Avoca Silo

May 23, 2021 - Leave a Response

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Rural Victoria is becoming a giant art gallery as the grain silos of small towns become the surfaces for art works.

The silo trails are bringing visitors to country regions and boosting local economies.

Some friends and I recently visited Avoca where a Powerful Owl is being painted on a silo. The Powerful Owl is found in the nearby Pyrenees Ranges which overlook the town.

 

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I look forward to seeing the painting another time when it is finished.

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This is the view of the silo from the railway station. There is a change of weather rolling in across the Pyrenees.

 

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It is a while since I last published a post. There have been frustration and tears as I have struggled to adapt to the new way of uploading images. I am disappointed that viewers can no longer click on a photograph to obtain a larger, more detailed image.

Autumn Wreath

May 1, 2021 - Leave a Response

Yesterday on a glorious autumn afternoon, I joined an activity organised by the Maldon Neighbourhood Centre – Gardeners and Gatherers.

We visited two local Maldon gardens where I gathered pieces of succulents to pot up at home and ripe figs from an old tree to feast on.

I am fairly new to visiting gardens with other garden enthusiasts, but I now know trying to keep such a group to a timetable is well nigh impossible – as difficult as herding cats is a very apt saying.

The final item on the agenda for the afternoon was a wreath making workshop in the rotunda in the local park. This was a novel experience for me as Kate from Winter Creek Flowers guided the group through the process of making  our own wreaths. By the end of the workshop, my hands were fragrant with the smell of eucalyptus oil.

Here are some photographs of the wreath I made:

 

 

 

 

Pre COVID Memories

April 16, 2021 - Leave a Response

In early 2020 when COVID-19 was something happening somewhere else, I attended a school holiday production of Fantastic Mr. Fox.

I am seen here with the cast of the production. My niece, Xi Gui, is the rabbit directly behind me.

We have all been touched in various ways by the corona virus pandemic. Come March when the virus had arrived in Australia and restrictions were being imposed, my niece lost her job, her dance school closed and, of course, there were no more live productions.

Thankfully, with no community spread of the virus for some time, Gui now has employment and is studying musical theatre.

Australia now needs to get its act together and roll out a co-ordinated vaccination program so most of us have had the jab by the end of 2021. Being young and healthy, Gui will be at the end of the queue.

The photograph was taken by a member of my family.

New Shirt

April 11, 2021 - Leave a Response

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Here I am walking down the street in my new shirt featuring a Blue Tongue lizard.

The fabric was designed by an indigenous artist. The photograph was taken by the person who made the shirt.

I had the shirt made after being visited by a Blue Tongue lizard at home.

A Wander Through Muckleford Bushland Reserve

March 27, 2021 - Leave a Response

Before breakfast one February morning, Katie and I went on a wander through the Muckleford Bushland Reserve which is an area between Castlemaine and Maldon.

The light of the rising sun streamed through the trees which border the Victorian Goldfields Railway.

This low hanging mistletoe was in flower.

This is a favourite place on our walk.

If you look carefully, you can see spiders hanging in their webs. They were big spiders with giant webs. The one in the top photograph is easier to spot.

 

Now for a series of leaf shots. On this walk are low growing eucalypts where leaves are within easy reach.

I am fascinated by the light and shadow made by the sun shining through the leaves.

 

I like the red edging on these leaves.

It looks like an insect has been laying eggs in these leaves.

Art In The Vines Sculpture Exhibition, 2021

March 18, 2021 - Leave a Response

For a third year, Hanging Rock Winery has mounted a sculpture exhibition. This one is running from November 2020 and finishing 21 March 2021.

I viewed the exhibition on a brisk autumn day last Sunday, a week before it is due to close.

The sculptures are varied based on both natural themes and abstract shapes.

This sculpture, Swallow in Flight, is aptly named.

The magnificent old gum is used to display artistic work.

These knitted wire shapes swing gently in the breeze.

Tracing was inspired by the nests of Weaver birds.

St. George and the Dragon 2 battle it out among the trees.

Matt Hill, the sculptor of Roofus, certainly knows his kangaroos.

Nature has been making itself at home in the months the sculptures have been on show. Cobwebs adorned the ears of the kangaroo and the prey of a spider hung between its ears.

Trees provided inspiration for three of the works.

Zoe Amor’s The Trees is a modest work.

But if you want to stand out from the crowd, be big and bright blue. It was impossible to ignore the Blasted Blue Tree.

