Category: Australia

Australian Summer Sunsets on Tugalong Road

Summertime in Australia is drawing to a close. It’s been hot, dry and seemingly endless here in the eastern states. At the end of each day the sun disappears below the horizon and finally temperatures begin to lower from searing highs into the Celsius 40s. As this final summer week begins, I take a moment to look back on the most dramatic sunsets I have been fortunate to have witnessed while living on Tugalong Road, in Canyonleigh. Our home site on a high ridge between two rivers, the Wingecarribee and the Wollondilly. The sky is wide and open, with extensive views towards the west. In summer the...

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Summer Wildflowers of Bangadilly, Australia

Fringe Lily, Thysanotus tuberosus  Here in Australia it’s early summer and already the scorching hot, dry days are setting in. I escape the heat for a walk in nearby Bangadilly National Park, where closer inspection of the ground cover reveals an array of wildflowers.   Many are small, intricate forms less than a centimetre in diameter. I wonder how they can survive the heat, sheltered only by the sparse shade of shrubs and native trees.  I feel privileged to live right across the road from such beautiful hidden treasures, and happily souvenir a collection of photos, so I can enlarge them, research their names and observe their beauty in greater detail when I return home.  It makes...

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Secrets of the Blue Satin Bowerbird

Every morning I see the same little bird busy around the branches across from my window. Wondering about the commotion, I take my camera out and see to my amazement a beautifully woven, intricate bower, surrounded by blue treasures. This is the courting stage, or bower, of the blue satin bower bird. The male is noted for its irridescent blue-black plumage. To win the heart of a female, the male weaves an arena from hundreds and hundreds of individually collected twigs, all a similar diameter. In the centre he erects two upswept wings which enclose a circular stage. Surrounding...

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Bird Garden Visitors of New South Wales, Australia

Here at Canyonleigh in the New South Wales Southern Highlands, we are lucky to be situated within the Greater Eastern Wildlife Corridor. Many birds use this haven to migrate annually, and often these visitors will stop and take a bath or a drink in our garden. I like to keep the birdbath topped up with fresh rainwater. As soon as I have cleaned and refilled it, in they come! The most shy of these birds is the beautiful yellow-tailed black cockatoo, a large parrot-beaked bird with stunning brown-black plumage, highlighted with patches of yellow on its cheeks, tail, and...

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A day in the heart of Sydney

A perfect way for me to spend a day in Sydney is to take a stroll through the botanical gardens. Weather permitting. My usual route takes me down to Circular Quay. This is where you can get ferries over to Manly, Taronga Zoo and many other beautiful places. It’s also a perfect place to stop and get a coffee or a bite to eat. An ideal place to sit and watch the world go by, watch the street performers or take in a lovely view of Sydney Harbour Bridge. Personally, I like to stretch my legs. The botanical gardens...

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Uluru, Australia – A Landmark of Culture and Awe

Landing in the outback and seeing Uluru with my own eyes for the first time is something I shall not forget in a hurry I tell you.  I had heard that photos do not do it justice and yes it is very very true. Uluru is a huge majestic sandstone rock rising up out of the flat desert in central Australia. The nearest town is 280 miles away (Alice Springs). One thing I must point out, some of you friends that know me will naturally be expecting me to climb it. I will not. Uluru has a large spiritual...

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