A word a week challenge

Travel Theme : Hats


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These would be the most colourful hats I have ever seen. They were at the “Stanthorpe apple and grape festival”. The festival was a riot of colour and happy vibes. It was the start of our round Australia trip March 2010. (take a look)


Sunday beach markets pc 039_4000x3000

A hat is a necessity in Queensland and the weekly beach markets are a good place to find just the right one. (go here and share the experience of a sunny day at the beach markets)


At the beginning of our year around Australia Jack had this rather dapper Panama hat. As the days turned to weeks, then months. That hat became rained on, sat on, lost then found again. It became Jack’s favourite. In the second photo he is with his mate Rob. Rob has his favourite Akubra hat on, well-worn, sweat stained and very dilapidated. Rob owns a farm in the beautiful Southern corner of Western Australia and every year he organised a poets weekend. Bush poets and people came from far and wide.  We were lucky enough to be in his area and help with the organisation. It was a lot of fun. (if you would like to come along click here)


Finally here is that iconic Akubra

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This stained, stitched and patched Akubra belonged to a drover. That tough breed of Aussie that drove cattle hundreds of miles through scrub, desert and open Mitchel grass plains in all weather conditions. The heat and drought of summer and the bone chilling rain and winds of winter. They are a breed of man to be admired. I took this photo at the “Drovers Shed” in Camooweal. ( I spent hours looking round this fascinating place. Click here and come with me for a look at Australia’s droving history)

Akubra Hats are an Australian Icon.

(Click here to discover the rich history of this iconic hat)

For 130 years Akubra has been making its famous rabbit fur, felt hats. The Akubra name is synonymous with the landscape of outback Australia, and our unique hats form an important part of the Australian national uniform. In the modern era Akubra Hats still form an important part of the national culture, being worn by the hard working men and women on the land as well as being presented as national gifts to those visiting dignitaries who want to take a piece of Australia home


Hats are every where this week. Go to Ailsa’s “Where’s my backpack” to see hundreds more…

Categories: Australia, hats, outback, photography, poetry, travel theme | Tags: , , , | 4 Comments

5 Photos, 5 Stories : Day 2

Gilly of “Lucid Gypsy” has passed this challenge on to me and I am taking the opportunity to revisit some of the most memorable places I have travelled to in the past,

Yesterday the Taj Mahal took my breath away. Today it is the Grand Canyon that took my breath away in a very different way…


Standing on the edge of this huge gash in the surface of the earth I look down in to the most spectacular gorge in the world. It is September 1991 and it is hot, very hot. The sun radiates and bounces heat off the sheer rock walls and we have made the decision to walk/scramble down the  Bright Angel Trail into the canyon as far as the lookout over the Colorado River. Can you see that winding track way below? That is where we went. The track is steeply rutted by the mules that carry non-walkers up and down and the walking is difficult. Do you hop from the top of each rut, or do you high step over each raised segment. I tried both. In the beginning on the way down The sun shone on the opposite walls and I enjoyed looking around taking photos, chatting to other walkers. Mission accomplished, The view over the Colorado River was spectacular.

(Follow this link to the other post I did with more photos about the Grand Canyon walk)

As I did not have a hat I poured water over my head from the barrel that held drinking water for the mules and fashioned one of those temporary head covers from my handkerchief, you know the sort with a knot in each corner? Then it was time to head back up.

The sun had swung round to the other side and it was a ball if fire, we were in its full glare. Those ruts now became mini mountains. Every muscle in my legs ached, sweat dripped from every pore. My water bottle was empty and my temporary hat was useless. The only way out was up, so head down, two steps and stop, two more steps and wishing I had booked a mule as they brushed by us.

Finally I staggered over the top rim 8 hours from when I started down. What a huge feeling of exhilaration and achievement I felt as I looked back down into that formidable canyon.

The second part of the challenge is to pass the baton on to another blogger. So today I would like to nominate (drum roll please) Sue from “Words Visual“. Sue can work magic with photos and I look forward to see what she will choose for this challenge. Go across and say G’day to her and explore her world.

There’s no obligation Sue, have fun if you want to join in!

