Monday, 23 February 2015

Introducing Laurel and Jocelyn to Daves Circuit, Binna Burra.

To better enjoy the photographs, please click on them to increase their size.

The weather forecast all last week was centred around the arrival and intensity of a low in SE Qld and a cyclone in central Qld. Do we walk or not, was the question?

We had chosen the Daves Circuit walk, at Binna Burra and my records showed it as being 19 kms. As we set off early Wednesday morning, we were quite confident that the drizzle falling was not the fore runner to the big event. This proved correct. We set off in sunshine.

The rain Gods were kind again, with the rain only returning, as we relaxed and enjoyed a well earned coffee in the Rainforest Cafe.

It was a day of award winning elements.

Ever changing and quite often muddy paths.

Mossy, fallen, tree trunks.

Huge, camaflouged, buttress roots

Giant, Brush Box trees.
Distant waterfalls

Determined, tenacious trees.
 Awesome views

 We all agreed we were far happier in this 'jungle' than that of the Gold Coast.

As we sat down to eat, with this view, we also agreed we were in the best restaurant.

As always, the day was about friends and laughter.

Surprise Rock was not the only surprise of the day. At about this point, a closer look at our map showed us to be well on the way to completing the circuit. My original information was incorrect. This circuit was only 13 kms. Relief for some, but I do wish there were longer trails out there, without having to overnight.

Below - the winning elements of the day found on the rainforest floor.

For my friends overseas, the low dumped 200 mms in my area, but much more over Brisbane and to the north, causing flooding, road closures and house inundations. The cyclone increased to a category 5 when crossing the coast at Yeppoon. This central area of Queensland has now been declared a disaster area. We were all fortunate that the unthinkable didn't happen - the joining of the 2 systems.

A full, but not flooded Albert River, a short distance from my home.

I hope you have enjoyed your visit to Binna Burra. I would love to read your comments.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

A Bit of This and That

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Last Wednesday, 11th February, saw a return visit to the Kondalilla Falls on the Sunshine Coast. We departed at 6.30 am to beat the traffic, but weren't successful. It took an hour and a half to escape the city. It drizzled with rain throughout the journey, but our spirits soon lifted once we had climbed the Blackall Range enveloped in drifting fog, which soon cleared for rain free hiking.

Alas, the unthinkable had occurred. I hadn't packed my camera. The following pics are courtesy of my friends.

The falls walk is not long, but a good work out with its drop in elevation to the base of the falls from the car park. We took our time enjoying the rainforest, birdsong and the cascading falls. As we ate our lunch, kookaburra's watched on, hopeful of titbits.

When Joc saw 'complete walk during daylight' she was a tad concerned about where she was headed.

We were amused that the majority of other hikers, wearing thongs, no hats, no poles etc, were amused by our fashion statements.

On Sunday I joined a group Margot meets regularly with. They are past and intending walkers of the Camino. Their hike was in an area of Mt Cootha that I hadn't previously explored. Some steep climbs got the heart pumping.

And for something different I thought I would share a sample of my creativity. Perhaps even in competition with the 1973 purchase by the Australian Government, of 'Blue Poles' painted by the American artist, Jackson Pollock.  [$1.5million] 
 Blue Poles

The Tomato Splash - artist, H Dobbin 

I'm sure you are wondering where my inspiration came from.
The motivation came when I harvested my cherry tomatoes.

These begged to be made into tomato sauce. 2 days later, on opening my cupboard, I was confronted by this splash of red. It would have been far worse if the cork hadn't been blocked by the cupboard ceiling.

On removing all the containers, I was quite taken by the artistic splash and the camera was grabbed,  the shot I-photo edited and enhanced.

Not at all sure what created the explosion, but the contents were still fizzing merrily the next morning.

 Below is a photographed of an eye catching  piece of corrugated iron, I spotted when out and about.

