Welcome to my blog. Here you will find my adventures with my family and friends. Thanks so much for stopping by.

I'm so enjoying this wonderful world of blogging where I have met and made so many new friends.

Please leave a comment when you drop by so I can visit your blog and get to know you too
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Friday, March 27, 2015

A VERY SPECIAL OCCASION


Phew! We've just returned from Sydney where we spent a week to celebrate the marriage of our son Brett to his lovely partner, Sarah.


(The view from our apartment of Hyde Park)

The wedding took place in the courtyard of the Mint, the oldest building in Sydney.



It was a lovely occasion with the weather being very kind - not too hot or cold, morning showers clearing so that the outdoor ceremony could take place as planned in the late afternoon.



The bride looked absolutely stunning.
So did the groom !



With both of them around 6 foot they made a very handsome couple don't you think ?




Mum and Dad made the trip down from Hervey Bay with my brother and his partner making the trip possible for them.





It was a lovely, happy family occasion.



The celebrations continued the next morning with a lovely ( guilty) brunch in the Sydney Botanic Gardens. 





Yum !!!

Back home now and back to the diet !

Cheers.

Friday, March 13, 2015

ON A MISSION - PART TWO

My mission today was to collect some Jacaranda seeds to send to my blogging pal Tom in Angola.
A few weeks ago I sent him some Ponciana seeds and blogged about it here.
 
Jacarandas produce lots of seeds but I had forgotten that the seeds were so high in the tree !

 
I had also forgotten that when they are ready the seed pods burst open and the seeds float away on the breeze !

 
Everywhere I looked the pods were open and the seeds were gone !!


High up in the tree I could spy a few green pods which hadn't opened yet but they would be very difficult to get at.
 
Like this one .
 

 
 so I began to search the ground under the trees for seed pods to take home.
 
 
It was obvious that the seeds were long gone from these ones.
The pods spring open with quite a lot of force and the seeds are expelled.
 

 
You can see the centre rib where they are attached.

 
These seed pods are tough - brittle and hard. I had to use a knife to prise them open - and I looked through all the ones I had brought home, ever hopeful that there would be some seeds still clinging inside..
 

 
I found a couple still attached to the pod.



See the little thin membrane attached to them?
It acts as a wing so that they fly away on the breeze.
 

 
Two seeds of questionable quality.
 
There were now three pods left but I was very hopeful as two were only just cracked open and one was completely closed.
 
 
One was empty but the next one had plenty of seeds inside



The last one took quite a bit to get it open as it was completely sealed up tight.
 
I cut away the edge then inserted a knife to prise it open a bit

 
Finally the pod snapped open and there they were !
 



Lots of them! Looking healthy too !
 





I've planted a couple to test them out.
The rest have been placed in a card addressed to Tom's brother in Germany who will, I hope, send them on to Tom in his next parcel.
It will be great to see these trees enhancing the resort that Tom is working hard to build.
Let's hope they like the climate.
 
Update 
 
Below are some photos I took today of the Ponciana seedling I planted a month ago.
 


 
 There are five of them.
Anyone want a Ponciana tree???


Sunday, February 22, 2015

BIRTHDAY SURPRISE

As a surprise birthday present Tony has whisked me away for a few days at the beach.
He's been sweating on the timing as we've just experienced cyclone Marcia here in Queensland.
It was a very strong cyclone which crossed the coast about 500 miles north of Brisbane passing close to Yeppoon before veering inland towards Rockhampton then turning south before petering out as it headed back out to sea. 
Luckily the damage has not been too severe and everyone was well prepared with TV and radio coverage. At our house we measured 180 mm or about 7 in of rain over the space of three days so the garden has had a lovely badly needed drink.

Anyhow, on Sunday afternoon we set out in showery weather for the Gold Coast, Burleigh Heads to be more specific.


Even if the weather is not so good you have to be happy with a view like this


And there are lots of sunny patches.

Despite the showery weather it is not cool but rather very warm and sometimes unpleasantly muggy.



We've been for a couple of long walks along this lovely beach.
The sea is still very stirred up and angry and it's not holiday time so there are not too many people to share with as you go. 
There's nothing quite like the feel of the sand under your feet, is there ?




Every time we walk along the beach we come home soaked by the rain showers that come up and then move on out to sea. At least it isn't cold rain !


In the distance you can see the more glitzy highrise area of Surfers' Paradise.

Here's a little evidence of those rough seas.
The beaches are still closed to swimming today.


