Whale time

whale watching

patience is needed

thar she blows

Jill and I have been away for a few days down the West Coast of Victoria to Warrnambool my old home town of teenage years. The main reason was to catch up with some dear family friends going back to those teenage years and photograph birds. We also hoped to see the first of this season’s Southern Right Whales as they return down the Australian east coast for birthing in what is their traditional nursery in this particular section of the South West Victorian coast. Whales lived in virtual paradise here until the English invasion of 1788. Whale oil was in high demand and within  10 years whalers and sealers hunted along the Victorian coastline slaughtering both species in their thousands. Whaling officially ended in Australia in 1978 with the closure of the last station hunting Sperm and Humpback whales off the South West corner of Western Australia at Albany. To see these beautiful mammals and the care shown by mothers to babies brings thousands of people to Warrnambool from June to November. Whale watching is also popular right down the entire Eastern seaboard.  We were staying just near the Whale watching platform and visited there on our third day. After looking keenly out to sea for 10 minutes along with many other people a voice suddenly called out “there she blows” someone else called there might be a baby. The whale or whales were  some hundreds of metres off the beach and the telephoto lens shots just give  an idea of their presence. We were so lucky.

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The Prom

wombats play

kookaburra laughs

people search

wombats play

kookaburra laughs

people search

We have just returned from a holiday away at Wilson’s Promontory National Park, known affectionally as THE PROM. http://parkweb.vic.gov.au/explore/parks/wilsons-promontory-national-park This is the most Southerly point on the Australian mainland and one of the most visited national parks in the country. It had been nearly 20 years since we last visited here, in those days  carrying everything in packs and hiking on tracks for hours to  camp sites kilometres from cars etc was our forte. This time at that pampered stage of life we stayed in a fully serviced cabin with all luxuries except TV, wifi and that kind of stuff hence no posts, visits comments from me for over a week. Every day we walked, rested, watched wildlife, took photos, remembered, read, knitted and then rested some more. The peace and quiet was a therapy. We both wrote some haiku. The Wombat lived with its baby under our cabin so we were able to watch them closely, as in walk around them if they were on the paths. The Kookaburra was quietly sitting outside our window revving up for a laugh at the Wombats. There were few people around and many of them like us were out using our senses.

 During our stay the weather was often cold, windy and sometimes wet, the sky was usually overcast and sunshine a rare visitor. If you have time to visit this link https://www.google.com.au/search?q=wilsons+promontory&client=firefox-b&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjmrfvf09_TAhUIfLwKHbh7CLgQsAQIfw&biw=1827&bih=1110&dpr=2 there are images of the Prom from across the year . I will post some more haiku/image stories  from our experience.

weeping

silently

sap tears trickling

seeking help

This wattle and others along the boardwalk in Long Hollow Reserve Beaumaris are in trouble. They are under attack from insects and judging from the amount of sap we saw, it is a sustained attack.  This reserve is a treasure , where many rare flora once prolific in our bayside environment still exist in small numbers. To see larger more common species struggling as in these photos indicates the dire condition  remnant pockets of native vegetation endure. Right next to Long Hollow our state Education Department has begun developing a new school site which in itself is a great thing however most of the school land will be taken up with 2 huge cricket ovals, a full size soccer pitch and a large sports pavilion all financed in a deal with the private Melbourne Cricket Club. We locals who fought hard to stop all trees and shrubs on the school site being ripped out, ( a few were kept) still do not know the long term effects  this sporting facility will have on the reserve because the agreement between the Education Department and the Melbourne is a secret deal. This is a Socialist state government in a secret ,”commercial in confidence” deal with a private organisation using public land. Economic rationalism has gone mad when left wing governments do secret deals and will not inform the local community. This is not DEMOCRATIC government at work.

sleep/play/sleep/play

summer pups

coping with the heat

growing fast

This is what 8 week old Afghan Hound pups look like. Little bundles of fur, ears and legs and sharp little needle like teeth. Born in the later half of December in the Australian Summer they were learning all about the heat. Play sessions were quickly followed by immediate naps, then a bit more play etc etc.

The bottom picture shows little Maggie being nursed by Jill. We were invited to visit these beautiful pups in February and were honoured to be offered Maggie who was needing a home in the immediate future. At the time we had made plans to travel up to late May and had to decline the generous offer. Circumstances for Maggie have since changed and we  are now able to provide her a home at the end of May. Meanwhile she will grow and those teeth will be sharper  and her sense for adventure will have grown.

changing landscape

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winter storms

smash break and flow

natures tears

This is a view of The Twelve Apostles, a collection of limestone stacks off the shore of The Port Campbell National Park in Western Victoria. This is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Australia and is often visited by mini bus loads of international travellers on one day trips from Melbourne. There were originally only nine stacks when the name was given and one has been totally eroded, the rest will follow over time. Good news for a long term tourist industry is that further coastal erosion will see new stacks created , who knows, for a while there may be 12.

To learn more visit http://parkweb.vic.gov.au/explore/parks/port-campbell-national-park

This haiku is my contribution to RonovanWrites Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt Challenge 133 Flow&Tear. To see many other haiku inspiring flowing tears visit https://ronovanwrites.wordpress.com/2017/01/23/ronovanwrites-weekly-haiku-poetry-prompt-challenge-133-flowtear/

take care

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winter prune

looks awkward yet safe

care taken

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This is my contribution to the one a week week Photo Challenge my second one for 2017 and the challenge is is Awkward . For this years challenge planned by Cathy and Sandra visit Cathy’s blog at  https://nanacathydotcom.wordpress.com/one-a-week-photo-challenge-2017/

These arborists were carefully doctoring our 90 year old North American Liquid Amber. This tree was planted when the house was built. A common practice in our immediate suburbs with Californian Bungalow houses, many of which remain, and also usually so do the trees. Sadly however there is a gradual replacement over time as developers  or the nouveau rich ( the only difference being whose money!) buy a bungalow  outbidding genuine house savers and then demolish the house and garden and replace  them with fence to fence Mc Mansions and hard surfaces. Occasionally they grab two together and put a tennis court on the other block. Artificial environments for artificial people?

act now

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its too late

when I am gone

you miss me

Jill took this photo of a mural on the side wall of a gym beside our hotel in Napier, New Zealand. The repeating line says it all with regard to the madness that is economic growth, (the obsession of politicians and multi nationals) around the world today. Time is running out for so many species of birds and other natural life forms but people can still act in many legitimate ways beginning with their vote.

Why is compulsory voting so rare around the world? because it does  hold politicians accountable ( what would the recent presidential election results have been in the USA with compulsory voting?) So push for compulsory voting if  you don’t have it and then push for sustainable economic growth from your governments or better still just a balanced economy .

Meanwhile back in our yard we continue to plant local indigenous vegetation to lure back our little birds that still hang on as they look for their natural foods. And in Australia we have compulsory voting  and that means our current federal government will be accountable for their attacks on our environment.