Thursday, 21 June 2012

Dogs paradise

I have discovered this amazing park where you can walk your dogs off the lead. A hard thing to find even here in Cairns. However it is an extraordinarily beautiful place with massive rainforest trees, tropical fruit of all colours lying on the ground, wild figs growing everywhere and the pretty Freshwater Creek running through the middle of it. 

It is dog heaven as it usually involves a run around the grass area and then a race down the riverside tracks ending in a plunge into the creek. You of-course you end up with a muddy dog but a very happy one!

Other times I have been there I have seen the stunning Ulysses butterfly floating about and the cute willy wagtails but today I was lucky enough to see the stunning Wompoo pigeon that sat imperiously for me and talked with its unusual silken but gutteral call, while I took some photos . I feel lucky to have got so close and the colours are amazing.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Cane fields on the doorstep

Moving from Cooktown to Cairns in January 2012 after 2.5 years in the 'wilds' was a worry for me. After leaving Sydney in 2009 we had adjusted to the beauty and simple ways of Cooktown and country or remote living. One supermarket, 2 petrol stations, one newsagent and a couple of pubs etc meant that moving back to a 'city' where abundance of choice was everywhere meant I was worried about losing our sense of country living.

Well I can report that Cairns is an ideal middle ground between Sydney and Cooktown! It is incredibly beautiful and ringed with glorious mountains of rainforest, lined by sandy beaches and still a mix of small farms and residential living. The birds and butterflies are abundant and we even had an echidna in our garden the other night!
But the views I love best are the canefields, which lie in their rustling glory, just below where we live. And at the moment, with the best season in years, the cane is in full flower and a stunning vision, especially as the sun goes down. For anyone ( like me) who hasnt seen sugar cane grow over vast acres, the pretty cream flowers floating in the wind are a real treat. 

I have also been amused by the notes coming home from my daughters school which is the local primary and close to the cane fields too. They urge caution with the arrival of the cane trains,  for the 2012 Crushing Season, that will be busy carrying the cane when it is harvested. The narrow cane train lines are something we have become used to, as they are everywhere, so we will now be treated to the bustling diesel cane trains and their cages. More photographic fodder!