From the Photo Archives: Buildings and Man-made Structures – some of my favourites

I have been doing a major re-order of all my photography recently, and as such, have re-discovered a number of photo’s that I think are worth sharing with you. It’s been a useful exercise, most of my photo’s are now easier to find, and seeing I have been suffering so much with the fibromyalgia, it helps take my mind somewhere else for a little relief.

Well, enough of the gas bagging,  welcome to my show !!!!

2011 Portland Botanical Gardens Caretakers Cottage (2)

This first one is of the caretakers cottage at Portland Botanical gardens. I have a love hate relationship with this photo, as it turned out so well, but I hate how it’s postcard perfect.

2010 Cape Nelson Lighthouse

This one, and the next, are at Cape Nelson Lighthouse, near Portland, Victoria. The below one is the entrance to the lighthouse tower.

2012 Cape Nelson (5)2010 Merino

I love old abandoned buildings, this old Petrol Station just got me, it’s at a small village called Merino, in SW Victoria.

2012 Casterton

Jeffreys Cordial Factory, at Casterton, Victoria, the birth place of the Kelpie breed of dog.

2012 Portland Old Town Hall and War Memorial (2)

This is the old Portland Town Hall, with the war memorial in the foreground.

2012 Portland Whalers Bluff Light (2)

Whalers Bluff Lighthouse, in Portland, Victoria, a stout little lighthouse, because of it’s high elevation it doesn’t need to be tall, but very pretty.

2013 Heywood Railway Station

Another of the abandoned buildings, there are heaps of these across Victoria, this is the Old Heywood Railway Station, in SW Victoria.

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I believe this was a Lutheran Church, it is located in Heywood, and was one of my first attempts to photograph buildings at night.

2015 Bessiebelle (2)

A school bus shelter, with Jack as the muse, near Bessiebelle in SW Victoria. I call this “Waiting for the bus that won’t come”. There are heaps of these, sitting unused all over the place in Victoria.

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Another abandoned building in SW Victoria.

2015 Hamilton Skene Woolshed

Skene Woolshed near Hamilton in SW Victoria. Very impressive building, with solid bluestone walls.

2015 Morgiana

This is another old woolshed, but I don’t think much wool has been clipped here for a long time, this was at a locality (not a town to be seen) called Morgiana, in SW Victoria.

2018 Narrawong (5)

This was an old settlers shack in Narrawong, Victoria, just down the hill from my parents old place.

2016 Melbourne Exhibition Building (2)

The Exhibition Building, in Melbourne. I believe it is UNESCO listed.

2015 Melbourne (12)

Another Melbourne landmark, Flinders Street Station, with a modern Tram in front. I love the juxtaposition of this shot, modern and old, with a touch of AC/DC !!!

2012 Melbourne

Another building shot in Melbourne, I loved the difference in the old and new architecture. So much more style in the old, the other is just a boring box.

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This little boathouse is in a Memorial gardens in the Dandenong Ranges, east of Melbourne.

2015 Werribee South (2)

A wooden breakwater at the mouth of the Werribee River at South Werribee.

2019 Paronella Park (3)

And finally, a recent one at Parronella Park.

I hope you enjoyed these shots, I will get some more up in another theme when I am in the mood.

Andy.

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Chillagoe, a bit of catching up

I hadn’t realised that I had been so tardy in getting these up.

We went on a big outing a few weeks back to Chillagoe, which is west of Cairns, about a 3 hour drive. It is an old mining town, mainly tin, but other metal ores were also mined around the place as well. It is also one of Australia’s biggest sources of marble.

Below, a few photos of the day………

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This is the site of the old abandoned smelter. Back in the 1990’s, when I first went to Chillagoe, you could walk right around those old structures, nowadays, it is all fenced off, with quite a well designed viewing area, and signage telling you all about the place.

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This is one of the 3 Chimney’s at the site, this was apparently the main on.

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This is a different perspective of the site, showing all three chimney’s the one in the centre was for the powerhouse.

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Even in the wasteland around the site, these beautiful flowers were trying to make a go of it.

