The Changing Seasons – Sydney: February

Here is February's cruise ship. Compare this beautiful blue sky with the imminent storm over January's ship.

Here is February’s cruise ship. Compare this beautiful blue sky with the threatening storm that hovered over January’s ship.

The season of summer continues in Sydney. After the storms and humidity of January, February has been generally delightful: clear blue skies, normal humidity and lots of warm but not scorching days. Today is different — although the sky is a flawless, cloudless blue, the temperature is climbing to a forecast 39C (that’s 102F). As you can imagine, the beaches will be mobbed even though it’s a Thursday!

Hot summer day at Brighton Beach

Hot summer day at Brighton Beach a couple of weeks ago. This wide sandy reach runs along the western edge of Botany Bay.

This February brought the beginning of the Year of the Monkey, and Sydney (as usual) threw a party. You can see my other Chinese New Year photos here.

Chinese New Year flags and lanterns, Martin Place

Chinese New Year flags and lanterns, Martin Place

In the run-up to the The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Festival, ANZ Bank gets into the spirit and converts some of its ATMs to GAYTMs.

Dance flash mob!

I was walking down Martin Place to the train station to go home on Monday, when suddenly music started thumping and apparent passersby began to dance.

Dance flash mob, Martin Place

All together now, big finish! Not sure about the guy in the red shirt, though.

If you can remember the opening sequence of the film “Footloose”, you’ll know why I took these two photos. Well I had to, really, because that song was playing!

Season Markers

These two locations will appear regularly in my monthly posts. As I said in my January post, it’s hard to tell what season it is in Sydney because there are no dramatic changes such as snow and ice. However, these plane trees in Martin Place do lose their leaves, and as I intend to take this shot around 5:30pm each month you’ll see it get darker and darker, and then light again as spring and summer creep up. And while I don’t think any trees in the photo of Sandringham Garden in Hyde Park lose their leaves, the wisteria certainly does, and the flower displays change with the seasons.

Martin Place, 5:30pm

Martin Place, 5:30pm

Sandringham Garden, Hyde Park, 1pm

Sandringham Garden, Hyde Park, 1pm


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The Changing Seasons – Sydney: January

"Voyager of the Seas" moored alongside the Overseas Passenger Terminal.

In Sydney, summer means cruise ships! This is “Voyager of the Seas” moored alongside the Overseas Passenger Terminal.

I wasn’t sure how to approach Cardinal Guzman’s “The Changing Seasons” monthly photo challenge. Two problems arose. One was that by the time I learned about the challenge on 27 January, all the things that characterise Sydney in January (the festival, the outdoor concerts, Australia Day) had passed. Second, and perhaps bigger, is that the seasons don’t really change in Sydney! Oh yes, in winter the non-native trees lose their leaves, but we have green grass, flowering shrubs and palm trees year-round; there are no dramatic snowfalls or ice storms or frosts to contrast with gentler weather. As for the first problem, the cardinal reminded me that there’s more to life than just highlights; as for the second, well, maybe Sydney will have a freak snowstorm this winter!

Yesterday I had a couple of hours to kill between social engagements, so I decided to see if I could capture some January photos. I was in the Opera House-Circular Quay-Rocks areas.

Australia Day may have come and gone, but some banners remain.

Australia Day banner near the Museum of Contemporary Art

Australia Day banner near the Museum of Contemporary Art.

Now here is something you don’t see every day: a pop-up gin bar. It’s associated with an exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art and runs all summer.

If gin’s not your thing, you could just chill on a deck chair and watch the world go by.

Or perhaps you prefer a blue-striped deck chair?

Or perhaps you prefer a blue-striped deck chair?

One thing has characterised our season this January: violent thunderstorms. The hot, humid days mean torrential rain and driving winds hit the city almost every day, usually around the early evening rush hour. They cause power outages, wind damage and traffic chaos. 30 January was no different: by 5pm, it was a case of when, not if!

Very ominous sky over the harbour bridge.

Very ominous sky over the harbour bridge.

Umbrellas up! These are security guards by the cruise ship.

Tourists and Sydneysiders alike headed for home — but at a leisurely stroll. No need to panic.

Wet paving stones gleaming in the first fall of rain.

Wet paving stones gleaming in the first fall of rain.

The heavens opened and it was no time for waving a camera around. I took shelter at the Overseas Passenger Terminal along with a few dozen others. Now was the time to panic.

Do you really get less wet if you run?

Do you really get less wet if you run?

Those deck chairs don’t look so inviting any more, do they?

Blown-out deck chairs in the storm.

Blown-out deck chairs in the storm.

I had never noticed this statue on the roof of the art museum before. I like how it’s pointing up at the storm!

Hey look, it's raining! Again!

Hey look, it’s raining! Again!

Perhaps the only good thing about these violent January storms is that they don’t last long. The sky soon brightened.

A patch of blue sky!

A patch of blue sky!

“Voyager of the Seas” was down to only a few mooring lines, about to head off to sea. And I had to head off to meet my friends.

Ready to go.

Ready to go.

That’s it for January in Sydney. I just squeaked in under the deadline!


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