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Archive for the ‘nature’ Category

The house in the early morning golden light.

The house in the early morning golden light.

Jason’s Out Back Getaway House.

Sun peeping up on the other side of house.

Sun peeping up on the other side of house.

 Out in the country, in Aussie referred to as the bush or outback, I see and experience a feeling of boiphilia, an affinity with the natural world. Some would say the outback is desolate and ugly.

The children decorate the walls with love.

The children decorate the walls with love.

 If you are not observant, hurrying, wanting to be someplace else you never notice the wonder of nature. Amazing things never experienced in the city. Different to what you can find in the lush green rain forests of the coastal areas and highlands of this vast island continent of Australia.

Feral goat on track to water hole.

Feral goat on track to water hole.

 It is an 800 km/500 miles from the city of Brisbane to the town of Cunnamulla via Toowoomba, Dalby, St George. Then another 80 km to my son’s opal lease at Koroit North West of Cunnamulla.

Geoff on the excavator this open cut mining.

Geoff on the excavator this open cut mining.

 Pauline and I meandered when we travelled these roads, taking little detours, stopping to investigate everything of interest. We only travelled between two to five hundred kilometers per day. We stayed a day or more in Toowoomba, it is famous for its flower festival, It took us several weeks to do the trip to Cunnamulla. Stopping for photos of sights along the way. For us it is always the journey not the destination.

Jason checking for geodes called 'nuts'

Jason checking for geodes called ‘nuts’

 But Pauline and I have no deadlines and obligations like Jason. We are retired and have time to explore and admire this amazing world. My son Jason was intent in getting to the opals ASAP. So it was only a few necessary fuel and toilet stops. We even ate on the move to cover ground and save time. It is in total about a 12 hr. drive as the last 80 km from Cunnamulla to Koroit is over a rough gravel road.

Michael searching hopefully.

Michael searching hopefully.

 Australia is a about the same area as USA with a much smaller population so road maintenance is governed by how often they are used. On property boundaries, instead of gates, there are narrow cattle stops, made of railway lines placed with a gap wider than a hoof. They are about a meter wide and only long enough for one vehicle. When the tires run over the rails the sudden loud rippling noise snaps everyone awake.

Cool off in the water hole.

Cool off in the water hole.

 Cattle and kangaroos randomly roaming the road created a hazard. Jason slowed down to a safer speed. One unlucky kangaroo could not be avoid, if Jason had swerved any harder, towing a trail loaded with two off road motorbikes, he would have lost control.

Dry mud paten.

Dry mud pattern

 

 My seat adjusted like a comfortable airline seat. If I had actually been on a plane the bumps would have been unnerving, like flying through a turbulent storm. In the van the bumps only disturbed a sound sleep.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

 As it was my son Jason, grandsons Geoff, Michael and myself thought the trip went well and it was a wonderful time together. Times shared in remote places out of the usual familiar surroundings make a family bond. The boys played their guitars under the stars. The stars twinkle like a billion diamonds with no competition from city lights, smog or damp sea air.

Jason and Michel examin broken discarded geodes.

Jason and Michel examine broken discarded geodes.

 It is a hard, tortured land of extremes, long spells of hot and dry with fine red dust that penetrates the smallest crevices. Then the tropical rains bucket down and the roads are a red clay bog. This is out back Aussie beyond the black stump. My photos and words will not convey how this place is, or felt to me. But in keeping with my by-line in the header ‘Try even if you fail but never fail to try.’

On opal but I still think they are beautiful.

No opal but I still think they are beautiful.

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A nice way to great the day.

A nice way to greet the day.

Wish You Were Here in Tauranga.

Through the rose garden seats views the sunrise over the harbour..

Through the rose garden to the seats with views of the sunrise over the harbour..

 Up early to catch the sun rise and instead of a dog I will take my camera. Today we are driving back to Laurence’s farm at Waiuku from Jackie’s place at Tauranga. It will be a laid back, lazy car day so a morning walk will do me good.

They are planning an unsuccessful escape.

They are planning an unsuccessful escape.

 The photography this morning was not spectacular but there are always surprises when in unfamiliar territory. There were people doing their boot camp fitness. They needed two coaches to motivate them. It reminded me of a scene from the movie “Cool Hand Luke”, where Paul Newman is working in a chain gang with a guard standing over them.  I could not take any more photos because of the flat camera battery.  I was getting hungry, so returned to find the others were still in bed asleep. I was locked out they could not hear the doorbell. They say problems come in threes. So at the risk of some good neighbour ringing the police I climb over the wall and knock on Pauline’s window. No police, so it looks like I may have a slight delay before the next inevitable mishap.

