Sunday, April 30, 2017

Magnificent Macedon and its many mushrooms

The Avenue of Honour

Luke and I visited Macedon - the township and the mountain - yesterday in search of autumn colour. Macedon's Avenue of Honour, a stretch of road lined by pin oaks, is renowned for its autumn display, but we were probably a week or so too late to see it in its full glory. A lot of leaves were already on the ground.  

But once I spotted the fungii, I didn't care about the trees and their leaves. There were some growing beside the road...

...but in a paddock beside the road there was a veritable wonderland of fungii growing, including quite a few amanita mushrooms - the red ones with the white spots - which are like something from a fairy tale.

We also visited one of the open gardens in the area, Tieve Tara, which is very pretty. 

 Autumn carpet

 Tiny snail 




 Leaf carpet

There were mushrooms there, too

Then we drove up to the top of Mt Macedon to see the memorial cross. There were amanita mushrooms growing under the pine trees there, but you've probably seen enough fungii in this post already.

 The cross (with flowers from Anzac Day)

View from the lookout

It was a fun day out, but the fungii were the highlight for me. 

Friday, April 28, 2017

More Fawkner Park fungi

I walked through Fawkner Park today on the way to the Alfred Hospital (more tests...) and I kept my eyes open for fungi. I was not disappointed - and these are only some of the fungi I saw.

I passed by a lot of beautiful deep red fallen autumn leaves on my way too, but I didn't have time to stop and take photos of them. I will be taking lots of photos of autumn leaves tomorrow though (and probably bringing quite a few home with me for flat lays) because Luke and I are going to Macedon, which is known for its autumn display. Have I mentioned I love autumn? 

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Thunder and rainbows and faux Mondays

A little rainbow this afternoon

Cold weather has finally arrived in Melbourne. I'm not thrilled about the cold, but I was a little thrilled by the thunder clap that greeted me when I left for work this morning (thrilled and a tiny bit scared). I quickly decided to take the bus to the tram stop (which was probably a good idea anyway because my ankle was sore from too much walking yesterday). 

I was also thrilled by this rainbow and another bigger one that appeared not long after.  

I kept thinking today was Monday because of the public holiday yesterday, but it's not! Wooh! Tomorrow is the last day of my working week already. 

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

More mushrooms

I went to take my hired crutches back to the pharmacy at the Alfred Hospital this afternoon, but it was closed. It wasn't a wasted outing though because I found a heap of fungi growing across the road under the trees along the edge of Fawkner Park (it doesn't take much to make me happy).  

 Pixie umbrella

 I spotted this one growing beside the Yarra on 
my way home 

Golden hour

Monday, April 24, 2017

Happy discoveries

I sprained my ankle on Friday - more than a twist, but not serious enough to need medical attention - and the most annoying thing about it is that I can't walk to work this week. I can walk almost normally again now (albeit with some pain), but I should do the sensible thing and let it rest. Boo.

So it was with some irritation that I set out for the tram stop this morning, but then when I was passing Gosch's Paddock I spotted a big patch of mushrooms growing in the grass and then I wasn't annoyed anymore. I took a photo then kept walking and I saw more mushrooms! And then more! There were A LOT of mushrooms. I love autumn.

I made another happy discovery at lunch time. I went in to the newsagent near work to get my daily Pepsi Max and Freddo Frog fix and I don't know why, but I checked to see if they stocked Flow magazine. I was sure they wouldn't because it's a run-of-the-mill, not-too-cool-for-school newsagent, not at all hipsterish like Mag Nation, where I got the last one.  But they had it! I was stunned. And then I was doubly stunned because it was fully HALF THE PRICE I paid at Mag Nation! Wow. 

I might start reading it tomorrow - it's a public holiday here tomorrow for Anzac Day, which makes it the third short working week in a row (wooh!). Last week was only two days long for me because I had Tuesday off as well for mum's visit, which is a subject for another (belated) post.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Anniversary day tripping

Jindi views

Luke and I celebrated our six-year anniversary on Saturday with a day trip to West Gippsland. Flowers? Romantic dinners? Pffft. We went to the Rare and Unusual Plant Fair in the tiny picturesque town of Jindivick

We parked in front of a house with a large shady garden, and a couple of greyhounds came out to eye at us warily, much to my disappointment. I love greyhounds and I don't think it's unreasonable to expect them to love me instantly in return.  They could not be won over with friendly words and kissy sounds.  

Like the city slickers we are, we forgot to bring cash with us for the market. Jindivick is too small for an ATM so we travelled the windy road to Neerim South to get some cash. We had a bite to eat while there and bought a couple of yo-yo biscuits for later. They were probably the best yo-yo biscuits I've had, apart from those made by my Nanna and Mum.    

Back in Jindi (as the locals call it) at the market I bought a couple of succulents and another plant, the name of which I've forgotten (it might be an elephant ear philodendron). My indoor garden is getting quite extensive now. I think Luke and I should move house just so we can have an outside garden too. 

After the market, we visited the cricket ground, which has one of the best views - if not the best view - of any cricket ground in Victoria.  

From the crease

On the ground

We then took a stroll through Nangara Reserve (a reclaimed quarry) where I found a really long gum leaf. It's about 25cm long! (The tiny pine cone is from the Botanic Gardens.)

We headed back home to Melbourne through the Bunyip State Park, which brought us out near Gembrook in the Dandenongs. We caught a glimpse of Puffing Billy steaming through the trees on his way to the terminal in Gembrook. 

