Posts Tagged With: Jo’s Monday walks

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

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

7 Day Nature Photo : Day 1 a walk in the National Park

I have been nominated by Gilly (Lucid Gypsy) to join this latest challenge that is doing the rounds. 7 consecutive days posting a nature photo, could I manage that? Then Sue (Wordsvisual) showed me the way by combining it with other challenges I enjoy doing. So for day 1 I am combining it with “Jo’s Monday walk”.

The second part of the challenge is to nominate another blogging buddy to join in. So today I would like to invite Ruth (Ruth’s arc) to join in.

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It is 5-30 and I have biked down to Burleigh Heads in the pre-dawn to watch the sunrise over the ocean from the Burleigh Heads National Park. The track winds along beside the ocean and I find a good position to wait for the moment the sun makes its appearance.

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Here it is in all its glory bathing the ocean in a blood-red glow

This is a popular jogging track as it is one of the few hills around this area for runners to test themselves on.

Going up

Going up

But I prefer to saunter along, taking my camera for a walk with me gives me an excuse to go slow and absorb the sights and sounds around me. (actually I am well past the jogging stage of life!)

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It is a narrow track and at this time of the morning the rays of the sun angle through the trees lighting up the volcanic rocks.

Before leaving the ocean track I take a side track down to see what is happening along the banks of the Tallebudgera River.

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It is so peaceful and this young woman sits and meditates.

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While another group move in a graceful swaying motion, almost hypnotic to watch them.

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The river along this part of the beach is also busy. Stand up paddle boarding is the current craze. Small tinnies zip by taking the fishermen out to try their luck in the ocean.

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The weather is perfect for swimming watched over by the lifeguards.

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I now branch away from the ocean track and head up the hill along the rainforest track. The vegetation changes, this park features rainforest, eucalypt forest, Pandanus groves, tussock grassland, coastal heath and mangroves.

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This bush turkey is quite unconcerned by the runners and walkers and just saunters along at his own speed. It seems to be a good year for these birds as there are far more than I have seen before.

 Six-sided basalt columns line the track were they have come to rest millions of years ago.

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 I explore the Rainforest circuit, wandering through a living museum of plants.

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It is  steep on this part of the track but I take it gently. There are benches at regular intervals and this one is right at the top.

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Look at the view all the way south to Coolangatta. Not so many hi-rise buildings on this part of the coast…

View from the top of the track

View from the top of the track

But the serious runners are not looking at the view, this is a good place to stretch the legs before the run down the other side.

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Some of the rocks are quite unstable and when there is heavy rain part of the track is closed for safety reasons,

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No danger today and now I am getting close to the bottom of the track. The road is in sight but lots of steps to negotiate. The serious runners make good use of these pounding up and down them and I have to keep standing to one side to let them past.

Going down

Now I can see the ocean again.

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I’ve been almost an hour going round the circuit. The light has changed, not so good for photography now.

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Hardly any surf, but still some surfers wait hopefully for some action and this photographer is waiting for action too…

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While others sit and watch the ocean, drink a cup of coffee, take the dog for a walk, bike and play with the children. Some people have to work and it is good to see the council workers keeping the place clean.

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I wonder if this surfer caught any waves…

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Well it is now time to head back home for breakfast.

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Ever Restless Jo encourages us with her energetic walks each week and a great band of world-wide walkers join her. Pop over to see where they are all taking us this week.

Categories: Australia, Burleigh Heads National Park, Jo's Monday walks, photos | Tags: , , , | 23 Comments

Amazing sights at the beach…

 Cyclone Winston powers its way toward the East coast of Australia after devastating Fiji and causing villages to be obliterated and lives lost. Storm warnings are in place and our beaches are closed to swimmers.

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Already the swell is over 3 metres, one set was reported to be almost 7 metres, and only the experienced and fittest surfers are advised to go out in these conditions. Surfers are coming from all over Australia. The world champion Taj Burroughs was on TV last night saying he just jumped on the first flight from Western Australia to ride these awesome waves and they will get bigger as Winston gets closer…

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Its 4pm as I walk along watching the waves roaring in. But other things are happening all around. I notice a young woman holding blue diaphanous material as it catches the wind and floats and ripples around her. Then I see it is a photo shoot. I zoom in to catch the action.

