Friday, 28 March 2014

Butterfly, Flutterby

On Wednesday I headed back to the Botanic Gardens with Nova students. It turned into a case of third time lucky, the last two times it was very wet and this time we had sun, yay!

The butterflies were out enjoying the sun just as much as we were. We saw a few different kinds and possibly even a Ulysses or two, make that three. It turns out is bad luck to see two ... good luck to see one and good luck to see three or more. 

Butterflies are really hard to photograph, I swear they are impossible. How do those people get the beautiful photos that you can find. I did manage to snap one having a rest. It was blue on the top side of the wings and a brown pattern on the back of the wings. It is possibly a Blue Morpho butterfly or maybe those marking look more like a Shining Oakblue butterfly. I really have no idea other than that it was pretty and still. Despite me telling it repeatedly to open it's wings, it didn't, but it did amuse some other visitors to the garden, me talking to the butterfly that is.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Celebrating YOU

I don't do much posting about family because for a start I don't live close to them and secondly I think they don't need to be plastered on here (well except for the exciting events). 

What you may or may not already know is that I have a younger brother (I am the oldest so everyone else is younger) and he is the baby of the family.

He is funny, is a bit of a tech head (a bit meaning a lot and that he knows how to use way more than me), is smart, loves dancing, can eat more pancakes than anyone I know, loves dogs and babies, can eat chocolate like there is no tomorrow, tries his best, likes to cook, is a poser (for photos that is), like to take photos to (especially of weird things and people), loves school, thinks all fruit is poison except for mango and rock melon, likes to eat his food cold, can be really annoying (like all brothers are), is cheeky as, loves chocolate milk, loves routine, knows how to charm anyone, loves numbers and books, likes to help, is friendly, loves to swim, likes to make and create, likes runny eggs, loves music, he knows how to love and be loved and much, much more. He is a brother, a son, a grandson, a cousin a nephew, an uncle and a friend.
He also has Down Syndrome.

The 21st of March was World Down Syndrome Day.

So here is to all the families who can't imagine life with out Down Syndrome, keep loving and giving and forging new paths.
And here is to all the kids and adults with Down Syndrome, keep being you and making the world a better place.

Happy World Down Syndrome Day!

Friday, 21 March 2014

A Birthday Pavlova

Last week saw one of the Nova staff have a birthday so as a surprise we planned a card and a kind of cake. We decided to go very Aussie with the cake and I made a Pavlova (also one of the staff member's favourites).

Pavlova is nothing much fancy but very sweet and tasty. It is basically a meringue with cream and fruit on top. It turned out well. My decorating skills are very rusty but it was very tasty and the staff and students loved it.

The birthday lady had a great day and thought the best thing was that it turned on some clear blue skies and sunshine after two weeks of cloud and rain.

It was a beautiful day and nice to get a reminder that this is sunny QLD even though I love the rain.

The Nova Cairns blog post about this can be found here.

Silly Faces

I've been hanging out at the Cairns Wildlife Dome again with Nova Cairns students (always something interesting to see). This time we found a blue tongue lizard that had gone walk about. Now even explaining a blue tongue lizard's name is an interesting experience involving a bit of tongue poking and laughter. This fellow was found peeking out of a pot rather than in it's enclosure with its 8+ mates.

Do you know how people (particularly children) like to have that crazy face pulling photo taken especially at school photo time? Well it turns out lizards like them too.

Check out that blue tongue!
We then watched it climb out of the pot, an character building feat I am sure, ending with a flop onto the ground. It then continued on it's exploring adventure.

It must have been a little hungry but I don't think I'd like the chosen food source.

It was pretty funny to watch the way it grabbed things with it's mouth (look at that pretty tongue hidden away).

Obviously this is a bit of an adventurous, social lizard.
What a poser!

I don't have any of these fellows in my garden but wish I did. I do have geckos and skinks though.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Saint Paddy's Day

Well, well, well ... Saint Patrick's Day already. The national day, sorry the global celebration, that means we can wear green, eat green, drink green and celebrate all things Irish. The year is whizzing by already.

Locally the brewery in town made green beer just for the occasion that was sold at a couple of premises but at work we just stuck to the sweet and sugary stuff in green. 

For work I made some vanilla cup cakes, heavily laced with food colouring and what a pretty colour they ended up. They were iced with some lime flavoured icing and sprinkled with green sugar. I was even going to green up on the clothing front but forgot. It turns out though that I somehow managed to wear the other colour of the day, orange.

Now many know that St Patrick's Day is about Ireland. Many also know it is actually a celebration of a well know Irish Saint who was said to have banished all the snakes from Ireland. He was apparently kidnapped from Romano Britain at age 16 by Irish raiders and taken to Gaelic Ireland as a slave. He then spent 6 years as a shepherd. He then escaped and fled to the coast and caught a ship back home. He became a priest and then returned to Ireland to convert pagans to Christianity. He is said to have converted 1000s over his time there until his death. The shamrock, a symbol attached to St Paddy's Day is what he is supposed to have used to describe the holy trinity to the Irish.

As a child I remember going to school dressed in green and taking heavily green food dyed foods to share. I remember spending time studying Ireland, limericks, poetry and legends of Ireland such as that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, which I have yet to find.

This St Patrick's Day I kept my eye open for all things green.
I found some things inside at work.

Along with some green things outside.

What do you remember doing for St Paddy's Day at school?
Did you do anything this year?
Do you have Irish heritage?