too hard to teach him as he got older.
  • We migrated from PNG to Australia in July 2004. Nathan exceeded all expectations, and represented the school in Mathematics and other problems-solving tournaments. He continued to excel in learning.
  • He is currently studying Bio-Med in University of Queensland.

A piece of writing from Nathan’s Facebook posts on his friend Jack’s birthday. (Fiction)

Jack fell out of bed, with all the grace of a bear emerging from hibernation. From memory, he’d set his alarm to 7, even though it was clearly closer to midday. Glancing around, he found his phone had its back cover removed and the battery thrown across the room. Smirking at his own genius aversion to early starts, he gathered the various contents and reassembled his mobile as he approached the kitchen. As Jack fearlessly prepared bacon for his morning sustenance, he realised too late how unwise it was to cook bacon before putting on more than underwear. He recoiled after being struck by a cruel splatter burn, and his phone came dislodged from his waistband. Upon retrieving it, he noticed he’d received a rather mysterious email.

The sender was a mysterious prince called Toban, from a foreign land.  A royal in his homeland of Nigeria, Toban’s way of life was in grave danger. The prince requested urgent help, and pleaded to any whom it may concern to transfer the prince some money. These funds were to assist Toban to help Jack travel to his kingdom to combat ‘the thing’ that threatened his livelihood. Jack looked puzzled; he understood a great deal about being cautious, especially with respects to strangers on the internet. he heard about scammers. However, although the email was cryptic, and explained literally nothing, Jack thought, Toban seemed to be in genuine need. Jack righteously decided that $2000 was a small amount to pay to help a kindly stranger.

Naturally, literally everyone Jack mentioned this to were 100% convinced our hero had been repeatedly dropped as a child, but he remained strong. Days became weeks, and weeks became months. Even in the face of friends questioning how many vaccinations he had at the same time, or inquiring about his childhood consumption of lead paint chips (colloquially referred to as “Wall Candy”), Jack braved them all. These people did not know Toban like he did, the brief, one-sided, 53 word exchange had brought them together. Despite this, Jack’s hope was dwindling. He was close to broken before he finally received a positive sign, in the form of a one way ticket to Nigeria from Prince Toban. He boarded the flight.

“Mr Buffington, over here Mr Buffington!!” a stout black man called across the airport when Jack cleared customs.

Ignoring completely how this man knew what he looked like, because I checked and that would need about 150 more words, Jack and Prince Toban made their way home as Toban explained his current dilemma. Firstly, he vehemently refuted the label of “internet scammer”.

“Every dubious website and questionable email that passes the average person by is completely real”, Toban said.

Annually, he told Jack,  the powers that be gathered two members of every faction of publicly labelled ‘Internet Scammer’ and forces them to fight to the death in a fierce battle royale, in order to keep them docile and to entertain the public.

Jack realised, Toban was the strongest of all the Nigerian princes, but his people had become weak and feeble. Due to shifting ideals, no one was sending them the money they needed to survive.

To Be Continued..(If I could get Nathan’s permission)


Send An Appeal To Free An Imprisoned Writer

Thank you Notes From The Aliens for sharing this powerful story with us to commemorate PEN and The Day of Imprisoned Writers, November 15.

Notes from An Alien

Today is The Day of The Imprisoned Writer

Day of The Imprisoned Writer Image from PEN International

“Each year PEN Centres and members worldwide commemorate the Day of the Imprisoned Writer to raise awareness of the unjust imprisonment and other forms of attack against writers around the globe, to remember those who have been killed, and stand in solidarity with imprisoned and threatened colleagues. – See more here.”

“In order to demonstrate how freedom of expression is being curtailed, each year PEN’s Writers in Prison Committee highlight five cases of writers currently in prison or being prosecuted from around the world that are emblematic of the type of threats and attacks faced by writers and journalists.

