Plants with Bite – at the Calyx in The Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney (Video)

In The Royal Botanic Garden in Sydney NSW, the Calyx space has been transformed into yet another amazing exhibition: Plants with Bite.
With the largest vertical floral wall in the Southern Hemisphere and over 18,000 plants, and another 25,000 plants at ground level, this is a spectacular sight.
Featuring carnivorous plants and glass artworks the exhibition has free entry and is well worth a visit.
Enjoy the video as you listen to the music of:
Digital Memories by Unicorn Heads.
(YouTube audio library)

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Japanese Gardens at Gosford Regional Gallery (video)

The beautiful Japanese gardens at Caroline Bay near East Gosford are tranquil and inspirational. Immaculately presented, these gardens are especially amazing in spring. Wisteria hangs gracefully from the pergola and the Azaleas in full bloom, present massed displays of colour. Viewing the raked stone garden, the pagodas and the Japanese water bowl as well as the beautifully shaped hedges is a very pleasant experience.

Enjoy the video as you listen to the music of:

Mizuki  – by Bad Snacks
(YouTube audio library)

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2018 Spring Flower display at David Jones Sydney (Video)

The flower display at David Jones’ Sydney store is beautiful. There are wonderful displays in every window surrounding the store, and inside, the super-sized arrangements reach the ceiling. Attracting large numbers of visitors, and taking many hours to assemble, this is truly a spectacular sight.

I hope you enjoy the video while listening to the music of:
Forever Yours by Wayne Jones (YouTube audio library)

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Rumbalara Reserve

Walking through the Rumbalara Reserve (near Gosford, NSW) – a tree-filled area including rainforest, ferns, wildflowers and wildlife – you come across bronze sculptures of pioneers and explorers.
Photographed above is the bronze sculpture of Matthew Flinders, an English explorer, naval officer and navigator who sailed around Australia and mapped much of its coastline. Views from the reserve (pictured above) include the steep steps between two huge rock walls, some beautiful grass trees and some amazing rock formations.
Following the trails and looking at the view through the trees, you can catch glimpses of Gosford City with its office blocks and high-rise apartments, and watch tiny trains on the bridge which crosses over a section of the Brisbane Water.
The Mouat Trail is a pleasant walk of 4km, which should take approximately 2 hours to complete. This walk – best done with a car shuffle – starts from Rumbalara Reserve, accessed from Dolly Avenue at Springfield, to Katandra Reserve at Toomeys Road, Mount Elliot. The trail follows a series of tracks and management trails along the top of the ridge between the Katandra and Rumbalara Reserves.
There are many trails throughout both the Rumbalara and Katandra reserves, and you can walk all the trails or, as we did on this occasion,  just a selection.      

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Kangaroos at Walka Water Works

We photographed these Eastern Grey Kangaroos resting beside the walking track at the Walka Water Works.  They look very shy, but have been known to attack people who are walking or jogging on the tracks.
One of the largest kangaroo species, the eastern grey kangaroo has soft, thick, grey-brown fur. An adult male will commonly weigh around 50 to 66 kg and females usually weigh around 17 to 40 kg.
The Walka Water Works – situated near Maitland, New South Wales –  has a large lake area, with about 140 species of birdlife and easy walking trails  around the  lake and through the park.

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    Walka Water Works

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    Walka Water Works is a 19th-century pumping station located near Maitland, New South Wales, Australia.
    Built in 1887 to supply water to Newcastle and the lower Hunter Valley, the restored pump house – with its ornate chimney and brickwork – is now a part of the Walka Recreation and Wildlife Reserve.
    The large sandstone water reservoir was originally filled with water pumped from the Hunter River. It is now home to many species of birds, which can be glimpsed from the the bush trails that wind through the park and surround the lake. Tortoises, with their heads and necks just visible above the water, can be spotted near the stone wall at the edge of the lake.
    A pleasant picnic area with barbecues, a playground and even a miniature railway – which is usually in operation on the 1st and 3rd Sunday of the month from 11am – make this a good school holiday destination. 

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    ‘Within without’ by James Turrell

    ‘Within without’ (2010) is a lighting installation by American artist James Turrell. Located in the Australian Garden, on the south side of the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra, this is a major Skyspace and one of the largest and most complex of Turrell’s installations to date.
    You enter the installation via a long sloping walkway. Inside is a large square-based pyramid with ochre walls. A stupa made of Victorian basalt rises in the centre of the space surrounded by a pool of turquoise water. The stupa contains the viewing chamber – a simple domed space – which is open to the sky.
    One of my favourite exhibitions in Canberra, we visited this installation on a cold Autumn afternoon and were surprised to find that the seating inside the dome was heated. The dome, with its planting of native grasses over the roof and the still turquoise water inside, has a very calming effect. It is a must-see every time I visit the National Gallery.

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    National Gallery of Australia – Sculpture Garden

    On a recent trip to Canberra, we visited the National Gallery of Australia.  Hidden at the back of the Gallery, overlooking the sculpture garden, is the NGA cafe – where we had a delicious meal. Deciding to walk to the edge of Lake Burley Griffin, we found ourselves among the sculptures, and the photographs below showcase just a few of these.

    The ‘Floating figure’ (1927) by Gaston Lachaise – which is cast in bronze – was purchased by the National Gallery in 1978.  Suspended above a shallow pool, in which the figure casts a reflection, it has a commanding presence.

    ‘The dog’ (2003) by Rick Amor, cast in bronze on a corten steel base, was purchased by the National Gallery in 2004. Larger than life, it appears at a distance to be the size of a bear.

    ‘Cones’ (1982) by artist Bert Flugelman, made of polished stainless steel, was commissioned in 1976 by the National Gallery and purchased in 1982.
    The reflective steel cones have assumed an iconic presence in the National Gallery of Australia’s Sculpture Garden. Stretching more than 20 metres, they reflect the sky, ground and eucalypt trees, making a very impressive picture.

    The ‘Heads from the North’ (2004), by Dadang Christanto, are all cast in bronze. Consisting of 66 slightly larger than life-sized bronze heads, it is an amazing installation, situated among the reeds of the marsh pond in the sculptural garden of Canberra’s National Gallery of Australia.

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    Cartier Exhibition at the National Gallery, Canberra

    This beautiful dolphin bracelet, photographed at the Cartier exhibition in the National Gallery of Australia, is just one of more than 300 spectacular items on display.  With loans from royal families and celebrities, as well as jewellery from the Cartier collection, this is a must-see destination on your visit to Canberra.

    With thousands of precious stones, this snake necklace has so many moving parts. It can curl around your neck just like a real snake.
    The two crocodiles can be worn separately as brooches or together as a necklace. Made from platinum, white and yellow gold and many precious stones – emeralds, rubies and diamonds – these glittering pieces of jewellery are quite breathtaking.

    The Scarab brooch – made in 1925 from gold, platinum, diamonds, ruby, emerald, citrine and onyx – is reproduced here on a magnet bought as a memento of our trip to this amazing exhibition.

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