Saturday, March 31, 2012

View from the Backyard Fence

About midday Thursday I saw a small amount of smoke indicating a fire in the area. It didn't seem that it would become a large blaze. But by late afternoon, the situation had changed. Driving home that afternoon I could see the darkening fire cloud. Smoke pervaded the air. 

It was not a welcoming scene over the backyard fence. 

Helicopters seemed to be everywhere - some flying overhead and on into the billowing smoke to drop water onto the blaze that was being fanned by the westerly winds from over the ocean. It didn't take long for the surrounding roads to be blocked as emergency services went into full action. 

Fortunately this fire was contained and eventually brought under control but some 12 hectares in Bold Park,  Mt Claremont were burnt in the blaze

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Gus at the Perth Cultural Centre

There always seems to be something going on in the Perth Cultural Precinct these days.

A wonderful sign that the city is growing and changing and different ways of engaging with people are being explored and embraced. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

View from Wolfe Lane

Walking from Murray Street Perth through Wolfe Lane gives a view of some interesting architecture. 

Other great finds around the laneway are excellent eating spots with fabulous coffee and a bar or two making a visit to this part of the city definitely worthwhile. 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Paw Paw and Lime

With family visiting from America it has been a rather whirlwind time catching up with friends and enjoying many wonderful delicacies. Such was our weekend feast and "cook off" of white crab caught in the ocean depths and cooked two ways - Thai sauce and in hot, hot oil.

To follow - paw paw and lime freshly picked from the hothouse. Yum! And in this kitchen's "cook off" the cooks did such a wonderful job we voted that both had to be declared winners. 

Monday, March 26, 2012

Perth City Link

I am always taken in by the comings and goings on construction sites in what I can only figure must be the influence of the engineers in the family over many years. 

Today after a meeting in Perth, I had time to take in some of the many exciting changes in the city. Crossing over the Horseshoe Bridge gave a wonderful view into progress in construction of the Perth City Link. The project involves sinking of the central city section of the Perth to Fremantle railway line and the construction of a new railway platform. The estimated cost of the project is $360m and it is due for completion by mid 2014.

As a traveller on the Perth Fremantle railway line, I am keenly interested in how it all turns out and anticipate that linking Northbridge and central Perth business districts will open up many more possibilities for development for businesses, city dwellers and visitors like me to the city. 

Sunday, March 25, 2012

This One!

It was all the fun of the fair when we went up to the local primary school for the annual school fete. 
Lots to do, see and of course to indulge the taste buds. 

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Friday, March 23, 2012

A Still Life

A Still Life.
quiet contemplation and adventure 
at the easel 
an abstract interpretation 
wondering what will emerge. 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Back Home by the Sea

Home from the Vineyard. By the sea. So many OMG moments. Wonderful. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Remember to Shut the Gate Next Time!

It was good timing when I walked outside to take a pic or two only to find the house gate had been left open and the cattle were beginning to munch on any and everything around the house that was green. Still with the pastures really dry now it's not surprising that they would take every opportunity to get some green feed. Thankfully the cattle had just come into the yard so I was able to chase them out into the pasture before our plants were devoured. Let's hope we remember to close the gate next time! 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Safe Planet

Yesterday there was time to drive over to see our winemaker, James at Thompson Estate. It also gave me an opportunity to see the winery and the sculptures in the grounds and Cellar Door.

Safe Planet by Rodney Kevin Laws is near the entrance to the Cellar Doors. From what I have been able to read, Laws was inspired to experiment creatively with metal after he inherited his late father's anvil as a teenager. A move to the country gave him the opportunity to pursue this creativity through the passionate expression for his love of nature and the human mind. 

While gathering charcoal from forest fires to fire his forge, Laws collects materials he comes across, recycling these to create sculptures and wonder from our waste. 

The door on Laws' Safe Planet does open and you can look inside.  You can also spin the dial. I wonder where it would land and what could be the key.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Getting a Load off for Wine Making

While our pickers rested the first lots of Nally bins were loaded onto the truck to go to the winemaker. Usually we go and watch the initial process of crushing the grapes but this time we needed to keep going and retrive the nets from the vineyard. 

