This is first of the many glasses of bubbly I consumed in the lounge car of The Ghan. This train runs from Darwin to Adelaide (and vice versa) in Australia. A four-day trip, known as The Ghan Expedition, includes a stop at the opal-mining town of Coober Pedy.
I visited Alice Springs Desert Park a couple of weeks ago and saw some amazing demonstrations of free flying birds. The Hobby is a type of falcon, very swift and agile, and I was thrilled to get a fairly well focused shot of it swooping down, every feather clearly visible.
Another impressive bird display involved a juvenile Black Breasted Buzzard. These birds are known for their ability to use stones to crack open eggs, including the very large, thick-shelled, green eggs of emus. At the park, the buzzards open imitation eggs with meat inside.
Here, the bird has both wings outstretched for balance.
Another shot from this year’s Vivid Festival of Light. This exhibit was called Cathedral of Light. I like how the phones are held aloft as if they are offerings to whatever god inhabits this cathedral, and how the people’s arms mirror the peaked shape of the exhibit, which you can see on the phone screens.
So, did that post title get your attention?😉 This is a boutique brand of gin I encountered at a wine festival recently, from Baker Williams Distillery, est 2011 and based near Mudgee in Australia. Botanicals include juniper, pepperberry, cinnamon myrtle, traditional herbs and spices, and local cumquat [sic]. This stuff is wonderful! I can’t imagine sullying it with tonic or anything else, and am savouring it (even as I type) with just a couple of ice cubes. A bit like a martini but without the vermouth.😉
I know there are 7,000 bees in these jars because I asked the keeper. He added that 10,000 bees weigh about 1kg, so there is your interesting factoid for the day! I saw this display at a pop-up market in Martin Place, and couldn’t help imagine the shrieking chaos that would ensue among the hundreds of browsing office workers if that display was knocked over and the glass broke.
I know what you’re thinking: why is Kaz inflicting this very dull view of office buildings on us? Look closer at the object with the red box around it.
It’s a tall ship!
In fact, it is MY tall ship, Tenacious, operated by the Jubilee Sailing Trust of Southampton, England. I helped to build this beautiful ship in the late 1990s when I lived in London, so feel quite proprietorial about her. I was one of 1,500 volunteers who pitched in over three years to sand and epoxy and paint and sweep and whatever. I’ve crossed the Atlantic in her twice, and in June this year spent two weeks sailing around remote Fijian islands in the ship.
Tenacious has now made landfall in Sydney on her first around-the-world voyage, and will be spending the next nine months in Australia.
I find it absolutely surreal that I can look from my office building in Sydney’s central business district and see this ship that holds so many memories for me.
(This is the first post in an occasional series to be called “The view from the window”.)
Pine Creek Railway Museum, Northern Territory, Australia
I have two sets of railway-related photos for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge with this week’s theme of trains and tracks. The first is from Pine Creek in northern Australia, where enthusiasts and volunteers maintain a small museum dedicated to the area’s railway history.
The narrow-gauge North Australia Railway ran south from Darwin and reached Pine Creek in 1888. By 1929 it had reached its farthest point, Birdum, a distance of some 509 km (316 miles). The line’s busiest period was during World War II.
The line closed on 30 June 1976, overshadowed by more effective means of transport, but in its time was important carrier of goods and people.
The Grand Canyon Railway, Arizona, US
The first train to carry passengers the 103 km (64 miles) from Williams, Arizona to the south rim of the Grand Canyon ran on 17 September 1901.
As with the North Australia Railway, competition from cars led to closure of the Grand Canyon Railway in July 1968 (only three passengers were on the last run!). Three unsuccessful attempts were made to resurrect the line, until in 1989 services resumed under different ownership.
The train today offers seating in various classes, from all-inclusive food and drink luxury carriages to high-domed viewing carriages to straightforward seating.
At the end of the train is an open platform that offers uninterrupted views back at the tracks, or forward if you lean around the corner of the carriage.
I think you can guess which class of seat I opted for.😉
(Information about these reailways was taken from Wikipedia)