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Showing posts from December, 2008

Gone for the summer

It is a hectic time of year with annual planning in full swing at work ... endless meetings, revisions and late nights. Add to that the frustration or rainy roads causing traffic chaos ... take for example, more than 3 hours to get into the city on Thursday morning (I arrived nearly an hour late for my meeting) or last night crawling over 2 hours from Penrith because an accident blocked the highway and the nature of our terrain doesn't allow for alternative routes. So I am signing off for the summer. I won't be posting, reading blogs or commenting for a month or two. I will be back some time in the New Year revived and with a backlog of pics (I hope) to tide me over the tough times. Thank you all for your regular comments and I do so much enjoy reading your blogs and am always inspired by your great photographs. During the summer break I will be going to the beach for a while so sometime after Christmas expect new pictures at Sweet Wayfaring . For today's picture we are tak

Weed maybe

I have noticed these purple flowers growing beside the road near Springwood so stopped for a closer look. They appear to be spreading along the road, but nowhere near as fast as the Calliopsis I showed yesterday. I don't know whether this is a native plant. So I don't know whether to call it a weed or not.


The other day Julie took me to task for calling these delightful yellow flowers weeds rather than wildflowers. My definition of a weed is a non-native plant that spreads prolifically, displacing native plants. So by my definition I guess these are still weeds even though I love 'em. Fortunately they tend to colonise sunny roadsides rather than the bushland. Words to walk with: Here is an update with info from the Weeds Australia site: Native to central and south-east United States of America ... In Western Australia it is a garden escapee along the roadside between Perth and Albany and it is known in the Blue Mountains in NSW. In Queensland it was first recorded as naturalised in Kingaroy in 1944 and is currently spreading as a roadside weed from Tin Can Bay to the NSW border. It is also abundant in the Stanthorpe district and has the potential to become a major ground cover weed in forested areas in coastal and sub-coastal districts of Queensland and NSW.

Nepean River

The road then descends quickly to the bottom of the mountains and I can see the growing city of Penrith sprawling across the plains below. At its border is the lovely Nepean river and this is where our pictorial drive ends. From here there is a high speed motorway mostly edged by hard concrete, grassy slopes and planted trees. About this point I put on the radio and hurtle along oblivious to Sydney's western suburbs hiding behind the trees.

Nearly at the bottom

We are nearing the bottom of the mountains now. This interesting art deco building is at the Airforce Base at Glenbrook.

Palm trees

The Roads and Traffic Authority doesn't always get it right with their choice of plants. These palm trees we added when the highway at Blaxland was widened. They were considered inappropriate and not popular at the time but I guess I am getting used to them.


As I descend to where the climate is warmer purple Jacarandas are putting on a pretty purple display. At Warrimoo I am always delighted to see this one which is beautifully offset with a flamboyant hot pink bougainvillea.

Unplanned garden

But its the unplanned garden that I like the best. At this time of year cheerful yellow weeds line the highway.

Our garden

Each new section of the highway is carefully landscaped with roadside plants to soften the starkness of the new road. My husband and I call it 'Our Garden' and like to watch the changing seasonal display. It has just finished its spring flush of red bottlebrush flowers (callistemon).


I have no idea what this wall is or what hides behind it. Most things very old around here are attributed to the times when the convicts constructed the first road over the mountains in 1814. Today's highway and the railway line tend to follow a similar path to that old road.

Heart of the mountains

The City of the Blue Mountains comprises a string of small towns or villages running along a ridge flanked on each side by wilderness. Each town has its own entry sign with its own claim to fame. Words to walk with: I carry your heart with me by ee cummings "carry your heart with me (i carry it in my heart) i am never without it (anywhere i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done by only me is your doing, my darling) I fear no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) i want no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true) and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant and whatever a sun will always sing is you here is the deepest secret nobody knows (here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows higher than soul can hope or mind can hide) and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)

A passing glimpse

The scenery going down the mountain doesn't have the same wild majesty as higher up, but the glimpses past the houses are still lovely to behold. On colder mornings I see the mist fingering its way along the valleys. Words to walk with: A Passing Glimpse by Robert Frost I often see flowers from a passing car That are gone before I can tell what they are. I want to get out of the train and go back To see what they were beside the track. I name all the flowers I am sure they weren't; Not fireweed loving where woods have burnt-- Not bluebells gracing a tunnel mouth-- Not lupine living on sand and drouth. Was something brushed across my mind That no one on earth will ever find? Heaven gives it glimpses only to those Not in position to look too close.

My daily drive

PJ has requested to see something of the terrain that I travel through on my 100km drive to work each day. So here we go, its not all pretty views. I start with the slow bit, the never ending roadworks that are making the highway wider, the hills flatter, the curves straighter -- so people can speed through our magnificent bushland without noticing. No sooner do they finish one patch than they move onto the next town. By the way, the Old Lawson Mechanics Institute building that I wrote about in September has been saved from destruction by the highway widening juggernaut! A tribute to a persistent band of locals.

Summer roses

Summer starts today and the weekend was just warm enough to feel eager about it happening soon. Let's celebrate. (I bought these at the Lawson festival) Words to walk with: Sonnet 54 by William Shakespeare "O, how much more doth beauty beauteous seem By that sweet ornament which truth doth give! The rose looks fair, but fairer we it deem For that sweet odour which doth in it live. The canker-blooms have full as deep a dye As the perfumed tincture of the roses, Hang on such thorns and play as wantonly When summer's breath their masked buds discloses: But, for their virtue only is their show, They live unwoo'd and unrespected fade, Die to themselves. Sweet roses do not so; Of their sweet deaths are sweetest odours made: And so of you, beauteous and lovely youth, When that shall fade, my verse distills your truth.