Karkarook Park

I’ve driven past this park many times over years as I’ve gone about my business or visited my family but it never occurred to me to visit it till this past week.

I knew it was reclaimed land that had been turned into a wetland reserve and this occurred sometime after 1994 when we’d shifted into this area.  But this week as I dropped into a business across the road from it I decided this would be my next planned photography shoot and I’m so glad I did.

Here are two links that tell you more about it:

Parks Victoria

Fisher & Fisher

For the first time in my life I saw a Flame Robin and that was thanks to a couple who regularly walk their dogs there. They’d seen me taking pictures of the birds and they pointed me towards a path they’d walked on where they had seen the robin. So when I went looking it was very obvious as the bright colour showed up easily amongst all the greens and browns.

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ANZAC Day – a day of importance

Here in Australia we celebrate ANZAC Day on 25th April each year.  For most of the country that means Monday is made a public holiday but here in Victoria that was abolished which is a shame.  However this just means that since Anzac Day is a Saturday this year many shops were closed for the morning, choosing to open in the afternoon only so that we could honour the memory of those who fought for our country – Australia and New Zealand that is.

The Australian War Memorial site gives an outline of Anzac Day and what it means.

I was hoping to go into the city and see the march firsthand and take some photos but in the end I didn’t get there so watched it on TV and I’m afraid taking photos from the TV screen isn’t as good!  But since I’m learning photography it was an interesting experiment, learning about refresh rates and shutter speeds as I poured through my camera manual and researched on Google.  So below are just a few shots to give you an idea of the march.

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Teaching people to be dishonest

There’s a fast food advertisement being played on TV at the moment where a young man buys two meals at a really cheap price and then when he sets the meals down in front of his mate his mate tells him he only has $5.00. The first young man responds ‘that will have to do’ and pockets the money.

This advert is very poor – it’s teaching young people (and those others easily led astray) that it is ok to be dishonest and rip off people, including your mate.

I consider this to be very poor advertising and in bad taste – pardon the pun!

A City Obssessed

football2If  you’re a visitor to Melbourne you can’t be blamed for thinking that Aussie Rules Football (otherwise known as AFL – Australian Football League) is a religion in this rather large city.

You hear about it almost every single day. Come to think of it, it is EVERY day.  From the time we wake up in the morning (usually the 6am news) to when we go to bed at night, the news on both the radio and TV seem to carry a story that relates to the AFL in some way.  And that story is frequently headline news or in the main part of the news before the sports section – and then more footy news.

What is going on? Isn’t there anything else more interesting to report on? Frankly I feel that the stories reported just show how immature most of these boys in men’s bodies really are.  It wouldn’t be so bad if it were ‘good news’ stories being reported but they nearly always relate to fights, sexual complaints of some sort, drunken behaviour, traffic misdemeanors, court appearances and so on.

Let’s face it, the AFL isn’t giving a very good example at the moment to our young people are they, nor to the rest of the world who might tune in from time to time.

When our family shifted to Melbourne from Adelaide in the early 1990s we didn’t take much notice of the footy at that stage. We had other things going on in our lives but steadily over the years it’s become obvious that this state lives and thrives on footy!  I mean for a Winter sport it certainly seems to be in the news a lot during Summer, Autumn and Spring.  It seems like it’s all year round.

And heaven forbid if you plan some event like a wedding or something on the AFL Grand Final weekend (which I have known to happen).

C’mon Melbourne – you have lots more on offer, let’s hear less of footy and more of other things in the news and current affairs programs.

Melbourne and rain

I was planning to go to the Melbourne Flower & Garden Show this afternoon. I have a busy weekend coming up with photo shoots on Saturday and Sunday so couldn’t plan to go on the weekend before it finished.  However today’s heavy rainfalls put a stop to my planned trip.  So I decided to brush up on my skills in my own garden, practicing some skills I’ve been reading about in relation to being close up and taking shots after the rain.  There’s one shot below but the rest you’ll be able to see over the new few days at my photoblog.

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Did the earth move for you too?

For the second time in about 12 days, Melbourne has been shaken by an earthquake. This one measured 4.6 and took place at Korumburra, same as the last one. They’re saying that people 200kms away could feel the effects.

