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:
By the lake
A little art
Alexandra Gardens in Kew has some nice statues:
January also included Chinese New Year festivities, and I couldn’t look past this artwork:
A belated Happy Lunar New Year to all who celebrate it!
When out hiking, you can find all kinds of things about. It can be little details about the path you’re walking on:
Or the views you see:
There can be fog:
It might be a return to bear hunts past:
Or it might be something a little more unusual:
Such as returning to Kew Library:
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.
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:
And of course it wouldn’t be Australia without our fair share of those bouncy mammals we’re known for:
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…
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:
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:
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:
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:
Other photos from the month
There have been two earlier photo posts for January 2023:
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:
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)
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 😉).