Spring break

With 2017 being such a strain on my head space for a number of reasons, it was a joy to recently have a week off and indulge in some extended me-time. The objective being to organise my pastels into new storage boxes, spend at least two days drawing, and last but not least I wanted visit Tamborine Mountain Botanic Gardens and photograph the Spring blossoms.

The weather was mixed during my break, much needed rain fell and sunshine was intermittent. At one point I didn’t think I would get to the Botanic Gardens but luck was on my side and as I was wandering through the rainforest garden the clouds disappeared and the rest of my time in the garden was perfect. Spring is such a beautiful time of year, lots of birds, bees and after a shower of rain everything looks and smells so fresh. As you can see, it was time well spent and I felt so relaxed and happy afterwards that I almost forgot about having to go back to work.

 

Always something to learn

Today I spent the afternoon at a Blue-Dog Photography class on Mt Tamborine, it was the second half of a workshops recently cancelled due to bad weather and there wasn’t a cloud in sight. We traipsed through the rainforest to a rock pool and waterfall, the path well worn making it reasonably easy to spot snakes sleeping in the sun. Mt Tamborine has a number of national parks that are perfect for short or long walks, it is an area of the Gold Coast that I never tire of although if you visit the main street on a weekend you might wonder why. The main street is known as Gallery Walk and it is extremely popular with tourists, lots of shops and lots of cafes.

Surrounding the waterfall is an environment that is home to glow worms, you can’t see them during the day which fools people into thinking that nowhere is out of bounds as they clamber over the rocks towards the waterfall. Glow worms are extremely sensitive and their environment easily made uninhabitable by hapless humans, our teacher Danielle lets visitors know that it is a ‘no-go zone’ because it is obvious that they cannot read the signs.

Waterfall, Mt Tamborine

Waterfall, Mt Tamborine Waterfall, Mt Tamborine

After struggling with my tripod, my shaking hands and my camera settings I finally succeed in getting some shots that I am happy with. Learning how to use the manual settings on my DSLR is a slow process, but the class has helped immensely and actually having the time to practice is even more important. Today we played with white balance to create a different mood with our images and a slower shutter speed helped get that dreamy effect I love to see with waterfalls, using a remote shutter release helped with the shaky hands. Local wildlife showed up for a brief period, this really tested the brain and gave me the chance to see if I could capture a creature without resorting to the P setting on my camera. I’m pretty happy with the result 🙂

Water Monitor, Mt Tamborine

Springtime on the Mountain

Springtime on the Mountain is a festival held on Mt Tamborine at the end of September each year. Similar to the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers, Springtime on the Mountain offers visitors beautiful private gardens to explore in addition to blooming public parks and gardens. Mt Tamborine is one of my favourite places to visit on the Gold Coast, best on a weekday when there are fewer day trippers, Mt Tamborine has an abundance of cafes, art and craft shops, nature trails, wineries and some of the yummiest triple cream brie I’ve ever eaten.

This year was my first time for visiting Mt Tamborine during the spring festival, we went on a Saturday in the hope that it would be less hectic than on a Sunday but still it was very busy and parking at a premium. Our choice of destination was the Botanic Gardens, a beautiful, lush spot on the mountain, well maintained by a group of committed volunteers. The artistic children of my friend set themselves up in a central location and set about drawing some of the flowers, my friend and I wandered off to smell the roses.

As some of you know, I love take photos of flowers so you’d think I would at least be able to tell you what some of the flowers are in the photographs below however it isn’t my strongest point. Ff I get the name of a plant wrong or have completely left it off the image please let me know and I will amend the caption.

Rainforest Skywalk

Living in Queensland means that we have access to beautiful rainforests filled with some very unique flora and fauna, experiencing the rainforest on a sunny day is spectacular, the light filters through the canopy and adds a little warmth to both colour and temperature. Our time on Mt Tamborine yesterday, exploring the rainforest via The Skywalk was not quite so sunny, the air was cool and the sky cloudy but the day was pleasurable nonetheless. Being winter we spotted none of the colourful flowers, foliage or berries that summer brings, we also had no luck with seeing Koalas, the best we could do was discovering a small brown lizard  in the stump of a Red Cedar tree and a Kookaburra as he swooped on something tasty in the scrub.

Sadly there are no photos of the lizard or the Kookaburra, however I have put together a gallery of images taken during the walk as well as a few random shots taken at our lunch time destination D’Marge Cafe. Nelson the Golden Retriever makes all guests feel oved as he lies quietly under your table until your meal is served, then he makes use of beautiful, big brown eyes to bewitch you into sharing whatever it is you have ordered. The deck is surrounded by blooming Camellia trees, the flowers come in many shades of pink and white, their petals so pretty and delicate.