Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Highs and lows.....!


This is the 'Streets of San Francisco' view of the walk along Burns Beach, taken yesterday.  I really enjoyed doing this walk in the run up to the City to Surf  so we have decided to make it a regular happening, it definitely is a challenge, but then all the most worthwhile things usually are.....Oh and Malyss (benchesonmyway) and VP (abunchofbenches) if you draw the picture in close, there's a bench right on the top of the hill that for 'some reason' made me think of you.....!! I bet that bench gets used a lot.....

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

'Laugh Kookaburra Laugh'.....!!


Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree
Merry, merry king of the bush is he
Laugh, Kookaburra! Laugh, Kookaburra!
Gay your life must be...........Written by Marion Sinclair in 1932.

This cute little fella was sitting high in the trees as we passed through Perry Lakes on the home stretch of the City to Surf walk on Sunday (Laughing Kookaburra), I couldn't quite see if he had something in his beak or if it was just a little 'squiffy'.. I was hoping he would make the 'laughing' noise that they are so well known for so that I could include a video, but I think he was a bit 'taken aback' by the 40,000 people passing under his trees....!! The above is the first verse from a popular Australian nursery rhyme (words and music) which I think  is pretty well known all over the world..Hope everyone on the East Coast USA is recovering from Irene.....!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Twenty five thousand steps.....!!



The City to Surf run/walk/marathon is organized by Activ one of Perth's leading community benefit organizations, they have provided services and support to people with disabilities since 1951. This event is a fun way for the people of Perth to show their support, raise money and have a great time while doing it, and believe me they do... some of the costumes are fantastic and some fantastically bizarre, but all with the best of intentions..! It costs each of the many, many thousands of people who enter $45, and on top of that a lot of groups get sponsored, so a huge amount of money is raised...I've picked out a few photo's just to give an idea of the spirit of the event.....!  One of the many long hills..
                                             
                                                                   A group of 'angels'..
                                                                  A couple of aliens....
                                                                    Batman of course.....
                                                                     Grandad pushing pram.....
                                           and my personal favorite, these lovely lads.....
I just heard that there were over 40,000 people walking/running yesterday, what a fantastic effort people of Perth, good on you....!!    p.s. most of the photo's were taken while moving so maybe not as clear as could be, that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.....!!                                            

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Oi !! ....hold that bus.....!!

Only joking...now, at the beginning I'm only joking, but later maybe not so much!!  Today's the day of the big walk/run (CitytoSurf)...and really it's no big deal, it's only twelve kilometers, but long stretches of it are uphill, still no big deal BUT here's the thing...I usually do this walk with my 'friend and sometimes mentor' Bill (Bills Diving) and to say there's a 'competitive edge' some would say is a huge understatement!! It's quite hilarious, we're both at an age where we should be walking at a decent pace.. but not like the devil himself was after us...each determined to get to the finish before the other, as a result, he'll deny it emphatically, we are both totally knackered as we stagger over the finish line!! This year Bill is having 'issues' like..... HE'S GETTING OLD hahahaha! and can't make the walk.. again only joking, the 'frenetic' pace will resume again next year, but because normally I wouldn't even think about slowing down to take photo's, quel horreur he might get too far ahead of me, there's not much to record the event.  This time however, the camera will be out and I will be clicking the many amusing sights that normally 'flash by at the speed of light'. Apart from all that I've wanted to post a picture of one of the Cat buses that are part of a free service run by Trans Perth (Cat buses), this link is pretty cool as it gives you where the buses are running in 'live time'....Still thinking of everyone who might be affected by Hurricane Irene and hope you are all safe.....!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Circles in the sand.....!!

Typical scene at the end of the day on the beach at Sorrento , too chilly by 6pm for anyone but surfers to be in the water,  in summer the scene will be so very different with families swimming until quite late to cool down after the hot day!! I didn't actually see what made the tyre tracks, I'm guessing one of the surf life saving vehicles (an alien presence sounds  way more exciting, but perhaps a tad less likely!!), looks like it was going round in crazy circles but I'm sure there was a plan in place somewhere along the line.....!! Keep safe, I know that's easier said than done for friends on the East Coast USA with the prospect of Hurricane Irene on the way, will be following news reports ....!!

Friday, August 26, 2011

A strange bird.....

           
                             A strange bird is the Pelican,
                             It's beak can hold more than it's belly can.....!!

