Royal Botanic Gardens

I met some friends in the gardens for lunch today. It was mild and beautiful and we had a lovely relaxed time together. But I arrived early (intentionally) and took some pics.

These are dahlias, but with dark foliage.

Almost heart-shaped.

The spikes are, I suppose, intended to say “Keep Away”. But if the spiders got the memo, they ignored it.

Little pagodas. No that’s not what they’re called, but that’s what they look like.

If you look closely at this one, the tight flowerbuds look just like popcorn about to burst.

Pineapple trees these are not, but again, they could be…

Now this is symetry.

I love these with the leaves appearing to have been skewered by the branches. They look like caterpillars made in kindergarden, with discs strung on a string.

Past their prime, but these ecchinacea are still gorgeous.

This is what a drift is supposed to look like…

Does anyone remember a tv program from the early 70’s…english…with a dog called Dougall who was all but hidden under his long coat? This looks like a Dougall family reunion to me.

Red dahlia with the same dark foliage

Looking out from the Rose Pavilion

Ceiling of the Rose Pavilion.

Don’t they watch television?

Son1 and I went for a drive yesterday checking out water levels around our area. Creeks were swirling, paddocks were floating, but it was all a curiosity for us, no danger. Our last stop was the ford nearby. Water flows across this ford regularly, after any substantial rain and locals know when this short cut is not available to them. (A big sign back at the main road helps too).

I was taking photos and chatting with other locals about the depth/speed of the water, when a car decided it was worth a try. Crossing the ford that is.

Within metres of entering the water, it came to a stop forwards and began to slide sideways. Fortunately for them, they’re not the first to put themselves in this situation and there are bollards to prevent cars being washed downstream. The car quickly settled against the bollards.

The girl in the car was, not surprisingly, quite upset. She opened her window and climbed onto the roof. Her male companion driver was recipient of many words. We watched as he climbed on the roof too.

Another onlooker waded a little way into the water. He quickly realised the water was running too fast to reach the car and instead focused on calming the girl, lest she try to escape the car. He also called the fire brigade.

Within a few minutes, all the services were there. The big fire truck, ambulance and police. The fire truck drove alongside and the two transferred to the car. Safe.

It’s hard to imagine that they’ve missed all the television footage about the power of water in flood. Perhaps it was too far away or abstract for them. Who knows? But the fellow’s car is likely to be a write off and he’s got plenty of explaining to do. To his girl, to the police, to his family. An expensive few minutes.

ten minutes

The sky outside was doing interesting things with all the clouds and rain around, so I went out to try to catch the changing light before sunset.

I was trying to capture the sun behind this tree, and also caught the chimney and the cactus. Yes, this cactus has taken root in the space between roof and chimney. It’s not visible from the road, or from anywhere on the property next door. In fact the only place it can be seen from is the front-side window of our house. It looks like it’s hiding from the world.

Ten minutes later, the light was very different. But the cactus is still there.

A few minutes more and the sky was flaming.

And this happens every night. Amazing.

In a jam

I rang a friend today to share a cup of tea. She said she was jamming, to bring my pinny.

I did. And this is how it went…

…or in other words…

In a jam

a large bowl of apricots

a lot of sugar

a bit of water

a few seed-freed kernels

halve the apricots

spit the pip

weigh the apricots

measure the water

weigh the sugar


don’t stir

are we there yet?


add more sugar



wash the jars

are we there yet?



dry the jars match the lids

are we there yet?


let’s eat lunch

are we there yet?


fill the jars

label the jars

wash the pots dry the pots

clean the kitchen

now we’re there!

Wetlands beach

Took the dog for an off-lead walk yesterday along the wilder part of the beach stretching west from Altona.

This is the only remaining part of a train (trolley car?) line that used to extend some distance out to sea. It carried explosives from the Truganina Explosives Reserve (beyond that fence) to waiting ships. The explosives were hand-stacked in bunkers here.

Can you see the pair of fairy wrens? Not often I’ve seen them together.

They may be a weed here in Victoria, but these thistles are quite magnificent.

Happy New Year

Last night, we headed into Melbourne town to watch the fireworks. The weather had conveniently settled after a nasty northwind 40 deg day and it was a glorious, still mid-20s. This year the Arts Centre spire was included in the launch sites and we positioned ourselves carefully.

I took some photos then fortunately my battery died and I could just sit in open-mouthed wonder.

Nothing like fireworks to start the year.