Sunday, December 27, 2009

Roadside Santas

Here's what's coming next as well as answering AB's question about Australianising Christmas symbols. We're back home but I need a day or two to catch my breath and choose a few shots from the thousand taken. See you back here in the New Year.


We've been west, much further west than we usually go. Somewhere out there the farmer's have their own tradition of placing Aussie Santas at their gates (which are miles apart in the big wheat and sheep country) ... we saw Santa playing footie, Santa riding a bike, Santa fishing on a dam, Santa waving from a tree and this Santa.

But old traditions die hard, after driving a hundred kilometres across the very hot dry plains we reached a roadside petrol station with this window display!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

We are not amused


"Young man you can call it a pedapod but we know that it's a rickshaw"

I wonder how many people got bikes for Christmas. I heard on the radio that the market for them is booming.

Outside the Queen Victoria Building.

That's it for this series. There's a sneak peek on what's coming up next tomorrow.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Happy Christmas



May your Christmas be filled with wonder and delight. Merry Christmas everyone.

David Jones windows

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve


Hey Mr Mice can I join your party ... I'm all dressed up and ready to go?
For fantistic shots at the windows go visit Julie's blog.

David Jones windows

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

What's in there?


Naughty, there are still two sleeps to go.

Outside Queen Victoria Building.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Australia's largest indoor Christmas tree


According to the QVB website the tree took 30 decorators, eight riggers and two electricians more than a fortnight to install and decorate. Standing 24 metres tall and extending through three floors the QVB Christmas tree features 1700 branches, 15,000 Swarovski crystals and is adorned with 40,000 lights, 8,000 baubles and 400 bows. Swarovski Crystal design each Swarovski crystal decoration to reflect light and create the festive 'wow' factor.

And they stare at the stairwell!

Queen Victoria Building

Monday, December 21, 2009

Got shopping to do


If you are interested in learning about the history of the QVB and seeing some great shots of it's interior go see it through Julie's Sydney Eye.

Queen Victoria Building

Sunday, December 20, 2009

A shady spot


No snow around here.

Sydney Square ... next to Town Hall.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

City lights


We are on a Sunday jaunt around the centre of Sydney to pick up the city Christmas vibe. There didn't seem to be much bunting about. It can only get better from here.

Town Hall Sydney

I'm taking a break from blogging until the New Year, in the meanwhile I hope you enjoy this short Christmas series.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Rhylstone


Even though it had reached a cooler 33C at Rhylstone we stopped to get a yet another cool drink.

As we drove into the evening the temperature progressively dropped to a nice 23C. However, things did not go so well with the people of this and neighbouring town of Kandos. The very next day fires were burning and threatening their homes.

That's it for this trip. Tomorrow I'm going to start a Christmas series based on a Sunday excursion to Sydney.


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Day is closing


The countryside was lit with the low slanting sun as the day began to close.

Temperature 34C

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

My railway to nowhere


Julie did a wonderful post Railway to Nowhere of the station at Lue some months ago ... I just had to stop and see what I could do.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Ulan


This miners cottage in Ulan gives you another look at a Silky Oak tree.

There is not a lot to Ulan, the closed general store looks so forlorn, though the little church over the road was neat and pretty.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Power


After our pleasant afternoon tea we headed out of Mudgee, taking a different route home. It quickly became clear that more than rural industries fuel the area.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Culinary delights


The cheese was wonderful.

As we were leaving I was surprised to see them watering the lawn (given the state of the local dam) but was told they have ample ground water so no water restrictions. Looks like there's some good grapes on their way.


Some more big raindrops fell but went away just as quickly as they came.
Temperature 39C.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Rural delights


The Mudgee area is noted for its fine wool, beef, fat lambs, cereal crops, lucerne, vegetables, vineyards and honey. There are also horse, sheep and cattle studs. Someone mentioned a cheese factory near the town so after a bit of a wander around we headed off to find it -- will show you that tomorrow. Some posts on Paula's blog inspired me to take the shot below.


Temperature still 39C. Is it ever going to cool down??

Friday, December 11, 2009

Raindrops


As we rolled into Mudgee the temperature hit 41C. Top on our agenda was a cafe with air conditioning. Just as we finished our sandwich in a relatively cool place big rain drops began to fall. But they didn't last long so weren't much help on cooling things down. But ahhhhh ... can you smell the wonderful aroma of raindrops on hot surfaces?

Update for Martina: Yes it does steam for a while and is especially noticable on the roads ... here is a shot taken through the windscreen a little later in the day when there was another brief shower.



Temperature 41C dropping to 39C.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Abandoned twins


Nearly at Mudgee (we took a side road to get there) we saw two abandoned houses close together. At the left of the top one is a pepperina tree ... they are popular in hot rural places, the leaves are quite aromatic when crushed.

The second abandoned building could have been interesting because it was brick but a tall chicken wire fence around the house spoiled the image so you get to see the gate instead ... no trespassing



Temperature 40C. Can it get any hotter??

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Silky Oak


I noticed the Silky Oaks were in flower so looked around for an interesting shot with one of them in.

