Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Featuring the Union Jack, the Commonwealth Star, and the Southern Cross constellation. 

Last September 15, 2011, I posted this on my Twitter timeline: 
In Adelaide City... drove a friend- Marie to the Immigration; she'll take the citizenship test today. Good luck to her.  

Well, she passed.  This afternoon, Marie took her Australian citizenship pledge at Port Wakefield Council Office in Balaklava.  A dinner party immediately followed at our friend's place at Salter's Spring Road.  There were plenty of food, and the drinks were overflowing!  Everybody was happy.  

I baked a cake for the new Australian.  She was surprised and very happy when she saw it.  Marie loved it; she was very grateful!
Aussie, Aussie, Aussie!  Oi, oi, oi! 

This was my first attempt to draw or paint (or whatever we call it) an Australian flag, and I'd say it was successful.  No doubt, this cake was the centrepiece of the celebration.


Monday, November 21, 2011


The piping shrike at dusk.  Port Wakefield, South Australia.

This photograph had existed in my imaginations for eleven months before it finally happened.  Every time I went for a drive during sunsets I had been taking my camera with me hoping that I could get a photograph of a perching bird silhouetting against the final glow of the day... but I had always failed because every time I pulled over the road, the bird would fly before I could take a snap.
But yesterday, after returning the tables and chairs that we used in a party back to the owner, I was so lucky to encounter this friendly bird perching on a shrub at Port Wakefield's bushland.  

The piping shrike, often mistaken as a magpie, is a very important bird in South Australia.  It is featured on the state's flag, badge and Coat of Arms

This picture reminds me of my Veterinary Anatomy lesson.  The perching muscle of birds is called ambiens"...a thigh muscle of certain birds having the tendon passing over the knee and connecting with the tendon of a muscle that bends the toes so that the body weight on perching causes the knee to bend and the feet to clasp the perch on which the bird sit."  - 


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

'Double' Celebration

The ladies celebrating after the 2011 Melbourne Cup race.  Hahndorf Inn; Hahndorf, South Australia. 

These photos were taken from Hahndorf, South Australia.  I was there this afternoon to loosen up a bit and was, honestly, surprised to see the multitude in all the pubs/gaming rooms and restaurants along the town's main street.    
There was a celebration- tables teeming with fine foods, glasses overflowing with a wide range of drinks, balloons everywhere, and flags blowing up in the air!  The crowd was jubilant; and unlike Mexico, Portugal, Spain, Italy, France and the Philippines who earnestly celebrates the All Saints Day (and the following day- the All Souls Day), Australia holds the 2011 Melbourne Cup today.

Melbourne Cup is the major and the most famous horse race in Australia; it is actually known as 'the race that stops the nation' and is traditionally conducted during the first Tuesday of November.

In Melbourne and in most parts of the state of Victoria, Melbourne Cup is a public holiday.  Here in South Australia and in the other states, it's supposedly business as usual but I'm sure most of the Australians had turned their telly on this arvo to watch the race and bet for their favourite horse.  Hahndorf is (an old German town) located approximately 701 kilometres away from the venue of the race (Flemington, Victoria), but look at how important Melbourne Cup is to Australians.

Okay, Melbourne Cup is a horse race, but why do women wear colourful hats and hairdresses during this day?  They simply call it Fashion on the Field- there's a prize awarded to the best-dressed man or woman in the race.  It all started in 1962 and it has become a tradition- that in every local horse race, in Flemington or not, it is equally important to wear an elegant hat. 

The same women as in the photo above.

The French-based horse Dunaden- ridden by Cristophe Lemaire won the 2011 Melbourne Cup.  The horse's owner earned $3.6 million plus a trophy worth $175,000.