The challenge is to just “post a photo each day for five consecutive days and attach a story to the photo. It can be fiction or non-fiction, a poem or a short paragraph and each day nominate another blogger for the challenge”.



Categories: 5 photos 5 days, Grand Canyon, photography | Tags: , , | 15 Comments

Word Press Photo Challenge : Silhouette

Silhouette of the life giving windmill

On the horizon the silhouette of the life-giving windmill


The windmill is a symbol of the Australian outback. It provides life-giving water for the stock. Without the water there would be no stock to take to market and there would be no need for the huge road trains which are the Kings of the road as they roar past.

Road train

Road train

As the sun sets it silhouettes the delicate tracery of the trees along the river bank.

tiaro mary river camp

Peering through the trees to watch the pelicans

Peering through the trees to watch the pelicans

Sunrise silhouette pandanus

Sunrise silhouette pandanus

Photography is all about experimenting with light, and then positioning yourself (or your subject) in the right spot to achieve a certain effect. One such effect is a silhouette, in which an outline of someone or something appears dark against a lighter background. Silhouettes can be very dramatic and resemble black shapes without any details, but the effect varies from picture to picture.

This is my interpretation of the WP photo challenge this week.

Categories: Australia, “postaday″, memories, photography, Silhouettes, weekly photo challenge | Tags: , , , , | 10 Comments

A Word a Week Challenge : Figure

Today I am going back in my photographic memories to a camel race I had the pleasure to watch in Winton in the Australian outback. No fashion on the track competitions here, no high heel shoes and fancy hats. Nearly all the hats were Akubras worn by the men, and some of the women, and the clothes of choice were jeans and shirts.

The sun radiated down from a brilliant blue sky, it was dusty and hot, but the atmosphere was happy and excited.

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It is a fast and furious sport the jockeys have very little control over their camels, notice in the photos they do not have reins to steer or even stop their mounts, it is just hang on and hope for the best. Surprisingly only one jockey fell off.

This was the overall champion rider with the most points through the day

This was the overall champion rider with the most points through the day


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This was the second place getter. Most of the riders were female !!!

This was the second place getter. Most of the riders were female !!!

It was an entertaining day, something quite different and unique to the Australian outback. The word challenge from Sue this week was “figure” and it made me think of all the interesting figures and characters I saw at the Winton camel races.

A lovely trip down memory lane for me.


Click here to see more posts about what figures in other bloggers lives.


Categories: A word a week challenge, Australia, camel races, figure, outback, photography | Tags: , , , , , | 24 Comments

A Word a Week Photo Challenge : Context


the situation in which something happens :

the group of conditions that exist where and when something happens.


This is a photo gallery of a situation I found myself in when travelling around Australia, and something really good certainly happened.

You will see in the photos a group of conditions, hay bales, about a dozen talented bush poets, an attentive audience and food. All came together to create a fun-filled weekend when we joined the support team to help put together a 2 day bush poets weekend in Denmark, Western Australia.


Sue from “A word in your ear” has given us the word “context” to challenge us. This is my photo essay on context, go here to see other interpretations.

Categories: A word a week challenge, Australia, context, photography, poetry, Western Australia | Tags: , , , , , | 17 Comments

A Word a Week Photo Challenge : Undulate~~~~

Snowy Mountains

Snowy Mountains

The blue-grey vista of the Snowy Mountains receding in undulating waves into the distance. The aerial perspective creating a dreamy atmosphere. This is part of “The Great Dividing Range” and is the highest point in Australia

The Alps are the only bioregion on the Australian mainland in which deep snow falls annually, but these photos are taken in summer.

Mt Hotham

Mt Hotham

This may look like a powdering of snow, but it is the bare branches of the snow gums, all that remains after a devastating bush fire swept through the area in 2004. Regrowth is only just starting.

Mt Hotham

Jack is standing next to a marker that shows were the edge of the road is when the snow is thick on the ground.


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I think water can also be described as undulating. When the ocean is in a calm and serene mood the waves gently roll in an undulating fashion to the shore.

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A stream undulating over the rocks as it cascades down through the bush.

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Undulating? Well maybe ripples, but I like this abstract photo of water so used this opportunity to put it in a post.


