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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Explore Casey: Australian Gardens.

 

School holidays and what to do? Well, you can always be a tourist in your own neighborhood. Yesterday my son’s Mr. Serious, Mighty Mouse and I went to Australian Gardens. These are the most amazing gardens, and a great place to just get out on a Winter’s day and explore. With different styles of Australian landscape and gardens set out within them. It also features lots of beautiful spaces to sit and relax by the stunning lake or in the gardens. While we saw plenty of colour and flowers out in bloom despite it being a grey Winter’s Day It is a beautiful leisurely walk with lovely garden views and walking views and plenty of beautiful walking tracks to enjoy and explore. I have teenage son’s so they just like to walk and explore. I enjoyed watching the younger children in their gum boots splashing about in the little river that flows through the garden. There is a special space that is very shallow for people to walk out into and splash about. Our day was cold and lightly raining so we did not take a picnic lunch, however, on a fine day, there are plenty of spaces to enjoy a picnic. We ended up going to a lovely cafe there and enjoy coffee and hot chocolates. There is also a beautiful gift shop full of lovely things to look at.

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So if you live in Melbourne or are visiting I strongly suggest you check these gardens. So enjoy your visit to this beautiful place!

 

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Water Saving Garden

 

Australian Gardens at the Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne
1000 Ballarto Rd, Cranbourne, Victoria 3977, Australia
Open 9-5pm 7 days a week
Cost: Free or Donation welcomed
https://www.rbg.vic.gov.au/visit-cranbourne/attractions/australian-garden

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Wishing you a wonderful day!

FRAN DISHON

The Happy Suburban Chick Returns.

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Life is getting faster and faster, and my days go by so quickly. I can not believe it is July! Yes, I am back motivated by The Ultimate Blog Challenge, 31 days of blogging and bringing this blog back to life.

Challenge yourself to see everyday special moments in your day!

As I walk out the door I think how I am getting bored walking around the same lake. I try walking down a different street or two to get there. Even then there is nothing exciting to see. Well in that moment at least that is what I think. Then I walk along the lake and stop at a quiet spot to see if I can get my daily Instagram photo. I stand there wondering is there anything special here. At that moment a group of swans swims right up to me. It was so beautiful and peaceful just watching those swans glide on the water so gracefully, with the calmness of the water and birds in the background. I watch them in wonder and think yes it is the same walk every time but it is up to me to see the special everyday moments in my walk. It seems easy to find the novelty and much harder to find the subtle treasures. That is the challenge of walking around the same lake again and again.It is the challenge we face in much of our daily lives. If I had not looked carefully I might have missed the moment. Look carefully and see what special everyday moments you can discover.

 

Challenge yourself to see a special everyday moment in your day?

 

Wishing you a wonderful day!

FRAN DISHON

Exploring The National Rhododendron Garden.

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http://parkweb.vic.gov.au/explore/parks/national-rhododendron-garden

Our weekend adventure was a visit to the National Rhododendron Garden .

We went for a lovely drive through the winding roads of the Dandenong Ranges.

We lunched at the cafe.

We wandered through the gardens looking at the beautiful Rhododendron flowers.

The garden was full of beautiful colourful flowers.

Spring is a wonderful time to explore these gardens whilst all the flowers our out in bloom.

We came across a gorgeous little lake, the water was reflecting the vibrant green trees on the water.

We went for a long walk admiring all the flowering plants, including a wonderful range of azaleas.

Such vibrant colours, variety of flowers, and just a joyous mass of colours.

We got a little wet in the misty light rain.

I enjoyed the sound of the surrounding bush especially the sounds of the native birds.

We were inspired to buy some plants from the nursery so we can add some gorgeous colours to our own garden.

I really enjoy exploring gardens and parks.

Looking forward to my next weekend family adventure!

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Wishing you all a great day!

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!

Walking Adventure

I love the look of big fluffy grey clouds.

I love the look of big fluffy grey clouds.

It looked like it might rain. It was dark and cloudy. Still a perfect day for a walking adventure. I really appreciate a cloudy winters day, it has its own beauty, and the coolness of it makes it perfect for long walk.

Another lake!

Another lake!

