Friday, August 29, 2008

Flower Hunting

One of the first things I noticed when I got back to Perth was this stunning red flowered tree, appropriately called the 'Flame Tree'.

With it's skeletal figure bare of leaves, it reminded of the Kimberley Kapoc which also flowers before it bears leaves. I didn't see any in Broome (hence no photos), but they are a regular feature in the rest of the Kimberley.

This is one of my favourite paintings. It is by Broome artist Ingrid Windram. Pictured is the kapoc with its yellow flowers in bloom in front of my favourite tree, the magnificent boab. The yellow of the kapoc stands out against the greens, browns and pindan just as much as it does against the black and white in this painting. features more of her wonderful work.

Back to Perth...
At Perth airport there is an area of protected bushland right behind my office. A colleague who has worked in native horticulture and I went for a look at plants just on the edge of this area and we were blown away by the number of species we had never seen before. It is the start of the wildflower season which I have heard is quite spectacular. According to Corrick and Fuhrer in ‘Wildflowers of Southern WA’, the South West of WA is home to more than 4000 species of flowering plants, 80% of which grow nowhere else.

However, we have been able to identify a number of the plants we have found:

Cowslip Orchid (Caladenia flava) and Donkey Orchid (Dirius corymbosa)

Cat's paw and Kangaroo paw

Thursday, August 28, 2008


This US Airforce C-17 has been in and out of Perth Airport this week for reasons unknown to me.


Parked (thanks to my 10x optical zoom!)
take off

Broome Airport - unique or strange?

When I first arrived in Broome and walked out of the Arrivals Terminal (if you could call it that) I found the rest of the airport was also like no other I'd ever been to. Low buildings which looked more like houses surrounded the small carpark and palm trees and tropical plants were dotted around.
The airport exhibits what I later learned to be a sort of 'Broome style' of architecture with louver windows, shutters and lots of lattice. Possibly too much lattice.

Upon my departure, I learned that the inside is even stranger. The departures area is below. The main section is pretty much open air with a central lattice roof. There is a fountain in the centre and more tropical plants.

Of course, in true Broome style, there is a souvenir shop - just in case you haven't had enough of them!
The central part would be hell during the wet, so there are airconditioned lounges. If I remember correctly, these featured benches not unlike garden benches! Again, there were louvered windows (very useful when you have aircon), and also open doors.

Between the lounge and the tarmac were beautiful lily ponds and tropical plants

I guess the airport is your final reminder that Broome is a world of it's own!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Storage solution

Good to see I'm not the only one storing stuff on the porch!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

art deco perhaps?

Some buildings in West Perth

Thursday, August 21, 2008


In our new house, Amos and I live with Jen, Selby (Jen's boarder collie), Micky (Jen's agoraphobic fluff-ball cat) and Rocky (Chris' kitten). When Rocky and Selby 'play' things get quite chaotic and funny. Amos just runs around and barks.


Selby pleading her innocence.

I feel sorry for the cat, but he doesn't seem to mind!!!

Welcome (back) to Perth

Sorry for the silence - Arrived back in Perth a few weeks back and had to move into a new house and start work the next day. Still haven't unpacked my suitcase, let alone the boxes because I have no space.

I have been working in West Perth in an office instead of doing obs at the airport. It's a change of pace starting work after 8am and only working 7.5 hours instead of 12.

Today is my last day here as I am back at the airport on Monday. Yesterday I mastered the public transport system. Yes, it took a while. I'll save you from my rant about my experiences and jsut say that Perth's PT system is not great. There is are free bus services that run around the centre of town. In theory this is a great, convinient idea. It would be great if you could actually fit on a bus. The mornings are especially bad and I have only managed this once in 2 weeks.

Anyway, the main thing I wanted to say is that Perth is one of the strangest cities I have been to!

I have done some walking around West Perth and noticed that there is a very odd mix of buildings. You would expect to be surrounded wtih high rise office buildings in this business district, but there is a bizzar mix of office buildings and old houses and other buildings. Some of the latter have been converted to offices/consultancy suites or appartments or are possibly still residences.