This afternoon I heard the walls start to shake and then it sounded like someone was walking on my roof – as it creaked. I thought the neighbours extremely large truck, which was being parked on the nature strip next door might have caused this till my husband rang from work and asked if I had checked Twitter yet? I knew then he was talking about a quake – the last one had taken place when he was home and he was amazed how quickly news spread on Twitter – far quicker than appearing on the news websites or on the radio.

The official sites are offline at the moment – hit by thousands of visitors I expect.

Cycling in Melbourne is popular

dsc000394Some of you may know that my husband cycles to work every single day – 22kms in and 22kms back, that’s over 200kms a week on the road by bike. And then he mountain bikes on the weekends. You could say he’s addicted – yes, probably to the endorphins he generates! 🙂

Seriously cycling is a popular past time and regular activity for many and I know I’ve heard of or seen similar patterns in other countries.  We have cycling clubs – both for the road and the mountains, and races all through the year. Graham belongs to the Fat Tyre Fliers and participates in several mountain bike races throughout the year.

Just recently it was announced that the State Govt has a scheme for a public bike system in the city and a recent report indicated that many would be stolen or damaged within the first year.  Apparently Paris has suffered this very same fate.  A bit sad really. A shame people just don’t have respect for property that doesn’t belong to them.

Melbourne is shaking!

At around 8.56pm tonight Graham and I felt a strong shudder go through the house.  We’re used to our cats and possums racing across the roof after bounding from a tree at the front but we realised it was much stronger than that. I thought there must have been a chopper (helicopter) really low and then as I walked through the kitchen, with the floor shaking under my feet I thought it was the washing machine or dryer shaking and must have been unbalanced. But no, it was a tremor.

You can see the report at the USGS site.  It measured 4.7.

I checked Twitter which is much faster than the news these days and already messages were popping up from people east, west, south and north of the city reporting the same.  15 mins later there was finally a short message on the Herald Sun to say that Melbourne had experienced a quake with more news to come later.

I can’t say I’ve ever felt one before and it lasted several seconds and was quite strong – things were shaking in the office my hubby told me.

It’s over, it’s over!

I have to share with you an email I received from a client friend of mine who lives in one of the areas close to the bushfires. Louise has given me permission to print this and I just wanted to show you what this lady has been through and somehow she has been able to maintain her sense of humour through this.  The email shows relief, amongst other things.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Hooray! It’s over, it’s over!!!!

Thank you everyone for your concern and help during the fire period.

By yesterday, it was only fair to say that I had lost my sense of humour. Since Black Saturday when it appeared we were surrounded by fire and showered with burnt leaves and bark here at Yarra Junction, it has been nearly 4 weeks since we were officially ‘put on alert’ and told it was not a matter of ‘if’, but ‘when’ the fire came over Donna Buang and ‘got us’.

The rain last night that continues today means we can stop hosing, mowing, whipper-snippering and raking the drive. We can take the diesel pump off the pool and put it back on the river. The hoses can go back in the shed and the sprinklers can come off the paddocks. We can turn off radio 774 and get the ‘stuff’ out of the cellar. The plan (unknown to Hermann) to move James (horse) into the house can be shelved and Robin can return to her house at East Warburton, along with the two other families whose company we have shared on high risk days.

All in all, we have come out of it pretty well. My horse, James, is in the stable for three months after tearing his suspensory ligament playing ‘leader of the pack’ in all the excitement and I have an alcohol dependence for sleep, waking in the night staring at far away mountains expecting the Zulus to appear at any minute.

This too shall pass.

Love Louise

jvm1000PS  The attached photo shows the exit at Chateau Yering/Yering Station where Hermann and I got married. It burnt
to their front door.

Ahhh! The sweet smell of rain!

If you live outside of Australia I bet you still know about the bushfire challenges the state of Victoria has been having.  Today they were forecasting really strong winds and there was a high bushfire alert for the whole state – that ends at midnight tonight.

So far, the firemen have kept things under control as they’ve worked hard during the past week backburning and setting up other strategies to protect towns around our state.  But today everyone was on tenterhooks waiting to see what might occur.

noserainThe cool change is just sweeping through the state now, it hasn’t quite hit where I am in the south east but we know it’s on its way and ahead of it is rain – wonderful sweet-smelling rain. I hadn’t realised how much I missed that smell!  It’s not heavy but hopefully it will keep up regularly, even if it’s soft rain. They’re forecasting showers for the next week – nothing heavy unfortunately but it might finally help get the fires put out which have been going for weeks now.