Friday, 20 July 2012

Doing it Tough

Winter here in Brisbane is such a hardship. With a seven-day run ahead of blue skies and sunshine, and expected temps of about 20c, it's time for me to take a short break. It's Friday and the weekend is just around the corner. Hope you all have a good one.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Dragons (almost)!

I guess that somewhere, someone loves him! This is an eastern water dragon, common all over the place, especially around South Bank and the Botanical gardens. These prehistoric looking creatures can be seen sitting motionless, like stones...until they suddenly dash across the path or rush under the bushes. They usually hibernate in the winter but mild conditions have brought some of them out to bask in the warm winter sun. This picture reminds me of a previous occasion when I was crouching down to get nice and close to take a photo and it ran towards me. Yes, I did let out a bit of a scream!

Monday, 16 July 2012


These days, most would never refer to the post office as the GPO -  General Post Office, and yet they are integral to each state capital city. All six GPO's are still standing although not all are used for postal services. This is Brisbane's GPO, built in 1872 in a colonial style. Locked front private boxes were installed for the first time in the British Colonies in 1876. It also accommodated the colony's telegraph department. The GPO's are such an intrinsic part of our capital cities that all official distances are measured from their doorstep. With electronic mail, faxes and mobile devices, many believe that the days of the letter are doomed, but hopefully these stately buildings will remain.

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Blue Beetles

I'm suspecting that this small group of bluish beetles are either juveniles or male/females of the beetle I showed you yesterday. They were on the same tree, and seemed to be 'hiding' in the bend of the branch. The colours are just so beautiful, aren't they?

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Nature's Jewels

It's amazing what you come across when you're not even looking for something. As I was walking along, enjoying the sunshine I saw something shiny and iridescent on the side of this tree. Thankfully I had my camera. It scuttled along the bark rather fast so I was lucky to capture this shot. Don't ask me what type of beetle it is...I have no idea.

Friday, 13 July 2012

Crude Chooks!

I don't know if the stall-holder sold any more eggs, but his sign gave everyone a giggle. Happy Friday and end of the week!

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Our Daily Bread

Markets are always fun and interesting, especially when you are in another country. I think that you get an insight into the culture and psyche of the people, see different foods, hear accents and languages that you would never normally encounter. I wonder what foreigners would make of the markets here in Brisbane? One thing for sure, they wouldn't need to go hungry with this wonderful array of home-baked breads. And from personal experience, I can tell you that the bread is excellent. Now where was that cheese stall?

Tuesday, 10 July 2012


I always like it when there are specific signs and somebody decides to ignore the rules. What I like better is when someone else comes along and copies the other person...just like the bikes chained to the poles with the warning NOT to chain them in this area!

Monday, 9 July 2012

Golden Wattle

This time of year is the perfect season to see masses of blooms of the golden wattle, the National Floral Emblem of Australia. Add to that perfect weather and what more could you want? Hope your week is full of sunshine.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Back To Brisbane

As the sun sets over the rail track at Longreach, sadly it's time to head back to Brisbane...until the next time when I take you on another trip somewhere else in this beautiful state of Queensland.

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Now, Where Did I Park My Plane?

I don't think you'd have any problems finding this old girl, sitting at the QANTAS Founders Museum in Longreach. In fact, as you drive into the town, this dominates the scene rather than any town landmark. Being able to get up so close to the Jumbo is an amazing experience. Better still is being able to explore the workings of this aircraft with a tour of it, with a wing walk included. It's only then that you realise just how big the 747 really is.

Friday, 6 July 2012

Build Your Own

In 1926 Q.A.N.T.A.S. became the world's first airline to both build and fly it's own aircraft. It was a bold step for the engineering staff with their humble workshop in an isolated country town. 

The engines and all metal parts were imported from England. Spruce and Oregon timbers for wing spars were Canadian, but the maple used for the propellers and the plywood needed for cabin construction came from Queensland. Large rolls of linen were imported from Ireland while the dope used to make the linen taut came from England.

Above is the original hangar where it all started.

Thursday, 5 July 2012


This very unassuming sign, almost hidden in the bushes at Longreach in Central Queensland shows where the Tropic of Capricorn passes through, dividing the two zones. Longreach is the largest town in the central west of Queensland, with a population of about 4000.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

The Never-Never

The Outback is often referred to as different things. Some call it the bush, others the woop-woops (or wop-wops). Others call it the never-never, the back of beyond, back o' Bourke, and beyond the black stump. I'm sure there are other expressions! But whatever you call it, it's a bloody great space of empty remoteness with it's own special beauty. 

The Outback

by Leighton B. Watts

There's a place where daily hardships are the making of a man

Where learning skills come less from books than a knowledge of the land

Where a rough and kindred mateship can be built on work and trust

And a fair day's work reaps just rewards for a fair day's work's a must

Where an unforgiving landscape boasts extremes of flood and drought

And a sheep walks miles 'tween blades of grass or it has to go without

Where the pestilence of rabbit, fox and feral takes its toll

And the red hills rust with iron ore and the valleys seam with coal

Where gold and light-rich opal can be wrested from the earth

And a man can find a solitude to test his very worth

Where a woman's sense of humour is a valued prize and dear

For a woman holds the heart of man when it's more than he can bear

Where a team is all that matters when the river's running rife

And a single strand of radio can be all there is to life

Where age is often listened to for experiences gained

And helping out a neighbour is an ethos much maintained.

It's a place they call The Outback and we're never far apart

For The Outback's not a place at all it's the beating of my heart. 

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Leaping Lizards!

Life in the Outback is a struggle for some creatures, where you are either the hunter or the hunted. Camouflage and speed is the best defence, and this chap has both. I have to admit that I don't know what kind of lizard it is, but he was very fast when he moved and his colouring blended in perfectly with the undergrowth and the red soils at Lark Quarry. I think he's rather beautiful.

Monday, 2 July 2012

On One Ordinary Day......

.......By a lake, 95 million years ago. Lark Quarry was part of a great river plain, with sandy channels, swamps and lakes brimming with freshwater mussels, lungfish and crocodiles. Rainfall was over a metre a year, so the surrounding lowland country was lush and green. On the day that this drama unfolds, herds of small two-legged dinosaurs came to drink by the lake. The herd was stalked by a 4 tonne, 3.5m tall and 8 to 9m long therapod - a sharp-clawed toothy meat-eating dinosaur. The herd panicked, stampeding across the muddy flats.

A record of those few terrifying, minutes is cast in more than 3300 fossilised footprints conserved at Lark Quarry, 110kms from Winton. This is the site of the world's only known record of a dinosaur stampede. It is said that the stampede scene in Jurassic Park was inspired by Lark Quarry. If you ever get the chance to visit...GO!

Sunday, 1 July 2012


The outback is fraught with danger, be it scorching heat, dry, parched scrub, freezing nights, any amount of wildlife, an unrelenting landscape where disorientation is easy, and......Road Trains! They are an integral part of the Outback landscape, just like kangaroos, red dust and endless horizons. Australia has the largest and heaviest road-legal vehicles in the world. They can be up to 5 trailers long, but only up to 3 are permitted in Queensland, and about 200 tonnes. As you can imagine when one of these passes you, you are blinded by the dust for a while, and driving behind one is another thing altogether! It was fortunate on the picture above that there was enough room to pull right across to the left...sometimes it's a single lane track.