Thursday 5 December 2013

Titan Arum

Well I've been back to the botanic gardens again but this time there was something a littl different to see. It was so special they even had signs to point the way.

The Titan Arum bloomed early this week and the fact that it only flowers for around two days would have made it pretty popular as well as the fact that this is only the second time in this pants 8yr life that it has flowered.

Now unfortunately I missed seeing it in full bloom in fact the flower has already folded up and is breaking down. The fortunate thing about that I guess is that I missed its delightful rotting meat smell.

How do you feel about having one of these in your backyard. I think I will pass.

The size of it was pretty impressive though.

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Teeny Tiny Visitors

This is an oriental orchid. They smell very pretty by the way and the also happen to be pretty attractive to a teeny tiny critter around here.

This is a native bee. Can you spot it. Isn't it cute. Okay maybe cute isn't the right word but it is certainly teeny tiny. I am glad to finally see these little fellows around the garden and I hope they are here to stay. As an added bonus they can't sting me.

They are busy little fellows. I wonder how they manage to carry all that pollen.

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I Spy a Pelican and ...

Sometimes parts of Cairns become one giant game of spot the bird, in particular the Esplanade once the tide is out. The other afternoon as part of our Nova activity, after the lessons, we wandered around Cairns soaking up food. Our last stop was for gelato which we ate sitting on the Esplanade. It was extremely relaxing. Despite the copious amounts of people that are usually down there it always has that same relaxing, holiday feel that I absorb when I am there. On this day watching the antics of wild water birds on the fringe of the coast was interesting and made us want to sit for a long time. The may different breeds of birds where very happy hanging out in the same area, most busy doing their own thing like eating or sleeping. Some were very individual like the lone pelican that staying in the water, swimming around, when the rest of his flock had left the water. I just guess it liked swimming.

A Whimbrel looking for a feast in the mud.

A lone Great Egret looking around in the shallows.

Sandpiper, seagull and whimbrel hanging out.

Then of cause their were the pelicans, stealing the show simply because of their size.

There started off being one group of pelicans in the water and one on the mud flat when we arrived.

It was interesting to watch the ones in the water feeding and how much of a synchronised, group activity it was.

After swimming and feeding they were mostly interested in cleaning and sleeping. The cleaning part was rather amusing, can you imagine trying to preen with a beak that big?

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Tuesday 3 December 2013

Tis the Season ...

On the weekend we gave up resisting the jolliness of this time of year and put up the Christmas tree.
My family's tradition along with many others has been to put the Christmas tree up on the 1st of December or sometime after that.

The twinkling in the corner of the room at night is enough to lift anyone's spirits and make them feel that Christmas time is near.

Even local trees, even one we can see from our house, are putting on a Christmas like show. Ever since I was out on The Station I connect seeing this beautiful and cheerful poinciana tree in bloom with this time of year.

Is your Christmas tree up? What shouts 'Christmas is near' to you? What traditions do you have?

Grab button for one mother hen

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Saturday 30 November 2013


 For as long as I can remember I have called dates "cockroaches". I don't know how or when it started but I guess you could say it is a family nickname.

Now not confusing them when eating or cooking is very important.

This is a date, or more to the point these are dates.

This however is a cockroach and not something that should be eaten.

Now I bet that wasn't the post you were expecting and for the record yes that is a DEAD cockroach and yes it is on my floor. It is however now gone (you can breath a sigh of relief) and is a common occurrence (EWWWW!) due to living in Cairns, which I swear is one big cockroach nest. There presence in no way reflects on the cleanliness of my house, mind you if they like a fairly clean house then it can reflect away.

Friday 29 November 2013


I love seeing Brolgas around on the Tablelands. It takes me back to Western Queensland and the excitement of seeing a small family. Of enjoying watching the red capped heads and grey bodies casually move around the landscape. Now any farmer on the Tablelands will complain about how much of a pest they can be. They flock to paddocks in their hundreds and feast on corn or seed, a dinner party they think has been put on for them. Dispite this I still love seeing them and the novelty of see so many well that is something I appreciate.

At them moment the brolgas are usually seen in freshly harvested, disked or ploughed paddocks. They are having a lovely time feasting on what nature brings them, well what the farmer's work brings them.




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Thursday 28 November 2013

WALT Enjoys More of Cairns

Well I headed back to work with Anne on the Friday (honestly this is work??) and helped her out by being a passenger in a taxi during role play. Shhh don't tell her I was sleeping through it all, but that air con was so nice and all that travelling, well you get the point. I just had to check out Rusty's Markets after my bear nap, I needed some action.

I found some of my favourite treat at a stall. I think I might have to move here they make and grow nearly everything locally, well the important things anyway like honey and wine and beer and tea and coffee ...

... and mangoes.

We had a farewell BBQ and with all my previous cooking experience I was able to show the students and thing or two. Now Anne tells me that the BBQ was for the students but I am sure that they put it on just for me.

It was pretty tasty especially after all that hard work sleeping preparing and cooking I did today.

I really shouldn't have shown off my cooking skill because Anne decided during my stay to put me to work on some strawberry jam and mango chutney. Now that was some hot work all that chopping and mixing.

As a reward she took me to check out the Centenary Lakes. Great reward that was, no swimming, urgh!



 Then she took me to Holloways Beach. Now that was more like it, relaxing on the sand and beautiful water for swimming.

She made sure I knew where the vinegar was for a stinger sting, like I could miss that red post. Pretty interesting what vinegar can be used for, first chutney and now stinger bites. By the way stingers are box jellyfish and irukandji jellyfish. Nasty things, glad I didn't find one.

We explored a little of the Atherton Tablelands as well. It was a bit cooler up there, and wet. Anne took me to Gallo's Dairy Land.

I seem to have this animal magnetism going on.

I was spoiled with some chocolates, now that is what I call a reward for all that cooking and teaching.

We also check out some of the nature stuff. Those waterfalls are pretty awesome.

Then it was time for me to leave even though I would have loved to see more and spend more time relaxing by that pool. I did make sure I had one last mango before the trip. I hope I don't get post sick.

  WALT is on his way to his next location, a little closer to home. Safe travels WALT.


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