Monday, 31 December 2007

New Year's eve fireworks

If you walk down to the Lawson waterfalls in the evening and sit quietly by a waterfall until the dark descends you will see nature's firework display -- the tiny lights of hundreds of glow worms.

Down in the city tonight the big fireworks will be on show. We chose to spend a quiet night at home this year.


Photo: Near Cataract Falls, South Lawson

Sunday, 30 December 2007

Junction Falls

About halfway around the Lawson waterfall circuit two creeks join, each with their own waterfall these twin waterfalls are known as Junction Falls, a very pretty spot.

Photo: Junction Falls, South Lawson

Saturday, 29 December 2007

Waterfall walk

Over the next few days I will share some shots from one of my favourite walks -- the waterfall circuit in South Lawson.


Photo: Near Junction Falls, South Lawson Park


Friday, 28 December 2007

Back to the bush

As promised I have gone back to the bush and a photo of a real tree. Slick with rain of course!

Photo: Tree bark, South Lawson Park

Thursday, 27 December 2007

Hail

Dark clouds obscured the midday sun, then this rattling torrent.

Photo: Hailstones, my garden.

In the evening the great grey clouds gathered again, lightning slashed the sky and huge buckets of rain pelted down. Then darkness descended. The power was off for hours (hence this late posting).

Wednesday, 26 December 2007

More partying

It was cool all day yesterday and quite cold last night so we settled in for a wintery kind of Christmas night with a log fire, glowing candles and glittering Christmas lights while we read the books we found under the Christmas tree.


Today we are driving over the mountains to Bathurst to continue Christmas feasting with family members. I hope to go out walking to get shots of real trees tomorrow.

Tuesday, 25 December 2007

A saviour has been born

Merry Christmas!


Words to walk with:
From the Holy Bible Luke 2:8-11 (New International Version"
"And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord."

Monday, 24 December 2007

Christmas eve


Words to walk with:
From A Visit from St. Nicholas by Clement Clarke Moore
"Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there."

Sunday, 23 December 2007

Feasting

Christmas is a time of feasting. With us having so much rain lately the snails are out partying too. My freshly planted Basil was gone in a gulp ... sigh.


Words to walk with
The Snail by Charles Lamb
The frugal snail, with fore-cast of repose,
Carries his house with him, where'er he goes;
Peeps out--and if there comes a shower of rain,
Retreats to his small domicile amain.
Touch but a tip of him, a horn--'tis well--
He curls up in his sanctuary shell.
He's his own landlord, his own tenant; stay
Long as he will, he dreads no Quarter Day.
Himself he boards and lodges; both invites,
And feasts, himself; sleeps with himself o' nights.
He spares the upholsterer trouble to procure
Chattels; himself is his own furniture,
And his sole riches. Wheresoe'er he roam--
Knock when you will--he's sure to be at home."

Saturday, 22 December 2007

More weeding

Photo: Agapanthus from my garden (not a native plant)

I didn't go walking today, I decided to do more weeding in the garden instead. The agapanthus are in flower now. They make a pretty cut flower but are close to being a weed in my garden. It amuses me to see them selling for $12 a pot in the garden centre.

Friday, 21 December 2007

Stepping stones

With Christmas to prepare for I have been walking in shopping malls more than the bush lately.

Photo: Track to St Michael's Falls, North Lawson

Words to walk with:
Michael is an archangel, as is Gabriel who foretold Jesus birth to Mary. Even though there are a whole host of angels these are the only two named in the Bible other than Lucifer (Satan).

Thursday, 20 December 2007

Christmas is coming

I am eager with anticipation.


Words to walk with:
From a carol by Christina Rosetti
"Love came down at Christmas,
Love all lovely, love divine;
Love was born at Christmas,
Star and angels gave the sign."

Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Trigger


Photo: Triggerplant (Stylidium graminifolium)

The bright pink flowers of Triggerplant are a very common sight throughout the mountains.

Tuesday, 18 December 2007

Fresh thoughts and joyous health

A damp morning is great for a brisk reviving walk.

