Queensland

Vintage Cars, 50’s Fashion and the art trail…

A weekend away immersed in the art trail and the incredible Phoenix Sculpture Garden made for a memorable 2 days. But that was not all.

Look what else we stumbled across…

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A vintage car show. Blokes drooling over relics of the past, buffed to a high sheen and sparkling chrome. (The cars, not the blokes…)

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Others a-flame with air-brushed beauty.

Then I spotted that icon of the flower children from the 1960’s, now the back packer’s darling for trundling around Australia. The VW in all it’s rusted glory…

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Covered in stickers and the memorabilia from that era.

Of course the iconic Holden FJ with bench seats made for smooching had to be there too.

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This young women stood out in the flamboyant style of the 50’s. But the mobile phone is a sign of these times…

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She is in a hurry. I wonder where she is hurrying to, so I follow along.

And I am taken on a trip down memory lane to my teenage years.

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To the background sound of rock n roll these locals strut their stuff all dolled up in the fashions from the 1950’s. Do you remember them?

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It was so much fun.

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This was one of the more unusual studios. An old train carriage, surrounded by a glowing garden, converted into an art studio.

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So that is just a small taste of the weekend. It was varied, interesting and very inspiring.

The icing on the cake was the Airbnb accommodation we stayed in. A delightful, well-travelled couple invited us into their home surrounded by bush, warmed with a wood fire and sharing a glass of wine and good conversation. A comfortable bed lulled us to sleep and birds woke us next morning. And it only cost $50 with a light evening meal and breakfast. I LOVE Airbnb…

A perfect weekend away.

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Categories: Airbnb, art trail, Australia, photos, Samford | Tags: , , , | 40 Comments

Travel Theme : Harmony

Sometimes when visiting and exploring a new area I come across the unexpected. A discovery that leaves me feeling overwhelmed with the beauty and harmony of nature and man’s creation.

So it was 2 weekends ago.

The weather was perfect, crisp, invigorating winter days,  excellent to spend 2 days following the art trail around the Samford area, approximately 150 kilometres north of home. 32 artists displaying their art, some with their studios open, some in mass displays in the church hall and local art gallery. I revelled in being immersed in the creative atmosphere from all these enthusiastic people. (more of these later).

But the moment and place that will be etched in my memory is on the second day, the last place we visited was found at the end of a windy, narrow track, along a rutted road. The rain forest embraced us as we reached the end of the track and entered the Phoenix Sculpture Garden.

The weather had changed, unlike yesterday it was cold and bleak. A sharp breeze brought the temperature down and the sky was covered in grey clouds.

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But the cold was forgotten when I entered the 2 hectare rainforest Garden located on the peak of Mt. Glorious, 632 metres above sea level with magnificent views across the escarpment. More than 100 marble and bronze sculptures, the life time work of Graham Radcliff, are on display in this peaceful setting.

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Graham is softly spoken, small in stature but at 82 years old he is a creative genius having devoted his life to fulfilling his vision of combining the beauty of nature and his life’s work of sculptures and paintings.

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We spent over 2 hours admiring the sculptures, touching and stroking them, looking at them from all angles.

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They were sensual and the marble seemed to take on a life.

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Walking slowly through the towering rain forest trees. The smooth grey bark of the gums are the magnificent sculptures of nature.

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Graham calls this “the green cathedral” and the seats invite you to stay awhile and meditate on the beauty surrounding you.

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While the dove of peace watches over this space.

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Dotted around on trees and attached to the sculptures were many sayings, quotes and philosophical thoughts, each one to be read and thought about.

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I took hundreds of photos so I will finish with a gallery of just some more of these amazing sculptures.

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We drove away from this small part of the Australian rain forest that has been transformed into a harmonious retreat where one man, with skill, dedication and hard work, has achieved his dream and is sharing what he has created.

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Ailsa has asked us to think about Harmony this week. Sadly the world at large is far from harmonious, but I found a small haven of peace and harmony to share with you. I hope you enjoyed the virtual visit as much as I cherished the time spent here.

