Photography Bliss : Alfred Nicholas Gardens in the Dandenong Ranges

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Wow! Magical, Picturesque, Amazing colours, these words all describe the Alfred Nicholas Gardens. These gardens are situated of Sherbrooke Road in the Dandenong Ranges. They are run by Parks Victoria now, and entrance is free.
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I went at the end of Autumn and the Autumn foliage colours were just gorgeous. It not just the colours it is also the ornamental lake and boat house with a couple of small bridges that just make this place so picturesque. Whilst the gardens are surrounded by rain forrest. It is a delightful place for a walking adventure with a camera.  I was in my happy place taking lots of delightful photo’s.
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This day was the perfect day, late afternoon and slightly cloudy for taking photo’s. I am a new hobbyist photographer and are still learning how to navigate the settings of my DSLR camera and take good photo’s. All I know is I need to get out there and practice and take a lot of photo’s. This place makes it easy to take pretty photo’s because it is just so delightfully beautiful.
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You can discover the Alfred Nicholas Gardens for yourself by going to Dandenong Ranges,  Sherbrooke Road, Sherbrooke, Victoria. Admission is free, and the photography opportunity is great. To find out more go to Parks Victoria’s site. 

This post has been inspired by the Ultimate Blog Challenge Day 11, which I have been encouraged to share some photo’s. This year I am also sharing a picture a day on Instagram, which are mostly iPhone photo’s, because that the camera I always have with me.

 

 

Wishing you all a wonderful day!

FRAN DISHON

 

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Fun Things To Do In Winter.

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Morning walk on a Winter’s Day!

Winter, you make it so cold and dark outside. Really all I want to do is curl up on the couch and keep snug and warm. Whilst that is nice for a little while, I know I could be enjoying life more. I have to push myself to enjoy these Winter’s Days. This is my question: What are fun things to do in Winter?

Here are some of my ideas:
1. Cooking Adventures: Winter is a perfect time, to put the music on, put the oven on and start experimenting with new exciting dishes.

2. Reading time: What better time to snuggle in bed reading a book, or to simply curl up in an armchair with your book. I only have a heater, it would be so nice to have a
fire.

3. Go to the movies, It is warm, snug and even exciting. I love movies they are an awesome indoor activity.

4. Going out to restaurants and cafe’s, just catching up with family and friends.

5. Make a commitment, it doesn’t matter how cold or wet it is, I go out in the evenings to attend my Toastmasters club.

6. Coats I love my coats, being warm is important. I good selection of coats lets me dress for different occasions and still stay warm. It also helps me to rug up and go for a walk.

7. Sunday drives places still look pretty in Winter, and you can always stop somewhere for a warm coffee.

8. Finally winter festivals, exhibitions, and events. I check out local papers, what’s on websites like Weekend Notes, and local council calendar of events to see what is on in my area.

9. Do an online course or class and learn something new.

However I know I still like to stay tucked away inside, hibernating on my warm couch with the heater on, and the warm cup of tea in my hands. Here I am in search of fun things to do in Winter, to bring more energy and excitement into those Winter Day’s.

What fun things do you like to do on Winter’s Days?

So what are some fun things you like to do on Winter’s Days? Please leave a comment. The more ideas we have the better our Winter Days will be.

Wishing you a wonderful day!

FRAN DISHON

Walking Adventure!

Where dose this gate way lead to?
Where does this gate way lead to?

Another walking adventure! Where does the footpath lead in my suburban streets? What places will I discover? Well it was a cold,crisp, sunny winters day. The streets were very quiet. Little Miss Popularity my walking buddy was so excited, her nose in a sniffing frenzy, her tail wagging away. I took a different path hoping to discover something new. Like always being willing to discover led me to a new place. I walked past different house, I discovered a variety of gardens. I enjoyed the beauty of many of these gardens, there are a number of suburbanites out there who can turn their front gardens into an artistic beauty. As I wandered down the footpath I came across a new park, another hidden beauty.

Hidden amongst the trees.
Hidden amongst the trees.

I imagine coming back here one warm sunny day and just hiding in this place, writing to my heart’s delight.

A place to rest
A place to rest

On the way I found a place to rest. To just sit and think. To just sit and take in all the beauty. I wondered why no one else was out and about. Why no one else was here, it appears everyone is too busy to come and enjoy this suburban park surrounded by houses. Or have us suburbanite’s lost our appreciation for the beauty that this park offers. It it were in the city, it would be covered with people taking time out to grab some sunshine and eat their lunch.

A shady place for mums to sit whilst children play in this hidden play ground.
A shady place for mums to sit whilst children play in this hidden play ground.

This treasure offers a place to sit, it resides next to a hidden play ground. I wonder what wonderful conversations parents could have with other parents. What wonderful concerts young children could perform. What beautiful relaxing quiet moments this place could offer. Such wonderful possibilities. For me, on this day it offered a wonderful quiet place to sit, relax and contemplate. A place I would love to revisit, especially since it is only a short walk away from home.

