Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Upside Down

I'll be eligible to apply for Australian citizenship in thirty-five days.  I have been tirelessly counting days and nights for the past fifty-five days and it has made me excited to get up every morning knowing that I have survived the challenges of the previous day and currently given another opportunity to continue my countdown and accomplish all the tasks ahead to get closer to my goal.  Mornings have been getting cooler and cooler since the onset of autumn three weeks ago, and the sun rises usually after seven but the low temperature and darkness haven't stopped me to start performing my daily farm routine at 5:40 AM.       

While I was checking the sheds at sunrise this morning, I've noticed a stunning reflection on the poorly drained area between our new chicken sheds.  So I took my camera and captured the view.

The reflection of the grain silos and the morning sky at Port Wakefield, South Australia.  March 29, 2011.

Early bird catches 'special worms', indeed! 


Friday, March 25, 2011

Dusk and Dawn

After spending an hour inside the wellness cubicle in Elizabeth Mall, I drove through the Main North Road and took the Gawler-Mallala-Balaklava Roads to get to Port Wakefield—where I live.  Before finally heading home, I wanted to catch up with some friends who were having a dinner party in Balaklava this evening, so I was driving at the max speed of 110 km/hr.  Susan Boyle’s Album was actually playing, and the lyrics of her version of I Dreamed a Dream and You’ll See were reminding me of my own ambitions, as well as my current heartaches. 

Suddenly, on the left side of the road, I saw the setting sun over the vast rolling plains, with its rays penetrating through the thick clouds!  I pulled out, grabbed my Nex-5 and took a series of photographs...

Sunset; Gawler-Mallala Road, South Australia. March 25, 2011.
Sunset is the time to relax, and dream.  It is the time to savour our accomplishments and achievements for the day; and if there are failures and frustrations, the dusk has the power to end it all.  As darkness falls, there’s always a promise of a brand new day- the sunrise... a new beginning so we can get up and continue our journey... an opportunity to work hard and achieve our ultimate goal in this life.   


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Greener Pasture

Lower Light and Wakefield Regional Council, Port Wakefield Road, South Australia

It was a cool, gloomy, early autumn afternoon...  I was driving from the city and was traversing the boundary of Lower Light and Wakefield Regional Council when I spotted this herd of beef cattle taking a good rest under the eucalyptus trees just beside the hill. They didn’t seem to care about the hustle and bustle of the road, though they’ve actually managed to stand as I moved closer to frame my shot.  A few weeks ago the pasture was awfully brown and dry, and after a few soaking showers in the past days it has apparently turned into a thin carpet of a literally green pasture.   Last summer, when there was no greener pasture, even on the other side of the fence—these animals were left grazing in the auburn plain, and hand fed with hay and concentrated grain. 

Take it easy.  Stay, and be patient.  And save not only for the rainy days, but also for the sunny days. 


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Cygnus atratus

The three black swans on the bridge in Northbridge, near Perth Railway Station.
I was once seriously wondering why Perth or Western Australia, as a whole, is so fond of swans!  The huge and beautiful river in the capital of W.A. is called Swan River, and the bell tower by the river that houses the 18 Swan Bells is called the Swan Bell Tower!  And around the city are dozens or hundreds of swan figurines, sculptures and sketches- most are black and some are white.

The white swans in Freo!

It was the tour guide/bus driver who became the victim of my curiosity.  While we were travelling to the Pinnacle Desert, I asked him why...?

Simon, our friendly guide and my personal photographer, answered, "When the Europeans first came to this place, they were surprised to discover a great flock of black swans everywhere!  For them it was so amazing because in Europe they've only seen silver swans."

Today, black swans (Cygnus atratus) are still endemic in the area, especially in the southeast and southwest regions of Australia though there are reports saying that these large waterbirds are in danger of extinction.  Unfortunately, I haven't taken a photo of a black swan in W.A..  That's one of the good reasons for me to travel back to Perth someday.

A black swan in Adelaide's River Torrens, South Australia


Saturday, March 19, 2011

Three in One

This photo was not taken from India.  No, it's not in Italy!  It's captured from Subiaco- a sub-urb of Perth, Western Australia.

Today, Subiaco (or Subi for the locals) is famous for the Subiaco Oval- a football stadium in the capital city of Western Australia.  Just a few steps from the Subiaco train station (where this image was taken) there are various shops and a market which are popular destinations for both the locals and the tourists.

