WOMADelaide and surrounds

The World Of Music And Dance comes to Adelaide every March. A four day festival held in the beautiful Adelaide Botanic Gardens.

A showcase of music from around the world.

We visited a couple of days of the festival basking in the beautiful warm and letting the music from.the world stimulate body and soul.

Youssoa N’Dour from Senagal the headline act on Monday night.

Sampa the Great and her all Zambian band

There were songs from Persia

Songs of the Pacific as interpreted in the Torres Straight Islands

Sexy soul from the UK

Cuban funk

Wild Romanian gypsy violin

Argentinian Tango. And much much more!

Not far north of Adelaide is the Barossa Valley. Settled by German migrants in the late 1800s it’s a centre of winemaking and one of Australia’s most famous wine regions.

A nice day trip from Adelaide.

There is also some lovely bushland for a nature walk.

The closing act at WOMAD was a an aerial dance of angels casting feathers on the crowd. Here is a sample.

Meanwhile back home summer time ends on a beautiful autumn day – time for bird watching

Summer daylight saving time has ended on the east coast of Australia.

The autumn sun and stillĀ  mild days are welcome.

I took my long lens and bicycle and went bird watching on a near perfect day.

Hope you enjoy the photos.

White Faced Heron

Spoonbill

Australian Pelican

Black Swans

And some passing ducks

Been out Back o’ Bourke

In other words the outback,

Out past where the Darling River flows.

Where the roads are rough dirt and sand

The land is harsh and hot

That’s 45c hot on an early autumn day and the days in 38 – 45c range stretched on while I was there.

The recent floods meant that the inland rivers were flowing.

And in Wilcannia where the banks are 12 metres above the normal river height

But the high water line on the doors of the shower cubicals shows the flood got well over 12 metres.

The locals told me that in Bourke when the water was at its highest it was running over the old wooden lift bridge. A relic from the days when paddle steamers plied Australia’s inland rivers.

Water is life. Not just for humans, but for animals, especially birds.

The kites circling in the skies over the rivers.

The waterbirds in the river.

My favourite was the raucous Glossy Black Cockatoos that came down to the river to drink.

While there is always beauty there are also constant reminders of the harshness of the Outback.

There is also something quirky outback and for me this time it was an amazing stick insect.

There is also something quirky outback and for me this time it was an amazing stick insect.

The dry, dusty, sandy, and rutted roads

The dry red soil

The millions of fish that die when the relentless heat suck all the oxygen out of the water.

The dead Dingo hung in the tree. Supposedly to scare off other Dingos, but more likely a reassurance to the shooter that he has control of the environment. There is no controlling this wild country.

Not far on from.the Dingo Tree is Warnaaring -200kn out Back o’ Bourke. I stayed at the camp ground.

The owner just laughed when I said I was looking forward to a cool shower.

I turned what I thought was the cold tap. Scalding water came spurting out. I quickly turned the tap off. I turned on the other tap and heard the gas hot water heater burst into life as piping hot water came forth.- tap off. Back to my first choice of tap and let it run a bit.

Agh after a little while a nice hot shower from the cold water tap. I guess that’s how hot the sandy soil gets after long spells of 40c heat.0

There is always something quirky about the outback, everytime I visit. This time it was amazing stick insect

You have to look so closely to distinguish it from the tree twigs!

Each trip to the outback is a learning experience.

Back to Queenscliff to Swim with the Seals

Finally the strong winds that had been blowing around the Rip, the entrance to Port Phillip had abated and a date to swim with the seals fixed.

The evening before the swim, on Shortland Bluff overlooking the Rip, a Kestrel was riding the last of the wind as it hunted for prey

Then he spotted me and was off

As night fell the ships passed through the heads. Mechant ships going about their business and cruise ships sparkling bright in the night.

The next morning was still and the converted fishing boat awaited us.

Most of Port Phillip is marine sanctuary these days and hence a haven for wildlife. Structures have been built to give shelter to the Australian Fur Seals that reside in the Bay.

The seals are happy to join the swimmers in the water.

Along with a largish Smooth Sting Ray.

Pope’s Eye is an artificial reef also in the Port Phillip Heads National Park. It is a significant breeding area for the Australian Gannet.

There are also forests of kelp and other sea weed and colourful and inquisitive fish.

The crew were great as was the little old fishing boat.

Nothing like lolling in the net and watching the world go by!

Day trips around Melbourne – Queenscliff

My home town is Melbourne, Australia and as summer rolls along its a good chance to do day trips and overnight stops. Queenscliff is an historic town at the entrance to Port Phillip.

Being close to the Southern Ocean the weather can be a little unpredictable. The entrance to Port Phillip is known as The Rip due to the strong currents that rip through the narrow entrance.

The lighthouses stand sentry.

They guide vessels large and small through thr treacherous waters of The Rip.

Day and night the light houses shine their guiding lights.

Standing steadfast while the stars turn.

The waterways around Queencliff are a haven for waterbirds. Even this late in summer some swans have cygnets. Of which they are protective!

The Wood ducks and Spoonbills beautiful to see.

Another feature of Queenscliff is the grand old buildings. From the towns glory days.

Along the bayside the beaches and piers are perfect places to fish or promenade.

One of the attractions of Queenscliff is being able to swim with seals. Unfortunately the strong winds meant that wasn’t possible. Therefore there will be another day trip!