Lenten roses

In response to Cee’s flower of the day, today, in which a cactus flower is displayed, I have decided to show the Lenten Rose, which I saw on a recent visit to Hobart, Tasmania. The lenten rose, making its appearance in central parks and the Botanic Gardens, is well-outside of Lent, here, but in the northern hemisphere, that could have contributed to its name.

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The Lenten Rose, or hellebore, is not a rose at all, but a member of the buttercup family. With its nodding head, I had to get right down to ground level to catch its ‘face”.

 

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.

 

Hobart

Our real discovery of Hobart began with a cool sunrise! But we had arrived there the afternoon before.

Mona – the museum of old and new art- was first on the Hobart agenda and despite the fact that I am not very interested in art (I visited as a result of ‘top ten things to do’ and my husband’s interest) we stayed there for about 2 hours. There are some amazing and thought provoking displays, as well as the quirky and the just plain boring.

With about an hour of daylight left, we set our sights on Mt Wellington. It is a long and winding road, narrow and steep. There are painted markers on the road, telling you how far you have to travel to the summit, but at about 5km the cloud set in. By the time we got to the top, brief slits of red sunset managed to appear on occasion, but the swirling mass of sunset-tipped cumulus nimbus obliterated the view of Hobart we hoped to get that day.

The next day we headed out to Mount Nelson, reported to have views that were sometimes better than Wellington, as they were more reliable. The stories of the keepers of the signal station, from 1811 to 1969, where they used Semaphore over great distances, were inspiring and moving. The views were quite lovely but trees had clearly grown to obscure some angles.

We didn’t really give ourselves enough time in Hobart and feel we missed the architecture of the town and the character of the wharf, along with historical and general sites like the Botanical Gardens. OK, the Cadbury chocolate factory, too.

The roads and suburbs are easy to navigate, whether you are walking or driving. We had great weather while there – around 23C each day and there were nearby places that I would visit if I went again, such as Richmond. The townships are enticing in their history and manageable size. Top Ten Tips should add ‘one or two days to explore one of those quaint towns you passed through/by.’

On our exit, we stopped to say farewell to Mt Wellington and the Tasman Bridge.

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Safe Travels. Drive slowly in fog.

From Strahan to Hobart

Leaving Strahan with Hobart in the GPS, we made it to Queenstown in good time, stopping for any exceptional views along the way.

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Queenstown is like many towns in Australia that began as booming mining ventures and died a slow and unattractive death as the mine failed. There are quaint and ornate buildings in the town and impressive monuments to soldiers and to miners. Large hills form a protective backdrop to the town and the train station and Empire Hotel are beautifully maintained.

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Just out of town we stopped at the mine, where the green pool at the base of the deep stratified pit made the copper deposits obvious. Apparently, Abel Tasman noted that his ships’ compass needle shot north while passing this island and knew that Iron would be found in large quantities when someone found a way to approach safely.

En route to the capital we visited Nelson Falls, which was an easy and picturesque 20 minute return walk to the tiered falls. The vegetation along the way was sub-tropical ferns and trees, very green and dotted with moss.

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A roadside stop took us to a narrow and sometimes steep track to the Franklin River and one-person suspension bridge. I think that for both of us it was a milestone to see the river that had been at the heart of so much controversy in the ’80s. We were a little surprised to see the number of cars parked there, suggesting that at least 20 people had undertaken the Overland Trail – lasting 5-6 days. Good examples of fungus and bright flowers were caught.

Another stop at Derwent Bridge was special. There is a well-appointed visitor centre there, and we made use of the tables to have lunch with a great view.

 

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Reading that Tarraleah had a distillery, we made our way into that town but only found the Hydroelectric station. It is pretty impressive, with information that it is merely one of a series of such stations along the river. Commanding views.

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The little town of Ouse (ooze) was our signpost to turn off to Mount Field National Park and Russell Falls. The tourist literature said it was the most impressive of Tasmania’s waterfalls, with tiers over which it cascades. The drive was beautiful and, once there, the walk was easy and the falls pretty good, considering the locals said they hadn’t had much rain and it was the start of Autumn.

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Although our GPS took us to a wall that must have featured on the heritage list, rather than our expected accommodation, a quick phone call to Motel 429 brought us to the desired establishment in Sandy Bay. A good location, opposite Wrest Point Casino and calm water, beneath the brooding shoulder of Mt Wellington. There were supermarkets, restaurants and food vans on the weekend, all within an easy walk. If that wasn’t enough, we got a stunning sunset.

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We were set to explore Hobart.

Safe travels.