Thursday, 28 April 2022

A Walk by the Bay

 Tuesday 5 April

The Redland Bay foreshore was the destination for this refreshing, early morning walk, with the Gaiter Girls.

5.30 am sunrise view, as I ate breakfast.

Still water and overcast sky greeted us on arrival, creating a vista that made us gasp at its stark beauty.

As the sun rose higher, misty blues created a new beauty.

Finally the morning settled into its natural beauty on this precious, crystal clear, sunny day.  Cloud and rain free days have been very rare this summer. 

There was a definite spring to our step.

Time was taken to watch these busy lorikeet parrots, as they prepared a nest in a hollow burl of a eucalyptus tree.

Yes, we certainly enjoyed our walk, and now our cuppa!

Lorikeets in my garden.

I would love to read your comment.

Thursday, 21 April 2022

A Sea of Sunflowers

Friday 8 April 

It was time to return to the beautiful Scenic Rim for the Kalbar Sunflower Festival, organised on a flower and lucerne farm, on the ourskirts of the historic township of Kalbar. This is a celebration born out of hardship.

"In 2021, lucerne farmers Jenny and Russel Jenner were struggling to keep their crops alive, during one of the longest droughts in living memory. Water had gotten so bad that they couldn't grow the main crop, but after Russell bought a bunch of sunflowers home from the grocery store, the two had a light bulb moment. 

1 - Sunflowers need very little water. 

2 - Darling Downs Farmers were 'getting cranky' about selfie-crazed tourists traipsing uninvited through their sunflower crops.

From there the festival grew."            [extract from their website.]

The March 2021 Festival was a success and this year the festival was made even bigger. It was planned for the end of March, but the weather caused it to be postponed until April. We drove out in drizzle and were relieved to find the sky clearing on our arrival. It didn't take long however, for our shoes to be caked with mud. Got to expect that with black soil.

The festival was incredibly well organised. The cost was $35 for a 3 hour visit and tickets had to be pre purchased. When we booked, the only time slot over the 3 day event, was Friday 8am. It meant an early start, but the morning light was perfect for photography. When we arrived about a half an hour early, there were only about 10 cars in the carpark. When we departed at 11.30, we estimated there were nearly 1000. There was however, no sense of overcrowding. Many people were still to leave from the morning time-slot.

The farm buildings were nestled on top of a knoll, with 360 degree views to the Great Dividing Range in the west and Kalbar in the east. The sunflower fields unfurled below the buildings. A large quadrangle of food and craft stalls were set up beside the farm buildings. A huge marque had been erected in the centre for shade, and hay bales for seating.

Our ticket allowed us to wander the perimeter and experience the maze which had been constucted through 6 acres of the flowers. We didn't have time to enter.

We could have paid extra to participate in activities such as:- sunrise yoga in the sunflowers, sip and paint, watercolour classes, proposal packages, cut and buy your own sunflowers, sunset dinners, helicopter rides, family photographic sessions, and accommodation in glamping tents.

We were just thrilled to be able to wander and enjoy the stately, golden giants reaching for the sunshine and radiating warmth and happiness. 

The position of the farm and mountain backdrop, from a photo taken on a previous visit.

Our welcoming hostess!

The empty car park, with Mt Edwards that I have climbed on several occasions, in the background.

Views walking up to the quadrangle. 
Sunflower heads were still bowed as we began the walk, but rose skywards as we slowly made our way up. 

View east to Kalbar.


Damp skies in the background.

Such a pretty sign.

The golden views of happiness.

Parading in rows.

Less regimented, joyous abandon.

Massed sunny faces.

The sublime unfurling of the sunflower.

Loved by bees and caterpillars.

Soaring high.

Muddy shoes

Painting class

Preparations for the sunset dinner.

Glamping tents

Covered seating area.

A wonderful variety of stalls.

Entertainment for children, big and small.

For $2 a stem you were able to select and cut your own sunflowers. $1 per stem was donated to  Queensland Cancer. So lovely to see young families in the field together. 

An unexpected meeting with my neighbour and daughter, as they cut their blossoms.

Our selection made by Jocelyn.

Sunflowers and beautifully decorated cup cakes.

Yes, we will return next year!

My favourite image taken.

A most wonderful morning passed all too quickly! 
Is there anything more majestic than sunflowers in full bloom?

I would love to read your comment.