Tuesday, January 30, 2007

CATS ON TUESDAY # 6 ... and other stuff !!

Cat Kisses

Sandpaper kisses
On a cheek or a chin
That is the way
For a day to begin!

Sandpaper kisses
A cuddle and a purr.
I have an alarm clock
That's covered in fur!

Author Unknown

And now, on to my weekend ......

We left on Friday morning, for a long weekend (due to Australia Day ... see previous post) at Bonnie Doon. Now, I know that's not very original ... we always seem to head up to Bonnie Doon ... but it is only 2 hours from home, and we have everything we need there ... all we need to take is clothes and perishable food !! It was quite a warm day on Friday, and when we arrived, all our friends had headed off to a nearby lake to play in the water with their boats and wakeboards. We had a relaxing afternoon, doing absolutely nothing ... sigh, bliss !!

Saturday, the weather was cool and cloudy, and threatening to rain. We decided to go for a drive. Originally, we wanted to drive up to nearby Mount Buller, but due to the recent fire activity up there, and it being a fairly windy day, we decided against it ... the thought of the wind pushing over already fire-damaged trees was rather scary !! Instead, we drove in the direction of Jamieson. Approaching Mansfield (which is only about 25 km from Bonnie Doon), we passed this tree, which was decorated in the Aussie Soccer colours (since the World Cup last year). In previous years, it has had various pairs of bikinis, and AFL football colours. It is in dire need of a new paint job, I feel, as the paint is beginning to peel. (Peter, I thought you might be interested in this picture, as I know you have posted a pic of this tree in your blog in the past !)

Anyway, we drove to Jamieson, had lunch there, and visited my cousin and his wife, who were staying in her family's holiday home for the weekend. On the way back, we decided we just had to have a sticky-beak up the Howqua Track (which we thought would be still closed, due to the bushfires, but it wasn't !!), to see if we could see any areas where the bushfires had been. I know it sounds kind of morbid, but we were terribly curious. As we drove along the track, we caught glimpses of the burnt areas (if you click on the picture below, you should be able to see the brown patches of burn-out bush). The track you see in the picture is the one we were on !!

We continued to follow the track, until we rounded a bend and came across an eerie landscape of burn-out trees and totally burnt out underbrush. It was really creepy, very quiet (no wildlife or birds), and it somehow felt wrong to be there, almost like we were trespassing. We jumped out of the car, explored a little, took a few photos, and then high-tailed it back out of there !!

On arriving back on the main highway, instead of turning left back toward Bonnie Doon, we took a detour by turning right, toward Mount Buller, in the hope of getting a glimpse of the mountains, showing all the fire damage. It was incredible to see, and very very sad. So much damage ... I would hate to think of all the wildlife lost. (If you click on the following picture of Mount Buller, you might be able to see all the brownish areas, which are where the fire burnt through.)

After this, we turned around and went back to Bonnie Doon, where we caught up with our friends, and had a lovely evening of laughing and drinking !!

On Sunday, we decided to once again explore the dry lake bed ... there is always something new to see. We were lucky enough to catch sight of a Willy-Willy (or whirly-whirly) going through the dust. By the time I had my camera ready, it was almost in the water. We followed it's path through the water ... it was fascinating. We get lots of these in dusty areas ... they can be quite exciting. We were once buffeted by one whilst driving ... you could really feel as it hit the car !!

We packed everything up Sunday night, ready for an early departure Monday morning (Hubby didn't have to work until Monday night ... night shift ... so we had plenty of time to get home).

Monday we left bright and early, taking the back road across the hills, across to Eildon, rather than our usual path home on the highway via Yea and Yarra Glen. We wanted to visit the Eildon Dam wall, where the original wall was partially exposed, due to the low water levels. I hadn't been there for a couple of years, so it was about time. It was very fascinating, as I had never seen it this low, with the old water tower thingy, and the old spillway on display. These two photos were taken from opposite ends of the wall.

We had lunch in Eildon, and then headed home through the Black Spur, a very tropical looking mountain range, just outside of Healesville. We can actually go this way, rather than our usual way, when we head to Bonnie Doon, but the Black Spur way seems longer, so we usually go the way we always go !! The Black Spur drive is very beautiful, with an abundance of ferns and the tallest of trees. It is always very much cooler here, when it is warm, and also very much colder, when it is cold. It quite frequently snows here, in the middle of winter.

So, that was a little bit about my weekend. Hope you enjoy the pictures.

I hope your week is going well. My Chicky is off to high school tomorrow (Wednesday) ... she tells me she is a bit nervous, but very excited. I'm sure she will be totally fine, but I'm a mother ... I'm allowed to worry about her.

Enjoy the remainder of your week.

Take care,



Diane J. said...

