Friday, August 31, 2012

Two out of Two!

When I posted this WIIW I said “I don’t think this is a toughie”

And I didn’t because 3 out of 4 of my test subjects (AKA my family) came up with answers that earned good points.
Then when John G said “bloody hell.... I have no idea”, I wondered if it was a bit harder.

Linda G didn’t have a real guess but said “Whatever it is, it's rusty! (There. I get partial credit for that, don't I?)”

Yes, Linda it is rusty so as your statement is factually correct I suppose you have earned some points. 49% for barrack room lawyer Linda :-)

Marcy was more creative with “is it a speaker of some sort? An old fashioned kind like on a boat? Honestly, I don't know, but I agree with Linda, it looks rusty! Which means metal, right?”
I can see that it does look like it has a shape to keep moisture out, and yes it is metal, so 49% + 10% for a good effort. 59% for Marcy.

Susan said “Oh, pbbbbbbt! You NEVER think your pictures are "toughies". Well, I beg to differ. (It's either that or I'm just plain dumb, and I refuse to accept that possibility.) I have to agree with Linda, though, that whatever it is appears to be rusted and in dire need of cleaning. Beyond that, beats me!”

I am hurt Susan, hurt :-). Actually when I put this up I thought of you Susan (no not because it is old).
You often post about cars and have posted about you and your hubby’s interest in things like Model A Fords, so I guessed you would have seen one of these or could work it out from the background. More on that in a moment, 49% for Susan.

Carolyn V, guessed “The first thought I had was chocolate (I'm a little hungry) and a rusty tractor.”
Definitely not chocolate, but your second guess is exactly what my experimental subjects guessed. A rusty tractor is near enough to earn serious points 60% for Carolyn!

But our star once again is Jennifer (AKA Old Kitty) with her guess: “It's a bit off a very old car!”

It is! 100% for Jennifer!

I found this old car in Steiglitz. Steiglitz is a ghost-town in Victoria dating back to the  Gold-Rush era.
The part in the piccie is the hood on the crank-case vent of this old car. New cars have the vented fumes running back into the inlet manifold to burn off the oil fumes. But in the bad old days those fumes just vented into the atmosphere.

I thought the give-away for anyone who has looked closely at engines would be the Welch plug behind the hood, but maybe I have looked at too many engine blocks in my time :-).

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Piccie of the Day

A quick piccie of the day because I am busy tonight.

I'll answer the WIIW tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

What is it Wednesday?

Well I am a bit pressed for time tonight, so with out further ado:

What on Earth do you think this is? (I don't think this is a toughie)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


My piccie of the day is a sunset over Port Phillip Bay

Monday, August 27, 2012

A starving dog!

My piccie of the day is a potrait of Lilli I took yesterday.

We stayed close to home yesterday. Deb and I both had a number of chores to catch up on.
In the evening we went to a nearby park to have a BBQ (sheer madness; it was freezing!).

Anyway, it was a dog friendly park so Lilli came along. This is her mournful, "Can I please have a piece of that sausage?" face.
You can tell she is wasting away can't you?

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Grampians Mountain

Just a quick piccie of the day. One of the many beautiful mountains in the Grampians, western Victoria.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

A Tail of Lilli and a Trip across a range.

First up (and because I promised) a quick story about Lilli the Labrador.

As I said the other day Lilli is now becoming really quite well trained.She is a funny thing really eager to please but quite anxious about things she doesn’t know. I think I told the story about her being frightened by the kitten over the back fence (which reminds me of other Lilli tails).  

Any way back to the story.

She is still young and bouncy (which is very nice) but having 29 kg (64lb) of Lab bouncing around can be quite disconcerting not to say dangerous. So one of the things we do with her is get her to sit before we feed her or put her lead or do any of a lot of things.

“Sit” was the first command she learnt so she is really good at obeying it. The rules are that if one of us says “sit” or gives a hand signal Lilli has to sit and stay until we say “free”.

E our eldest discovered how good Lilli is the other week. E had been planning to take Lilli for a walk so she gave the "sit" command so she could put Lilli on her lead. As E got the lead the phone rang so naturally she answered the call. It was one of her friends from University, so without thinking E went into her bedroom to talk.

E chatted for about half an hour. Then she checked what was on TV. About an hour after she answered the phone she heard Lilli whine from the back room. Thinking that wasn’t like Lilli E went to check what was wrong. Only to find Lilli still loyally sitting in exactly the same spot she had been left!
E decided the whine was an “excuse me, I think you have forgotten something”.
Lilli at the park
Like a small miracle it actually dried up enough this morning so I could mow the lawn.
So Deb and I set off late again today. We headed up to the Yarra Valley and paused in Warburton at a favourite café for a coffee.
I sat and played with my camera (nothing new there) and took this piccie through the front window.

