Tuesday, 30 March 2010

The cows and the rainbow

Last night as I was preparing my dinner I decided to feed my dog while the meat was cooking.  When I stepped outside I immediately noticed the change in temperature.  It felt quite cool and there was a blustery wind.  And....I could feel rain in the air.  With lifting spirits I looked up at the sky to see if there really was rain on the wind.

It's been so dry for so long, can you notice in the photo how little grass is in the paddock?  The stock are in good condition and still producing well but only because of the supplementary feed they have been getting.

The sky was a leaden grey and it looked like it could rain at any minute.  Then the rainbow appeared.  Setting in the trees just behind the cows.  So close!

After taking the photo I returned to my preparing my dinner.  But when I carried it to the dining room table and looked out, it was nearly dark but the sky was clear.

The rain clouds had blown away. 

One thing I know for sure.  Each day brings us closer to the day the skies will open and it will rain!  I yearn for that lovely earthy smell of rain falling on dry earth.  It will happen! 

Monday, 29 March 2010

Fishing for mallets

One of my very first blog posts was about Georgia and the mallets in the creek.

Yesterday Georgia and her "Best Friend Ever", Archer came running into the house shouting, "Granny, can you take us fishing down to where the mallets are?  We've found a fishing rod.  We want to go fishing.  We're not allowed to go to the creek by ourselves.  Can you take us fishing?  Do you have any bait?"  Not necessarily in that order, it was all a bit jumbled in their excitement. 

It never takes much to distract me from window cleaning so I happily agreed.

When we got to the creek, I baited the hook for them and Georgia went to throw out the line first.  Archer said, "I thought I was going to go first."
"No', said Georgia, "You said you were going to go first.  I didn't agree."
Archer had no argument and Georgia said, "OK, you can go first."
They crack me up these two six year olds.

Archer was pretty much in control and even when Georgia had her turn at holding on to the rod he had to have his hand on the line. 

They have both been fishing with their father's and had all the lingo, they sounded like a pair of old men discussing their lack of success.

Georgia eventually talked Archer into doing it her way:

Nudgee All Over again

As my sister, Trish, her husband, Bob and I happily made our way homewards from a family gathering the day after I arrived home in Brisbane recently, Bob commented, "It was just like Nudgee all over again." 

I'm sure that statement wouldn't make sense to anyone except a member of my family. 

We grew up in Nudgee, Brisbane and spent our holidays "up the creek" at our grandparents farm - refer to yesterday's post.  We were a large family, 12 kids.  I'm the oldest and was 22 when the youngest was born, six days after the birth of my oldest son.  (Yes, a bit of Irish Catholic mixed in there.)  As we grew and left home we all came to refer to our home as Nudgee, not Forrest St, just Nudgee. 

We had a large back yard with plenty of room to run and play.  And as we had our own families we loved nothing more than going back to Nudgee and sharing with our own children the fun of Nudgee back yard cricket.  (I can still recall very clearly the sound of a yet another window breaking as a ball went astray into Mum's or Mrs Delitt next door's kitchen windows.)

Our link with Nudgee came to an end, of course, as it had to eventually.  But not until just a few years ago when Mum and Dad came to the inevitable conclusion that a small unit in a retirement village was a lot more practical for them than that big old family home.  To our delight, a girl who grew up one door up in Forrest Street and who spent a lot of her youth playing at our house with my youngest sister, bought the house.

On this occasion we had gathered at my brother Danny and Aussie Jude's new home, which is situated right next door to a park.  It was heartwarming to see younger nieces and nephews played happily with the offspring of the older nieces and nephews. 

Of course there had to be a game of back yard cricket.The seriousness of the game was not minimised by the makeshift equipment.

My nephew Matthew's boys and niece Rebecca's daughter wait patiently for the call to blow out the candles on the cake which had been bought for my mother's birthday.  It was also the birthday of those beautiful twin boys so they were happy to oblige when it came to blowing out the candles.
My niece Elizabeth's little girl, Ellie prepares to eat her lunch:

 Four sisters - Pauline, Trish, Janet and Clare

Bob and Peter - I'd love to know what these two were talking about!

