Our Glorious Kangaroo Island

A very dear friend and fellow blogger has just shared a post on her experience of holidaying on Kangaroo Island just as the bushfire disaster was unfolding. The previous week Rosemary posted about the start of her holiday on the island; it was lovely to read and it made me feel as if I was there with her, experiencing the island first-hand.

We used to live about an hours drive from the ferry terminal that would have taken us over to this paradise island but in the 11 years we were there, we didn’t once make the trip. We always made the excuse that it was too expensive; “we could be spending that money on an overseas trip” we’d say, so Kangaroo Island was just a beautiful destination that stayed at arm’s length. What an oversight that was on our part and now we will never experience the former glory of Flinders Chase National Park now that it has been decimated along with the habitat of a huge proportion of the island’s wildlife.

Flinders Chase National Park, Kangaroo Island

I am filled with sadness and huge regret that I missed the opportunity to visit one of Australia’s natural wonders in its absolute prime, knowing that it probably won’t recover to it’s former glory for a very long time. I read Rosemary’s last post on the unfolding bushfire wondering the fate of the animals whose path’s she crossed, knowing that it would not be a good outcome.

I wanted to share this poignant post with you, just so you have a sense of what it was like to be on Kangaroo island and to experience some of the wonderful wildlife which called Flinders Chase National Park their home.

Wombat’s Vacation

It’s been a while since you’ve heard from me; I’ve had visitors and trips away and life was busy for a time.

I met my parents in Adelaide, who were there to catch up with their grandchildren.  We spent a few days at Deep Creek Conservation Park on the Fleurieu Peninsula which lies a couple of hours south of Adelaide. The park is the largest remaining block of wildlife habitat on the Fleurieu Peninsula and is home to an array of native wildlife. Immerse yourself in nature says the guide. We certainly did; our accommodation was set in four acres of peaceful natural bushland. Kangaroos came up to the house, feeding out of the birdseed dish every afternoon. Honeyeaters, blackbirds and galas splashed about in the birdbath and the little Fairywren busily darted from one plant to another – it was bliss!

Seven of us had made the trip to Deep Creek as well as Ziggy and Polly,  two Kelpie/border collies – they had great fun trying to outrun the kangaroos (they stood no chance) and playing with Freyer, the whippet on the next door property. From the property we hiked down the cliff path to Blowhole Beach. The view across Backstairs Passage to Kangaroo Island was stunning with blue shimmering sea and azure blue skies; one of those ‘life is good’ moments.

Once the youngsters and dogs had departed for civilisation and the internet, the three ‘grown ups’ were left to soak up the peace and the away-from-it-all vibes; life’s stresses washed away and it really was a moment to recharge the batteries. One of our walks was through Stringybark Forest. The trees were magnificent. Because we were relatively late in the day doing the walk, the majority of birds had flown off for the day – we just had to look a little harder for the wildlife.

I brought Mum and Dad back to Brisbane with me to spend some time with us before their flight back to the UK. In the meantime, Chief and I attended our son’s engagement party in Adelaide. We had a super weekend and the weather gods were shining on the outdoor party while at the same time, Mum and Dad were experiencing torrential rain back in Brisbane. As you can see, we’ve been here, there and everywhere.

And now life has made a cruel twist – Dad was taken ill on their flight from Brisbane to Dubai last Wednesday and has been in a Dubai hospital undergoing extensive tests ever since. A ‘problem’ heartbeat has been detected and he may have to be fitted with a pacemaker before being given the all clear to carry on with their journey home. The Dubai health care is second to none thankfully, and we hope it won’t be too much longer before he is granted permission to travel home.

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A moment of dry by the Story Bridge, Brisbane

So as you can see, it’s all been a hectic time and this week Chief is preparing for a three-week work trip, leaving Thursday morning. I’ll be in touch soon – until then!

 

WPC: Farewell Favourites

This is all a bit sad and unexpected I have to say, and as 3Rs of Retirement states, you’ll miss us when we’re gone! It’s been a great challenge to ‘have a go’ at and a wonderful community. I’ve really enjoyed taking part over the last couple of years. And so to my favourites.

This was snapped at Mt Coot-tha Botanical Gardens and is known as Pink Poodle.  It’s a Calliandra surinamensis, and I loved the pink detail of the flowers. Detail was the challenge.

Pink Poodle
Mt-Coot-tha Botanic Garden

Huntsman&Eggs
Huntsman & her eggs

This photograph was taken back in October 2006 and although it’s a scary looking Huntsman, it is a beautiful and rare sight to behold.  I’d popped outside to put some rubbish in the dustbin, opened back the lid and this was the surprise waiting for me.  A female Huntsman who had secured her sac of about two hundred eggs against the side of the bin.  She then placed a few loving arms over her precious bundle. Mother  Nature at her exquisite best. The challenge was rare.

and finally:

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The challenge – evanescent
adjective
soon passing out of sight, memory, or existence; quickly fading or disappearing. moment in time.
An Easter sunset captured in Belair, South Australia and one I knew I wouldn’t be seeing again for a while.
Thank you and good bye!

