A Semi -Regular Photo Blog about Life in Northern New South Wales, Australia.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Seeking Riches

I often see the metal seekers combing the beaches. Personally I would find this activity a bit boring but each to their own. 

Friday, July 29, 2011

Mid-Winter Signs No 5: Mistletoe

Near my house is a very large Pecan-Nut Tree. When it looses all its leaves in the dead of winter the large number of parasitic Mistletoe plants that live amongst its branches is revealed.
I also didn't realise until I 'developed' this snap that the sunset gave an effect of the tree being on fire.
To see other sky shots from around the globe: Click Here.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Mid-Winter Signs No 4: New Life

The grass is very brown and burnt from a series of severe frosts a fortnight ago. Warming weather in a months time will quickly turn everything green again. On an afternoons walk I found some newly born lambs, met some folk who were collecting green feed for their goat who had mastitis and couldn't feed newly born kids and watched calves gambol around a paddock. Spring is really just around the corner!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Mid-Winter Signs No 3: Golden Sunsets

July (mid-Winter) always brings a particular type of sunset. At this time of the year we get 'extreme gold'. It often provides breathtaking reflections in the river.

Click here to see other Watery Wednesday Posts

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Mid-Winter Signs No 2: Dunny Vine In Flower

"Pyrostegia Venusta", "Blazing Orange Trumpet Vine" or in the local  vernacular "Dunny Vine" is a spectacular winter flowering plant. 
It is called "Dunny Vine" due to its rampant ability to quickly cover chook (Chicken) yards, farm sheds, fences and outside toilets, ( Dunnies) in Aussie Slang. The term really is becoming archaic as very few Aussies have toilets (Dunnies) in the back yard anymore, still I think it is a humorous name for such a striking plant.
I was talking to the owners of this barn and the "Dunny Vine" is about to come off as the roof has badly deteriorated and needs to be replaced. 

Monday, July 25, 2011

Mid-Winter Signs No 1: Frangipani

Grafton is regarded as having a sub-tropical climate but our winters are cool and can even be cold. This week I am going to try and identify a few 'signals' that demonstrate that we are in the height of mid-winter.
1: The Frangipanis are completely bare of leaves revealing their sculptural forms and motley branches.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Oyster Channel Bridge

Oyster Channel Bridge is a graceful 1930's concrete structure that is reminiscent of a Japanese Bridge. It is the last bridge you cross before entering the township of Yamba. A few years ago it was widened, but it is hard to tell as the engineers were very sympathetic to its historic integrity.  
Click on this link to view a 1930's picture of the bridge in the NSW State Library archives.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Copmanhurst Saddlery Museum

A very specialized museum that has very limited opening hours. It is located next to Copmanhurst Primary School.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Guiding Light

This is one of the many beacons used by shipping to navigate the entrance to the Clarence River.

To see other skies around the globe click here

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Ferry Cross The Clarence

The Yamba - Iluka Ferry operates every day linking the the two towns at the mouth of the Clarence River. It is a very pleasant trip.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Eyesore or Working Building in Desirable Location?

I like these old oyster sheds in Yamba Bay. They are shabby, interesting and useful so I suppose they will have to comedown at some stage and be replaced by a shiny expensive cafe.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Yamba Bay path is a great spot to walk, run, ride a bike, push a pram or skate.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Reservoir Whales

Artist Lee Holmes has transformed the once dull grey Woolgoolga Headland reservoir into a vibrant mural that celebrates the migration of the Humpback Whales between May and October every year. She has done such a good job that I couldn't find one graffiti tag on the art work and it is now over 6 months old!

Woolgoolga Headland is a delightful location at anytime of the year. Its commanding position has great views for 360 degrees.

Scenic Sunday

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

July Racing Carnival 7- Racing

 Today marks the running of the Ramornie Handicap. Named after a famous cattle station and the main sprint of the July Carnival. It is the most famous short race in all of regional Australia. Some famous winners over my lifetime include: Mistress Anne, Razor Sharp, Cangronde, Lightning Bend and Takeover Target. Grafton gets a half day holiday to attend. You need to pace yourself as tomorrow it will be Grafton Cup Day and another public holiday.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Monday, July 11, 2011

July Racing Carnival 5- The Mounting Yard

The Mounting Yard or Saddling Enclosure is the focal point prior to a race. Jockeys take final instructions from connections and trainers. Punters examine the horses before heading off for a bet. Stewards ensure everything is being done correctly.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

July Racing Carnival No 4 - The Slow Death of the Bookmakers Ring

It wasn't too long ago that the atmospheric and monetary heart of the races was the Bookies Ring. Oh what a sad slow death they are enduring and how much less the races is without their competitive yelling of odds and banter. They have been squeezed to death by the monolithic N.S.W TAB, corporate bookmakers with interstate addresses and heavy taxation by the Government. 
I still miss the old fractional odds they used and I understood far better how much I stood to win or lose with 'even money', '4/1' or 'in the red' than 2.00, 5.00 or 1.90. I miss the old tickets with their often indecipherable swish of crayon and the huge ledgers that bets were recorded in. At least they still have the old bags for the money.
Only a decade ago there would be nearly 100 bookmakers at the July Racing Carnival, now there are only a quarter of that. 
You can picture a time in the near future when there will be none left at all, just the blinking screens of the totaliser. Racing is a much poorer event without their colourful presence.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

July Racing Carnival 3 - Fashions on the Field

For many a Cup Carnival is more about the Fashion than it is the thoroughbreds.

 For others it is about wearing a zany outfit that is bound to get you noticed.

 For most men the outfits have not changed in generations, it is more about comfort and picking a winner than stylish fashion a la mode.

It is a chance to get dressed up, get noticed and maybe get your picture in the local paper (or even on my blog!).

To see more Weekend in Black and White shots click here.

Friday, July 8, 2011

July Racing Carnival 2 - Before the Big Day

It takes a lot of time, and money, to prepare thoroughbreds for a race day. At dawn the horses are exercised in various ways. Swimming the horses in the river is very popular. I have featured this activity before, but this scene is at Kitchner St Boat Ramp in Grafton.
 The most popular form of preparation is track work. It was too dark to capture but I liked how the riders wore hats with blinking red lights to avoid collisions in the pre-dawn gloom.

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