Today's photo is to match this week's book. I enjoy playing the piano, it is relaxing. A book I have read recently Girls at the Piano by Virginia Lloyd is a memoir with a difference, in that it follows the stories of Virginia and her grandmother who were both talented musicians who chose different paths. As a girl who learnt piano I found it a fascinating read, though it made me realise just how lacking I am in natural musical talent.
The marigolds are flowering prolifically at Rose Orchard Haus at the moment. These wonderful little plants self seed so I get pretty flowers without any trouble on my part. They are the colours of Autumn, though 'Autumn colour' is still a little way off.
At the State Library there is an unexpected sculpture on the window sill. It is Trim who is "Matthew Flinders intrepid cat who circumnavigated Australia with his master 1801 - 1803". The statue of Matthew Flinders is nearby. A poem for today The Owl and the Pussycat by Edward Lear
We are already seeing a whisper of Autumn with misty days and a little bit of colour with falling leaves ... not long now. Reflection: Psalm 104:19-23 New International Version (NIV) "He made the moon to mark the seasons, and the sun knows when to go down. You bring darkness, it becomes night, and all the beasts of the forest prowl. The lions roar for their prey and seek their food from God. The sun rises, and they steal away; they return and lie down in their dens. Then people go out to their work, to their labor until evening."
Our neighbours feed the cockatoos and have been disturbed by them also having a nibble at the walls of their house. As such I am not all that keen when they visit us, like this fellow on our front fence this week But I needn't worry, their interest is in the pine cones in the trees that line the front of our house. They are sure leaving a mess for me to clean up.
After the comments on a couple of last week's posts this is a case where old and abandoned has gone too far to be photogenic or recoverable. I took it on a recent Sunday drive out from our place at Clandulla.
Since I have posted a couple of photos from the Wentworth Falls area this week I thought I would add another. This is the interior of the Conservation Hut, an enjoyable place for a meal/afternoon tea with nice views over the valley and a big log fire in winter. I also really like the large paintings by Reinis Zuster.
I chose this image of Wentworth Falls lake because it looks Zen enough to go with this week's book. A book I have read recently Liane Moriarty's book Big Little Lies and its television mini series adaption got quite a lot of press in recent times. I have not read or seen either so I so I picked up her latest book Nine Perfect Strangers to see what she was like. The blurb says "Could ten days at a health resort really change you forever?". I have never been to a health resort and am unlikely to do so because yoga, massages and health food are not really my thing -- that doesn't mean I won't enjoy reading about what other people do there. It turned out to be enjoyable mystery with a variety of interesting characters but I won't feel compelled to add it to my book collection. I will more probably put it in a street library for someone else to also enjoy.
I am sure there is an object lesson in this. These plants have their feet in water. If I put more water on my other plants they would do better too. The lilies above are at Burnbrae, in the meanwhile out at Rose Orchard Haus the crepe myrtle trees are flowering, the roses still doing well and dahlias beginning to flower too -- a burst of floral delight before Autumn arrives to shut summer down.
It's an image of eucalyptus trees reflected in a rain puddle on the walking path to Wentworth Falls. Out in the bush the eucalyptus are "undressing" at the moment, with many varieties shedding their bark showing their clean yellow/pink/red flesh. A poem for today Flowering Eucalypt in Autumn by Les Murray
I am still a bit short of imagery this week so here is another shot of Lake Windemere on the road to Mudgee, taken some weeks ago. It's still nice and green out that way. Reflection : Matthew 13:1-3 New International Version (NIV) "That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. Then he told them many things in parables ...
This is a photo of the disused Ben Bullen railway station, taken in 2009. It looks similar today but has been boarded up a bit more. There are number of disused stations along this track but this one is most noticeable because the highway does a sharp turn across the tracks here.
At one point the highway runs beside the Capertee Valley. With a view like this beside the road it is no wonder each time we do this trip I crane my neck to catch a glimpse of it through the brief break in the trees.
This is the blacksmith's workshop at the State Mine Heritage Park in Lithgow. I enjoyed a photoshoot out there in March 2010. I chose this image because of today's book ... which is not about a blacksmith, that was just his surname. A book I have read recently The Chant of Jimmy Blacksmith by Thomas Keneally, another one from the Australian list. I have mostly avoided Keneally even though I know he is a good writer because he seems to be a bit of an activist with an Irish chip on his shoulder. This book fits the mould being about a black man's revenge against a unjust and intolerant society. Jimmy turns into a bushranger and murderer. It is well written, quite gruesome in parts but leaves me wondering how true to the aboriginal perspective it is, given he is a white writer. This is a fairly old book (1970s) and Keneally admits he wouldn't get away with it today. Not that I prescribe to the notion that authors should only write from their own lived exper
Thinking about my gardens (as I do on Tuesday) perhaps the most exciting image I have taken in one of my gardens was of this one at Whistler's Rest in February 2011. There was a spider's web stretched across my path and I noticed a tiny spider that glinted with a little bit of colour in the sunlight. My eyesight was not up to fine detail so I poked my camera in her direction and clicked a few times as she scurried along her web ... thinking something interesting might be picked up by my lens. I had no idea I had captured one of these exquisite creatures.