Mon amie Marie, lives in Guildford and her front garden leads all the way down to the banks of the Swan River, she has the most magnificent view from her apartment patio where we sit and have lunch and watch boats of all types passing up and down on the river, and a wonderful variety of bird life.. including pelicans! When I first met her, I can't remember how many years ago, she would swim in the Swan River at the bottom of her garden, not now, things change, it's not as clean as it used to be! I think if I had that vista to look out on everyday...not much would get done.....!
                             


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Inspiration.....!!

Continuing our 'training' (hilarious!) for the City to Surf walk/run on Sunday, Aimee and I were striding down the West Coast Highway when we happened upon a group who probably defined the word 'training' a little more accurately than we did!! Passing the Sorrento Surf Life Saving Club we were just in time to see the 'youth' (14 - 17 yr old) group doing their training as the sun was disappearing below the horizon. They lined up with their boards and raced out through the surf to a certain spot, turned, paddled back to the beach, lined up again and continued this exercise a dozen times, exhausting just to watch.  There's also a younger group of children aged between 5 - 13 year olds (nippers) who train at a separate time and with more supervision.  These dedicated young people (more) grow up to do an amazing job patrolling and keeping our beaches a safer place...it actually did spur us on with more determination to go just 'that little bit further'.....!!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Confirmation of season.....

With temperatures in the low 20C range sometimes it's hard to believe that it  actually is winter in Australia, but there's no fooling nature...these Plane trees around the lakes in Hyde Park although totally devoid of leaves, to me are a beautiful reminder of which season we are in..There are many really old and beautiful trees in Hyde Park (trees), including Morten Bay Figs which have the most amazing gnarly old trunks and above ground root formations....Have the best day you can.....!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Together...but apart.....!!

In May I posted a picture of the lighthouse on the North Mole in Fremantle here and mentioned that this and it's twin lighthouse on the South Mole (more) are the only pair of  matching (apart from colour) painted cast iron lighthouses in the world. Even though the North Mole (red) was completed first it wasn't operational until 1906 while the South Mole began beaming out in 1903, since then each has had an extra green (South Mole) and red (North Mole) light that flashes in conjunction with the channel markers. The buildings you can see behind the lighthouse on the South Mole are part of the gun structures built during WW2. I took this shot from Fremantle Wharf, so quite a distance and it's probably not as clear as it could be, but clear enough to show that they make a fine pair.....!!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Mum, cob and cygnets.....!

Yesterday I went to Hyde Park with Aimee, mainly because she had been there on a picnic the day before and had spotted the illusive black swans that I had searched for before, apparently in all the wrong places..! The Black Swan (more) is our state emblem and is featured on the Western Australian flag and Coat of Arms, it has mainly black feathers but with white 'flight' feathers, would love to get a picture of that, and a bright red beak. It all looks calm in the picture but the male (cob) swan spent a lot of time noisily seeing off anything else that was in the water (ducks, coots, moorhens) if they dared to come near the chicks, he also, according to Wikipedia, whistles when disturbed breeding hmm!!  The swans are mainly herbivorous, I took a short video showing the way the adult swans plunge their heads under the water bringing up algae and aquatic plants for the chicks to feed, they were such fun to watch, a great little family....  p.s. crossing fingers the video works, it looks better if you make it full screen....!

video

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Birds in my garden III.....



High at the top of the palm tree these three Corellas between them can make a fair bit of noise, you can see one of them is probably screeching at me to hurry up with breakfast....! Corellas are a type of small white cockatoo (more), but unlike other members of the subgenus 'cacatua' they have pale beaks....They travel around in big flocks, landing to forage for a while then the word gets around and they take off all together, when they land in my back garden it's quite a sight, I never get tired of seeing them and they are so used to me now, I can walk through them and they just carry on feeding.....!! Happy Sunday.....!!



Saturday, August 20, 2011

Someone believed.....

   ...in these words enough to repeat the same passage over and over again....!!

and interestingly if you look closely you will see that in each section even though the words are the same, different 'words' and 'groups of words' have  have been highlighted, and each section is in the same  handwriting.... amazing dedication .....!! On the opposite wall in the very same lane.....
 Bit of a contrast.....!! It's winter here in Australia and we're expecting 23C today, go figure ..!! Hope the sun's shining in some way for you today.....!!                       

Friday, August 19, 2011

Blue, white and red.....!!

