Saturday, May 26, 2012

At the Solo Concert

We had our violin school's  solo concert today

 Both boys performed well.

Unfortunately I wasn't able to record one.Ah well,next time!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Wittunga Botanic Garden

Because May is local history month in our state, we took a tour with some others, including a few homeschooling families, through one of our botanic gardens. The talk focused largely on the family that had bequeathed the gardens to the state but we also delved further back in time.We enjoyed hearing about Sir Joseph Banks and discovered the "interconnectiveness" of people who share interests and live around the same time. We found banks too often be this link.

I love the look of the mallee here amazing to learn:The mallee display one of the most impressive adaptive features in the form of the confusingly named mallee root.  The mallee root - also known as a lignotuber - is not a root at all but is essentially a very contracted underground trunk which grows just below the soil surface and from which the stems arise.  It acts as both a storage and reproductive organ. 

 Its storage function is principally of carbohydrates, essential nutrients (such as phosphates) and some water so that the mallee, once mature, can survive long periods without rain.  Its reproductive function takes the form of multiple growth points from which new shoots can rapidly develop (drawing on the carbohydrates and nutrients) should the above-ground parts of the plant be destroyed by fire or other natural catastrophes.  Most other species of Eucalyptus have similar epicormic shoots on their trunks and larger branches from which new shoots can develop after fires but the mallee protects the trunk from fire and so is much more energy and water efficient.  

Our guide shared some amazing wood turnings he had done with banksias

We were also lucky after the walk to spot 4 koalas in the park. Now this does not cover a large area and two of those we saw were only a tree away from each other. This puzzled us as we had always thought koalas were territorial Definitely need to do more research on this!

We seem to have more succulents in our photos than any other plant type and these were not mentioned in our guided tour at all. But we find them rather interesting, so please bear with us!
"Located in the leafy foothills suburb of Blackwood, Wittunga Botanic Garden contains stunning displays of water wise plants from Australia and South Africa which are especially spectacular in spring.

Established by Edwin Ashby in 1902, the Wittunga Botanic Garden devotes 14 hectares to indigenous and non-indigenous collections. Native birds are attracted to the garden's flowering plants and the shady lawns make Wittunga Botanic Garden a popular setting for family gatherings and lakeside picnics.

The centrepiece of the garden is an attractive lake that separates the Australian native plants featuring banksias, grevilleas and hakeas from the South African plants of proteas and leucadendrons on the opposite side. The garden also features a butterfly garden and a grey box woodland planting, endangered in South Australia."

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Mount Crawford in the rain!

 The day was cool but sunny as we set off for our camp-fire expedition in the forest. I love the autumn colours of the vines...and so far a blue(ish) sky
 By the time all 9 cars had met up and were traveling in convoy the weather had changed dramatically!
 But what's a spot of rain when you're all outdoors together enjoying this fantastic site.
 Amongst the tall pines jutted ungainly rock formations, just perfect for climbing over, hiding behind and viewing our domain!
 The first job was to collect enough wood to light a fire!

 Once the fire had been started the children vanished( apart from the "littles") until the call of hunger saw them reclimbing up those same rocks to reach hot jacket potatoes oozing with butter and sticky sweet marshmallows to "wash them down" with!!
 The rain never entirely stopped but we didn't mind!

With good company, great food and a wonderful environment to be in who worries about the weather!
 We were sorry to leave but headed home with a feeling of contentment.

And stopping just a few times to take a few more pictures.
 Of a very beautiful


 and memorable day!

 These are cauliflowers growing amongst gum trees

and here are the alpacas in the field of cauliflowers growing amongst the gum trees!

 I love autumn

Monday, May 14, 2012

how to draw history

 "How are cartoons used to express opinions, issues and ideas?
How do cartoons analyse different historical interpretations?"

We started in the migration museum examining cartoons there and noting their commentary on history.

Our guide,Toby, was very enthusiastic about his theme.

 Learners will explore issues that have affected South Australians from  colonisation to the present

 What is a cartoon:A simple drawing showing the features of its subjects in an exaggerated way, especially in a newspaper or magazine.
 learn how cartoons can be used as historical sources

learn how to communicate personal perspectives about an issue  via cartoons.

 We started our workshop with very gentle warm-up exercises:"draw a quick sketch of a mouse. Now add some cheese" No surprises that most cheese drawn was the holey variety and triangular in shape!!

 participate in a 60 minute  cartooning workshop run by cartoonist and illustrator, Simon Kneebone.
 I snapped a few pictures of works in progress.

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Medieval Fair

We attended our local medieval fair on Saturday. The Fair is an annual event and many of those that attend enter into the spirit of the occasion, donning garments they deem appropriate to the time period. Of course the time period is stretched to include LOTR figures and monsters that we can only assume were ogres but lets not be too pedantic this is all about having fun and sharing in a local community event.The event is organized by a large group of volunteers and clubs give up their time too to entertain us.

 We arrived near the beginning of the day. I snapped these fashionable footwear as the parade to the main ring began.

There were a variety of different medieval cultures represented too including indigenous ones.
Many clubs had set up small communities of tents and around these they demonstrated an assortment of crafts, including weaving,spinning, calligraphy.
One champion fighter with her sword was also a talented artist.

This year there were no horses but we did watch with a large crowd as several watermelon sprung from the caterpolt

There was music and dancing, some of which seemed  difficult to distinguish between  fighting...and perhaps that is not too unrealistic either!

The food cooking in iron pots or on open spits tantalized the senses on this cool autumn day. We sampled delicious roast beef and lamb.
It was a great day and definitely one to repeat next year!