Sunday, September 25, 2011

Circle of glee and island of big trees

A sunny afternoon in the gardens

I've been too tired and grumpy to blog lately, but I have very much enjoyed hearing of your joy upon finding my 500-post celebratory 'mix tapes' in your mail boxes this week. It's made me happy to do something nice for you.  It's the Circle of Glee! Thank you for letting me foist my musical tastes on you!

Luke and I are planning a trip to Tasmania at the start of January, which I'm excited about, but today after checking my book of Australia's Remarkable Trees and researching Tasmania's trees online, I can't wait to go (luckily Luke also likes trees). With its vast tracts of wilderness and temperate climate, Tasmania is home to many of Australia's old and big trees. It has six entries in Remarkable Trees, including:

Huon Pine at Mount Read  - more a forest than one tree. The remarkable thing with these trees is that they are all male and genetically identical, which means they are clones of one original tree which is thought to lived around 15,000 to 20,000 years ago. It continued to regenerate when its branches, heavy with snow, made contact with the ground, took root and kept growing.

"This process has been going on for thousands of years. The tree has produced many new trunks, eventually producing a small forest of identical and interconnected trees covering the best part of a hectare." Wow.

An English Oak which was planted from an acorn brought from Ireland by Roderic O'Connor in 1824. The property where it grows, Connorville near Launceston, is still owned by O'Connor's descendants.

An 86-metre Tasmanian Mountain Gum near Launceston, which was spared the chainsaw when the area was logged in around 2000. Apparently this is unusually tall for a mountain gum and the logger couldn't bear to lop it. They usually grow to about 50 metres, making this one a very lucky freak of nature.

An almost 500-year-old Mountain Ash south-west of Hobart - known as the Arve Big Tree - which is 87 metres tall and 17 metres around the trunk at chest-height, making likely to be "the most massive living thing in Australia".  But it won't be for too much longer. The Mountain Ash usually lives to around 450, so this one is ancient and nearing the end of its life.

But what really got me excited about Tasmania's tree was the Giant Trees website, which catalogues the island's big trees. They have top be 87 metres tall or 280 cubic metres in volume to qualify as a giant.

They are in places with names like Andromeda, the Styx Valley and Diogenes Creek, which sound mysterious and foreboding. They have names like Centurion (the tallest of them all), Icarus Dream, Firebird Wonder, Medusa, Papa Zig and King Stringy. There's Old Regret, White Knight, the Gunns Road Monster and Still Sorrow and Glow Worm Creek. But my favourites are the Styx Big Tree and the Styx Bigger Tree. "Well, I'll be damned! There's an even bigger one! What shall we call it?"

There's a Southern Giant Trees Trail, a "self-guided adventure through ancient forests, under closed canopies in rainforest shade, to discover the giants one by one". That's going to the top of my must-do list.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Go fly a kite, weird clouds, more signs

I flew my kite today for the first time and it was ace. Luke and I went to Sandringham Beach and after several attempts at negotiating the inconsistent breeze - ending in nosedives into the sand and the shallows - I got the kite flying up high. It looked so cool, especially against the cloudy skies. I think the beach is the right place to fly a sharkite.

The clouds were quite strange, droopy and bloblike, which is shown dramatically in this black and white shot.

The skies were threatening. I thought there there was going to be rain, if not a storm, but nothing eventuated.

 As we waited to meet friends in Sandringham, I saw these lorikeets on the powerlines.

I saw several great old signs in Sandringham and on the way there, but the car was moving and I can't make Luke stop every time I want to take a photo...dammit.

I did get shots of these in Prahran though.

This was on the side of The Big Store that I
blogged a few weeks ago.

The building faces Chapel Street but I took this
down an alley off a side street, near Blockbuster.

Here's some more kites action shots.


Me (photos of the real me
 are still on Luke's camera)
A bit I added later: thanks to a learned Twitter friend, I can now tell you those droopy, blobby clouds above are called mammatus clouds, from the Latin mamma, because they look like boobs.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


Big, yellow moon rising tonight

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

New view, flowers, warm

Nice wispy clouds tonight

My department moved offices over the weekend. I'm still settling in to my new workspace, but I have an even better view than before.

The partners gave the each of the secretaries a bunch of flowers and a Myer gift card to say thanks for all our hard work during the move. I got tulips with purple flowers I think I should know but can't name (some kind of bulb - a little hard to see in the photo). Pretty. I wasn't expecting it, but it's a lovely gesture.

Speaking of flowers, the little black and yellow daisies have sprouted in the grass along the river banks. It's spring! Warm weather is forecast for the weekend too. Yay! I want to get out and fly my kite.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Homecoming, baby stone, exact

Camera shy swans (and you thought
swans were graceful birds)

Luke's back! Yay! And he bought me presents, my favourite of which is a trio of small, smooth stones he picked up on the beach at The Needles on the Isle of Wight. One is a like the baby of the stone Luke found on the beach when we visited Cape Schank on Good Friday.  Oh, he got the card I sent too. He liked it a lot.

Yesterday I had exactly the right cash in my wallet to pay for my lunch.

I got another delivery at work from - a black and white striped bolero (I'm a little obsessed with B&W stripes). It's my first custom made item and it fits. It came from a designer in Latvia too, which makes it extra special, I think.

The days are getting longer. It was still light at 6.00pm when I was on my way home from work. Not long until daylight savings starts now...

Friday, September 2, 2011

Clutterbuster, reflections, two sleeps

Still smiling

I was an archiving machine at work today. I cleared out SO much stuff. And I kinda liked it. I could have stayed to do more, but I'd done all I set out to do today and I'm going to be there all day tomorrow anyway.

Although I was worn out after work tonight, I walked home along the river. Well, I only walked because my tram was delayed by 20 minutes and I didn't fancy being sardined with the gathering crowd going to the game at the MCG. It was a nice evening for a walk and the lights looked so pretty reflecting on the river.  

I racked up nearly 20,000 steps by the time I got home.  The Global Corporate Challenge finishes in five days. I've walked more than 1.5 million steps in the almost-three months since it started  and I'm about 25 kms short of 1000kms (supposedly - I treat their stats as more of a guideline than gospel).  

Only two more sleeps until I see Luke. Yay!  I sent him a card to welcome him home (at least until I can give him a proper welcome on Sunday). I hope it got to his house today...

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Smile, spring, birthday

The moon is a smile tonight

Today is the first day of spring and that means Gleeful is 3 years old. Yay!

I was a bit grumpy when I left for work this morning, but my mood lifted when I saw new growth appearing on the trees beside the river. It was a grey morning, but it turned into a beautiful sunny day.

My cards from Curly Girl Designs arrived today.

It's not long until Luke comes back from his travels. I can't wait.