Archive for the ‘Daylesford’ Category

Gale and Gusto
September 28, 2015

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On Saturday,  I visited the Hepburn Community Wind Farm at Leonards Hill near Daylesford as a member of a tour organised by Mount Alexander Shire Council.

It was a perfect, sunny, warm day with NO WIND so Gale and Gusto were having the day off.

I was keen to join the tour as I had read and heard about the criticisms of wind farms so this was an opportunity to get up close and personal with a wind turbine. Taryn Lane, representing Hepburn Wind, was kept busy explaining the history of the project, how local community support was harnessed, how the community co-operative worked, the benefits of the wind farm for the environment and for the community, and countering the criticisms.

Hepburn Wind Community Energy is the owner and operator of Australia’s first community owned wind farm. The 4.1 MW wind farm produces enough clean energy for over 2,000 homes and delivers a range of benefits to the local area including grants and sponsorships for local projects through the Hepburn Wind Community Fund.

The wind farm project began in September 2004 and began generating power in June 2011.

Another community owned wind farm, Denmark Community Windfarm Ltd. now operates in Denmark, Western Australia.

In recent years, state and federal governments have been anti-wind (anti-renewable energy in general) making it more difficult for other community owned wind farm projects to proceed. With a new Victorian government which is more positive about wind generated electricity, there are hopes there will be active support for new and fledgling community wind farm projects.  Woodend Integrated Sustainable Energy (WISE) has been developing a community wind farm project for 4 years with the aim of creating a wind park hosting 3 turbines in a nearby pine forest in the Shire of Macedon Ranges.

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This is Gale, http://tmblr.co/ZBdCmk1iuUtz- , and…….

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This is Gusto.

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My thanks to my niece, Gemma, for the photographs in which I am featured.

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Jenny’s Garden, Glenlyon
September 5, 2015

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The season for open gardens has commenced again – yay!

The owners of five gardens around Glenlyon opened their gardens to the public on the weekend of the 29th and 30th of August.

Glenlyon is a small township near Daylesford on the Great Dividing Range.

I visited two of the gardens, the first being Jenny’s Garden in the heart of the township.

Be prepared for photographs of daffodils in this and a later post about the second garden I visited.

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I was able to admire the structure of the espaliered trees which were still bare of leaves.

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Protecting precious seedlings with soft drink bottles.

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Does anybody know what this vegetable is? It is the most gorgeous shade of purple and is new to me.

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There were swathes of hellebores under the deciduous trees. This is not a sight you would see around Castlemaine where hellebores are planted in small numbers in protected parts of the garden where they receive dappled shade.

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Yesterday’s heroes – These seed heads from last season contrast with the new lush green growth.

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The fresh colours of new growth are every where.

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Daylesford Botanic Gardens on Wombat Hill
April 20, 2015

 

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It was an absolutely delightful autumn day when I visited Daylesford Botanic Gardens on Friday, the 10th of April.

It was the last day of the term school holidays and the majority of visitors were puffing up the look out tower to take in the views of the town and surrounding countryside.

The shape and steepness of Wombat Hill suggest it is of volcanic origin but neither the brochure about the gardens nor a cursory scan of google gave any information about the hill’s origins.

I spent a lazy day wandering around the garden taking photographs, lunching among the tomatoes of the cafe’s kitchen garden and drawing.

 

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 Katie and I had our feet firmly on the ground as we admired the views.

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 The glowing, dappled light shining through the leaves of the elm drive was bewitching.

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This is a sight I am unlikely to see in Castlemaine – a holly tree full of berries. Hollies grow well in Daylesford with its cold, damp climate.

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Volcano Chasing
September 20, 2014

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 This collage was inspired by the excursion to view some of the local extinct volcanoes. It is a work of the imagination and was fun to make.

As  part of the Newstead ‘Words in Winter Celebration’ held during August, I joined an eager band of explorers to learn more about the volcanic history of our region.

With the guidance of seismologist, Gary Gibson, we learnt about the Muckleford Fault which accounts for the earthquakes in the region, the interplate volcanoes which dot the area between Campbell Town and Smeaton and the local deep lead mines.

The volcanoes which were the objects of our attention were active millions of years before the existence of modern human beings. Mt. Franklin, near Daylesford, is a mere pup at around 10,000 years old. It erupted within the memory of modern human beings with local indigenous people having an oral history of sisters hurling rocks at each other.

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The open air learning centre

DSCN2980Gary Gibson – tutor, guide and enthusiastic volcano chaser

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Gazing across the paddocks

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There ‘s one –

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And there’s another. These green, cloud patterned hills are the volcanoes of ages past.

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This being central Victoria, there had to be gold mines somewhere. Those pesky volcanoes spewed out lava which flowed across the gold bearing valleys which meant deep shafts had to be dug through the layer of basalt to reach the riches below. Great hills of spoil dot the landscape marking the sites of the now abandoned mines.

Lavandula – Shepherds Flat
January 26, 2014

DSCN2691The region between Daylesford, Yandoit  and Guildford was settled by Italian speaking Swiss who established farms and built in a distinctive style.

The current owner of this former dairy farm restored the 1860s stone buildings and created a European style garden centred around lavender and olive growing.

Situated near Daylesford, Lavandula is a popular destination with its shady groves of trees and its scenic views up to Mt. Franklin.

I visited Lavandula today, the 26th of January, while it is the lavender harvesting season. My niece couldn’t resist buying a bunch of fresh lavender for her mother.

I hope you enjoy the photographs especially of the geese which wandered around the grounds near the cafe hoping for tidbits from the tables.

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