Agawa Bay on Lake Superior
Two fireworks displays in one week! It seems a shame to waste all the year’s fireworks within a few days, so taking inspiration from last night’s sunset, how about some natural “SkyFire”…
SkyFire 1 – Sunset over Black Mountain
Canberra had a second weekend of fireworks, with the annual SkyFire event happening just 5 days after Canberra Day this year. I decided to get a few shots of these fireworks from the same vantage point as Monday night. The fireworks were great, but as we waited for nightfall the sky put on some natural fire of its own.
Australia is crazy for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is the redefinition of the seasons. Sure, it’s the underside of the Earth so the seasons are opposite, right? Wrong! Australia was my first experience with seasons that start on the first of the month, rather than the equinox or solstice. Interestingly their isn’t much formal agreement on the matter anywhere in the world. Presumably the meteorologists and astronomers couldn’t believe the stupidity of each others’ point of view and we’ve agreed to disagree ever since!
Lonely Tree in Coree
It’s often hard to remember that crepuscular rays travel right across the sky. They’re always eye catching around the setting sun, but sometimes you turn around 180° and there they are “converging” on the anti-solar point. And yet, they’re all parallel; silly physics! That’s exactly what happened in this case. We were all concentrating on the sunset, but turned back around to the east to get in the car to see this…
After a rough scramble, a few injuries and a swim at D’Angelo Falls, there was debate over whether the trip to Hartnett Falls would be worth it. The guidebook had listed the walk as “easy (to top of falls)” and those menacing brackets gave us second thoughts. What’s the point of seeing a waterfall from the top? Fortunately, we ran into the group on the champagne tour coming back up; if their guides took them to the bottom it must be pretty easy. It was.
Today was Canberra Day; a time to celebrate Australia’s constructed capital. It was celebrated with an odd assortment of events throughout the parliamentary triangle area. The day was capped off with a fireworks show. Like Canberra, the show took longer than anyone expected to get going, but after what felt like 100 years the show was pretty good.
Enlighten is on again in Canberra. I think this was the third year for the festival of lights and it has now firmly established itself on the Canberra event’s calendar. What was a few buildings lit up by huge projectors has now added all kinds of visual an performance art.
This is a giant snake game projected on the side of the National Portrait Gallery. It must have been among the simplest of the exhibits, needing only an iPad and a reasonably good projector .The “anglerfish bicycles”, on the other hand, probably took ages to design and construct.
Enlightening Old Parliament House
Of course Enlighten still features buildings in the parliamentary triangle lit up by huge projectors. This is one of the technicolor displays projected onto Old Parliament House.
There aren’t too many geologic oddities in the National Capital region, so London Bridge seemed worth a look. It’s a natural limestone arch created by Burra Creek, which flows underneath, and is probably most interesting for its very regular shape. This is particularly evident given the chaos around it. It’s surrounded by rough, muddy ground full of wombat burrows making it nearly impossible to get close. I should have just waded in for a look… given how wet I was about to get in the gathering storm.
A fortunate series of event (two consecutive long weekends and phenomenal rental car deal) meant that I decided to explore a piece of the New South Wales coast that I hadn’t visited before. Strangely, it’s the most conveniently accessible part from Canberra between Jervis Bay and Bateman’s Bay. I spent the night in Murramarang National Park, which is crisscrossed with fire trails leading to secluded beaches. After climbing all over a rocky headland, I found myself here at Myrtle Beach where there was an impressive shore break. I’ve since learned this is an “unofficial clothing optional beach”, which probably explains why the one person I did see stayed about 5 seconds. A big camera probably isn’t the best way to make friends on a nude beach!