 

Categories: Australia, harmony, Phoenix Sculpture Garden, Queensland, Samford, travel theme | Tags: , , , , , | 37 Comments

Travel Theme : Eye to Eye…

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A few months ago** (See footnote) when visiting the Brisbane Art Gallery I took a photo of this life-size elephant sculpture. It is rather magnificent, but a bit puzzling. Why is he standing on his head like a giant book end? I checked Google when I got back home…

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“More than a million dollars was spent on this single piece of art,  commissioned by an artist who doesn’t live in Queensland or Australia for that  matter.”

Ms Bates insisted her comments about government waste were “not a smear on  the artist or the sculpture” but argued the state funding would have been better  spent helping the Queensland arts sector.

The sculpture was funded by the state government’s art+place Queensland  Public Art Fund and the Queensland Art Gallery Foundation.

Parekowhai was one of three  internationally acclaimed artists shortlisted to produce a sculpture to be  located between GOMA and the Brisbane River.

The Queensland Art Gallery argued the proposed sculpture responded to the  cultural and historical significance of Kurilpa Point.

“A life-sized bronze elephant, which on closer inspection is revealed to be a  bookend, is flipped on its head. Its eyes gaze directly into those of a kuril,  the native water rat that gives Kurilpa Point its name,” the gallery  said in a statement to the ABC earlier this year.

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On that day I only looked from one point and had not seen the “Kurilpa”. So decided that next time I went to the art gallery I would look at the other side. This weekend I went back to the art gallery

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Look what I saw…

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A footnote to this story: I did not take my camera, so for the first time I pulled out the IPhone and was very surprised, on an overcast day, at the detail the phone captured. I think I am a convert…

A second footnote: When I checked back I was astonished to find it was three years** since I took the first photo. Unbelievable! Where did that time go…

A third footnote : I am linking this to Ailsa’s (Where’s my backpack) “travel theme” of “close”

Categories: art gallery, Australia, Brisbane, close, photos, travel, travel theme | Tags: , , , , , , | 31 Comments

Final few hours in Brisbane…

It had been a busy day when we went to Brisbane a couple of Saturdays ago. We visited the art gallery, strolled around South Bank and had lunch there. But the day was only half gone…

 Passing through the University grounds on the way to the Botanic Gardens I went in search of “The Cube”

“The Cube is one of the world’s largest interactive digital display systems. It is two storeys high, has 170m2 of high-definition screens, and includes 48 touch panels. It took our developers more than two years to build.

The Cube offers unprecedented learning and research opportunities for the community – from school students to scientists and engineers. Our researchers use the Cube to showcase their ideas and to visualise, model and manipulate big data sets.”

With help from a security guard we found this impressive display and spent an hour pressing buttons and marvelling at the vision of being back in the time of the dinosaurs.

It was a few months ago that we came to see this but that was the day Jack fell and ended up in hospital. I’ve just checked back and found it was last August,  (do you remember that? Check it here) certainly doesn’t seem that long ago. Since that unfortunate accident we have been meaning to come back. So at long last we have made it…

But we did have another reason to be here today. We were meeting the family at 6pm at Kangaroo Point to see them rock climbing.

Still another couple of hours, so with a cup of take-away coffee we wandered over to the Botanical Gardens next to the university and sat watching the world go by.

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Walking along I was drawn toward this magnificent display of marigolds. In the late afternoon sun they glowed.

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Families made the most of this glorious weather.

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In the background children frolicked in the playground.

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Jack found another unusual seat/bench to rest on and after taking the photo I joined him.

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But it was time to catch the ferry and go over to the other side of the river to find the family.

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Can you see the ferry on the other side of the river? We will have to hurry to catch it.

The sun is going down behind the hi-rises of the CBD but the cliffs of Kangaroo Point are still painted vivid orange by the glow from the sun. (This photo has not been touched up at all, I could hardly believe the colours when I downloaded it)

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I spot someone setting up the ropes for the rock climbing enthusiasts. Our family must be around here somewhere.

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It is an interesting walk. I see a bridal party having a photo session.

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Then I see the rock climbers.

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That’s our grandson almost at the top after scaling an almost vertical wall. What a great activity.

The sun has gone down now and the lights of Brisbane are turning on as the sun highlights the horizon in one last muted, orange glow.

