Some pictures I have come across in the past few days.
Greetings from Queensland, Australia. I am enjoying a week with my friends Craig and Daryl before heading to Sydney for a conference on medical cannabis. Yesterday we visited Mary Cairncross Reserve, a lovely place to walk and view native flora and fauna. Continue reading “Pademelons”
Recently I had a chance to visit Vienna, Austria. You know Austria. It’s where Julie Andrews sang to the hills in the 1965 movie, “The Sound of Music.”
The sound of music really does describe a lot of Vienna’s history. Joseph Haydn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven, Franz Schubert and Johann Strauss II, among others, were associated with the city. You can visit a room where Mozart, a precocious youngster and musical genius, dazzled his audience with his virtuosity. There are concert halls that have heard the premieres of some of the finest music known to man. Continue reading “Vienna”
The odyssey is over. Tango and I are safely arrived in Franklin, NC, where we will quietly enjoy the summer. No road trips anticipated. 😀
We made a completely unexpected trip to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho and met a family who I felt that I knew but had never met. I wrote about that in my blog, “On the Road — Memories and Magic.” But I also got to visit my nephew Michael and his family in Sun Valley, Idaho. What a beautiful family in a beautiful part of the U.S.
Today Tango and I turned the van eastward and began our journey home. The magnificent Western mountain ranges that have filled my windshield for nearly four weeks — the Rockies, Sierra Nevadas, Cascades, Pioneers — are sadly becoming relegated to my rearview mirror, growing smaller with each mile. Continue reading “On the Road – Four Great Days in Idaho”
One of my favorite TV series is “Saving Grace.” (It originally aired on TNT 2007-2010 and is now available on Netflix.) Holly Hunter plays an Oklahoma City detective named Grace who is visited by Earl, a lovable angel. Grace is a nice twist on the prostitute with a heart of gold. She sleeps around, drinks too much, and is a wicked jokester but she’s also ethical and a good cop. Continue reading “On the Road – Day 4”
Too long between posts here. My bad. I love posting on Alice’s Wanderland and have been annoyed with myself for not getting here more often. But that’s a waste of time. Best to move on and get my life re-adjusted so that I have time again for this labor of love.
For a while I tried to post some new image or video every time. But the fact is, I have a lot of old photos and videos that also deserve posting. And I have come to realize that blogs give us a chance, paraphrasing Paul Simon, to preserve our memories because, increasingly, they are all that is left. Like most people these days I have so many pictures and tapes. I can’t post them all but this discipline of a blog forces me to choose the best. I can share AND have a spot where I know my memories are safe from cluttered hard drives and paper stacks.
Today’s post is one of my all time favorites. It is a short video (5 minutes) that I put together following my trip to New Zealand in 2006. The pictures are all mine. The music is from an electronic group called AeTopus. On their website it is said, “With subtle, pastoral elegance, AeTopus reveals a world that is simultaneously foreign and familiar – an aural mosaic rich in spiritual contemplation, seasonal variance, and ancient ritual.” That is a perfect description of their song “Psychic Slumber.” It is also a perfect description of New Zealand.
October in New Zealand is equivalent to April in the Northern Hemisphere. It is spring. So we saw flowers and snow, waterfalls galore and lots of baby lambs. And we saw penguins, in the wild, following a rather harrowing hike through trees and streams…in the pouring rain. It was cold. I have rarely been so ecstatic. When you see the final image of the video you might understand what I mean.❧
Tell someone you’ve been to Australia and you can expect to hear, “Wow! Did you see any kangaroos?” The answer is, “Yes!” But the ‘roos I saw were not what we think of here in the USA. On my first trip, in 2001, I did see one of those big ‘roos, hopping down the fairway on a golf course!
On this trip the sightings were less dramatic. We saw several Red-legged pademelon (Thylogale stigmatica) which Wikipedia describes a “a marsupial rainforest kangaroo.” They are quite shy and hang in the shadows which makes photographs difficult. This little guy is probably an adult which means she/he is about 2 1/2 feet tall when upright. Because their habitat is rainforest the range of the species has shrunk and Wikipedia says it is a vulnerable species. Australia has many preserves where these charming creatures can live but we humans, frankly, are crowding out everything. It would be too bad to lose a creature with such a lyrical name. ❧
Hello gentle readers. It has been several weeks since I have posted to this blog but Alice’s Wanderland is truly living up to its name this week.
Greetings from Australia! I am mid-way through a three week holiday with a bit of business at the very end. It has been a wonderful time.
Australia is fun. It is at once very familiar and, at the same time, very different. Coffee is a good example, as you can see in the above picture. It is a simple cup of coffee with cream (milk) but Down Under they call it a Flat White and the very best of them have wonderful designs created from the milk. This particular cup was enjoyed at a cafe called Emelia’s in Gympie, which had wonderful food, coffee and pastries.
I forget how much “foreign” travel can do for the soul. It pushes to the rear all the day-to-day stuff that consumes our lives and forces a re-awakening, a re-visiting of attitudes and customs, a great kick on the door marked “Learn” to throw it open as wide as possible. Everyone travels these days. Age doesn’t matter…from 8 days to 80 years and everything in between. All colors, languages, dress…and all with a slightly wary eye on our fellow travelers because it is, dear friends, a dangerous time too. But at the end of 8,000 miles you can emerge in a land where people make hearts on your coffee. And I am certain in every land there are these gestures of acceptance and welcoming. Humans, most assuredly too numerous for their own good, nevertheless have great hearts and show them in a hundred different ways. Keep looking. ❧
The term “badlands” is so visually descriptive one hardly needs to say much more but if you need an accurate definition our friends at Wikipedia offer this one, “They are characterized by steep slopes, minimal vegetation, lack of a substantial regolith, and high drainage density.” That concise statement characterizes what you see in the picture. We were fortunate enough to visit the Badlands in early June. The searing sun and hot temperatures of summer had not yet eliminated the green vegetation and wild flowers of spring which seemed all the more beautiful when set against the backdrop of those rugged slopes. ❧