It is a cottage on the main street of Warby (as locals call it)

As we left I paused to take a piccie of the main street to catch a bit of the fast disappearing blue sky.

As I have posted recently we have been having a wet miserable and cold winter.

From Warby we followed a road we haven’t used before.
It climbs the flank of Mount Donna Buang before swinging up through the Acheron Gap into the central Highlands of Victoria.

I say road, but muddy track is more like it.

We paused as we climbed into the Mountain Ash forest that is a feature of so much of the Yarra Ranges.

Just over the Acheron Gap is a pocket of rainforest.

I had to pause to catch this mini waterfall that tumbles from a spring just above the road.

The water up there is crystal clear and probably as clean as you will find anywhere.

As you can see this spring literally tumbles into the table drain alongside the track.

As we came down the other side I paused one last time to get some shots of the Acheron River which is made up of the water collected from hundreds of springs like the one I snapped.
The Acheron is also clear and clean and is a popular trout stream in season.

By the way the blue vehicle is our “other car” a Renault SUV. I have resisted owning a gas guzzler for ever but eventually early in the year I admitted that we were abusing our poor FIAT too much on mountain and outback roads. So we got this second hand Renault all-wheel drive, It goes anywhere we want to take it and it is diesel so it is still pretty light on fuel (about 38 mpg) which is the same as our little FIAT.

Friday, August 24, 2012

What's been happening on the mountains round here

First up I have to say sorry to those of you who were hoping for a Lilli tale tonight.

Deb and I have decided as a spur of the moment thing to go out to dinner and catch a movie afterwards. So Lilli Labrador Tales will have to be another night.

It is still freezing down this way.  In the city today I looked out of my 12th floor window and saw this stuff falling.

It almost never settles in Melbourne or suburbs. But the mountains around are getting falls.

The ski resorts are having late, heavy falls and are looking forward to a good end to their season.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

In which one person is 100% right!

When I posted my WIIW piccie last night I thought there might be a few types of answers. I thought the right one might be among them.

Linda G guessed “a bungee--a multi-functional elastic cord used to tie things down easily.”
 We call the same stuff bungee too. But no it isn’t bungee.

Marcy guessed “I was going to say a rope.” Well I guess it is made of rope (not elastic) so that is worth 50% but no it isn’t just “a rope”

Deniz guessed “A rope on a dock somewhere, mooring a boat. Wish I was on a boat!”
Well you fell into my trap Deniz, I thought people would see the rope and the water and guess a painter (mooring rope).  It is securing something, but not a boat. 50%

Normally I would agree with you about the boat Deniz, but we have gale force winds down this way at the moment and it is freezing!

Susan said “Looks like a bungee to me, too.” Nope, not elastic not bungee.

John D was with the consensus with “Bungee Tie or a length of Bungee rope - usually utilised as a 'permanent temporary fixture' until the bungee disintegrates and you then either (a) Effect a more acceptable repair, or (b) Find another Bungee Tie/ length of Bungee rope!”
Nope still not bungee.

Which leaves us with the one last guess

 Jennifer (AKA old Kitty) guessed “It's Lilli's leash!!! LOL!”
Take a bow Jennifer you are 100% right!

Now here is our star (and her leash)
I took this last November, we went fishing so Lu could try out the new rod she got for her birthday.
Of course Lilli came too, and while she is a really well trained girl, we were not quite confident that she wouldn’t take a smelly bait hook and all so she had to stay tied.
The arm on the left belongs to Io (daughter number 2) while the pink painted toes in the background are those of E (our eldest).
Lilli had her annual vet check-up and immunisation booster today and was pronounced tip top A1 health!
If I remember tomorrow I will tell you another tale about Lilli.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

What is it Wednesday.

Well I had big ideas about a chatty blog post. But I have come home from work exhausted so you are just going to have to make do with a WIIW.

So without further ado: What on Earth do you think this is?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

River one night Falls the next

Last night I posted a piccie of part of the Erskine river.

Just upstream are the Erskine Falls.

A lovely tumbling drop

Monday, August 20, 2012

Piccie of the day

Erskine River

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Piccie of the day: an Orchid

Deb and I broke with our tradition of heading out of town today.

Our garage has been sorely in need of sorting out for ever since we moved in (over two years ago)  so we stayed home and made a start.