My walking adventures continue to show me what wonderful delightful beautiful public places exist that are practically right under my nose. However like many people I have spent years not willing to venture out of the box which is my home. My home is beautiful but an abundance of beautiful places exist just beyond its boundaries. My life is so much richer and abundant for discovering them.

I encourage you to go on your own walking adventures and make new discoveries in your neighbourhood.  I would love to here about what discoveries you have made on your own walking adventures.

Wishing you a wonderful day!

Artist’s Date~National Gallery of Victoria

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Yesterday was my Artist’s Date, this time I chose an excursion to the National Gallery of Victoria. This is an amazing art gallery and it is free entry to see the main collections. It is an amazing place, and is Australia’s oldest art gallery. I have been to the gallery many years and just love looking around. However this time I chose to join the tourist and do the tour of the general collections. It was taken by a volunteer who was this amazing lady who was obviously passionate about art. It was so informative and delightful I will look at art with a new perspective. I also don’t think I have ever really appreciated the amazing pieces of art at the gallery. It also made me very aware of how little I know about art, especially paintings and history. I learnt so much on that tour about art and the art pieces in the general collection. The funny thing is I could have done this years ago, it never occurred to me to do a tour. It was one of the best Artist’s Dates I have been on and the tour didn’t cost me anything.

This whole adventure made me wonder why I hadn’t done this before. The tour was mostly made up of tourist. In the past I have been blind to the beauty and treasures that our in my own city. My Artist’s Dates have made me more willing to explore and go on wonderful local adventures. I think that is the reason I went on the tour, and discovered new treasures. I hope to continue to do more wonderful adventures like this, and like this experience it is not about cost rather it is about willingness to explore.

The amazing glass ceiling in the Great hall.
The amazing glass ceiling in the Great hall.

It was so beautiful to just stare up at the glass ceiling in the Great Hall, I learnt that it was designed to be a spiritual place, a place of contemplation, a place for private and common use. I also found out if you look closely you can see designs of the cross and doves. I could see the crosses however didn’t find any doves. Whilst the hall has a number of large tapestries. I had always thought they were huge paintings. I was so surprised to find out they were not. Just some of the delightful things that I learnt on the tour.

One of a number of the huge tapestries that hangs on the walls.
One of a number of the huge tapestries that hangs on the walls.

I encourage you to go on your own excursions and explore what is around you. You will be amazed at the treasures and experiences that you will have.

Wishing you all a wonderful day!

Artist Date~ The Ian Potter Centre

The Entrance
The Entrance

Last Thursday I decided to go into the city early so I could go on an Artist’s Date. I went to Federation Square in Melbourne, and spent a couple of hours admiring the art work at the Ian Potter Centre. Historically there were paintings that capture Melbourne in its earlier days, the more traditional paintings and landscapes. Then there were the more contemporary and abstract paintings. It is amazing to think that there have been so many amazing Australian artists and such a variety of work.

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It was very special to see this original painting, it is one of my favourite Australian paintings. I have a print of it on my wall in one of my bedrooms. My print is nowhere near as beautiful as the real painting. There were so many interesting and beautiful paintings to admire.

Now back to the NaBloPoMo challenge.

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 Today’s question is:   Talk about a tangible item you wish you had invented.

I always wish I had invented a walking frame with hooks and poles for IV poles, Urine catheters to hang off and drain tubes to hang on. So you could just hook every thing up to the walking frame and take the patient for a walk. It would save having to have one to two people plus the patient trying to squeeze through doors, tubes and lines getting all tangled, and it would free patients up to be able to be more mobile. It would just make life so much easier. I want access to state of the art walking frames. I don’t see myself inventing it, I am not a designer, I wouldn’t know where to start. I just know it is something I could use, it is something that would solve a problem.

This is another picture from my Thursday adventure which I took at Federation Square.

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Wishing you all a great day!

Needed A Re-Charge: Gone Camping.

That time between Christmas and New Year’s was spent catching up with family. It was a wonderful busy time, and in ways so busy it was exhausting and I was hanging out for a rest. So for New Year’s this year we went camping at Wilson’s Promontory National Park Victoria. We packed our tent and headed off for a restful, relaxing holiday. The Prom was busy with lots of families and individuals seeking a restful relaxing holiday, the camping ground was packed.

Tidal River Camping Ground.
Tidal River Camping Ground.

We camped at Tidal River  which was walking distance to Tidal River and Norman Beach. It was very pleasant paddling in the river, and walking along the beach. We even went for a swim at the river and jumped some small waves at Norman Beach. Mighty Mouse had a great time.

