Monday, December 12, 2011

Wild flowers of WA

 Seeing as it  is such is "shitty " day I thought it was the ideal opportunity to catch up on my blogs. It is rather windy not quite blowing a gale and raining so nobody is out and about much. Often when we are stuck inside due to bad weather I don;t have Internet so it's a bonus at present.

 This blog is mainly about the lovely wildflowers we have seen on this trip. Unfortunately we don't have the names for many of these beautiful flowers.

 We started seeing them in the north of the state where Mulla Mullas and Sturt's desert peas were quite common and as we moved further south the variety just kept getting better and better. Mind you it was certainly the season for them.

 We had a very memorable camp at Tenindewa where we seemed to be in the middle of lots them and from there we were able to go to Pindar where there were plenty of wreath flowers this year.

  When we got to the "farm sit" at Dongara there were plenty of wildflowers on the property , big showy Grevillias and tiny little orchids  as well as lots of wattle and Banksias which the farm was named after. Banksia Dale Farm.

 White plumed Grevillia before flowering

Spider orchid

Geraldton Wax
 Daisies at Tenindewa

 Mulla Mulla  and smoke bush

 White plumed Grevillia in flower 

Sturt's desert Pea

 We saw many more wildflowers and I took lots of photos but it would be boring if a whole blog was taken up with then so this is just a few of the more showy ones we saw. We also went to the  Wildflower show in Mullewa  and the big displays there were quite good but the specimens  weren't well marked with their names.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Banksia Dale Farm and surrounds Oct 2011

 After spending time with the Wildflowers at Tenindewa we finally arrived at the Farm on Sept 1 with a minor calamity as the windmill wasn't working  and so we had only rainwater that had to be carted from the tanks and then once it was fixed there was no wind so it took about a week  or more before the tank was filled. Leaking pipes didn't help.

 among the wildflowers at Tenindewa
  Once things settled down we also settled into minding the dog "Mac" and feeding the chooks and watering the potplants.  fortunately we also had quite a bit of rain which topped up the rainwater tanks and meant less watering of the plants. We also had a few hiccups with the bees swarming into places that werent' convenient.

 Australian boat first in at Geraldton in round the world race

 Generator shed and wind generator


 Peacok on chook house roof

 Lynn and Mac at smoko
  While we were there we took the opportunity to visit some of the surrounding area and even travelled out to Mingenew to the Field Day there. We saw quite a bit of Geraldton as it was our main shopping centre.

 In our travels we went to the Wind farm near Walkway and then out to Ellendale Pool. The wind farm could be seen from our farm/ property and was quite big as wind farms go providing most of the power for Geraldton and surrounding area. At Ellendale Pool there were a few other picnickers and campers being the weekend. However it didn't seem to be a very big area so would fill up quickly.

 The farm had lots of wildflowers when we first arrived including orchids and these wonderful colourful flowers that were a type of grevillia that came out after most of the other flowers had finished.
 On another occasion we went to Greenough and out to Lucy's beach. Depending on where we were going we often took the dog with us and she got so used to riding in the back that she used to look longingly at the back of the truck so that Lynn would lower the backboard down and the she would hop up and park herself for the day if we weren't going anywhere .
 The property owners  also owned the Little Starfish cafe at South Beach and "mac" apparently used ti spend her days at the beach with them so she really enjoyed a trip to the beach and chasing the Kitesurfers which the beach is renowned for. 

Little Starfish Cafe at South Beach Port Denison

Me and Mac at the beach

 Greenough looking towards the sea

Lucy's beach

Friday, November 4, 2011

Airing of the Quilts October 15th 2011

 I had been looking foreward to  going to this event since we passed through back in August.

I first found out about the event when we passed through Northhampton about 8 years ago and again we were  too early for it but being inthe area this time made a point of going.

 From the Banksia Dale Farm where we were looking after the animals, to Northhampton it is about 100 klms, so we left fairly early but made a couple of stops on the way to get some gas and I needed some stuff from Spotlight.  We also stopped at a rest area about 15 klms out for a cuppa.

 When we drove through the town looking for a place to park we were blown away by all the quilts that were hanging off various buildings. We were lucky to find a park next to the supermarket which was also across the road from a lovely park.

 We walked down the street  to just past the Tourist Bureau and then Lynn continued to the bottom pub where there was a display of vintage cars. I then walked back up the street stopping at more places on the way. Lynn eventually caught up wiht me and then we checked out the display of sewing machines  before getting some lovely hamburgers and eating them in the park.

 It was a lovely warm day but rather windy which made it tricky to take pictures of some of the outdoor displays.

Apart from the quilts hanging in the street the local quilters had set up displays and stalls in 2 of the halls. There were also a number of stalls in parks around the place. There were also 2 displays of related stuff. A display of lace in one place and a display of tapestry in a church which consisted of all the kneeling pads being covered in lovely tapestry.

 My favourite quilt

 quilts hanging in the street

 The local Convent with a double storey quilt display

 the blocks in this quilt are created by weaving pieces of material

 Even the blokes got roped in !!!