So once again after replenishing our energy levels with a sumptuous morning tea, it was back to the grind!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Ready for Pressing

Vintage was over today after our wonderful friends and family along with our dog Elvis (who was just about into everything) were up early once again and getting into the swing of picking the last couple of rows.

We are very happy with the quality of grapes this year so now it's over to our winemaker. By mid morning, the truck had arrived to take the vintage over to winery in Margaret River area.

Tomorrow we go over to see the winemaker to find out what he has to say. Fingers crossed that all goes well.  

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Vintage at Red Gully Wines

After netting this year, a good vintage is under way at Red Gully Wines. Where the nets did not reach, some 200 crows were enjoying feeding on the grapes before we started picking this morning. Only a small amount of grapes remained to be picked on Sunday, then it's over to the winemaker in Margaret River. 

Friday, March 16, 2012

At the End of a Long Day

With grape picking starting tomorrow, it was a long drive down to the vineyard this afternoon. A group of wonderful friends and keen helpers have been lifting the nets and were even able to pick a tonne a grapes before it was time to come down from the vineyard for a sausage sizzle dinner.

I was certainly glad to pull into our property tonight as the 'roos were plentiful by the roadside as well as the odd emu or two. The kangaroo roadkill was more than I have seen in a long time.

As the light was fading I was just about to arrive at the vineyard and snapped this shot before the light disappeared completely. Our farm is just over the hill.

Thursday, March 15, 2012


Brickwork on an office wall in busy William Street, Northbridge recently won the international Ironlak Graffiti Competition. Artists Ayres, Creepy, Daek, Fecks and Ruset, spent their own funds creating the work. After seeing a mention of the artwork in The West Australian newspaper, I went along to have a look this afternoon. Brickwork extends some 80 metres along the full extent of the building. No wonder it took five days to create. And interestingly, the office building on which the mural has been painted houses the Opposition Spokesperson for the Arts, Perth MLA, John Hyde. 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Afternoon Sailing on the Swan

Whether this is Twilight Sailing or a more serious competition, it certainly is an enjoyable way to spend a Wednesday afternoon on the Swan River near Matilda Bay. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Picking this Weekend

It will be on for young and old this weekend as we head off to our Nannup vineyard for picking. It's a fun time but hard work. As always, the best part of the day is getting together over wine and food to celebrate the harvest and a job well done. 

We had expected the grapes to be ready, as usually happens, in a couple of weeks. But testing of the sugar levels in the vineyard has shown the grapes are well a truly ready for winemaking. Here's hoping the hot weather over the past few days has not ruined our crop of shiraz or cabernet sauvignon grapes. 

Monday, March 12, 2012

Perth from Kings Park

It's been a while since I have spent time in Kings Park. When I visited last week I was interested to see the changing Perth skyline especially with the new 46 storey building built by Brookfield Multiplex which will have BHP Billiton as the major tenant. It's the dark looking building with the open structure on the roof. There seem to be various nick names for the building, many of which are not complimentary. 

Whilst I had a closer look at the building when it was under construction, it has been a few months since I have walked around the base. 

Some of the architecture in Perth I find very unimaginative, poorly designed and given the location of some of the buildings, generally disappointing in its impact on the city. The architecture of the Perth Convention Centre would be one such building. So I am interested to see just how this building really does fit into the city's environment. After all these buildings are creating and changing the lifestyle of the city which I call home. 

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Sun Smart

Forty degrees today. Not a day to be out sun baking. And it's much too hot to be out in the garden tidying up the many bits and pieces that need work on in time to catch the bi-annual rubbish pick up of all those extra large items that have been bugging us around the house. Next pick up will just have to do. Time though for a bit of a mooch around the home and to enjoy a relaxing Sunday. Hope that you have a good one also. 

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Morning Run

This morning, as on most Saturdays, I took to a well worn 3 kilometre track to the beach for my morning run. My plan was better to get it over and done with before the morning heat really set in. At least I could then feel that I was starting to get on track in preparing for the challenge of the half marathon in Melbourne in October. Our son (who is a runner) and his fiancee (who is a triathlete) are to do the whole marathon. For me, I quite like the idea of a challenge and half the distance would certainly be enough!

After all, after 3 k's there is only another 18 to go. Just one foot on front of the other. Problem is the weeks are ticking away already this year and my fitness is the lowest that it has been for a long time. I am sure the event will be looming before I know it!

