Monday, April 30, 2012

Trunk Calls Only

Walking along Darling Street, Balmain my friend and I came across this well cared for garden at the front of a duplex. I would have neither the patience nor desire to take on such a project. However with not a wood chip or fantasy statue out of place the pride in this garden wonderland was obvious and the fruits of all the labour to be enjoyed by passers-by. Night lighting meant the garden could continue to delight long after the sun had gone down. 

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Spokes of Wisdom

Enjoying a few wonderful days in Sydney, as usual staying in Surry Hills. These spokes advertising wisdom and enjoyable reads is at a bookshop on the corner of Campbell and Crown Streets. 

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour

The Fremantle Fishing Boat harbour is always a colourful place for action on the water as well as for a good feed of fish and chips. Although I visit this area regularly, until taking these photos I had not realised how many sculptures were on this small section of the boat harbour boardwalk. 

As for the installation below, amazingly I can't even recall seeing this rather well worn looking pooch before! 

How could I have missed it? Well usually this area is just so crowded with people. However it was the end of the day and people had already made their way home. So with camera in hand I was able to enjoy hanging about this popular spot without the normal hustle and bustle of the day.  

Friday, April 27, 2012

Feeding Frenzy

It was fascinating to watch these Koi feeding whilst visiting friends. Hearty appetites, very colourful, interesting behaviour and lots of action.  

Thursday, April 26, 2012

USS Carl Vinson is in Town

Monument Hill provides an excellent view over Fremantle Ports. Yesterday USS Carl Vinson was surrounded by leisure craft whilst anchored in Gage Roads at Fremantle Ports. Other ships anchored in Gage Roads were dwarfed against the size of the aircraft carrier. And it is hardly surprising. The Carl Vinson is able to house up to 75 aircraft, provide over 20,000 meals a day and has a range of other services that include a 63 bed hospital.  

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Memorial to Royal Australian Navy Corvettes World War 2

Yesterday afternoon I went back to Monument Hill in Fremantle partly because the sun was golden and I wanted to see the view from the hill in this light, partly because I was  wondering about the preparations for Anzac Day and also to see how visible the American warship USS Carl Vinson would be from this prime location. 

I had been at the memorial in the morning when it was very quiet. But now it was a hive of activity as preparations were finalised for Anzac Day. I also noticed these beautiful flowers that had been placed on the memorial dedicated to the World War 11 Royal Australian Navy Corvettes. It was whilst taking some photos that I meet the wonderful couple who had placed the flowers at the base of the memorial. He had served in the Corvettes in World War 11 and shared some stories of his experiences. I do not now their names but I am honoured to have meet them both.  

Lest we forget

The USS Carl Vinson is in the distance framed by the cranes at Fremantle port. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Monday, April 23, 2012

An Evening to Celebrate the Senses

Australian artist Ian de Souza's Fremantle studio has attracted much interest both nationally and internationally. The beautiful garden studio is also where I am fortunate to be able to go to each Tuesday night for Life Drawing - about two and a half hours sketching a model's poses for one, two, five maybe ten minutes. About half way through the evening we enjoy a relaxing break at the long table shown above which has mining cart wheels and is set onto rail tracks. 

Constructed from "pre-loved" materials - an old railway carriage, recycled bricks and timber this indoor-outdoor space was the venue of our Soiree of the Senses on Sunday.

Ian is standing by the fire and you can get a peek of some of his artworks on the walls. If you would like to know more about his studio and artwork click here.

Sculptor Toby Bell was also at the Soiree to share the delights and pitfalls of constructing his sculpture Caliban which was featured in this year's Sculpture by the Sea held at Cottesloe Beach.  Shown below he is giving a fascinating demonstration of how he went about constructing such a large work.

The garden studio has something in every corner to delight the senses. 

It was a wonderful evening but eventually it was time to leave. Minnie came to to see us off.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Soiree of the Senses

A wonderful afternoon with artists Ian de Souza and Toby Bell at a Soiree of the Senses. Ian's paintings, Toby's sculptures, good food and of course our Red Gully wines. I look forward to sharing more tomorrow. In the meantime, welcome to the courtyard of Ian's Fremantle house. 

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Fremantle Port View

I enjoy seeing this Freo view - the incongruity of a ship berthed for loading just over the railway line and the usual port view from the corner of East Street and Canning Highway blocked. It certainly gives an idea of the proximity of the port to other Fremantle activities. 

On occasion boats are loading live animals - usually sheep and cattle - for export. As it was the other night, it's not hard to tell.....there is a certain whiff in the air as you pass by. 