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This was where the ore was crushed in the first stage of processing.

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A closer up shot of the powerhouse chimney, which was a different design to the others, it had flat sides, whereas the other two were round to the top.

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After touring the old smelter site, we headed a further 30 km northwest, on the hunt for fossils. Apart from a small piece of petrified wood, we only ended up with a few nice pieces of jasper. This is the Walsh River, beautiful cool and flowing water, and it is so remote out there, it was just serene.

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Another shot of the Walsh River from the road crossing.

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Red termite mounds and Brahman Cattle, you certainly know you are in Northern Australia when you have that view.

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It takes a fair bit of gravel road driving to get out to Chillagoe and beyond, and there are these amazing limestone tors all around Chillagoe. The dirt and dust, and the occasional 3 trailer Road Train is worth the effort.

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One of the truly massive limestone caves that dot the area. In the 1990’s we went into one called the Donna Cave, with all those stalagmites and tites, and they are amazingly beautiful, it’s amazing what happens when you just add water to limestone, and wait a few thousand years !!!

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The limestone ranges, with those red termite mounds that are synonymous with Northern Australia. I’ll leave you with the below closer shot of the scene above. This trip made me realise just how much I love the Savannah Grasslands and Woodlands across northern Australia.

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Andy.

A trip to Tully and back

Monday, the last day of school holidays, saw Mum, Jack and myself get in the car and go out for the day. We took off at around 9am, and got back nearly 8 hours later.

We had an absolutely awesome run to Tull, about 1.5 hours south. Tully is known for having the highest annual rainfall on record in Australia, 7.9 metres of rain (7900mm, or about 311 inches). So, I guess the next thing is, what is there?  Well, here’s a few things.

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This is the Golden Gumboot, complete with it’s Giant Green Tree Frog,  a major draw card for Tully. It is also a lookout, where you can get a good view of the Tully Sugar Mill. Below is the plaque in front of it.

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Then, dotted around the main street are these, very decorated rubbish bins………..

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The red gumboots were Jack’s favourite, I preferred the below one…..

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So this is the view from the top of the Golden Gumboot. Tully Sugar Mill, with a diorama in the foreground. It looks like the sugar mill will probably be going full tilt soon, as the sugar cane is nearly ready, and it looks like they have got the place ready to go now.

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Here are a couple of the little Cane Train Locomotives, Tully 12, and Tully 15. The may be small, but they cart 100’s of tonnes of cane each time they go to the mill.

Tully Sugar Mill with Cane Locos

This is the close up of the diorama, the first image is hauling the cane, in the days before the Locomotives, it was all horse drawn tramways then.

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This is the cane cutters loading the carriage………..

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and finally, the farmer with his dog and horse in the cane fields.

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After we left Tully, we headed on over to Mission Beach. It is a lovely beach, where you can look over the water to Dunk Island, a popular resort. Mission Beach was hit by a pretty nasty cyclone a few years back, and it appears to be struggling to recover. It is pretty run down, when I was there 9 years ago, it was an upmarket holiday destination, now it is a bit overgrown, and needs a real bit of elbow grease. I declined to take any photo’s there, as I was a bit shocked, but below is a common road sign in this area. This is the home of the Southern Cassowary.

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Next, we headed west toward Silkwood, where we had some lunch at the Roadhouse, and then drove up the Valley behind Mission Beach and Innisfail. This takes you to Mena Creek, but before we got there, Jack and I took a dip in a swimming hole I knew about from when I lived here a decade ago. The water was just so nice.

At Mena Creek is Paronella Park. It’s recently been the location of a new Australian movie, don’t ask me the name, not quite sure, but Paronella Park was built by a love struck man, and he wanted to build a castle in the jungle. Below is the main bit you can see from the front, a pretty impressive tower. The site also includes a hydro power station, built by the chap who built the park.

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Below this very wobbly suspension bridge is Mena Creek Falls, and Jack was a bit nervy to be on it, but we just had to get the shot !!!

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After leaving Paronella Park, we drove on up to Innisfail, where we ended the day with these very colourful banana’s in pajamas. Innisfail is a huge sugar cane and banana growing area, it’s also where Jack was conceived all those years ago.

