Autumn Retrospective
May 20, 2020

It is nearing the end of the autumn months and normally at this time of year I would have published some posts on autumn gardens I had visited. But with the corona virus pandemic, not this year – sigh!

So, I am taking solace in this retrospective.

Whilst I tend to associate autumn with the colours of deciduous trees, other plants also make a splash with colour. These grasses are a feature at Frogmore gardens and nursery near Blackwood.

There is an abundance of fruit and acorns.

Colourful berries are a delight.

Ornamental grapevines strut their stuff.

Belleville in Dunolly has an impressive grapevine tunnel.

These autumn tones adorn Mica Grange – one of my favourite gardens.

Vaughan Springs and……

Castlemaine’s Botanical gardens attract many visitors on fine autumn days.

Last Saturday, the lawns were filled with families (in groups of 10 or less) enjoying the freedom to gather in parks and gardens to soak up the sun. I am sure the children were disappointed the playground is still closed – bad corona virus!

I hope that in spring restrictions will have lifted to the extent that there will be open gardens again.  I am looking forward to exploring new gardens and revisiting favourites.

Campaspe River Walk, Kyneton
April 27, 2020

Katie and I spent a very pleasant 2 hours strolling along the Campaspe River Walk in Kyneton last Wednesday in glorious autumn sunshine.

The Campaspe River flows along the edge of town. The photo above shows the top of one of a series of weirs built across the river in the past to provide deeper water.

Katie enjoyed paddling in this part of the river.

Over recent decades, volunteers have cleared the river area of rubbish, removed weeds including willows and planted native species. The banks of the river are lined with newly planted trees protected by white guards.

The river walk is quite popular with people walking, jogging and cycling. Dogs enjoy being out with their humans. Kyneton is a small country town so there is no problem with social distancing.

Unlike Castlemaine which is surrounded by bushland,  Kyneton has farmland.

This is the end of our walk near the Kyneton racecourse.

I will return one day to photograph the sculptures along this stretch of the river.

Rock of Ages, Maldon
April 16, 2020

Yesterday (Wednesday), Katie and I walked up the track to Mount Mooral in the Nuggetty Ranges to enjoy the vistas at the rocky outcrop known as the Rock of Ages.

We could look down on the Maldon cemetery.

We could also look across to Mount Tarrengower with its towers.

There is no one rock called the Rock of Ages but lots of rocks which together are the Rock of Ages.

The Nuggetty Ranges and Mount Tarrengower are formed from granite.

The flowering correas were attracting New Holland honeyeaters.

During our time in the Nuggetty Ranges, the only other people we encountered were an artist and another walker.

Newstead Cemetery
March 31, 2020

I recently visited Newstead cemetery after driving by from time to time over the past 7 years.

One of the advantages of country living is I can go places where social distancing is not a problem during the current pandemic.

The photographs were taken over two days.

All is quiet in the country cemetery which overlooks farmland and across to the Guildford Plateau.

The Catholics had an area across a creek and a privately owned paddock. Whilst I am used to seeing cemeteries where there are designated areas for the different denominations, I had never seen this degree of segregation before. The cemetery plan also showed separate areas for suicides and Chinese.

 

This headstone is a sobering reminder of how common child deaths were on the goldfields in the 1800s.

This ornate, broken headstone relates the history of the Barkla family.

Rosemary for remembrance.

Castlemaine cemetery has roses, Newstead has oleanders.

A back gate leads up a hill ……..

………..where sheep graze.

For the Love of Trees
March 16, 2020

This is the final post of a short series featuring trees.

Trees fill our landscapes and gardens.

They have presence.

They can be character full…..and…..

……majestic.

 

Some are a little weird.

Their blossoms delight the senses.

They are perfectly at home in our public spaces and…….

……..private retreats.

Some of us create miniatures of big trees so they fit where they normally couldn’t.

Sedums
March 7, 2020

The sedums in my back garden are at their best at present.

 

 

The flower heads are alive with bees, flies, butterflies and other small creatures.

I am having fun spotting the different visitors.