Photo: Railway fence, Lawson

Words to walk with:
To Sleep by William Wordsworth
"A flock of sheep that leisurely pass by
One after one; the sound of rain, and bees
Murmuring; the fall of rivers, winds and seas,
Smooth fields, white sheets of water, and pure sky;
I've thought of all by turns, and still I lie
Sleepless; and soon the small birds' melodies
Must hear, first uttered from my orchard trees,
And the first cuckoo's melancholy cry.

Even thus last night, and two nights more I lay,
And could not win thee, Sleep! by any stealth:
So do not let me wear tonight away:
Without Thee what is all the morning's wealth?
Come, blessed barrier between day and day,
Dear mother of fresh thoughts and joyous health!"

Monday, 17 December 2007

Watch your feet

That's what my husband said as I was taking a picture of a banksia. I hadn't noticed the trailing grevillea plant with its lovely ruby flowers sprawling in the undergrowth. Throughout the year I've shown quite a lot of different grevillia flowers, this prostrate one flowers in summer in the upper mountains.

Photo: Grevillia laurifolia

Sunday, 16 December 2007

Raindrops

It's raining again.

Saturday, 15 December 2007

Summer morning in the garden

It was bright this morning so I seized the day to pull weeds in the garden while the ground is still moist and giving.


Rainbow Lorikeets squabbled over the bounty of not-yet-ripe plums in the neighbours garden. Wattle birds cruised elegantly from tree to tree. Bower birds bounced from branch to branch, making merry noises. An Eastern Spinebill twittered as it flitted in the low bushes. A pair of King Parrots whistled from the tree ferns. A magpie sat silently on a branch eyeing the emerald green scene lit by the flutter of butterflies -- shimmering white, pearl grey and burnt orange. What a privilege to have such beautiful creatures to share the joy of a sunny day.

Friday, 14 December 2007

Sunshine

The dew dried quickly this morning, it was a rare sunny day.

Thursday, 13 December 2007

Golden weeds

Back in February I wrote about Calliopsis, the cheerful weed that paints our roadside verges gold at this time of year. They are at their peak at the moment and still give me much joy, even though nearly a year down the track I better appreciate the treasure we lose when weeds choke the fragile beauty of our native plants. For the most part this particular weed sticks to disturbed land so I don't feel quite so bad about still liking it.

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

Bluebells


The Australian native plant I call a bluebell is similar but smaller than this flower I saw at the rhododenron gardens on Sunday. I don't really know its heritage but it is very pretty.

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Exotic beauty

As there were few exotic plants in flower at the Rhododendron Gardens I turned my attention to the less showy native plants. I saw flowers I've shown from recent walks -- Dampiera, Mitrasacme polymorpha, Goodenia and the grass flower then to my great delight I found fringe lilies -- now we are talking exotic!


Photo: Fringe-Lily, Thysanotus tuberosus

Monday, 10 December 2007

Jingle bells

Photo: Rhododendron, Bucchante gardens, Blackheath
(not a native plant)

Yesterday we drove to the rhododenron garden in Blackheath. We knew it would be too late to catch the spring flower display but it is a pleasant garden anyway, an interesting mix of exotic trees sitting comfortably within a bush setting. The few bushes still in red flower were a nice reminder of the festive season.

Oh yes, the sun was out making it a steamy summer day, though it's back to mist and fog tonight.

Words to walk with:
From Jingle Bells
"Dashing through the snow
In a one horse open sleigh
O'er the fields we go
Laughing all the way
Bells on bob tails ring
Making spirits bright
What fun it is to laugh and sing
A sleighing song tonight"

Sunday, 9 December 2007

Simplicity

Tiny white flowers peep with sweet simplicity from the rock.

Photo: Mitrasacme polymorpha (I think)

Saturday, 8 December 2007

Rocks

I like the big rocks on the walk to Echo Bluff.

Photo: Walking track to Echo Bluff, North Lawson

Friday, 7 December 2007

Grass flowers


I don't ever think of grass as flowering, so it was a surprise to so see this spear of grass leaning across the path and to see the purple and orange flowers -- I am not sure which was the bigger surprise the flowers or their colour.

