Monday, 31 January 2011

The dragon is here

   The February dragon has arrived, blasting us with midsummer heat.

There are spiders spinning everywhere.

Sunday, 30 January 2011

This week past

This week I have been washing and sanding and painting amd moving a lot of stuff around the house. In beween all that I went to Red Brick gallery in Skipton Street and was charmed.

 I cheered on three lions dancing with a dragon on Australia Day

and sat with friends by the lake in the evening, watching the fireworks above the water.

Friday, 21 January 2011

Wide awake

We drove the eldest boy to the Break O' Day pub in Corindhap, about 30 minutes out of Ballarat along the Colac Road, and found these two. No doubt they were kept awake by all the activity in and around the pub as the place was got ready for a weekend wedding and celebration.

I've never been so close to owls before - nor seen them awake in the daytime, except for tawny frogmouths. Are tawny frogmouths owls? I'm not certain.
So despite their lack of enthusiasm I had to get some pictures of them.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Green tea weather

Last night , walking the dogs, I heard the first cicada of the summer. Just one tentative trill as we walked out the gate. Cicada weather is green tea weather.

There was still dew on the bamboo at 6.30 this morning

and for a brief moment I had the lemon tree in my tea cup.

I have settled back into place.


I've been living in Ballarat for five years and now it's home, but occasionally I have a day when I feel odd and out of place, as I did today. I walked down to the city at mid day and saw no one else on the streets.

Suburban gothic

It's Wednesday, a working day, but the streets in the central city feel empty - people round here drive everywhere.

Is there anyone in these old buildings?

This week I've had a couple of days in inner city Melbourne, where I have spent most of my life. The streetscapes are much the same, but unlike Ballarat the streets in Fitzroy and Coburg are full of people, and several languages are spoken on the one tram.

 There are a lot of these ghostly doorways in Ballarat.

Today I feel as if I have walked through one of them.

Friday, 14 January 2011

grass basket for grace

I finally caught up with grace of windthread , who has a new site. She mentioned making things with grass so this is to share with her.

I made this by the Merri Creek one afternoon, using local grass gathered as we wove. It's nowhere as well made as the baskets our teacher created, but I loved the magic of making something from 'stuff just growing around'.

The afternoon was a gift to volunteers who worked on revegetating the creek, or at the CERES centre. Our teacher was one of the local people who have been making such things for thousands of years.

Birds recovering

 I think the birds on the  lake were relieved to have a break in the downpour too. No doubt the storm two nights ago messed up their nests as well as knocking down trees all over the place. I saw nests everywhere, and a lot of nest renovation going on yesterday.

You might just see the dusty coloured cygnets cruising close by their hardworking parent.

When I walked back again the babies had got back into the nearer nest - work finished for the day, obviously.

 Sadly I'm not a good enough photographer to actually show you the island birds, busy carrying twigs and branchlets from the newly fallen trees, over to their island - I guess for their nests.

Some nests needed no repair work.

And some were so relaxed by the first warm sun for a week or so that they just hung around the paths and couldn't be bothered moving for anyone.

 I love the way swans are able to fold themselves into intricate knots when they take a nap.

But why do they find it relaxing to rest on one leg? All around the lake stood one-legged swans, basking in the sun.

Lake Wendouree when the rain finally stopped

The massive rainfalls of the last couple of weeks have touched us so gently in Ballarat.
The toilet backed up briefly but cleared up within a day, the shed is still very damp and smelly, but the coming dry hot weather will solve this, the only 'danger' we faced yesterday was that the car might be damaged or bogged down in the mud.

In towns all around us - just a short drive away in Skipton and Creswick and Linton - people are dealing with huge flood damage, while in Queensland the suffering will continue long past the the actual weeks of flooding.

Yesterday I walked around the lake, which is full and overflowing and I kept this in mind even  while I was delighting in how beautiful it was to see the abundant water.

Water lilies in flower.

Waterweed softens the landscaped line of the lake shore

The rich green brocade of weed over the water.

The birds were all recovering after the storm and the waterfalls of rain. I'll put some pictures up tonight.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

morning floods

Walked out into a watery street this morning

 it was a bit deeper than I first thought

Passing cars braved the dip in the road.

As the water rose most turned back but some just made it through.

 Some of the household begged to go out and go and splash too.

Luckily for us the rain stopped before the water came up to the house.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Flooding rains


The rain and mist were so beautiful this morning, and while I was enjoying the rain, a friend was waiting desperately for news of family in Ipswich. 

Friday, 7 January 2011

Ruby red banana lounge

This year, with the help of my brand-new (if old-fashioned) ruby red banana lounge, I am going to take the time I need to think things through. 


This year I am not going to get into frenzies. Luckily the technology for thinking things through hasn't altered much for years.

Lovely Christmas and New Year

November and December have been hard work, and on Christmas Eve I collapsed in a bit of a heap. Fortunately everyone else carried on around me and carried me with them.
Christmas was full of celebration.


and family

This boy wears great tshirts.

and I had a whole week off over New Year - bliss!

I haven't looked at this blog or the garden  - or anything else.

This year I feel  really fresh and ready for new beginnings. And look at this good omen. How often does one open the new jar of vegemite on the morning of  the first day of the year? Look at the little curl on that pristine surface!

Despite floods and locusts and the beginning of the hot weather I'm feeling hopeful. 
Happy New Year to all!