We also went for a walk to Squeaky Beach and could hear the sand squeaking as we walked along it. It was a beautiful ocean beach, too cold for me to go for a swim. I did enjoy just the walk and spectacular views of the beach.

Norman Beach
Norman Beach

We also encountered some of the wild life, the park is full of wombats.  We went to see the Hobbit at the Prom outdoor cinema which was interesting but very cold, next time we will take blankets, sleeping bags and our pillows for comfort. Still it was a wonderful experience and a interesting movie. When we got back to our tent it had been broken into by a wombat, it put a big hole in our tent and several smaller holes. I was very unhappy and even a little scared. What if I had been in the tent when the wombat tried to break in? My husband laughed, yes he could see the funny side. The next night onwards we put our food containers in the car, no more wombats trying to break in. Mighty Mouse thought they were cute, and spent his time examining every wombat hole he came across. We saw a lot of wombats. Ofcourse the park was full of parrots and garlahs, and many other birds, I even seen two black cockatoos. Wilson’s Prom. is very remote and known for its wonderful wild life and walking tracks.

Wonbat
Wombat

We had plenty of time for sitting around, reading books and simply doing nothing. It was a time away from modern living of TV, iPads , computers and Xbox games. Just  time to relax, and enjoy nature. I did re-charge my batteries, and I am much more rested from our camping holiday. I must say I am very grateful to come home to our clean comfy house. We spent New Years Eve in our tent, it was cold, very cold and we manage to stay up to midnight. Apparently Mr. Serious claimed it is bad luck to go to bed before midnight and I don’t want any bad luck for 2013. So we stayed up and brought in the New Year quietly, we told jokes and talked about the things we wanted to do in 2013. New Years Day was a scenic drive to Foster and Sandy Point it was too cold, wet and windy to do anything else.

Usually by the end of the year my energy reserves are so depleted, and I feel exhausted. I need a holiday! I need to re-charge my energy levels. January seems the perfect time to take a break and build up my energy levels.

The McClelland Gallery and Sculpture Gardens

 

The McCelland Gallery and Sculpture Garden an artistic delight.

Wander through the gardens and be delighted by the amazing creations.

One of my favourite places to visit and look at art.

The gardens are delightful and many of the sculptures are dispersed throughout the bush garden setting.

It is an awesome place to explore!

You will be amazed by some of the sculptures

I love this sculpture I think she looks amazing.

 It has a beautiful cafe overlooking a gorgeous landscaped lake.

It also has a delightful inside gallery with interesting exhibitions on. Just gold coin donation to enter.

It you love art and just looking at beautiful mystifying pieces of art. I highly recommend a visit to the McClelland Gallery and Sculpture Gardens.

http://www.mcclellandgallery.com

 

Five Ways to Discover What Activity and Events are Happening in Your Suburb.

Monument commemorating Edwin Flack at Berwick,...
Monument commemorating Edwin Flack at Berwick, Victoria (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Part of my journey to cultivate more happiness and live blissfully in my suburban area is getting out into my community and finding out what it has to offer. I first thought I could look up events to see if I could add more art, music and culture into my life without having to stray to far from home. After a little investigating I have found there is a lot happening in my area. There are art exhibitions and even galleries. Music in the library last Sunday of the month and monthly book cafe’s. Markets, from farmers market to clothing markets. Plenty of cafes and parks to visit. There is actually lots to do all of the time I just had to do a little searching. So the five ways to find out what’s on in your suburb that I found most useful are as follows:

  1. Local Newspapers: I have found sections like What’s On and Community Calendar to be great places to find out local events, markets, community group events, courses, and hobbies. This is one I like to check once a week. Also local papers are always advertising local events and festivals.
  2. Council: My local council is  a wonderful place to find out what is happening in my community. It provides information on local events and tourism as well as community groups and community calendar. The community calendar covers happenings such as markets, fetes, events, talks, local festivals , information sessions, local performing arts groups concerts and local expo events. Many of these events are free or at a very reasonable price.
  3. Tourism Websites such as Travel Victoria: This often provides basic information about parks, markets, festivals and food in a particular local area.
  4. Local Libraries:  These a community treasure boxes as they offer so much more than books these days. Libraries often have events on and often these events are free or very inexpensive. They often have nights with authors of books, workshops, book cafe’s and music plus so much more. It is really worth checking out what your local library has to offer. I once did a workshop about Facebook at the library and I love it when they have an exhibition of local art which visitors are encouraged to vote on.
  5. Ask other locals : This one I need to do a little more of , because  often other people do and know of interesting events and activities in the local area that are not advertised. I also think sharing what treasures I find in my own local area with others will cultivate more happiness and blissful joy in my own suburb.

So I encourage you to do a little investigating of your own and find out what events and activities are happening in your own suburb and surrounding areas. Would love to hear how you go.

Berwick Inn
Berwick Inn (Photo credit: Mattinbgn)