“This year PEN is highlighting the cases of five writers from Cameroon, China, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, and Paraguayandcalls for their immediate and unconditional release and for the charges against them to be dropped, along with…

View original post 312 more words

The Story Behind The Picture

My Life With Cameras

I love most art forms. To show and tell a story, I have often wondered if film and photography are the art form that truly capture the essence of a story. As a story-teller, I often ‘cheat’ by throwing in an image to complete the imagery ‘in’ my story. I see many bloggers use images this way, and it is great. As you are reading my stories, I want you to see and visualise the events, emotions, and actions with me. We are in the story together. Now, imagine if we did not have pictures; how could we, story-tellers, tell a story? I know how hard it is to describe a scene, simply. How many words and sentences do we need to describe every picture, and every scene we wish to create in our readers’ minds?

Between 1980-2000, in my news print days, I carried a Nikon FE2 with me in PNG. I must admit, I was in-love with this camera.  It took two decades of pictures with me. These pictures hit front newspaper pages and glossed magazines. I entered and won competitions. I could not have been a true journalist without it. Being a photojournalist, assisted by FE2, we took stories to another level.

Sadly, I do not use this camera anymore. Apart from losing the mirrors inside the FE2’s body to some hungry mould, I paid over $AUD600 for repair, and never got the mould completely removed. The mould began feeding and grew again. I still have the FE2 with me because we have too many memories together. I cannot use it, and I cannot bare the thought of losing it.

These days, everything has moved to digital. Over the years, trying to save money for a new ‘real’ camera has not been successful. Family, mortgage and many other urgencies always top the priority list. Without a good camera, I often wonder how many great shots I have missed in so many years. I stare for hours at photographs and  pin them on Pinterest and the net. I wonder how I could have taken these pictures differently; using light, better angle or simply, showing the object better. Fellow blogger/photographers, you know I am checking your pictures out, and I am looking at your pictures in awe and with some jealousy.  This is envy that is not evil but respectful.  A somewhat sad feeling about how much I have missed in my photography. I have long resigned to the fact that –that’s life!

Going Digital

Tami Is Research photos 061
In-coming tide on Tami Island, Lae, Morobe Province, PNG. Picture JLeahy. 2008

I still take pictures with the phone, and small digital cameras. A few years ago, I had a digital pocket sized Nikon I bought from a Cash Converters store. It accompanied me conveniently for its size. The FE2, and its lenses was sometimes hard to lug about.  After doing some solid photographic work, the little camera’s bottom broke. There is a pin inside the battery cage which broke and the camera batteries would protrude out and lose power.  So, I taped the bottom and kept using the camera.  When a moment presented itself, the photographer would need to press harder on the tape to keep the batteries in and take the shot. Only I used it expertly. It was hard work instructing others to handle the little camera in her special needs. If less pressure was applied, the camera did not work. Sounds like a joke right? The camera worked most times and I was proud of it.

The Right Equipment

Anyway, the point I am making is that, when and if you have a great equipment for your work or even artwork – everything flows beautifully. Just imagine when you don’t and the moment presents itself. In 2008, I was on Tami Island, Papua New Guinea doing my field research into how climate change affected intangible cultures.

I travelled with my mother and my broken-bottom pocket Nikon. The bottom was taped and, we went to a place at least a few hours in up the coast, in a boat, so there was no such thing as batteries nor camera shops.

I took several photos with the bad-bottom camera, and one picture has become a favourite. I had to mention this picture because, it is not only I that thinks it a wonderful picture, but strangers have complimented the photo, hundreds of times. I posted this picture on About Me, on my Page and each day, I can get numerous compliments and comments about this picture.

The Story of This Picture

Tami Is Research photos 056-2
Morning light on Awaho flowers, Tami Island, Lae, PNG. Picture, JLeahy. 2008

In the days my mother and I stayed on Wanem Island, we would wake in the morning to crisp breezes, beautiful skies and chatters of seagulls and other birds flying by, searching for food. The village was a separated by trees and coconuts. The only sound was the soft waves,  gently slapping the sandy beach. At least three metres in, from the water’s edge, the beach was lined with various soft and hardwood natives, and one we call the Awaho. This tree has many uses. Its timber is used for building, the leaves for cooking food in, and the bark for making clothing, as well as ropes. At the end of its life, the Awaho wood is a very good firewood.

