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Sydney Harbour Bridge turns 90

This angle gives a different perspective on the famous “coat hanger” shape. And I haven’t seen a cruise ship on the harbour for two years now!

I can see the top — the very top! — of the harbour bridge from my kitchen window. Last night I was puzzled to see it lit up in blues and reds, the colours chasing each other along the arch. (Then, of course, yet another deluge began and whited out everything, again, and that was the end of that.) This morning I learned the reason for the light display: today is the 90th anniversary of the opening of the bridge. And by great good coincidence, Cee’s CFFC challenge this week is Bridges!

Here’s a photo of the underside of the bridge (and Queen Mary, berthed at the Overseas Passenger Terminal).

Taken from Milson’s Point.

The stark metal structures look wonderful when the evening light hits them.

Taken on a sunset cruise.

Looking up from the water as the boat passes under the bridge.

Two shots of the bridge lit at night.

Convenient bench from which to admire the bridge.

That’s the Luna Park amusement park behind the bridge.

I read an interesting story this morning, about the men who quarried and shaped the granite for the pylons. “173,000 blocks were cut, numbered, and arranged like a jigsaw puzzle.” Wow. The pylons do not, as many people think, actually support the bridge. You can see in this photo that the arch ends without touching this pylon.

Big gap between arch and pylon!

Here’s the bridge on a day when we were blanketed in bushfire smoke.

Looming from the murk.

The sun sets behind the bridge, which can result in some stunning photos as the metal seems to glow. (Having the opera house in the foreground doesn’t hurt either!)

Here’s a closer view of the top of the arch. If you look to the right of the spire, you can make out a group of blue-clad people doing the Bridge Climb.

The bridge plays its part during the Vivid Light Festival, too.

A good view of some of those 173,000 blocks of granite!

Most people will have seen photos of the bridge when it takes centre stage during Sydney’s extravagant New Year’s Eve fireworks display.

Taken from a balcony at the opera house, before the fireworks.

These two shots are pretty awful, I’m the first to admit it. All I can say is that they were handheld and I was in a crowd (yeah, you try pushing to the front of a thousand opera-attending partyers with your tripod, and see how that works). But you get the idea, and you can make out the bridge.

And finally, this is possibly my favourite shot of the bridge. 🙂

Distorted image in a glass of bubbly, taken at Opera Bar.

The bridge in numbers:
Width: 49m, carrying traffic, railway lines, pedestrian walkway and bicycle track
Length: 1149m
Main span length: 503
Height above sea level: top of arch 134m
Height above sea level: top of pylons 88m
Number of hand-driven rivets: almost 6,000,000

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An odd boat mooring

Definitely worth a closer look.

I’m puzzled by this. At first, I assumed this was a joke, or a mistake, or something. But that boat is very carefully fixed in place, and you can see (lower down in the tree) what looks like a platform for perhaps another boat. Or maybe it’s a tree house, and the boat is the roof? There’s only one word for this, and all we know what it is. “Odd!”

Posted for Becky’s Square Odds

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Tree Squares: Around the Power Lines

This is a determined tree!

I snapped this tree with my phone today, while out walking (exercise being one of the four permitted reasons to leave your home in Sydney these days). In the 15 years I’ve lived in this area of Sydney, I’ve never walked down this street before, so was taken aback when I spotted this. I’m amazed that the electricity company goes to the bother of trimming the inside branches of this tree so they don’t touch the lines, rather than simply cutting it back. And I admire this tree’s determination to grow up and around!

July Squares are all about Trees

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Tree Squares: Bottle Tree

Planted in 2007

Here’s another interesting tree type from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney. The trees in these photos are both Queensland Bottle Trees, one much younger than the other.

The label for this tree didn’t say when it was planted, unfortunately, but look at the size of the trunk!

It’s so large that it needs propping up.

About the trees

July Squares are all about Trees

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Tree Squares: Not extinct after all

The Wollemi Pine was thought to be extinct until 1994, when specimens were identified in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney. A program to conserve and propagate these trees, in the wild and in gardens, aims to preserve the species. This one is in the Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney.

It’s not the most attractive tree I’ve ever seen, but the scientists seem very excited.

A plaque commemorates the tree’s planting.

Wondering about the statue at the tree’s base?

July Squares are all about Trees

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Tree Squares: Dead

I couldn’t think of a kinder way to say it, but this tree is, well, dead. Very striking, though, with its strong and dramatic lines. I spotted it while walking between Coogee and Maroubra, which are Sydney coastal suburbs.

I thought those bold shapes and textures would work well in black and white, too.

July Squares are all about Trees

CBWC: Trees or Tree Parts