In the garden last week I was very surprised to see this lovely little ring-tailed possum in one of the trees. I have never seen one in our garden in daylight before. Possums are nocturnal, so I suspect this one was disturbed by some of the very noisy, larger birds that were in the garden at the time. 

It did not flee when I went and got my camera...

...however, I think it was being quite wary...

...and wanted to know what I was doing. Here is a link to a YouTube video of a possum feeding in someone's backyard.

A day or two later Laurie told me there was an Ibis in the garden. I took this photo from the bathroom window. What fabulous colours in the feathers on its back and tail. (18/6/2017 Addendum. This is a Straw-necked Ibis. It is not as common in this area as the White Ibis.)

These shades of blue had a wonderful iridescence.  Now, who would have thought this photo provides a link to ikebana?

This week I set my students the challenge of two exercises from the Sogetsu curriculum to be combined in the one ikebana work. The first exercise, relating to the photo above, was to make an arrangement with colours 'In the same tonal range'. This means using colours that would be closely adjacent on a colour wheel, or even shades of the one colour as the dominant aspect of the material. In this exercise the colour of leaves and stems are different they need to secondary to the main colour.

The second exercise was to pay attention to the 'space' within the arrangement.

Val has used various shades of pink from a deep colour through to the orangey pink of her geranium flowers.

Kim has used closely matched the tawny tones of his orchids with the pale yellow of his tortuous willow.

Christine created an arrangement using two kenzans in the kabu wake style, that is, using two or more kenzans. Her two columns of closely related pinks emphasise the central space.

In a second work she has used blues and mauves arching over the water surface in her suiban.

Ellie used vibrantly coloured materials in the warm yellow-orange-red range and carefully inverted one branch to create the space to the left of the main vertical line.

In this second work she has used warm velvety tones of her branches, a brown amaranthus caudatus and banksia helianthus.

Alana used red-tipped leucodendron, red tinged gum-nuts and some unidentified red berries. They have teamed well with her maroon vase.

In her second example she used Hakea Laurina, the red tinged gum-nuts and red tipped leucodendron.

Greetings from Christopher
17th June 2017

1 comment:

  1. I always love seeing the interesting animals you have in Australia. The ring tail possum is cute, especially the one in the youtube video. Your ibis are much prettier than the white ones I see in Florida. This year I pulled into my driveway and had just started to open the car door when a flock landed in my yard all around the car. I didn't want to scare them away so sat quietly with my car door opened a bit while they rooted around for bugs and got to hear all the noises they make while eating, sort of a honking sound. As soon as I made a slight movement they flew away.