Saturday, 28 February 2015

A Dam in the Mountains

On Friday there was a baby wombat on 'The Zoo',awww, and I want one. Then they showed a glimpse of a baby sugar glider or something like that so now I want one of them too. Clucky over baby animals. Awww. Friday was another day at home with work to look forward to at night. I got in some t.v. viewing in the afternoon before trying to nap and failing at napping. I even got to see the end of the first episode of the new series of Downton Abby. I love that show but never really watch it until it comes out on DVD. It usually ends up being on too late.

Other than doing nothing much and being sucked into the black hole of pinterest I did, well, nothing much. I did however manage to spend my morning driving up and then back down from Copperlode Dam or Lake Morris. I went there not that long ago, in the rain. This time there wasn't a skerrick of rain in sight just mostly clear endless blue sky and a very bitey sun.

Clear, still water surrounded by mountains and rainforest. Amazing!

Seeing it in the rain last time I thought it would be a beautiful spot, particularly when a bit less soggy.

It was also very quiet.

I did see a boat out on the Dam/ Lake and I assume it was the caretaker as any water based activities, other than water viewing, aren't allowed. Well that is as far as I know.

Knowing other Dams used for human consumption allow boating and fishing I assume the lack of boating is purely to stop people attempting to take boats up there. That road is not fit for that, nor wide enough. It also could be something to do with the national park surrounding it.

Other than the dam, something else destinctive were the high voltage towers that towered above the trees.

I learnt from a sign that they are 275 000 volt towers constructed by Powerlink Queensland in 1997. They were built to reinforce the high voltage power supply to Cairns. They are between 65 and 75 meters tall meaning the wires are well above the rainforest canopy. This means they only had to clear minimal vegetation, only around the base of each tower. What I thought was cool was that the towers that can't be easily accessed have a platform to land a helicopter so they can do maintenance.

From Cairns you can see the towers going up the mountains but it is only up close you realise just how huge they are.

I wandered around the upper level picnic area. There were BBQs, picnic tables, a playground and a fantastic view of the lake.

I then was really lazy and got in the car to drive down to the dam wall. The sign said 20min walk and I saw the hill I would have to come back up. I think whoever decided how long it would take was a very slow walker. Driving meant I got to drive over the bridge across part of the dam though which was pretty cool.

I did see a car down there but it turns out it was water people or something from the council. They must have been fixing something or checking levels or something or other useful. They weren't drinking cuppas or all standing around while one did the work so it must have been useful. 

Once they left it was just me and the birds.

I walked to the lookout over the over flow. It was 10cm over. It would have been really nice from the bottom but you can't go down there. Understandable, I guess.

I then walked back across the bridge I had driven across to walk out to the intake tower.


The clear sky and still water meant the water was very mirror like.

If you want to know a bit more about the dam below is some info from Wikipedia. If you don't, just skip it.

 Copperlode Dam

Copperlode Dam or Lake Morris is a fresh water reservoir dam servicing the city of Cairns, Queensland, Australia. The dam is located in the range immediately west of the city.


Originally Cairns' water needs were met with water drawn from Freshwater Creek and also some from Behana Creek. It was evident to even the earliest setters that a larger source of water would need to be secured as Cairns grew.
With this in mind, one of the city's engineers, Mr F Morris, explored the Lamb Range to the west of the city to find a place to build a dam. In 1935 he found a site at Copperlode falls, near the headwaters of Freshwater Creek, that he thought would be suitable for the dam. Many years later, after a series of surveys confirmed the site's suitability, the State Government approved the site for construction of an earth and rock fill dam.
The State Government originally set aside A$3 million for the dam, but by the time the dam was completed on March 25, 1976, the total cost had risen to approximately $6.5 million. The reservoir holds 45,000 Megalitres of water (In comparison to Lake Tinaroo's 407 000 Megalitres). The reservoir is named "Lake Morris" after the city engineer that discovered its site, but the dam itself is named after the waterfalls it replaced - Copperlode Falls.

On reading council information when the dam it at 100% it holds 37 100 megalitres. At the moment it is running over so it is holding more than that and is at over 100% capacity. There is space for more water but it just means more will flow out. It doesn't have any gates to open and close the water just goes over the spillway when it is full.

I could have sat out there just watching and relaxing for ages but my skin has a habit of burning to a crisp.

On the way back I stopped at a mostly clear spot near the entrance to Copperlode Dam to check out the view of the mountains.

It is then that I realised just how high up I was. Surrounded by mountains and the rainforest it was like another world compared to the city just a short 16km drive away.

The only way you can get up there is with your own transport; car, bike or legs. There are plenty who ride bikes up there. Whatever floats their boat. Maybe that is why it is such a nice, quiet spot. A bit of a hidden gem.

Now I just have to get Mr Sparky up here, maybe a BBQ one day.

Do you have to drag you other half by the ear to come look at things with you?
Do you burn to a crisp in the sun, imitating a lobster, like I do?

My Memory Art six word fridays

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Birds, Beach and Blowing Hot Air

Yep, I think that was the neighbour farting I just heard. 
That was a first. 
Oh lord, I wonder how often they hear me farting passing wind.
Okay, so they were outside and I sit near the door so I guess that can be excused.
I was telling the lady that I work with that I have no privacy at home and that just goes to prove it. I was referring more to the fact that they can look straight into our house through the back door and that it is only lattice between our place and their place except for the timber fence right near the back of the yard.