Hi, Miz Meow, and thanks for the visit and comment on my blog.

Your photos were very interesting as usual, especially the ones of the exposed spillway and the ferns and tall trees. I always enjoy seeing your pictures of the Aussie countryside.

Luck to Chickie on her first day in High School. She's growing up on us, and quickly!

Hope you have a wonderful rest of the week, dear Meow.



Gattina said...

I will come back for the rest ! This is for the cats (tell this your mother, she will understand) "es ist für die Katz"
Shame on you, you had exactly the same idea as I, because I wanted to put this poeme this week ! Only that I am not waked up with kisses and a purr, but by Lisa who imitates an electric saw and pulls on my hair !

Debbie said...

Such beautiful shots as always! I remember many years back we had a beetle eating all the pines and killing them here in the south and how devastated everything looked! You could look across the mountains and like your brown spots see patches of dead trees. But things as is the way of God and nature always rejuvenate themselves and will grow again. In time you will have more beauty to behold!

I am doing a bit of more blogging before I start my second day of work! It is not too bad but is going to take some getting use to!

Hope Chicky does well on her first day and tell her I was nervous yesterday!

Misslionheart said...

Sorry, I linked up but don't have a cat!

Gwen said...

Hi Meow.
Thanks for the visit,great pics of you weekend the fires sure were bad
Have a nice one Meow xx

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you really had a fun weekend. Love all the pictures.

First day of High School is pretty exciting so she is bound to be nervous but I know she will do great. All the best to her.


Deana said...

I'd love to see Australia one day, your pictures are beautiful!

Gattina said...

Now I had time to read the rest of your post. My god what terrible spots these bushfires had left ! Very interesting pictures ! I would have looked at this too, I think it's a completely normal human curiosity. The other landscape pictures are also very beautiful, what a wonderful landscape you have so close to your home !

Brian said...

Hi Meow. I always enjoy your holiday pics and descriptions. I know that the fire damage looks bad, but in a couple of years, the growth will come back.

Devil Mood said...

Unfortunately the fire damage is something I see regularly when travelling through the roads of Portugal. It's devastating, but even more terrifying is when you see the actual fires expanding, just by the side of the road...
Nice pictures at the bottom :)

Good luck to Chicky! She'll be a star in high school! I loved it :)

LZ Blogger said...

Meow ~ Loved the area with the huge Tree Ferns... very pretty! ~ jb///

angel, jr. said...

Cool pics!! I guess they are happier because of the new blogger?
I'm sorry, I thought I had commented a thank you for the Christmas card. What was I thinking? So unappreciative of me huh?
I hope you have a good week!!

FelineFrisky said...

What a terrific poem! I have not heard this one! Thanks! D :) Glad you stopped by earlier!

PEA said...

Next time I'm comin' with you! lol You always seem to go to such neat places and what a view!! It is indeed very sad to see where the fires have damaged so much land. Loved all your pictures as usual:-) Good luck to Chickie on her first day in High School...hey, worrying about our kids is part of being a mom, we're allowed! Hugs xox

srp said...

Cute little cat poem. I think mine want to wake me up simply so I will move and they can have the bed!

Jean-Luc Picard said...

That was a well-written account of your weekend. Most enjoyable.

Jamie Dawn said...

A mother of a high schooler??!!!
Don't you feel OLD?! :)
I have one in high school and one in college.
I AM old!

We call those willy-willies Dust Devils.

My name (Jamie) was in your post a couple of times (Jamieson). :)

I've seen a lot of burned forests in California over the years. It's a bad problem especially in Southern California.

Meow said...

Diane ... thank you. Glad you liked the photos ... Australia is such a beautiful place, it is fun to share it with you all.

Gattina ... great minds think alike. I thought the poem was cute !!

Debbie ... thank you. Hope your second day at work went well.

Misslionheart ... that's OK, thanks for visiting.

Gwen ... thank you, too, for visiting.

Connie ... thank you. I will pass on everyone's best wishes to Chicky on her first day at high school.

Deana ... thank you.

Gattina ... thank you. We are very lucky to have so much natural beauty, so close to home.

Brian ... thank you. I know the bush will regenerate fairly quickly, it's just so horrible at the moment.

Devil Mood ... thank you. It must be terrifying to be in the middle of the fire, as it grows.

LZ Blogger ... thank you.

Angel ... thank you. So glad you got the card ... I wasn't sure if it had arrived, or gotten lost in the system somewhere !!

Feline Frisky ... thank you.

Pea ... thank you. Hey, I'll let you know when we go next, so have your bags packed !! You are right, that's what mums are for !!

SRP ... thank you. My kitty only likes to sleep on my bed when I'm in it !!