Cheers.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

SEEDS FOR HIPPO

Recently I suggested to my friend Tom from A Hippo on the Lawn blog that a couple of the lovely flowering trees we have in Brisbane would be a nice addition to his resort in the making.

I suggested these:


 
A Poinciana Tree
 
and a Jacaranda Tree.
 
 
Neither of these trees are native to Australia but both play a big part in beautifying the suburban landscape of Brisbane.
 
Tom was very receptive to the idea so I set out to collect some seeds to send off to him in Angola.
 
Both trees produce huge numbers of seeds so Tony collected some Ponciana seeds for me as he worked around the neighbourhood.
 
 
This is one of the large seed pods.

 
Inside each little channel holds a single large seed.
 
I selected 5 or 6 of the seeds ( he didn't want many !!) from one pod and posted them off to Tom via his brother in Germany.( there's plenty more where they came from Tom if you need them !!)
 
Then to test them out I stuck a few into a spare pot to see if and how long it would take for them to germinate.
 
Two weeks later I remembered them and looked into the pot to find this !


 
This one had popped itself right out of the ground !
 




 

 
 
Looks like they'll be easy to grow Tom !
Hope they manage to reach Angola soon.
 
 
I'm off to collect Jacaranda seeds now.
 
Cheers.

Friday, February 6, 2015

CELEBRATION


Tony's birthday this weekend was a good excuse for a rare night out with both of our terrific kids.


Brett was in Brisbane for his pre-wedding " Buck's Night " where he was meeting up with lots of old school friends whom he doesn't see much now that he lives in Sydney. 

Lovely that they all make the effort to keep in touch. Those old friendships are still strong with nearly 20 years since they left school.

Not long till the wedding now !

Cheers.



Wednesday, February 4, 2015

AUSTRALIAN WORKING DOGS -Part 3 - KOOLIES

The Koolie


This is the breed that started me off on this exploration of Australian Working Dogs. I recently read about them and had previously never even heard of them let alone seen them - or recognised them anyway.
This may be because they look very much like a crossbreed combination of Cattle Dog and Border Collie and Kelpie which is how the new breed probably originated.  They are, however a recognised breed as in 2010, the Australian Koolie's own unique signature gene was discovered through ASAP laboratories in Victoria Australia, making them the first Australian breed recognised by their DNA before the controlling canine body of their home country.

There is a huge range of colours and coat types with both long and short coats, solid and colours mixed with white and the interesting " merle ".



Merle is a pattern in a dog's coat that is commonly incorrectly referred to as a colour. The merle gene creates mottled patches of colour in a solid or speckled coat, blue or odd-coloured eyes and can affect skin pigment as well.
 
Health issues ( deafness and blindness) are more typical and more severe when two merles are bred together, so it is recommended that a merle be bred to a dog with a solid coat colour only.





 
To quote from one of my sources:
 


"Koolies are much sought-after in rural Australia, and interest is now being shown in America, Canada, Germany, Finland, New Zealand, Switzerland and Holland.
 
According to Geoff Broughton, past president of the Koolie Club of Australia for 7 years, the Koolie will:
head (move to the front or head of the stock to push them back towards you), 
heel or drive, (push the stock from behind), 
cast (move out and around the stock), 
block (hold the stock or block them from in front, in three sheep trials this action is called the pick up) and
 back (literally jump onto the backs of their charges to herd them if necessary).
 
 Koolies have a reputation for being upright workers with a good eye, who can easily shift their focus from holding the group to casting around a flock or gathering breakaways. They are not known for having "sticky eyes" (focusing on the sheep in front only).
 
Unlike other working breeds, which are noted for their crouched form or style and preference for either yard or field work, Koolies are known as silent, upright, working dogs. 
 
 Koolies are at ease working in closed surroundings such as yards or trucks and being out in paddocks and droving.
 
 
 
As well as working anything from ducks to bulls like all dogs of their kind they will herd family members and children in the absence of other charges.
 
Many farmers say these breeds are harder workers than many men. "






 

~~~~~
So there you have it.

I 'll keep my eyes open now to see if I ever encounter a Koolie though I think they will be difficult to spot as they vary so much in appearance and are probably pretty rare in the city.

Of course the other breed of working dog found here in Australia is the wonderful Border Collie.


like our own Miss Scout.



They are used mainly for sheep as wild cattle require a tougher dog.

( Australian cattle dog at work ) 
 
 
Cheers.
 
* Photos today from the Internet