Saturday, February 28, 2009

Aging disgacefully


Musing:
From Warning by Jenny Joseph
"When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we've no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I'm tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick flowers in other people's gardens
And learn to spit."

Friday, February 27, 2009

Grass


I can't help myself. I just love grass and it is never better than in summer time. I know you won't mind because some of you have told me you are rather keen on grass too.

Musing:
The Grass by Emily Dickinson
"The grass so little has to do,---
A sphere of simple green,
With only butterflies to brood,
And bees to entertain,

And stir all day to pretty tunes
The breezes fetch along,
And hold the sunshine in its lap
And bow to everything;

And thread the dews all night, like pearls,
And make itself so fine,---
A duchess were too common
For such a noticing.

And even when it dies, to pass
In odors so divine,
As lowly spices gone to sleep,
Or amulets of pine.

And then to dwell in sovereign barns,
And dream the days away,---
The grass so little has to do,
I wish I were the hay!"



Thursday, February 26, 2009

Haystacks 6


It's a long time since I posted a haystack. Haymaking is in full swing at this time of year. From this field you can also see the windfarm in the distance.

Musing:
From Haymaking by Thomas English
"A wonderful thing is your mowing machine,
That sweeps o'er the meadow in merciless way;
But I sigh for the scythe, curved and tempered and keen,
And the labor and joy of the earlier day;
I sigh for the toil that was mingled with fun,
The contentment we felt when the end had been won,
And the sound, peaceful slumber when daylight was done."

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I Remember


Even though it has little merit photographically I just had to include this one. It takes me back to the gardens of my childhood.

Musing:
I Remember, I Remember
by Thomas Hood
"I remember, I remember
The house where I was born,
The little window where the sun
Came peeping in at morn;
He never came a wink too soon
Nor brought too long a day;
But now, I often wish the night
Had borne my breath away.

I remember, I remember
The roses red and white,
The violets and the lily cups--
Those flowers made of light!
The lilacs where the robin built,
And where my brother set
The laburnum on his birthday,--
The tree is living yet! ...

I remember, I remember
The fir-trees dark and high;
I used to think their slender tops
Were close against the sky:
It was a childish ignorance,
But now 'tis little joy
To know I'm farther off from Heaven
Than when I was a boy."

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Hard times


Here's another one of the old shops in Mandurama. Like a lot of them, it has seen better times.

Musing:
Hard Times by Roger McGough
"When we were up we were beaten
When we were down we were kicked
We used to be given meals-on-wheels
Until the wheels got nicked."

Monday, February 23, 2009

Passing glory


The highway passes through Mandurama. I remember thinking the first time we hurtled through it -- this place is old and interesting, we must go back and explore it. So we did.

Musing:
Scintillate by Roger cGough
"I have outlived
my youthfulness
So a quiet life for me.

Where once
I used to
scintillate

now I sin
till ten
past three."

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Mandurama


And here is another old house, this time in the small town of Mandurama. I just love the character of these old homes.

I'm glad to have found the time to include some poems again. It is such fun revisting the ones I enjoy and finding new ones to enhance my understanding of the world.

Musing:
Wisdom by Sara Teasdale
"When I have ceased to break my wings
Against the faultiness of things,
And learned that compromises wait
Behind each hardly opened gate,
When I have looked Life in the eyes,
Grown calm and very coldly wise,
Life will have given me the Truth,
And taken in exchange -- my youth."

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Neville


Neville is one of the cluster of small towns around Blayney. In this part of the country quite a lot of the houses (not just sheds) are built with corrugated iron.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Lavender


As I munched happily on carrot cake I watched the butterflies flit among the lavender. We'll move onto other small towns in the district tomorrow.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Coffee break


We ended our tour of Carcoar with coffee and cake in a lovely cottage garden. That is the railway station that you can see in the distance.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Red hot pokers


I loved this shed with its clump of red hot poker plants.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Old car


You don't have to be at the museum to spot old stuff at Carcoar.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Farm junk


I'm back at it, photographing farmyard junk. I like the slender lines of this one.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Inside


I love exploring all the bits and pieces in country museums, reminds me of my Dad's shed -- he was an engineer and a blacksmith.

Musing:
From The Village Blacksmith by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
"Under a spreading chestnut-tree
The village smithy stands;
The smith, a mighty man is he,
With large and sinewy hands;
And the muscles of his brawny arms
Are strong as iron bands.

