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Knowing I won't normally come this way in November I was super keen to check out the famous Jacarandas in Grafton.  They were past their peak but still lovely.  If you want to see them in their full glory take a look at this post Diane's blog.

I was wondering who had the foresight to plant so many of these gorgeous trees because they are clearly very old.  A web search told me "On 2nd July 1879, Mr H. A. Volkers, a Grafton seed merchant, was contracted to plant trees for the Grafton Council. During the 1880's he was instrumental in supplying and planting hundreds of Jacaranda trees in the streets of Grafton."

A poem for today
The Jacaranda by Dougles Stewart

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Cattle on a thousand hills

We have spent the last week "Sweet Wayfaring" in Northern NSW/Queensland.  We usually avoid the north at this time of year because it is too hot and humid, but we had a funeral to attend so decided to make the most of it, and fortunately the weather was kind.

We made our central base the town of Casino which is the regional hub of a very large cattle industry and claims to be the "Beef Capital" of Australia.

Psalm 50:9-12 New International Version (NIV)
"I have no need of a bull from your stall
or of goats from your pens,
for every animal of the forest is mine,
and the cattle on a thousand hills.
I know every bird in the mountains,
and the insects in the fields are mine.
If I were hungry I would not tell you,
for the world is mine, and all that is in it."


We end our short tour of Leura with this week's bird shot, a magpie taking a drink at the fountain outside one of the local restaurants.

Old Stuff 19

Vintage in Leura is a classy, not one of your junky old antique shops or op shops. I think the vintage inspired dresses are lovely, they remind me of my Mum when I was a small kid.  I haven’t taken to wearing them myself though.  

Fast Food not

A trip to Leura is not complete without a stop at one of the many cafes.

Fast food chains are all but non existent in the Blue Mountains.  There is one MacDonalds in the lower mountains, no KFC, an occasional Subway and just about nothing else.  The idea is to keep more individual eating experiences in the mountains.  If you are in Katoomba and in need of your favourite fast food fix then you have to drive to the bordering cities of Penrith or Lithgow a 40-50 km (30 mile) drive.


Leura has a very good bookshop, Megalong Books.  Would you choose any of these titles? I would probably go for the new Markus Zusak Bridge of Clay but I am still busy reading classics right now.

A book I have read recently
This week I decided to attack a British novel. I will show you my British list next week. In the meanwhile I boosted it by reading Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf.  What an odd novel. It tells no story, just meanders in an out of people's minds. I am not a fan.

Old Shed

Even though the gardens of Leura are beautiful I had to take a photo of it because it is unusual to see anything old or dishevelled in Leura and I love old sheds.  The fragrance of Jasmine was everywhere.

Meanwhile in my own garden the azaleas and big rhododendron are in flower at Burnbrae.