Archive for the ‘Central Victoria’ Category

Charcoal View of the Barkers Creek Viaduct
October 19, 2017

 

When I was out admiring the Barkers Creek Viaduct near Harcourt, I enriched the experience by making this charcoal drawing.

I find whilst I am drawing, the saying that the more you look, the more you see is very true.

It was very pleasant sitting in the sun whilst communing with the viaduct.

 

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Lambley Nursery, near Creswick
October 9, 2017

Lambley Nursery near Creswick is a great destination for garden lovers. It has extensive display gardens which are a joy to wander through.

Lambley specialises in more unusual exotics especially those suited to hot, dry climates.

A friend and I visited Lambley yesterday, Sunday, on a mild October day. The avenue of blossom trees which line the front driveway are at their snowy best.

 

 

Lambley is situated in open farming country where there is rich volcanic soil. Being at a higher altitude to Castlemaine, the temperatures are generally cooler and the climate damper. The display gardens are surrounded by protective high hedges.

These are views inside the drought tolerant garden where little supplementary watering is done.

 

These are some of the inhabitants of the drought tolerant garden.

 

These plants are growing in other display areas.

If you don’t like tulips, scroll down to the final photo now. On the day, the tulips were the real show stoppers. Here are some examples in all their colourful glory.

The tulips were interplanted with wall flowers, so not only were there gorgeous colours but delightful, sweet perfume as well.

 

 

After all that colour, there is this quiet green avenue to give the eyes some rest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Barkers Creek Viaduct, Harcourt
October 2, 2017

One of the local landmarks in Harcourt is this viaduct over Barkers Creek. Like its much grander cousin in Malmsbury, it was built in 1859 to 1860 as part of the construction of the railway between Melbourne and the Murray River – a significant piece of nation building at the time.

The viaduct was built of granite quarried from nearby Mount Alexander. German stonemasons constructed the viaduct which is typical of the Victorian era when there was great pride in public infrastructure. The viaduct shows fine design and craftsmanship. It has a simple beauty.

This is how the viaduct looked when it was first built. I didn’t realise at first that there is a man lying on the grass.

I didn’t realise Katie is in this photograph until I uploaded it.

Like the one at Malmsbury, the Barkers Creek viaduct is in active service with trains travelling across it at regular intervals on their journeys between Melbourne, Bendigo and Echuca.

The early photograph is from the collection at the State Library. The photographer was from Morris, Alfred and Co. 1860.

The Malmsbury Viaduct – Now and Then
September 6, 2017

I have been trawling through the digital images held by the State Library of Victoria searching for early photographs relating to posts I have published previously.

In 2016, I published a post about the Malmsbury viaduct which was completed in 1860 as part of the railway construction linking Melbourne to Echuca on the Murray River. The solidly constructed bluestone bridge crossing the Coliban River has stood the test of time and looks as good as new.

This old photograph was taken by Alfred Morris and Co. in the 1860s.

The rawness of the cleared countryside is now days softened by the mature trees in the background and the plantings in the Malmsbury Botanic Gardens in the foreground.

 

 

 

In Among The Wool
August 9, 2017

This collage is inspired by the Australian Sheep and Wool Show which is held annually in Bendigo in July.

The Sheep Show has been running since 1877 to showcase Australia’s top wool growers and prime lamb producers.

The promoters of the three day event in its modern form, bill the show as ‘the largest event of its type in the world.’ Whatever the truth of that claim is, it is undeniable that at the show, wool is king and merino rams are lords.

In addition to sheep bred for wool, there was a large area devoted to prime lamb breeds. Dorper lambs are so appealing especially when they are wearing small coats to keep warm.

It is possible to attend the Australian Sheep and Wool Show and not look at a sheep. The many wool craft sheds are thronged with people who have a passion for fashion and the fibre crafts – spinning, weaving, dying, knitting, crocheting and felting.

This year’s show had the added bonus of being the venue for the National Yard Dog Championships so it was kelpie heaven. I found it exciting to watch the kelpies herding sheep through a course of enclosures, gates and ramps under the direction of their handlers.

I spent most of my time in the sheep sheds where I was easily entertained. I was amused watching the rams being taken to their appointed spots for judging as some had no intention of going quietly. Some roared as their owners held them firmly under their chins as they awaited the judges. Young owners lining up roughly 20 lambs for judging was a hoot. It was heartening to see so many young people training to be farmers.

I especially admired the coloured sheep with their long ringlets. Some were tame and were happy to accept pats from admirers.

 

St. John’s Anglican Church, Chewton
June 2, 2017

St. John’s is the only remaining church in Chewton still used as a place of worship. It is part of the Anglican Parish of Castlemaine. It is typical of a small country church.

Nothing fancy, as the stone slab for a back step demonstrates.

The church is set on a hill among gum trees and overlooks the township.

I like the coloured glass windows which give me the feeling of being inside a jewel box.

I like watching the play of light as the sun streams through the windows when…..

 

 

…………I attend the concerts held in the church in the afternoon of the last Sunday of the month during autumn and winter.

The concerts are informal affairs with local singers, poets and musicians donating their talents to help raise funds for the maintenance of the church.

The Castlemaine district is home to a wealth of makers of stringed and wind instruments. Here Michael Sweeney is about to play his lute. People with a keen eye will note that Michael who is left handed, has made a left handed lute.

Dave De Hugard is a well known folklorist and musician who has been collecting and researching Australian bush dance tunes for years. He is playing Australian old time dance tunes on his piano accordion and concertina.