His hair is crisp, and black, and long,
His face is like the tan;
His brow is wet with honest sweat,
He earns whate'er he can,
And looks the whole world in the face,
For he owes not any man."

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The museum


The whole town of Carcoar appears to be a museum. The town has been classified by the National Trust due to the number of intact 19th-century buildings. They also have a museum housed in an attractive stone building.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Carcoar


We drove on to the town of Carcoar, the third oldest settlement west of the Blue Mountains. You've gotta love a shopping centre with vines growing up the posts.

Musing:
From Country Towns by Kenneth Slessor
"Verandas baked with musky sleep,
Mulberry faces dozing deep,
And dogs that lick the sunlight up
Like paste of gold – or, roused in vain
By far, mysterious buggy-wheels,
Lower their ears, and drowse again….

Country towns with your schooner bees,
And locusts burnt in the pepper-trees,
Drown me with syrups, arch your boughs,
Find me a bench, and let me snore,
Till, charged with ale and unconcern,
I'll think it's noon at half-past four!"

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Sulphur crested cockatoo


This cheery fellow was in the tree by the dam. Another example of Australia's wonderful birdlife.

Musing:
Suphur crested cockatoos are said to have a lifespan of 80 years.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A pleasant spot


Up towards the dam wall there is a lovely picnic area with green grass, exotic trees and picnic tables. We had a nice chat with fellow travellers while I snapped a couple of photos.

Musing:
Leisure by W. H. Davies
"What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare?—

No time to stand beneath the boughs,
And stare as long as sheep and cows:

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass:

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night:

No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance:

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began?

A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare."

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Wind farm


The big action out at Carcoar Dam is the wind farm on the slopes beyond the water's edge. 15 wind turbines make for an impressive display.

Musing:
From the information sign at the dam.
"As a renewable source of energy, wind power enables electricity to be generated without any greenhouse gas emissions. Over its lifetime, the Blayney Wind Farm will save more than 400,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions (CO2)that would otherwise have been produced from coal fired generation."

Monday, February 9, 2009

Carcoar Dam


From Hartley we headed off to Blayney, a few hours drive away, to explore the cluster of small towns in that district. Carcoar Dam is just outside Blayney, a pleasant spot even though the water is low. Apparently it provides good fishing, and water sports when the water is higher.

Today we are reminded again of the "beauty and terror" of this land with news of devastating fires running through Victoria, places near where we went wayfaring at Christmas time, while in the far North there is repeated flooding.

Musing:
Fisherfolk by Robert Service
"I like to look at fishermen
And often times I wish
One would be lucky now and then
And catch a little fish.
I watch them statuesquely stand,
And at the water look;
But if they pull their float to land
It's just to bait a hook.

I ponder the psychology
That roots them in their place;
And wonder at the calm I see
In ever angler's face.
There is such patience in their eyes,
Beside the river's brink;
And waiting for a bite or rise
I do not think they think.

Or else they are just gentle men,
Who love--they know not why,
Greeen grace of trees or water when
It wimples to the sky . . .
Sweet simple souls! As vain I watch
My heart to you is kind:
Most precious prize of all you catch,
--Just Peace of Mind.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Summer bounty


When I was last photographing at Hartley I took a picture of the Shamrock Inn in springtime. This time the trees were delivering their bounty of fruit.

Musing:From To Autumn by John Keats
"SEASON of mists and mellow fruitfulness!
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run;
To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;"

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Old Inn


Here's the building Charlie was sketching. In the 1860s it was known as the Shamrock Inn. It is not as well preseved as the sandstone buildings but has lots of character. I particularly like the horse trough.

JM said he would like to see the artist's sketch so I have appended another couple of photos of Charlie to today's post. He was only starting so it looked rather unpromising, but his finished paintings show its potential.

Musing:
From The Highwayman by Alfred Noyes
"The wind was a torrent of darkness among the gusty trees,
The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas,
The road was a ribbon of moonlight, over the purple moor,
And the highwayman came riding
Riding-riding-
The highwayman came riding, up to the old inn-door."


