Thursday, September 16, 2010

Democracy Rules!

Well the result is in!
Fourteen good people have cast their vote.
The results:
Abstentions = 1
Cockatoos and Parrots = 2
Raging Water = 11.

Well that looks like a landslide waterslide for a post about raging water.

Sorry Cockatoo Lovers, you’ll have to wait for another time.

So here we go, on Sunday Deb and I drove out to the old Maroondah Reservoir, near Healesville in the Yarra Valley.

The reason we went was that with the flood rains we have had recently the lake has filled and for the first time in over a decade water is going over the spillway.

From where we parked the car we strolled through the gardens. Spring has sprung (so to speak) and the Rhododendrons are in full bloom.A close up.Past the blossoms we heard the roar of water.

Here was the cause, an artificial waterfall that shoots the water from the dam’s spillway back to the valley floor.
I could get very close to the bottom section of the cascade.Normally there is a path open across the weir to the base of the larger fall But at the moment it is closed because it is too wet and slippery.

Another angle on the lower cascade.Deb and I began the walk up through the gardens towards the dam wall.
We paused to grab some photos of this port-wine magnolia. Then again to have a seat in this summer house. The view back down the stairs towards the valley floor.Through a window in the garden you get a view of the larger waterfall.We crossed the dam wall, and a bridge over the spillway.This fallen tree trunk trails a finger in the racing water.We climbed the path up to the look out. You get a view down over the falls.I took some shots of wattles flowering in the bush. After Eucalyptus trees, Wattles are perhaps the next most widely spread group of plants in Oz. They range in size from small shrubs to substantial trees.

Most varieties flower in this typical yellow colour. The flowers are tiny, each about the size of a fingernail.

Some species have a white flower.I haven’t got any shots, but in spring whole areas in the bush can be golden yellow with wattle blossom.

As a total by-the-way, Australian wattles (which are Acacias) are called wattles because early European settlers used them in the construction of 'wattle and daub' walls in their first houses.

A final shot of me (courtesy of Deb) at the look out. I think I look tired, not from the walk, but from the hectic week I had at work.
Thank goodness for spaces like this near Melbourne so I can unwind on the weekends.


Christine said...

Three cheers for democracy!

You have given us a superlative treat with this post; not only raging water, but beautiful blooms too.

Interesting fact about the wattle flower and its relation to wattle and daub construction. Thank you. I'm like a squirrel with snippets like that.

Rayna M. Iyer said...

We had those yellow flowers in our garden too - I never knew what they were called, but I did know they were native to Australia.

Awesome pictures.

Vicki Rocho said...

Absolutely positively breathtakingly gorgeous. Did I get enough "ly" in there?

Jaydee Morgan said...

Gorgeous pictures! I especially like the one with the view back down the stairs to the valley floor - I'd love to walk that path and wonder where I'd wind up.

Old Kitty said...

Awww poor Parrots and Cockatoos - well I think they're vivid and perfect!

But my goodness those are some beautiful rhododendron TREES! And I do like closeup of flowers and the wattles are just lovely. I think I prefer to call them acacias - the word is evocative of something exotic and sexy. Wattles is such a clumsy word that does these fragile beauties a disservice! LOL!

Oh now the water shots are lovely! I do like how they're caught in mid spray!

Nice shot of you!

Take care

Carolyn V. said...

So beautiful! How exciting to be starting spring! The flowers are gorgeous. =)

wordsareforwriting said...

Whoa the photos of the raging torrent are awesome.

Hopefully some of that will help top up Melbourne´s dams. I think they are the lowest in the country. :(

Hart Johnson said...

Oh how beautiful! It's amazing that they can do a falls like that 'man-made'-it looks natural. And I love the rock path and gazebo, and the fabulous flowers. We have some rhodies here, and magnolias, (oregon had a LOT of Rhodies, because they don't ever deep freeze like Michigan does) but the others we don't. Thank you for sharing these with us!