I took this photo a couple of Saturdays' ago after the same run. There was so much activity on the beach that I came back down but this time with the camera. Despite the warm day - even then - I just liked the young boy amongst all this activity needing to take a bit of a break. And today, the blues of the ocean and sky are very cooling. Happy weekend! 

Friday, March 9, 2012

39 Degrees Today and the Temperature is Rising

Almost 39 degrees Centigrade today, 38 forecast for tomorrow and 40 for Sunday. What an unbelievable Autumn we are having here. I feel I will be indoors for most of the weekend hoping that the afternoon sea breeze known locally as the Fremantle Doctor will come in and bring some welcomed relief from the heat of the day. 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Perth from Kings Park

To overlook Perth, Kings Park is the city's favourite vantage point. It's also wonderful parkland to visit with family and friends, walk through the many wonderful bush tracks or, if feeling more energetic, for a run or bike ride. I was not motivated to put on my running or bike shoes today, but Kings Park certainly is a beautiful place to stop even if only for a moment or two. Maybe next time I could be up to tackling the 143 or so steps on Jacobs Ladder...........or maybe, I'll just relax and enjoy the view. 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Beyond the Thorns

Chris Ormerod's sculpture Beyond the Thorns at Sculptures by the Sea, Cottesloe Beach. 

Monday, March 5, 2012


As the heat receded towards the end of the day, I decided to brave the traffic jams along the beach and take a quick look at this year's Sculptures by the Sea at Cottesloe Beach. Sculptor Toby Bell is one of a group who gather at artist Ian de Souza's for life drawing each week. But he has been missing for a while and now we know why. This is Toby's sculpture Caliban

According to Wikipedia, Caliban is a name that has been given to an array of characters in plays (including William Shakespeare's The Tempest), videos and books. Wikipedia described the characters variously as protagonists, having wild and lustful traits, mutant and monsters. You get the picture. Congratulations to Toby whose Caliban received much attention from Cottesloe beachgoers this evening. 

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Perth Upmarket

Despite the temperature rising as the city moves towards an expected 38 degrees centigrade on Tuesday, the crowds turned out at the University of Western Australian to see the work of Western Australian artists, craftsmen and gourmets at Perth Up Market's March event. 

Winthrop Hall was an excellent place to linger, soak up the  creative atmosphere and marvel at the beautiful designs. Art, jewellery, curiosities, inspired arts and craft and much more were being showcased. What amazing talent we have in Western Australia! 

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Sunset at Leighton Beach

I just cannot drive past a beach and setting sun without stopping the car, grabbing the camera and starting to shoot as the sun slides below the horizon. I took this photo at Leighton Beach on Thursday when I was on my way to Fremantle to catch up with friends for a casual and rather enjoyable tapas dinner. 

There is always lots of activity on the beach at this time of day and it was fascinating to watch the swimmer who mesmerised by the golden pathway created by the setting sun did a slow and rhythmic Australian crawl across the glowing waters. Back and forth,  back and forth, back and forth. Precious moments to be savoured at day's end. 

Friday, March 2, 2012

Under the Traffic Bridge at Freo

With the number of people I often see fishing from the pylons of the Fremantle Bridge I have always thought that it must be a good fishing spot for the locals. And if the fish are not biting, it would certainly be an interesting location from which to watch the comings and goings of the port. But I have always wondered about how people were able to get out onto the pylons. So today, I decided to take the time to investigate. As it turns out there is a walk brigade of sorts - three planks wide and most with railing. Now I must admit that I did not venture out to the end as the last part had no support. But what a gem of a find and like adventures of old, wonderful to see that access remained open to the public. What an unusual location it would have been from which to watch the Queen Mary 11 coming into port! Well that could be a possibility for another time.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Electronic Superhighway

I came across this work by Nam June Paik in a museum when in Washington DC last October. Whilst showing familiar outlines of states in the USA, Electronic Superhighway highlights a cultural map through video footage of the artist's experiences of each place. Connections to place are shown through music, art, theatre, dance and movies. For example, excerpts from the movie Wizard of Oz appears for Kansas, Showboat for Mississippi and South Pacific for Hawaii. Certainly a different way of helping the viewer to "see" place through different eyes.

The first of each month is a Theme day for City Daily Photos. This month's theme is Electricity.