Monday, September 28, 2009

MY WORLD ~ 44 On the Road Again

All photos enlarge for better viewing with more detail.

Two weeks ago we set off on a long haul to Sydney,
New South Wales. After many delays and tired before
we started, we were off at 5p.m. and made it rather
the worse for wear to this once grand hotel, the Victoria
Hotel at Ouyen in the almost never-never country.

The town was crammed to the rafters, not only had it
just had its centennary but also the grand Vanilla Slice
competition!!! We were lucky to secure the last available
bed...unfortunately only a double not a queen size.

We were on the first floor with 12'6" ceiling and this
Banksia Rose smiled at me through the fly-wire in the
morning. When I investigated the fire exit, I came face
to face with the head of this Palm tree lit up by the rising
sun. How often does one see a mature palm at this height?

Investigating in the other direction, the sun streamed in
through the door to the front verandah

the original iron lace cast perfect shadows across
its 12' width.

Breakfast called and the old Commercial Travellers' Room
converted as a breakfast parlour still boasted the holes for
the ink wells and pens in the divided desks, although now
there was an array of breakfast cereals and toasting
paraphenalia there. The 1950's wallpaper with its lurid gleaming
gold roses caught my eye. Do enlarge it for the stunning effect!

A glimpse into the residential lounge showed an
assortment of none too comfortable furnishings, not at
all like the leather armchairs we remembered from some
30 years before .

Heading downstairs was a lovely solid old wooden
staircase positively reeking of respectability.

Unfortunately I had no call to investigate the Ladies Room
and the once imposing room for business transactions had
now been turned into a restaurant and securely fastened
against inquisitive morning intruders.

The sataircase sweeping down to Reception and Lobby,

and from below, a couple of armchairs quaintly flanking
an old treadle sewing machine surmounted by an old
photo of the front of the hotel in the days of its glory.

The photo was rather faded and warped behind its glass
shield, but at least you can see the lovely old cars.

Here is the tiled front and Entrance as we left on our
next day's journey.

Grandeur always comes at a price but faded grandeur
often comes at half price, so we could not complain of
having the bathrooms in the hallway at $50 a double
room with continental breafast!

More adventures of our two weeks on the foad to follow....

For other tales, click on the Logo and look.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

TODAY'S FLOWERS ~ 32 Wonders of Spring

There were compensations along the way in driving
a thousand miles to Sydney. This glorious flower display
greeted us on leaving our cabin in a caravan park in
Blackheath in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales.

We were lucky enough to get the last night in the
last cabin when we were dog tired, so tired we did
not even notice the beauty of the street until the
next morning.

The whole street was full of Azaleas, there was a pond
in the dell surrounded by Cherry Trees.

Ducks on the pond and sun on the cherry blossom,
there was beauty all around....

as we headed up the hill again through the extensive
gardens, the Rhododendrons hit us like a steam train,
they were enormous and many were in full bloom.
No wonder the place was booked out until November
with the Rhododendron festival starting!

Rhododendrons as high as houses and in the most
vibrant colours imaginable...

this one made a pretty picture shielded by the
protective arms of the native Australian Eucalypt.
The Rhododendron was a good 30' tall, seldom have
I seen one so large.

So often when one makes an effort to do something nice,
the Universe blesses one with a wonderful gift - this
was such a time.

All pictures enlarge, enjoy!

The world is full of beautiful flowers, click on the Logo and see.

Thanks to Luiz Santilli Jr. and the Flower Team we can join in
and enjoy this meme.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

SkyWatch ~ 51 Stormy Weather

I'm back on line again in our half-way house motel
in Horsham which does have internet..hooray!!

The drive of over 250 miles from Melbourne to
here was rather a strain with pouring rain, wind
gusts so you could not open a door against them
and intermittent hail for good measure.

Cars were kicking up spray that made it even worse,
especially when passing huge trucks when you had to
trust your luck and instinct to stay on the road.

Part of the way was dual carriage-way, here is the
spray of the on coming traffic.

Another hazard was the threat of aquaplaning on
the water filled ruts left by heavy pan-technicons
when the tarmac had softened in the summer heat.

It looks like tomorrow will be similar, but at least
it is the last leg home.

Thank you all for your good wishes, I am certain they
helped to keep us safe. I have 1,200 photos from this trip,
so be prepared to be blinded by the beauties of Australia
for quite a while.

Monday, September 14, 2009

MY WORLD ~ 43 Away with the Faeries

With these two pictures of the Prof's park I leave
you for a little while. Tomorrow we depart for Sydney,
a round trip of some 2,000 miles. The object of our
pilgrimage is our youngest g-daughter's 3rd concert
for the year playing violin in the Australian Junior Youth
Orchestra. The first two we missed for unforseen reasons
and are now all the more determined to put in a statutory
grandparental appearance.

Since it is inadvisable for me to take to the skies, it will
take a number of days for us to drive the distance in easy
stages. Again, my health is the prime reason for our tardy
progress. Although I will be equiped not only with my trusty
Nikon but my computer as well, signals for internet will seldom
be available and posts will be few if any.
Apologies to those of you who expected the next exciting episode
of my water pollution post, it will make an appearance on the
first available occasion.
Please feel free to leave comments which I do enjoy so very much.