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The other couple with the 2 dogs get up to toss a ball around.

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The bulldog joins in with the fun. I wonder where the other dog has gone…

Here he comes to join in…

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But wait a minute just look what it is, I couldn’t believe my eyes…

 I was taking these photos on a long zoom lens and it wasn’t till I downloaded the photos back home and I looked closer at the other “dog”.

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Yes it is a little pig. It is the first time I have ever seen a pig on the beach. I know they can make good pets and are quite intelligent as I used to work on a pig farm.

Walking on I go up the hill to the Miami headland to take photos of the Miami beach north to Surfers.

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I’m not the only person up here taking in the magnificent sweep of beach and the waves rolling in.

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Notice the few locks on the wires? It seems to be a growing trend to lock your love and remembrance thoughts in scenic places. Further along there are more.

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Some have inscriptions scratched on them, some have professional engravings.

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As I turned to go back down I noticed 2 blokes clambering up the hard way over the rocks.

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Wow, they were so fit I couldn’t resist asking them to be foreground subjects for me. (I did a minor photo shoot!!!) Just look at those abs….

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Jack took a sneaky photo of us as I showed them their photos.

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As they turned to go they were stopped by another group of French tourists, giggling, they asked if they could pose with them.

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After all this excitement it was time to head back to the car, but I can’t stop taking more photos.

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The sun is going down behind the hi-rises casting long shadows along the beach. But people still stand around watching the ocean as it crashes along the beach break that is Burleigh Heads.

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I could not see any surfers out there, it is low tide and those rocks would be deadly. I will have to come back tomorrow morning on the high tide to catch the action.

Time for one last selfie. Now to go over and get some fish and chips for dinner.

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I’m walking in the late afternoon in the other direction along the beach today and I will join Jo’s enthusiastic bunch of world wide walkers. Go join them at “Restless Jo’s place”

Categories: Australia, Burleigh Beach, Jo's Monday walks, photos, travel | Tags: , , , | 47 Comments

Early morning beach walk…

 On Saturday Fiji was hit by category 5 Tropical Cyclone Winston, the most devastating in the Islands history it destroyed hundreds of homes. Strong winds and flooding from Winston have caused severe damage across the island nation. 

I woke this morning at 4-30am and, even though I live one kilometre from the beach, I could hear the ocean roaring. Australia is just over 3000 kilometres away from Fiji but this cyclone will affect our tides.

 Sunrise was due at 5-30am. As day was just breaking, I jumped on my bike and rode down to the beach.

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The sky was still the soft grey and pink shades of dawn and at 5-15 the beach was almost deserted. I noticed this couple totally immersed in each other. They looked so in love and my guess was they are here on their honeymoon.

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Just a seagull and me sharing this moment with them.

Then the sun made a dramatic appearance.

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It was just past full tide and the waves surged and tumbled, foaming and frothing.

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More people were arriving, walking their dogs, jogging or sauntering. Some just sitting and absorbing the beauty of the morning.

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The sun highlights the hi-rise buildings of Surfers Paradise

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Burleigh Heads is famous for its surfing breaks and this morning the surf was pumping.

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This surfer is not a youngster he has grey hair and a middle-aged spread, but how exhilarated he must be to catch this barrel.

But, for some, all good things come to an end and work or school call. What a way to start the day though.

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I couldn’t resist showing you a couple more of this beautiful area I call home.

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If you want to stay a little longer there is a small  hole in the wall that serves coffee in that building in the background. If you look carefully you will see a group of people gathered around waiting to be served their shot of caffeine.

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Or if you want to stay for breakfast the Surf Club serves delicious meals and you can enjoy them sitting at a table overlooking this beautiful Burleigh beach.