And my favourite shot of the day, captured by my brother, Peter of two different generations - my brother Terry's daughter, Merrin carries my niece Rebecca's daughter, Chloe:

As Bob said, it was just like Nudgee all over again!

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Crosby horses and Cottonbush Avenue

One of the highlight of my recent trip home to Brisbane was the trip down memory lane I took with my brother Peter, his wife, Pommy Jude (to differentiate from Aussie Jude) and a young couple of their friends from England, Tom and Ellie.  We took a drive to Laidley and up the Laidley Creek to where both our parents grew up and to see our maternal grandparents' old farm where we spent our school holidays. 

As children the first piece of news we sought upon arrival at the farm was how much water there was in the creek.  Quite often there was none and that meant one less delight for our holidays.  Peter and I were like excited children when we saw not only was there water in the creek but it was running quite swiftly and deeply over the crossing to our grandparents old house.  I can only recall seeing water that deep twice in all the years I visited the farm.  

We carried on up the road towards the area now known as Crosby Park but known to our family as Cottonbush Avenue, pausing to take a photo of the home of our maternal great-parents Crosby.

The cotton bush which grow profusely in this area is a weed, otherwise known as the swan plant and is poisonous to stock - which thankfully usually know better than to eat it.  Our Grandad was a funny man, he used to refer to this area simply as Cotton Bush and over the years added the avenue bit , obviously to amuse himself.

When we reached the picnic area, the table and sun shelter was already occupied.   Crosby horses know the best place to be on a hot day.

Not too sure what Peter is saying to them but they aren't listening!

We eventually convinced the horses to allow us to temporarily use their shelter for a picnic lunch.

But slowly they all crept back looking for titbits.

Watch out, Ellie.  It's behind you!

One beauty liked grapes although she had a bit of difficulty taking them from my hand.  I laughed when I saw this photo and the expression on the horse's face - "Oh darn, she dropped it!"

Peter took the young folk on a hike up Grassy Tree Knob and to his delight they flushed out a black snake.  Lucky Tom and Ellie, not every tourist to our country gets to see a snake in its natural habitat.  Actually I think it should be grass tree knob, named for the plants that grow there, and we have changed it's name over the years.  Jude and I had a wander further up along the road to where a locked gate marks the end of the road, then down along the creek with me chewing her ear and telling yarns of our childhood holidays spent playing in the creek.

It was so good being back there with the water running.

Friday, 26 March 2010

Friday Shoot Out - Bridges

I'm a big fan of Elaine at A Scattering.  Her photography is always superb and I can imagine that with her creativity she will have some wonderful bridges for you to see.  In black and white, too.

I admit the black and white bit scared me witless because I don't have the foggiest idea what makes a good black and white photo.  As luck would have it, I had one old black and white photo of the road (and bridge) leading up to our old farm, taken back when you had to put a black and white film in the camera. So this is the genuine article.

A wonderful memory of this bridge is that of a slight accident between myself and my neighbour.  One Tuesday afternoon I was taking my four kids to athletics and was coming down the hill off the bridge and my neighbour was returning with her four kids from swimming and our cars sort of bumped each other just as I came off that bridge.  Everyone jumped out of the two cars to inspect the damage and see if we were all OK and my older daughter commented, "Mrs Rickett, you've got new shoes!!"  Gotta love country kids, huh?

It didn't dawn on me to think of any sort of bridge other than the sort used to carry us over something.  Most of the bridges around here are humble affairs, built purely for practical purposes.  There are four one lane bridges between my house and the corner, 12 kms away.  I can't think of a single one within miles that has any aesthetic value.

The longest bridge down our road

This next little one is always a welcome sight, it takes me across the little creek that runs through the farm.

Thankfully this one on a neighbour's farm and doesn't see much traffic.
An old footbridge on another neighbour's farm

The bridges in town are a little grander than their country cousins- but not much!

