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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I live in Ballarat, an old goldfields town, in the central west of Victoria, but southerly in relation to the world. I love Chinese architecture, the post-goldfields towns and countryside of central Victoria, and I love the practice and the art of history. This year I'm beginning a research project on Ballarat in the 1870s.