Posts Tagged With: travel theme

Time for change…

I arrived back home from extended travel in January, that was 6 months ago, now I’m sleeping in the same bed every night. My days and weeks have become structured. I have enjoyed watching the garden change through the seasons.  See the garden in its summer glory hereIt is now mid-winter, but in Queensland that means slightly cooler days and nights and no humidity, ideal for working in the garden.

Back in January I planted vegetables and tomatoes in pots.

The tomatoes have done very well and kept us in a steady supply.

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But, annoyingly,  the birds also found them. A bird net over them solved that problem.

I keep the salad greens and herbs in pots so I can move them around to follow the sun. They are now down the far end of the garden in a sheltered area, protected from the winter winds, and they get all day sun.

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The raised bed for herbs, in the front garden keeps on keeping on.

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So that is my vegetable supply and my entry into Jude’s (earth laughs in flowers) weekly/monthly garden photography challenge and for July the theme is “the edible garden”

But while you are here I will take you for a garden walk to see what is happening in July in my garden.

Today winter has arrived it is a rather grey and dismal sort of day, showers are forecast and the temperature is only about 18c degrees, but until this week we have had some warm sunny days and this flowering shrub is bursting into flower. I inherited this shrub when I moved in and don’t know its name but it has a most beautiful soft scent and flowers twice during the year.

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I wonder if you remember the bat plant, the most unusual plant in my garden (see it here) It is a true tropical plant and look at it now.

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It certainly does not like the cooler temperatures. (this is for you Sue)

The compost bin is full and quietly decomposing. It has been a busy time of pruning and mulching as this year there has been plenty of rain and the growth has been phenomenal.

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After that wander around the garden I would like to invite you inside ( joining Ailsa’s Travel Theme, Indoors), through my front door. (Joining Norm’s “Thursday Doors” challenge)

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Come into my very untidy “studio”. That is possibly a rather pretentious term for where I now like to indulge in my new passion.

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So for a while I am going to be loving and leaving you all.

I took my first tentative steps into  the virtual world of the blogosphere in 2009. Since then it has become a major part of my life, journaling my daily and weekly happenings, joining in challenges, searching through thousands of photos in my archives to find the perfect submission for the themes. Taking photos with the ever-present thought of “will that be suitable for a post”, and, of course, making many dear friends from all over the world in this wonderful virtual world of Word Press. Enjoying the connection of “chatting” and commenting with other bloggers and the community spirit of friendship.

Now I want to take a break, spend more time practising art, trying and learning new techniques. Immersing myself in the flow of creativity, reading more books and of course spending time in the garden.

I’m sure I am going to have withdrawal symptoms, 7 years of regular posts is a major commitment, so I will occasionally pop by to say “G’day” and keep in touch with my blogging buddies.

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The hammock hangs forlorn and unused waiting for summer.

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Maybe I will find time to do some house-work, but I will not disturb this spider I think they do a good job of catching mosquitoes.

So that’s it for now. I hope you all have a really great weekend. Bye for now…

 

Categories: Australia, garden, Garden photography challenge, indoors, photos, Thursday Doors, tomatoes, travel, travel theme, vegetable garden | Tags: , , , , , , , | 99 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

The sky on fire…

Today was a perfect day for gardening and I happily lost all track of time as I pottered and planted and mulched and watered. Then as the day came to a close look what I was rewarded with. I just had to share this with you.

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I hope all my blogging friends have had a good day and you have an interesting weekend planned.

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To see beauty like this in nature makes me want to just sit and breathe and absorb it fully in the short time it presents these gorgeous colours for our enjoyment. So I am linking this to Ailsa’s theme of the week “breathe”

Categories: breathe, photos, sunsets, travel theme | Tags: , , , , | 26 Comments

All a Flutter in Surfers Paradise…

A giant, green inflatable octopus has invaded the Islander Backpackers Hostel in Surfers Paradise. I couldn’t miss it as its tentacles fluttered and floated in the breeze.

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This is an “in air installation” created by artist Filthy Luker (yes that is his name, I checked!).

“He is a mixed media artist who transforms the urban environment with art that is playful and mischievous to artistically assault his audience.” (quote)

This is part of the sand safari that is running this month. I will show you more later this week. I can’t believe that it is a year since I took photos of the last event.

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Ailsa has chosen the theme “flutter” for this weeks challenge. I thought this was appropriate.

 

Categories: Australia, flutter, photos, Surfer's Paradise, travel, travel theme | Tags: , , , , | 23 Comments

Crow’s capers…

Listen I can hear the sound of violently splashing water. With camera in hand I tiptoe to the window.

The recent heavy rain has filled the bird bath and this crow is having a great time splashing around.

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He looks up, I wonder if he has heard me…

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I keep very still, then he carries on with his morning ablutions.

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Hopping out he has a shake, droplets of water slide off his glossy feathers…

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Then, refreshed and glossy, he takes off for his day’s activities.

