Somnalent Stansbury

In Australia, the Summer holiday season is approaching. Amidst the excitement and bustle of Christmas and the emotion of the school year ending, a corner of our minds steals away to plan an escape.

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This week’s photo challenge, Serene, has taken a lot of people to the water. Australians appreciate that – we are a big island where most people hug the coast. Personally, when I lose my inner calm I head to the beach and watch the water lap at the edges of the sand. Refreshing and dangerous. Ever-changing. Timeless.

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On the Yorke Peninsula of South Australia lies Stansbury, a town of less than 1000 people with excellent seafood, delightful streets and views and a great caravan park where you can get a site right on the shoreline as the photos taken at dawn, above, show. Only an hour from Adelaide, it is excellent for kayaking, fishing, crabbing, swimming or just being silent. As with a lot of this Peninsula, the water can be quite shallow for a long while, but it does make it very safe for small children and families love it.

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The town has all the facilities you need and is part of the Walk the Yorke project, where it is planned to have 500 km of walking trail along the coastline. We took our bikes and ended up in some interesting places, on some death-defying goat tracks and eventually a beach. Still here, though. There are good places to explore the shoreline and the limestone cliffs.

Whatever is going on in my life, the tide will rise and fall, regardless, connecting every continent and every person, with all of our joys and cares. Today, tomorrow and always. And this moment will be forgotten, is small by comparison. Very little really matters in the big scheme of things. .

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Tomorrow will bring another adventure.

Safe travels. Always take water and a hat.

 

122 m of Steavenson Falls

With an unexpected warm breeze blowing through the van and the Yarra Valley touring map spread before us, we chose which walks we could fit into an afternoon, from Healesville. Echoes of Westerns past prepared me for adventure as we headed out on Black Spur Drive, looking for Steavenson Falls.

We stopped at Selovers lookout for a quick gaze over the Maroondah Reservoir and surrounding ranges.

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Then on to Marysville, and the turnoff to one of Victoria’s tallest falls. There is a well-appointed carpark (you have to pay) and then information boards to direct you.

It is an easy track, which could be completed in a wheelchair, or if you have more time and are up for a more difficult walk, you can branch off to the Keppel Lookout which is reported to have stunning views of the ridgeline and forests.

There is access to the stream at the base of the falls, but you have to take the main path to the first bridge,

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from which you can take great shots.

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It is where I experimented with trying to capture running water.

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I thought the last one came close. Onward to the top of the falls, past yellow wattle and fallen tree trunks, hollowed with age.

From the top you can try to capture the length of it, but in this I failed.

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The downhill trek was much faster and before long we were heading for Lake Mountain. In the last rays of the day we made our way back to Healesville, along beautiful, fern tree lined roads, stopping at lookouts when we saw them early enough.

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An excellent resource that I printed before we left home was https://visityarravalley.com.au/

Safe travels. Carry water and a hat.

Millions of reasons not to ignore this Warning

 

As Australia drifted northward, 20-30 million years ago, it passed over one of the Earth’s hot spots, causing volcanic activity. Molten material formed the Mount Warning shield volcano and high rainfall created a myriad of streams and rivers which eroded the volcano into its present shape – one of the oldest calderas in the world. Fertile volcanic soil, high humidity and rainfall provided all the elements for the subtropical rainforest to thrive ( some of this reproduced, with permission, from the information board at Mt Warning). It is one of the Gondwana Rainforests and you are surrounded by ancient trees, dripping with moss. I think it is a good candidate for this week’s photo challenge: layered –  from the lava-rich soil, littered with decaying leaves making your ‘twisted’ way up to the tree tops, trickling over shades of green and brown.

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Tweed Heads has long conjured images of surf, sun and excitement. It’s nearness to the Queensland border and Coolangatta make it a popular holiday destination. But I had not known that the Tweed Valley, shared by both New South Wales and Queensland, was the site of an ancient volcano and that Numinbah Nature Reserve is at the base of this layered caldera?

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The Wollumbin National Park, formally Mt Warning National Park, was renamed in recent years to reflect the importance of the lava plug, that is Mt Warning, to the local Aboriginal People, including the Nganduwal, Galibal, Gidhabul, Bundjalung and Widjabal. Many of their Dreaming stories involve the monolith.

There are many walks to choose from and an information booth at the entrance to the park, giving detail, advice and options. We parked at the entrance to the park and walked to the Lyrebird track, which was quite short, but beautiful. The path was firm and bitumised in parts, and we crossed Breakfast Creek and made it to the lookout. If I visited again, I would do a longer walk, but the traditional owners prefer that people do not climb Warning.

I’m partial to walks through a rainforest  – it’s good for everyone, and everything, if we are careful where we tread and what we leave.

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There are excellent facilities – toilets and picnic areas. Take a hat, camera and water. Good walking shoes are not necessary on the Lyrebird trail but would be needed on others. Sunscreen and insecticide are useful, but remember the environment if you decide to dip in a limb.

 

 

Waterwords

When I saw the theme for this week’s photo challenge, I delved straight into my Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) folder, as the Tasmanian gallery is filled with the unusual.

My final choice involved the piece that had an art ignoramus like me transfixed for the longest time. The backdrop is a high wall of what appears to be stone, with two side panels of the same material, creating a 3D frame. This transverses two levels and from a metal beam at the top, where lights are strategically placed, water shoots out at regular intervals, creating different words, that once formed, plunge to oblivion.

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So, in order to take the picture, I had to practice a bit so that I could actually get the word and try to catch the effect. As you see, I finally shot ‘shooting’, which I thought was even more unusual.

The words seem to be unrelated to anything, but maybe if I spent the day there…And what do I call this – a water feature? water words? water wall? waterfall? word fall?

To get the full scale, I put another shot here ( I think the word is smash):

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Look, even if you are not into art, like me, you have to visit this place. So many extraordinary visions will stay with me forever. Tasmania is a picturesque place in itself – see one of my blogs on the Island.

Safe travels. Take a camera, but turn the flash off.

 

Passing time in Albany

img_4137.jpgWe have long since done away with the stocks, but was it an opportunity for a miscreant to pass the time, contemplating their wrongdoings and planning a transition to a new way of life?

This symbol of the 18th and 19th Century legal system is in amazing Albany, Western Australia. It is across the road from the Albany Court House, in Sterling Terrace and is my entry in this week’s photo challenge – Delta.