By the time we finished it was nearly 3:00 and given we are still in the midst of short winter days we decided to stay home.

I was bitterly cold again today so it was probably a good day to stay put.

Spring can't be too far away now? Surely not?

And once the warmer weather comes I can go hunting for beauties like this.

It is a Spotted Sun Orchid (Thelymitra merranae)  I snapped last spring.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

What to do on a rainy day?

Well as usual I was looking forward to the weekend.
I had plans of being out before first light to catch piccies of the dawn.
With a late winter dawn I have been seeing some beauties on my way to work.
But when I woke in the early hours it was to the sound of heavy rain.

Believe me I was disappointed, but I thought “Ah well, it’s been a rough week at work. I could do with a sleep in.”

So I rolled over and went back to sleep.

Three hours later it was still pouring.
Deb and I pottered around the house until after lunch.
Still raining! And cold with it!

Eventually we headed out regardless.

Because while getting wet and cold isn’t much fun -
Rain is great for waterfalls.
Our destination was Sailor’s Falls near Daylesford about 90 minutes’ drive away.
Last time I was there they were basically dry.
This time

well the piccie speaks for itself.

As you can see the stream divides above the gorge and tumbles down in two separate falls.

The left fall is pretty enough

But I think the right one is more spectacular.

I had to get closer so I climbed down into the gorge and across the stream to get some closer piccies of the larger of the two.

I am kind of happy with these, but they are kind of “ruined” because although the rain had finally stopped, there was so much spray blowing off the fall my camera lens was covered with droplets
 (you can see some if you click on the piccie to enlarge it.)
By the time I climbed back up to the car (where Deb being wiser than me was comfortably knitting) I was cold.
So Deb and I beat a retreat to Daylesford where in this café

We had coffees

(You can see Deb is bundled in multiple layers against the cold)
And shared a savoury muffin

Then as we left in the last light I snapped a pic of the town hall across the road

Friday, August 17, 2012

In Which Al awards points (nearly) all round.

Well as you can see my WIIW was a reflection of a windmill in a pond. I turned the reflection upside down to make things a little trickier.

Jennifer (AKA old Kitty), probably shouldn’t get any points for being so absolutely trusting.
But what the heck you can have 50% for being nice and not calling me a trickster!

Susan, gets 50% too for insisting it while looks like a windmill it couldn’t be (it wasn’t it was a reflection)

Alas I can’t give John any more than an honourable mention for his creative answer “it's a pastry cutter!” (Deb says I should give points for creativity)

Linda G gets 50%.

Linda would have got 100% for “Well, now it looks like the reflection of a windmill in a very still body of water” but in the next sentence undermines herself with  “...which means it's probably something else entirely.”
Sometimes you can trust me Linda :-)

Anne gets 50% for “it sucks water up from the ground” yes the windmill was for pumping water from the pond where it is reflected.

And finally Marcy who commented the other day also gets 50% for “well, obviously it LOOKS like a windmill. But, knowing how tricksy you can be I suspect it's something else entirely.”

It did look like a windmill Marcy but it was something else entirely!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

In which Al is hurt!

How suspicious you all are!
Just because I lead you up the garden path a time or two some of you assume I am out to trap you.
Well Jennifer (AKA Old Kitty) took things at face value and guessed “It's one of those windmill thingies!”

But others are definitely not out to be trapped:
Marcy didn’t exactly trust me with her statement “obviously it LOOKS like a windmill. But, knowing how tricksy you can be I suspect it's something else entirely.”

Linda G showed a definitely suspicious turn of mind: “Well, knowing you, the only thing I'm sure of is that it can't be a windmill. Or, at least, not ONLY a windmill.”

So what do you think, is it a windmill?
What if I turn the piccie over?

Does that help?
Maybe click on the piccie to enlarge it?
What do you think, is it what it looks like.

Do you trust Al?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

What is it Wednesday

I am just home and I have to go out to pick up Lu (our baby) from her work. So I will just put this up as a quick What is it Wednesday?

What on Earth do you think this is?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Rainforest fungi

These delicate fungi heads are about the size of my thumbnail and growing out of a moss covered tree trunk

Monday, August 13, 2012

Ross Bridge Tasmania

Just a quick piccie of the day

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Golden Wattle

A quick “Piccie of the Day” tonight. I have stayed fairly close to home today.

I had to go out early to take Lu to one of her jobs. She was phoned in at short notice so didn’t have time to get there by bus. She likes Sunday work because they pay a Sunday penalty rate. 

