Wednesday, August 28, 2013


August is late-winter in Australia.  It doesn't get as cold here as it does in Ohio, but even so you do feel the chill on days when the wind is blowing rain here on the mountain.  The photo below was taken last Friday afternoon - when it was about 10C (roughly 50F or so).


(Double-click the photo above to view a larger image)

What looks like fog in this photo is actually a cloud rolling slowly through the yard.  It's a beautiful thing to watch - swirls of mist rising, thickening, and then moving on.  When you are standing in a cloud you can feel the fine, sweet dampness gently caressing your face.  Breathing in the moisture-laden air is just heavenly, especially because the gums release their freshest fragrance when it rains.

Winter here can be chilly, but it has a kind of gentleness to it.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Gum Trees and High Winds Don't Mix

We've had several days of high winds here - and there has been some excitement with the trees as a result. A very strong windstorm came through on Friday night and the next morning we found this:

(Doubleclick the photo above for a larger image)

A tree above the road had fallen and landed right on the electric wires running to houses on our street. The wires didn't snap, thank heavens, but boy... it didn't look terribly safe.

I rang emergency services to report what had happened, and they forwarded the report to the electric company, saying that situations like this need to be attended to by them (makes total sense to me).  With the sheer volume of calls to them, I was told it would be quite a while before someone would come. 

Only 15 minutes or so later, however, I heard the sound of a chainsaw and looked out to see one of our neighbors carefully slicing at the tree. He was using a chainsaw on a long pole. Bit by bit he cut away the top of it (on the right side in this photo), cutting off 8 inches at a time. Once he was close to the wire, he moved to the left side of the wire and cut through the trunk.  The wire sprung upward, no longer held down by the heavy tree.

The wind continues to howl...  

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Wallabies in the Yard

Oh, they're just soooo sweet!  Yes, they eat my garden, but oh.... how adorable they are.  We don't see them every day, but we know they are there. Sometimes we just hear them thump-thumping as they hop around the tree ferns below the house.  Here's a couple of photos from last week.

And here's one!  I like this photo because the chair gives you a sense of how large he (she?) is:

And a closeup!
Our wallabies are a little shy.  Even though we're way up here in the house, far enough away that we could never be a threat, they don't stick around if we make any noise or move around much.  When we spot them, we have to be fairly quiet and move slowly - and even then the wallabies often run off.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

A Sad Morning in Tecoma

In the wee hours of yesterday morning, police arrived with a "cherry picker" to remove a woman from the roof of one of the buildings scheduled for demolition. She'd been there for about a week protesting.  Work crews arrived later and began the process of demolishing the buildings, making way for the new McDonalds restaurant which will soon occupy the space.

This morning, the building which housed Saffron Cottage - an excellent Indian restaurant - is finally being pulled down.  Photos of it all are appearing on Facebook - images captured by cellphones - posted by mournful witnesses on the scene.

I remember this place fondly - it was a lovely venue, really good vibes inside.  A lovely brick walk to the door and huge rose bushes.  At night, fairy lights decorated the foliage of plants in front of the building.  Inside the warm golden walls and gentle lighting soothed the eye - and the tantalizing scent of curries awakened the appetite. Stephen and I ate dinner there many times, sometimes just us, sometimes with friends. It was a warm place, just a pleasant place to go, and always seemed to have a fair number of customers.

The restaurant has relocated to a shop just down the street.  I hope they do well, there, and expect we'll go and see what the new place is like. But it just won't have the same cosy feeling as the old building they are pulling down.