Last Sunday afternoon, the heavens opened and the rain came down — much needed rain, actually. It came as quite a surprise to the hundreds of tourists in the vicinity of the Sydney Opera House and Circular Quay. Five minutes before I took this photo, you could not have seen 10 feet in front of you, let alone all the way to end. Everyone is cowering behind those columns to the left, jammed together as tightly as pencils as in a box. I did feel rather smug with my showerproof jacket and umbrella. Walking along this east side of Circular Quay is usually immensely frustrating, trying to dodge and weave around strollers and families and tour groups; for once, though, I could walk at will!
It’s that time again in Sydney when the jacaranda trees are in bloom. One argument holds that the first specimen in Australia was planted in 1864 (source) — not in Sydney, but they have since been planted here with enthusiasm.
My journey to work includes a short train ride from Bondi Junction to Martin Place. Just after the train leaves King’s Cross, you can see dots of purple off to the left — but look right, and you are treated to large pockets of intense purple. Last weekend, I took the train to King’s Cross and had a good wander around this area, known as Woolloomooloo (pronounced by Aussies as “Wullamulloo”). It’s a small suburb that originally grew up around a wharf (Finger Wharf) that juts into the harbour.
These next photos give a flavour of the types of original housing: rows of small, cramped accommodation for workers and their families (with and without jacarandas!). Walking around the area, you can see that many of the houses have been smartened up, but many still look, shall we say, less smart. It’s an interesting mix.
In this shot, you can see the corrugated metal roof of the building behind the flowers.
The dock work is long gone. The wharf itself (400m/1,310ft long and 63m/210ft wide, standing on 3,600 piles) now houses an upmarket hotel, luxury apartments and assorted eateries. Built between 1911 and 1915, in its day it was the largest wooden structure in the world. (source)
Let’s finish off with more of those flamboyant jacarandas.
I’m linking this to Jo’s Monday Walks, but I think she’s still in the Algarve as her site hasn’t been updated in a while.
Drinking coffee on my balcony early this morning, I spotted this watering can sitting among fallen jacaranda flowers in a neighbour’s backyard. Lit by the sun, it glowed a warm red among the cool greens of the plants.
Update, 11 hours later.
Here is the same forlorn watering can, seen in what has become the habitual late-afternoon weather pattern in Sydney recently: a thunderstorm.
It’s jacaranda time again in Sydney! I used to think that flowering cherry trees were show-offs, but they’ve got nothing on the clouds of fragrant purple-blue blossom that catch the eye in spring. The flowers fall gently to the ground and gather like purple snow along the edges of sidewalks. Their delicate scent hangs in the air, a cross between lilacs and grape-flavoured candy. I couldn’t resist capturing the fleeting beauty of two of these trees on my street — and it’s a great excuse to play around with my new camera. 🙂