Pauline, Jackie and Greg with Ringo.

Pauline, Jackie and Greg with Ringo.

 Greg made scrambled eggs and tomatoes, a pleasant change from our usual fruit muesli and yogurt. It was delicious Kai, that’s the Maori word for food, the Aussie word is tucker. If you want interesting history, geography and educational information hit on Pauline’s blog. You will not find much in mine.

These tourists asked the right bloke to take their photo.

These tourists asked the right bloke to take their photo.

 Pauline decided to take an alternative route back. That took us via Matamata where the movie “Lord of the Rings” was made. We had previously visited the film site see it here. This time the town was our main focus. It was really pleasant, both people and the unique way they presented and displayed what they had to offer.

The box like table is made from an old wood press.

The box like table is made from an old wool press.

Shops in N.Z. are a work of art and the quality of N.Z. products, both factory and hand crafted, are quality. We had morning tea, actually cappuccino, with a date scone and a muffin. As usual we ate Chinese style that is we shared our cakes. That is our way of not over eating but sampling more of the tasty treats.

I liked this display, done by the shop owners daughter.

I liked this display, done by the shop owners daughter.

 We called in to see Linda, the naturopath that gave me good advice and fixed some of my injuries. Linda was not in, well that is good if you believe things happen in threes. So we stop along the driveway to take photos of the old farm workers cottage.

Our trysting place back in March 1982.

Our trysting place back in March 1982.

 The neighbouring farmer came over to check us out and told us Linda was in America on a business trip.

The neighbourhood watch is active out here.

The neighbourhood watch is active out here.

 Pauline chatted with the farmer about the changes on the farm since she was there, in the late 1970’s. That was when Gran and Pa ran the farm with Pauline helping out in exchange for accommodation in the farm cottage.  Pauline was working in shopping centres all around Auckland photographing babies for Milestone. A car and trailer went with the job and with no rent to pay she was saving up to do an overseas trip. Now her children had left home Laurence working and Jackie at university.

Can you guess why it was not a fast trip?

Can you guess why it was not a fast trip?

 Then I got into the act, that was 33 years ago. I had a house in Hamilton and was working on Muldoon’s think big scheme. Rightly or wrongly Muldoon as Prime Minister developed N.Z. Industry, but put the country in debt doing it.

Flowers on the farm driveway. will Pauline post this photo.

Flowers on the farm driveway. will Pauline post the photo she is taking.

 Those were the days. I got to know that road between Hamilton and the farm pretty well. Pauline showed me some beautiful things about farm life. It was amazing seeing cows breathing out steam in the crisp early morning light. It is no wonder she said she could never live in the city.

Sharing up our lunch.

Sharing up our lunch.

 It is still beautiful out on the farm, especially this time of year with all the dandelions, buttercups and farm feral flowers flourishing.

The charming waitress hat a lovely Ukrainian accent.

The charming waitress had a lovely Ukrainian accent.

 The road to Hamilton is still the same, all farm land. We turn off to go to Waiuku, stopping for another tasty treat at the Tree Garden Cafe and of course our camera, clicking like crazy to share our good times with you.

the pond adjacent to Laurance's farm.

The pond adjacent to Laurance’s farm.

 Pauline shares better than me so to see more, give her a hit, oops give this link a hit.

Milk thistle or Puhar to the Maori.

Milk thistle or Puhar to the Maori.

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Morning sunlight.

Morning sunlight.

Aotearoa.

Morning milking time.

Morning milking time.

 The spellcheck hasn’t heard of the Maori name for New Zealand. Actually it is the pakia name, Land of the Long White Cloud said in Maori. The spellcheck has put a red line under pakia too, it knows white man, Caucasian, honkie and gringo but it needs to learn Maori.

Pauline the fastest camera slinger in the west,

Pauline the fastest camera slinger in the west,

 Anyway Pauline and I are back in NZ that is why I have not been keeping in touch with the blogging family. We are catching up with our Kiwi family. I am having a jam packed, joyous time in the most wonderful little country in the world, Australia is the most wonderful big country.

Pauline shoots a couple of desperados.

Pauline shoots a couple of desperados.

 Pauline’s son needed us to mind the cat while he went on his honeymoon and I wanted to be on the right side of the Tasman Sea for the final of the world rugby cup, the Wallabies and The All Blacks. The Kiwis love their sport and are mad about the All Blacks.

A photographers paradise.

A photographers paradise.

 An advertising ploy was to put out a black milk bottle and a black Weetabix box featuring photos of The All Blacks team. No wonder they won with that kind of home support.

