Monday, September 24, 2012

Kakadu National Park........ Australia's Northern Territory, a World Heritage listed national park, renowned for its diverse environment, an amazing array of wildlife, and stunning Aboriginal rock art.

Female Darter hanging its wings out to dry after diving for fish. They are not waterproofed as ducks are, and sometimes are too water-logged to take off and can easily be approached.

Climbing to view Aboriginal rock 104 degrees!  Wet season is imminent - not a drop of rain here since last March!

'Red Water Lilies' along the Yellow Water..................

...........where we also saw many large saltwater crocodiles, the ones that can open their huge jaws and take a person for lunch!  When the sightseeing boat we were cruising on was stuck for a short time, caught up in some weeds, we hoped they wouldn't approach too close as they can jump out of the water at tremendous speed!

Heading home across the Pacific Ocean. It's been another wonderful trip, quite tiring, very hot, very humid, very exciting!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Garden snippets...................

This was Summer 2012 in a small and much-loved 
garden in a corner of North Carolina. 
With Autumn not far off things will change.
Colors, what's left of them, will fade and 
the beautiful shades of russet, red and gold 
will appear. The neighborhood will take on
a completely different look, beautiful in the 
warmth of the September sunshine.
Coming back soon.......and you know where
I'll be - you'll find me in my garden.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

He can grin..........

........this is a freshwater crocodile, probably about 8 feet in length, sunbathing along the Ord River yesterday afternoon. When our high speed sightseeing boat pulled up on the river bank and set up lunch on the picnic tables, I was a wee bit nervous!  However, these crocs, unlike their saltwater cousins, are apparently shy around people, and cannot open their narrower jaws to eat them - they would break - so perhaps being a larger person is safer around these waters!

Today I'm crossing the ocean to the island of Timor - the water is quite flat so no sea sickness meds. required - hooray!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

A FAVORITE THING..............

My FAVORITE THING for this Saturday is the lovely plant I added to the urn. I hesitated buying it because I would be leaving home for Australia and be unable to care for it for a few weeks. Now I'm here, thousands of miles away, and worrying about whether it's getting watered properly.............Bob this is a hint!

This plant came nameless! Just a generic tag with the usual care instructions. I love the tiny succulent type leaves and the way they drape. I usually steer clear of house plants because I don't have much direct bright light, but I just wanted something green and fresh looking on that French table.

I may not be able to link to Claudia's blog, Mockingbird Hill Cottage, today as Internet is sporadic. I will post this anyway...............and hope you stop by Claudia's.
Happy Saturday.

Last night.........

Last evening we took a Zodiac ride to view crocodiles and birds at low tide.  This was what we saw as we rounded the cliffs and headed back to Orion, just visible in the distance!  Another breathtaking Western Australian sunset.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Riding the beach.........

What do people do on Cable Beach in Broome, Australia at sunset?  If lucky, they ride camels as we did!  What a wonderful experience - it was awesome!

Internet not great here on the ship, and of course very expensive - can't post a lot but just want you to know everything is going so well and we are now enjoying our third day on the ship sailing the Kimberley region.  Think whales, swimming holes without crocs - thank goodness, waterfalls, great food, lovely people.......and very hot!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

A Favorite Thing............

The week before I left on this trip 'down under', we were very busy having work done around the house. Our aging washing machine required a replacement valve to correct leaking, the even older telephone land line underground need examination and was found to need replacing to rectify the awful buzz during conversations....always something to fix around the home, right?

..........and one of my most favorite things ever, my gazebo, fast aging to a silvery grey, was treated to a power shower and a new stain of bright cedar. The week prior, the Ipe wood deck was power washed and sealed as it was really looking sad and dingy.

This is how it all looked when I left for Australia............
bright and clean, ready for outdoor dining this Autumn. We also decided to replace the outdoor furniture, the old set was so heavy to move, with chairs requiring cushions which were a pain to store in bad weather. 
My favorite thing in my garden - my screened Victorian gazebo.

Be sure to visit our hostess Claudia for our FAVORITE THING on Saturday over at her delightful Mockingbird Hill Cottage.

Apologies regarding not being able to visit with you or commenting......while on the ship in Australia the Internet service is slow and very expensive! I may not be able to say hello today but will catch up when home again.
(I scheduled this post before leaving so I could join the party!) 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Heading 'down under'.................

This was yesterday in the Bay area, an overcast day with late gentle afternoon showers, a couple of flashes of evening lighting, and one clap of thunder. Very different from North Carolina storms with lashings of rain, massive, booming light shows across the sky, and sometimes frightening winds of hurricane strength.....and worst of all hurricanes themselves! 
I don't think I've ever been here in San Francisco in the rain - it had been 93 days since rain had fallen here! Looking out across the water from Paula's sunroom, a line of sailboats scurried homeward, white sails puffy in the breeze, as huge raindrops fell past the windows.

Today is beautiful and I sat outside for a little while. The sun is hot, just a few wispy clouds off in the distance toward the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
Today, Paula and I are finishing up our packing - bags are everywhere - and tonight we head to the airport and will be on our way to beautiful Australia.

Neat bag seen recently at SuzAnna's Antiques!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Heading west...........

Today I fly away.  

Three and a half hours to Dallas, another three and a half hours from there to San Francisco. After the always fun stay at Paula's house for two nights, we'll have a brief flight to Los Angeles to board our plane for Sydney Thursday evening.......a very long fifteen plus hours when we plan to pull on those welcome Quantas PJ's they hand out, lie flat, and sleep our way to the other side of the world! That's not the final destination though, on to another flight of five plus hours to reach the town of Broome on the west coast of Australia.  

By then the beach is going to look mighty tempting...........and I think we're going to be doing something quite different during our brief respite there before boarding ORION. 

NO, I'm not taking up surfing.......too many sharks, and I won't be basking on the sand in the expected 90+ degrees! 

MANY THANKS for all your good wishes for this trip. Hope to be here again soon - I'll post when I can.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

This weekend..........

............there is little time for celebrating the end of Summer and Labor Day.

.......I made fig jam - thanks Bob for doing all that picking and suffering the mosquito bites so I didn't have to. I trimmed shrubs, and weeded. I packed clothes - several times until I got it right, hopefully! Chose jewelry - when evening comes on board ship a plain tee needs a bit of bling. Had a lunch out with granddaughter Jasmin and her cute and very polite boyfriend. Yes, Jasmin now has a boyfriend, she will soon be sweet 16! 

Australia is calling - I'll have tomorrow to tie up loose ends then off to California on Tuesday. Perhaps I'll have time to BREATHE DEEPLY - Appreciate the Moment. Great words seen recently on the wall of the mall.

Happy Labor Day - wishing you sunshine and fun times.