ClairviewThe undulating ripples in the sand formed by the constant ebb and flow of the tide.

Mungo senic drive pc 009_3264x2448Finally the mighty sand hills formed by the wind


Interesting word this week Sue. Click here to visit other posts

Categories: A word a week challenge, Australia, photography, Snowy Mountains, undulate | Tags: , , , , | 16 Comments

A Word a Week Photo Challenge : Waiting

Talking to the skeleton staff


I think this person had been waiting for a long time. So Jack went over for a chat and found out that they were operating with a skeleton staff !!!!

He/she was in the Geraldton Museum and as we will be back there in April we will drop by to say “hello”….


We came across this crowd of patient punters waiting in the rain for the street parade to come past. When it did it was well worth waiting for.

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Sue from “A word in your ear” is travelling around Africa and she posts amazing photos and stories of her adventures. What are you waiting for go over and take a look. Click here. She also finds time to host this challenge.

Once a week she will dip into her old English Oxford dictionary and pick a word on the page that it falls open at.  The challenge is to post a photograph, poem, story – whatever the genre you like best to describe what that word means to you. Put a link back to the challenge page so others can take part if they wish.

Categories: A word a week challenge, Australia, photography, waiting | Tags: , , , , | 7 Comments

A Word a Week Photo Challenge : Yellow

I love yellow, it is my favourite colour. It is the colour of happiness and sunshine and it makes me smile.

Thanks Sue for choosing it for this weeks challenge. Pop over to her post to have a yellow fix.

I also love flowers and capturing their beauty with the camera.

Here is a selection of my favourites.

Yellow rose

Wattle emblem of NSW

 WA wild flower

Western Australia flowers



Water lily


These next two photos were taken in 1990 at Hickstead Equestrian Centre in Sussex when I spent a year working there as a house keeper for Douglas Bunn. It was an interesting and exciting year but after the very cold winter I was happy to go back to New Zealand, the country I called home at that time. They were taken on film and scanned into the computer so they are not very sharp, but they bring back so many memories.

I have put these in for my Northern Hemisphere friends to remind them that under the snow and ice, while you are in the grips of winter spring is just around the corner and waiting to burst out in a riot of colour and rebirth.


A field of golden daffodils

Categories: A word a week challenge, flowers, memories, photography, yellow | Tags: , , , | 6 Comments

A Word a Week : Wind

Wind to me conjures up images of storms. The wind lashing the trees, whipping the ocean into a frenzy of waves and foam. Creating the wild surf-breaks that surfers love to conquer.

Storm season is approaching, January to March brings the hurricanes along the coast. The tropical North Queensland bears the brunt and the South East corner, where we live, gets the tail end, but it gives spectacular image opportunities.

Wind whips the spray off the top of the waves

Wind whips the spray off the top of the waves


The waves come crashing down

The waves come crashing down


Crowds gather at the end of the spit to watch the fury of the storm

Crowds gather at the end of the spit to watch the fury of the storm

The waves crash onto the rocks

The waves crash onto the rocks

The storm clouds gather and the red flag signals danger

The storm clouds gather and the red flag signals danger



Surfers enjoy the challenge

Surfers enjoy the challenge

Meanwhile on shore the wind tears at the Pandanus trees

Meanwhile on shore the wind tears at the Pandanus trees


Some branches cannot stand the battering wind

Some branches cannot stand the battering wind



I wonder what sort of season we will get this year. We need rain but not in torrential downpours.


Sue of “A word in your ear” opens her dictionary each week to find a word to challenge us with. This week it is WIND






Categories: A word a week challenge, photography | Tags: , , , , | 12 Comments

A Word a Week : Lines____________

Shark Bay Western Australia

Shark Bay Western Australia

The unique lines, patterns and colours created by the sun in the crystal clear waters of Shark Bay.

Black Knight succulent.

Black Knight succulent.

The sun has also created these outlines around the bracts (is this the correct term?) of this succulent, defining each tiny hair


Sue of “A word in your ear” had her dictionary fall open at the word LINE this week.

Also have a look at Sue’s fabulous photos from her adventure and travel around Africa

Categories: A word a week challenge, line, photography | Tags: , , , | 4 Comments

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