The Articulations is described by the artist as a skeletal tree. I think it creeped out some of the viewers. I loved it.

 

Future Seed is arresting with its simple curved shape and intricate surface treatment.

 

Jock Clutterbuck’s Landscape with Passing Cloud nicely frames another sculpture.

I wondered how Leichhardt’s Map of Tower Hill would weather in the open air given it is oil paint on copper.

 

Ahoy ticked a few boxes for me. It has curved shapes attractively arranged and shiny, reflective surfaces. The shiny orb is a little artwork in itself.

 

The bright red of M-twentythree added a burst of colour to the exhibition.

 

Here I am looking into the interior of Cube.

 

I couldn’t resist this beautiful kinetic wind sculpture, Angel.

I am so happy low COVID cases in Victoria mean exhibitions such as this can be staged again and I have the privilege of visiting them.

The Castlemaine State Festival and The Fringe Festival commence tomorrow (Friday) night – Two weeks of COVID safe music, performance, dialogue, art and general frivolity – What a Treat!

Welcome Visitor

March 8, 2021 - 11 Responses

This post has been delayed by the transition from my old computer to my new one.

Katie was inside barking at the back window. Something was exciting her. When I went to investigate, the head of a Blue Tongue lizard could be seen. The lizard stayed put on the door step whilst I fetched my camera and went out into the backyard.

As a gardener, I was very happy to see the Blue Tongue as they eat snails, slugs, beetles and caterpillars. They also eat strawberries and tomatoes. However, my tomatoes haven’t suffered and I am not growing strawberries.

The Blue Tongue lizard is the largest of the skink family. Unlike the small species of skink which live in my garden and dart away at my approach, the Blue Tongue is slow moving. Still, I was surprised this one remained motionless whilst I took photographs. If it felt threatened by me, it could have opened its mouth and stuck out its bright blue tongue in a show of defiance. A bit of hissing usually adds to the effect.

The lizard disappeared after I returned indoors.

I am having a shirt made featuring a Blue Tongue lizard design in honour of this occasion.

Ambling Through The Chewton Bush

February 16, 2021 - 6 Responses

These photographs give some idea why the hills surrounding Castlemaine and Chewton were never used for grazing.

Early this morning, Katie and I went for an amble along bush tracks popular with locals who live in or near Henry Street which gives access to the Castlemaine Diggings National Heritage Park.

As is common in this area, we were often walking on bare rock.

Katie and I were walking through Box- Ironbark Forest. During the goldrush period, the bushland was stripped of timber which was used for mining, gold extraction processess, building and domestic purposes. Once mining operations ceased and people left the area, the bush was left to regenerate. These multi trunked trees have regrown from the old stumps.

The colours of the bush glowed in the early morning light.

The Cherry Ballart with its dark green colouring stands out in the bush.

Artificial water holes such as this one provide valuable habitat and water for native fauna.

I kept an eye out for small details such as this giant spider web and lichen encrusted rock.

This is the entry way to a disused mine.

I admired the pink colouring in one of the embankments.

I was very lucky to see this black and orange wasp entering its nest.

When the wasp emerged again, I moved out of the way as it took to the air. I was hoping I hadn’t annoyed it.

Big, dark, scary hole. I have never been tempted to ignore the sign and venture in.

This must surely be the last of this season’s Hyacinth Orchids. It is growing directly out of the rubble at the mine’s entrance.

This is the final photograph from my morning’s walk. A small eucalypt is growing defiantly in the ground previously stripped bare by humans.

Poverty Gully Race

February 10, 2021 - 9 Responses

Katie and I like to amble beside sections of the Poverty Gully Race.

The now disused races or hand dug channels carried water to the settlements and mining sites of this district.

The track along the race is quite popular with both walkers and mountain bikers. I remember my first encounter with a mountain biker. I was puzzled that anyone would want to cycle down the particularly steep and rough section I was traveling along at the time, especially as I use a hiking stick to help keep me upright when walking in the bush.

Sections of the track give views across Castlemaine, Chewton and the surrounding hills. Mount Alexander with the towers on its summit is featured in the last photograph.

Heritage Tree

January 21, 2021 - 7 Responses

The Stone Pines in the Castlemaine Botanical Gardens have distinctive flat tops.

This particular specimen is on the Register of Significant Trees of Victoria.

There are a number of trees in the gardens which are also listed on the Register of Significant Trees – not all are as magnificent as this tree.

The bark of the tree is full of character.