Blackbutt Reserve…

Before you go getting any ideas, blackbutt is an Australian tree in the eucalyptus family. The Blackbutt Reserve, in Newcastle, is more than a park and not really a zoo. It’s a reserve providing a home to many Australian animals. And trees :-).

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This duck was the first critter I noticed. Does it look to you like he’s trying not to own that pile next to him?

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The high point was seeing the wombats (Catherine’s favorite animal) being fed. They are nocturnal but the reserve feeds them in the morning so that people can see them before they go to bed. This is Sally, 3 years old.

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And this is Clyde, who is 15. They live in different enclosures, side by side, because they are solitary animals. It appears to work for them very well.

 

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The koalas were sleeping. Very soundly.

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The kangaroos seemed thoughtful, as if they were plotting an escape.

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My favorites were the very pretty male Gouldian finches. The females were nice, but not as showy. And none posed for me.

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This fine fellow posed and posed.

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The rain started as we left. Excellent timing!

River boat cruising…

Catherine and I went on a day cruise up the Hunter River today, from Newcastle to Morpeth.

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There were just enough clouds to make the sky interesting, all day long.

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The scenery along the way was lovely.

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We mostly had the river to ourselves, except for the occasional fishermen.

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I did figure out that the concrete ‘pencils’ I saw a couple of days ago were probably posts :-).

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Farms and ranches lined the way.

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Morpeth is a scenic small village where were spent 2 hours shopping (of course) and having lunch.

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Then it was back to the boat for the return trip!

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Really relaxing is not something I do much of. This was a day of enforced relaxation… no work, no sewing, no internet. Amazing!

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Another wonderful day down under!

It’s the little things…

Australia feels both very familiar, and different. Happily, I speak the language, but there are differences between Texas English and Australian English. Here, I’m the one speaking with an accent. There’s a look tossed my way when I speak which isn’t bad, it’s just odd. It’s good to be reminded of what it’s like to be different.

On our walks about town, I’ve noticed the house numbers. I don’t know the exact fonts. Some have serifs, others do not. But across the board, the numbers are clean and clear and big enough to be visible from the street. It feels like a cohesive system.

There is a lot of street art, both colorful and subtle. I want to go home and paint the side of my house. When? I don’t know…

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And then there are the cute light switches.

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Like I said, it’s the little things!

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We walked (and walked) along the shore…

I don’t wear a Fitbit or Apple watch anymore, and data is turned off on my phone, so I have no idea how far we walked this morning, but I suspect it was 5-6 miles. Maybe it’s the sea air, but at 4 in the afternoon, I am tired!

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My photo challenge this week is sky/clouds, so I pointed my camera up a lot.

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There were a couple of these huge3 ‘pencils’ tossed about on the rocks. It is concrete and many feet long, and it is tall enough that it could serve as a bench. Catherine had no idea what they were for or where they had come from.

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We stopped for a leisurely coffee on the way home. I’m not sure when I have relaxed so much on a vacation!

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We shopped this afternoon and I bought a skirt. Simple design, made locally. Yes, I could sew it but, no, I don’t want to. It was so much nicer to know that I am supporting an Australian sewer and that I look forward to wearing that skirt for a very long time!

 

The Cathedral in Newcastle…

We visited Christ Church Cathedral this morning.

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It’s a beautiful, old Anglican Cathedral that occupies a high point of the city of Newcastle and it was open this morning.

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I was surprised to find a church filled with needlework! The banners are collage quilts!

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As was the altar piece.

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These quilts fit the space so very well. It’s impressive! But wait… there’s more!

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There are needle pointed kneeling cushions in every pew! There may be repeating designs, but I didn’t see any.

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These lovely fiber quilts and cushions, made by hand, make this space feel warmer, more comforting. I am impressed.

Seen in Newcastle, NSW…

Catherine and I were out and about today…

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There is so much to see in Newcastle! I don’t know who added the scarf to the statue, but it was a very nice touch.

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It’s fun to see fall leaves again…

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…and the shadows of bare branches against the walls.

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We saw some wonderful street art…

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I have never thought of a bullet hole in glass as being anything other than scary, but this one, patched with clear tape, caught my eye. I like the look of it, even though no one wants to see more of these, anywhere.

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Reflections in the water… ever changing, always engaging. It’s hard to stop watching!

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