Friday, April 20, 2012

Following in Big Brother's Footsteps

Yesterday I was sharing my experiences at the Maze in Perth's northern suburbs. The park has a wide range of activities including this rock wall. For these two brothers, there was no way the younger boy would be left behind. The challenge was on to not only hone their climbing skills but to see who would be the first to make it to the top. 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Cosy Corner

A visit to a Maze in Perth's northern suburbs today was an opportunity to get up close to one of the Koalas living at the sanctuary. Feeding on gum leaves and sleeping eighteen plus hours a day, the Koalas looked wonderfully cuddly as they snuggled up in the tree house. 

I must admit that after our picnic lunch I could have had a short kip myself but instead it was off into the Maze where I promptly managed to get lost. Next it was the tangled ropes and unders and overs as I went from one side of the ropes across to the other. Another adventure or two followed and then it was time to return home. Phew! But what great fun. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Pot of Gold

The gold for Perth today was the sprinkling of rain heralded by this early morning rainbow over the Indian Ocean. By afternoon the weather had changed to wonderful autumn showers. Beautiful! 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A Day of Contrasts

Over the last few days, the weather in Perth has been fabulous; fabulous that is if you are nor hankering after a little rain to clear away the dust and water the garden. So today as I drove down to Fremantle for a Pilates session it was a surprise to see the clouds rolling in over the sea.

About midday I stopped by the beach. With the wind coming in from across the ocean, the day was cooling down although it was still warm enough for a swim.

Eventually there was a very light smattering of a few rain drops. Hardly enough to make any real difference but enough to say that change is on the way.  

Monday, April 16, 2012

A Special Day

It has been a busy weekend in the Walter household as we farewelled our youngest son leaving for his wedding on Saturday afternoon. 

So I could remain focussed on enjoying this special day without peering through the camera lens I resisted the temptation to take ANY camera including the iPhone along with me. But I can tell you that it was a beautiful wedding ceremony and the fun filled reception was enjoyed with family and many wonderful friends. 

Congratulations to a very Special Couple. 

Friday, April 13, 2012

Back in the City from the Bush

Against the backdrop of city buildings I paused to watch the volleyball matches being played with great gusto on The Esplanade in Perth. After the bush what a contrast it is to be back in the city.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

A Walk Through the Bush

Two boundaries on the vineyard back directly onto bush reserves. While I like to watch the morning light filtering through the trees from the comfort of the house, it is usually not long before I take a walk over to the fence and out into the bush. It's always an exploration I enjoy. 

This time I had brought some watercolour paints down with me hoping I would find time for a little outdoor painting. No such luck, but at least I had time to meander. 

I seemed to hear so many more birds chirping, twittering, crowing - calling to each other as they moved through the bush. Such a delight and at the same time a poignant reminder of how many bird sounds I now no longer hear in my city life.  

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The View Over Lunch

Exploring the towns around Nannup makes for a welcomed change from vineyard chores. I was interested to see an exhibition by Western Australian artist Sandy Tippett at the Wills Domain gallery which is part of a much larger vineyard and restaurant complex. 

Margaret River is a popular destination for Perthites as well as visitors to the state. So it didn't take much to persuade Ken that it would be well worth the drive. And it certainly was. Great gallery and restaurant and what a fabulous view to sit back and take in while we relaxed over a delicious lunch.  

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Grass Is Always Greener on the Other Side

How many times have you heard the saying about the grass being greener on the other side? The promise and possibility that something just could be better somewhere else. 

This pic is of the hill opposite our vineyard. The top of the hill is as dry as it is over our way. Except for around our house where there are patches of greenery - the lemon, lime, mandarin, orange and mulberry trees, passionate fruit vines, raspberry and climbing roses bushes and of course the olive trees. 

The cattle have noticed our small patch of green. And a gate left ajar by a tiny amount was enough of an invitation for them to see whether it was possible to squeeze through to the garden. It's amazing what persistence can achieve as despite the small gap, by the time we awoke they had had tastings from several of the fruit trees and were about to begin on the passionate fruit vine. Despite being half asleep, it got us up and out chasing them back into the paddock. 

The pasture has been dry for some time, although one or two small pale green patches  are beginning to emerge. Let's hope some rain does come soon  but in the meantime I am careful to ensure the garden gate remains firmly closed. 

