Whale Tales

"I must down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull's way and the whale's way where the wind's like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick's over."

— John Edward Masefield 'Sea Fever'.

Tacking Point Lighthouse Port Macquarie

A large pod of whales is frolicking off the coast of Port Macquarie right now.

Video from Cruise Adventures. Hope to hop on a cruise adventures boat over the next few days to see them up close like this.

How gorgeous to see them making their way up the coast and to be watching them from the lighthouse. What draws people to gather together to watch them, I wonder... They seem to touch something in our hearts when we stand together watching them swim and play together.

Had to laugh, this little fellow seemed to be watching them too

Is it a reminder on a deep level that we are all connected? I don't know what it is, but I know that I like being present when a group of people are gathering together watching the whales and dolphins swim.

Whale watching Port Macquarie

Whale image from: Port Macquarie Info

Lost Dogs Month

A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of. - Ogden Nash

On our walks over the last month, we've picked up 5 lost dogs, and been able to return them to their homes, thanks to collars with phone numbers. We've decided to call June lost dogs month.

Kevin removing some of the burrs that this doggie had picked up on her jaunt

A friend of ours lost their dog this month, hit by a car after it had escaped. If you happen to see a doggie by themselves, do try to pick them up, they usually have no road sense and can be hurt easily.

Saw this treasure crossing the road by herself, and were able to pick her up.
Cute as a button, lovable and cuddly as well

If they have a collar it is easy to contact owners, or failing that, a trip to the vet or as a last resort and you absolutely have to - the pound will find their owner, if they are microchipped. Should the dog appear dangerous, certainly don't try to approach it yourself, but a call to the pound or council, and you will have someone out to assist.

Lunch in the Vineyard

We ought to do good to others as simply as a horse runs, or a bee makes honey, or a vine bears grapes season after season without thinking of the grapes it has borne. - Marcus Aurelius

Restaurant at the vineyard - Tango art by Leanne Prussing

An impromptu lunch today in the vineyard... It was a gorgeous sunny day, and we didn't actually intend to laze in the sun over lunch at a lovely restaurant - but that's where we ended up. The days are so gorgeous at present warm as toast and this spot was a great one to stop at for lunch.

Cozy chairs,
a sundrenched deck,
beckon us to rest.
a bird arrives
to join us -
and then another,
hinting at a request.
Light streaming,
creating rainbows,
the vineyard rests,
with us.

Visitors offering to help out with lunch

Nature looks dead in winter because her life is gathered into her heart. She withers the plant down to the root that she may grow it up again fairer and stronger. She calls her family together within her inmost home to prepare them for being scattered abroad upon the face of the earth. ~ Hugh Macmillan, "Rejuvenescence," The Ministry of Nature, 1871

Quote from quotegarden.com

I'd rather have roses on my table...

"I'd rather have roses on my table than diamonds around my neck" Emma Goldman

I have a friend who collects photos of very expensive diamonds on Pinterest, it's always fun to see her latest bling wish. My pinterest board is likely to have photos of art, or dogs or lovely places to have coffee. Occassionally an amazing flower like this one, calls out to have it's photo taken while on walks with my doggie.

I was watching a youtube video of how to take a better flower pic. Apparently if you squirt the flower with a little burst of water from a small water sprayer, prior to clicking, you'll get an even better picture. I may just have to start taking my water sprayer with me on my walks. The moral of this story? If you see someone out in your front yard with a dog and a small water sprayer, don't panic.

Manly Scenic Walkway

Candy all set for winter walks in her smart red jacket

The Manly Scenic Walkway is a beautiful one, weaving around the harbour, giving glimpses of water views through magnificent trees

If you enjoy bush walks, the walkway takes you through coastal heath, pockets of rainforest, natve bush, past Aboriginal sites, magnificent homes, harbour views all the way from Manly to The Spit Bridge - you can keep walking up to Mosman if you're keen.

Manly Scenic Walkway - Manly Beach to Fairy Bower headland

We watched some intrepid souls giving paddle boarding a go for the first time... I'd love to try it too, but I think I'll wait till springtime.

In case you're in that neck of the woods, you can hire a paddle board at Mambo Coffee & Tees at Fairy Bower

As well as have a great coffee while resting from your walk - the blueberry and apple cinnamon muffins were yummy too.

Fairy Bower Pool along Manly Scenic Walkway

Sunflowers Manly Walkway

Apparently if you keep an eye out, you may even encounter some fairy penquins

- don't know if this is counted, but we did come across this mother and baby.

Adorable sculptures along Manly Scenic Walkway

My favourite sculptures - the surfer

...and the snorkeller.

Sculptures by Tim Johman Click here for public art in Manly

Manly Scenic Walkway Map available online: click here for the brochure, map and more information.

Vivid Sydney - June 2014

We were very lucky to have been offered a housesit at Balgowlah for the June long weekend, so we took advantage of the timing to go to see Vivid Sydney again this year.

Along with thousands of other Sydneysiders, we braved a chilly winter night for the second last night of Vivid. We decided to take the ferry from Manly Wharf over to Sydney and as we pulled away from the wharf we saw a shooting star... it seemed so close, you could have been forgiven for thinking it had landed on Manly - and a sparkling sight for the start of our evening.

Eye photo via: Fort Denison Restaurant Facebook
A quick trip across the harbour and a great start to Vivid - a huge eye was projected onto Fort Denison's Martello Tower. I only wish that I'd done my homework prior to going to Vivid this year, as I would have signed up for dinner at Fort Denison.

The Opera House looks even more stunning than normal with the light projections, and the ferry gave us a great view... and it was free... I thought that the government had put on free ferries for the evening - duh, ah no, it was a ferry strike.

We got off the ferry, struggled through the crowds and walked up to Customs House. I'd never seen so many people at Circular Quay.

Enjoy a mini trip to Vivid 2014

It seemed a bit too much to try and crowd surf our way around to the far side of the harbour, and as we'd had a great view already, we turned around and took the ferry back to Manly again.

Memo to self... go earlier next year, book dinner at Fort Denison... and a boat trip... this is a stunning event.