Thursday, 6 December 2007

Not wattle

On my walk to Echo Bluff in the wet area under a shelf of hanging swamp I saw small trees with large flowers balls similar to wattle - it is however not a wattle.

Photo: Callicoma serratifolia, North Lawson Park

They actually look prettier in the photo than in real life.

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Rice flower

Rice flower is one of the many white flowers seen quite widely in the mountains.

Photo: Rice flower, Pimelea linifolia

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Beyond olive green


New shoots and old bark, a delicate pink contrast to drab olive green and grey.

Monday, 3 December 2007

More similar differences

Photo: Snake flower, North Lawson Park

Look at these two flowers, they are certainly different but they also have a type of stripe down the centre of each petal, a characteristic that they share with the Dampiera I showed recently and the unidentified flower in October. I thought to myself, they will be variations of Dampiera, but they aren't. They do however all seem to belong to the Goodeniaceae family.

Photo: Daisy-leaved Goodenia

Sunday, 2 December 2007

Hello -- it's summer?

I realised I missed the arrival of summer yesterday. This is not surprising given that it is cold, grey and wet, no shimmering summer heat anywhere. Blue/Purple is the colour of summer in my garden -- hydrangeas, agapanthus and jacaranda. It is still too soon for the agapanthus and the jacaranda is just beginning to colour up, so here are the hydrangeas glissening with rain drops.

Photo: Hydrangeas, my garden (not a native plant)

I woke up chilly this morning and decided -- I'm fed up with this, I am going to turn on the central heating to take the ice from the air and make getting out of bed to make our regular Sunday morning cooked breakfast more pleasant. I forgot of course that our power circuit was still on the blink so there was no switch to ignite the gas furnace. Then the penny dropped, that was the one pesky appliance we had forgotten to unplug in our mission to find the fault. Hey presto life is back to normal, the tele works, my computer works, the toaster works. I suddenly feel cheerful again, even though is still grey and damp outside.

Words to walk with:
I am going to leave the summer poems until it actually feels like summer!

Saturday, 1 December 2007

Fairy falls

The path to Echo Bluff passes across the rock shelf in the middle of Fairy Falls. It is not until you get further around the track that you discover that they have a far greater depth of fall. The water is splashing freely at the moment since the rain.

Fairy falls, North Lawson



Words to walk with:
From The Waterfall by Henry Vaughan
"With what deep murmurs through time’s silent stealth
Doth thy transparent, cool, and watery wealth
Here flowing fall,
And chide and call,
As if his liquid loose retinue stayed
Lingering, and were of this steep place afraid,
The common pass
Where, clear as glass,
All must descend
Not to an end ;
But quickened by this deep and rocky grave,
Rise to a longer course more bright and brave."

Friday, 30 November 2007

Similar difference

"Similar difference" was the term one of humourists coined to described Australia's recent election campaign. It was rather hard to spot the difference between the parties.

I had a "similar difference" problem with this tea tree that was also flowering on the walk out to Echo Bluff, compared to the one I showed in my last post. Just like our political parties, they are actually different.


By the way, I am a little late posting. The rain seems to have found a way into our electricial circuits and the house was blacked out last night. No power for my computer. Yes the rain is still falling!

Thursday, 29 November 2007

Tea tree


I went for a walk in North Lawson Park today, on the track to Echo Bluff. This walk is one of my favourites because it is local, and has very few steps, attractive rocks, a waterfall and a diversity of trees and flowers. It is some time since I walked there so it was a delight to see the wide variety of spring flowers on display, starting with the masses of tea tree flowers at the beginning of the track.




Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Another wattle

Photo: View towards the Blue Mountains from Victoria Pass

Victoria Pass is the road down the western escarpment of the Blue Mountains. At the moment there are wattle trees flowering on Victoria Pass -- they are creamy yellow rather than the brighter yellow seen throughout the winter.
[Actually I am no longer sure this is a wattle. The flowers certainly look like wattle flowers but the leaves look eucalypt-like. I found a flower on my walk today that looked for all the world like a wattle but it isn't. Maybe this one isn't either]

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

New birth

While the banksias of last summer have gone grey (yesterday's post) the new flowers for this summer are already on their way.

