Saturday, August 13, 2011
Journey to South Australia - Simple and Environmental
I was met at the Adelaide airport, which struck me as rather low key and down to earth by a Malaysian Adelaide University student, Amir. We have been connecting through skype, and his handle "Bluebird Bluebird" was quite apt, as after we began a hike up Waterfall Gully, to Mt Lofty in the Cleland Conservation Park, several blue tailed wrens visited us! Like Amir, very friendly and down to earth. Here is some of the ubiquitous yellow wattle, as the locals call it. It is a native acacia I think. The first falls is in the background as we began our 4 hour round trip hike to the top of Mt Lofty with the view of Adelaide to the Ocean to the West.
Very moist soil here in the valley or gully as they say here. Looks like many introduced species mixed with native ones. Here looks like a Freesia, and wiki says a popular garden plant native to S Africa. Well, I remember it as a nice bouquet plant.
About half way up the walk, after we had shared a lot of cultural stories and all, with the the cacaphony of the sulphur crested cockatoos in the background, we looked down and noticed this cluster of bright white perfect 5 petaled flowers! What I surprise when I noticed the typical reflection of a sundew, a carnivorous plant I associate with the north and the bog of N America. Well sure enough I looked up Drosera on line and found the greatest diversity here in Australia. Go figure. What I pleasant discovery at our feet. So many Aussie's use this as a training run up the hill and back! Lots of huffing and puffing. Glad we choose to slow down and notice the birds and plants. Amir says he often sees koala's up in the gum trees here. Did not see one yesterday. Perhaps today.
Here is a view of the stream valley, where there are gum (Eucalyptus) trees where I would expect willows back home. Some of the typical flowers of the Eucalyptus with the white fringe with some Banksia bristly old flowers and fruits as well. Likely what the more wild "bush" looks like. Bush, seems to be the general label for any wild place down unda.
After our about 3 hour, 4 km walk up the valley, here is the view that awaited us. To the west is Adelaide and the ocean. We passed on the libations at the top of the walk and went back to the city to a neighborhood pub that served large portions of beef schnitzel! Yum. Amir has spent time in Vienna and Switzerland and really likes the food. Great portions as a reasonable price. He went home to write a paper for a class at the University and I walk to the North Terrace area where the museums are and the Rundle Mall Shopping area. Pleasant walk and very invigorating! Glad for my health to be able bodied.
Here is the South Australia Museum where there is a large aboriginal collection with a map of the some 500+ languages and peoples that were here at the time of white contact. I was able to sit for a while and watch films of traditional people early in the 20th Century here who model how to live close to the land. They closed at 5 PM and I just had time to pop in and buy a Banksia book for my very own. Inspired by Catherine. THanks.
Here is a classic view of an indoor shopping mall for those who like these things. Not into buying "stuff" or as the Chinese would say "dongxi" which means East-West...like where stuff comes from! Keep it simple and Easy Does it. Well the internet decided to be really slow Sunday, so here I am uploading at 7 AM local time on Monday. A small modem in this rental apartment that I rebooted many times yesterday. South Australia according to Amir is the greenist of the states, pays 10 cents for each bottle recycled and even has banned plastic bags.
Here is a plane tree, a European Sycamore that reflects the history of Australia,planted throughout the city, the connection to England is still strong. Delightful to have Amir to be my guide a native of Malaysia who became an Australian citizen a few years back. He is looking to start an organic garden-farm back in Malaysia where he still has strong connections with his family there.