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Showing posts from August, 2016


Walk in the West

Western Australia's Floral Emblem, the Kangaroo Paw  Anigozanthos mangalesii , I presume, which is only found in the South West of Western Australia Had my first walk for the season today, not a very long one I am embarrassed to say (had to call on my daughter to come and pick me up), but I did see the first of the glorious wildflowers – the first kangaroo paws, the first orchids and many other flowers and birds whose names I don’t know. There were certainly the stunning blues of the lechenualtias (endemic to Western Australia and named after Baudin's naturalist) , a deep purple pea flower, the occasional parrot -pea like clumps and a few guinea flowers, but pink and white seemed to be the order of the day. An unusual Lechenaultia - a different blue to most The first Orchids - definitely a Donkey Orchid but not sure if it's the winter one or the regular one Calothamnus rupestris or Mouse Ear saccording to Ray, who has a lovely website on native

Starwatch – Waiting for Perseid

Photographing Astronomical features is obviously a highly evolved art It’s 5.10 a.m. Perth time. The first magpie has carolled, a distant rooster crows. Someone sent me a message that the Perseid Meteor Shower is supposed to be visible in the Southern Hemisphere at 5.25 and that it was supposed to be especially spectacular this year. We’d seen it once while overnighting on a racecourse in Cairns and it was the most beautiful sight – showers of falling stars.   I didn’t want the girls to miss it, but after last night’s bonfire with charred marshmallows, I couldn’t wake them, so now I was sitting expectantly in the “dress circle” -that bit of curved retaining wall at the back of the house, looking up at the stars and getting a stiff neck and frozen feet. (It’s better if you can lie on your back, have a blanket and a thermos and maybe a couple of pillows).  Astronomers are a hardy lot. I recall a night with freezing ears watching a friend take photos of Magellanic Clouds.

More Antarctica -even the Huskies are coming

It seems that Antarctica is the flavour of the month, or at least it will be in September when Hobart’s Australian Antarctic Festival will run from September 8 -11. There is the Antarctic Dinner of course which I’ve already mentioned and Polar Walks, but there will also be several open days, exhibitions and Expos, a special performance by the Derwent Symphony Orchestra in the Town Hall, an Antarctic Photo Competition and the opportunity to do a tour of the two Antarctic vessels , the Aurora Australis and the French L’Astrolabe.  School children are painting penguins to display along the waterfront and the State Cinema is putting on an Antarctic Film Festival which includes drinks, guest speakers, special readings and screenings and an after party. There will also be school tours and special activities for children, not to mention the huskies. Not sure if I will make it back to Tasmania by then, but if you   want to go to the dinner or tour the icebreakers, be quic


Move over Brett Whitely - this is by Bliss, aged 5. In case you didn't get it, the caption reads, "ADVENTURE IS OUT THERE." I am rather in limbo at present. I was supposed to have flown to India today, but one of the little girls was  sick and had to go to hospital, so I have given up on that idea for the time being. Instead I feel as if I have been transported to an alien planet, a semi -rural one - quite classy if you don’t mind, where well -dressed little girls ride ponies on Saturdays and responsible Gortex -clad parents take their children for hikes and bike rides.  I also feel as if I have been transported back about 30 years because I am doing school pickups, making lunches, eating macaroni and cheese, going to Sizzlers and the occasional netball match – well more like wetball match  since the rain has barely let up, but you’ll be pleased to know that I haven't signed up for tuck –shop duty yet, though I could turn into a Soccer Grandma at any mom