Wednesday 22nd February 2017

Wonderful Water Views. 2017.27.

Wonderful Water Views. 2017.27.

I know in Australia we have had too much of HEAT, DROUGHT and FLOODING…and FIRES…and it has been incredibly stressful for so many.

http://www.vidiani.com/maps/maps_of_australia_and_oceania/

It certainly was for us in some ways as there was a threat of power outages and we NEEDED to run the Air Conditioning as the outside temperatures went to well over 40 degrees celsius (over 105degrees F) That is wayyyy hot. We survived. Phew.

So, just a few days later…it has cooled down to around 30 degrees C in the day and that’s awesome! I went for a drive on Wednesday just to be in nature once more.

In the morning I went along the road which follows The Wyong River.

In the afternoon I visited my favourite walking beach, Lakes Beach.

The weather was warm (yay), gentle breezes abounded and the sea was calm.

One little video was made on the banks of the Wyong River at high tide.

I walked and recorded the next two little videos at Lakes Beach Budgewoi at low tide.

 

How is the weather where you are right now?

Denyse.

Joining photography friends here:

Trish: Jen: Steph: Sue

On the weekend I link here with Sammie for the Ultimate Rabbit Hole.

 

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Surprise Blooms! 2017.23.

Surprise Blooms! 2017.23.

I am not really an experienced gardener at all.

However, since moving to this rented house I have enjoyed putting together some plants into pots.

They bring colour and some joy to me every day as I care for them.

Recently, the path near where these pots had been placed started ‘growing’ some greenery,

Initially I thought weeds. Then I took a closer look.

Some of the little offshoots from one group of my plants had taken themselves (via birds or wind, I do not know) and planted into the cracks of the paved area.

Today, a very hot sunny one in NSW, I took pics of how they’ve surprised me with their blooms!

Thank you to two friends who reminded me of the name of these beauties: Portulacas

 

Are you surprised by nature?

I am.

Denyse.

Joining photography friends here:

Trish: Jen: Steph: Sue

On the weekend I link here with Sammie for the Ultimate Rabbit Hole.

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Fabulous Frangipanis. 2017.19.

Fabulous Frangipanis. 2017.19.

I declare that I love frangipanis ….on the tree.

They are delightful, smell sweetly and look a treat.

Then they fall…their fabulousness decays…and they become rubbish and need to be swept away before someone slips and falls. Life with frangipanis!

We used to live in a hotter area of Sydney around 45 minutes drive from the coast. We did end up buying and nurturing a frangipani back in 2011 when I renewed my love for them. It remained small but it did produce the lovely flowers. Not many but enough.

In my family’s house on the coast, Dad ended up with several frangipanis which ‘took off’ and were from cuttings from an old friend’s tree in Wollongong. So, it appears, in the right setting and climate they thrive!

We moved to this house on the NSW Central Coast late 2015. It has a HUGE old frangipani tree in the back garden. I am not sure, but it could be two trees in one. What I do know is that we had to cut in back a bit to enjoy what plants were hidden underneath! We took some of those cuttings and they’re in pots and in other garden spots now.

This summer I have notice more frangipanis that are different to ours around this local area.

I went for a walk for the purposes of this post to photograph them. The colour and size differences were interesting.

What was the same, however, was the mess they leave when they fall.

Frangipanis! Beauties which give and give while they’re on the trees.

They give me the reason to exercise when it’s time to sweep them up after they’ve fallen.

What’s your view about frangipanis?

Do you have them where you live?

Have you ever grown one?

Denyse.

 

I hope my photography friends enjoy these: Link ups are here:

Trish, Sue, Steph and Jen.

On the weekend I link up with Sammie and friends for the Ultimate Rabbit Hole here.

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Australia. 2017.15.

Australia. 2017.15.

Yesterday was Australia Day. It is remembering that on 26 January 1788 a white settlement commenced within Sydney Harbour at Port Jackson. It is close to where Circular Quay is, the ferry terminals and just around from the Opera House to the east, and Sydney Harbour Bridge to the west.

However, it is not a day of celebration for many Australians, the original Australians, who regard this as a day of sorrow. My thoughts are that Australia needs to change to date to reconcile with all who are Australian. However, this is very much a contentious option at present.

I have therefore gone with a traditional (Anglo if you will) view of my country. Australia so very well captured in the essence of this poem by Dorothea Mackellar. The photos which follow are mine. Again I have tried to capture the essence of my country.

 

My Country
The love of field and coppice
Of green and shaded lanes,
Of ordered woods and gardens
Is running in your veins.
Strong love of grey-blue distance,
Brown streams and soft, dim skies
I know, but cannot share it,
My love is otherwise.

I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror
The wide brown land for me!

