Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Happy New Year

Happy New Year, originally uploaded by cnlizziebns.

Monday, December 28, 2009


A portrait of Sarah

The kid was rescued from transport where its mother birthed en route

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Princess Ellie

Ellie, originally uploaded by cnlizziebns.

Have been practicing a little low key lighting but need to get all the shadows out...

Friday, December 25, 2009

Turn It On Turn It Up

Where I ride my horses I drove and took the camera yesterday and what a glorious sunset after the rain of the previous days.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Down The Mountain

I live in the mountains of South East Queensland and a friend asked me to transport his horses to a polo instruction camp.

My grandson Joeseph came with me and we picked up the horses in the dark with much excitement at 3.30 am in the morning for a four year old who was feeling so important...Grandma, do you want this bridle, I will shut the gates if you help me etc etc

Off we went on a dark and gloomy morning and arriving in Toowoomba before the steep descent down the mountain the fog and rain came down.  I had to use the main Range Crossing due to the large trailer I was pulling and the full load of horses.  At this hour of the morning all the semi trailers are going down the mountain to beat the normal traffic.  I could hardly see two feet in front of the windscreen and had the vehicle in low range gear to take the descent and a little box car came roaring down the mountain weaving through the two lanes of traffic full of semis...I had just indicated to pull out into the outer lane as the semi in front of me had a huge load and was in very low gear and this little car had gone around me into the inner lane and as I pulled out drove over in front of me...I had no option but to pull back in behind the semi or hit the sedan.  I had gathered a little pace to pass the semi so had to lock up the brakes and opted to run into the back of the semi or take this little car over the cliff.  My vehicle did a bit of fishtailing and squealing with all brakes locked on the trailer and the SUV and luckily for me have the safety brakes installed where the computer takes over as to the locking and unlocking and managed not to hit anything but I guess that little car sailed on its merry way in the rain and fog dodging semis oblivious, an accident waiting to happen.

In the mean time Matt whose horses I was transporting was calling me up on the two way to see how I was faring and because of all the traffic on the two way mainly truckies swearing mightily did not acknowledge and by the time I arrived at the bottom of the range at the arranged rendezvous every man and his dog was looking for me oh well.......

The grooms uniform and his grooms were young, blonde, bronzed, bare, and beautiful.

An uneventful trip down unloaded the horses and watched a few chukkas and thought I would share with you the grooms one of these polo boys employed.  I asked Matt did he think I should apply for a job and he too quickly told me NO I would not make it....well....just because I am no longer, young, bronzed, blonde and beautiful!!

Joseph taking photographs and he took some good shots.

Joseph took this photo

The expert!!

Arrived back home and where I had picked up the ponies a koala had climbed the tree probably cut short his nocturnal wandering by the early loading at the yards and he was in a tree at the yards.

Go away he said.....

Life is Like That!

Sometimes doing our best does not cut it and is something I have to learn to accept.  After rescuing the old horses from the mountain and walking them out in the killing heat the situation was too much for the old black mare who deteriorated and suffered a major fatal heart attack.

I have for the past four years worked in a nursing home with largely high care patients and death is a constant occurrence which never is fully accepted but our time comes for people and animals and never a death occurs without regrets.

The circumstances may or may not have hastened her death.  She was nineteen years of age and did have a bad start to life as I saw her in a paddock with her mother and was horrified when she was about five months of age.  The grass was green and up to their knees but was an introduced African grass which in horses with their one stomach has an element that does not allow them to absorb calcium.  I saw the owners and brought her home explaining why she looked like she did awful and they did not mean this to happen as was done with ignorance and all they saw was the lush green kikuyu.  She always did have problems with bones and not a good start in life but lived her life out in the mountains and in the cool of the creek beds with her sister for the nineteen years of sun filled lazy days.

May she rest in peace   "If suffering went out of life, courage, tenderness, pity, faith, patience and love would go out of life too".

Friday, December 11, 2009

Old Friends

Is that time of year again and Christmas has been a time of year when I shut myself down and do not communicate but this year it will be turned around.  Some of my oldest friends understand and those that do stand by me and am so happy this year as Matthew and his lovely wife and family have returned from working in the Northern Territory and have not completely isolated myself as usually do at this time of the year.

He is making me work with him and the young horses breaking in his polo ponies and me working on some of my animals which I have not done justice to in the past four or five years.  My father and his father were friends and Mat was an impressionable young lad of ten years when he and I met.  He is good for my ego as he remembers me clanking about with shiny silver spurs and jeans wrangling horses and out there doing things and with this encouragement feel I can achieve again.

So have been working at the break of dawn and off riding the young horses coming home exhausted and a nice ache in my oh so unused muscles.  The lard is beginning to strip off and as it does my mood lightens.  With Matt I can remember that it is one of the blessings of friends that you can afford to be stupid with them and at times I am that.

