Road Trip – Days 1 – 3

Our road trip was planned. My wife and I hired a motor-home and we were going to use it to drive to Yeppoon on the central Queensland coast; a return journey of over four thousand kilometres with four weeks to complete our journey.

Like most plans, things can sometimes go awry. Due to a family emergency, day one found us still at home and day two was spent driving for two hours to pick up the motor home, then, what seemed like almost as much time finalizing the paperwork. So, it was late in the afternoon of day two we headed north along the Hume Freeway to start our road trip.

Day 3:

After our first night in the motor home we woke on Sunday morning to a cold frosty winter’s day. At least we had bright sunshine and beautiful blue skies.

Our motor home at Wangaratta North.

Still heading north along the Hume Freeway, we soon turned off to visit the historic gold town of Chiltern.

The Main Street of Chiltern

Chiltern is very proud of its heritage and the buildings, most built in the 19th century, are beautifully maintained. In some ways, walking around this little town was like stepping back in time. The local people were friendly and strangers in the street would smile and say, “G’day”.

Masonic Hall

The Court House – built in 1865

Side view of the Court House

Federal Standard Newspaper Office – built in 1860

Bank of Australasia – now a Tea House with fine food and hand crafts

My wife and I visited the Old Chiltern Bank Tea House (28 Conness Street, Chiltern, Victoria 3683). We were tempted to try the delicious looking cakes but resisted and just had coffee.

The new owner greeted us in a friendly manner and made us welcome. We pledged to return one day for an extended stay and both of us agreed this beautiful old bank would be the perfect place to stay as the bank residence is currently being renovated and soon to be used for accommodation.

The Old Chiltern Bank Tea House can  be contacted here:

https://www.facebook.com/pg/TheOldChilternBank/about/

Chiltern Vet Clinic

The above photo, now the local vet’s office, has signs that give clues to this building’s former existence – “Kodak supplies” and “Enlargements”.

 

Star Hotel – at the height of the gold rush, Chiltern had 12 hotels

The original Blacksmith Building


Doorway to the Old Blacksmith Building

Athenaeum Museum Annex

Many of the well preserved buildings of Chiltern are registered with the National Trust. So if driving the Hume Freeway in Victoria, I would highly recommend taking a short detour and visiting this historic town.

Please Note: All photographs appearing on my blog were taken by me. They are copyrighted and all rights are reserved. If you would like to purchase a print please contact me by leaving a comment below with your order and contact details. I will then get back to you.

The above photos were all taken using an iPhone 7 Plus.

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2016 -The Year with Birds

This is a type of pictorial diary record of the birds I have photographed this year.

January – Red-browed Finch (Neochmia temporalis)

Red-browed Finch

One of my favourite little birds: 11 – 12 cm in size. It is also known as a Firetail.

February – Pied Currawong (Strepera graculina)

Pied Currawong

41 – 51 cm in size. They have a noisy distinctive voice.

March – Superb Fairy-wren (Malurus cyaneus)

Superb Fairy-wren

This photograph is of a male in moult. The breeding season has come to an end so he has begun to lose his brilliant colours. Below, I have included the Superb Fairy-wren during the breeding season so he can be compared with the one moulting.

Superb Fairy-wren

April – Red Wattlebird (Anthochaera carunculata)

Red Wattlebird

33 – 37 cm in size. Wattlebirds are raucous and territorial. They attempt to chase all other birds out of their territory.

May – Black-shouldered Kite (Elanus axillaris)

Black-shouldered Kite

Black-shouldered Kite

This pair of Kites were spotted on the side of the road as I drove home.

June – Australian King Parrot (Alisterus scapularis)

Australian King Parrot

King Parrots are 40 – 45 cm in size. This is the male who landed in a tree near my wood heap. I was actually gathering fire wood (June is the middle of winter here in Australia) and had to rush inside to get  my camera.

July – Satin Bowerbird (Ptilonorhynchus violaceus)

Satin Bowerbird

The Satin Bowerbirds turned up in my garden in July. They are very flighty birds and difficult to photograph, the slightest moment can send them scurrying off to hide in the bushes. The male is glossy blue-black in colour, and 27 – 33 cm in size.

August – House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)

House Sparrow

During the 19th century,  House Sparrows were introduced into Australia by the early settlers. I have a small flock which calls my garden home.

September – Little Raven (Corvus mellori)

Little Raven

Most people will errorously call the Little Raven a crow. There are three types of ravens in Australia, the others being The Australian Raven and the Forest Raven. The Little Raven is the smallest at 50 cm while the other two are 52 cm.

October – Silvereye (Zosterops lateralis)

Silvereye

There are eight continental Australian races of Silvereyes. Five races are found in south-east and eastern Australia and are grey-backed; hence their alias Grey-backed Silvereyes.

November – Laughing Kookaburra (Dacelo novaeguineae)

Laughing Kookaburra

An iconic Australian bird, no album of birds would be complete without the Kookaburra or Laughing Jackass as it is also known. It is also the largest of the Kingfishers.

