Thursday, December 08, 2011

Australia Part 6 - Warrnambool, Port Fairy and Tower Hill

So sorry for the lapse of time between posts. I've been working hard to make art for the show I was in with the Portland Art Collective last weekend and burning the midnight oil and then some to get ready. The show was a great success and it is a treat to be surrounded by such talented artists and such gracious customers for two days of art heaven on earth!!

After leaving the Great Ocean Road, Eva and I stopped in Warnambool to grab a bite to eat, where I saw this wonderful old cathedral. Built of gray stone that blended well with this old whaling port town, the church appears to be made of the gray fog that haunts the ocean shores . The windows are trimmed in white and doors in Quaker gray with weathered statues and wise old pigeons that shelter here. The only color is the rust and green of the wrought iron fence. I would imagine on a foggy day, the church might emerge from the clouds as a mirage

appears from the desert sand.

We left Warrnambool to settle in for the night with Eva's generous friends who acted as our tour guides as we explored this beautiful area of Victoria.

We headed to Port Fairy the next morning, a delightful old fishing village where we walked the boardwalk along the river. This sea lion was having a great time throwing a bag of food through the air and back into the river, where he would retrieve it and throw it again. What a bad boy to be playing with his food, but having a grand time doing it! Isn't this Welcome Swallow sweet as he takes a moment of rest before hunting for his breakfast? They look much like the barn swallows in the U.S. but with orange on their face, as well.

A white-faced heron striding through the grass.

I loved the "lace" wrought iron that trimmed many of the older houses, as well as this purple spiked flower. I never did find out what this plant was, but would love to have it in my yard...
We left the boardwalk and walked through the downtown area of Port Fairy, with its quaint stores.

We next headed to Tower Hill, a preserve created by a collapsed steam volcano which created a lake that mostly surrounds the sunken neck of the volcano.

The area was beautiful and full of waterfowl of all shapes and sizes. Corella parrots lined the cliffs and Superb Fairy Wrens flitted through through the brush, the males dazzling the eyes with their brilliant blue plumage.

A carpet of forget-me-nots turns the forest floor a misty blue, an ocean of small blue flowers.

We came to a picnic area and I saw to my delight an entire flock of emus wandering around the grounds looking for food. Obviously well used to human beings, I was ignored as I set about getting closeups of these beautiful birds.
They have long luscious eyelashes.

As we left the park, I saw this swan herding its goslings across the water.

And when we returned to Eva's friends home, I found this mother magpie giving flying lessons to her chick.And off he flies!

And that night I was presented with the best birthday cake ever, a pavlova cake consisting of a meringue base, covered with cream and covered with fresh fruit. Delicious!!! I also learned a bit about drinking out of a proper wine glass while sampling some of the excellent Australian wines.

The next morning, Eva and I said our goodbyes. We headed back to Tower Hill for a last look around. We stopped at this lavender farm nearby and explored the beautiful gardens.

It was still strange to me to see the flowers blooming since when I left Portland, the weather was cold and rainy and the leaves were turning fall colors.
On our way back to Melbourne, we stopped in Tarong, Carok and Winchelsea to explore the antiques stores and op shops. I visited a great art store in Carok and oogled the many art supplies I would like to take home, but already I am worried how I will fit everything in my suitcases.

Before we knew it, we were back home and our journey completed for the time being.


Lucy said...

Once again Jan, FABULOUS photos, and I agree with you, just love our emus with their spectacular eyelashes, eat your heart out Kim Kardashian!!LOL
I suppose you are up to your knees in snow now, we have had quite a lot of HOT days & nights here in OZ!
Lots of Hugs to you, Lucy

Bevlea said...

wonderful narrative Jan... really enjoying your posts... its nice to see our 'land' through fresh eyes...