Meet Kevin...well what have we got here

Mine now ......and that was the last I saw of them for a while

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Some Days Are Diamonds, Some Days are Stone

Just one of those days yesterday.  A long story but had to collect two mares who where up in the mountains without available water.  I found out Monday afternoon and had to organize myself up the mountain.  I asked a good friend would he give me a hand but unfortunately had a prior engagement and was at the coast but would come back on Tuesday night to accompany me on the Wednesday morning.

Could not sit out Tuesday in the searing heat not knowing in what condition these mares were in so decided to go on my own which involved trucking my mare to the bottom of the ranges then riding through quite rugged country and is at the moment not even four wheel driveable finding the two mares in over one thousand acres of hilly timbered country, catching them, bringing them down the mountain and loading them into my rig and driving them back up the mountain.  I ran into a friend of mine Ros and told her my tale with many swear words at the horses not being shifted on the Sunday when riders were up in the mountains  shifting their cattle.  Ros unfortunatly was working but had resigned myself to managing as you do.

Then came the diamonds late on the Monday night received a telephone call from Ros to the effect that she had rang into work and arranged for someone else to cover her work and if I picked her and her horse up early Tuesday morning she would help me.  This kind offer left a lump in my throat as is hard to find anyone willing to do anything for someone else that costs them.  I then rang the manager of Eskdale Station where I would have to leave my rig and ride through their property to access the horses.
Without missing a beat the Manager said "I will saddle a horse and go with you" I then did start to cry. I had never met him before and had only spoken on the telephone and the day was promising to be of killer heat and not comfortable.

We did all of the above and put it down to my being emotional forgot to take the water and we rode for five hours climbing the mountains without a drink and I have not appreciated water so much in a long time so had a small idea of how these animals felt.

The mares were a little worse for wear and look different horses today in a huge bed of straw and unlimited water and hay.  The mares are around the twenty years of age and I am so grateful that this ending is as has turned out except for the circumstances of these animals being without water for that time due to others stupidity and ignorance where I will not go at the present..
Thank you Mark you are a prince for a neighbor.and thank you Ros who said to me "What do you think friends are for?"

Monday, December 7, 2009

South Sky Storm

experiencing a bad hair day.  Her foal coat is dead and falling out and a beautiful rose grey color  coming through.

Where I would like to be in the surf...can fantasize  

Have just heard the waterholes in my top paddock are very low, the cattle were shifted yesterday and tomorrow will have to ride up there and shift two old thoroughbred mares.  I will bring them home and will try and get away very early so am not riding in the heat of the day.  The heat is close and humid so lets hope it brings on the rain so badly needed at the moment.  As I type this the sweat is pouring down my back.  Could not imagine this  heat good for this computer so will switch off and go out in the cooler of the afternoon to do some of my outside physical work.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Girraween Two

Rock formations everywhere

Wildflowers everywhere

The rock I did not climb but next time.

Strange creatures in the logs....

On the back roads back on to agricultural land and could see the threatening storm cells which did eventuate so was no climbing the pyramid that day.


I have decided to go and get my body back and am on a walking regime.  First stop explore all the near National Parks and then the far ones and when have done that in a couple of years am doing a Forrest Gump and walk the world well that is the plan and many a slip between the cup and the lip.  Life is a box of chocolates.....

First stop Girraween and what a beautiful place that is and right here on my doorstep with the most incredible diversity of wildflowers, heath, and great walks, although did not do the walk up the pyramid as I had planned due to the inclement weather and the slipperiness of granite with moisture.

Left home at 12.30 am picked up an enthusiastic photographer in Toowoomba and met the dawn near the Queensland NSW border.  A wonderful spot to spend the first day of Summer.A beautiful morning with mist rising from the creek the platypus plopping in the creek wondering what she is doing sitting above my borrow and how I knew it was its burrow will explain a little further on.

Quite a mild morning but this locale is the coldest area of Queensland with snow in the winter time some years.  The dew on the grass was beautiful as the first rays of the sun touched the tops.  Sun rise was around the 4 o'clock time.

Nature sure turned it on and thought I would share some of the magic of the morning with the little things.

I was snapping away enjoying myself and in the background could hear a noise on the water periodically and was looking through the viewfinder of my camera and a duck was evident in the gloom.  I put the zoom lens on after a few shots and could see that the duck was caught in the tree with fishing line wound around his neck.  I progressed down the creek and could cross at a bridge a couple of hundred metres upstream but the other side of the river had a little anna branch of a stream and very boggy with high reeds and grasses and perhaps some joe blakes so sat and contemplated for a few minutes knowing I could not leave the duck where it was and the other photographer companion was who knows where and would be back who knows when.  I went back to the car and dug around for an old shirt and took that down to the creek together with a change of clothes and left my old clothers which were muddy and sodden from trying to access the duck from the other side on the vehicle bull bar to dry out.

Collect a sharp stanley knife and reminded myself I had been a strong swimmer and if I were to continue this Gump thing had to make a start.  Swam up the creek with the knife in my mouth, treading water mightily and cut the duck loose.  Swam back to the shore and proceeded to put on my clean clothes feeling rather satisfied with myself.  See the duck in the background tethered to the tree.