Here is one of said houses wedged between two office blocks and is headquarters of some consultancy company.

Here are some other examples:

It's good that they have kept the older buildings, but it looks very strange.

I plan to learn about Perth architecture, so stay tune for more!

Duckies :(

On my lunch-break today (working in the city) I came across these ducklings, going for a walk. Their mum wasn't in sight. I don't know how they found themselves here - between a busy road and an embankment up to the railway line. Myself and another girl on her lunch-break watched them as they got closer to an intersection while we hopelessly tried to find the number for directory assist, so we could get the number for the RSPCA.

Fortunately we were joined by 3 clever women who worked in a building opposite. They brought 40Lt containers to try to catch them in (I had tried, but was unsure how I could fit all 6 in my handbag and make it to a park!). I was the first to catch one with my hands (much harder than you would think, and struggled to hold on before getting it into a container. Four others were trapped by four of us at once using the container, lid and two coats. The last one made it's escape, climbing up the rocks. I followed it, only to chase it toward the railway line! We ended up coaxing it away from there by taking up the box with it's sibling inside and I caught it in my coat!

Quite an exhausting escapade for a lunch break!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Kimberley Adventure III - Windjana Gorge

The next stop on the bus tour was Windjana Gorge which we got to by the Gibb River Road.

The Gibb River Road is well known up here and used to be the main stock route through the region. Nowadays it is the route many grey nomads and 4WDers frequent on their journeys through the Kimberley and the home of a gruelling charity bike race.

Windjana Gorge has been carved through the Napier Range by the Lennard River which, at this time of year, is no more than a few pools of water. The Napier Range is actually an ancient reef, created 350 million years ago when the southern Kimberley was under the ocean. It’s really quite hard to believe that the 100m towering red and black limestone walls of the gorge were created by coral and shell.

Windjana is home to a large number of freshwater crocodiles (see crocs post for pics) as well as numerous birds, butterflies, flying foxes and wallabies.

It was a really peaceful place despite the excited tourists trying to get good pics of the crocs without getting eaten.

Back in Perth

Yes, I have sadly now left Broome. However, there are still quite a number of posts I need to do about my time there, so stay tuned!

I have been feeling the cold in Perth. Minimum temps have been down to 2 degrees, and maximums around 17-21. Not that cold compared to poor Melbourne. I am headed back there this week for 5 days and may die from the cold! It snowed yesterday at my friends' places in Mt Evelyn! Bbrrrr....

I moved into a new place on Tuesday and have been trying to sort out my stuff since then. I don't currently have a wardrobe so there are clothes every where. We had people over for lunch yesterday, so boxes and excess furniture had to be hidden in the carport and backyard.

I'm working in the city behind a desk for a few weeks til I go back out to Perth Airport. I find Perth to be a very strange city and am just starting to work out the public transport. The first day I caught one of the city loop buses going in the wrong direction, so instead of taking 10 mins to get to work, it took 35 mins!

I'm getting a bit more used to it now though.
More soon...

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Kimberley Adventure II - CROCS!!!

Despite this being the highlight of the adventure, I couldn't save it for last - just too exciting. Here are the crocs of Windjana Gorge. No smiling please!!

Kimberley Adventure Part 1

Due to lack of transport and travelling companions I resorted to joining some of the Grey Nomads on an organised bus tour. Surprisingly there were more people my age than older.

In a 27 seater 4WD truck/bus vehicle 20 of us embarked on a 15 hour round journey across 815km. The vehicle looks quite amusing, being the head of a truck on a bus but was very spacious and comfortable.

The first stop was Myall's Bore and Cattle trough (left), apparently the longest in the world at 120m, and the Boab prison tree. The giant tree is
estimated to be 1,500 years old and has a girth of 14.7m. Aboriginal prisoners were held in it on their way to court in Derby.