April is a big month of anniversaries for me. Tomorrow it will be five years since I started my job. There will be morning tea and (I hope) a bunch of flowers. 

Not rare or unusual, but certainly pretty

Friday, April 7, 2017

Flowers and bees and a mantis

I cut through the south end of the Botanic Gardens on my way to catch a tram on St Kilda Road this morning. As soon as I set foot inside the gate near Guilfoyle's Volcano I was greeted with a riot of beautiful cactus flowers.  


A bee photobombed some of my flower pics, which always pleases me. I asked a bee-keeping friend about the blobs of pollen on the bee's leg and she told me bees collect pollen in "pollen baskets", which delights me. Baskets! They are also called "corbicula", which also delights me because I love words that end in "icula(r)", like funicular...and other words I can't think of right now. 

I visited the gardens three times today. I cut through again on my way home just after lunch and then I had a more leisurely wander around on my way back from the city. 

This fuzzy ferny bud was conveniently located in a shaft of sunlight in an otherwise shady spot. I didn't notice the little insect on it until I uploaded it to Instagram. 

I visited the Ian Potter Children's Garden on my longer wander because I haven't been in there in years.  There's some ace stuff in there, including fruit trees, herbs, vegetables and flowering gums that are just starting to burst into bloom. I think I was the only person in there without a child in tow, but my inner child enjoyed it.

This bee was so intent on filling its pollen baskets that it was oblivious to my camera hovering right over it. 

 Pretty flower

Anyone know what flower this is? 

I unintentionally made a praying mantis very cross. I was taking photos of some shrivelled berries and I was so focused on them that I didn't realise I'd invaded the personal space of Mr(s) Mantis. It gave me a little scare until I realised what it was (or what it was not).

Do you mind? I'm trying to pray here. 

Just before I left the gardens a Nankeen Night Heron landed nearby and sat there...and sat there...and sat there...I was hoping to see it catching its dinner, but maybe it couldn't see anything because of the weed cover, so it just sat there like a little birdy hunchback. I was still happy to see it. 

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Morning sights

When I got up this morning I went to check my little window sill garden in the loungeroom to see if anything needed a drink and something caught my eye...

So close! It sank quite low and I thought it was going to land in Gosch's Paddock across the river, but then it rose up over the city. Such a captivating sight. 

Then sSomething else caught my eye...

The chain of hearts plant I bought Friday has sprouted a flower! A strange little flower, but a flower all the same. 

Monday, April 3, 2017

Changing seasons

The golden hour from work

We still have some warm days to come this week, but our glorious Indian summer is coming to an end. There was a chill in the air when I set foot outside this morning - partly due to the end of daylight savings on the weekend - and I wore a jacket most of the way to work for the first time all year.  It was much more comfortable than the very humid weather we've had recently. 

It was nice to be greeted by the yellow morning light, rather than remnants of darkness, when I got up and I love seeing the golden hour settle on the city from my 38th floor office, but I'm a little sad about getting home in the dark (I finish at 6.00pm). I'm not at all sad about cooler nights and being cozy under the blankets again though. Swings and roundabouts.  

I can't wait for the autumn colour to start appearing around Melbourne and I'm hoping the trees will be putting on a show when we go to the high country for Easter. 

Halfway home 

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Going with the Flow

I stopped buying magazines years ago and I don't miss them, but I recently discovered a magazine that I LOVE. It's called Flow and it's a little like a magazine version of this blog. It started in the Netherlands a few years ago and has spread internationally. It's all about "celebrating creativity, imperfection and life's little pleasures".  

From the editorial to the latest edition, which includes an interview with Flemish psychiatrist, Dirk De Wachter: 
His message is so simple: Let us embrace the ordinary more often. "The coincidence of fate, finding without searching, noticing the little things and being open to whatever crosses your path: that's where the beauty of life can be found," says De Wachter. And he's right. Once we  (Flow founders Astid and Irene) started appreciating the ordinary, the world looked a  lot more special. How beautiful everyday things are once you notice them. 
A magazine editorial - a magazine - has never, ever resonated with me so much before.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

The Waifs, the gardens and the flowers

The Waifs show on Thursday night was great. We had good seats with an uninterrupted view, and the sound quality at Hamer Hall was, of course, top notch. Vicki and Donna's voices were so clear. I was hoping to hear more of my favourites, but you can't please everyone. It was a good mix of songs from their new album and songs from over their past 25 years together. (And yes, we were home before midnight.) 

Yesterday Luke and I went to the International Flower and Garden Show. So much gorgeousness. Sigh. I wish I had a garden. I did buy a few plants to add to my indoor collection though - a couple of tiny succulents, a string of  pearls plants, and a chain of hearts

Of course I took a lot of photos. 

 No visit to the Carlton Gardens is complete without a 
photo of the Hochgurtel Foundatin 


The bees are gonna be confused when they come back 
to the gardens on Monday 


 Upside down, Miss Jayne. The glass orb in the 
centre of one of the garden sculptures

 Another garden sculpture

 Freaky flower growing on a succulent in the
 hanging basket competition 

 Smiley water feature 

 Lovely tulips

 Ram skullpture

 Part of my fave of the garden displays. So shady

 More of the above garden

And another part of the above garden

   Wiry lady

 Floral display 

 Do you like my flower crown?

 Part of the gold medal winning floral display by
 Victoria Whitelaw 

 One of the entrants in the RMIT fashion student competition 

Nest of flowers 

I was so tired after all that walking around yesterday that I spent most of today in bed.