ALBERTA SNOW

Right now in Canada trees should be turning brilliant colors, temperatures should be starting to fall and preparations for winter should be just around the corner. We arrived in brilliant sunshine, enjoyed that for a couple of days then woke up to a huge dump of out of season September snow. Overnight temperatures dropped to minus 10 degrees, roads were closed, power supplies were interrupted and tree limbs littered the streets – inconvenient for the local residents but an amazing site for us.

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Twisted foothills of the Rocky Mountains

IF8A3642 Elbow River
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These guys are the double decker bus version of a domestic cow

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Wyeth like.

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Warm fire on a cold night at Lyla and John’s

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Small lake in the mountains above Banff

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Mountain Goats learning to eat rocks

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Driving through the snow covered prairies north of Calgary was a fantastic sight – soft, bleak and grey.

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USA14263 Canadian optimism  –  Solar powered stop sign  USA14331

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Badlands

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Winter wood

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Kila

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ANNECY, FRANCE

With a couple days up our sleeves before the French Painting Workshop started, we had time to get our bearings and explore the lake and old town of Annecy. The town is just over the Swiss border and sits on a a series of canals that run out of a beautiful, spring fed lake. The town and lake are surrounded by the spectacular French Alps, so that postcard feeling of alpine bliss is everywhere.

 

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DSC06811Two small Painting Inspectors watch with a critical eye.

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There is very little the French wont eat. We enjoyed snails, frogs legs and a selection of various internal organs transformed into mouth watering delicacies in this little restaurant.

FRAN1644Annecy hosted the International Animation Festival while we were there.

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This giant inflatable screen and elaborate sound system provided a lake side outdoor venue for the festival.

FRAN1512Red chairs in the rain.

DSC06668Lecturers from the Annecy Conservatorium pose for us as we paint the ancient entry door.

FRAN1531We had rain on the first day of the workshop then, fortunately,  fine weather for the remainder

FRAN1533Annecy public gallery in the old castle.(Noreen dancing sideways)

FRAN1688Wild wooden horses

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FRAN1485Produce Markets keep the town busy three days a week.

FRAN1480 Fromage

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FRAN1428Tiger riding bike

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FRAN1377  FRAN1370Straw to line the nest.

FRAN1361 This dog carries brandy to lost soles in the alps

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DSC06677x Day one, painting in the rain

 

BEAGLE BAY / CAPE LEVEQUE

The Coast north of Broome looks amazing with turquoise water and red desert sand punctuated by mangroves. We decided to drive up to Beagle Bay, Cape Leveque and One Arm Point to have a look at the settlements and landscape.
The red desert sand is great to look at, but makes a really lousey road. From Broome to Beagle bay is non stop corrugations covered by a central ridge of sand and high sloping sand sholders, so keeping in a straight line was a bit of a challenge at times.
Beagle Bay is a sleepy little Aboriginal Community with an amazing church built by German Missionaries in 1917 The alter and much of the decoration inside is made from thousands of mother of pearl shells.
One Arm Point is another small Aboriginal Community with fishing shelters built along the waterfront
They are watched over by a pair of extremely laid back guard dogs. The one on the left could wag his tail slowly – that was about as active as they became.
Dog on holidays
Pentax K20D 500mm mirror lens
It was a lot of fun photographing this Osprey feeding its young chick not far from our camp at Gambanan, near Cape Leveque. The mother fed  the chick for almost half an hour, just as the sun was going down. The light was perfect and the bird wasn’t disturbed by me, perched among the rocks with a tripod and camera. After she had fed the fish to the chick, tiny piece by tiny piece, she carefully picked up all the scraps that had fallen beside the nest and gave them to the baby. Once the feeding had finished she mad a sharp squeek, the baby sat down in the nest and she took off.
Fifteen minutes later I was back at our camp. I heard another loud squeek and there was the mother Osprey in the tree beside us. (Dead tree on left)
Pentax K20D 500mm mirror lens
She had another large chunk of fish she spent the next 20 minutes eating. Just as it got dark her mate joined her.
When I woke at 5:00 next morning they were still there in the tree.

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The Coast north of Broome looks amazing with turquoise water and red desert sand punctuated by mangroves. We decided to drive up to Beagle Bay, Cape Leveque and One Arm Point to have a look at the settlements and landscape.

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The red desert sand is great to look at, but makes a really lousy road. From Broome to Beagle bay is non stop corrugations covered by a central ridge of sand and high sloping sand shoulders, so keeping in a straight line was a bit of a challenge at times.

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Beagle Bay is a sleepy little Aboriginal Community with an amazing church built by German Missionaries in 1917.  The alter and much of the decoration inside is made from thousands of mother of pearl shells.

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One Arm Point is another small Aboriginal Community with fishing shelters built along the waterfront

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They are watched over by a pair of extremely laid back guard dogs. The one on the left could wag his tail slowly – that was about as active as they became.

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Dog on holidays

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Pentax K20D 500mm mirror lens

It was a lot of fun photographing this Osprey feeding its chick at Gambanan, near Cape Leveque. The mother fed  the baby for almost half an hour, just as the sun was going down. The light was perfect and the bird wasn’t disturbed by me, perched among the rocks with a tripod and camera.

After she had fed the fish to the chick, she carefully picked up all the scraps that had fallen beside the nest and gave them to the baby. Once the feeding had finished she made a sharp squeak, the baby sat down in the nest and she took off.

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Fifteen minutes later I was back at our camp. I heard another loud squeak and there was the mother Osprey in the tree beside us. (Dead tree on left)

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Pentax K20D 500mm mirror lens

She had another large chunk of fish and spent the next 20 minutes eating. Just as it got dark her mate flew in and joined her.

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When I woke at 5:00 next morning they were still there in the tree.

STRANGE ANIMALS

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Small green frog – thinks he’s a handsome prince

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Weird hairy chicken

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Turkey with over decorated head

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Small green frog – happy just to be a small green frog.

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Fishbones from Darwin Museum

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Scrub Turkey with moderately decorated head.

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Children’s Python – not because they eat them, because they play with them

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Brahman Bull profile

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Quiet Wallaby – confused by sound of flowing water

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Apostle Birds – because they hang around in groups of twelve

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Fluro Blue Butterfly

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Blue Faced Fig Bird with bad haircut

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Poor old camp dog –  may have been bitten by a snake at some stage. The cure was to cut off the tips of the ears and tail to bleed out the poison! Or maybe he’s just the victim of too many camp fights.

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Big Pig

FIRST DAY – Coolum Beach

Crawelled our way up the coast with peak hour hordes streaming out of Brisbane. Arrived in Coolum just on dark, so decided a meal and beer in the surf club would be a good idea.

Dog at sunrise

Got up early to take some photos on the beach. There were lots of dogs and humans playing with tennis balls and sticks.

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Even a strange two legged spaniel

We left Coolum and headed away from the coast.  Taking the back roads on the western side of the mountains to avoid the traffic. All was well until we set up camp and the temperature dropped to around minus seven degrees.

We did, however, find where the wheel was invented. Not in ancient Greece or Rome, but in a paddock out the back of Gayndah, Queensland

Wooden Wheel

I think the tyre was a later refinement.