Finding the mail at home!

It has been a while since I added a new mailbox to our collection. In the past month, I have been out and about and found this lovely little home mailbox in a delightful bushland setting.
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A very patient and creative person has used real stones and adhesive cement to make a genuine stone walled cottage! Mail is accessed through the front, which opens without disturbing the inviting bench on the verandah!

Have you ever…. considered making a mailbox that is a bit unusual? If you could make any sort of mailbox you wished, what would it be and how would you make it?

Have you ever seen any quirky or different mailboxes in your travels or in your district? If so, how about getting a photo and adding it to our collection? We have (amongst many unusual items), boat motors and fog horns, not to mention spiders, a penguin and a few fish! To see other posts on this blog which are part of the Amazing Mailbox Quest, please click on the link at the top of the page.

To participate in the Amazing Mailbox Quest and have your post added to the collection:

Get a photo (please either photograph without the owner’s details or cover/blur them so that they are not readily identifiable) and post it on your site. It would be good to know the country and state of each entry, but to protect the privacy of the owners, please avoid any detailed location information in your post or in the photo(s). Then add comment to this post and your post will be included on the main list.

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Anyone for tennis?

Scare It has been an interesting time for tennis fans in Australia as they watched their favourites battle not only with very good opposition, but also with extreme heat at the Australian Open.

This sort of weather is not really what one would expect in Melbourne, even in the middle of summer. This city normally has a rather more friendly climate which is conducive to alfresco dining and long evenings relaxing on the shady, grassy banks of the Yarra River.

Gardeners in the area revel in the conditions that get their veggie patches looking fantastic and fresh tomatoes, corn and spinach are just a fraction of what can be grown and enjoyed during this bountiful season.

This is one of the more unusual things one gets to see and enjoy when touring by bicycle -the many backyards filled with summer vegetable and fruity bounty.

Scare2I came across this lovely garden being cared for by a delightful scarecrow during my recent European travels. Someone had a terrific sense of humour and had had a lot of fun creating this tennis champion! (She even has a small yellow ball suspended out from her hand if you look carefully in the photo above!)

Isn’t she a treat? And what an amazing vegetable garden!

Posted in Musings | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

Heat at midnight

I have been reading posts from northern climes which tell tales of deep winter. Photos of glistening icicles and deep snowdrifts, which are beautiful and yet so foreign to us as we enjoy our summer.

However, mother nature has bestowed a number of days of rather high temperatures in the past week. It is not unusual for climates like ours to get the odd day over 40ºC (104ºF) during summer, but to get 4 or 5 successional days of 44 or so – that is getting seriously HOT!

Yesterday was quite remarkable for two reasons. One is that I went out to the movie theatre – an event which tends to happen only once or twice a year! The movie I went to see was the Hobbit- the desolation of Smaug. It was simply amazing, as all those movies are.

The 3D effects left me feeling very alert after having (virtually) negotiated the innards of deep and treacherous mountains with a group of dwarves and their brave little hobbit – running and hiding from that magnificent, fire breathing dragon. Navigating tunnels and bridges in the darkness with the constant threat of danger in the air – it was almost a relief to emerge from the theatre once the finale had been reached.

As I walked back to my car, it was almost dark, but (and this is the other remarkable thing about the day), it was still surprisingly and incredibly hot.  Thirty seven degrees (C) (~100ºF) at 9:30pm is not something we often experience (thank goodness!). The weather bureau had predicted a few storms, and the nighttime clouds were making somewhat pathetic attempts to gather and put some truth into this prophesy. Meanwhile, the moon was erratically lighting up the darkness, creating stunning silver edges on the clouds as it ducked effortlessly between the building thunderheads.

Moon

The night complemented my mood perfectly – hot, eerie and fascinating. I could not resist trying to capture some photos of the moon, despite the fact that my camera struggles with night shots. You may enjoy them too!
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Incidentally, by midnight, it had only dropped to 33.5ºC (~92ºF).

It did not take too much sunshine to climb back to the predicted high of 44ºC again today, but thankfully, a cool change is on the way :-)

Have you ever experienced a hot, dark night like this?

Posted in Musings, Odds & ends | 13 Comments

Past and future captured together

Some areas of the highlands of southern NSW are very windy places. Because of this, they have been selected as ideal locations for power generating windmills. I find these enormous structures absolutely fascinating. They are sleek, modern and very well maintained and are increasingly  becoming a familiar sight in the Australian landscape. They turn with a methodical, slow, even pace, which is somewhat unsettling, as one expects them to react to the wind gusts like other windmills.

