Puffing Billy Race 2015

It’s becoming an annual thing for me now, to photograph the Puffing Billy Race in May, here in Selby close to home. Last year I went to the Menzies Creek crossing and had to handle an umbrella while taking shots too, but this time round the weather was just perfect with a slight breeze and blue skies and fluffy clouds. So my husband, a colleague and I set up near the Trestle Bridge to watch the runners and the trains (two of them) pass by at the start of the race. Over 3,000 runners in this year’s event and the winner, Steve Kelly, beat the train, coming in at 42:47 mins. I believe the train was around 52 mins.  Always great to watch those who get involved.  Here are just a few shots from the race.

The first pack to come through.
Puffing Billy Race 2015

The first train comes through.
Puffing Billy Race 2015

Great to see the runners enjoying themselves.
Puffing Billy Race 2015

The second train after all the runners had passed through.
Puffing Billy Race 2015

More images can be seen here.

Official Opening of Anzac Walk, Emerald 11March2015

Melbourne always has the most lovely Autumn days and today was definitely one of those.  Which truly was a blessing for the event I was about to witness.

I was privileged to attend the official opening of the new Anzac Walk this morning at Emerald, Vic. I first heard about it in February via a business colleague and then other photography friends told me about it also. However I was to learn that this has been in the planning for some considerable time and the Shire of Cardinia was approached about it, around 18 months ago.

I decided to take the morning off and visit Emerald to witness this event as it is only a short distance from home and this isn’t something that would happen every day. In fact, it was a once-off. I spent my time doing some ‘investigative interviews’ and spoke to some of the locals which included Rob and Anne Taylor who were dressed up for the occasion. And Dianne told me of her life in Czechoslovakia as a child, how she lived with her family in Hitler’s Camp and later how they left the country and eventually came to Australia. She’s had a really interesting life and I asked her if she’d ever written a book? Apparently two have been written in the past that have included her life happenings.

There were vintage cars on display, two mounted horsemen, soldiers, nurses and others.

His Excellency, Sir Peter Cosgrove and his wife, Lady Cosgrove attended this event – their first visit to Emerald and Sir Peter was quite taken with the Puffing Billy and his ride on it. He said it might be their first visit but not their last and would love to come again. Accompanying them were several soldiers in uniforms from the First World War period and children and their parents in period costume.  His arrival was marked by three of the Roulettes which had flown up from Sale.

This event was to commemorate the 32 soldiers from Emerald and surrounding districts, who never came back home. As the RSL President, Peter Maloney, said, it was all about the 32. He gave quite an emotional speech.

Present also was the Mayor of the Cardinia Shire, Cr Letitia Wilmot and also various other dignitaries.

The Anzac Walk is designed to provide the Emerald community and visitors with a unique way to acknowledge the 100th anniversary of Gallipoli as part of this year’s Anzac Day commemorations.  There will be an audio trail with an app that people can download on their phones to listen to stories about the 32. Anzac Walk is a new footpath along Memorial Avenue, and also includes the existing footpath along Main Road between Church Street and Kilvington Drive.  There are information stands with information about the 32 soldiers.

Below are some images I took from this morning and more will be available later.  Click on the first one and you can scroll through at a larger size.

Kangaroo and Joey

This post is for the benefit of my overseas friends and followers.  While not all Australians get to see this site regularly I’m very blessed to live in an area where I can see kangaroos in the wild (well, it’s a national park) and get relatively close to them – close enough to photograph them.  I remain wary and watchful, they are wild animals after all and can be unpredictable, but all the same these ones are used to seeing humans in their territory on a regular basis.

Eastern Grey Kangaroo and Joey in pouch. Love it!

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Super moon

If you’re in Australia you will have heard about the Super moon. I’m sure it’s probably been talked about elsewhere too.  I am fortunate in that the state and area I live in had a very clear weekend and both Saturday and Sunday night were perfect conditions for taking photos of a full moon – a very large looking full moon.  I also went out on Monday morning to get more shots. There had been a lot in the media about the moon, and excitement amongst a lot of photographers, amateurs, hobbyists and the professionals.  I was definitely in that group and have never really succeeded in taking decent shots of the moon before, so was unsure how I would go.

I’m hooked now and would love to get a telescope connected to my camera. Perhaps taking photos of the constellations would be a cool thing to do!  Anyway, here’s a small number of the shots I took over the weekend and Monday morning.  Hope you like them!

The first was Saturday night.  I was getting into practice.

Then out Sunday evening as it was just rising. There was a small amount of cloud on the horizon.

And a bit higher

I also got some similar shots later Sunday night that were similar to the Saturday night one so won’t add one of those here.

And then Monday morning

This one (below) has been featured on the Bureau of Meteorology Facebook page.

 

Documenting Birdsland Reserve

I’ve been spending the past month walking at Birdsland Reserve, Belgrave Heights, and gradually photographing all the birds I’ve been seeing there.  I thought it would be good to create a gallery of the bird life there.  I hope you agree.  You’ll find the gallery here.

This is a male Australasian Darterbird.

Australasian Darterbird

And this is a female. Their feet almost look jelly like. Quite amazing.

Australasian Darterbird

This is the first time I’ve seen one of these in flight.

Darter Bird in flight