Wednesday, 5 December 2012
Dear All. The trip is coming to an end, but not before I have had the chance to see some of this magnificent area. I'm in Oregon and as you can see, the late autumn colours are stunning, along with a magnificent view of Mt Hood. At 3,429 m high it is the highest point in Oregon. Time won't allow a closer visit, but that means I have to come back again!
Friday, 30 November 2012
Dear All. Well, I'm still having a great time here in the US. If anyone tells you that California is all fast living, big cities and a hectic pace of life, send them here. This is picture postcard stuff, isn't it? Moving north next, so i'll send you a card again.
Wednesday, 28 November 2012
Dear All, Well, the trip is going well and I am having a brief respite from San Francisco...all that city life makes me need to get into the mountains, so here I am in Yosemite National Park. The beauty of this place is beyond description, and I know that I need to come back here again some day to explore more of the park. This really is a case of "Wish you were here" because everyone should experience this at some point in their lives.
Thursday, 22 November 2012
Dear All, Well, this isn't Brisbane, or Queensland, and it's definitely not Kansas! Having a great time here in San Francisco. I'm sure that you won't have any problem working out this famous landmark. Despite it being late November, the weather isn't too bad, but it's not going to stop me getting out and about whatever it does.
Saturday, 17 November 2012
Sunday, 11 November 2012
The 11th Hour of The 11th Day of The 11th Month has become synonymous with Remembrance Day or Armistice Day, at the end of the First World War. As you may be aware it now incorporates remembrance of those killed in later wars. This above is part of the wall of names at the Australian National War Memorial in Canberra.
"We Will Remember Them"
Friday, 9 November 2012
Thursday, 8 November 2012
Although the jacaranda's are coming to an end here in Brisbane, I was fortunate enough to find this clump of trees still in full bloom. We are blessed with so many of these trees in the city, and if you are lucky enough to get to a high vantage point you can see the haze of purple across the city suburbs.
Wednesday, 7 November 2012
I've shown you these traffic signal boxes before; a community project where anyone can apply to paint them, making their own mark around the city. I'm a day late with this post, but it fits in very well with yesterday's BIG horse race, The Melbourne Cup - "The Race That Stops The Nation". Seriously, everything really does seem to grind to a halt for a few moments as all eyes are turned to watching the race. This year the race was very exciting with an unexpected winner.
Saturday, 27 October 2012
Our last visit to Moreton Island, and time to head home to catch the ferry. This is a view along Eagers beach. Stunning, isn't it? It's always sad to leave but nice to know that this beautiful island is only a short ride away.
Friday, 26 October 2012
What could be nicer than spending time relaxing in this beautiful isolated bay? After the strenuous efforts of tobogganing down the sand dunes (see previous post), having a lunch stop and a paddle in Honeymoon Bay was perfect.
Thursday, 25 October 2012
Hop in your 4-wheel drive, hang on tight and take one of the sand tracks to the interior of the island. I should add here that if you don't have much padding on your bum, expect some bruises and a good shaking up! It doesn't look too bad from this pic, but believe me, there are some massive ruts in the track, and being sand, it shifts, so you'll get thrown all over the place. But it's well worth it to get to the desert.
Moreton Island is the third largest sand island in the world, and not surprisingly the centre is very desert-like. Massive sand dunes have formed which are the perfect playground for visitors to race down a 90m mountain at 60kms an hour on a sand toboggan (read a small piece of plywood), your face centimetres away from the blistering hot sand! Sounding like fun? Hell on earth, but GREAT fun, believe me. Once you have removed sand from every conceivable orifice, and you want to take the thrill ride all over again, you have to climb back to the top of the dunes. This is a workout for your legs that you will feel for at least a week later. Who knew that climbing a sand dune was such hard work!
Come back tomorrow and we'll have a more relaxing time.
Tuesday, 23 October 2012
The main settlement of Moreton Island is Tangalooma, and just offshore are several wrecks. You would have seen them on yesterday's post. Despite looking ominous, they are in fact dive sites that have been created on purpose by scuttling a number of ships. not being a diver, I'm unlikely to experience life as seen by Nemo. (Snorkelling is my limit).
Monday, 22 October 2012
We are more than fortunate in having a wonderful natural resource right on our doorstep (or right on our shoreline)! Moreton Bay has a huge biodiversity, with dugongs and turtles calling it home, along with dolphins and numerous marine life. More than 40,000 migratory wading birds visit each September to April, and from June to September, whale watching is a booming business. This is Moreton Island about 75 mins ferry ride from Brisbane.
Thursday, 18 October 2012
Monday, 15 October 2012
Wednesday, 10 October 2012
One of the highlights in the calendar has to be Riverfire, the annual celebration of the River City, which usually kicks off the Brisbane Festival. This year they reversed the plans and closed the three-week art spectacular with the massive firework display. This is now the third largest firework display in Australia and featured more than 100 different types of pyrotechnic effects
With a crowd of 500,000 (and more watching live on TV), 4500 fireworks weighing 11,000 kgs lit up the night sky and the bridges.
This year, in keeping with the Riverfire theme, they even had fireworks coming out of the river! I wonder how they do that?
Tuesday, 9 October 2012
I think there is always something special about that time of evening when day is transforming into night and the city lights gradually take over the fading sky. Reflections over water distort and elongate, depending on the movement of the river, creating a rainbow of colours. There is a calm in the air and a feeling of expectation from the chattering people as they head along the walkways towards one of the many cafes and restaurants. Small river craft ply the water, people go about their business and all feels well in the world.