Interesting shapes on the Kaimais at Piroa on our way to Tauranga.

Interesting shapes on the Kaimais at Paeroa on our way to Tauranga.

We always get VIP treatment from our Kiwi family, so we are winners also. Laurence’s farm is better than a luxury holiday retreat. This weekend we are at Jackie and Greg’s place at Tauranga and the adjacent Mt Maunganui.

This tests me every time I visit, I think I am improving.

This tests me every time I visit, I think I am improving.

 Walking the Mount has become a traditional challenge for me. I love that walk it is a most spectacular scenic experience.

We have taken heaps of photos, done some drawing and it is one long sightseeing adventure. I have found a gym in Waiuku. I need their cross trainer to get my endorphin flowing, as my knees can’t hack the impact of running.

Another wonderful day.

Another wonderful day.

 The sun is shining and I have lots of good things to do before my holiday is over. See you later.

Check Pauline’s blog for the wedding and more on our Kiwi travels.

Pauline gets a few more tips on art from the locals.

Pauline gets a few more tips on art from the locals.

 

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It is just the way the cads fall.

It is just the way the cards fall.

Note you may like to look at Pauline’s post first as the photos relate to it.

The master plan.

I am the one made them fall this way.

I am the one made them fall this way.

The wisdom of the sages

passed down through the ages.

Still we do not know,

Love is the way to go.

It is not too bad at all.

It is not too bad at all.

Man could not explain,

the sunshine and the rain.

Only Gods could know,

so they were made to show.

These photos are not related to this post.

These photos are not related to this post.

The perplexing mystery of all creation,

was solved by gods from every nation.

Then the arguments began,

who had the correct plan.

Ironic my previous post was 'Enjoy Your Trip.

Ironic my previous post was ‘Enjoy Your Trip.

To keep control it would seem,

One God must be made supreme.

His foot prints in the sands of time,

Can appear to this day as sublime.

I put a photo in it titled ' We Do not know what pain is.'

I put a photo in it titled ‘ We Do not know what pain is.’

Mother Nature still exists,

though patriarchal Gods persist.

The puzzle still remains today,

Can science now show the way?

It is true I was given Penthrox Inhaler and later Brufin pill and water.

It is true I was given Penthrox Inhaler and later Brufin pills and water.

Or will technology be used to fight,

to see who’s God is in the right.

All the good we have today

Could be just blown away.

I am now ok the pain has gone away.

I am now ok the pain has gone away.

Appreciation, love and trust,

in today’s world it is a must.

Ignorance, greed, fear and hate,

Mother Nature will not tolerate.

Pauline told you of my strife, now sparkle is back in my life.

Pauline told you of my strife, now the sparkle is back in my life.

Mother Nature is eternally sublime.

Man is mortal and will pass on in time.

A grain of sand or the starry sky,

it will not matter as time passes by.

I reminded her to record drama, as it was related to my Dharma.

I reminded her to record the drama, as it was related to my Dharma.

All the blood sweat and tears,

all our stupid arguments and fears.

Why waste our time on pie in the sky?

When it is only a few years before we die.

I am back at the Gym, trying to keep in trim.

I am back at the Gym, trying to keep in trim.

Do not cry, we never die, we only change.

Atoms never destruct they only rearrange.

We may turn into dust mites floating on the morning breeze,

or into song birds singing in the tall green trees.

Jack and Tim at the Gym.

Jack and Tim at the Gym.

Let us prepare here today,

to live our life in a better way.

Caring and sharing in peace and calm.

Wake up! these words are your clock alarm.

Jason and me and eye Candy.

Jason and me and eye Candy.

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Mt Warning across the Tweed River from Tumbulgum.

Mt Warning across the Tweed River from Tumbulgum.

A Tranquil Trip.

Another view of Mt Warning from Tumbulgum.

Another view of Mt Warning from Tumbulgum.

For our friend June’s birthday we decided to take her and her husband for a scenic drive and lunch. That is what we did for Rex’s birthday and we all enjoyed that. Pauline did the organising, we are fortunate having Pauline and living in the midst of a scenic wonderland.

A tree on the green strip between the river and the road at Tumbulgum.

A tree on the green strip between the river and the road at Tumbulgum.

It was a perfect day but that’s what they say about this area one day sunny the next day perfect. We headed south across the border turning off the highway to drive beside the Tweed River to our first stop at Tumbulgum.

Looking from the river the Tumbulgum Tavern.

Looking from the river the Tumbulgum Tavern.