Photo: New flower forming, Banksia serrata

Words to walk with:
From Woman to Man by Judith Wright
"The eyeless labourer in the night,
the selfless, shapeless seed I hold,
builds for its resurrection day -
silent and swift and deep from sight
forsees the unimagined light."

Monday, 26 November 2007

Going grey

At the beginning of the walk to Landslide Lookout is where I took some lovely photos of an old man banksia back in February. I was reminded to take a look at what the flowers were like now, so many months after. Here is what I found.

Photo: Old man banksia, Banksia serrata

Words to walk with:
After the skipping rope rhyme in my last post, I am reminded of another schoolday's poem Somebody's Mother by Mary Dow Brine

"The woman was old and ragged and gray
And bent with the chill of the Winter's day.
The street was wet with a recent snow
And the woman's feet were aged and slow.
She stood at the crossing and waited long,
A lone, uncared for, amid the throng ...

At last came one of the merry troop,
The gayest laddie of all the group;
He paused beside her and whispered low,
'I'll help you cross, if you wish to go.'...

Then back again to his friends he went,
His young heart happy and well content.
'She's somebody's mother, boys, you know,
For all she's aged and poor and slow' ...


Sunday, 25 November 2007

More blue flowers

On the walk to Landslide Lookout I saw plenty of flowers -- red, yellow, blue and pink. Here are blue Dampiera flowers. I have seen these often on my various walks but have not shown them in my blog before.

Photo: Dampiera, Katoomba


Words to walk with:
Blue flowers remind me of the skipping rope rhyme I jumped at school,
"Blue bells, cockle shells, eevy, ivy, over"
(the two people holding the rope swung it back and forth gently, with a full turn on the word over. If I remember rightly this was repeated several times with an extra person joining in after each 'over' and was then followed by a more vigourous skipping rhyme like ...)
"Cinderella dressed in yella
went upstairs to kiss her fella
On the way her panties busted
how many people were disgusted.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1o..."
(it kept going until we missed).

Saturday, 24 November 2007

Catch up

I have been away for the weekend so need to play catch up with a few days entries. Here is the view looking in the other direction at Landslide Lookout. I like they way the view from this angle has row after row of blue hills chasing each other.


Photo: View from Landslide Lookout, Katoomba

By the way, like me you may be wondering where the view of the landslide is from this lookout. Here is a picture of the landslide taken from Narrow Neck, a much better spot to view it.

Friday, 23 November 2007

Landslide lookout

I drove a little further along Cliff Drive and went for the short walk down the track to Landslide Lookout. We were having a rare bright day, the sun was playing on the clouds building up for another burst of rain.

Photo: View from Landslide Lookout, Katoomba

Thursday, 22 November 2007

Rock forms

Photo: View from Cahills Lookout, Katoomba

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Homely daisy


When there are homes nearby I am a little cautious of the flowers as they may be a blow-in from a garden rather than a genuine local. Nonetheless I am fairly sure these little daisies that were flowering in abundance at Cahill's Lookout are a native. Unfortunately I was so entranced by their cheerful simplicity I failed to notice the shape of the leaves so can't make a proper identification.

Words to walk with:
From To the Daisy by William Wordsworth
"In youth from rock to rock I went,
From hill to hill in discontent
Of pleasure high and turbulent,
Most pleased when most uneasy;
But now my own delights I make, -
My thirst at every rill can slake,
And gladly Nature's love partake
Of Thee, sweet Daisy! "

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Sensuality


I was thrilled to see this lovely flower that I have not seen before. I believe it is a Kunzea. The fluffy pink balls look lovely at a distance and breathtaking close up.

Words to walk with:
Sensuality by Kenneth Slessor
"Feeling hunger and cold, feeling
Food, feeling fire, feeling
Pity and pain, tasting
Time in a kiss, tasting
Anger and tears, touching
Eyelids and lips, touching
Plague, touching flesh, knowing
Blood in the mouth, knowing
Laughter like flame, holding
Pickaxe and pen, holding
Death in the hand, hearing
Boilers and bells, hearing
Birds, hearing hail, smelling
Cedar and sweat, smelling
Petrol and sea, feeling
Hunger and cold, feeling
Food, feeling fire. . . .