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Well, I hope you enjoyed this little bit of a travel story, it’s nice to have something nice to write about !!!

Andy.

Appalled

I started writing this days ago. Even now, I am determined to finish it, but am really still lost for words. Friday last week, an appalling piece of human detritus decided to murder 50 people in the peaceful nation of New Zealand. This complete bag of shit came from my own country, Australia. I still feel physically ill even writing that.

In the days since, I have seen an amazing political leader, well, lead, and another try and hide his complicity in this madness. Jacinda Ardern is the leader EVERY nation needs. Australia’s Prime Minister is a hypocritical dirtbag.

Why, you ask, would I say that about the Prime Minister of my own country? Well, for more than a decade he has actively demonised people who weren’t white and rich. He blames them for every ill in society, just like that other impostor that calls himself POTUS. He calls them terrorists and rapists and murderers. He claims they steal everyone’s jobs.  He claims they steal our hospital beds, cause all the congestion in our overcrowded cities, absolutely anything wrong, is due to minorities and migrants. He’s been doing this all his political career, which is a lot longer than Trump’s.

So, this week he has been insincerely saying how horrible it all was, pretending that he cares. He is a narcissist and a liar, as they all seem to be. He has no compassion for anyone or anything. Oh, did I mention he is an extremist Christian? Oh Hillsong Church………

So, here he is, in denial, that his own rhetoric has created this monster who went on to murder all these men, women and children in one of the most peaceful nations in the world, one of our neighbours.  Every time he opens his mouth it is denial and hypocrisy. Not a thing is changing here in Australia, he talks the talk, but white supremacists are running rampant, and nobody is doing a thing to stop them. They even get protected by the Police from those extreme radical lefties who might force them to eat some tofu, the most dangerous thing a lefty can do.

I am now really ashamed to be Australian. I really hope, that come May, when we have our federal election, this phoney Prime Minister is voted out, along with the vast majority of his party’s other members in parliament. Total electoral annihilation would be good. We have had this political party (the misnamed Liberal Party of Australia, who are actually right wing extremist conservatives) in power the the best part of two and a half decades, with only a small break from them from 2008 to 2013. They have ripped the country to bits, pitting neighbour against neighbour, man against woman, poor against rich, white against black, Christian against everyone else for all this time. They have acted corruptly and looted the public purse and all it’s assets. They have destroyed the country I love. This horrifying act in New Zealand is just a symptom of the disease that is right wing conservative Christian extremism which has infected Australia.

I am so, so sorry to all those who have been affected by this tragedy. Not all Australians are like this piece of shit who did this terrible thing. I hope, come our election, that we can show you that the majority of us aren’t like that, I hope my country can show ME that the majority isn’t like that.

Love and peace to all,

Andy.

Lighten up.

Although I am not much different to recent previous days, I just wanted to lighten up things, as reading what I have written in the past week or so must be full on. It’s raw and true, and really how things are. But I just wanted show you some photo’s I have taken recently.

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This was a shot from a couple of nights ago, straight out the front of our place. I took about 10 shots, this the only one that lit up from the lightning going on deep inside the storm. These storms are mammoth, those “hills” at the bottom are actually 1km tall mountains. Gives you a bit of perspective as to how high into the sky those storms go.

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This is from yesterday, beautiful and sunny, this is the Palmerston Gorge, west of Innisfail.

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This was our little haul from yesterdays outing. Tomatoes and tomato plants, Cucumelon plants, sweet potato, capsicum, avocado, Pawpaw, Pineapple and Spanish Onions.

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And just one last one, from about 2 weeks ago, the male Cassowary and his chick at Etty Bay. Not the best of shots, we pulled over and I had to shoot across the car from the drivers side. The males raise the chicks, and these birds are pretty dangerous if they get upset with you. Absolutely stunning animals though.

Cheers for now.

Andy.

Monsoon.

The monsoon has really hit us over the last week. Since last Thursday, we have had over 1000mm (3.28ft) of rain. Yep, that’s wet.