Simple pleasures.

Sculpture in Motion 2020
February 1, 2020

The Hanging Rock Winery is currently hosting its second sculpture exhibition.

It was an absolutely gorgeous day – low 20s, clear blue sky and a yellow sun – when a friend and I journeyed to Newham in the Macedon Ranges on Friday, 24 January.

The sculptures all incorporate movement in their design. Many are tall or perched on poles.

For some artists creating a kinetic sculpture is a new venture. There are sculptures which are masterful in their execution swinging and swaying in the breeze whilst others could do with some tweeking.

In this post, I have intermingled images of sculptures with views around the winery to give readers’ necks a rest from craning to admire the work of these sculptors.

Bobbing Boat by Jimmy Rix

The boat is attached to the waves by a spring. The boat bobs when viewers gently touch it. My friend and I happily made it bob.

Wing-it by Anthony Vanderzweep

BJF 23 by Ben Fasham

This is Ben’s first attempt at making a kinetic sculpture and he nailed it.

Circles by Rudi Jass is masterful in its execution.

The Lie of the North by Geoffrey Ricardo has shades of Pinocchio.

M-fortythree by James Parrett

Future Seed by Adrian Spurr is one of the few sculptures at ground level.

Threefold by Nicole Allen reflects the passing clouds.

Flirt by Charlie Aquilina is one of my favourites. This work reminds me of a deep sea fish which uses a lure to attract its prey into its cavernous mouth.

Egg and Spoon by Michael Sibel

Bipolar Eccentric by Ralf Driessen is very impressive.

The blue chimes belong to Resounding Blue by Tania George.

The exhibition ends on 23 February 2020.

Trees – Close Up
January 23, 2020

When I first thought about creating this post, I had lichens and bark on my mind; but then I thought about shadows and leaves and fruit, berries and flowers. So…..this post became longer with each new addition.

These are some of the lichens.

Here the shadows are mixing it with the lichens.

A tree needs bark.

I restricted the number of photos of leaves with autumn colour to two as I realised things were going to get out of hand. One day I will publish a post focusing on autumn leaves.

Pink peppercorn berries. The peppercorns are currently flowering and the bees are loving it.

Fruit can be very photogenic.

These flowers belong to a tall callistemon which grew in my backyard in Ferntree Gully. The tree was cut down together with all the other trees by the developer who purchased the property.

Spring blossoms are irresistible.

Smoke Haze, Castlemaine 15/01/2020
January 14, 2020

This morning, I awoke to the strong smell of smoke in the house.

I took Katie for a walk early at around 6.00am, Castlemaine was shrouded in smoke haze as thick as fog.

This smoke from the fires in east Gippsland and the alpine north east of Victoria has been drifting around here for the last couple of days, but this is the heaviest it has been so far.

The poor air quality is impacting on the health of people. People are being encouraged to stay indoors and to limit physical activity.

These photographs were taken in my street.

The view to Kalimna Point.

The tower of the post office looms out of the haze.

The rising sun shines orange through the smoke.

Trees – Avenues
January 6, 2020

In recent weeks it has been too hot to be outside after 9.30 am. When I get up, I take Katie for a walk, water and work in the garden until the temperature becomes too uncomfortable for outside activity, then retreat to the cool of the indoors.

So this has been a good opportunity to review my photos. I have decided to publish a short series of posts featuring trees.

This post features avenues of trees.

The Castlemaine Botanical Gardens has avenues of oaks which provide cool, shady walks in summer.

These photos were taken in autumn.

This avenue provides structure and shade in a garden at Lambley Nursery near Creswick.

This avenue leads walkers and motorists up the winding driveway of the Daylesford Botanical Gardens on Wombat Hill.

The avenue of peppercorns at Plaistow near Newstead leads the eye out beyond the gate to paddocks and Joyces Creek.

River Red Gums enhance a walk along Broken Creek in Numurkah.

Temperatures have been cooler over the past two days with Castlemaine being shrouded in a smoke haze today. Smoke from bushfires is reaching New Zealand.