Yes I have been on another walking adventure around my suburb. This time I discovered a new lake, play ground and sporting area. It is amazing that it is just across the road and I had no idea it was there. I live in a new area with new estates and houses popping up everyday. When we brought our house our estate was meant to be the end of the line. The area beyond our estate was green zoned. Shorty after we move, the area was re zoned residential. So all the farms and cows are disappearing. Estate after Estate is going in and filling up with houses. My walking adventures help me to discover the changing face of my local area, sometimes they are delightful and other times a little frightnening.

Dirt tract for local walkers and bike riders.

Dirt tract for local walkers and bike riders.

I found a dirt tract to walk along in went in-between the new estates, it was a big long tract. I had no idea where it might go. My curiosity got the best of me, I had to find out. It was a lovely long walk, often being pushed aside by enthusiastic families on there bike ride. It was annoying in one way, however good to know a number of families still get outdoors and spend time together. Something my own family should take note of and start doing more of.

Walking past suburban houses!

Walking past suburban houses!

Eventually I stepped off the track and into the suburban landscape of houses upon houses. I discovered another lake, more playgrounds and park land.

Another park, another play ground.

Another park, another play ground.

I wish my boys were younger. They used to love going to play grounds. These days in this area there is a multitude of play grounds to choose from. You could make a day of it and take kids for a play ground crawl.

A place to sit and rest.

A place to sit and rest.

It was a long walk, my dog Little Miss Popularity was struggling to keep up, so we stopped and had a rest. At least there are lots of places to walk my dog in this area. I did offer to walk the boys, however they declined. The dog is always keen and excited to go for an adventure walk with me.

Another lake.

Another lake.

Yes another lake. The trend in the area these past few years is too use the storm water from the estates and recycle it creating lakes and waterways. Providing natural environments for residents  to enjoy and wild life to inhabit especially birds and frogs.

Sadly not many people out enjoying these man made nature environments.

I love discovering new areas, new parks, new lakes, and new places to sit, rest and enjoy nature.

I can not wait until my next walking adventure.

Could you have a walking adventure of your own, discover new parks, new shops, community areas, even new streets that are interesting?

Wishing you all a wonderful day!

Beautiful,Peaceful Alfred Nicholas Gardens

ImageThis weekend on a beautiful Autumn day we visited the Alfred Nicholas Memorial Gardens in Sherbrooke in the Dandenong Ranges. Picnic areas, open grass areas, and lovely walking tracks. Entry was free. Autumn leaves vibrant in colours made the gardens totally picturesque. The day was a little cool and we needed to rug up, however the walk was quiet steep at times, so we soon warmed up. The best was down the bottom of the gardens.It was a lovely ornamental lake, with gorgeous bridges to walk over. On the day the lake was covered in autumn leaves and just looked magical. There was also a little boathouse. Mighty Mouse knocked on the door however no one was home. It had lots of beautiful areas to check out, I totally recommend going in Autumn because it was a spectacular sight with the colourful Autumn leaves. Although I think it would be a gorgeous place to visit in spring and summer to have a family picnic.

I can not believe I never knew about these gardens before, all these years I been visiting the area and going for walks, and never knew about this treasure. Since starting this blog, I have made an effort to search for and research about interesting places to visit near to where I live. I have found so many treasures, and it has made life so much more colourful and exciting.

Finally today I visited the local library to listen to live music being performed. It was on the classical and folk music style. However it was totally delightful to watch them perform with their instruments and listen to their music.

A totally delightful weekend!

What delightful events or places did you experience this weekend?

Wishing you a delightful week ahead, may it be full of happy surprises

 

Link: http://parkweb.vic.gov.au/explore/parks/alfred-nicholas-memorial-gardens-gardens-of-the-dandenongs

 

 

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Thirteen Year Old~” Who Cares Attitude!”

This is not a smart look!

This is not a smart look!

It is so frustrating trying to educate a thirteen year old boy, that appearance matters, particularly in the area of presentation. When it comes to wearing his tie it sits around his neck like a noose. Whilst the concept of tucking in a shirt just doesn’t register. So as parents it becomes our morning nagging ritual to tell him to, “fix up your tie, fix your collar, and tuck your shirt in.” The child is driving me crazy, he just does not care how he presents himself. He majors in scruffiness! Tracky pants and t-shirts that is all he wants to wear. He even grumbles when we tell him to put on jeans and a collar shirt. His attitude is, ” no one cares how I dress.” The problem is they do, and people will judge him on his presentation. I suppose that is a difficult concept for a thirteen year old boy to comprehend. I wonder if it is a boy thing? Or is it just my boy’s thing? I wonder how I can change his attitude?