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What a day it has been. At 7-30pm we catch the train back to the Gold Coast. Arriving home, tired and ready for a cuppa, at 9-00pm

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I am linking this post to Paula, “Lost in Translation“, you may have guessed her theme this week is “glow”…

I would also like to join Jo “Restless Jo” and her intrepid band of world-wide walkers.

Categories: Australia, Brisbane, glow, Jo's Monday walks, Kangaroo Point, photos, QUT, Thursday Challenge | Tags: , , , , , , | 46 Comments

Immersed in the Blues

The Blues came to Broadbeach this weekend with 62 musicians, both local and international playing their hearts out. For 4 days the sound of blues, soul and rock n roll wowed the crowds as thousands flocked into the Gold Coast for this iconic FREE event now into its fifteenth year. The atmosphere was electric. Stages set up in the streets that were closed to traffic. Bands playing in venues from the hotels to the shopping centres. Every where the music followed you, heavy rock, morphing into soulful jazz then beating into rock n roll as you move from venue to venue. And the sun beamed down in typical Gold Coast style.

We chose to go to the Pacific Fair shopping centre at lunch time to watch a 2 hour concert by Juzzie Smith, a favourite of ours, an immensely talented entertainer, a one man band who composes all his own music.

“Juzzie is a walking, talking, singing example of how it pays to follow your heart. Not that money is the point here – far from it. The real point is that Juzzie is one of those truly creative souls who makes a living out of doing something he absolutely loves.” (from Juzzie’s web page, see more here)

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We are huge fans. Look at this unusual guitar made from a cigar box. It makes a terrific blues sound. He also has 2 other guitars, his feet are his percussion, he has a belt full of harmonicas and then he has “chukka chuks”. “What ever are they?” I hear you ask. Well be amazed, I took a short video…

The kids found him irresistible and I had to get another video of these 2 young boys. With the spontaneous abandon of youth they grooved to the rhythm.

Then on to music central in the heart of Broadbeach. We mingled with the happy crowd and stopped for a while to watch another one man band.

Taking photos of the artists was very difficult as the crowds gathered around intent on hearing the music. So we just wandered around, stopping for a coffee and listening to acoustic, lyrical guitar for a while, then joining the crowds at the main stage in the mall. The big attraction was “Big Daddy Wilson”

“As soon as you hear Big Daddy Wilson’s voice, whether speaking or singing, you hear his southern country roots. The sound of the original blues people comes through loud and clear, reminding you of a bygone era when music came from people’s front porches instead of iPhones. Wilson has a voice baptized in the river of African-American song – a voice with the power to heal. His repertoire encompasses spirituals, blues, country & soul, delivered in his unique, heartfelt way.” (from his web page)

The crowd was packed tight around the stage so we just found a bench near the water feature and listened to the rich sound of a mellow blues man and soaked in the reverent atmosphere of the crowd.

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I love people watching and there are plenty to see here. I think this bloke is on to me!!!

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But time to head home. We came on the bus, to find a car-park would be impossible. As we sauntered back in the late afternoon sun I couldn’t resist getting a photo of these 2 lovely ladies in front of us.

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As we stopped at the pedestrian crossing Jack told them how we admired their dresses. Debbie and Cherry were pleased to let me take a photo. These are more than dresses they are works of art. Just look at all the detail and they are designed and created here on the Gold Coast, not one stitch was produced in China.

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They then put on these funky jackets from the same designer.

 

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Jack loved chatting to them as I took the photos and then gave them a big hug as they went on their way and we crossed the road to catch the bus home after a day immersed in the Blues…

Categories: Australia, Broadbeach Blues Festival, Goldcoast, photos, travel | Tags: , , , | 35 Comments

A look at art…

After a delightful stroll along the Southbank of the Brisbane River and lunch in one of the many restaurants I head to the Art Gallery.

The first gallery room showcased Aboriginal art. I am fascinated by the structure and design, and overwhelmed by the size and precise placing of the dots and crisscross patterns.

I stood for quite a while in front of this large painting. I wasn’t the only person finding it photo worthy.

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I took a closer look and marvelled at the precise placement of the thousands of carefully placed dots that join into a seamless flowing of rippling water.