The stark white ring-barked forests,
All tragic to the moon,
The sapphire-misted mountains,
The hot gold hush of noon,
Green tangle of the brushes
Where lithe lianas coil,
And orchids deck the tree-tops,
And ferns the warm dark soil.

Core of my heart, my country!
Her pitiless blue sky,
When, sick at heart, around us
We see the cattle die
But then the grey clouds gather,
And we can bless again
The drumming of an army,
The steady soaking rain.

Core of my heart, my country!
Land of the rainbow gold,
For flood and fire and famine
She pays us back threefold.
Over the thirsty paddocks,
Watch, after many days,
The filmy veil of greenness
That thickens as we gaze …

An opal-hearted country,
A wilful, lavish land
All you who have not loved her,
You will not understand
though Earth holds many splendours,
Wherever I may die,
I know to what brown country
My homing thoughts will fly.

Dorothea Mackellar

 

Fig tree in Sydney. Close to the harbour.

Manly Beach at sunrise. Manly was named after an Aboriginal person because of the ‘manly’ appearance. I grew up near here.

The Three Sisters. Aboriginal legends abound about these ‘ladies’ located in the heritage listed Blue Mountains beyond Sydney.

The Jamison Valley. Part of the Blue Mountains. In the early 1800s white explorers Blaxland, Wentworth and Lawson made their way across here.

Semi-rural Sydney scenes but more likely to be housing estates now and into the future.

Magical morning at the Central Coast.

Iconic Sydney. Ferries, Circular Quay and the Harbour Bridge. This is Port Jackson and where the first white settlement occurred.

Essence of the coast of Australia!

My now local area. Wyong River. Original land owners the Darkinjung people.

As Aussie as it comes..the bush and a track leading somewhere…

Walk by the Parramatta River in NSW and read these sculptures. All denote the original and then white settlement of the earliest founded place in NSW (other than Sydney)

Our wonderful coast…we are a country bound by oceans. This is the Pacific Ocean/Tasman Sea as it reaches east to New Zealand.

Thank you Australia for all you have given me in my life.

Denyse.

Joining photography friends who blog here:

Trish, Steph, Sue and Jen.

 

 

 

 

 

On the weekend I visit the Ultimate Rabbit Hole here with Sammie and 3 bloggers who also host the link up!

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Norwest Sydney Remembered. 2017.11.

Norwest Sydney Remembered. 2017.11.

We moved from our country teaching posts to Sydney in 1978. We were fortunate to be able to buy a new house and land package at Kellyville, on the fringe of Castle Hill and almost semi-rural area for $44,600. (today’s value: $900k) We raised our two children here, and then in 1993 succumbed to the lure of a new house, and an easy-to-obtain mortgage to buy land at the newly created Bella Vista (suburb) and build an architect designed house. All for around $400,000.

It was wonderful being almost pioneers on the old land that was inhabited firstly by the original owners, and then by the early settlers including John and Elizabeth MacArthur. In fact, the house we built looked up to the original Bella Vista farm (still there in part for historic purposes and appreciation of current citizens) so it always felt like being a part of history too.

Over the years much has already happened to the area, see the timeline here and we bought our land in 1993 and moved to the house in January 1994.

1801

Seven Hills Farm

Pre-1788

Aboriginal custodianship of the Cumberland Plain by the Darug people

1788

European settlement and exploration of the Cumberland plain commenced

1799-1801

Seven Hills was sub-divided by the Crown into a series of grants to free settlers including 500 acres was transferred to James Robertson

1801

Stock Farm was sold to John Macarthur along with 1,250 sheep. Bella Vista Farm Park still contains the historic homestead and farm buildings with a single avenue of bunya Pines and is open for public recreation.

1949

North Sydney Brick and Tile Company Limited (Norbrik)

Norbrik purchased a total of a thousand acres of land with part being used for their brick and tile manufacturing plant which operated on part of the site from 1956 to 2002.

1980′s

Norbrik investigated alternate uses for the site and came up with the concept of a business park where people worked, lived and played.

1987

Baulkham Hills Shire Council and the New South Wales State government rezoned the land as Employment land.

1992

First Stage of Norwest Business Park

The first large-scale business park in Australia of some 377ha was brought to the market. Subdivision works were completed for Stage 1 and construction of buildings commenced in the early 90′s with Australia Post, Cathay Pacific and Hillsong Church acquiring land and commencing construction in 1993.

The first residential development took place in the Bella Vista Village precinct.

SOURCE: http://www.norwestassociation.com.au/history/

We sold our house in 1997 for $474,000 (today’s value: $1.5million) and moved to a suburb across Old Windsor Road, Glenwood, which had been a large dairy farming property. We purchased this house and land package for around $300,000.(today’s value:$950k)

Over the decades housing sprang up on both sides of Old Windsor Road as did the multitude of businesses and other commercial enterprises such as schools, hospitals, churches and retirement places. Much changed in that time and the establishment of a ‘centre’ with a man-made lake gave the area some quiet spaces and pleasant areas to view and rest.

