I blame the birds. I really do. I’m sure it had nothing to do with any lack of self-control on my part or my obsessive compulsive photograph-taking, or being too lazy to leave a toasty warm bed on a freezing morning. Yes, it was definitely the birds’ fault I started my official walk much later than expected. Continue reading
When this twentieth century of ours became obsessed with a passion for mere size, what was lost sight of was the ancient wisdom that the emotions have their own standards of judgement and their own sense of scale. In the emotional world a small thing can touch the heart and the imagination every bit as much as something impressively gigantic; a fine phrase is as good as an epic, and a small brook in the quiet of a wood can have its say with a voice more profound than the thunder of any cataract. – Henry Beston, Northern Farm
Have you ever wished you could foresee the future? I’ve decided I don’t want to know what lies ahead. Fear can be a powerful force and even if I knew about the happy events, perhaps the over-riding desire to avoid pain from other happenings would leave me mentally paralysed – unable to act? I wonder if the young Welshman, Lewis Thomas, would still have ventured to Australia if he’d known what the future would bring. Continue reading
komorebi (Japanese) : sunshine filtering through the leaves of a tree or trees.
I had a very different kind of story planned to share with you this week – a story about an Australian castle. A castle not inherited from royalty or a long line of wealthy ancestors but one built for the wife and child of a man who started his working life in a wool factory in Wales at the grand old age of nine years old. It’s the quintessential rags to riches story and like a good fairy tale, involves love, a long separation and an element of tragedy.
But since I haven’t yet received the copyright permission to share some of the pictures, I’ve pulled together a small collection of nature photographs from my weekend visit to Nerima Gardens in Ipswich, near Brisbane. Continue reading
I have yet to see a platypus in the wild. I wonder how many Australians have. When I was told recently that a dead platypus had been found near Six Mile Creek in my local area, I had mixed feelings – excitement and surprise that they lived so close to me, and a little frustration and disappointment that a new supermarket complex and residential development being built right next to the creek may be responsible for their demise.
Since then I have headed down to the creek on a few occasions, hoping to catch sight of this unusual monotreme. I did come across some brown woolly animals and another rather hairy creature. The second species elicited a screech from me that was loud enough to bring the cricketers from the practice nets down to investigate. I was left a little red-faced by their concern. Not an uncommon occurrence for me, I can assure you. Continue reading
“Perhaps there’s no better act of simplification than climbing a mountain. For an afternoon, a day, or a week, it’s a way of reducing a complicated life into a simple goal. All you have to do is take one step at a time, place one foot in front of the other, and refuse to turn back until you’ve given everything you have.” -Ken Ilgunas
In my last post I was disappointed to miss out on attempting the Mt Maroon summit. What a difference a week can make to one’s mood. I’ve had the opportunity to de-stress with a mountain walk, make some nature discoveries on an old mining site and enjoy a sunrise walk at a new beach. I also had the pleasure of meeting a Brisbane blogger I follow, who also enjoys photography and walking. So this week I am in the joyful position of having something fresh to write about… Continue reading
Well, there has been some drama of late. A family member was struck by a car recently while cycling home from work. He was fortunate to survive the incident but now has injuries which will take about six months to heal. The driver of the car was at fault according to the police report and unfortunately this is not uncommon where I live. I’m quite disheartened by the car-centric culture in my country although there have been some improvements.
As Michael Reilly recently wrote in an article explaining 18 Reasons Why Registering Bicycles is a Bad Idea, “Even among people who don’t ride for transport, a survey showed 60% would like to do so – but many say they are too scared.” Yes, here in the Lucky Country, many of us are too scared to ride a bicycle. After a few close calls I have even curtailed my own cycling activity.
Now let’s move onto something more cheerful… Continue reading
My birthday falls at a very busy time of year and for most of my life it just seemed like too much of a bother to celebrate it. However, a few years ago I decided I would make an effort to make them more memorable. Since material things aren’t so important to me, I chose to make my days special by travelling somewhere new each year. Continue reading
When anxious, uneasy and bad thoughts come, I go to the sea, and the sea drowns them out with its great wide sounds, cleanses me with its noise, and imposes a rhythm upon everything in me that is bewildered and confused. – Rainer Maria Rilke
For me the most challenging places to write about are usually those that are particularly special to me. I fear I will not do them justice. It’s time I stopped procrastinating though and shared my album of Cape Byron in New South Wales, 165 km south of Brisbane. Some of my childhood was lived in small coastal towns and I spent many hours of precious solitude and freedom on their shores. I visited Byron Bay for the first time in October, 2013 and it brought back a flood of wonderful memories for me. I could have lingered all day at the lighthouse, taking in the intense blue panoramas. If it is possible to fall in love with a place, I did that day. Continue reading
The most effective way to save the threatened and decimated natural world is to cause people to fall in love with it again, with its beauty and its reality. – Peter Scott
I remember what parks looked like when I was a child. Most were uninspiring patches of grass and prickles with one or two trees, a token swing set, a splintered wooden see-saw and a scarily tall slippery slide. I recall frying my rear end and upper legs on baking hot summer days as I zoomed down enormous shimmering metal slides, often ending up bruised and concussed on a rock hard bed of concrete. While they seemed exhilarating at the time and we certainly learned to be physically tough, I do think the elaborate green spaces I see in cities today with their mini-forests, gardens, ponds and lakes are a vast improvement. They provide sanctuaries for wildlife and much needed nature therapy for stressed residents. Continue reading
We’re conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments. But great moments often catch us unaware – beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one. – Kent Nurburn
I pity the poor people who have to pay a small fortune to attend saunas. Here in sub-tropical Brisbane we get to live in one free for a few months of the year! A few days ago, I spent the morning freestyling in my own perspiration in order to complete an album of pictures for this blog post. I’ve been to the Slaughter Falls area in Mt Coot-tha Forest a few times but I’ve never actually seen the falls flowing fast. After recent heavy rain, I was anticipating some breathtaking cascades. Was it worth it? I’ll let you decide… Continue reading