December – Spotted Pardalote (Pardalotus punctatus)

Spotted Pardalote

Pardalotes are tiny foliage foragers that breed in small burrows or tree hollows. The Race punctatus is 8-9.5 cm in size. The male bird has white spots; the female, yellow.

I hope you have enjoyed the photographs I have chosen. I have published each one under the month I took the photo. Many of these birds will be found in my garden all year round.

Please Note: All photographs appearing on my blog were taken by me. They are copyrighted and all rights are reserved. If you would like to purchase a print please contact me by leaving a comment below with your order and contact details. I will then get back to you.

 

 

2016 -Coming to an End

2016 is fast coming to an end. I thought it might be interesting to share with you some photographs I snapped over the course of the year.

There is no rhyme or reason to these images, they are more a pictorial diary of my year.

City Skyline

No1 – The city skyline of Melbourne.

During the school holidays I was called upon to look after two of my grandchildren. I snapped this shot from the waterfront at Williamstown, looking across Hobson”s Bay, while we were talking an evening walk.

Murray Street Bridge

No2 – Barongarook Creek Bridge.

I had seen a 19th century postcard taken from almost the same spot I stood to take this photograph. It was my intention to attempt emulating his work.

The postcard photographer would have been standing in the middle of what is now the Princes Highway. There were two reasons I chose to stand on the footpath to take my shot. The first is the busyness of the highway (the main carriageway in and out of Colac) and the tree to the left of the bridge would have blocked out the old Post Office and the old Shire Hall.

Lake Bullen Merri

No3 – Lake Bullen Merri.

This lake is near Camperdown, a small town near where I live. Though reasonably close to my home, I had not visited the area for sometime.

Sunrise Memorial Square

No4 – Memorial Square.

This Memorial is situated on the main street of Colac, near where I live.

Otway Range

No5 – Otway Ranges

The seaside town of Apollo Bay sits at the foot of the range of mountains simply known as the Otways. Here the houses seemed to be dwarfed by the mountains behind them.

Lake Colac

Lake Colac

Lake Colac

Lake Colac

No6,7,8,9 – Lake Colac.

By the autumn of 2016 the lake had almost dried up. No decent rain had fallen for a couple of years and it seemed that Lake Colac would dry up completely for only the second or third time since European occupation.

Lake Colac

No10 – Lake Colac.

However winter and spring gave us some of our wettest months for a long time. And, though far from being full, it, at least, looks like a lake again.

Prince of Wales Hotel

No11 – The old Prince of Wales Inn.

The bridge in the foreground of this photograph was washed away by rushing water after a deluge that lasted all one night and most of the next day.

Storm Front

No12 – Storm Front.

I took this photograph from my front verandah. Just minutes after I clicked the shutter, the heavens opened up and I watched nature at her most fierce. I spent the next few hours in darkness as the electricity failed.

Please Note: All photographs appearing on my blog were taken by me. They are copyrighted and all rights are reserved. If you would like to purchase a print please contact me by leaving a comment below with your order and contact details. I will then get back to you.

 

 

On Reflection

The other day I was walking my dogs on the bank of the Barongarook Creek when this Australian Pelican (Pelecanus conspicillatus) landed on the water and begun hunting for food. As it swam towards me I could see the Pelican’s reflection and I immediately wanted to include it in the photograph.

A Pelican and its reflection

A Pelican and its reflection

Please Note: All photographs appearing on my blog were taken by me. They are copyrighted and all rights are reserved. If you would like to purchase a print please contact me by leaving a comment below with your order and contact details. I will then get back to you.

A Sleeping Pelican

Yesterday I made a quick stop-off at Balyang Sanctuary on the banks of the Barwon River, and it was there I saw this Australian Pelican, (Pelecanus conspicillatus), sleeping on top of one of the nesting boxes. As I moved closer to get this shot I could see it actually had an eye on me.

A Sleeping Pelican - Keeping an eye on me!

A Sleeping Pelican – Keeping an eye on me!

A Spotted Turtle-Dove

The following photograph is of a Spotted Turtle-Dove (Streptopelia chinensis). They are a small bird of about 31.5 centimetres. Their voice is a musical “Coo” and Turtle-Doves can be heard and seen in cities and suburban gardens and parks. Spotted Turtle-Doves are also found in the grain growing areas of coastal eastern Australia. The nape and back of the neck is black with white spots.

But, I must share with you my little Granddaughter’s description of the Spotted Turtle-Dove, when she told me why she likes them: “Cause they wear necklaces.”

Spotted Turtle-Dove

Spotted Turtle-Dove: With its necklace.

Please Note: All photographs appearing on my blog were taken by me. They are copyrighted and all rights are reserved. If you would like to purchase a print please contact me by leaving a comment below with your order and contact details. I will then get back to you.

Empty Seat in the Park

The following photograph is from my walk through the Botanic Gardens yesterday. Several years ago I began a project which I called Empty Seat in the Park and every now and then I add an image to it.

Empty Seat in the Park - on a sunny Winter's day

Empty Seat in the Park – on a sunny Winter’s day

Please Note: All photographs appearing on my blog were taken by me. They are copyrighted and all rights are reserved. If you would like to purchase a print please contact me by leaving a comment below with your order and contact details. I will then get back to you.