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But for me it is time to head home for breakfast, 2 hours and 240 photos later.

Where ever you are and what ever you are doing today I hope your day goes well.

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I have not joined Jo’s Monday walking group for a while. They are a diverse group from all around the world pop over here to join them.

Categories: Australia, Burleigh Beach, Goldcoast, Jo's Monday walks, photos, travel | Tags: , , , , | 48 Comments

Back Home in the Garden…

I said “no more veggie garden”…

BUT…

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The tiny veggie/herb garden is looking quite sad and empty, (do you remember when we built it?) It is very small compared to the veggie patch on the farm. So I couldn’t resist buying some lettuce, rocket and Greek basil from Bunnings.

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This is the “Bali” corner and also my small nursery area. Lurking under the tarpaulin is a mulcher which will soon be getting a lot of work. It has been a good season for rain and everything has doubled in size.

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Here they are, my new babies. I’ve just transplanted them from the cells they came in and will coddle them in here till this present very hot spell (30+ temperatures) passes.

Did you notice the pink behind the shade cloth?

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It is the Crepe Myrtle in full flower.

A sure sign of summer in the tropics is the Frangipani now coming into flower.

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Under the Frangipani is an unusual Bromeliad.

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It flowers for months.

In the week I have been home the temperatures have soared into  30+ and with a hot wind as well the garden can dry out quickly.

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So the hose is in use every night. Notice the handy bench to sit and have a rest on?

The ponds are looking good.

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Over on the door the masks that Jack made are keeping an eye on things.

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Here is a gallery of some other things flowering at the moment.

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Look at the lemons, this tree is only a year old.

So life goes on in the garden. Hope you enjoyed the look around.

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I’ll join Jo’s Monday walk today, come over to visit her. Actually it is more a saunter, and if it gets too hot you can sit and rest on one of the benches.

Categories: flowers, garden, Jo's Monday walks, photos, travel, vegetable garden | Tags: , , , | 48 Comments

Farm walk…

Every morning I walk around the farm checking the animals and just generally enjoying the walk with the dog.

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I can hear the cows calling me. The bales are behind this machinery shed.

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Tuck in girls…

Now to check the sheep…

How the lambs have grown. (remember this? The day one was born) They follow me into the shed for their morning feed. The lambs are eating the pellets now.

Through to the next paddock to check on the old ram and his 6 girl friends.

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A favourite place on a hot day is under this old shelter. It used to be used for milling the logs many years ago, but all the machinery has gone now. Can you see the sheep? Come over and look closer.

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Seldon leads the way as I walk toward the dam.

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He sits and waits for me as I take photos.

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Dams are a necessity in this area as it is very low rainfall. Notice the windmill?

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Seldon has found a shady spot to wait for me. “Come on” I can hear him saying…

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I carefully skirt around this big ants nest. Millions of them busy scurrying about. They can give a very nasty bite.

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I can hear you saying, “but what about snakes?” Believe me I keep a wary eye open for them. Suddenly along this track there was a flash of black and before I could point my camera a snake disappeared into the undergrowth. He had seen me before I saw him and was not going to hang around. Most snakes will slither away so they are not a real danger.

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Past the second dam, and yes that is water under the weed. It is Salvinia a very noxious weed and hard to control. It spread from the neighbours property and Kim is trialling an insect that eats it. I think it may be working as the centre of the dam looks quite brown compared with the outside area.

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In the paddock next to this dam is the last flock of 9 sheep. These are the hoggets and destined to be going into the freezer. Maybe I could call this a “gathering” of sheep…

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Time to head back for morning tea. Next time I will walk around the native flower plantation.

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Maybe I will bring my cuppa out here.

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Or sit and smell the roses…

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Or best of all as the weather gets hotter, and today it is forecast to be 39c (102f), go for a swim later on…

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Well Jo here is some sunshine for you. I hope your winter is not too cold.

I’m joining Restless Jo’s walking group this week with a last walk before Christmas.