The Tumbulgum Tavern was established in 1887 it was the regions first unlicensed grog shop providing for the Red Cedar timber cutters. It is now licensed, still serving up refreshments but to far different type of person.

Photo displayed in Murwillbah regional museum.

Photo displayed in Murwillumbah regional museum.

This is not to be missed.

This is not to be missed.

Passing the fields of sugar cane and the processing plant is a beautiful drive. The steam billowing from the chimney of the plant in puffy, white, swirling clouds against the clear blue sky is a fascinating sight. We parked at Murwillumbah Visitors Information Centre, this is one of the best Information Centres in Australia and they are all good. On our trip around Australia the first thing we would look for was the big blue ‘i’ leading to the local Visitors Information.

From the Information car park, note steam from sugar processing plant.

From the Information car park, note steam from sugar processing plant.

My photos only give you an idea of how good the Murwillumbah visitor’s information centre is.

There is a 360 view from Mt warning covering the 4 walls of one room.

There is a 360 view from Mt warning covering the 4 walls of one room.

What makes it special is the Caldera Art Gallery. You may not be able to visit but I urge you to click this link.

http://calderaart.org.au/gallery.html

We were fortunate in having the resident artist to show us around. He was a busy man but I got him to pose with his latest painting.

Then we had a leisurely browse around. Watching the videos and soaking up information on the area, it is really a wonder-land.

The Hippies icon and we are not far from Nimbin.

The Hippies icon and we are not far from Nimbin.

https://jacksjottings.wordpress.com/2013/04/25/nimbin-no-alcohol-needed/

We enquire about places to have lunch.

Information with a smile.

Information with a smile.

If one had more time a hike to lunch at the Rainforest Cafe in Mt Warning National Park would have been enjoyable.

Walkers working up an appetite at the entrance to café.

Walkers working up an appetite at the entrance to café.

The cafe is in 6 hectares of rustic gardens where you can sit at secluded tables by a calming stream. That makes waiting for your meal a pleasure if I did not have friends for company I could quietly meditate here.

The fruit is about half ready.

The fruit is about half ready.

We each chose different meals and savoured the delicious taste and enjoyed the whole experience. The authors of the book ‘The Happiness Hypotheses,’  did a survey and found that having a meal with friends is one of the most enjoyable things we can do. With this exquisite food in natures tropical garden we feel the ‘Force’ is with us or perhaps we are blessed.

One can dine by the stream.

One can dine by the stream.

I thought we will have to bring our next visitors out to this cafe there is so much to enjoy around what is referred to as the scenic rim. Link to the café,

http://www.tripadvisor.com.au/Restaurant_Review-g1162426-d3618615-Reviews-Rainforest_Cafe_Mount_Warning_National_Park-Uki_New_South_Wales.html

Ordering lunch to be served in the garden.

Ordering lunch to be served in the garden.

It was all formed by volcanic action 23 million years ago. The bubbling lava formed geodes that can still be found in the streams. These gem stones are known as Thunder eggs and can be cut with a Diamond saw and polished.

Thunder eggs on display at Murwillumbah museum.

Thunder eggs on display at Murwillumbah museum.

Back to sightseeing, we visited the Tweed Regional Museum back in Murwillumbah. I found some interesting things about the past history of local people.

drive Rex n June Info office 091_3135x2772

This was not much recognition for the original owners.

This was not much recognition for the original owners.

Insightful of how life was for those pioneers and the indigenous people.

We do not know what pain is.

We do not know what pain is.

We enjoyed walking once more in Murwillumbah as it is one of those towns that has not been swallowed up by the modern trend. It is a reminder of our childhood and youthful days. And appropriate for our generation to have a birthday outing.

Lovely old house and magnificent tree.

Lovely old house and magnificent tree.

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Weight for it or wait for it.

Weight for it or wait for it.

We Are One.

Is beauty only skin deep.

Is beauty only skin deep?

Taking the time to look after our own health and welfare rather than leaving it up to doctors and drug companies.

Number one or number 5 keep smiling.

Number one or number 5 keep smiling.

Our first concern should be for our own welfare.

He has a date with Mother Nature.

He has a date with Mother Nature.

This is not a selfish attitude because a healthy person can help others instead of being a sickly burden on the community.

Knees up and this is not mother Brown.

Knees up and this is not mother Brown.

It takes effort and willpower to maintain a healthy body and wholesome outlook. Restraint is needed on the amount of food and what we drink. Balancing, exercise activity against the intake of calories consumed. Learning what is beneficial for us and how to cope with the stress of modern life.

Or father Time.

Or father Time.