In complete contrast to the previous day's ominous clouds, the skies yesterday were almost clear blue and the temperature a mild 19C, perfect for walking....on the last stretch home up the hill from Hillary's Marina there is a road lined with flowering Flame trees and I couldn't resist the combination of blue, white and red....hmm! les coleurs of a certain flag oui.....!! It's also my contribution to Skywatch Friday...Hope you have an excellent Friday.....!!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

No pain, no gain .....!!

This road looks deceptively flat, and it is.... in this ONE spot, believe me or not (would I fib?) 90% of this stretch of walking path from Burns Beach to Whitfords Surf Rescue has more 'highs and lows' than the 'streets of San Fransisco'..but you see, that's the challenge..!! I'm taking part in a charity walk/run in a few weeks time and I desperately need to train up a bit, well more than a 'bit', totally!! A friend and I set off on a two hour walk, along the way we passed a young couple smooching on a bench, hmmm! on the way back they were still at it, I couldn't resist remarking  'that looks so much more fun than this!!' They looked up, smiled, and got right back to it.....!! The reward for our efforts was a really good cup of coffee sans le gateau at the Burns Beach Cafe.....! Have a fab Thursday.....!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Heads down.....!!


     BOTTOMS UP.....!!
                                                                  
What can I say.....this isn't exactly the post I had in mind for today, but I've been having a few technical problems with 'our friend blogger', and the 'duck's derriere' was ready to go, there must have been something 'really, really' good down there I didn't catch sight of this little fellas' head at all...!! has anyone else been having trouble with commenting and preparing posts.....? Hopefully sorted soon, not the end of the world and anyway...this might be fitting for 'watery Wednesday' oui.....??

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Rumbled...twice.....!!

In the city on Saturday afternoon, we were looking down onto Forrest Chase watching the preparations for a 'Rally for Equal Marriage Rights', spotting a group of 'nuns', I zoomed in only to find things are not always as they seem!! This nun was sporting a very hairy face and substantial nose ring, but it was the pink beads that gave him away haha!! Looking up and seeing me with my camera, he waved and promptly took my picture too..Rumble No. one!!.... panning my camera across the scene it came to a rest on.. 'the heavy police presence' (she said tongue in cheek!!) Rumble No. two..!! and another wave..Oh how I love a peaceful rally, why can't they all be like this, without the distraction of violence to take away from the point being made.!! Still pelting down in Perth, yay! hope those dams are filling up for summer.....!! p.s. will explain about the 'hairy nun' tomorrow.....!!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Central Park.....!!

Central Park (history) is situated on St. George's Terrace right in the heart of Perth's CBD and is considered premium office space. It is 226 mtrs tall (the tip of the building is 261.7 mtrs above sea level) and is Perth's tallest skyscraper at the moment, but will soon be taken over by City Square which will be 270 mtrs when completed. Central Park is host to the 'annual stair climb'... 53 flights of stairs to the roof (I don't think so!!) and in 2008 raised over $103,000 for Multiple Sclerosis..!! I took this shot from the 'other side' on Hay St. because I wanted to bring in a few more textural elements. Well, another week begins.....with a little luck, peacefully.....!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sunday flowers with a difference.....!!

They have no perfumed smell, they certainly are not lush and soft to the touch, but they are as bright and colourful as many a plant out there ...! A while back we went to an exhibition of 'floral art' at the Art Gallery in the city, and before we even went in to see the main show, this unusual 'arrangement' was floating in a water feature at the entrance to the gallery. The petals are cut out of plain, patterned, coloured and textured linoleum. Once again my mind 'boggles' when I see the creative things that artists do with the most basic of materials.....!!  It's raining cats and dogs here in Perth today...love it!! Have an 'inspired' day.....!!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Birds in my garden II.....!

Don't be fooled by this innocent looking feathered friend sheltering from the rain on the fence in my back garden.  Yes, it is gorgeous, all birds are, but that little hook on the end of it's beak is deadly to it's victims.  It is the Grey Butcher Bird (more) endemic to Australia. Named thus because when it kills it's prey, which can be anything from insects to small vertebrae creatures like lizards and other birds,  it impales it on something sharp like a thorn or something similar to make it easier to eat, or store for later or believe it or not to attract a mate..! Not quite sure which of these it was attempting when it impaled a baby dove on one of the plants on my patio, but believe me it didn't 'attract' me in the slightest..!! The  balance of nature can sometimes be tough to witness.....!!  Have a great day.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Sky over the Swan River.....