Categories: Australia, farming, gathering, house sitting, Jo's Monday walks, photos, travel, Weekly photo challenge | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 53 Comments

The Rural Heart of New Zealand…

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This is the green, green grass my son calls home. This is the view from the kitchen window, of the rolling, lush farmland, that I will be seeing for the next 10 days, as we house sit for Laurie and Kerry while they go on their honeymoon.

This is the neighbours dairy farm across the road and he milks hundreds of cows.

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Laurie’s farm is only 7 acres so we only have 5 beef cows to look after, no milking required…

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I smile when Kerry tells me the names, “Steak” and “Sausage” but the worrisome one is called “Houdini”!!! That is the one at the front that is eyeballing me…

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Then we have “Nisha” the cat, named after a tiger, and she is a cat with attitude. I fed her, so we were friends, and she would curl up on the bed with her hot little body draped over my legs. Jack was a different story and when she bit him one day they were no longer friends…

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In the early morning, as the neighbours cows went to be milked, we would go for a walk around the lane.

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It was so peaceful and perfect light for photography.

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The young yearlings would watch us wonderingly as we walked by. I don’t think they are used to seeing people walking along the road.

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I was so absorbed in capturing the beauty of the world around me that I didn’t realise that Jack was having fun capturing me, until we downloaded the mornings images, then, oh dear, I had to laugh. No wonder the cows were looking at me…

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These are a couple of the neighbouring farmhouses we walked by and they are typical of the farm houses in this area, with the barbed wire fences and the lichen covered fence posts, so photogenic.

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As we arrive back at the gate to Laurie’s place I look across the road  at this magnificent Macrocarpa tree. Later in the day I attempted to capture its strength and beauty in a sketch.

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But now it is time to have breakfast.

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I have joined Restless Jo’s walking group again this week. Another different New Zealand walk Jo. I hope you enjoyed it.

You simply must pop over to see Jo’s amazing walk around the Lumiere festival it is stunning.

Categories: Jo's Monday walks, New Zealand, photos, Waiuku | Tags: , , , , | 72 Comments

New Zealand Highlights…

Of course the top highlights of the three-week visit to New Zealand was the wedding of my son and his lovely partner and meeting a new extended family of in-laws. Also spending time with my daughter in Tauranga.

Between visiting and socializing I did find time to see some interesting places to explore and, naturally, a garden was top of the list.

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Wrights Water Gardens has been created in a disused quarry covering 7 acres. The gardens are rustic, rambling and wild. tracks meander around the ponds and waterways and through the different levels leading to the 30 foot Mauku waterfall. I fell in love with this garden and spent nearly 3 hours wandering around and, of course, the photo opportunities were endless. The light was perfect and I took almost 200 shots. Hard to pick my favourites.

I hope you enjoy this walk around with me and my camera…

It is mid spring and I was amazed at the colour and diversity of the leaf colours and the way the light shone through them highlighting the veins and making them glow.

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The tracks wind through the abundant drifts of perennials and shrubs opening up to ever more delights.

The flowers are in full bloom, the very best time to be in a garden.

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Wisteria flowers create a carpet of purple. Can you see that strange figure? (no not Jack!!!) This one is sitting down.

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What an imaginative way to use old phones…

I think it is time to take a seat and just enjoy the surroundings. This bench is for you Jude. They had put lots of benches around.

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There were also lots of sculptures, but this was my favourite, she looks so relaxed.

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Around another corner and I find an oriental garden.

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A water wheel trickles water over the bank into  the waterlily ponds below.

 

 

The water lilies are just starting to come out and the lotus flowers, that this garden is famous for, are still waiting to burst into bloom.

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Tracks follow the stream trickling over rocks and swirling into ponds. Everywhere the plants jostle together creating drifts of colour and the weeping willow branches droop daintily down to the streams surface.

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The rocks were covered in fascinating forms of lichen and I thought of Meg who shares all the delightful flora and fauna from her part of Australia on her blog, enjoy it here, “snippets and snaps“.

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After seeing tantalising glimpses of the waterfall as I slowly savoured this magnificent garden I now stood and enjoyed the full force of its beauty.

