Beaumaris …

No kangaroos this morning, I’m in the big city.

Yesterday I took the dog for a walk along the Beaumaris cliff top from the Motor Yacht Squadron to Table Rock. For the uninitiated this is a Melbourne suburb south east of the city on the edge of Port Phillip Bay.

The cliff is a deep red and way below our feet is …

Australia’s single richest marine animal fossil site, spanning the last 5 million to 10 million years of Earth’s history …

… The fossils paint a vivid picture of life below a sea that once covered parts of Melbourne. They comprise remains of ancient whales, seals, dolphins, sharks, fishes and sea birds, crabs, shells, corals and sea urchins.

An added distinction of Beaumaris is that it is one of the only sites known in Australia where we find evidence of our ancient land mammals in rocks formed in the shallows of an ancient bay.

As land animals died, their carcasses were washed out to sea by what was an ancestral Yarra River. This co-occurrence of land and marine animals is world famous, enabling precise dating of the evolution of Australia’s unique marsupial fauna.

The Beaumaris Motor Yacht Squadron has already covered a part of this site, public land of inestimable value, with a carpark and would like to develop a commercial marina. Enriching for them, impoverishing for a landscape that inspired a couple of generations of Australian painters. Let’s hope the council has the wit to deny them that opportunity.

On the journey we pass a sign …

‘At this site in the summer of 1886 the artists Tom Roberts and
Frederick McCubbin first met Arthur Streeton. Together with Charles Conder these men were the founders of the Heidelberg School.’
Fine art has been made at virtually every lookout on the way, not only by Roberts, McCubbin, Streeton and Condor but also by John Perceval, Alfred Coleman, Clarice Beckett and many less famous artists.  You can find more detail <HERE>.

It’s a place that has managed to retain a bit of bush and a little wildness despite the proximity of a busy road. For me it offers a chance to enjoy some of the local birds. I shot all of these within 45 minutes with the dog waiting patiently at my side …

Silver Gull

Silver Gull
Crested Tern
Australian Pelican
Pied Cormorant
Little Black Cormorant

Time for a change …

Regular readers will be shocked, shocked, I say …

I’m stuck in Melbourne for a couple of days for rehearsals. That means little to do during the day, practising the saxophone would be too much to ask. Last night I took the camera out late at night and added to my night portfolio. Today I rejigged the blog and added the gallery. It will grow in due course …

Good Morning Melbourne …

The Photographer’s Ephemeris revealed that a spot on the Yarra River near the Westgate Bridge would give me a great view of the sun coming up over good old Melbourne Town and this time, the ephemeris had much better control over the weather. Just before sunrise …

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The glow intensified and I was rewarded for my efforts by this …

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A short walk gives a better view of the docks …

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and if you look very carefully you can see a number of hot air balloons (and you can always get a better view by clicking on the photos, the back arrow on your browser returns you to this page), I wasn’t the only one saying good morning Melbourne. I retraced my steps and caught them as they crossed the city skyline …

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What an adventure they were embarked on …

Nine passengers have jumped from a hot air balloon hovering over Melbourne’s Port Phillip Bay onto a police boat below following fears the balloon, which was low on fuel, would ditch into the water.

While the drama unfolded over the bay, a second hot air balloon crashed into a suburban street in nearby Aspendale Gardens.

No one was hurt from either balloon. The one over the bay was sufficiently buoyant, once the passengers had jumped off, to fly on and land ashore.

Your rates at work …

The City of Melbourne has many trees, all as it should be in the World’s most liveable city. People can get very attached to trees. This can make it very hard for the city when it wants to cut some down. Whether to better manage their trees, or more likely, to better manage its citizens the city has a fine webpage all about its urban forest.

When you dial down to the individual tree level you have the option to email any tree that takes your fancy. And so I chose a tree that I was familiar with and wrote …

Dear Ulmus

I used to work very near to you and see you as I came in and out of the Royal Melbourne and Royal Dental Hospitals.

It is sad to see that your life expectancy is now so short (6-10 years) but you have outlived the poor old Dental Hospital and you may well outlive me. You have certainly done better than many of the gums I used to see around there.

Perhaps the increase in carbon dioxide, so necessary for a tree’s survival, will give you a boost.

All the best

Bob

and, would you believe it, the tree replied …

Hi Bob,

Thanks very much for your email, it’s nice to hear that you remember me!

Feel free to stop for a hug next time your passing by!

Love Green Leaf Elm, Tree ID 1019519

A good effort for a tree despite the your instead of you’re, (I doubt that a Quercus would make that mistake).

Glad I’m not a rate payer.