Sooo, yesterday I was winging about being tired, nothing new really. I am in the same state today but with the luxury of being able to nap if I want to and when I want to. Maybe I should go look at the beach, maybe it is too hot and I couldn't be bothered. Last night I apparently left the front door a little open but the screen was locked. That is what Mr Sparky told me this morning as I really did drag my butt out of bed so that I could move my car for him to get out for work. No bouncing for the sunrise this morning, mind you it was pretty. Just another super smart thing to add to the list of tired antics. That and the fact that I almost did the early to work trick again after falling asleep as soon as I sat down between getting home and getting dinner ready. Woke after my 5min nap panicking that it was 6:15 when it was only 5:15 once my brain could actually process the clock. Guess that is how I did it last time.


So I did it. I actually did go to the beach and I haven't had a nap yet. I'm doing well, I think, although the lack of nap might not be a smart idea.

When I arrived I could here a bit of a ruckus. Looking up in the trees I could see the cause. Actually I already knew the cause, their call is very distinctive. Red Tail Black Cockatoos, one o my favourites.

When I lived on the station, seeing these beauties was said to mean rain (often it was right). This it their home though. I usually see some on the way to my night job, sitting on the light posts, being noisy little big mischief makers.

I did tear myself away though to check out the water.

To the north it had that endless horizon look, the ocean blending into the sky.

Looking south the beach had that pretty tropical beach look. Funny that, as it is a tropical beach.

The nets were out and the flags were up and there were 3 people out in the water. Tempting, very tempting but nearly the middle of the day and my togs were still at home.

Instead I stuck with photos of the sea, sky and mountains all blended colours of blue.

I did stick my feet in the water. Cooling it was not, although the lady (possibly American) who had just left the water said that it was lovely and asked me where my swim wear was.

Actually, if I had put my swimmers back in the car after being down south I might have gotten in for a quick dip. I better put that all back in the car then.

It was very nice and the beach was mostly empty. I guess most are at work or hiding from the sun (like I should have been with my white, easy to burn, skin).

I did head back to the shade of the trees soon enough though.

I also did make sure I said hello to those pretty cockies before heading back to the car. I'm glad they were enjoying their lunch, I was hungry too.

Do you know far too much about your neighbours?
What do you do with your time off from work (or kids if you get that)?

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Weird and Wonderful

I've done some weird and wonderful things because of tiredness, more weird than wonderful.
I've fallen asleep on the floor hugging a rain coat. 
I've slept across the aisle on the seats on a bus and not noticed someone step over me to get to the toilets.
I've turned off at the wrong intersection thinking it was where work was and only realising it wasn't when work wasn't there.
I've left home and left the doors wide open.
I've slept all night, with the light on.
I am sure there is so many more silly moments but I can't think of them right now, my brain is resembling scrambled eggs.
But yesterday, I think it is up there, it might even take the cake.
Last night, I rocked up to work an hour early, not even realising I had until my supervisor who starts and hour before us walked in to start work. Luckily I was allowed to start then rather than sitting around for an hour.
Smart one I am when tired.

Yesterday morning was my first sunrise morning in a bit. Mr Sparky has been on holidays so since coming back from visiting family down south I've been having a bit of a sleep in, if 7am-ish is a sleep in, to try and counteract the working late nights going to bed early mornings and working all day as well. He went back to work yesterday.

It was well worth dragging my butt our of bed to see that sunrise.

Actually the truth is I stuck my foot out and opened the curtain ( with my foot, sitting up and leaning over was way too much effort) then bounced out of bed to hunt down my camera.

I did my headless chook, upstairs, downstairs, inside, outside thing while Mr Sparky enjoyed his morning coffee ... coffees.  

I spent the whole time telling Mr Sparky how pretty it was. I think he got the point.

I wasn't working during the day yesterday so I couldn't wait for Mr Sparky to leave for work so I could whiz out and have some camera fun.

I headed to the Northern end of the Esplanade, my closest ocean place.

You might have seen it here, just a few times.

The upper wispy clouds dulled the sun that was already peeking over the mountains, keeping it softer sunrise looking and keeping the bite at bay for a little while.

A beautiful, relaxing start to the day.

When I got the zoom going to check out the distant water line I found some bird life wading in the water.

The different clouds made the sky look very interesting.

After some King tides last week there were plenty of bits and bobs on the sand. Tide marks easily seen with shells and other stuff outlining them.

The sun did a great job of lending a golden glow.

Puddles along the shore line made for nice reflections.

Those wispy clouds often mean a change in the weather. I guess they were right because the afternoon clouded over and turned rainy. Maybe how dark it got explains me turning up to work early or maybe I still haven't mastered reading a clock.

As the sun rose higher, so did the heat it emitted.

There were many out there on the Esplanade doing there morning exercise, getting a glow from something other than the sun.

I'm too lazy for that so I stuck to my wandering and photo taking.

 On my way back to my car I got sidetracked by more birds.

 This time it was the cute little Welcome Swallows.

Other than flitting off every now and again, maybe for some food, they just hung out not worrying about me creeping closer.

Getting sidetracked, that is another symptom of tiredness, so is chair napping or is it called having a grandma nap.

 So is rabbiting on about nothing, like I've been managing to do for this entire post.

What a cute bird!

What are some weird, or wonderful, things you've done while tired?
Do you just randomly say things and point out things that have nothing to do with the conversation/ or lack of conversation like I do? (just remembered that habit that is magnified by tiredness)

By the way while creating this post I recalled that I needed to wash my uniform for tonight. Talk about side tracked and forgetful.
Have also recalled the need to make lunch. Ah well maybe I'll buy it today.


I Must Confess