All-Time Favorites

WPC: Place in the World

For this week’s photo challenge, explore what it means to find your place in the world. Where’s your safe space? Where do you go when you need to feel inspired or cheered up? Do you prefer to feel cozy and comforted in a smaller town or do you thrive on the buzz of a big city?

Let loose and give us a glimpse of who you are in the grand scheme of things.

“My place in the world”  this is a tricky one – when I was growing up we moved house frequently, not spending any longer than four years in one house – we were on the run. OK, that was a joke, but it seemed like it at the time.

Now I feel that my place in the world is where I feel connected, safe and happy and there are plenty of places like that especially when it comes to spending time with friends and family who are dotted all over the world.

Adelaide in South Australia is also a significant place in the world for me; it’s where we landed almost thirteen years ago to embark on a new life adventure. Adelaide was good to us and she set us up and pushed us in the right direction to where we are today. Now in Brisbane, Queensland, who knows what’s next!

Here I share some of the beautiful scenery from where we lived in South Australia a very special place in the world.

Place in the World

Our Growing Family

And it’s not even a baby on the way or a new pet!

Chief and I headed to Adelaide last weekend to catch up with our children. We all used to live there but Chief and I fled the nest (way too early) to take up new opportunities in Brisbane – anyway, I digress. We hadn’t seen Tom our son since last November and our daughter ‘Flossy’ since Christmas so we were really excited to be catching up with them and their lovely partners.

Saturday morning saw all six of us heading out to the McLaren Vale, one of the premium wine regions of South Australia – I hark on about how lovely it is all the time, but it really is! We ended up at S.C Pannell for lunch where we enjoyed each other’s company, super food and taking in the lovely views and soaking up the gorgeous Summer day.

After lunch and a trip to a couple of wineries, we went our separate ways to spruce ourselves up before heading into the city to meet friends in the Garden of Unearthly Delights. Adelaide comes to life this time of year as the Adelaide Fringe rolls into town. It was a tight turn around and within the hour, Tom and his girlfriend Christie were back in order for us to travel into the city together.

Just as we were all assembled and ready for the off, Tom gathered us around for an announcement – in that short time of rushing to get ready to go out, he had managed to squeeze in a marriage proposal and Christie said yes! We had no idea so it was a complete and wonderful surprise to us. How fantastic to be welcoming  someone as lovely as Christie into our family; I’m going to be a mother-in-law!

Apparently Tom was going to pop the question in a more romantic location when we were in the picturesque McLaren Vale but not everything had aligned for him and he ended up bottling it.

Tom made sure his proposal was by the book, asking Christie’s father’s permission and researching which knee to go down on beforehand. Apparently there is no clear historical origin of proposing on bended knee but it probably stems from similarities to kneeling during prayer, kneeling while receiving honors from royalty and other ceremonial situations. I can remember when Chief proposed to me it was pouring with rain so he put a plastic bag on the ground to kneel on first – ah!

So the rest of our weekend away turned into celebrations of all things wedding and love. Of course there was a beautiful ring involved which will surely sparkle and dazzle for many many years. No date has been fixed yet but I know you have to ‘book early’ for your perfect venue so it could be a year or two before I’ll be in my glad rags and new hat.

I can tell you one thing though – it doesn’t half make me feel old, having one of my babies embarking on such a huge next chapter of life!

 

WPC: Sweet

This week’s challenge is to post a photograph of what sweet looks like to you and I’m putting a different take on this. I have learned that Queenslanders (or Australians in general or even people in general) use the expression ‘sweet’ when something is good or great.  This could well be an expression picked up from the Simpsons or some similar TV show or film.

We are currently staying with our daughter in the Adelaide foothills and this little chappy was making himself comfortable in a gum tree at the top of the driveway.  I was able to grab my camera and take a pretty reasonable photograph – SWEET, I thought!

Sweet!!

 

Koala

WPC: Silence

This week’s photo challenge is how to capture silence in a photograph. Is it a positive image, or is it the opposite, revealing the lack of communication in a friendship or the dangers of not speaking out? Show us your interpretation in a new post.

Mine is a positive image of a peaceful beautiful place not far from where I used to live in South Australia – McLaren Vale. It is one of Australia’s world renowned wine regions and although it is a popular destination for tourists and wine lovers, it manages to maintain peace, tranquility and silence. It’s a beautiful spot and one I’ll be heading to when we visit Adelaide next month.

McLaren Vale
McLaren Vale,South Australia

From Coriole Cellar Door
From Coriole garden, McLaren Vale

Silence

 

 

WPC: Serene

WPC: Serene

South Australia is my adoptive homeland and we spent the first 11 years of our Australian adventure there before moving to Brisbane.  It was easy to find places of serenity in such a beautiful peaceful place. Be it in the vineyards of the Adelaide Hills or by the sea at Brighton these photos were, and still are my serene places.

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Serene