Until we meet again, stay well, stay happy and God bless you all!

All photos enlarge with a simple click.
To visit other worlds, click on the Logo
Thanks to Klaus and the MY WORLD team we can all
join in with this wonderful meme.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

TODAY'S FLOWERS ~ 31 My Garden Today

As I went out to the garden this afternoon, I found
this ballerina in her tutu dancing on my Almond tree.

when she saw me, she blushed rosy red, was she
pleased, was she embarrassed? Who can tell....

Meanwhile, Viburnum burkwoodii was out in all her
glory exuding perfume all around.

Not to be outdone, the first branch of my Orchid had
opened and the whole shadehouse was bathed in scent.

Shy 'Claire Matin' coyly turned her head as I lifted
my camera.

Further down the garden path the Crabapple was
reaching for the sky,

here it is again in all its perfumed delight, Malus
shading the grass that perhaps I should
have weeded out. On the other hand, the grass is
still green and green is good.

For flowers of other seasons, click on the Logo.

All photos enlarge with a simple click.

Luiz Santilli Jr. is the originator of this great meme,
do join in, it is great fun.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

SkyWatch ~ 50 Western Sky at Sunrise

As I was heading down the hill to join the tribe for
the weekly trip to the farmers' market, the sunrise
was nothing much but a little voice whispered
"look behind you Mr.Caeser"...I swallowed my pride
and did just that...

my hand rose and my camera started clicking

the landscape was washed with the first rays of the
sun while the sky had turned a deep mysterious blue

I kept walking and turning to snap, my heart

swelling to the wonder of emerging colour and the
depth of blue behind the trees touched with a breath
of gold.

For different views of the sky, click on the Logo.

Thank you Klaus and the SkyWatch Team for
hosting this beautiful and informative meme.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Watery Wednesday ~ 17 Head of the Torrens

The River Torrens, once its water was a major factor
in establishing the state's capital Adelaide. Here,
between Mt.Lofty and the sea was sufficient water
to support a sizeable city.

Clearing of the greater part of the catchment for
agriculture was a double edged sword, polluting the
water quality as well as removing the natural filters.

Now the once sizeable river serves as a ditch to pump
the none too palatable water fron the Murray River
with all the run off accumulated in of a number of towns,
agriculture and horticulture using a range of unpalatable
chemicals both in fertilizers and pesticides.

These shots are taken after a good rain in the headwaters
where there now is at least some flow. Next week I will
show you what if looks like half a mile downstream. I
guarantee you will be surprised.

All photos enlarge by a simple click.

Click on the Logo and dive into other pools.
Thank you 2sweetnsaxy for hosting this wet meme.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Birdphotography Weekly ~ 25 Gunea Fowl

Guinea Fowl foraging among the Blood Oranges
of our friends' citrus orchard featured in the MY
WORLD post below.

Calm and peaceful though a little wary of the camera
wielding stranger sneaking up on them.

Suddenly a temper tantrum flares up and a high
speed chase ensues. They really can get some speed
up when the spirit moves them!

Ever wondered where the expression about having
your feathers ruffled comes from? Well. here is the
answer personified.

The sudden storm having passed, calm is once more
restored, maybe the golden hand of Buddha on the
ground had something to do with that.

Click on photos to see all their spots!

Click on the Logo to join in or just admire other birds.

MY WORLD ~ 42 A Visit up River

Last Friday we had occasion to drive 100 miles
up river to visit friends in South Australia's prime
citrus growing area. The drive was delightfully green
after the late winter rains we have lately had.

Their water allocation has been drastically cut
because of the lack of water in the river. Most orchards
we passed had greatly reduced fruit size, a lot showed
drought stress. Yields in consequence had been low and
of much poorer quality than other years.

Above is their tame Galah who kept insisting on calling
me 'Charlie', did he know something I didn't?

My friend Meredith in her garden which is normally skirted
by glowing golden oranges but now nowhere near as lush as
I remember it, even the large Jacaranda shading the
verandah had a lot of die back.

Even in this sandy dryland soil there were many
beautiful flowers

and a little water to keep it all viably growing.

It is amazing what a little water can do, the Carnation
certainly enjoyed her shower.
All photos enlarge by a simple click on them.

Both the dogs and cats were matched - dressed in
black and white, two Jack Russells and two cats and
all good friends.

A birdhouse the size of a normal lounge room housed
two pairs of singing Canaries and a cooing dove that
had thought this a good place to stay.

Barbary Dove, Streptopelia 'risoria', native of the
south western corner of Western Australia but a
favourite aviary bird in the East.

In the front yard the butter-yellow Banksia Roses were
draping themselves over the trees.

Our friend Mike, the best citrus grower I know,
exports all over the world, growing a great variety
of fruit as well as researching others.

A peek into the shade house with Orchids, Fuchsias
as well as many other delicate flowers.

These beautiful White Cedars show off their golden
seed berries against the blue of the sky.

I will be posting the Guinea Fowl roaming the orchard
in Bird Photography Weekly.

We had a lovely day being spoiled rotten with a delicious
lunch, afternoon tea as well as a car full of Oranges,
Mandarins, Blood Oranges and Pomelos as a parting gift..

For the World other people live in, click on the Logo and enjoy.

To Klaus and the MY WORLD team, my thanks as always.
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