Each morning, before we woke, the Awaho trees would start dropping their flowers on the hardened, cleaned sand, left by the receding low-tide. The flowers would be placed randomly but precisely, so it did not clutter. These droppings ravished the beach with these delicate burnt orange flowers with deep carmine centres. From each of the rich red-wine centre protruded a pale feathery, sticky pale stem with a red tip. Seeing the flowers on that beach for the first time, I thought someone had laid the flowers out. By the end of the day, before the flowers have completely wilted, the tide would come in, and sweep the flowers away before the shadows melted into darkness. If you swam at night, you would see the flower floating amongst the flotsam. In the morning, the white beach would be cleaned and ready. Once again,  the Awaho’s bouquets would arrive, and scattered across the white sandy beach. The cycle began all over, a picture and a moment of Mother Nature’s artwork. I would have never captured this images without the broken-bottom pocket Nikon.



‘Nudis’ of Papua New Guinea

http://vimeo.com/108538174 I like to think of nudibranchs as one of Mother Nature’s most exquisite work of art, a living installation, and a touring exhibition if you like. For those who have seen Dustin Adamson’s work I posted here weeks ago, here is another. It is in such beauty and unique attribute in Papua New Guinea’s rich culture, heritage, and the natural environment that makes me proud to be a Papua New Guinean. The nudibranchs are generally small, a bit like a traditional slug. But these slugs are much more interesting than the ones you find in the garden as Adamson shows in another beautiful short film. The different shapes, colors, and sizes make each species of nudibranchs unique and mesmerizing. Dustin said that hopefully the up close and personal pictures can give us an appreciation for the true beauty of the ‘nudis’. All Underwater Video Copyright © Dustin Adamson/Oceanshutter.com. All Rights Reserved

G20 Brisbane, Australia

“I’m calling for the Indonesian president to look into the genocide in West Papua and stop only looking at the economic profits – and address the impact mining companies are having.” West Papuan independence advocate Ronny Kareni “I think the most important thing is education and then health care, and then infrastructure. If we can deliver the education program and health program, I’m sure the political tension will drop.” Indonesian president Joko Widodo speaking about the province of West Papua.

World leaders have been arriving in Brisbane, our city, today. Others have already arrived, ahead of the G20 meeting. We have a public holiday today. My son made me some melon and Vodka cocktails, just to ease the heat of the day and tension. Ok, that’s an excuse, but I have not had vodka cocktails since my Uni days. It was such a refreshing drink, I had to have one more.

Some of the hottest conditions on record are expected in parts of Queensland over the next few days with many Brisbane residents heading to the beach to take advantage of today’s G20 public holiday.

Heavy traffic has been reported along the M1, the main highway from Brisbane to the Gold Coast, as people flock to the beach for the long weekend – an exodus that began on Thursday afternoon.

Three women went head to toe in green body paint to send a message to world leaders at the G20 on behalf of PETA. ABC News: Patrick Williams

World leaders arriving in Brisbane for the G20 leaders’ summit will have to contend with very hot weather conditions, with the city predicted to hit 32 degrees Celsius today, 35 on Saturday and 39 degrees on Sunday.

Brisbane’s Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said all of the city’s hotels in our city were fully booked, and those as far west as Toowoomba.

Meanwhile Gold Coast Tourism spokesman Ben Pole said occupancy rates were high across the city, as thousands of Brisbane residents flock to the region.

Two days earlier, helicopters and planes crowded our airspace, in deafening security exercises to protect our visitors. Brisbane is a great city and I hope that everything will go well with the G20 meeting.

I have yet find any Climate Action protesting groups, but I will keep looking.

Here are other G20 pictures from ABC.