Feeling."

Monday, 19 November 2007

Cahill's Lookout

I went up to Katoomba to do my weekly shopping and decided to stop at a few of the lookouts off the Cliff Drive that I have not done before. They offer great views following only a short walk to get to the cliff edge.


Photo: Cahill's Lookout, Katoomba

Cahill's Lookout offers an interesting view of Narrow Neck (You can see the road I drove along to do my posts in March and November), Boars Head Rock and the farmland of Megalong Valley (I did a series on this valley in May)

I don't know who Cahill is but suspect it is the same person who has the Cahill Expressway in Sydney named after him -- he was the NSW Premier who approved construction of the Opera House. Anyway there is a possible link with the great city of Sydney which gives me a chance to use one of my favourite city poems.

Words to walk with:
William Street by Kenneth Slessor
"The red globe of light, the liquor green,
the pulsing arrows and the running fire
spilt on the stones, go deeper than a stream;
You find this ugly, I find it lovely

Ghosts' trousers, like the dangle of hung men,
in pawn-shop windows, bumping knee by knee,
but none inside to suffer or condemn;
You find this ugly, I find it lovely.

Smells rich and rasping, smoke and fat and fish
and puffs of paraffin that crimp the nose,
of grease that blesses onions with a hiss;
You find it ugly, I find it lovely.

The dips and molls, with flip and shiny gaze
(death at their elbows, hunger at their heels)
Ranging the pavements of their pasturage;
You find this ugly, I find it lovely"

Sunday, 18 November 2007

Unexpected visitor

My husband had gone to bed early and I was sitting quietly watching tele, tapping away on my laptop when I saw a cat walk up the hall. The only problem is we don't have a cat. While I run about the house yelling "possum" my husband obediently jumped out of bed (thinking I was calling him of course).

Photo: Our unexpected visitor, a possum

Meanwhile the possum darted into the library and climbed up the bookcase. When we tried to gently encourage his departure he and jumped from shelf to shelf, threw himself at the windows, hid behind the cupboards, anything other than going out the door. He eventually got the message and left. Lesson for the day: remember to shut the door between the laundry and garage.


Saturday, 17 November 2007

More about herbs

Photo: Cobblers Peg

Climbing out of the weed patch at last, I found I had to pluck cobblers pegs from my clothes.

I looked the name up on the web and it says they are a herb from Europe. Well I don't know about you but I thought herbs were either aromotic and good to eat or had healing qualities. I don't think this pesky plant is either so I looked up what herb is.

Words to walk with:
Definitions of a herb found on the web
  • A plant or plant part valued for its medicinal, savory, or aromatic qualities
  • Flowering plant with no significant woody tissue above the ground, including both forbs and grasses
  • a plant lacking a permanent woody stem; many are flowering garden plants or potherbs; some having medicinal properties; some are pests [Yes that's the one!]

Friday, 16 November 2007

Wild herbs


This Evening Primrose was also in the weed patch. Though I am not sure it is Evening Primrose because by definition the flowers should be open in the evening and it is bright morning sun causing the glare in this picture.

Nearby there were also feathery fronds and lacy flowers of wild fennel.

Thursday, 15 November 2007

Prickles

Photo: Thistle (weed, not a native plant)

There were thistles in the weed patch, quite lovely until you try and pull them out. A prickly wild climbing rose was also growing nearby. But I consider the worst of prickly weeds to be blackberry and lantana (they are both noxious weeds). I wrote about them some months ago. The photo of the blackberry was taken that same summer's day when I was doing weeds at Lawson.

Words to walk with:
The Thistle's Grown Aboon the Rose by Allan Cunningham
Full white the Bourbon lily blows,
And fairer haughty England's rose.
Nor shall unsung the symbol smile,
Green Ireland, of thy lovely isle.
In Scotland grows a warlike flower,
Too rough to bloom in lady's bower;
His crest. when high the soldier bears,
And spurs his courser on the spears.
O there it blossoms - there it blows
The thistle's grown aboon the rose.