Location: Manning Valley
Date: November 2009

23 November 2009. Yesterday, I visited Mid Coast Ford in Taree (The Big Oyster) for their vintage and classic Ford Show. I got there pretty early to avoid the crowds, and also the heat... 35 C (95 F). The cars on show were all great and I made the most of it. Then I headed to the sailing club to get a few pics of the Formula Power Boat races. That turned out to be pretty ho-hum, but I managed to get a few shots of their rooster tails. Earlier in the week, I spotted one of the boats on a trailer across the road, so I whizzed over there with my camera and took a couple of shots. At the time, I thought it was a pretty radical looking boat but yesterday, when I saw all the others, I realized they were pretty much all clones. Seen one, seen 'em all. As to watching them racing around in circles, well, there's a limit to how much you can handle.

So the highlight of the day was the vintage and classic Ford show. Apologies for the ring-in... the Gogomobile hehe. It was there as a promo for Shannon's Insurance. A couple of shots from the rest of the shoot are a little disappointing, but I've included them because at least they help tell the whole story. Click here for the photo album.

21 November 2009. Yes, ANOTHER visit to Booroowhangary Rainforest Gardens, Taree. The gardens are now closed permanently to the public but there are still things happening there, despite a diminished maintenance schedule. Bob Dixon phoned the other day to let me know that the water lilies and lotus are in flower, among other things.

Upon arrival early this morning, the local cows were blocking the road... as usual. I had to drive within inches of them and politely ask them to MOVE before they did. They're lovely creatures but not terribly bright.

I took pics of various things in flower but my main mission was the water lilies and lotus. In some of the pics you can see how quickly the green pads discolor, but I managed to get a few shots of the younger ones with their rich and luscious green. Hey, I even got a few shots of a bee having a wonderful time amongst the lilies. In pic 020 and others, there's a flowering bush with spidery pink flowers that looks something like an orchid. I'll have to check with Bob to find out what it's called.

I particularly like pic 038 but the next one, 039, takes the cake. I posted it on Red Bubble and called it 'Bee Heaven'.

052/3 and others show Aboriginal masks set into a sandstone retaining wall. I think they're delightful... full of humor and character. I asked Bob if there was a story behind them and there is. They're made by the daughter of a well-known local Aboriginal artist from Tinonee, Russell Saunders, and each mask has a particular story behind it. Bob said he'll dig around in his notes and let me know what they are.

Meanwhile, click here for the photo album.

20 November 2009. Back again! Early this morning I drove out to Bob Dixon's house, Taree, to photograph his wild parrots at feeding time. Out of 50 photos (including multiples of the same shot), I got about 12 that are okay. But I plan to visit Bob again. Next time, I'll position myself quietly in the thick of the action and wait. Bob reckons my strategy should work. Once the parrots know you're not gonna cause trouble, they're fine. Meanwhile, the pics in this album were shot using a telephoto attachment. They're not bad but I reckon I can do better. Stay tooned.

In shot 24 you see a galah flying in to join his mates at the feeder. In the next shot, he's checking out the pig gnome and letting it know who's boss. Hehe. In shot 36, a magpie gatecrashes the parrot party as another galah flies in. In the next shot, the maggie and galah are facing off, with the galah making it quite clear that the intruder is not welcome. It was all a bluff game, and nobody got hurt.

In 43, a couple of galahs are enjoying a drink of water when they're joined by more gatecrashers, so they decide to vamoose. Click here for the photo album.

19 November 2009. Yesterday, a bunch of power company workers turned up to install a new power pole right outside my house in Taree. They had quite a lot of large machinery, big trucks, a couple of cherry pickers and whatever else. So it was exciting times here in li'l ole in Taree... particularly right outside my front door. Naturally, I spent a lot of time running around with the camera, capturing the whole scene. Earlier, I had to visit the doc to have my remaining stitches removed (skin cancers) but the workmen had blocked my drive. No problem. They gave me the royal treatment, stopped all the traffic and allowed me to attend my appointment.

Bloody amazing machinery ya know. The truck that carried the new pole arrived early yesterday morning. Getting the pole off was a piece of cake. The driver used a remote control that operated the built-on crane, and the whole exercise was over in about 5 minutes. Tweezy! The workers then used a second crane to drill the new hole (about 2 feet from the current one), and then lift the pole into position. Hehe. Once the new pole was ready, they changed over the power lines and then removed the old pole. All quite fascinating, and I had a front row seat!

At one stage, when they lowered the cherry picker, I asked who controls the basket. It's controlled by the two guys in the basket using a small remote, something like a computer game thingy or model airplane controller. "Oh, so you don't trust your mates?" There's also a back-up control on the ground in case of a malfunction. "He's a lever-puller," said one of the blokes. They're all pretty good fellas - lots of g'days and that kinda thing. Click here for the photo album.

19 November 2009. Oops!  November is almost over and I've just made an entry! Never mind, I've got a few things planned for this month to make up for it. This particular album contains stuff I've been doing around the 'hood... just practicing with the camera and poking around the yard, etc. Nothing thrilling. But there's more to come! Click here for the November bits and pieces album.


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