I thought I was rather good rescuing that duck.

My first morning of "Gump" is one of mixed emotions.  Oh yes about the platypus burrows when trying to find an alternative to swimming up that dark water and negotiating the edges of the creek my legs went down a hole in the bank of the creek with mud nearly up to my waist.  I do not think I landed on any platypii.

The sun shone on the top of the Cottontops and everything looked a little more sane.

Drove back towards Stanthorpe and some beautiful shots were taken of this most colorful parrot an Eastern Rosella which I had never seen before and he was so brightly colored he hurt the eyes.  Although obviously fed in the trees was still very shy and nervous.

Then on to Girraween which will speak through the photographs such a beautiful place and well worth a visit or two.

These fellows were eastern greys and did look a little poor but not as poor as the big roos I saw in the Charters Towers area where the grasses were virtually non existent due to the lack of rain, thankfully the "wet" season in the north is not that far away.

A jewel of a beetle and a bad nail job.  Ever since the mop tops I always spell beetle incorrectly and have to stop and redo EVERY time.

These bushes had every color imaginable must have had something to do with slight differences in soil to produce such a different array of color.  I did not photograph the range of color which I realize I should have done.

Huge granite boulders everywhere giving the place a spiritual and eerie  feel
except when there were silly buggers about and I am talking about the person taking the photograph who had to climb  up a tree to get this effect.

Tripping North 3

Departed Cairns early the next morning and was just starting to settle into the cabin by the river could have slept for a week with the sweet sound of the water over the rocks.  Decided to make a little detour on the way and show Lynelle a little of the northern surrounds.  Arrived at Kuranda a little after daylight and took a walk about this delightful village which has lost none of its charm I am pleased to say.  Back when I lived in the area alternative lifestyle people, I guess Australias version of the flower children, came from all over the world and many squatted in the rainforest.  They did not realize that the young locals were already flower children living the life we did!!

Kuranda Railway Station in my eyes had not changed from the days when would arrive at the station in the steam train, alight from the train rubbing the coal dust, soot, from our eyes as would lean out the windows defying gravity for most of the trip. Crossed the railway line and followed the river and through the rainforest for a delightful squiss at the locale and met some most engaging locals in the town and on the walk.  Lynelle went to the toilet before we headed off on the long journey south and aware of my once on a roll no stopping!!  while she was away I arranged for a beautiful snake I saw draped around the neck of an employee at the Venom collection facility.  I did not think Lynelle would take the snake but she surprised me and said it was something she had always wanted to do. Walking the rainforest track the shy "freshy" crocodile was swimming along beside me.  These are very docile and do not as a rule bite humans and do not grow to the savage proportions of the "salty".  They are usually a lot slimmer with a more tapered snout.

I drove through Atherton where I did not stop.  The area was tinder dry and brown and had never seen the Tablelands in this situation before.  Driving on to Malanda and Millaa Millaa the restoration of the green and moist returned so was not disappointed in that.  Stopped at the falls and unfortunatly one of the lens of the camera none of the shots turned out, a dob of butter had somehow melted into the equipment, very negligent on my part.

Down the Palmerston Highway and then headed the nose to Townsville and did not stop until I shredded a tyre somehow on the outskirts of Townsville heading towards Charters Towers.  A fellow helped me change the tyre and he lived in Townsville and used to be a Dalby boy!! and knew many people I did, it is a small world.  Once I married a Dalby boy how I ended up leaving the far north for the Darling Downs of Queensland but that is another story.

Unfortunately did not get the opportunity to photograph the country between Townsville and Charters Towers at sunset as had been my intention as the tyre debacle had delayed us somewhat.  Arrived at Charters Towers in the dark and then headed off on the development road through Belyando Crossing where I snoozed for a couple of hours and arrived at Clermont as the sun rose.  Lynelle's daughter is a school teacher at Capella so waited until a respectable hour so Lyn could visit and I could sleep for a few hours.  Shannon was one of the girls who would help me with the show horses so she gave me a demonstration on her horse and showed us her block of land she had purchased so I would at a wild guess imagine she is staying in the central west of the state!!

Lindsay, Hayley and Dale
Headed off in a hurry as had to pick up a horse at Comet and another at Rockhampton.  Arrived at Comet and luckily I went to the local pub which is a beauty I must say to gather information on the directions to the property.  Turned out 200 ks of dirt road, "dog track" down sandy creek beds and crossing the river.  Not on as would still be there with the rig I was towing so after spending too much time figuring things out and it was hot and dry headed on to Rockhampton to see some friends and pick up my old horse who I had given to another of the girls who had assisted me and she was having a baby and did not wish to risk riding and the area is experiencing severe drought.

 Lindsay his ever personable hospitable self but could not stay as was on a mission and left Rockhampton just as the sun set and drove arriving back to the Darling Downs in the small hours of the morning a little tired and crashed my body to bed.