The Noongar Idigenous people once occupied the area until the Italian Benedictine monks arrived in 1851.  The said religious order named the place after Subiaco, in the Province of Rome in Lazio, Italy. 

source: Wikipedia

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

'Between the Flags'

Officially, it's early autumn down under, and before the wintry breeze starts puffing across the southern hemisphere I would like to share some photos I’ve taken during the final week of Australian summer.  

I’ve never been to any of the South Australian beaches last summer, but I was so lucky to visit one of the most famous beaches in Western Australia: Cottesloe Beach- the Bondi of the West!  

Behind the blue umbrella...

The missing ball.

Cottesloe rescuers. 

I visited Cottesloe after exploring the port city of Fremantle, W.A. last February 27, 2011.  I really enjoyed my 2-hour stay in Cottesloe Beach; ahh... I wanted to go back there again. 

...before heading back to the train station to catch the next trip to Perth, I noticed these young swimmers walking along the shores.

Blue and red...

Just a friendly reminder: swim between the red and yellow flags! 


Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Pink Lake

While I was driving from the city this afternoon, I witnessed this very interesting phenomenon... 

The salt crystallization pan at Dry Creek, South Australia.

Located 12 kilometres northwest of Adelaide, alongside Salisbury Highway and Port Wakefield Road is a 4000-hectare salt crystallization pan that has been part of South Australia’s salt-mining industry since 1940.  But aside from its importance in dye manufacturing, food, leather-tanning and paper industries, salt lakes, like this, were once a mystery!  A body of water would usually reflect the blue sky but salt lakes would sometimes boast of its pink dye. 

The warm and dry weather last week followed by the cool and wet conditions in South Australia this week have possibly aided in achieving the suitable salinity, temperature and light to prompt the algae in accumulating the red pigments of the bacteria growing at the crusty bottom of the lake.       

The same phenomenon occurs in the famous Pink Lake in Goldfields-Esperance region, Western Australia. 

The lake boasting its pink dye!  Dry Creek, South Australia.


Sunday, March 6, 2011


Comfortably standing on top of the hill in Victoria Square- East Perth, Perth, Western Australia is the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  From the original Norman Gothic style in the 1865-1930 construction, it was redesigned into an Academic Gothic style in the second phase of construction in 1930-1999; and the current Perpendicular Gothic edifice has been completed during the third phase of the construction which started in 1999, up to the present.  The Benedictine Brothers founded the cathedral in 1863.  

The first spire of St. Mary's Cathedral, Perth, Western Australia.  The second spire which was added during the third phase of the construction is, interestingly, not identical to the first one!  Have you noticed it on the first photograph?

Each of us was specially designed and created; even identical twins have so many differences.  Just like the two spires of this cathedral, we can also stand straight and humbly show the world of our own uniqueness!

The side-altar of St. Mary's Cathedral.  Photo taken February 27, 2011 after the 8am mass.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Simply Australia

Australia is not just about kangaroos and beautiful seascapes...  there are, actually, heaps of picturesque sceneries aside from the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge.  The giant red monolith, and the red soil of Australia's Red Centre and the Flinders Ranges are among the common photographic locations which highlight the mostly hot and dry climate of this continent.

But Australia is so diverse that it takes, entirely, a year (after the complete run of the four seasons in the temperate, grassland and subtropical regions) to experience and appreciate the changing colours of its landscape especially in the agricultural areas where various crops are grown.

The railway bridge, believed to be the highest in South Australia, built over the River Light in Hamley Bridge, S.A..  Photo taken in late winter 2010.

Growing peas on the foreground, blossoming canola field and the three gum trees on the middleground plus nature's cumulonimbus clouds on the background-  simple yet beautiful!  (...along Everard Central-Templers Road, Hamley Bridge, South Australia.)


Friday, March 4, 2011

Then, now and henceforth...

The tower clock of Perth City Town Hall.  An example of a Victorian Free Gothic architecture, the building was opened in 1870 and is the only convict-built capital city town hall in Australia.  Corners Hay and Barrack streets, Perth, Western Australia. 

Learning is a continuous process, and as we learn from our day to day experiences there's always a challenge to improve ourselves and our lives.  Contentment and satisfaction, for me, are words that exist in the dictionary but not in real life; but don't think this as a negative thing because seeking for advancement and growing to become a better person is always a positive thing.  As we progress, however, we should also be committed to nurture all the beautiful things that we already have.


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Bus Stop

After I accidentally dropped and broke my polarizing filter at the Kings Park view deck, I decided to leave and go back to the backpackers resort in Beaufort St..  While waiting for bus number 37, I took this photo:

King's Park and Botanical Garden Bus Stop.  Perth, Western Australia