– An Ode to Skywhale…









You flew through our skies so beautifully..

You performed your duties so.. dutifully..

You were admonished by many, so… brutally…



In our airspace, you were so graceful..

Although some found your “assets” distasteful..

(Though It’s true – more than a handful is wasteful!!)



Though so many were keen to scold you…

No earthly bounds could hold you…

There’s so much I wish I could have told you!!



Though some say your cost was quite wasteful

Please return to us – and make it… haste-ful!!”

Because life without you is oh so dull!



My gorgeous, floating Leviathan

Will we ever see you again?

Oh, how will we ever cope with all of this pain?

Skywhale… Oh, my dear, sweet Skywhale…



– A Truly “Sweet” Morning’s Work (and the mystery of my “calling” almost resolved!)

It was my usual rush job to get out to Conder yesterday morning (Conder’s a suburb in the ACT’s deep south) where I was scheduled to take photos of @honey_delight checking on one of the hives she has installed that makes up a part of her Canberra Urban Honey project.  1

It’s a wonderful project, and an ever increasing number of Canberrans, and no doubt other Australians are finding out more and more about what’s involved in this activity.

Basically, the project has, as a very simple goal – to increase the number of bees in the Canberra area. The system by which this goal will be achieved is by plonking bee hives all around suburban properties here in the ACT!

To find out more, you can visit http://www.canberraurbanhoney.com.au/about-us/.

Anyway. I got to the location pretty much on time.

Carmen (aka @honey_delight) started off by firing up her smoke machine which, as most people know is used to calm the bees, usually before honey is extracted from a hive.

Carmen’s aim today was mostly to check on the hive out at Conder, to make sure that the bees contained therein were in good condition and that the hive’s Queen was well and respondent.

Carmen was very pleasantly surprised to find that the hive was travelling along brilliantly which was evidenced  by the presence of at least one of the hive’s honeycombs being chokkers full of honey!!

Brilliant!! This meant that the hive’s Queen was still very much alive and kicking, and that conditions  still very comfortable for the hive’s many, many inhabitants!

After quickly re-firing the smoke machine (using a very secret blend of at least 11 secret herbs, leaves and spices!), Carmen opened up the bottom box of the hive which contained its glorious Queen!!!


As she pulled out the Comb which contained the hives Regal helm, I was very impressed with how calm all the loyal subjects remained under what might otherwise have been very engaging `conditions.

In a rare circumstance,  Canberra’s colder climate has a beneficial effect on something!

Indeed, with the temperature hovering around the 15 degree mark, the occupants of the hive living near the Queen (most prone to agitation apparently) remained in a very calm and sedate condition!

Yay for me! More yay for our bee keeper whose flowing locks were all to use to being entangled with her beloved gold and brown pets!

No Bee helmet needed for anyone – photographers and keepers (and hosts) alike!!

And the deed was done!

Hive producing sweet golden honey?  – Check!!

Queen present and accounted for?? (Very important in the bee world!!) – Check!!

Loyal subjects in good order and, having fulfilled their warmer month expectations, all set for a winter’s bunkering down?? – Check!!

Photographer, bee keeper and hive host sting free?? – Double check!! (and double #woot!!! )

So what a lovely morning!! My only disappointment was not remaining out of field for the Hive hosts i-pad photos which were re-tweeted to a great many folks. Oh well – risks of the trade I suppose!

And the biggest upshot for me??


I could tell you a long, somewhat depressing story of an ex public servant who never quite fitted the mould in his ½ career in the Australian Government.

Or, I could tell you the happy story of a young(ish) man who, as a result of a single photo shoot feels far more deeply that he’s well on the path to a new and vibrant career in a trade to which he feels well called!

That was the biggest win for me today, and that’s on a day where I saw my beloved Carlton Blues win a sound victory – all be it against a less than formidable foe.

To go further into my feelings about my “calling” to be a photographer, it’s important that I confess to being a very spiritual person – in a very traditional, Christian sense.

As a Christian, finding one’s calling can be one of the biggest challenges you have to deal with!

“Who am I??” “Where am I supposed to be??” “What am I supposed to be doing? etc.  Obviously it’s not just Christians who have to deal with this issue.

Well, today, maybe for the first time, even after all the photo shoots I’ve done, I think I’ve found even more confirmation of what I truly believe is my professional calling.

And this added confirmation came in the photographing of around 15,000 furry little flying insects, and the wondrous home they all lived in and their even more wonderful keeper who has well and truly found her calling!

And how did it feel?

It felt good. Very, very good!

And almost as a side effect from this event, I have the full results of the photo shoot for you all to enjoy.

They’re on Google+ at http://ht.ly/kIH9b.

1 “The Canberra Urban Honey Project is a community project in response to the many comments people make to us about the changing bee populations in the city.”