Saturday, 6 October 2012
Well, I hope it's OK to look at these lasers which were all part of the nightly laser light shows that 'performed' over the three weeks of the Brisbane Festival. The barge in the middle of the river created the massive curtains of water spray that acted as the screens for the lights, along with huge beams of light that played over the night sky from the tower blocks of the CBD. All of this with a soundtrack which at times was stirring, and other times more like a dirge...I guess you can't have everything. No matter what the music was like, the light show was spectacular.
Friday, 5 October 2012
The cultural forecourt on South Bank hosted a display of Chinese lanterns as part of the Brisbane Festival. I have no idea what is written on the lanterns but I can only hope it was all good! You can just make out the Wheel of Brisbane at the back.
Thursday, 4 October 2012
At night the sphere is illuminated by ever-changing LED lights with ethereal music emanating from somewhere within the stand. It's not hard to see why this has been such a popular art installation, albeit temporary. Personally I'd love to see it here permanently.
Wednesday, 3 October 2012
Not from outer-space, but a sphere covered with various sized mirrors. This is one of the most popular interactive art installations that was here for the Brisbane Festival. Sitting beside the Brisbane River and reflecting everything around it, it has been a massive draw-card. If you think it looks good now, you should see it at night!
Tuesday, 2 October 2012
"No one would have believed, in the last years of the nineteenth century, that human affairs were being watched from the timeless worlds of space. No one could have dreamed that we were being scrutinized as someone with a microscope studies creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water. Few men even considered the possibility of life on other planets. And yet, across the gulf of space, minds immeasurably superior to ours regarded this earth with envious eyes, and slowly and surely, they drew their plans against us."
"War of the Worlds" ~ H.G.Wells ~
(I'll show you more over the next few days and tell you what it is).
Friday, 28 September 2012
Thursday, 27 September 2012
The Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers is more than gardens and beautiful blooms. As the name suggests there is a great carnival atmosphere with amusements and rides, food, music and dancing.
But there was no getting away from the floral theme with cheerful flower prints on the dresses.
Wednesday, 26 September 2012
Tuesday, 25 September 2012
I really wish that there was such a thing as a 'smell-o-blog', because the scent of the flowers was amazing, especially this magnificent tunnel of wisteria. As you can see it was the perfect place to sit a while to enjoy it and to escape the searing heat.
Monday, 24 September 2012
If you take a 90 min drive west from Brisbane, you come to Toowoomba, nicknamed the 'Garden City'. At this time of year it's not hard to see why it has that accolade. Every September, the city has the Carnival of Flowers, the longest running floral event of its kind in Australia. Sunday turned out to be an absolutely perfect day with wall-to-wall sunshine and temps of 29c.
Saturday, 22 September 2012
So, what is it with this duck I hear you asking? In a few weeks it will be the Great Brisbane Duck Race, when about 40,000 small rubber ducks will be let loose on the river in a 100m race, with one lucky person winning a car. It's all in aid of cancer research and has become an annual event.
Friday, 21 September 2012
Wednesday, 19 September 2012
Tuesday, 18 September 2012
The above image is a fraction of the number of people lining up for registration at the Brisbane Convention centre last night. Registration for what? Well, last night was a citizenship ceremony for new Australians, and I was included in the 1,102 people who pledged loyalty to Australia and its people. The Brisbane citizenship ceremony is one of the largest in the country and last nights numbers were a record.
Above, the stage is set for the ceremony...unfortunately I have limited photos to share. Needless to say it was a very proud moment for me, and my fellow new Aussies!
Wednesday, 12 September 2012
Anyone familiar with 'The Lord of The Rings' will know that Lothlorien is the fairest forest realm of the Elves. Mallorn trees grew there, and their leaves turned golden in the autumn. The golden leaves remained on the trees until spring, when they fell to cover the ground. As I wondered through the quiet paths in the Botanical Gardens I came across a series of small art pieces, notably these beautiful mirrored leaves set on stones under the trees, and I was certainly put in mind of this magical fictitious place.
"Ah! Like gold fall the leaves in the wind"
Lady Galadriel's Farewell song, Lord of The Rings
Tuesday, 11 September 2012
This time of year seems to be one massive feeding frenzy for the birds as they feast on fresh blossom and the emergence of insects and various bugs that seem to multiply before your eyes. Personally if the birds can keep the bugs down to an acceptable level I'll be happy!
Monday, 10 September 2012
Both of them look as if they really haven't noticed each other, or is it just that they are being nonchalant? Just after I took this, the water dragon had to make a dash for the water when the duck appeared not to have noticed his fellow rock-dweller and almost stood on him! Stay safe this Monday and don't let people walk over you!
Friday, 7 September 2012
As the day came to a close yesterday, I captured this shot of the sun setting behind the gum tree, leaving us with the promise of another scorcher today. However, the gusty warm winds bring the danger of bush fires ever closer. It has been over 7 weeks since we had any rain and today we should see 29c. Have a great Friday and keep cool.
Tuesday, 4 September 2012
Today, another web that has been strategically placed at the Botanical Gardens. I noticed that there were some toy spiders dotted around some of the other webs which would have appealed to any children visiting. Unfortunately I was the only person there, so I hope that there are more people able to visit and appreciate the fun art.
Monday, 3 September 2012
Saturday, 1 September 2012
September the first and Spring is here. There is a certain feeling, subconsciously filling our hearts and souls with new things to come, the prospect of warmer weather and those lazy, hazy days at the beach, holidays and days that stretch out with what seem to be added hours. This is the Japanese Garden at Mt Coot-tha Botanical Gardens.
Every spring is the only spring - a perpetual astonishment. ~Ellis Peters