Perhaps this is stretching it a bit and this is more of an elevated walkway.  But it is raised to carry foot traffic safely around a hill through the bush at Noosa, Queensland, Australia where I was recently holidaying.  It keeps our feet safe from snakes.

And then there are the bridges to fun:

To see lots of other black and white bridges, pop over to here.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

More glimpses

A few more glimpses of the hard life while on holidays at Noosa.

Some people pack up and head for home when the rain comes, others just kick back and wait for it to stop.

The pool at the Sebel where my sister-in-law, Pommie Jude, spent considerable tan trying to acquire a tan to take home to cold, cold England. 

I have quite a few boat photos and will be prepared if my FSO theme is ever mucking around in boats.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010


 My brother Danny's dark haired granddaughter, Chloe makes a little friend at the beach.

I've been back at work for two days after my holiday and have had two evenings to get myself sorted.  My bag is unpacked, the lawn is now mowed and the garden weeded, things are more or less back to normal.  I just want to share a few lasting impressions of my holiday.  I spent the first week at Noosa, staying with one brother while two other brothers were staying close by. 

Sea eagles at Little Cove, Noosa.  I'd never seen any before and was so impressed with them. 

Everywhere you looked there was evidence of recent rain.  It was quite bizarre to find the countryside greener than here in New Zealand.  Where I took my daily walk the path had been washed away by recent storms.

Nearly every day when I was at Noosa there was a little rain, it was mostly overcast but, hey, what does that matter when you're on holiday?

 It's a hard life!

Friday, 19 March 2010

FSO My Favourite Colour

Well, that's a first.  Spell checker is telling me I spell two of the words in the topic incorrectly.  Well, let me tell you, little old spell checker, where I come from that's how we spell those two words.

Anyway, doesn't matter how we spell them, the topic is about personal preference.  I'd be happy if there was one colour that screamed "Pick me, pick me!" but my preferences don't work like that.  I've rarely seen a flower and not liked its colour. 

I am scheduling this post as I will be in Australia.  The colours in my garden will have changed by the time I return, so I took my camera this afternoon and snapped all the colours I saw.  That's what I love about this weekly shoot out, it causes me to stop and look at so much I would otherwise not notice.  I can't believe the number of colours I saw in my small garden - and still I can't pick a favourite.





But I narrowed it down to the pink hues. 
To see the favourite colours of the rest of the team, just click here and you will see the participants listed.  Doreen, who chose this topic, is a fantastic photographer, so be sure to check out her blog.

Friday, 12 March 2010

FSO Wrought Iron

JarieLyn, who chose this week's topic, is one of my favourite bloggers.  Click here to visit her and see her wonderful photography.

I'm scheduling this post as I am on holidays and may not have computer access. I'm hoping that I will and also that I will have a few more shots of wrought iron




To see lots of wonderful photos, just go here and you will find all the participants listed.

Thursday, 4 March 2010

FSO In Remembrance

I'm flying off to Brisbane tomorrow to spend two weeks with my family.  Can't wait to see them all again and looking forward to a week at Noosa.  

This week's topic is In Remembrance, chosen by Chef E.  I'm sure there are all sorts of possible photo opportunities but once my mind goes down a certain track it is hard to get it back on the right track.  Each time I think of those two words I think of this poem.

In Memory of Marty

Scatter his ashes on the sea
And as he floats on crested wave
He wants no tears or grief
Or duty visits to his grave.....

Don't bury him beneath the ground
No cold imprisoned tomb for him
Or headstone with an earthy mound
That's not the place he'd want to be.

It's where the winds blow fresh and free
I know that he will lie content
The sea he loves his cemetery
And waves his only monument....

I remember Marty's playground so clearly.

So what photos did I come up with?   Well, there's this one, in remembrance of a fine tree.


And I stopped again at the little old cemetery on my way home from work.

I'm sure the rest of the team were a lot more prolific than I was.  Other things on my mind.  To see lots of great photos, just click here.