Several weeks ago, our local artist, Lesley Kane, was commenting on how much her grandchildren enjoyed seeing a Christmas tree at the roundabout on Keswick Island in years gone by. We had a memorable evening down there around 2011, so we decided to launch a community project to add a new tree to the roundabout with solar lights to entertain old and young alike.
Firstly, Marian cleaned up the area removing dead plants and trimming the pandanus plants. Then she added pandanus fruit around the existing plants to make the area look greener. Meanwhile Lesley held a workshop at her Tiger Blue Den to make natural Christmas decorations out of hessian, ribbons, shells, wood, bark, sponge, coconut shells and string etc. They looked quite good in the end! We also dug out our old Christmas deccies like tinsel and shiny balls.
While we dithered on whether to make a driftwood tree (that we really should have collected wood for in the preceding weeks), Craig suggested using a dead she oak tree that had fallen over in his street. So we lobbed up to Eagle View Crescent for a quick look see. It was perfect really, so Craig promptly tied the tree up to the back of his buggy, (hand in post operative state & all), and pulled the tree out of the ground. Due to the extreme heat, we decided to meet back in a few hours to tow it down the hill to have a look at it in-situ. Once that happened, thanks to Craig, Brian & Darryl, we were going to decide what to trim off etc., but the men took control and tied it securely in place.That's it! All done ladies! 😉
Now that we knew we had a very large tree to decorate, Karen and Lesley made more terrific Christmas decorations for inclusion in the decorating party to be held on Saturday at 5.00pm. They even made some great looking Christmas puddings out of stuffed Coles liquor bags and wrapped buoys to hang and put around the bottom of the tree. (I think if one had legs, it would look like the Magic Pudding!)
The decorating and lighting of the tree went well, albeit in very hot and humid weather, with several ladders being loaned to make the job easier -- the best and tallest one being from KDPL. The tree looks distinctive and fits in well with the local decor! Many thanks to our local monkeys, Craig, Brian & Ron, who managed to climb to the top of the big ladders and get that tinsel over the top of the tree, and to everyone that pitched in to make it a fun gathering. Even little Toby who was visiting with Matt and Tess and granddad Steve. Special thanks go to Craig for flying to Mackay to buy the solar lights.
We all heaved a big sigh of relief when the sun set and the refreshing drinks came out to cool us all off! Then the lights came on and the spirit of Christmas came alive on Keswick Island once again. 🙂
It's usually around half an hour before sunset when we're sitting on our deck having sundowners that we notice the butterflies looking for a place to rest overnight on Keswick Island. You can bet your bottom dollar that where there is one butterfly resting, another one will come along and try to take the same place! It's interesting watching them jostle for a spot to sleep & stretch their wings for the last few rays of sunshine that day. These particular butterflies are male red-bodies swallowtails and they are attracted to our red hibiscus flowers.
I've finished the illustrations and new cover images for the first 2 books in the series and only have one left to go! This is exciting 🙂
I’m thrilled to bits to announce that the Regional Art Development Fund (RADF) Grant I applied for has been approved. Now I have 4 months of solid illustrating work to do to my first 3 books. Really looking forward to getting stuck into it and also to be mentored by award-winning local artisan Lesley Kane! 🙂
It’s that time of year again – after a tropical cyclone – when the sun comes out and blue tiger butterflies hatch in the thousands! We think it must be something to do with air pressure that causes this phenomenon. Anyhow it makes for terrific photo opportunities and takes us all back to our childhood days when we appreciated nature more. 🙂 This photo is walking distance from Jasmine Cottage looking over Egremont Passage towards neighbouring St Bees Island.
There's an old Aussie expression "like a lizard flat out drinking", and I have seen monitor lizards drink that way when I'm watering the garden. But the other day I shot this short video of a monitor drinking in a totally different way! 🙂
This is an oldie but a goodie. Just love the way this cockatoo rocks to the music of Freddy in Queen.
Hi Friends! I have just published my 4th Island Critters book and it’s a fully illustrated Christmas book for children. I’m running a free download promotion for the next 5 days if you’d like to grab a copy? (Even Brian had a good laugh when I read it to him the other night!) Simply click the image below to go to my Amazon Author Page and select the Kindle Version (making sure you are on the Australian Amazon site if you live in Australia – there will be a link to it on the top RHS). Don’t worry if you don’t have a kindle, you can also download the Kindle App to read the book on any device!
Please download the book for free within the next 5 days, and if you enjoy it, please leave a review so I can be ranked on Amazon. Thank you in advance! (BTW, the paperback copy is A4 size and great for colouring in!)
I've updated my website to showcase my new book series, "Island Critters". It's taken lots of trips around the island to snap photos of the animals, plants and scenery, but it's a most enjoyable pass time. 🙂
Just thought my blog would be a good place to display videos that I've snapped in the past and to make annoucements. The following video is a recent one of a mum & calf hump back whale just off the point of Basil Bay... The little one is having a bit of fun slapping their tail!