Archive for the ‘Castlemaine Botanical Gardens’ Category

Cork Oak, Castlemaine Botanical Gardens
June 15, 2017

An April day with a wafting warm breeze as I sat under this cork oak, Quercus suber, drawing and just enjoying the Castlemaine Botanical Gardens.

Katie snuffled around nearby, vigorously digging a small scrape in the grass from time to time.

Katie and I weren’t the only ones taking in the delights of the gardens during the school holidays at the end of first term. The gardens were well populated with cyclists, dog walkers and adults strolling with children. There was plenty of activity in the playground and Barbeque area as well.

It was a good day to relax and just be.

Flooding Rains
September 14, 2016

‘I love a sunburnt country,

A land of sweeping plains,

Of ragged mountain ranges,

Of droughts and flooding rains.’

Dorothea Mackellar

(1885 – 1968)

Right now, Castlemaine is receiving the flooding rains.

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This is a vine draped shelter in the Castlemaine Botanical Gardens in autumn 2015.

This is the same shelter this morning, Wednesday, the 14th of September 2016.dscn5241

Steady rain over the past two days has resulted in Barkers Creek overflowing into Lake Johanna, the ornamental lake in the Castlemaine Botanical Gardens, which in turn has merged with Barkers Creek.

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Because of drought, Barkers Creek was the occasional water hole until winter rains began to fall this year. Today it is unrecognisable as the happily gurgling creek of recent weeks. The sound of the rushing flood filled the air.

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Curious spectators enjoyed the novelty of paddling in the expanded Lake Johanna.

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Familiar, often walked paths are now waterways.

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It was along this path that I drew a picture earlier this year.

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In October, my tai chi class will return on Monday mornings to this group of trees for our weekly sessions.

Autumnal Oaks
June 17, 2016

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This week I had the opportunity to draw this picture in soft pastel. I had been waiting for weeks for the oaks in one of my favourite sections of Castlemaine’s Botanical Gardens to reach the peak of their autumnal glory.

It is early winter and the oaks are among the last of the deciduous trees to acquire their autumn colour. It was fine, but chilly, when I commenced the drawing on Monday morning, but Wednesday morning was just glorious. There were plenty of people out walking – many with their grandchildren or dogs. Nearby, a small group was practising Qi Gong.

Crimson rosellas, Australian magpies and Bronzewing pigeons enjoyed the bounty offered in the gardens that morning.

This picture gives me a lot of pleasure. I hope you enjoy it too.

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Ode to Autumn
May 23, 2015

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 The colours and fruits of autumn have captured my attention over the past few months when this series of photographs was taken.

I was hobbling around as I recovered from a leg injury which meant my ability to walk any great distance was impaired… so I carried my camera and Katie learnt patience as we proceeded on our gentle walks.

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 None of the trees and plants featured in this post are native to Australia. Their origins are in other parts of the world. Some have been carefully planted whilst others have escaped and settled where conditions have suited them.

Australian trees are generally evergreen shedding their leaves throughout the year. More leaves are shed during summer or times of drought to conserve water.

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I revelled in the intense, bright colours of foliage.

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Autumn is the season of fruitfulness for a variety of plants.

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The Castlemaine Botanical Gardens in its autumn mood.

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Charcoal Drawing: Broken Willow
January 24, 2013

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The willow stands broken.

Its canopy is still dense and green,

New growth sprouting from its trunks.

A large raw scar marks where one trunk broke away –

Its leaves now skim the lake providing shelter for ducks and moorhens.

Castlemaine Botanical Gardens

8th January 2013 

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