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Couldn’t resist adding this to Ailsa’s glossy travel theme.

Categories: Australia, crows, glossy, photos, travel theme | Tags: , , , , | 34 Comments

Travel Theme : Farm Routine

My recent stay on a farm sit was all routine. So when Ailsa challenged us this week with the word “routine” those 4 weeks on the farm sprang instantly back into my mind.

So come back to the farm with me as I do my daily routine…

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Of course getting out of bed every morning is routine for everyone. The time may be different but we all start our day the same way. But this particular morning when I opened my eyes and saw this blood red sunrise I had to grab my camera and, still in my nighty, rush out into the veggie garden to capture its golden glow.  I also took some photos of the veggies.

After breakfast it is time to feed the animals. I can hear the cows calling.

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Then it was the turn of the sheep.

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Mary had a little lamb, actually Pauline had 3 and I feel like the Pied Piper. Notice the “daggy” hat? I cannot compete for any fashion stakes!!!

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How those lambs have grown and they love the pellets too.

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Water is the life blood of the farm. Being in a “rain shadow area(A rain shadow is a dry area on the lee side of a mountainous area (away from the wind). The mountains block the passage of rain-producing weather systems and cast a “shadow” of dryness behind them. rain is not regular and all the irrigation is reliant on the water from the 2 dams and this pump system to send the water through a complicated irrigation system to all the native flower orchard and the gardens.

I stressed about it failing, so every day I would climb up to peer into the tanks checking the water levels.

Another weekly routine was to “back flush” the pumps to clear out sediment. That was a fun thing the dogs loved too.

Then there was the veggie garden, a regular routine of weeding and harvesting every day.

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But how satisfying it was to gather and then eat these delicious vegetables.

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These are just some of the fruits of my labour. These were picked when Deidre arrived home. The sweet corn all matured together so we had a morning of picking, preparing and processing them for the freezer.

Now I have a secret confession to make…

See behind the  veggies? Well that became my obsession, the dishwasher. I have never used one before and poo-pooed the idea of using one for just 2 people, BUT it became my routine to put the dishes in this marvellous machine after every meal. How circumstances changed my attitude… 

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These strawberries are all in pots and on a raised bench making the daily routine of picking very easy. They also have an automatic sprinkler system and are in a netted enclosure to keep out birds.

The strawberries are nearing the end of their productive season but still found enough to have strawberries every morning with breakfast and strawberries and ice-cream for dessert every evening. Sometimes mixed with rhubarb, a taste sensation made in heaven…

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When Deidre arrived home she came out to help pick the strawberries, notice Seldon, he would get the over ripe ones, he loved them and would dash from one of us to the other in anticipation.

The day is now ending, but one very important task is to feed  the dogs and put them in their pen for the night.

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After a satisfying day on the farm, taking me back in time over 30 years to when I farmed in New Zealand. There is one last thing to do.

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Take time to smell the roses…

Categories: farming, garden, house sitting, photos, routine, travel, travel theme, vegetable garden | Tags: , , , , , | 46 Comments

Travel Theme : Luminous…

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On Labour Day in New Zealand, October 26th, everyone has a 3 day weekend. The shops close, school is out and in the small town of Waiuku, where I am staying with my son and his new wife, it seemed as though the entire population had turned out for the annual fireworks display. We went along to join the happy throng.

The OOHS and AHHS and cheers greeted the luminous, flashes and cascades of sparkling colours.

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How appropriate that Ailsa chose “Luminous” for her theme this week…

Categories: fireworks, luminous, New Zealand, travel theme | Tags: , , , , | 27 Comments

Just Ducking Through…

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Look what was wandering through the garden this morning. Almost camouflaged.

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He popped out to say “Hello” when he saw me.

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Of course I had to rush inside, get him some bread, and grab my camera. Can you see all the bread in the side of his beak? And look at those lovely turquoise feathers. Almost like a splash of paint.

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Then with a “quack, quack, thank you”, they meandered over to the neighbours.

Categories: Australia, birds, ducks, garden, paint, photos, travel theme | Tags: , , , , , | 10 Comments

The angles of the Swell Festival…

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The  Swell Festival is here again. This is the 13th year it has created  an open air, free, art and sculpture installation for 10 days on the glorious Currumbin Beach.

It is quirky, it is fun and it is set against a backdrop of sea, sand and sun

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There are 56 installations this year from Australia and all over the world.

This is called “Googlemon”, Scott Maxwell, the creator, asks you to “weave around the space, head south, find the “sweet spot” and it will all come together”

 I wandered around it looking from all angles. And I thought of Ailsa’s travel theme.

Suddenly, there it was…

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In your face… If you have a spare $18,000 you can put this in your garden.

I will come back later and show you more of these amazing sculptures.

Categories: angles, Australia, Goldcoast, photos, swell festival, travel theme | Tags: , , , , , , | 24 Comments

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