Monday, April 9, 2012

Passing By

On Sunday it was time for a break from the vineyard. On the way over to Busselton I spotted this paddock - old sheds, water tanks, cattle feed troughs and of course the old and crumbling outdoor dunny or toilet. Now reminders to passers-by of a different era in farming they have outlived their usefulness and without renewal are fading into the landscape.  

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter Silhouette

Yesterday evening I went out to see what sort of shot I could get of the Easter moon through the trees. As it turned out, the setting sun together with the silhouette of the trees just above the vineyard took my attention instead. 

It's wonderful to have this contrast of life in the city. Yesterday Ken worked hard at getting some of the extension work done on the house and this morning he and a mate are out pulling in the remaining nets still on the vines. 

On the agenda for me is the varnishing of the wooden kitchen floor. At the moment though I am enjoying the morning sun on the deck being continually nudged by our ball mad dog Elvis to throw the little piece of the ball that has not been chewed for him to fetch. 

It certainly is a wonderfully relaxing Easter Sunday.

Happy Easter Sunday to you also. 

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Through the Wine Glass

I would like to say that this is bubbly or some other exotic white wine. But not so! Good old sparkling water, reflections from the surrounding bush and an evening light that had me reaching for the camera to capture the moment. 

Friday, April 6, 2012

From the Paddocks

I look out onto this paddock from our bedroom window at Nannup. This morning was crisp and the light glorious making it an enjoyable experience exploring what was going on in the paddocks and in the bush surrounding the vineyard.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

How Long Before the Twenty Eights Feast on This Crop?

We are down at the vineyard to enjoy our Easter break without the work of vintage. Not along after we arrived I walked around the small garden outside our house to see how the plants were coming along. It is always a joy to see how much the garden has grown and changed since my last visit. Most notably the vine leaves have really started to turn to autumn colours. Now it's a waiting game until the vines are completely dormant and pruning can begin.

Importantly the orange, lemon, mandarin and grapefruit trees are doing well and our olives are going great guns. With the vines now stripped of grapes either from picking or by the birds, we find that only the olives are under threat from the twenty eight parrots (so named because of their call that sounds like 28, 28, 28 etc).

Home grown and pickled olives are a real treat so let's hope there is enough feed in the bush for the twenty eights to stay away at least until we have been able to pick a reasonable crop.

It's a lot colder down here in Nannup than in Perth but I am sure that a little cold weather will not dampened our spirits and a little rain would be most welcomed.

Wishing you all a happy Easter break. 

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Window Shopping

The place to go for designer labels in Perth is King Street. While the window displays are enticing, window shopping with a camera is all the fun I need. 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

A Little Bit of Charm in Quarry Street Fremantle

It is about two weeks ago now when I came across this old Fremantle building while walking down Quarry Street one evening. This morning with a little time to spare I  dropped by to see the streetscape during daylight. 

From the sign over the doorway, in its heyday this building had at least one use that we know of - as a shop for locals to go to purchase their ales, wines and spirits. Today it has moved along with the real estate values of these times and is tenanted. The building's old world character adds to the charm of Quarry Street. While standing in the street cranes from Fremantle harbour can just be glimpsed above the roofline. It must make for an interesting view from this second story window.  

The building is a stark contrast to the more industrial looking units across the street although the second hand bookshop across the road did look like a good reason to return when I was not in a hurry and could browse the shelves. 

Monday, April 2, 2012

Fragmented Tales

It is amazing what I find out about Perth when I take time to venture down a grungy city laneway. Such was the case on Saturday when  I came across this artwork in a laneway not far from London Court in the Hay Street Mall. 

Segments of Fragmented Tales covered what would otherwise be a rather uninteresting, decaying alley way. Artist Clare McFarlane's fascinating design incorporates the elements of the lane way with the natural world of plants, birds and insects. 

The artwork is part of the City of Perth Wall Inc project where professional artists bring artwork into the city connecting urban community and space. A great find. 

Sunday, April 1, 2012

City Daily Photo Theme Day: Cobblestones

City Daily Photo has a Theme Day at the beginning of each month. The theme for 1 April is Cobblestones. I was unsure about where to find cobblestones in Perth - we don't have that many around here - but a friend suggested King Street in Perth. So here it is. 

Especially on a late Saturday afternoon, King Street is a great location to people watch when the streetscape - old buildings (for Perth that is), a narrow street and trendy stops - becomes a backdrop for bridal parities to capture memories of their special day. 

This car had the number plate ONEOLDCAR and had been made into a stretched limousine. It was parked waiting for the bridal party to return.

You can click here to enjoy seeing other Theme Day participants.