Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Gippsland Visit

My husband and I just had a few days away in our van in Gippsland, Victoria. We stayed at the Buchan Caves Park with as many as three other campers at any one time ... beautiful trees, peace and quiet and grazing kangaroos. It rained heavily two nights but the days were fine although steamy!

We enjoyed the walks around the park especially the track to the Spring Creek Falls.

Buchan is not far from the Alpine and Snowy Mtns National Parks and we took a day trip to see the Little River Falls (swollen by the heavy rain) and Gorge and the Snowy river at Mackillops Bridge.

The Gorge (up to 500m deep in parts) is the deepest in Victoria and an amazing and unexpected sight. The road into the Snowy River is not wide enough for cars to pass for about 11km and it's quite scary to look at the drop out the window ...

Little River Falls:

 Little River Gorge Panorama:

Snowy Mtns National Park:

 Snowy River:

Monday, 28 November 2011

Group Art Quilt

Our finished group charity quilt was languishing folded up in a bag waiting to be raffled or sold ... so I hung it up in our living room for the time being and it looks fabulous. It is for sale if you know of an office, boardroom or home that would love to have it. It is 85 " (216 cm) wide by 59 " (150 cm) deep and has a full width hanging rod pocket on the back.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

More Rock

This is my latest find - a 16 x 18 x 1 cm slice of Spherulitic Rhyolite - the same material and process that can form thunder-eggs. I got this from a Sydney Rocks area gift shop (how appropriate!).

I particularly like the variety of colours and shapes and see the little blue one that looks like Australia except Tasmania is on the wrong side?

This piece comes from the Mt Hay area near Wycarbah in Central Qld. The little town is famous for its Mt Hay Thunder Egg Park. There is a large rhyolitic lava flow at Mt Hay. The process is that gas bubbles were trapped in the lava flow during solidification, creating pockets which were later filled or partially filled by lava flows of siliceous material which may be agate, jasper, quartz or other materials. The rhyolite may be varying shades of green, brown and red, while the spherulites encased may be many colours including blue, red, brown and amethyst.

Note for Quilters: Some of Kaffe Fassett's fabrics have been inspired by geology!

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Interesting "Rock"

Recently some friends commented on my interesting volcanic agate "bomb" or "thunder-egg"so I thought I would share it with you. Thunder-eggs are produced by volcanoes and look very nondescript on the outside but hide beautiful colours in the middle. While the structure of the whole “eggs” are remarkably similar, their interior agate, opal and quartz cores– along with inclusions of rhyolite shards, moss, and plumes– provide an endless variety, no two being exactly the same.

I have a bit of a soft spot for rocks ... at school I wanted to do Geology for my HSC but my school didn't offer it, even though my Physics teacher's major had been Geology, and then I considered doing it at Uni .... but was dissuaded by the fact that in the late 70's females weren't allowed underground in mines so that would have seriously limited my employability. I chose textiles instead. I wonder how my life would have been different if I had chosen the other path? Lapidary and fossils instead of patchwork? A remote country home instead of city one? I like to look around me at rocks and landforms when we get out travelling and orienteering and plan to visit volcanoes on our travels whenever possible. I am a sucker for gift shops and museum shops with polished stones and fossils!

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Best Ever Lemon Meringue Pie

Yesterday I made what I reckon is my best ever lemon meringue pie - how high is that meringue - and it was nice and lemony tasting too. Fresh lemons from our tree. I confess I didn't make the pastry as I had a pie case in the freezer. Looking forward to another slice tonight.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Sydney Visit

We have a Canadian exchange student staying with us for some five weeks and I took the boys up to Sydney sightseeing on the Melbourne Cup "long weekend" - how great is it that you can make a 4-day weekend out of a horse race ...?

We stayed at the Sydney Rocks Youth Hostel that Geoff and I discovered while walking round on our lovely weekend earlier in the year. Brand new, modern, great location and amenities, even views of the Harbour from the spacious terrace! We had a family room with ensuite and all linens and towels supplied. How easy is that!? I would recommend it to anyone. The ferries and buses are a breeze to get around on too.

We visited Circular Quay, Opera House, Manly, Watsons Bay, Darling Harbour Aquarium and Wildlife Centre, caught up with my nephew for dinner, went to a play - Julius Caesar - at the Opera House, did some shopping, and even had a swim at Bondi Beach (well the boys did, I had to mind our valuables ...) where the water was reported to be "not cold at all". The boys tried kangaroo and crocodile for dinner and pancakes were a treat one morning.