Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Botanic Gardens and bridges

I seem to have become a very sporadic blogger - 'life' keeps getting in the way. My workroom is quite deserted, haven't even been doing anything creative since before Easter! I have managed to take the dog walking in the Gardens late in the afternoon occasionally however, the weather since Easter has been absolutely beautiful, brilliant sunshine and cool winds. Easter weather doesn't bear mentioning - in 41 years I cannot remember a wetter Easter! We had rain every day and night. However this past week has made up for it all.

The rain has made everything so green and lush, we have had the best wet season for about ten years and the cane farmers are over the moon, especially as the sugar price seems to be increasing daily. Crushing will start at the end of next month so they will be hoping for dry weather for a couple of months at least then.

This wonderful nest is being built by a pair of sunbirds on a vine tendril hanging right over a set of stairs which is in constant use. The birds don't seem to worried by the traffic at all. The picture of a male sunbird below is from the internet as the birds were not at home when I went past the other day. I hope the teenage kids don't vandalise the nest, it would be lovely to see the family grow up.

For the last couple of years Main Roads have been building a new bridge over the Pioneer river at the end of the road which runs past the Gardens - much to our disgust, but we couldn't persuade them to rebuild the original bridge a couple of blocks away. There will be a huge added volume of traffic flowing along that road now, but that is life. On Sunday there was an official opening and a family fun day with everyone walking over the bridge before the traffic is allowed on to it later this week. There is no foot bridge at this stage, but the extra concrete girdars are for one in the future if the local council can ever afford it!! I love the way State Government departments just leave bits to be funded by local government.

The Gardens Friends had an information stand there, which proved to be very popular - not sure though if it was the small creatures in the boxes in the shade or the shade itself which enticed everyone in. The temperature shot up to 30 degrees with almost no breeze and certainly no cloud cover and very hot black bitumen underfoot!! I couldn't believe the clothing which some people wore - or rather the lack of clothing. Everyone had to walk at least two kilometres even if they parked in the closest carparks - the bridge is 800 metres long - and heaps of people had no hats and frequently had small dogs in tow. The dogs were the ones I really felt sorry for - they had no choice and they were so close to the bitumen they must have been sizzling. About 7000 people trekked over the bridge during the morning so it was a verysuccessful event.

This is taken from the new bridge looking toward the old bridge which was built in the late 19th century. Most of it will now be pulled down, leaving just two spans on the city side for a fishing platform - this is a very popular fishing spot.
We are going to Ballina for a week on Saturday - the annual sugar technologists conference is being held there this year and Bill is the secretary so he runs the conference - I get to tag along. The partners are being taken to lots of interesting places so when I come back I hope I have some good photos to post - just need to find the time again, and then do some more creative work!
Cheers for now.


  1. Lovely photos - that nest is amazing and so beautiful and I love the irredescent plumage on the sun bird's throat. The sun was here over Easter and we had lovely warm days. Glad you got the rain you wanted. Our weather is still very changeable and we had ice on the birdbath this morning. Government funding is the same in the UK - they don't really seem to understand local issues. Enjoy your trip to Ballina - looking forward to hearing all about it.

  2. Good to hear from you again Robin, mist you and your pictures...lol.
    Great to know you and yours are doing fine, and the pictures are as always...wonderful!

  3. I also wondered where you were and I am glad it was just life and not something worse that got in the way. Enjoy Ballina.

  4. Really enjoyed looking at your pictures Robin, such a beautiful place. Maggi


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