JUstDreamInparadise.......JUDI living in Paradise

I am fifty something and I love my family and the life I live. I'm an optimistic person by nature and I try to find a positive for every negative. I'm not a vegetarian, but the animal I eat is. I enjoy cooking, photography and scrapbooking. Since living here I have become a gardener and take immense joy in the beauty of my garden. My husband and I feel that we are the caretakers of the land rather than land owners. We run a grass fed Droughtmaster Stud on our little piece of Paradise and the cattle are a never ending supply of photo opportunities.

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Kuramar in black and white

I'm still testing the Olympus OMD EM5.  I want to use it as much as possible before we go on holidays so that I am very familiar will all the settings. Modern day cameras have so many more settings than the old SLR's.  I still prefer manual settings but I did a few tests today with the landscape setting.







The Magpie Geese don't have a chance with Lily - she hates birds and chases any she sees
Seeing how good close up can get on a grass flower

Saturday, 23 February 2013

The wet season...where has it gone!

The weather has been very strange.  In January ex tropical cyclone dumped almost 500mm on us and then we had nothing.  Nothing for weeks.  That in itself is very strange.  Perhaps it's going to be a late wet season.  Let's hope so.  We have already started selling off cattle at Julia Creek.  The prices are terrible but it's a case of "sell them or smell them".
Today here at Julatten it feels different.  While I was having breakfast on the verandah this morning some really dark clouds rolled in and dumped a beautiful amount of rain on us.  It didn't last long but the garden will love it.  Here is the photo sequence.








And then it was gone!


Friday, 22 February 2013

So....I've been playing with my new toy....

the Olympus OMD-em5, and here are the results.


14-42mm

17mm

17mm

17mm

14-42mm

14-42mm

17mm

I'm finding that the 14-42mm is a bit soft and I think I will trade it for the 12-50 mm, but, then again,  maybe I should just improve my photography skills!  I really like the 17mm 2.8 and I know that I will use it a lot.  I haven't really trialled the 40-150mm to any great extent but I will take it on my walk tomorrow and see what it produces.


Thursday, 21 February 2013

My new toy

We are going to Europe in just over three weeks.  I've had a bit of a dilemma about my Canon 7D.  I bought the 7D in August last year and haven't really taken it on any "big" holidays.  The 7D with the 18-200mm lens attached weighs in at a 1593 grams.  One and a half kilos to lug around plus the tripod that I always carry, I'm looking at some very sore shoulders!   DH helps out a lot and often carries my gear for me but at the end of the day I have to be the one to take responsibility.  So I've been thinking about a point and shoot.  There are quite a few good ones out there but after a lot of research I narrowed it down to the Canon G15 or the Sony RX100.  Both these cameras have had some great reviews.  So I took myself down to Cairns to my local camera store and meet a great salesman by the name of Mark (must be the name).  He was so helpful and didn't mind that I spent almost an hour in the shop.  I finally decided on the G15 and was just about to complete the sale when my eyes fell on the Olympus OM-D-EM5.





I had been reading quite a bit about the mirrorless hybrids and I asked Mark if I could look at it.  I fell in love.  It felt like a little bit of magic in my hands.  Not only does it give me all the control I want and need but it is as light as a feather.  It comes with an electronic viewfinder (EVF) but I found the screen very easy to use also.
Tiny but useful!
With the body and three! lenses it weighs in at just 876 grams - almost half the weight of the 7D.  It came with two kit lenses, a 14-42mm (3.5) and a 40-150mm (4).  I purchased an additional 17mm (2.8) because I wanted to be able to shoot in low light without the need of a flash although this little baby also comes with it's own detachable flash.

The whole camera (including lenses) are moistureproof,  that is a big factor where I live.
It will never take the place of my 7D....I love that camera with a passion.....but the Olympus will certainly be a great second camera.  I'm going to save up and purchase the 75-300mm (due for release next month) and maybe the macro, oh yeah, and some of the primes and a battery pack............and the list could just go on and on but I will try and control myself!