 A couple of quilts that caught my eye

Quilts hanging from the top verandah of the  pub

 A pattern I would reallllly like to make
 After visiting Northhampton we came home via Nabawa and Nanson 2 very small towns in the Chapman Valley. We also called into the Camping area at Fig tree to see haow many vans etc were there.

Forever Going south Aug 2011

 Coastline in Point Quobba area

 From Barradale we continued south and had a lovely morning tea stop at Minilya where we chatted to several other travellers and holiday makers.

Next stop was the Big smoke " at Carnarvon where we opted to stay in a Caravan park and found a site in the Carnarvon caravan park which was nice and accessible to get a few things done including washing sheets and filling up with water  in preparation for heading off to Point Quobba.

Point Quobba blowholes

 After a busy day getting all our things done ,the next morning we did a quick post office check and got another gas bottle filled and then headed off out of town . Unfortunately I guided us up a road that was closed  about 3/4 of the way along. We had hoped it would take us onto the road that goes out ot Point Quobba.

The road was interesting as there were birds' nests in nearly all the telegraph poles and wheel hubs had been attached to the poles in places to encourage them to nest. They were mainly being used by Hobbies, Kestrel s, and crows.

When we got to the blowholes it was rather windy and looked like rain. but what we really enjoyed seeing was a few whales off th e coast. The blowholes were fairly active and  after taking some photos  we then went along the back of the beach to find a camp spot. Unfortunately we had to go almost to the end to find a spot .

We weren't very impressed with the spot as it was very windy and inclined to rain and when we walked over to the beach , it was quite steep and had deep sand so it wasn't nice to walk on .

Point Quobba beach

sunset at the beach

 The next day we set off to get away from the wind and the rain. We thought that we would go inland to Rocky Pool, as we had been told that we could camp there despite the "bible" saying it was a day area only. It seems that all the notices got washed away in the Jan Floods.

 However before we left the Point Quobba area we decided to visit the HMAS Sydney memorial which was on the road to Red Cliffs.
   HMAS Sydney memorial

 Plaque at entrance to memorial

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Continuing South Aug 2011

 From the Maitland River we moved down to the Robe River  Rest area after a quick trip into Karratha . At Karratha I visited a wonderful Craft shop with everything in it except what I wanted. I had decided to make more bags that hang over the arms of chairs for crafty people, but they didn't have any nice strong fabric to make them with.

Camp area at Robe river at dusk
 At Robe river we had been told of a nice spot on the other side of the road from the rest area and so we turned off down the track and found quite a nice spot. It was much more rockier than the Maitland with not such good access to the water.

 Robe River at dusk
 Having water access is great as it means I can keep up with the washing and we can have regular showers, if water is restricted or not available we only shower every second day.

Our camp at Robe River
 A fire also saves the gas for heating water as we then use the 12 volt camping shower that drops into a bucket of water. Anything that saves our drinking water is great. We also enjoy cooking on the fire for things like casseroles, roasts and corned beef all of which take a while to cook of course. Slow cooked meals always taste better cooked on the fire.

 Continuing south we stopped at the Barradale rest area next.  This was a huge area but there was no water in the Yannarie River . There were about 40 rigs etc camped there that night.

Barradale Rest area

Friday, August 26, 2011

Heading South Aug 2011

  After 9 weeks at Barn Hill it was time to move on.But before we went we paid a last visit to the Sunday Market .
 We really enjoyed our time here and there was so much to do with organised activities and just going for walks on the beach or having a go at fishing.

Sundowners at Barn Hill

 Our first stop on the highway south was for M/T at Goldwire which is one of the Main Roads rest areas that they have upgraded over the past few years. They are quite big areas with toilets and dump points at most of them.  The next one down the road at Stanley was even bigger but we didn't stop and went onto Sandfire roadhouse for our first  taste of "take away" in quite a while.
 Our night stop was at De Gray River where we eventually found a place to set up up from the river a bit. It was very crowded and very shaded down by the river and as we rely on solar we opted for a spot out in the open. We actually spent 2 nights here  before heading into Port Headland and stocking up the larder.

Sunset at De Gray
 Our next stop was at the Yule river where there is only a small area and because we were fairly early we managed to get a spot and then had a nice evening with some other travellers . We only had about 12 rigs in for the rest area which was a big change to the 30- 40  rigs that were at Barradale where we stopped for the night  further on .

 Lynn and Sam chatting at De Gray
 From the Yule River we moved on to Karratha and after a brief visit to a fabulous craft shop we wandered on to Miaree Pool  at the Maitland River where we had lunch. There was a large No Camping sign so we started to go on further and then spotted another track that led down to the river, so after parking the van and taking a walk we found a lovely spot with grass and water access.
Maitland river

Miaree Pool

  While we were there Rob appeared and had a quick fish in the river and got a small bream which he said he would use for bait and was talking about his travelling companion Deb who it turned out was at Sheringa Beach with us in SA.
Unfortunately often idyllic spots don't last and the wind came up and was blowing the dust from the road behind the van so that everything was covered in red dirt. 
 The bird life at the river was really something with lots of budgies in the tall gum trees and Ducks on the river.
The budgies came in quite close and were sometimes seen on the ground picking at seeds, but the ducks roosting in the trees was really amazing .