To our south, Townsville copped a hammering yesterday, which has continued today, leading to a Natural Disaster being declared. It’s local water supply, the Ross River Dam, went from near 50% capacity a few weeks ago, and is currently overflowing at 140% capacity. The highway between here and Townsville, and south of Townsville is cut due to major flooding.

The weather system, which moved quickly over us that has caused all this is now starting to march back towards us, and today, we have so far got 100mm of rain, and it’s not over yet. At one stage, we got about 40mm in about 20 minutes.

This evening we got an impressive, if only brief thunderstorm, only lasted about 15 minutes, but was nice to watch from the safety, and dry, of the verandah. I love thunderstorms, it’s my thing.

Jack has been going well at school, there is an app where the teacher makes notes during the day, and he is doing good. I can check it from home. The teacher and I can also send each other messages if need be. It’s a great idea.

Our tiler has been making good progress tiling the house, we have been in a state of disorganisation during the process, but it is starting to come together now. Our tiler only has 1 arm, but he is doing a sweet job, much better than any fully able bodied tiler. He has laid about a third of the tiles now, and grouted a huge area today, so now we have half the lounge room back to normal. He’s been laying the tiles in a way that means we can still live in the house and get around. Honestly, he has been awesome. Tomorrow is the kitchen, so take-away dinner is on the cards, seeing we won’t be able to use the kitchen again until Saturday.

Talking about Saturday, the local markets are on on Saturday, and hopefully, by the time we have had a wander around down there, we will have some farm fresh veges, and fingers crossed, some more food producing plants to plant in the garden. Tomorrow, I am thinking, even if it’s raining, that I will get out and plant some seeds for beans and peas, and do a bit around the garden. At least in this climate, working outside in the rain is enjoyable, as it isn’t freezing cold.

Anyhow, I must go now, I need sleep, I need to be up early to get Jack ready for school, and I have to move the refrigerator out of the kitchen before I drop Jack to school so it’s out of the way when the tiler arrives.

Goodnight.

Andy.

Outing to Yarrabah

Today, we went off on a pure “just drive and see where we end up” outing. Just Jack and myself. My Mum is unwell, so I figured that if we went out for a little bit, she could have some peace and quiet to rest.

After a breakfast of bacon and eggs, we headed off to Yarrabah, an Indigenous Community to the East of Cairns, on the other side of Trinity Inlet. It is a bit of a drive, I thought it was closer, but was so well worth it. The drive had us meandering through the sugarcane fields, and after the downpour we had yesterday from Tropical Cyclone Owen, a lot of the streams were flowing. This was the first time we went to Yarrabah, so didn’t know what to expect, and it was also Jack’s first time going to an Indigenous Community. There are certain things you need to observe when entering Indigenous communities, and you must have the utmost respect for the place and it’s people.

The drive took us up over the mountains, which was quite a climb up and over the range, but the whole thing was worth it. Below, is a photo overlooking the bay that fringes Yarrabah, who wouldn’t want to live in this slice of paradise ??

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We wandered on down from this amazing vantage point into the community below, and as we pulled up at the beachside, a lovely old Aboriginal lady in a wheelchair was having her morning wander around, and we had a little chat. She was an amazingly friendly and warm woman.

We then wandered onto the beach, where we discovered that 2 shipwrecks also inhabited the waters just off the beach. It was a popular photographic subject with both myself and Jack.

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Jack was trying to get the best angle.

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The western headland of the bay also was quite interesting and picturesque.

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We then decided to head back home, but took a detour before getting home to have lunch, which included a feast of Lychees we got at a roadside stall on our travels. Below, is the Western flank of Walsh’s Pyramid, with water streaming down some ephemeral waterfalls due to the heavy rain yesterday.

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We also happened across this colony of Fruit Bats, or Flying Foxes, which just so happens to be not far from our new home. I have been itching for a bit of an explore, but due to all the work we have needed to do, this has been the first proper opportunity.

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All the usual crap with fibromyalgia is happening still, and we still have tonnes more work to do, but it was nice to just kick back for a few hours, and start to explore our new home.

Andy.