Jean-luc ... thank you, glad you enjoyed it !!

Jamie ... yes, I do feel old ... I can't believe my baby is almost 13 !!

Thanks everyone, for your visits.

Take care, Meow

Michelle said...

Love the Black Spur photo, it brings back memories! Surprised Lake Eildon is as full as it is, i really thought it would be much lower than that, your recent rain must have topped it up :o)

Peter said...

Hi Meow, sounds like a great weekend, I liked my Mansfield tree better (fresher paint AND a bikini) have spent many happy hours on the Howqua track and in the high country, your photos brought back some memories, thanks.
I didn't know the Eildon dam had been raised, how much did they lift the wall height? stunning photos.

Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

Sounds like you had a fun weekend, although the burned trees make me sad. I’ve encountered the U.S. version of a whirly-whirly in Arizona. It wasn’t fun.

~*SilverNeurotic*~ said...

Beautiful pictures...though the aftermath pictures of the fires were scary to look at. Even though we have the same problem here (the west coast of the US though), it's still unnerving to think that something like that can happen.

Good luck to your daughter for tomorrow, I'm sure high school will be lots of fun for her.

meeyauw said...

What a story, thank you. Your photos are so great: I haven't seen many photos of Australia. I won't complain about our brutally cold weather here anymore because we are suffering as you with forest fires and drought. I hope conditions improve immediately.

Your landscape is so beautiful and strange to me. You seem to have giant fern trees! Yet close by it seems like desert. I don't know if that is because of the drought or not.

I really enjoyed this and studied every photo.

Lee-ann said...

Meow, great photos and You could almost feel yourself on the track along with you. well written for those who know very little about the area or live overseas.

I was touched by the bush fire area and I wonder if kepples hut is still there or now lost to us by the fires.

Hubby and I love this area very much but anywere up there were we can pitch a tent and catch a trout is "the best"

see you again real soon.

Raggedy said...

Cute poem.

Thank you for sharing your weekend travel and pictures with us. They were amazing! I enjoyed your post very much.

Have a wonderful day!
(=':'=) hugs
(")_ (")Š from
the Cool Raggedy one

Merle said...

Hi Meow ~~ Wonderful post and I am so
glad you had such a great weekend.
Like everyone else, I enjoyed the photos, especially the one near
Black Spur, lovely trees and ferns.
Good luck to Chicky today, I am sure she will do well and enjoy the new
things that High School brings.
Take care, my friend, Love, Merle.

Jeanette said...

Hi Meow
Great photo's of your weekend.
It sure would have been Eerrie going through the Burnt out area left by the devastating bush fires.
Good luck to chicki starting high school

Munchkin, Missy and Monte said...

Beautiful pictures, I too would love to visit Australia one day. Glad you enjoyed your holiday.

Meow said...

Michelle ... thanks. Lake Eildon is only at 10 percent ... the photos were taken at the "deep end", so it doesn't look quite as low ... it is, though !!

Peter ... thanks. They raised the height of Eildon Dam wall about 2 years ago, about 3 metres, I think. Just in case we have that 1 in a 100 year flood !!

Nick ... thank you.

Silverneurotic ... thank you.

Meeyauw ... thank you. I'm glad you enjoyed the photos. Australia is a beautiful country, and we have such extremes in weather and landscape ... amazing.

Lee-ann ... thank you. Not sure about Kepples Hut, but I know Craigs Hut and The Bluff Hut are definately gone ... they will rebuild, though.

Raggedy ... thank you.

Merle ... thank you. The Black Spur is so beautiful.

Jeanette ... thank you. It sure was eerie ... like being in another world.

M,M & M ... thank you. do come for a visit, you'll love it.

TorAa said...

What a lovely tribute to Cats, a wonderful weekend report, in spite of the forestfires, and excellent pictures.

Thanks from a bluefrozen soul at 60 degrees north


Meow said...

Toraa ... thank you.
Stay warm, Meow

Puss-in-Boots said...

Welcome back Meow and thank you for taking us on your trip. Lovely photos but so sad of the "scorched earth".

What a cute cat poem...cats sort invite cute things, don't they...until they attack your feet or something.

Enjoy your day at the cattery and give them all a hug.


Birgit said...

hello meow, very beautful photos you shows. Australia is a dream-land. I wish, I will come to in my life, but I don`t like to fly. I think, you like cats, I am too. I have 2 cats, named Bonnie (a 3-colour-lucky-cat) and Nicki, a black and white big man.I love my cats.

Meow said...

Hello Birgit, and welcome to Meow's world !! Australia is a beautiful country, and I encourage everyone to visit !!
Yes, I do love cats, I only have one ... but would have more if my husband would allow it !!
Thank you for visiting.
Take care, Meow