Can't believe it's Friday again, where does the time go..?  One of the many things I like about the winters in Australia are the beautiful and quite often dramatic skies, makes for many great photo opportunities, I'm sure all my Australian blog friends will agree with me on this, even Bill (billsdiving) who takes a lot of his pictures 'under' the water...! I took this shot a few weeks ago when we were having a lot of rain and at one time the pier and half of the boat house were under water as the river had risen to crazy levels.  Happy skywatch Friday and have a peaceful weekend.....!!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Soft landing.....!

Sometimes when you take a close up of flowers and plants it's not until you look at them later in more detail that you realize that you've captured that little bit extra. Goodness know what this little creature is, but I'm pretty sure it's waving at me oui.....!! Have a fab day.....

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Packing up.....!!

I remember when I took this picture that I was quite a long way down the pier and turned back to look just as the sun was going down, seeing the silhouettes of the fishermen packing up their gear to go home and despite the fact that I had to zoom in from quite a distance thus making it not the clearest picture I've ever taken, there was something about it that appealed to me. It begs the question, does a photograph always have to be perfect to be considered acceptable, or is there room for artistic interpretation and content.....? I will be so interested to hear your thoughts on this one.....!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Bring on the big guns.....!!


I should start by saying that yes this is a dangerous race and those adventurous men (and I noticed a few women in there)  take their chances, but the safety rules and regulations set in place are of the tightest level, there are safety vessels at all stages of the race ready to spring into action if needed. From the time the last kayaker comes through the rapids there is a substantial time lapse before the first of the speed boats comes careening through the gap to allow the kayakers to get well ahead onto the straight. There are times when the advantage definitely goes to the kayaker, for instance last year the water levels were so low due to lack of rain that for many parts of the rapids the boats and kayaks had to be carried, have a look here (Avon Descent 2010) to see the most amazing pictures of last years race conditions. I should imagine that it would be a lot harder hauling a speed boat over rocks than it would a kayak, but... I never intend to find out, how about you.....!!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Up the creek without a paddle.....!!


After an early wake up, an hours' drive, a ten minute bus trip and a twenty minute walk we reached our spot in the Walyunga National Park where we were hopefully going to get our best pictures of this years Avon Descent. This is the only event in the world (according to Wiki!) where power craft race paddle craft, with time handicaps of course and I've just heard that  this years winner was two brothers in a kayak, yay go paddle power!! This is a Grade 2- 4 white water rapids race and it's 133 grueling klms test the endurance of the fittest athlete. As they came around the corner and tried, not always successfully to dodge the many hidden rocks, there was a collective groan from the spectators. It was pretty hard to pick, out of the many photo's I took, so I went mainly on expressions, if you have a little zoom in on faces, the agony and the ecstasy is there...!! I've shown the kayakers today, will put up some of the speed boats tomorrow. Hope you had a good weekend, sorry for lack of comments yesterday, back to normal today.....!!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

That 'certain something'.....!

Normally I would say 'while having coffee and cake I saw.....!!' but as I am once again on the eternal quest to lose that incredibly stubborn five kilos that once gone will magically change my whole life.....I'm sure you know I'm totally NOT serious about the 'whole life changing thing' but I would like to drop a couple of kilos, so......while I was having coffee, minus the cake with a friend yesterday, I spotted this very poised and elegant looking lady and couldn't resist taking a quick snap, she has a little smile on her face and I'm wondering if she knew I was taking the photo.  So my guess is that she may be Italian, she looks very stylish and European, what do you think....Italian, Spanish.....?? I'm  off on an adventure today to try and get some pictures of the Avon Descent, a two day annual white water boat race, wish me luck and have a great day.....!!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Helloooo world.....!!



The sun was shining, the kangaroos were relaxed and it was well worth the wait when little heads started popping out of pouches left, right and centre..! Honestly it really is the most amazing thing to watch, it starts with a sort of squirmy movement in the tummy area, then a little black nose pushes through, one ear then another and all of a sudden  'pop' out comes the cutest little face ever. A lot bigger than the 'lima bean' sized newborn that climbed it's way up to the pouch, there they will be safe and warm and suckle until they are nine months old, enjoying the odd nibble on the grass when mum bends low enough for them to reach it. I hope that like this little joey, you have a safe and snug weekend.....!!
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