Our journey passes through the small industrial city of Lithgow which is just west of the Blue Mountains. Lithgow has thrived over the years on mining, power stations and other industrial activities - which modern society seems to abhor. Today the city struggles a little but is a nice place nestled in a beautiful part of the country so will not fade away. Like many country towns in Australia it has a "big thing". I took this photo of the big mining lamp in April 2010. It looks the same today. A poem for today God's Grandeur by Gerard Manly Hopkins
I have taken almost no photos in the past week and have nothing to blog about, so have decided to do an 'archive week'. We drive between Lawson and Kandos almost every week. I love this drive and still remember the excitement of the first time, stopping to take photo after photo of the delights I found. But for me once a journey becomes familiar it loses its photographic freshness even though the delight remains. So please join me in enjoying these places again through my early photos. This image of an old building between Capertee and Ilford was taken in December 2009. Today it still stands but has been tidied up somewhat. The blackberry is gone and the roof and doors repaired so today it's not quite as appealing photographically. Reflection: Psalm 143:5 New International Version (NIV) "I remember the days of long ago; I meditate on all your works and consider what your hands have done."
I think this bird might be a Starling. Can any of you confirm? There are flocks of these birds that like the grass at Rose Orchard Haus. I have noticed that they often seem to be greenish but this one is black.
Since I showed you the 'book' doorstops at my Kandos house I thought I would show you the doorstops at our Mountains house. I have a collection of irons gathered from my parents and parents-in-law homes. The one at the top is a petrol iron. Can you imagine lighting petrol and having it in your hand to do the ironing! These all date back to the time when clothes were boiled with soap in the copper, rinsed and blued in the cement tubs, starched and put through the hand wound mangle before being pegged with wooden dolly pegs on the line to dry. And after that all damped down with a sprinkler ( ours was like this ), wrapped up in a towel then after a while were ironed. That's how washing was when I was a kid - always done on Monday morning. Mum used the yellow electric iron below for years before getting one of those new fangled steam irons.
It is truly bad to use a book for a doorstop but I needed some and a couple of big books seemed like a good choice. I read the Alan Bennet book a year or so ago but Don Watson ruminating on the Australian Bush has just about defeated me. It is interesting enough but is more than I have been able to take in many sittings over a couple of years. And that leads to this week's reading which is another big book. Do you like to read big books or shorter ones? A book I have read recently Grand Days by Frank Moorehouse - chosen because it was on the Australian reading list and available in the local library so I decided to tackle it despite it being 700 pages. I enjoyed the story of Edith Campbell Berry, a wide-eyed junior diplomat at the League of Nations. She is quite forthright and has an interesting sex life which I suspect to some extent is because she is a female character written by a man. This is the first book of a trilogy and even though I found her intrigu
You might remember that I cleared the garden bed and planted seeds and seedlings back in October with the bright hope of harvesting our own produce. This is just too funny, the only seeds that came up were zillions of calendula seedlings, a few spindly lettuce and a zucchini which flowers but has not set any fruit (which is apparently because it is not being pollinated). The pear tree behind is loaded with fruit which all have brown spots inside them -- my research suggests this is because the tree is old and can't get enough calcium into the fruit so needs spraying when the fruit is small. I give up on both counts and might transplant the calendulas for a spot of colour along the front fence.
@ Over the road from Bunnings, Mudgee We often take the drive from Kandos to Mudgee for the sheer delight of the drive, to visit the Bunnings store for bits and pieces to assist our renovation projects, and to have lunch at one of the many eateries. I noticed and enjoyed this scene when coming out of Bunnings the other day. It was a little bit cooler so the cattle were happy to move away from the shade of the tree and the countryside is a beautiful green following recent rain. A poem for today Summer in the Country by Peter Skrzynecki.
@Stratford School Ruin, Lawson After showing the Blast Furnace ruins in Lithgow on Friday I thought I would dig into my photo archive and show you our very own ruin in Lawson. The tower is from an old guest house that later became the Stratford Girls School and subsequently used for other purposes until a fire destroyed the building in the 1980s. The ruin has been secured and is a local landmark, but the grounds are just a tangle. I was interested to discover an elderly lady at our church in Kandos was a boarder at the Stratford Girls School - shown in its original state below. Reflection: Matthew 6:19-20 New International Version (NIV) “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal."
@ Blast Furnace Park, Lithgow While we were in Lithgow I suggested we go to the old Blast Furnace ruins where I had a delightful photoshoot back in 2010 . How disappointing to find that in the intervening years it has been 'made safe' and the old 'wild and mysterious' has gone.