Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Walking - Caloundra Coastline.

Saturday 2nd November saw Jenny, Margot and I driving to Caloundra, on the Sunshine Coast, north of Brisbane. The plan was that as Jenny was recovering from a hip complaint, she would walk for an hour with us, and then spend several hours visiting with her Mother at her Nursing Home.

It was a perfect sunny day with lovely, clear, blue skies.
A cuppa with this vista was most welcome after the 2 hour drive.

We were parked at Golden Beach, near the nursing home, so set off on the path south, along Pumicestone Passage for 30 mins, did an about turn, and walked Jenny back to her car.

Near the halfway point, we were intrigued by the antics of 2 pelicans swimming into shore, until we spotted the size of the fish in the gullet of one. It didn't look comfortable at all and with your mate wanting a share, most unpleasant. Alas we didn't have time to observe how the incident was resolved.

We turned our eyes to more relaxing vistas.

The northern end of the passage is known as Bulcock Beach. During the summers of my childhood we were always excited, when our overworked farming parents made time, to drive the 45 mins from  our farm at Mooloolah to the beach, for us to enjoy picnics and swimming. 
 Bulcock Beach

Even more memorable were the afternoons when it was decided to milk early, phone the Bulcock Beach Fish and Chip Shop, and put in an order to be ready on our arrival. Oh the joy of this so rare take away, whilst sitting under the pines of the above photo, with the view of the Glasshouse Mts below. 

This photo is taken across the bay at Kings Beach, just around the corner from the passage.

 Kings Beach

Although the system of paths put in by the local council are extensive, we decided some rock hopping was in order.

We became a tad anxious when we witnessed these cargo ships 'narrowly' passing.
Question is - Which boat passed closest to shore? Answer later.

We weren't totally able to follow the coastline, but this diversion over Tooway Creek brought back more memories of summer. If we weren't swimming at Bulcock Beach, we were more than likely in the calm water of Tooway Lake, where it was blocked from the sea by a sand bar.

Another successful day 'down under walking with friends'!

Post script 1: The ship on the right came closest to shore. We were quite surprised.
Post script 2: The day wasn't totally successful. Thankfully Jenny had driven, because on return to her home, my car keys had vanished and I had to call Frank to come to the rescue. It is a total mystery as to how they disappeared.

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Friday, 15 November 2013

Dance of the Pelicans

7 years ago my family was fortunate to purchase a new home, with views across the fairways and ponds of the Mt Warren Golf Course. Not a day goes past that I'm not thankful. Sadly, Frank is unable to play because of sporting injuries and I only occasionally get out with my sons. Golf however, was not the drawcard for the purchase of this home. It is the open space, ever changing beauty of the ponds, sunrises and sunsets that have me spell bound. So often chores are left undone as I enjoy the panoramas before me.



Early morning

Wintery morning

Rainy day

After the rain

Australia Day flood

 Full height of flood

Occasionally a lone pelican will drift in for a quick visit. This year the visits have been more frequent and I have been delighted to spot 2 or even 3 visiting.

Last week my neighbour was up with the sun and walking around the ponds and was stunned to count 30 pelicans enjoying the tanquil waters. Alas she did not have her camera with her. Three days later on my day off work, I looked out and spotted about 10 on the pond nearest to our home. I quickly checked for the presence of golfers, gabbed my tripod and camera and started snapping. It was the most beautiful half hour watching them as they glided in formation, formed a circle and then in unison raised their wings and dipped their long beaks beneath the surface for the tasty morsels that must have been in abundance. They would then stretch their necks, glide back into formation and repeat the process.

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Thursday, 14 November 2013

Finally a summit shot!

The 4th October saw me in Townsville to visit my brother and family. 
Townsville is dominated by a 286 m, granite monolith, overlooking the city centre. I've long wanted to have the opportunity to add my name to the many, who have hiked its 'goat track'. The alternative is via the road or other more gradual routes.

We set off at 6am, as this is tropical Queensland and temperatures and humidity quickly rise. Alas, Townsville, like much of Queensland, is suffering from drought conditions, so the rising sun had to pierce the dusty skyline.

 Rowes bay, summit shot.

Magnetic Island view.

2 days earlier I had walked the length of Rowes Bay.  I was delighted to spot my 1st Rainbow Bee Eater bird with its distinctive tail.

The spectacular Curtin Fig Trees along the foreshore, brought welcome relief from the mornings very hot, humid conditions.

Although the midmorning light was not great for photography I did enjoy snapping Magnetic Island.

Below is my final destination of Pallarenda Beach, looking back to Castle Hill. I would have liked my swimmers with me at this point - sad to think that in a month's time, unless you have a full body suit, swimming is too dangerous, because of the marine stingers.

Baby summit - Little Crystal Creek. 

On my final day, my brother took me 60 k's north to drive up the Paluma Range, visiting Little Crystal Creek Falls, the town of Paluma and the Paluma dam and camping area. As we turned off the highway to climb the range, I was excited to realise that this was also known as Mt Speck. All visit, I had been trying to recall the name, as I had been told some 50 years earlier, it was a wonderful cool area to escape to from Townsville, to beat  the heat of summer. So very true.
Little Crystal Creek Falls

  View from the top of the range.

Another summit
 A most unusual sign to spot, as Australia became metric in 1968.

 Finally, the War Memorial section of the Townsville cemetery. My sister-in-law's Grandfather was  curator of this cemetery and Michelle told me how it was her backyard, when visiting her Grandparents as a child.
I've not previously seen a goanna crossing sign.

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