Sunday, 31 January 2016

Yachts off Little Bay

On 26 January, Australia Day, there was a yacht race between Sydney harbour and Botany Bay and return.  They made an attractive sight off Little Bay where I was swimming. 

Saturday, 30 January 2016

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Thursday, 21 January 2016

Parsley Bay: Eastern Water Dragon

Lots of the very live Eastern Water Dragons sunning themselves on the rocks, but only one sand crab!

The Eastern Water Dragon ((Intellagama lesueurii) is Australia's largest dragon lizard. They are able to swim totally submerged, and rest on the bottom of shallow creeks or lakes for up to 90 minutes to avoid detection.

They love to bask on rocks.

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Parsley Bay: the bridge

The suspension foot bridge at Parsley Bay is a unique feature of the location. It was considered by Vaucluse Council as early as 1906, in order to improve pedestrian access between the two sides of the bay.

This cable suspension bridge was built in 1910 at a cost of £500. It was designed by Edwin Sautelle the Town Clerk and Engineer of Vaucluse, and built by council labour.

Monday, 18 January 2016

Parsley Bay, Vaucluse

For the next few days, we're going to visit Parsley Bay in Sydney's east - a picture perfect swimming cove on the harbour, complete with shark net, great coffees, a unique structure, and some intriguing resident wildlife.

The traditional owners of the land were members of the Birrabirragal band, a coastal group which clustered around the periphery of Sydney Harbour.

There are two  popular versions of the origin of the name Parsley Bay. One, that a hermit called 'Parsley' lived in early years in one of the caves at the head of the bay, the other is traditional and was probably used by the first exploratory parties (1788) to refer to an edible plant growing there, closely resembling parsley, which was used as an anti-scorbutic (scurvy) by the vitamin starved First Fleeters. 

The Bay was set aside for public recreation use in 1907.

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Market Gardens, Kyeemagh

A stone's throw from Sydney Airport, which you can see in the background, these market gardens at Kyeemagh survive, despite land pressures this close to the city.

Saturday, 16 January 2016

Sunday, 10 January 2016

Two magnificent feats of engineering

Taken from the northern balcony of the Joan Sutherland (Opera) theatre at Sydney Opera House. Looking north-west.

Friday, 8 January 2016

"Missed it by THAT much!"

Another cruise liner heads out to sea. It always looks like they are going to run into the Opera House, but they don't!

Thursday, 7 January 2016

"It's good for the farmers"

It has rained and rained and rained and rained in Sydney (and all of NSW) for several days. Whenever it rains, causes disruption etc, we always use the cliche "It's good for the farmers!". 

And in this case I'm the (urban) "farmer" ! 

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

The twelfth day of Christmas...Epiphany..all over for another year

Traditionally (well according to some traditions), the decorations come down on the twelfth day of Christmas....6th January. In Christianity, it is Epiphany - the day day when allegedly the three Kings ('wise men' visited the baby Jesus, and his glory was realised (epiphany = a striking realisation). 

In Italy the day is called Befana, a variation on 'Epiphany'. A broomstick-riding old woman, the Befana, brings gifts to children, along with a lump of "coal" - black sweets - for the times they have not been good during the year. 

The legend told of her is that, having missed her opportunity to bring a gift to the child Jesus together with the three kings, she now brings gifts to other children on that night. 

Go Befana, I say! Trust the blokes to cut the women out of the action.  

In some Christian sects, eg the Eastern Orthodox, Epiphany is considered the most important day, and gifts are exchanged then, rather than on Christmas Day. 

January 5th , the Twelfth Night, the night before Epiphany, was often celebrated with feasting in England in previous centuries, probably partly inspired by Shakespeare's play.