We have just passed mid-winter's day this week and I thought I'd remind you about the other end of the year.

This photo of the beach was taken at the beginning of January. The next one was taken last Sunday.

We had strong southerly winds and the tide was high.

This is 'Bird rock' at the western end of the beach. It is about 4 metres high. In the summer people leap off the right-hand tip into the deep pool below.

Mid-winter's day was bright and sunny so Laurie and had a walk in the near by nature reserve, Iron Bark Basin. Notice that he is wearing thick gloves, in spite of the sunshine.

We were delighted to see this clump of Pink Heath, Epacris Impressathe floral emblem of the state of Victoria.

This is one of two carnivorous plants that grow locally. I think this is drosera peltata, subspecies auriculata. A tall-growing stem bears many round 'ear-like' disks with filaments that produce sticky 'sun dew' which is attractive to insects that become caught and then absorbed by the plant.

This rosette shaped form is possibly Drosera aberrans...

...which often grows in colonies.

And so to ikebana. On Monday I attended a Sogetsu workshop given by Emily Karanikolopoulos on the subject of techniques for working with umbrella grass, cyperus alternifolius, stems. I have this plant growing in the pond in the conservatory as it is 'semi-aquatic'. The stems are certainly useful in ikebana when straight lines and interesting angles are desired. 

Emily showed us how to wire the stems to keep them together to make a surface out of parallel lines. It was a slow process and the vase I had at the time was too big for the triangular structure I had made.

I therefore re-assembled and finished off the arrangement at home, after the workshop. Here is how it looked in a compote-style ikebana vase with the addition of two iris flowers.

More photos are to be seen at Emily's Umbrella Grass workshop.

Greetings from Christopher
23rd June 2018

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