Silky Oak is a native Australian tree with golden flowers in spring and an attractive timber, this old cabinet in my home is Silky Oak.

Temperature 39C.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

180 degrees


Time for another favourite ... whenever I stop I also look in the opposite direction to see what else I can photograph. Here's what I found over the road from the hay shed ... so quintessentially farmyard.



Temperature 39C.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Low tide


There's still not much water in Lake Windermere which I've shown you before..


Oh boy it's hot ... the sun is bleaching the grass and burning the land

Temperature 38C

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Annoying


The yellow flowers on the roadside are canola. How annoying is that, when I wanted to see it in the field its flowers had all gone and yet in the wild they are still flowering weeks later.

Temperature 36C.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Favourite things


I said I would be finding favourite things on this drive. Here's an abandoned dwelling near Capertee. Commenters have asked if I explore these places, which I don't, even if I did I would have given this one a miss with that prickly blackberry at the door.

Temperature 35C.


Friday, December 4, 2009

An unexpected Royal


The normal road was blocked, I think fires had been sparked by lightening overnight. So we had to take a detour through Wallerawang where to my delight I found a new Royal hotel. A great start for a day where I expected to see quite a few of my favourite things.

For those who are new to the blog, here's my Royal Collection.

Temperature 34C

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Extreme heat


When I tell you that the 100 year weather records show that that on average here in the mountains we get no more than 10 days above 30C you will understand that is was a horrible shock to walk outside on a spring (not summer) morning and find it was already 31C at 9 o'clock.

What better way to escape the heat ... go for a long drive in an air conditioned car ... so come along for the drive, we are on our way to Mudgee.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Antique shop


The antique shop at Lucknow is a perfect spot to strike it lucky. It's stuffed full of old wares. I guess the"Cherries Here" sign has made it out of its storage spot by now ... the cherry season has begun.

Well that's it for this trip. I'm popping over to Blue Mountains Journal for a week to show you what the highway widening is doing to our town of Lawson. Then I'll be back here for a very enjoyable trip to the farming country around Mudgee which is north west of the mountains.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

School of Arts


I liked the colour of the fresh spring growth against the soft green walls of the School of Arts at Lucknow. This is an old gold mining town ... the name seems appropriate.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Empty house


Here we go, the empty house for this trip. I trudged through ripening grass seeds and burrs to get this shot .... yes spring is quickly passing giving a high-noon summery bleach to the image.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Shearing shed


Here's the shearing shed. With the sunshine going up a notch or two since our train ride a couple of weeks earlier the grass was beginning to dry out and was no longer bright green. If you were to go out there today, a further few dry weeks later, you'd find the grass brittle and dry as we are having unusually hot close to spring.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Twin hay sheds


It wouldn't be a visit to the country without me trying to add to my hay series and other favourites. I've got a shearing shed and an abandonded house coming up next but didn't find a new Royal Hotel.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Wheat


The wheat crop was looking promising. I believe the harvest is now in progress.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Bee hives


The bee keepers had their hives out collecting the bounty from spring flowers.

AB in Germany posted some beehives recently so I was pleased to find the Australian version to show. Given the interest in vineyard differences yesterday bees are just as much fun. Also check out Z's Bee Hotel in Switzerland.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Vinyard


On the way out we passed through the vinyard and orchard country which was beginning to burst out with spring growth ... by now (several weeks later) I'm sure they will be in full leaf.

In light of the comments I am adding this additional image taken nearby the same day.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Too late


When we were on the train trip I saw some fields bright with canola flowers and made a note to myself to get out west again before the season has passed. A few weeks later we did go for a drive but we were too late. Instead of seeing this or this we saw fields with just a stray flower or two left.

As such, it wasn't a terribly exciting drive but I will show you some of the photos over the next week while I wait for us to do something more interesting.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Going home


Here's one last shot of the damp misty countryside on the way home and the end of a very enjoyable trip. I dont think we'll be waiting 16 years before our next train ride.

For the next week I'll be walking in the Everglades gardens over at the Blue Mountains Journal before coming back here for another short drive"out west".

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Green fields again


Soon we were gliding through the green fields again. As the day began to dim a storm began to brew. It was going to be much cooler by the time we got home.

The reflections in the glass were a real pest for photography, hence the lack of shots from on the train despite lots of lovely scenery.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Train back home


It was nearly time to catch the train back home. We saw this sign on the way to the station -- a reminder to those who would be seeing us rush by at a level crossing.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Blurry birds


Sorry they are blurry because I photographed them from a great distance but some were so special I had to show you. Going clockwise:
1. There were lots of little birds in the rushes but few would come out far enough for a good shot
2. The swan and her cygnets hurtled down the river on a swift current, I barely caught the image despite running along the bank. In Australia our swans are black, the cygnets will change colour as they grow older.
3. And there were all sorts of parrots high in the trees including in the green ones I have shown you before.
4. The little kingfisher was a tiny bright spot by the water which I grabbed in the hope that the camera would pick up detail I could not see.

When I got tired of chasing elusive birds I scanned the ground looking for more static objects. I hope this tiny shell was from a fledgling bird now flying free.