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Restless Jo takes us on fascinating walks every week and she has a happy band of followers, so I would like to join you again this week Jo with a New Zealand garden walk.

 

Categories: garden, garden, Jo's Monday walks, New Zealand, photos, Wright's water garden | Tags: , , , , | 38 Comments

Early Morning Beach Activities…

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 Ok I did not get up at dawn to catch the sunrise, but at 6-30 it is still early and on a sunny, spring morning the beach is busy. Not much surf, but this keen surfer is still going to enjoy what swell there is. Families take their children down to play in the sand and the dog walking brigade is out in force.

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Maybe not much swell for surfers but it looks perfect for this canoeist.

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Looking north along the beach, Surfers Paradise, the hi-rise hubbub, looms on the horizon

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The surf life saving nippers go through their morning training drill, while a tourist catches the cancer rays. Hope she has splashed on the sunscreen…

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The life guards are a very necessary part of beach life as this ocean can be deadly with rips and tides changing unexpectantly. It is reassuring to see these yellow life guard huts dotted right along the beach at all the main tourist spots.

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At the southern end of the beach are the cafes and restaurants and the hi-rise holiday apartments. But I am going up to the walkway, through the park, beside the beach now. It is easier walking and there is lots of activity.

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It is good to see all ages taking some exercise.

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But these blokes have come down for a BBQ. What a lovely way to start the day.

But look behind them…

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This personal trainer has set up his boot camp. Look at all the torture treatment he is putting his troops through. While the BBQ blokes relax in the background…

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These lycra lads have stopped for a quick cuppa. Wonder how far they have biked this morning.

These pretty poodles are the same ones I saw earlier on the beach. They have just had the sand washed off their hairy heads.

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It’s good to see the dogs are catered for as it is hot work walking along the beach, and more so if you have to keep up with your master on his bike…

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Notice the fence on the left? Well I could hear a scratching and scuffling sound in the scrub behind it, so I peeped over. Look what I found…

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A Bush turkey busily scratching in the leaf litter for his breakfast. He was quite oblivious to all the passing crowds, and most of them did not even notice or hear him. I couldn’t resist taking a video of him…

At the end of the video you will see a pile of leaves he is building up. I think that may be a nest he is creating. The male bush turkey does all the house work duties and also rears the chicks on his own.

Here’s some interesting information about these birds, to read more click here.

All Megapodes, (mound builders)including the brush turkey, incubate their eggs in a large mound built and maintained by the male.

  • Mound generally 4m diameter and 1–1.5m high
  • Females dig a hole in the mound to deposit eggs that the male then covers over.
  • About 18–24 eggs are laid in a single mound by a variety of females.
  • Mound temperature affects the sex of the unhatched chicks. A normal temperature of 34 degrees produces equal ratio of sexes: lower temperatures produce more male chicks; higher temperatures more females.
  • The male uses heat sensors in his beak and test digs to check the temperature of the mound and maintain the temperature at 34 degrees.
  • The chicks hatch deep in the mound and take 40 hours to dig themselves out before they quickly find cover in the undergrowth.
  • Chicks fend for themselves and many are eaten by predators including raptors, kookaburras, goannas and cats.
  • Chicks hatch with well-developed flight feathers and roost at night high in trees for safety.

Normally they build their nests in the Burleigh Heads National Park. I have never seen one nesting in this area before. I will come back when I come back home from New Zealand to check him out.

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You may like to stop for a coffee or even breakfast at this coffee shop right on the beach. It is always popular. There are plenty more places to choose from across the road in James Street, the main shopping, café culture place in Burleigh.

I have come on my bike so I am going home for breakfast now, it is only a 10 minute bike ride.

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Restless Jo has a dedicated band of keen walkers from all around the world. To join them is a lovely relaxing, cyber way of seeing local places. Pop over to join them

Categories: Australia, beach, Burleigh, Goldcoast, Jo's Monday walks, photos | Tags: , , , , | 33 Comments

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