Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Solenostemon scutellarioides

Solenostemon scutellarioides "Coleus Multi Coloured"  Is a winner in my garden with its large colourful leaves in various shapes and sizes. A tropical tender perennial that is grown as a popular foliage plant with an almost infinite number of leaf color combinations including most colors of the spectrum apart from a true blue. Coleus has no serious insect or disease problem, but watch for insects such as aphids, spider mites and whiteflies. I grown mine in pots but will do well in most containers, window boxes, hanging baskets and as edging plant. A proven winner for me....

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Silverband Falls - Dairy Creek

Silverband Falls pre-floods
Many years ago while on a visit to the Grampians we visited the  popular and beautiful Silverband Fall on Dairy Creek. This unusual waterfall where  the water falls over the moss covered cliff face to disappear into the rocks at the base of the falls, only to re-emerged further downstream in the fern clad gully. Sadly on a return visit recently the falls and the little creek with tranquil fern-lined gully were no more. Nature builds beautiful areas like this one and nature can also destroys them.
 Sign showing Dairy Creek pre-flood
The picture on this sign at the creek crossing gives the visitor an idea of how beautiful the area along Dairy Creek with its lovely lush tree fern clad gully and meandering little creek once were. In January 2011 a very significant storm and flood event swept through this area and many other parts of the Grampians National Park causing catastrophic and wide spread damage.
Nature's fury sending a raging torrent of floodwater's, landslips and derbies such as giant boulder, rocks, towering eucalypts trees from the cliffs above destroying everything in its path and reshaping the little creek forever stripping it of all vegetation.
Silverband Falls walking track bridge washed metres down the creek bed
So much  derbies litter the once tranquil creek-bed
Trees uprooted and washed away
looking at walking track bridge from creek crossing
Will this area return to it's former state I think not, not in my lifetime, the demographic's of the landscape have changed, the little eco system evolved over hundreds in not thousands of years. What helped to create this once beautiful area has been totally washed away.

Debris can been seen for many metres down stream, the extensive erosion of the creek edges by the floodwater very evident in some photos. 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Flinders Pier

We recently visited the pier at Flinders, the large wooden pier is said to be a safe location for a day's fishing. Where a good variety of species can be caught, especially calamari and whiting. Flinders Pier is also one of the most popular shore dives in the state.There seems a lot to see and do around Flinders the scenery is beautiful and there many opportunities to snap a photo or two.

under the pier

Sunday, February 3, 2013

J Ward Ararat Guided Tour

J Ward front view
We called into Ararat on our way home from a trip touring around the area in the hope we could  join a guided tour of J Ward. J Ward housed some of Victoria's most dangerous men, those men who were deemed "criminally insane". The building originally opened as a goldfield prison in 1859, during this time three men were hung here and their bodies buried in the grounds in unmarked graves. In the mid 1880's the site was  acquired by the Lunacy Department to house those men who were deemed criminally insane until it closed in 1991. Our tour guide on the day was Wally and he was a wealth of information about J Ward and the inpatients housed there, would recommend this tour as a must do.
 Front gate
Single staff quarters

 West wing
 Married couples quarters

 Ship picture painted by a prisoner still visible today
 Straight jacket
 Exercise yard inmates spent 12 hours a day here
Guard tower
Inmates carving in bluestone brick many hours with nothing else to do

 Building facade
 Entry to guard tower was from a stairwell outside the facility
 Underground kitchen facade

 Bread was baked on site in an old wood fire oven
 Stairs to second level
Cell block

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Mt William Grampians National Park

Today we walked to the top of Mount William which is a most popular summit and the highest point within the Grampians National Park. Beautiful panoramic views of the surrounding mountain ranges and open plains can be seen from the summit a definite must for the photographer. The weather on the summit is very unpredictable we had almost made it to the top when a storm front move in and within minutes it started to rain. The temperature was 3c at 9am on top of the summit and very windy, but we went prepared for any condition.
Rock wall showing natures art work
 Natural rock face
Stunning views
 Storm front hit just as we reached the summit