People respond positively to a smile. When we are in pain or suffering in any way it is not easy to smile and a stressed look is often interpreted as unfriendliness. So it is very important not to look dejected but smile and not complain. Do not burden other people with your problems.

It is Jack kicking up his heels.

It is Jack kicking up his heels.

An unsmiling face is not always a sign that a person is unfriendly. People in unfamiliar surroundings, amongst strangers, can feel pressures the locals are unaware of. They need a friendly smile and a kind word of reassurance. Vary rarely will this bring a negative response.

Some think I am unbalanced.

Some think I am unbalanced.

To travel in foreign lands makes one realise simple things like shopping for groceries can be stressful. It is easy to get lost or commit a faux pas in a foreign land. So a traveller is cautious and can look unfriendly.

Keeping in balance is important to prevent falls.

Keeping in balance is important to prevent falls.

A smile can transform an old wrinkly face into a charming beautiful one. A smile makes the whole interconnected world sparkle. We realise we are one in the cosmic creation and all the silly differences vanish.

Especially for old push bikies.

Especially for old push bikers.

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Jonny Cash walking the line.

Johnny Cash walking the line.

Get On The Right Path.

Don't be tempted off it.

Don’t be tempted off it.

The irony of my cryptic writing is, if you understand it you have no need to read it. Many will not understand, they have lost the Way. They have lost the balance, they do not understand the true nature of things. They look for happiness in impermanent things. They have cleared the trees to see the light. Had the carpenter been a gardener things may have
been different. We now realise we are not the centre of the universe.

This Buddha and the amulets helped me write this post.

This Buddha and the amulets helped me write this post.

We still do not understand the Way, the Way is beyond our understanding. It is the force that keeps the whole cosmos in equilibrium. When the opposing forces are in balance we find a state of perfect bliss.

The tranquil unspoilt quiet.

The tranquil unspoilt quiet.

There is another way, it is the path called the middle way. The path of understanding, walking this path we find peace, contentment and true understanding. Peace can never be found with violence. Peace is understanding, it is the turbulence that creates the muddy undrinkable water.

There is salt in this water but the water is wonderful.

There is salt in this water but the water is wonderful.

Still  the mind to find the clear crystal water.  Thirst for nothing else, to want for nothing is to have it all.

The wild steeds, wild water.

The wild steeds, wild water.

Remain calm under pressure allow the angry mud to settle. Anger is mud polluting the pure water, rise above it as the  lotus flower opening to the sunshine.

Unblemished by the mud to the light.

Unblemished by the mud to the light.

To become unbalanced by the anger in another being is to blame the sufferer for the dis-ease they are suffering from. Do not become infected by the disease yourself and spread the pain and suffering. Do not mistake the pure water for the mud spoiling it. Do not blame the person for what ales them. There are no bad people only the unbalanced, the  ignorant and infected. The only cure to their problem is understanding what they are suffering from.

More reminders of balance in music and life.

More reminders of balance in music and life.

Suffering could be caused by dehydration, lack of water, a necessary need, or fear could be causing their foolish actions. The coward dies a 1000 deaths the hero dies but once. With help and compassion we can ease their pain and calm their fear. Those that suffer the pain of greed and aversion, chasing their desires and running from their dislikes, they are never at rest. We must try to understand their pain and treated them accordingly. The greedy are suffering a dis-ease that can never be killed by force. They will struggle in the dense jungle with the wild beasts of envy, hatred, ignorance and anger. Till they find their way back on a righteous path or suffer their obesity and choke on their greedy hoard.

No longer Jungle, it is rain forest.

No longer Jungle, it is rain forest.

We cannot help them by slashing our way into their violent jungle of venomous, vile, vengeful beasts. We must walk the path step-by-step, each step bringing us closer to perfection.
Walk in comfortable shoes with souls of love, kindness and compassion.
Understanding is a giant stride, with knowledge  skip  along the path. Ever mindful of hazards on our joyous Way. It is inevitable in our exuberance we will stumble off our righteous path. When this happens it is not a sin, it is a lesson we can learn from. It is like when distracted in meditation – calm down and return to your focus.

I know the path he is focused on.

I know the path he is focused on.

All is good on the right path, critics tell us our faults so we can correct them. Adversity and accidents are our teachers.
Even the bad times are good with the right attitude and understanding.

Be mindful of very step.

Be mindful of very step.

You can be given a map showing the path to perfection. But to know and not to do is still not to know. No one can carry you all the way, you have to make the effort. Knowing the steps and not dancing is to waste the music. Life is a song to be sung. Love life and appreciate all the gifts and you will be appreciated and life will be reciprocal.

Your views will be enhanced.

Your views will be enhanced.

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