I often walked around the Lake at Norwest Shops. Grandchildren who accompanied me over the years enjoyed feeding the ducks. This was a fun thing to do but sadly those ducks were over-fed and the waterways added many fish of dubious species as well such as carp.

It was in 2014 I took these photos. We have not lived nearby since then and I do know that changes have been made, of course, with even more buildings for both business and residential purposes. There is a rail system being added to the area to hopefully reduce to huge road traffic component of living away from good public transport. However, all in all, the area no longer held any appeal for us after all the years so we have moved on!

Family and friends who remain do so because of location, work and school/study commitments, relationships and more…. and because it’s Sydney!! We have retired to the Central Coast of NSW about 90 minutes drive north.

Do you know the history of where you live?

Are you familiar with this part of Sydney?

Let me know more in the comments!

Denyse.

Joining photography link up friends here:

Jen, SueSteph and Trish

On the weekend I add my post to the Ultimate Rabbit Hole here with Sammie and Paula and new friends too.

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San Francisco DID Steal My Heart. 2017.7.

San Francisco DID Steal My Heart. 2017.7.

Eleven years ago this week I visited San Francisco for 2 nights and almost 3 days.

It was one of those overseas trips where I tried to cram in as much as I could as I would never be sure I would be back. My first trip and my last so far! I wrote about it here.  I was a solo traveller. By choice!

I chose to travel to Hawaii first where I stayed for some nights, then across to the Mainland of USA.

The 3rd city I visited there was the delightful San Francisco.

My blogging friend K, is an expat Aussie living there now and when she posted a pic on Instagram about a wet day in SF, I was reminded of MY wet day for a morning tour. This is her blog and it’s full of cool facts, pics and stories about her life in the US of A.

Here are the photos. They are not great quality as they were taken from a bus AND it was wet!

Did I mention that??

Have you visited San Francisco?

What are your memories?

I thought it was like Sydney and I loved it!

On another occasion I will write about the tour to Alcatraz. It was both amazing and terrifying!

Denyse.

Joining with photography friends here:

Trish

Steph

Jen

Sue

and on the weekend with the Ultimate Rabbit Hole crew where Sammie gets the news out fast along with Karin and the newly-wed Paula!

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Close To Nature. 2017.3.

Close To Nature. 2017.3.

One thing I have learned about me in the past two years is that I need to be close to nature.

I did not really appreciate the healing and wondrous aspects of nature until I was taken away from ALL of my life’s work, distractions and busy-ness!

There IS something about the negative being turned into a positive and with the anxiety which rose (and rises!) in me, I have found being close to nature helps me become more grounded and at one with myself.

Here are some of my recent forays into nature. Some are as close as walking outside to our back garden and others are 5-10 minutes drive away! Enjoy.

In keeping with my blogging practice from 2016 I will blog under categories but now, there may be more than one in a blog post such as today’s with covers both mindfulness and health and photography!

Have you tried being in nature to take away some of the head-oriented stuff that keeps us stressed and anxious?

Denyse.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Linking with photography bloggers here:

Trish, Sue, Jen and Steph.

Linking with The Ultimate Rabbit Hole here with Sammie and friends for the first time in 2017.

 

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A Photo Finish for 2016! 366/344.

A Photo Finish for 2016! 366/344.

I had to finish the year on an even number of posts! I did set out to do 366 posts, but changing my mind about blogging daily from November 2016 means I am 22 short of that number. I am OK with that!!

Today’s post is photo-centric and contain some of what has been part of MY 2016.

Beach writing …again!

Mandalas are everywhere!

Love this tiny insect making its way up the rose bud. From our garden.

Ocean water at Snapper Point in Munmorah State Park is an amazing colour.

This is where I become ‘grounded’…the ocean waves wash over my feet.

Just 5 minutes drive from home is Wallarah Peace Park, Pelicans and Views!

Soldiers Beach at Norah Head is one of my favourite go-to places for re-connecting with nature.

 

Family matters! Here we are with the 3 eldest grandchildren.

Enjoy!

Thank you for viewing  my photos and posts in 2016.

And take a the 17 seconds to watch at the end!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dwCyE5PT0vU

 

I will be back here on Monday 2nd January 2017 for the first Life This Week link up in 2017 called “A Favourite Post from 2016” so bloggers can ease their way back!

Denyse.

Thanks to Jen for Photo Friday.

Trish here, Sue here and Steph here.

Joining Vanessa at Bloggers and Bacon for ArchiveLove.

See you in 2017!

 

 

 

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