This has to be the best time of the year for weather beautiful sunny days with a gentle breeze, but still warm enough to play on the beach. The bush fires are under control, unfortunately the drought has not broken. However, the cattle are being fed and there is a huge rally to support the farmers with funds arriving daily.

Water Dragon in Marylynne's river garden. Taken by Reginald J,Dunkley

Water Dragon in Marylynne’s river garden. Taken by Reginald J,Dunkley

It seems appropriate that our capital city of Canberra is once again hosting The Hot Air Balloon Festival. This nine-day event which gathers starters from all over the globe, takes off every morning at 6.00am from the lawns of old Parliament House of Canberra. Part of a month-long festival the cavalcade of colourful balloons creates much interest, with a chance to have a bird’s eye view over the city on a crisp autumn morning. Spring blossoms abound with the Floriade display at its peak, this is a joyful time to visit Canberra with free  entertainment day and night.

The first Tree Kangaroo to be born in Sydney’s Taronga Zoo in twenty years has finally emerged from her mother’s pouch. Female Joey was actually born last September but has only just started to peek out from her hidey hole. An endangered species due to hunting and habitat destruction, Tree Kangaroos inhabit tropical rainforests of New Guinea ad Queensland and the arrival of a female Joey has delighted the keepers at Taronga.  A onetime favourite of the Aboriginal people it enjoyed special protection and was known as “Boongarry” with its rich red coloured fur and appetite for leaves and flowers.  A public naming competition will be announced for this rare and fascinating species.

Water Dragon and baby at Marylynn's river garden. Taken by Reginald J. Dunkley

Water Dragon and baby at Marylynn’s river garden. Taken by Reginald J. Dunkley

The Rolling Stones hit Perth, Western Australia arriving in their private jet emblazoned with tongue logo.  The Stones have gathered no moss during their fifty year career, and still cavort around like teenagers; irrepressible energy keeps them shining stars.  The veteran rockers will be performing six “On Fire” shows in all capital cities.  STOP PRESS.  Sadly the group have now postponed their Australian tour due to the sudden death of Mick Jagger’s partner L.’ Wren Scott . With Sir Mick Jagger overwhelmed by his long time girlfriend’s demise, another date will be scheduled and announced as soon as possible.

Meanwhile mayhem in Malaysia as distraught families seeks information about their loved ones. There is still no word on the six Australians missing along with two hundred and thirty three other passengers and crew, aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 which has literally disappeared into thin air.

Water Dragon in  Marylynne's river garden.  Taken by Reginald J. Dunkley

Water Dragon in Marylynne’s river garden. Taken by Reginald J. Dunkley

The theories abound and the search continues concentrating on the Indian Ocean, South West of Perth, Western Australia where debris has been sighted but not confirmed. Are we confronted with an alien intervention?  Watch this space.

Between Adelaide and Alice Springs lays Coober Pedy the Opal Centre of the World.  For the last fifty years this unique outback Australia area has been the underground home to the many ‘treasure hunters’ who try their luck. Staking a claim and digging for opal is still a dream for some, and visitors from overseas who wish to apply for a Precious Stones Prospecting Permit must have an unlimited working visa. With a population of 4,000 and 45 nationalities this ethnically diverse region has an extremely good lifestyle.  Homes hewn out of the swirling rose- coloured and maroon sandstone are surprisingly beautiful, cool, comfortable and quiet. There are shops, motels, backpackers, hotels, swimming pool, a golf course, and even a church tucked away under the surface.  A popular tourist area while viewing the ‘Painted Desert’, make sure you buy a lovely opal from one of the many shops while you are there, unless of course you strike it rich and find your own.


Messing about on the river at Marylynne’s riverside home. Taken by Reginald J. Dunkley

On the local scene we recently visited a friend who lives alongside the Wyong River; this delightful spot is also home to many Bearded Australian Water Dragons. These sun loving little rascals are normally shy in the wild; however, they are very friendly once familiar with you.  A protected species they have long powerful limbs and claws for climbing the trees, they love basking in the sunshine and are known for arm waving and head bobbing.  With a laterally compressed tail for swimming they can stay under the water for ninety minutes.  Fascinating and intriguing to watch it is little wonder they become property pets, as they run around looking for the best place to sunbake, or plop into the river from a tree.  Happy and harmless their looks belie a gracious nature. Enjoy the photos that Reginald took.

The birds are feeding well with the arrival of a pair of Crested Pigeons this morning to join in the fun.


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