Friday, February 6, 2009

The art of conversation


Taking the lead from my friends over at 100 strangers I asked Charlie if he would mind me taking his photo. He was sitting sketching one of the old buildings at Hartley. We had such a lovely chat I was reminded of when I was a country girl who talked to anybody and everybody. I resolved from that day forward to talk more to people I meet -- it makes life so much more interesting.

Musing:
Conversation by Elizabeth Bishop
"The tumult in the heart
keeps asking questions.
And then it stops and undertakes to answer
in the same tone of voice.
No one could tell the difference.

Uninnocent, these conversations start,
and then engage the senses,
only half-meaning to.
And then there is no choice,
and then there is no sense;

until a name
and all its connotation are the same."

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Hartley


Just over the mountains to the west is the town of Hartley -- a wonderful assortment of sandstone buildings dating from convict times. In those days, when it was a three to four-day horseback ride to Sydney, Hartley was designated as a future regional centre. Farms like those in yesterday's photo were developed in the area and the settlers were assigned convicts. Quite often, though, the convicts got out of hand and by the 1830s there was a need for a police station and court house. The Hartley Court House, one of the standstone buildings, was built in 1837, mainly to cope with these unruly convicts.

Today the town is heritage listed. While it is lively enough during the day with visiting tourists, there are just two families left actually living in the town.

Musing:
From Old Botany Bay by Mary Gilmore
"I was the conscript
sent to hell
to make in the desert
the living well;

I bore the heat,
I blazed the track-
furrowed and bloody
upon my back.

I split the rock;
I felled the tree:
The nation was-
Because of me!

Old Botany Bay
Taking the sun
from day to day...
shame on the mouth
that would deny
the knotted hands
that set us high!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Mountain Pass


I like the view driving down the western escarpment to the lowlands beyond. Over the years getting a good navigable road down the steep descent was a challenge.

This photo is taken from Barden's lookout near Mount Victoria. From it (but not in this picture) you can see Mitchel's Victoria Pass of 1832 and below that the line of Berghoffers Pass of 1912. Victoria Pass was brought back into use in 1920.

Musing:
Three-Mountain Pass by Ho Xuan Huong
"A cliff face. Another. And still a third.
Who was so skilled to carve this craggy scene:

the cavern's red door, the ridge's narrow cleft,
the black knoll bearded with little mosses?

A twisting pine bough plunges in the wind,
showering a willow's leaves with glistening drops.

Gentlemen, lords, who could refuse, though weary
and shaky in his knees, to mount once more?"

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Art


So we are off again, driving up the mountains to reach the other side. On the way we pass this brightly decorated art studio near Blackheath. Would you believe when the artist painted it, some people complained in the local paper about the nude.

Musing:
As far from pity, as complaint by Emily Dickinson
"As far from pity, as complaint --
As cool to speech -- as stone --
As numb to Revelation
As if my Trade were Bone --

As far from time -- as History --
As near yourself -- Today --
As Children, to the Rainbow's scarf --
Or Sunset's Yellow play

To eyelids in the Sepulchre --
How dumb the Dancer lies --
While Color's Revelations break --
And blaze -- the Butterflies!"

Monday, February 2, 2009

Strangers


Before we head off on our next adventure, I'd like to tell mention the joy I have been getting from following the 100 strangers blog this summer. Before 100 Strangers I used to sneak shots like this. This striking couple were dining near The Hattery in Katoomba -- a great advert for what a good hat can do. The Hattery Cafe is also a good spot for a coffee and cake.

Musing:
To a Stranger by Walt Whitman
PASSING stranger! you do not know how longingly I look upon you,
You must be he I was seeking, or she I was seeking, (it comes to me, as of a dream,)
I have somewhere surely lived a life of joy with you,
All is recall’d as we flit by each other, fluid, affectionate, chaste, matured,
You grew up with me, were a boy with me, or a girl with me,
I ate with you, and slept with you—your body has become not yours only, nor left my body
mine
only,
You give me the pleasure of your eyes, face, flesh, as we pass—you take of my beard,
breast,
hands, in return,
I am not to speak to you—I am to think of you when I sit alone, or wake at night alone,
I am to wait—I do not doubt I am to meet you again,
I am to see to it that I do not lose you.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

My homing thoughts will fly


Ahhhh ..... home again. I hope you enjoyed the tour.

We liked some the small towns out in the west so much we have already made a return visit. I will begin posting those from tomorrow.