Look closer. It has a hypnotic, three dimensional appearance.

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The tiny dots are so incredibly perfect, I wonder at the time and intense concentration needed to create this masterpiece. I am always pleased when galleries put background detail of the work.

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I move on to another type of Aboriginal art. Again the canvas is large and the work very detailed and precise.

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A gallery guide is giving an insight into the meaning of these works of art. This one is a story of a traditional ceremony. Again I look closely and am amazed at the delicate crisscrossing of lines, known as rarrk, every one perfectly placed. The colours used are the rich earthy tones of the land.

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There were many more traditional paintings to admire but the final painting in this gallery is quite different. My eyes were drawn again and again to this shadowy, mystical image.

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Moving into the next gallery it is a visual change from the norm. The walls have been painted to be part of the overall exhibition. I find it quite confronting to start with. But then, as I wander round, the background walls seem to enhance the paintings.

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Women feature in all these paintings.

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The next gallery, again, has boldly painted walls.

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Then turning into the next gallery I am confronted with this…

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A life-size, dead elephant…

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Well, what do you think? I marvel at a person’s mind that would think of this. Then the actual creation of the form of the elephant, but then to stick thousands of tiny “bindis” all over the form. I had to look closer…

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Jack says “that looks like thousands of sperm swimming for their life”…

Ok!!! Time for a coffee…

But the day is not over yet. The next post I will take you for a stroll through the Botanic Gardens and a ferry ride…

Categories: art gallery, Australia, Brisbane, photos | Tags: , , , | 42 Comments

A Walk Through Sunny Southbank, Brisbane

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It’s a sunny Saturday a perfect day for a trip to Brisbane and a walk through the Southbank Parklands. It is almost winter but the Bougainvillea are still flowering. Soft flamenco music drifts through the air from the street musicians. I think they have their eyes on the girls…

While further along this African (?) musician strums his instrument.

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Through the Bougainvillea I can see the eye in the sky.

Children play while the adults relax in the shade from the trees.

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Others make the most of the sun. I wonder if they are visitors from a colder climate. I hope they have put plenty of sunscreen on.

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Then I notice a new area. A herb and veggie garden. Last time I came through, about a year ago, this was under construction.

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It has a wide range of herbs that you are invited to sample. A variety of vegetables are growing between the herbs. I spot beans, tomatoes, bok choy, celery and rows of new seedlings just emerging.

This is what their web site says “The Epicurious Garden is a must-visit destination at South Bank for foodies, gardening enthusiasts and all those in-between.

Head along to explore the garden’s exquisite plant life and see what fresh produce looks, feels and smells like; talk to our dedicated gardener volunteers (who are onsite from 7-11.30am on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays) and learn about inner-city gardening; or read our recipe suggestions and learn how to cook with fresh produce in your own home. All produce in the garden is organic, and is rotated seasonally throughout the year.

If you stop by from 7am-2pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, you can also collect free produce from the garden’s harvest cart. The cart operates on first-in, best-dressed basis, so get in early to avoid disappointment.”

What a perfect place for a picnic.

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A fish pond is next to the “Epicurious Garden”. Such a peaceful place to sit and relax.

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The tranquil Brisbane River flows by. While in another part of the parklands the markets are in full swing.

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There is a large choice of places to eat, from take away burghers and chips to fancy 5 star restaurants.

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I almost stood on this little water dragon. He certainly wasn’t going to move out of my way and he posed very nicely.

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I always find it difficult making a choice when there are so many to choose from. But finally I make a choice and we sit and enjoy, for me lasagna and for Jack grilled fish.

After lunch we go to the art gallery. But that will be another post…

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I’m joining Restless Jo’s Monday walkers this week. I’m a day late so I will have to hurry. Do go over and see Jo’s delightful walk in Poland with Meg a blogging buddy, and also check out the other band of dedicated walkers from around the world that have rallied to join Jo’s walking group.

Categories: Australia, Brisbane, Jo's Monday walks, photos, South Bank | Tags: , , , , | 42 Comments

Chinese New Year Dinnertime : Weekly Photo Challenge…

The Gold Coast China Town precinct has only been established for a short while, but it is expanding and now extends through 2 streets. Just in time for the celebration of the Chinese New Year the first set of traditional Han gates arrived.