After that Deb and I went and had a leisurely Sunday brunch at Wild Wombat one of our favourite cafes. 

I spent a couple of hours poking around Hurstbridge and Wattle Glen trying to get some decent photos of the wattle blooming in the bush.

As you can see patches of the bush around have turned gold with the blossom.
I was not as happy as I might have been because the light was not cooperating at all today.  Still I got a few shots that might be OK with some photo shopping.  The blossom should be nice for perhaps another week so with luck the sun will cooperate next weekend. Still I should not  grumble; the piccie I posted yesterday would have not been nearly so nice without the sun peeking between the clouds.
"Black Wattle" (Possibly Acacia decurrens)  
A quick note for those of you who don't know:
  • "wattle" is the common name for around 1,000 species of Acacia shrubs and trees that grow across Oz.
  • It is a safe bet that at almost any time of year you won't have to got too far to find at least one species flowering 
  • they are called "wattle" because early settlers in Sydney used their branches to build "wattle and daub" walls.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Winter Skies and Floodwaters

Despite the Wattle blooms insisting spring is around the corner winter just won't let go. It is cold too, there is snow falling on the mountains around Melbourne.

Deb and I had to get out and about as usual.  We both spend far too much of our time in offices to not want to blow away the cobwebs on the weekend.

We were up the Yarra valley which is once again flooding in low areas when in the evening the sullen sky parted briefly and let me catch these stark winter trees reflected in flood waters.

Friday, August 10, 2012

What does a Knit-aholic wear?

Well Deb loves her knitting, so when she saw these clogs she had to have them.

Leather clogs with a knit look print!
She had me photograph them so she could share them with her friends on the knit-web.

And of course the ever devious Al hit on them as WIIW that looked like something they weren’t.

Now as a kiss and make-up for being so cruel, please accept a peace offering.
Heath Myrtle (Thryptomene calycina)

Thursday, August 9, 2012

I said I was being Cruel!

First up because I am not entirely without a nice side  here is my Piccie of the Day.
A sunset I caught on Port Phillip Bay some time ago.
Now back to my WIIW and my cruel side.

Everyone looked at this and guessed something knitted or crocheted.

Well I have to say You Are All Wrong!

I said I was being cruel!

I will give a clue: as usual it is an image cropped from one of my photographs, and it is an object I photographed inside my house.
Any more guesses?

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Al shows his cruel side!

Well I have scratched my head for a long time to come up with this WIIW piccie.
I think the scratching was all worth the effort because I have come up with a doozie!

What on earth do you think this is?

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Trentham Falls

Just a Piccie of the Day today.

These are the Trentham Falls west of Melbourne

Monday, August 6, 2012

Spring around the corner?

It still feels like winter but in the bush, the wattle is starting to bloom.

Sunday, August 5, 2012


I am busy catching up on some work I need for tomorrow morning.
So just a quick piccie of the day.

A reflection: Even ordinary ponds can be magical.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Hilda's Story and a Piccie of the Day

Well the weather has relented a bit, so Deb and I have been out and about today.
I took my camera but did not in the end point it at anything.   I have been a bit uninspired when it comes to finding subjects.

Maybe it is because I have been moving along a bit with my writing?

My WIP Veil of Iron continues to creep along at a reasonable pace. 

I have also been half working on a plot for another book entirely separate to my Veiled stories. I won't say much just at the moment, but it is built around the life of a young woman named Hilda  born in the late 19th Century.  Hilda's story follows her life from her youth in an English village, the start of her working life in service at the local estate, meeting and loving a young soldier during World War I and her life into the mid 20th Century and beyond. 
My idea is to look at the challenges facing a person through those years and to look at the vast changes that occurred during this period through her eyes.

Now for my piccie of the day. This is a subject that certainly captured my eye and inspired a piccie. 

It is a native "Butterfly Flag Iris" (Diplarrena moraea) that I photographed a couple of years ago.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Fitzroy Gardens Melbourne

A summery piccie of the day.

Winter is still biting hard, of our team of 8, 6 were down with flu on Tuesday!

Knock on wood I am symptom free!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

A quick answer

Well it seems I stumped people without really trying this time. 
I took the shot of this boat almost exactly a year ago when Deb and I took a weekend break down to Phillip Island. The evening light turned Western Port bay to silver. The Victorian mainland forms the backdrop.

My WIIW was part of the folded sail lying by the tiller.

I can see both the flipper that Linda guessed (noticed the watery background perhaps Linda?)
and have to agree with Anne that it does look like a table and chair.

But neither was really close enough to award points :-(