I began 2023 with the goal of one photo post a month. January turned out to have far too many photos for one post, so this is actually the third post for the month. But at least I got it out by the end of February…


I started off the month with fireworks by the ocean after a nice Christmas break. But then I had to return to Melbourne and to the office.

January, with its long days, leaves plenty of opportunities for hiking and exploring after work, and I tried to take advantage of some of them. Sometimes it was walking near the office, sometimes near home, and sometimes by the Yarra. The weekends gave me the chance to get out and about in the Greater Melbourne region. Yes, it got too hot sometimes - but that just makes the evening the best time for walking.

Here, January also tends to bring talk of a “summer of sport”. In cricket my BBL team, the Melbourne Stars, achieved a richly deserved last place finish after falling apart far too frequently.

Melbourne also hosts the Australian Open, and this time round the biggest headline was probably Djokovic returning after the totally unnecessary drama of last year, then promptly winning his tenth Australian Open and in the process equaling Nadal’s record for most Slams. And I can admire that incredible dominance and the skill he shows while still wishing that someone, anyone, would be able to beat him.

At least the women’s tournament was a little more competitive. With Ash Barty retired there was no Australian winner there, but once again in in the Men’s Doubles an unseeded, all-Australian pair won. So that was something, I guess.

Music for the month

January was also when I watched the Daniel Craig James Bond films for the first time (they’re good!). But musically, it was the theme song for Spectre, Writing’s on the Wall that really grabbed me:

By the ocean

Let’s get the photos started with some ocean pictures:

Cheers! (Warrnambool)
The bay (Port Campbell)
The bridge (Port Campbell)
Such beautiful coastline (Loch Ard Gorge)
The view to the ocean (Warrnambool)
Admiring the crater walls (Tower Hill Game Reserve)

By the lake

What reflections... (Wantirna)
Race you! (Lysterfield Park)
Please do not swim to this seat! (Lysterfield Park)
On reflection, maybe we should keep the litter out of the lake? (Lysterfield Park)

A little art

The Magic Pudding! (Royal Botanical Gardens)
Serviceable art, needing only minor repairs (Hawthorn)

Alexandra Gardens in Kew has some nice statues:

Isn't that cute! 🐰 (Alexandra Gardens)
Over thirty years of service and they stick me by this pond (Alexandra Gardens)

January also included Chinese New Year festivities, and I couldn’t look past this artwork:

Happy New Year! 🐰(Box Hill)

A belated Happy Lunar New Year to all who celebrate it!

Some flowers

Rose (Government House)
Pink hydgrangeas (Government House)
More flowers (Hawthorn)

Out hiking

When out hiking, you can find all kinds of things about. It can be little details about the path you’re walking on:

The grass is definitely greener on this hike (Sugarloaf Reservoir)

Or the views you see:

View (Sugarloaf Reservoir)
The ferns (Ferntree Gully Picnic Ground)

There can be fog:

In the fog again (Pirianda Garden)

It might be a return to bear hunts past:

Looks like the bear hunt is back! 🦘 (Dandenong Ranges)

Or it might be something a little more unusual:

Sometimes you've just got to face it - living in the hills can be weird (Dandenong Ranges)

Such as returning to Kew Library:

That's handy! (Kew)

Before we moved office, this used to be the closest library branch to the office. I don’t get there often now, but that particular walking stick is always memorable.

Surface-based animals

January’s hikes wouldn’t have been complete without a few animal encounters. I’ve already shared birds, bees, and butterflies a-plenty, but here are a few land-based ones.

It was particularly interesting meeting a fox barely half an hour after seeing the warnings about fox traps in the area. I’ve never found foxes particularly willing to stop for a photo, but this one stuck round long enough. They don’t belong here in Australia - but they’re still beautiful and fun to see:

A fox at large! (Sugarloaf Reservoir)

And of course it wouldn’t be Australia without our fair share of those bouncy mammals we’re known for:

Look, it's a wallaby checking me out (Lysterfield Park)
Ready to depart, I think? (Lysterfield Park)
Kangaroos can be a bit less jumpy (Lysterfield Park)
Also less individualistic (Lysterfield Park)
Look at those antlers! 🦌 (Lysterfield Park)

Just a friendly reminder, though: I use a high-zoom compact camera. It would probably be unwise to stand as close to the animals as these photos look. And I’m pretty sure they would all have dashed off before you got that close anyway…

Aquatic animals

I don’t have the equipment to properly capture underwater animals (maybe one day…). But I do like being able to catch them when they stray near the surface:

Just below the surface... 🐟 (Sugarloaf Reservoir)
Just below the surface... 🐢 (Royal Botanical Gardens)

Affairs of state

Once again Government House - the largest residential building in Australia - was open for Australia Day. I got to shake hands with the Governor’s husband, and wander through the beautiful building and grounds. It even includes a genuine Conservatory:

The view from the Conservatory window (Government House)

Though I didn’t see any lead pipes, candlesticks, ropes, or the other normal accoutrements of such a space.

We also had the Roulettes performing for us again:

The Roulettes on display! ✈️ (Government House)

Disc golf

Mostly disc golf leaves me with more memories than photos - but I couldn’t go without sharing a photo of a classic scar tree from my favourite course in Melbourne:

A classic scar tree (Bald Hill Disc Golf Park)

Other photos from the month

There have been two earlier photo posts for January 2023:

I also wrote about beginning 2023 with a bang and shared a few sleepy koalas to start a new year.

Throwback photo: January 2022

Since I’d already used my koala photos from this year, I wanted to share a koala experience from the same place last year. Back then, I was up the top of the Tower Hill Peak Climb chatting with a friend when I heard a noise behind me. I looked round and there was a koala on the ground. Just looking at me:

Being watched (Tower Hill Game Reserve)

It stayed watching me for a while before walking off towards the crater.

As it happened, those experiences last year helped me finding koalas this year - though none of them were on the ground…

By the numbers

Days in month: 31
Days with photos: 30 (up 1)
Photos taken (camera): 7,714 (down 5,379)
Photos taken (mobile): 409 (up 349)
Photos remaining: 1,990 (down 6,978)
Photos included: 91 (up 91)
Days represented: 23 (up 23)
Sunrises: 0 (down 4)
Sunsets: 17 (down 2)
Moons: 7
Public holidays: 2


Soon I’ll have to be thinking about sharing February photos. But for now, hopefully you enjoyed those shots from an absolutely normal January (well, normal for me, anyway 😉).