I hope you have enjoyed 'a bit of this and that' from 'Down Under'. I would love to read your comment.

Monday, 9 February 2015

Walking in Brisbane's Parkland

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Recently our small band of weekly walkers, have set off early on suburban trails, to avoid the worst of the hot, sweaty conditions we are at present experiencing. On both these walks there was enough surrounding bushland to make us forget we were in suburbia.

Wednesday 2 January - Minnippi Wetlands to Carindale return, following Bulimba Creek.

In 1970 the Brisbane City Council had the foresight to purchase some of the land being sold by the pioneering, Stanton Family [1873] to create this parkland. We were further impressed that the council has insured that the history of the area is retained through signage and footpath mosaics.

The above is some of the of the 17 children of the Stanton family. All were involved in growing sugar cane, corn, wheat, maize and lucerne and milking their large dairy herd.


The sultry conditions gave the Bulimbah Creek an eerie appearance. We almost expected a crocodile to  slither from the bank into the dark, brown water.

At present the council is faced with an endless task, to keep the parklands mown.

This shot gives an indication of how much rain has fallen and the vast areas needing to be mown, plus a brooding sky ready to send another deluge. [Not until we drove home.]

Another grand eucalpt begging…………….
…… be climbed!
 I don't get as far as I used to.

There were numerous structured playgrounds for active children and a magical one to fuel imaginative play. It was developed around the theme 'The Dream of Flight' to acknowledge the death of a grandson of Emanuel Stanton. Stan died near Bulimba Creek, when his aircraft crashed whilst scattering the ashes of another local, family member.

Here we took a ride on the 'Icaroplane', part bird, plane and man. There was also a mini amphitheatre for children to put on their own performances.

We were intrigued by both nature's and man's sculptures.

Wednesday 3 February - Tarragindi to Norman Park return following Norman Creek.

This trail commenced at the Tarragindi Recreation Reserve. The leafy bushland was alive with butterflies.

After 20 mins, we were walking below the busy M1 freeway and spotted our 'hobo' - Margot, patiently waiting for our arrival. [We had seen the movie 'Wild' the previous day.]

It was at this point that I worried that I had made a poor choice of trail. Norman Creek was just a drain. The peak hour traffic was not just on the highway, but also on the bike path we were sharing. A good kilometre or more was spent in single file. Fortunately it was not long before the creek became a creek once more and veered away from the direct city routes. On our return leg it was not a problem at all.

Opposite the creek was a row of very old meleucas - paperbark trees. I never seen such thick, layered, trunks and these were alive with native bees, but unfortunately the camera didn't focus on them.

At our bushy turn around point, Margot suddenly realised we were only 50 metres from one of the coffee haunts from her office days. Coffee and cake was back in the car, but as Margot and Laurel suddenly felt poorly, we all agreed that a visit to the Secret Garden Cafe and nursery was essential.
Recovery was rapid in these delightful surroundings and after the consumption of the best scones, jam and cream in town.

Two hours later, we assured Laurel that we couldn't possibly waste all the preparations she had gone to, so we enjoyed  morning tea no 2 on the banks of the Brisbane River at Orleigh park. The magnificent Moreton Bay Figs provided welcome shade.

My podiatrist appointment [on going foot issues] was not until 1pm giving us an hour to walk along the bank of the river. This is a beautiful reach of the river. We were surprised at the height of the tide.

This unique gas stripping tower, [only one in Australia], appeared unexpectedly. It was used to to remove ammonia and tar from the coal gas before usage. In use from 1880 - 1970.
Making good use of one of the many exercise stations.

There are innumerable reasons why I love 'walking down under with friends'. As I walked towards Southbank to rejoin them, after my appointment, I captured this shot. It communicates why I love Brisbane.

Sunday afternoon, nearing sunset, I took a walk around our golf course ponds. I am so fortunate to live where I live! 

Thank you for visiting. I would love to read your comment if you have enjoyed my blog.