Solway Nutting is playing Bach with her husband on violin and friend on keyboards in harpsichord mode.

With afternoon tea provided, the concerts are a very pleasant way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

More Chewton Sculptures
May 28, 2017

Richard Yates, sculptor, has been busy carving and whittling away since my previous post on this subject, as two more life size sculptures have been added to the Chewton streetscape.

Robert Penney, ‘Bread and Biscuit Baker, Confectioner and General Grocer’, stands ready to serve customers in his shop.

Robert who was born in Bath, England in 1848, accompanied his father to the Chewton goldfields in 1854. He established his bakery in the 1870s and operated the business until 1923. Robert and his wife, Ann Maria, had 10 children.

The yellow tins of Barnes Castlemaine Rock are still sold today.

The building with the peeling white paint housed Robert Penney’s bakery.

Outside the Chewton Senior Citizens Centre, Alice Dennis waves cheerily to passers-by.

Alice, 1923 – 2004, was one of those community stalwarts who help to make small communities function.

She started early, raising funds for the war effort during World War 2. Together with her 4 sisters, they formed a dance troupe, The McLennan Sisters, who performed through out local communities.

The sculpture honours Alice as a Life Time Member of the Chewton Senior Citizens. She served on many local committees including the Chewton Primary School’s Mothers Club.

The containers Alice is holding are a reminder of her famous baked treats.

The Senior Citizens Centre is a former Sunday School.

I was interested to read in the local press that the sculptures created by Richard Yates have attracted some controversy. There are local regulations relating to preserving Chewton’s historic streetscape. These sculptures of Chewton identities are seen by some as being at odds with those bylaws.

Mica Grange Autumn Sculpture Exhibition 2017
May 5, 2017

In my last post about my recent visit to Mica Grange on Easter Saturday 2017, I concentrated on the garden. This post is about the autumn exhibition of sculpture and garden art.

There’s new work to see and new artists  – as well as the work of artists who have previously exhibited here.

The fairy realm has been extended – fairy houses were for sale.

 

 

The work of local potter, Ellen Hansa-Stanyer, featured strongly this year.

Her work is very playful.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I don’t know if the plastic fish came with the water feature.

 

 

Hmmmm…..not sure about the red.

This sculpture was intriguing. The figure is working out how to stick a wing back on the aeroplane.

Does anyone fancy replacing their children with this life size pair?

 

 

 

 

 

Bendigo Easter Festival 2017
April 27, 2017

For our local regional city, Bendigo, Easter means the Bendigo Easter Festival and an essential feature of the festival is………..dragons. Chinese dragons to be exact.

The Easter Festival began as the Bendigo Easter Fair in 1871. The highlight of the Fair was the Gala Parade. The local Chinese community first participated in the parade in 1879 and in 1892 provided a dragon for the parade….thus began a long standing tradition.

I  headed up to Bendigo Easter Sunday to observe the celebrations outside the Golden Dragon Museum as the Chinese cultural component of the Festival prepared to join the parade.

I arrived there early so I could be in the front row behind the barriers.

The initial proceedings were colourful but relatively low key.

Banners which are stored inside the museum were brought out and participants stood around until they were given the signal to move off

Helllllooooo…….I believe that is Lisa Chesters, Federal Member of Parliament for Bendigo.

The men with the bright red sleeves are part of the fireworks brigade.

The pace really began to pick up when the lion dancing troupes arrived. These young people are from the Chinese Youth Society of Melbourne.

Alert!! Who is coming??????

This is who is coming!

By now the fire crackers are being let off, the drums are beating and the cymbals are clashing. The noise is tremendous!

This is one of the dragons which emerged to participate in the Gala Parade.

The excitement is building and the lion dancing troupes form a guard of honour.

The lions are bored…..waiting, waiting, waiting.

Attention!…He’s coming!

Yes, He is coming!

AND HERE HE IS!!!!!…..This is what the fuss is all about  – Sun Loong, the world’s longest, imperial, processional dragon.

The air becomes misty with the smoke from all the firecrackers which crackle on his appearance.

Sun Loong goes off to join the Gala Parade where he is undoubtedly the star.

Sun Loong has one of the cushiest jobs in the world. He snoozes all year to be woken up the day before the parade. The Easter parade is his sole outing for the year.

There is plenty to see when the marchers return to the museum.

The Chinese lions continue to protect the dragons as they return.

This lion troupe in their hot, tropical colours came all the way from Cairns in Far North Queensland.

Sun Loong is the last to return to the museum. He enters tail first.

Sun Loong is given a tremendous send off as he bids farewell for another year.

The celebrations continued after Sun Loong disappeared…… the lions demonstrating their athleticism. The performance concluded with the lions rearing right up tall, parading in a tight circle.

There are no photographs, I was too busy clapping and cheering. I loved every minute of it.

Sun Loong retires in 2018. Bendigo is raising funds so his successor, Dai Gum Loong, can be made.

This video provides more information about Bendigo’s dragons.

Glorious Mica Grange in Autumn 2017
April 20, 2017

Castlemaine’s glorious autumn weather continued over Easter and Mica Grange looked at its shiniest best when I visited on Easter Saturday. The country from the slopes of Mt. Alexander down the Sutton Grange Valley was bathed in bright sunshine.

The roses were in fine form.

 

 

 

The rose hips glowed.

There were potted delights.

 

 

Deciduous trees were clothed in their autumn glory.

 

The orchard and tubs growing vegetables were full of abundance.

 

 

The sculptures and garden art were delightful.

The autumn sculpture exhibition will feature in my next post about Mica Grange.