Amanda said...

My goodness, how gorgeous are those trees! My husband is from Texas and we are going to try and plant a magnolia tree here. I've heard they'll grow here just not as big.

I love your photos and just realized that we never see photos of you. I love all the trips and sightseeing you do. Someday we're going to make it to Australia and see all of those gorgeous places.

Kyna said...

Sometimes I forget about the reversal of seasons in the Southern Hemisphere.

*gruff, indignant tone* 'Rhododendrons? *scoff* In September? Unheard of!'


Al said...

Hi Christine,
Hip, hip, hooray!
I am pleased you enjoyed my effort!
I love snippets like that too, I guess that is why I include the odd one or two.

Hi Rayna,
Wattle in India, lovely. I wonder what kind? There are so many species and cultivars, it was probably likely to be a shrub like Cootamundra Wattle.
Pleased you liked the piccies.

Hi Vicki,
Easily enough “ly” in fact you’ve probably exceeded your monthly quota :-)

Hi Jaydee,
Thank you! I love mysteries in photos too. Following paths, just exploring is great fun.

Hi Jennifer,
The poor parrots :-(
But then again I won’t ignore them, remember the vote was just to see which I posted first. I have some nice piccies so I guess they’ll have their day in the sun before too long.
Thanks for the complements on the piccies.

Hi Carolyn,
Thank you! It is nice to be coming into what should be nicer weather.

Hi Words,
Pleased you like my piccies.
The dams are up to nearly 50% now which is a relief.

Hi Hart,
Pleased you like the falls, they are some of the most impressive artificial falls. Much nicer than the usual concrete spillway that most dams have.
Magnolias and Rhodies can cope with some pretty cold conditions. Some of the wattles can too, there are hi country species that would certainly be happy in the temperatures of much of America, perhaps not the Michigan deep freeze though.
You are most welcome!

Hi Amanda,
I am pleased you like the piccies.
I have seen magnolias growing in some pretty hot dry places in Oz, so it is certainly worth a try growing them there.
You don’t often see me in my piccies because I am usually behind the camera ;-)
Thank you, I have always enjoyed your photo tours too, you have posted about some truly beautiful places.

Hi Kyna,
LOL, those damn Aussies! They always get everything back to front! ;-)

~Nicole Ducleroir~ said...

What a gorgeous place to unwind. Makes me want to book an airline ticket today. One day, I will visit your beautiful country!

All my best,

Theres just life said...

Wow what a wonderful place. I can hear the roar of the falls from here.
I live in East Texas and the Magnolia trees here are huge about 30 ft tall and base on some are 4 or more feet around. I will try to get a picture and post it for you to see.
By the way Magnolia wood is gorgeous. A friend of ours has a custom sawmill and his office in done in Magnolia wood.

Marguerite said...

Beautiful place and your photos are fab! Love the port wine magnolias and rhododendrons, and the water views!

Erin said...

Wow, what a beautiful spot! And how lovely that spring's coming. In this part of the world, we're just heading into autumn...

Thanks for stopping by my blog!

hmsgofita said...

Gorgeous! Keep those pics coming!

Al said...

Hi Nicole,
Hey you are right, we are pretty spoiled down this way. Hey if you pop down this way you’ll have to drop in!
Thank you!

Hi Pamela Jo,
As far as I know these particular magnolias don’t get very big. But I have seen some magnolia’s in a botanical garden in QLD (Magnolia grandiflora I seem to remember) which came from south east USA. They certainly fit the bill of your Texan ones in terms of size.
Please post a piccie I would love to see!
I love wood I have a dining table miled from wood taken of my family place.

Hi Marguerite,
Thank you. I love all three too !

Hi Erin,
It is a great location. Yes we are heading into warmer weather, while the north is starting to head to the chilly time of year!
Hey thanks for dropping in here too!

Hi Heather,
Than you! I’ll try (at least once my internet works properly again).