random rambling

There are times when I feel compelled to take a photograph, whether it is something particularly beautiful or unusual, or both. I then wonder what I am going to do with that photo, so here are some of my random snaps to share with you. In spring, we had a pair of welcome swallows determined to nest close to our front door. Each time they started a nest, we devised cunning ways to deter their efforts. We eventually ended up with a 30cm strip of black plastic stapled to the top of our walls to prevent them attaching their mud to the cedar cladding. They finally got the message they weren’t welcome.

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Michael came across this gorgeous mum keeping her eggs warm, while walking with Poppy in the forest.

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I love kookaburras, I spied this handsome fella in the garden before leaving for work one morning, keeping an eye out for a tasty breakfast morsel.

After a brief rain shower one summer morning, behind the stream of sunlight, the plants were letting off steam.

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The strelitzia looked magnificent after the rain.

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When we first moved to our house, there was an impressive stand of oriental poppies outside the lounge window, the same ones you can see on the header image of this blog. They then disappeared, my husband suspects I inadvertently poisoned them along with the weeds (he could be right). This year, just one bloomed and hopefully there will be more in the future.

The Japanese black pine seemed to be at impossible angles, reflected against the clear sky in the waters of our pond.

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I don’t know what these enormous moths had been up to but it looked like they were enjoying a well deserved rest.

The Tiger Lilies fell victim to our nocturnal furry critters last year and we had no blooms. For some reason, they left them alone this time around and they were stunning. Apparently, they are named because of their spots. Shouldn’t they be called Leopard Lilies?

Walking in the forest, I saw these cute fungi emerging from the damp humus.

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On my way to bed one night, I sensed I wasn’t alone. It’s nice to get a friendly wave, just not from five hands at the same time!

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No spiders were harmed, he was gently relocated out of doors. Finally, after a hard day working in the garden, there is nothing better than a draught of home brewed stout.

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Cheers!

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Toby’s Inlet

The day after arriving in Perth we were whisked away to Dunsborough, our base to explore the Margaret River Region. The house of a friend of our friends was the perfect base for day trips.

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The front door was guarded by the most beautiful moss covered dog I have ever seen.

The garden hugged the banks of Toby’s Inlet,

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a small estuary that offered some magnificent morning reflections.

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The pontoon was a convenient perch for the gulls

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to observe the downstream drift of the pelicans

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who were sometimes accompanied by an entourage of ducks.

The home was a wonderful, peaceful place to return to each day after our explorations.

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Bayviews

We don’t usually do anything special to celebrate our wedding anniversary, but last Wednesday we broke from tradition and dined at our favourite restaurant. We were surprised to see a new addition on the way from the car park, a very impressive sand sculpture.

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Bayviews Restaurant is so named for obvious reasons.

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Every seat in the house has a wonderful vista of Bass Strait, beautiful in any weather.

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We opened proceedings with a glass of exquisite Josef Chromy Pinot Gris

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and were soon presented with a tasty pre-dinner morsel of beef fillet with carrot and cumin purée.

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Dogs are prohibited on Burnie’s West Beach but we were entertained by an ambitious young fellow walking a rather uncooperative shopping trolley.

The palate cleanser of Pink Grapefruit sorbet was dispatched too quickly to photograph, you’ll just have to imagine it.

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The main event was superb. I had slow cooked lamb shoulder on butternut pumpkin gnocchi, mushrooms, shallots with a salad of baby cress, toasted walnut, sheep’s fetta and 8 year old balsamic vinegar.

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Michael chose from the specials board, pan fried Tasmanian scallops with housemade fettucine tossed through lemon beurre blanc sauce with cherry tomatoes and fresh dill.

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A glass of d’Arenberg The High Trellis Cabernet Sauvignon complemented the flavours perfectly.

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It was very relaxing watching the gulls mingling on the shore below and their indifference to the appearance of a pied oystercatcher.

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For dessert, Michael once again chose from the specials, lemon curd tart with crisp meringue, local currants, raspberry coulis and honey & vanilla bean ice cream.

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I couldn’t decide what to have, so I had them all!

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The dessert tasting platter had smaller versions of Snickers semifreddo, chocolate mousse, caramel sauce, almond crumble, peanut praline & dark chocolate;

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salted caramel tart layered with caramel sauce, banana chip praline, fresh banana & chantilly cream served with salted caramel ice cream;

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basil crème brulee, Tamar Valley yoghurt, sable biscuit, fresh berries, passionfruit & lemongrass sorbet.

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A big thank you to my husband for gallantly assisting with the devoration of my dessert. Sunset is past our bedtime these days but the shadows were lengthening as we made our way home.

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I think we may have just created a new anniversary tradition.

wistful walks

Poppy is usually accompanied on her walks by Michael but he has fallen victim to a nasty virus and so, Poppy has been taking me instead. We have been exploring the different paths and finding all sorts of interesting things. The morning mist as we start the River Walk is breathtaking

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and the forest is serene.

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Despite the lingering cold and wet, the spring flowers are trying their best.

I haven’t been along Spooky Path for a while. Soon after we moved here, I was walking this path with Poppy and was unnerved by the thumping sounds around me. Memories of the movie, ‘Predator’, whipped my nerves into a frenzy along with my imagination. Hence, Spooky Path was named. Where the path becomes swallowed by scrub, the valley drops out of sight to the Blythe River below and the ridge opposite seems so close.

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Poppy found some special newcomers in the forest.

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They grew very quickly and soon flew the nest.

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Down in the rainforest, the water is tumbling along in the stream

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and the manferns are lush with new growth.

On a damp morning

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we walked Pat’s Path, named for my sister who first discovered the path when she came for a holiday soon after we moved here.

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The views of the rainforest are stunning from this higher ground.

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After a while, the path disappears into the trees and we have to retrace our steps.

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You never know who you might meet on the way back home.

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Of course, Poppy is always ready to do one more path.

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