About this blog

Tuesday, 28th May 2013

My reason for blogging has developed since I started this in November, 2012.

My internet publishing experience began a while back with a production company that I still own, Megapode. We have produced a lot of video, multimedia and websites. But, while my professional work has been very important, I have scaled back. This has meant I have been able to pursue other interests and it is these interests which provide the content for Photographs, plants and other pursuits.  A backlit whiteflower - unknown speciesI have always had an interest in photography, but it’s the recent purchase of what I consider a professional camera, Canon 5D MarkIII that has reignited a passion. I have been completely taken with the camera, its ability to take both stills and video as well as the post production of RAW images through Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop.

What I choose to write about in my posts is influenced by the photographs I take or have taken. The photograph can precede the written text or vice-versa. I want to write and use images and weave the two elements together. So, what am I writing about?

As I deviated away from the single purpose of work, I started to study. I am now 53, but over the past 10 years I have studied ecology, land use, geology, conservation, plants, evolution and other related subjects. This has culminated in a Bachelor of Science from the University of New South Wales with a Major in Ecology a somewhat torturous pursuit. Concurrently, I started getting involved in more community based activities, resident volunteer groups and committees about parks and gardens’ management. One of these is Bushcare’s Major Day Out (BMDO), a national day designed to inspire people to be involved in the issues concerning remnant bushland and particularly its care through weed identification and removal. I produced the website for BMDO in WordPress and used Facebook and other methods to promote it. My interest in WordPress and knowledge of it has grown with the success of BMDO.

One of the reasons for starting this blog was to track some of my experiences using WordPress and the current default WordPress theme, 2012. But that hasn’t been a reality so far. However, if you happen to read this and have a WordPress question please let me know. I know enough to point people to the places for answers.

This blog is about my interactions with amongst other things, plants. The plants around me, Australian plants, plant communities and plant families. I am not an expert, but I am interested in how I can go about conveying some of my knowledge, so that it is engaging and in the process increase my own understanding. I also hope that I can convey some of my fondness for these incredible organisms.

My house is on a leafy peninsular, on Middle Harbour, a beautiful and quite preserved series of coves adjacent to Sydney Harbour. The house is situated in urban bushland and my garden attempts to fuse seamlessly with the surrounding bush. It means that I live with an abundance of plants and animals but in an urban/suburban setting. The animals, I like to photograph and think about. Urban ecology as I witness here in Castlecrag and elsewhere also drives me.

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Castlecrag – Northern Escarpment

My garden is a source of inspiration. I am interested in Garden history and design. I compost, dabble with food production and love my chickens. I also struggle with the constant need to remove weeds, questioning their role and right to exist.

Of late, I am keenly photographing birds. I am not sure where this will go, but birds are figuring prominently in the material I am writing and photographing. They are also incredibly important to the rapidly changing bushland ecology.

Castlecrag itself has a rich history. Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony Griffin were two Chicago based architects who won the prize to design the Australian capital, Canberra in 1913. They subsequently bought and subdivided the land at Castlecrag providing public spaces and bushland reserves for an planned ‘ideal’ suburb.

Then there is my own family. I am the youngest of seven boys and this family life provided a rich and rewarding childhood and continues to be a source of happiness. Our mother died in October 2012, my father a long time before that and I lost a brother Mark to cancer 4 or 5 years ago. My own family is growing up. Unexpectedly it has provided more pain amongst the pleasure than I would have anticipated. All of this is personal but I am interested in exploring and sharing parts of my emotional life.

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So why do it? Why blog? I enjoy it, I love the photos and I am excited about how all of this may develop. I am keen to see how a body of work may be in a year, two or perhaps even ten.

I am also interested in worthy causes. Perhaps what I am doing here can help promote my desire to involve myself in more worthy causes. I am getting older, this also provides so much of interest, the maintenance of health and the vulnerabilities that come with age. I want to stay relevant in a world that continually changes. This site is one of the ways I think I am doing it. Along the way, technology will play its part.

Please feel free to comment, highlight weaknesses, even strengths and I hope I can provide some enrichment to readers.

 

November 2012 (this is the original text on the about page)

Yes. I am running a website for (and some of it will be about) me. I am hoping it will be useful to both myself and my visitors because I have some skills and interests which I would like to share while exploring further.

If you are interested in photography, flora and fauna, landscape, gardens, WordPress and the Canon 5D or even Castlecrag you will find some stuff here of interest.

I am a video producer and writer. I have an interest in photography. I run and develop some websites using WordPress and Dreamweaver. I am far from an expert, but I have developed work flows and capabilities which will interest people who also want to do some of this stuff.

I am interested in witten and visual communication. I am passionate about science, the environment, plants and people. I like to garden, I am a volunteer bush regenerator. I keep chickens, I live next to bushland in Castlecrag, a leafy suburb of Sydney which I am also passionate about. So my life interfaces with wildlife and nature in a suburban context.

two lizards on a rock

Eastern Water Dragons – some co-residents

I am about to finish a Science degree with a major in plant ecology. A great thing to do, but slightly torturous because I am 50 or so.

You may find stuff about any of this in this blog/website as it develops. I am not sure where it will go.

Feel free to contact me at matthew dot keighery at gmail dot com.