Monday, November 8, 2010

November 10, 2010 My little friend

The other day, as I was pulling up the blinds in the living room, I noticed I had a wee visitor. It was sitting very quietly on the vertical surface of one of the casement window frames. If I had closed that window, he would have been one very squashed visitor.

A casement window is hinged at the sides, and mine swing out from a middle opening, something like this:

This is what my casements look like, when closed.

Today, I wanted to put on the airconditioner for awhile, so I had to close those windows. That meant I had to move the wee fellow. So, I put on a disposable glove, moistened it with some water, and transferred him (?) to a safer spot outside. 

Here he is: 

He's not quite 5 cm (2 inches) long. I'm not sure of the exact species .. one of the tree frog family, probably.

November 9, 2010 Restoration

On March 20, 2006, Cyclone Larry ( ) struck the coast of northern Queensland, with the town of Innisfail sustaining the most damage.

A visitor to Innisfail and the surrounding areas today would be hard pressed to find much evidence of this catastrophic event. Financial assistance from the Federal government and/or insurance has allowed repair or replacement of damaged or destroyed property to take place.

Today, I would like to show you Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic church, which was severely damaged in the cyclone, and has now been lovingly restored.

The roof reconstruction resulted in the removal of the former flat ceiling, to reveal the hidden timber structure. This has given a spacious, airy feel to the interior of the church.

What was hidden by the flat ceiling.

A view of the choir.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

November 8, 2010 More about cars

Wouldn't you like to own this lovingly restored Valiant? 

And, this little guy would be so economical:

I wonder how this one was extricated from its tight parking spot? Maybe they just lifted it out?

And, I showed this to the big sissy car, Cedric, to show him that a real car doesn't cry, even with a mirror ripped off. He went all pale and shaky!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

November 7, 2010 Vancouver Island

I had the pleasure of visiting this beautiful part of the world earlier in the  year. 

My nieces and their husbands took me to some lovely parts of their paradise.

The reflection of boats moored in Comox harbour provides a peaceful scene:

An early morning visitor on the back lawn:

You've been warned!

Barnacles on a mooring post:

A walk in a quiet forest:

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

November2, 2010 All Souls Day

There is a Mexican saying that we die three deaths: the first when our bodies die, the second when our bodies are lowered into the earth out of sight, and the third when our loved ones forget us. Catholics forestall this last death by seeing the faithful dead as members of the Church, and by praying for them, and asking their prayers for us.

All Souls Day is a day of remembrance for friends and loved ones who have passed away. This comes from the ancient Pagan Festival of the Dead, which celebrated the Pagan belief that the souls of the dead would return for a meal with the family. Candles in the window would guide the souls back home, and another place was set at the table.

In honour of this day, I visited the cemeteries in town, and want to share some of the images I captured.
The memorials ranged from very simple:

To elaborate:

To poignant:

There is a Pioneer Cemetery, just a short distance out of town. It was used from 1897 to 1927. What is striking is the relatively young age at death of many of the people buried there, the result of accidents or infectious diseases.

This marked the grave of a 5 year old girl.
I liked the pudgy knees.
A close up of the detailed marble work.

Finally, here are some pieces of artistry to catch your eye:

November 4, 2010 Local artists

Come into my house so I can show you some of the paintings done by two of my favourite artists.

The first 2 are by A.D. (Tony) North, whom I met in Mackay. He has now moved to the Sunshine Coast of Queensland where, hopefully, he'll find a larger market. The first painting was done about 2 years before the other. I like the maturation developing in his approach.

He used to start with a black canvas, and work from there; I don't know whether he still uses this approach.

The next artist is Graham Draper, who lives in my town. His "day job", is, in fact, a night job, as shelf stocker at a local supermarket. I really covet his house, it vibrates with life and colour. 

The first painting is an old Queenslander house, still to be seen here in town. The other two are of his parents!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

November 3, 2010 Look down

We laud the painters and sculptures who decorated churches of centuries gone by, but how often do we know who designed and created the floors?

Sunday, October 31, 2010

November 1, 2010 Calico cats


You may have seen these cats around; their coats are a combination of black, orange and white, arranged in blocks of colour. 

Generally speaking, calico cats are female. It's a genetic thing!

Coat color in cats is a sex-linked trait, a physical characteristic (coat color) related to gender. Female mammalian animals have two X chromosomes (XX), males have one X chromosome and one Y chromosome (XY). The genetic coding for displaying black or orange color is found on the X chromosome. The coding for white is a completely separate gene. For a male cat to display the calico colours, he'd need to have an extra X chromosome. (Pay attention at the back of the class!)

By the way, they are not a separate breed of cat, and it can be tricky to try to breed for these colours. Calico cats are not to be confused with tortoiseshell cats. The latter has little or no white in their coat colour, and the colours tend to be blended or swirled together.

Many people consider calico cats will bring good luck to their home, especially if they happen to 'adopt' their owners! Some people call them "money cats".

Puschka, my Grand-cat!!

Friday, October 29, 2010

October 30, 2010 It's a shoe-in

Back in "the days", I was one of the many women who love shoes. Oh, I still do, but just don't indulge in the passion quite as much.

But, I do take photos of shoes in my travels, so here are just a few for your pleasure.

And, although not glamorous, necessary for the rain, or aqua alta, in Venice.

For the gentleman in your life, these natty spats, perhaps.

 And, finally, my old favourites, who walked many a kilometer with me. Alas, they are now part of some landfill on Vancouver Island. I mourn.