They are a direct contrast with the old (water) windmills which one can still find dotted around the countryside. The latter are very much at the mercy of the wind and the elements and usually show many signs of their age, wear and tear. Along with old windmills, other old structures are also a feature of the rural landscape. For example, it is not uncommon to have stock yards nearby so that sheep and cattle can be easily herded as they arrive to drink each day.

Old stock yards show their age

Old stock yards show their age

These photos show a set of very old stock yards. Crusted with bright orange algae and lichens they were originally constructed from timber. As the main supports moved in the ground, it became necessary to reinforce the joints with wire. Now, however, the wire has also become loose and the yards are no longer useful for their original intent. However, they do provide a stark reminder of the past while framing the view of the modern power generating windmills in the distance.

Power generating windmills in the southern highlands of NSW, Australia

Power generating windmills in the southern highlands of NSW, Australia

Do you have any photos which show the past and the future at the same time? Perhaps you would like to upload and describe your photo as a reply to this post.

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A small metal wheel

Carcassone is well known place in France and it is also a very popular tourist destination. Its main attraction is a remarkable, 3km long double wall which surrounds the town. Not only is the wall in very good condition, but so are many of the buildings associated with the wall and its history. I enjoyed exploring this lovely place and found the cobbled streets and alleyways fascinating. In particular, I found two old wells, spaced well apart in small squares which must once have been very busy places. As someone who feels compelled to investigate anything associated with water, I had to take a closer look to see if they were still functional – alas not!

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However, I spotted two of these little devices above the smaller well. I wonder how many millions of buckets of water this little wheel must have helped to raise from the depths in the 2500 years the citadel has been in existence?

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Ailsa, from “Where’s my backpack” has challenged her readers to respond to the travel theme: “possibility”. To me this small wheel above this well is symbolic of so much possibility. So small and simple, yet so important!

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Then consider how much could be achieved in the town because a reliable source of water was available. And all this before one starts to think of all that has become possible because of the wheel itself!

For other examples of “possibilities” please check out Ailsa’s post! You can find out a lot more about Carcassone on this Wikipedia site

Posted in Musings | 1 Comment

Have you ever…. had your mail delivered in a pouch?

It is fairly easy to work out where a kangaroo would ‘carry’ the mail – that large stretchy pouch is just ideal!
But what of the humble cow?

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These lovely creative mailboxes are our latest additions to the Amazing Mailbox Quest! I did not find them myself, but they were photographed by my daughter on the north coast of NSW, near Port Macquarie.

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You are invited to join this quest and keep a sharp eye out for unusual or quirky mailboxes. Already contributions from other bloggers so far are listed on my primary mailbox post. To see other posts on this blog which are part of the Amazing Mailbox Quest, please click on the link at the top of the page.

To participate in the Amazing Mailbox Quest:

Get a photo (please either photograph without the owner’s details or cover/blur them so that they are not readily identifiable) and post it on your site. It would be good to know the country and state of each entry, but to protect the privacy of the owners, please avoid any detailed location information in your post or in the photo(s).

Tag the post ‘Amazing mailbox quest’, then add a link to it in the comments on this page so that others can find your posts. I will also add a link (to your post) to the overall list along with everyone else’s.

Posted in Amazing Mailbox Quest, Have you ever... | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Discovering relatives!

Have you ever…. researched your family tree? Or perhaps you have someone else in your family to diligently captures dates times and major events for family posterity?

I have been interested in tracing both my maternal and paternal ancestors for a number of years. My mother’s family have provided a significant challenge due to their tendency to not only move about within a country, but to also irregularly move between countries and continents! Add to this a few mysterious family disagreements which resulted in Bill no longer speaking with Mary’s family and the communication bridges tumble into ruins.

As a result, my maternal tree was rather lopsided, with information only traceable from my grandmothers perspective. I knew a bit about my grandfather’s immediate family (parents and siblings), but beyond that, things were not so easy. We had a few sketchy facts, but not enough to do any serious research.

Every now and again, I optimistically run some key searches on the internet, to see if anyone else is posting any information that could assist. A week ago, I was doing just this, and I was overjoyed to discover that someone was indeed working on the same family! What excitement – after searching for so many years!

A perfect new  little hand reaches out to an older, more worn out version (mine!)

A perfect ‘new’ little hand reaches out to an older, more worn out version (mine!)

I have now made contact with the owner of this tree and as a result, have “discovered” a whole branch of my grandfather’s family that I did not know before! They too, have discovered my family! We now have much family reuniting to look forward to – what a wonderful Christmas gift we have all received!

Posted in Have you ever... | 9 Comments