That is my mummy gripe for the week.

Wishing you all a wonderful day!

Lazy Scrumptious Saturday!

The view from the back great place to sit have coffee and contemplate.

The view from the back great place to sit have coffee and contemplate.

Relaxing in bed, drinking coffee and reading a book. Eventually we got up around late morning, and sat out on the pergola admiring the view and simply sitting quietly listening to the birds making their music. We then headed into town for bunch. Which was cooked breakfast at lunch time. Yummy. Oh we were super lazy!

Yarra Valley Dairy.

Yarra Valley Dairy.

Then we went for a drive into the surrounding hills to the Yarra Valley Dairy. We sat and watch a cooking demonstration. I learnt something about making pasta. Finally we finished with taste testing. The food was so yummy.

Yarra Valley Dairy

Yarra Valley Dairy

With our tummies full, we went for a scenic drive to Mt. Donna Buang. This is the tallest mountain that is closet to Melbourne. On a clear day you are meant to see panoramic views over Melbourne,  the Yarra Valley, and the  Dandenongs. It was not a clear day the sun and blue skies had turned to clouds and rain.

The 21 meter hight tower at the summit.

The 21 meter hight tower at the summit.

I faced my fear of heights and climbed the observation tower. It was still a great view. It was so windy and wet, I did not want to let go of the bar. Did I mention I am afraid of heights, yes scardy cat Francine when it comes to anything involving heights, it required lots of deep breathing and some encouragement from my husband to climb the tower. It was totally worth doing, there is something special about being up so high and just looking into the distance.

At the top. No way was I letting go of that handle bar.

At the top. No way was I letting go of that handle bar.

The evening saw us venture out to one of the local restaurants The Basement for a light and tasty Tapas meal. This place had a lovely open space, full of contemporary art, chandeliers and lots and lots of delightful candles. The restaurant was a little hard to find, so glad we kept looking until we discovered where it was hiding. It definitely was a gem of a place to dine.

Evening time was spent siting in front of the wood fire, sipping wine, listening to music and having conversations. It was followed by a bubble spa bathe by candlelight. So romantic!

Lazy Saturday ends and yes it was a totally scrumptious day!

 

Point Nepean National Park

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You may or may not have noticed that I have not posted anything since last Wednesday. Some how I got busy and it all seemed to hard. I have been out and about doing things like going to a live show at the Arts Centre, and going out for tea to a restaurant without the kids. That was very nice. Sleeping in nearly every day, yes I know, busy being lazy. I have done some exercise walking around Lysterfield Park, walking around the lake with the dog, and of course a day at Point Nepean National Park. You see it is January and the boys are on school holidays, and the husband is on holidays, so we are all in holiday mode. So I seem to have no routine and just can not get my act together when come to things like organising myself to do a blog post. Infact I just go with the flow letting January happen and enjoying the amazing moments it has to offer. One of the high lights of the last week was our trip to Point Nepean National Park on the Mornington Peninsular. We visited the Quarantine Station which was very interesting how they use to quarantine the boat loads of passengers who were on the infected boats due to  infectious diseases such as influenza,  , small pox, measles and others. Maybe it was just interesting to me because I am a nurse. Then we did a long walk to Point Nepean forte, stopping along the way viewing the spectacular scenes of the bay and the surrounding area. Once down at the forte we walked through the tunnels, looked through the buildings, and learn’t about the history of Point Nepean. It was a beautiful sunny day, and we did a lot of walking, we got back our legs were so tired, however it was totally worth it. Mighty Mouse enjoyed the seeing the big boats going past. Mr. Serious was disgusted with the flies, don’t they know they shouldn’t annoy him. Myself and hubby were disgusted with Mr. Serious constant whinging about the flies. Other than the flies we had a great day and enjoyed some spectacular scenery.

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Todays NaBloPoMo January challenge question is: What is your biggest concern about the future of the environment?  

I am concerned that places like Point Nepean will not be preserved and protected as National Parks. To think that some people wanted to build high rise apartments on this land. It is prime real-estate and would be worth a mint if commercially developed. However to preserve its beauty for today and the future is priceless. It is a part of our history it is also a beautiful scenic park for the public to enjoy. We need to protect these places or else we have no places to enjoy. It is places like Point Nepean, Lysterfield Park and Wilson’s Prom. that remind me how beautiful nature is and we need to value  and protect it, not abuse it.


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