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“And, as befits an auspicious addition to the precinct, a consultant ensured the gate’s feng shui was appropriately adjusted. We had a feng shui master examine the gates and his analysis showed we needed to put a lucky charm in each of the gate’s towers,” Cr Crichlow said.

“So we buried a set of eight Chinese coins connected with red Chinese knots in each tower.

“Eight is the luckiest number in China and because the towers are twins we had to get two sets of eight.

“We also had to bury them at a particular lucky time and date to maximise the feng shui.” (Gold Coast Bulletin)

It was February 20th 2016, Chinese New Year, the year of the monkey. China Town was crowded, parking was at a premium, so we went there on the G:Link, the new light rail system.

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The stall holders were busy preparing the food.

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And the hordes of people, locals and tourists, tucked in…

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On a stage traditional Chinese dancers entertained the crowd.

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I even managed to get a photo of a very rare 2 headed Chinese lady…

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Meanwhile round the corner a magician was enthralling both children and adults with his sleight of hand.

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It is getting darker but still the food stalls are supplying dinner for the crowds.

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The fairy lights are twinkling and some people find a seat.

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Others squeeze on to whatever they can find to sit on…

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While others have to be content with sitting in the gutter.

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But everyone seems happy.

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This week, Michelle asks us to focus on dinnertime: share a meal with us, or shoot during your dinner hour. Blogger’s choice!

I hope you enjoyed sharing dinner in China Town and celebrating the start of the year of the monkey.

Categories: Australia, Chinatown, dinnertime, Goldcoast, photos, Weekly photo challenge | Tags: , , , , , | 49 Comments

7 Days of Nature Photography : Day 4…

Continuing to another part of the Roma Street Parklands after the mysterious and misty fern gully, the Spectacle Garden is a blaze of colour, shape and form. The paths wind round through the beds of annuals and over in the corner I spot a scarecrow protecting a small herb and veggie patch.

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I love the attention to detail. Notice how the wall is colour coördinated to compliment the bromeliad flower.

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This water dragon stayed so still I thought he was a sculpture, until he turned his head to look at me.

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Thanks Gilly (Lucid Gypsy) for nominating me. I’m enjoying splitting my Parklands day-out into smaller posts. Normally I would do one big post with lots of photos. Maybe this way is better for my followers, especially when time is limited, so many blogs to visit out there in cyberspace…

Today I would like to invite Gerrie (Canberra’s green spaces) to join in this challenge. Gerrie lives in Canberra, Australia’s capital city, a beautiful city with lots of gardens and parks that she delights in showing us. So I think it will be a pleasure to see her daily nature photos. Hope you have the time to fit it in Gerrie.

Categories: 7 day nature photo challenge, Australia, Brisbane, photos, Roma Street Parklands, travel | Tags: , , , , | 24 Comments

7 Days of Nature Photography : Day 3…

Roma Street Parklands is a garden lovers paradise and it needs to be savoured in sections to appreciate its amazing abundance and diversity. So moving on from the vibrant, colourful lush tropical garden area where I found the stunning red ginger, I now find the mysterious and secretive fern gully. Jets of misty water swirl over and through the ferns. Intermittent streaks of sunlight highlight leaves and figures move like ghosts through this subtropical wonderland.

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Can you see the jets of mist coming up from the ground?

I approach a bridge and while taking a photo two ghostlike figures appear out of the mist.

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I can hear the trickle of running water as a small stream winds through the undergrowth and cascades over the mossy rocks.

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This could be worlds apart from the tropical wonder I photographed in yesterdays post but it is just created in the same area by providing these plants with the different damp, moist conditions they need to flourish. (to be continued)

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Thank you Gilly (Lucid Gypsy) for nominating me for this challenge. I am going to invite Georgie (third time lucky) to take on this challenge. Georgina has the amazing lifestyle of living on a yacht and sailing around the Greek Islands. I hope you have the time to take this challenge on Georgie.

Categories: 7 day nature photo challenge, Australia, Brisbane, photos, Roma Street Parklands, travel | Tags: , , , , | 22 Comments

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