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Mareeba Zoo

Mareeba Zoo is closing very soon - within the next 6 weeks - so our photography group went to the zoo for a photo shoot.  I don't know why it has not been popular because it is a fantastic zoo spread out over many hectares.  The public can have breakfast with the lions and also have the opportunity to hand feed the animals (under supervision by the keepers).  Just to name a few animals residing at the zoo there are lions, tigers, cougars, brown bears, many varieties of monkeys, hippopotamus, iguanas and many, many birds.












Sunday, 17 February 2013

Chilli Beef Patties with Lime Noodle Salad

I picked up a magazine in Virgin Velocity lounge on our way home last weekend titled MindFood.  What a great magazine.  I read it from front cover to back cover without missing a single page.  This recipe was in the recipe book that was attached to the magazine.  It was very delicious and slightly healthy!

Here is the photo:





and here is the recipe:
Chilli Beef Patties with Lime Noodle Salad

4 tabsp fish sauce
5 tabsp lime juice
3 tabsps palm sugar
2 birds eye chillies, sliced (I used long red chillies)
1 cup mint leaves, finely chopped
500g best mince
2 tabsps chilli jam (here is the recipe that I use)
2 tabsp fresh ginger, grated
1 tsp sea salt
vegetable oil
150g snow peas, sliced lengthways (I used asparagus)
200g rice noodles
250g cherry tomatoes, halved
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup mint leaves (extra) to serve

To make dressing, place fish sauce, lime juice, palm sugar, and chillies in a bowl and whisk until sugar dissolves.  
In another bowl mix mint, mince, chilli jam, ginger and salt.  Mix well and form into 20 small balls.  Heat 1cm of oil in a large frying pan and cook 2-3 minutes on each side or until cooked through.
Place snow peas into a bowl.  Cover with boiling water for 1 minute, drain and plunge into iced water.  Drain and set aside.
Place rice noodles in a bowl and cover with boiling water until soft.  Drain and run under cold water.  Drain again.
Place noodles, tomatoes, snow peas, and onion in a bowl.  Pour dressing over noodles and toss to comine.  
Divide noodle mixture among four serving bowls and top with meatballs and extra mint.

Saturday, 16 February 2013

O'Reilly's Guest House

When we went to Beaudesert for a wedding we had a bit of time to kill on the day of the wedding so we decided to go to O'Reilly's.  The sign at Canungra said that it was 37km to O'Reilly's.  Easy.  Should take us about 45 minutes.  Wrong.  It took us one and a half hours to make the journey and that was one way!  OMG.  That road was so narrow and windy.  And the climb!  It was such a long way UP! I felt so sorry for M-I-L sitting in the back seat.  I know that she loathes height, but she remained a soldier.  It started raining as soon as we arrived at O'Reilly's and I was very disappointed.  So much for the lovely photos that I thought I might be able to take.  I think on a bright sunshine day the view would be amazing.  Anyway these are the shots that I got.

A misty drive to O'Reilly's

The cloudy view that might just have been spectacular!

Friday, 15 February 2013

Isabella

Isabella is my niece's daughter so that makes me a Great-Aunt.  My niece is also my god-daughter so she is doubly special.  Isabella was born in November 2011 so she is 15 months old.  She is such a live wire.  She very much takes after her mother in personality and looks.  Dad did not get much of a look in I'm afraid.  Here are some photos that I took when we all met at my nephew and his girlfriends new home at Beenleigh.  They are amazing hosts and cooked up a "WOW" bar-b-que lunch for the nine of us.

Me, Niece, Great Niece, Sister

Strawberries can sometimes be tart!

Happy little girl

Isabella LOVES water!





Thursday, 14 February 2013

Erin and Luke's special day

Weddings make me cry.  I don't know why, but I get emotional.  My tears are of course, joyful tears.  Erin is DH's niece.  Luke and her put their wedding on hold until Erin finished all her GP exams - completed just recently - so now she is Doctor Erin.

This wedding was beautiful and I will let the photos do the talking.  It is of course fitting that I post this blog today on Valentine's Day.  Happy Valentine's everybody!
The men playing the waiting game

Such love

Signing the wedding certificate

The beautiful bride and her groom
The dress was gorgeous 

The bridal party

Bride's Mum and Dad

Brides Family

Brides Grandmother

A lavender delight at Albert Park Winery - a beautiful venue.

Some games to play at the reception


Brides fathers side

Brides Grandma and Uncle