Day 7 of the “Ultimate Australian Rail Holiday” Tuesday 24th May 2016
On the official schedule, today is a free day. You might choose to go to Rottnest Island, home of the cute quokka – a little marsupial, like a rat but cuddlier; or to Wave Rock – a huge rock formation that looks like a . . . wave; or to the Pinnacles – limestone formations looming up from the ground of the remote Nambung National Park; or to New Norcia, a Benedectine monastic mission founded in 1847.
Here are a few gratuitous photos from my 2007 trip to New Norcia:
There is no question for us, though, that today is a free day to catch up with my very long-lost friend – J – who has lived in Perth since 1963. In a shameless plug for my memoir, I Belong to No One, you can meet her too on page 20!
It’s been almost ten years since we last saw each other, and J has given up her day to be at our disposal. We are half expecting that our visit will be spent inside a coffee shop, sheltering from the weather, but it brightens up considerably as we wander around the Elizabeth Quay waterfront development. The Bell Tower on Riverside Drive dates to the Bicentennial in 1988.
I stopped to chat with this cormorant. He broke off cleaning himself to pose for me. I could hear him asking, “which is my better profile – this side? . . . Or this?”
Another around the corner wanted in on the action too.
Perth has so much public outdoor art, I am quite envious. I already featured other examples in my earlier post (here). In the collage below, I believe the one of the fountain pen nibs, to be found at the entrance to the Supreme Court Gardens, is meant to symbolise that “the pen is mightier than the sword” – or I may have just made that up. It’s amazing how bright some of these photos look. They are definitely 2016 vintage. I guess the forecast was “cloudy with sunny patches”.
Our meanderings led us back to the Kings Park Botanic Gardens. This time with no time restrictions we wandered at will, had lunch, and took a long route back to the car park.
I was very taken with one particular plant, an Eucalyptus Macrocarpa according to the sign.
It has eye-catching grey-green leaves, and a large broad-waisted pod. Can you see it hanging down amongst the leaves in the photo below?
The pod dries out and the top falls off. Then the flower emerges – the red is very striking, but is not the only colour –
And how the bees just loved it! Practically drowning themselves they were! (Derrick – there are more of these shots 🙂 )
The floral display dries up, and after that falls away, all that is left is a bare base with an empty stem:
The truly amazing thing is that seemingly the tree goes through these stages simultaneously.
I failed to get the name of the below little beauty, and also failed to get its “seeds” into focus:
There is so much to see in these gardens, with so many different themes and atmospheres, both native and formal. And plenty of sculptures, such as the Firefighter’s Memorial.
And to cap off a lovely day, J gave me a memento from our young childhood – old home movie film converted to play on a CD. The black and white footage, with the sound of the projector whirring away in the background, dates back to 1963 and before. How precious! Thank you, J!
For Reference: We booked our tour through the Australian Holiday Centre.