Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Diggers Camp Beach + Wilson's Headland

With the outskirts of Wooli in sight we realised we had missed the turn off! 
 "I think it was just after the Minnie Water turn" someone volunteered. We backtracked keeping a close eye on our surrounds until we found the overlooked intersection. As we headed seaward off the sealed road we found ourselves on Diggers Camp Road, right beside Lake Hiawatha, less than a km past the Minnie Water turn off as you're heading towards Wooli.

As we followed the corrugated dirt road the vegetation changed several times and after five or six km we were at Boorkoom Campground, just before the tiny village of Diggers Camp. There is a self-pay station ($8 fee per vehicle) as Boorkoom Campground is part of Yuraygir National Park. From Boorkoom we strolled a short way along the Wilsons Headland Walka track Miss N had guided us nearly a year ago when she was involved in environmental work in the area. 

Once more we enjoyed the rugged coastline views and boardwalks mingled with grassy headland viewing areas. This time we had our elder Miss E with us, still home on uni break, who had not been to this site before. It is an easy mostly flat walk, however young children would need close supervision as there are many grassed cliff edges without fences. 

This time we didn't venture as far as last time so we saw no bull ants, but Master T did spot a large spider! In several grassy seaside areas the ground was dotted with pretty little pink flowers, like miniature morning glory mingle ing in with the grass. I had not seen this flower before but have since discovered it is a small native vine called Pink Bindweed or Polymeria calycina.

As it was a warm summer's day it was decided that a beach walk and possibly a swim was next on our agenda. Miss G suggested we go to Diggers Camp Beach, just up the road a few hundred metres, which she visited some months ago with. So off we drove....

I love this description of Diggers Camp -


If you thrive on “latte culture”, don’t go to Diggers Camp, 6km from Wooli down a gravel road. If however solitude and unparalleled peace and quiet are your bag, Diggers has just 15 houses, all of which supply their own electricity through solar power and use only rain water. To make up for a lack of sophisticated facilities, breathtaking nature is at your very door – best of all, you don’t have to share it with holiday crowds. "

None of us except Miss G had ever been to 'Diggers' and now we are all keen to return! Unfortunately the hoped for swim didn't last long as many small stinging blue bottles were seen in the water. The rock pools/platform weren't visible being high tide and it appears that there are mangroves in the beach shallows too, but again they were largely submerged when we visited. Would love to visit again on a cooler day at low tide!

We found ourselves looking for shade from the hot midday sun and found it under the large pandanus palms right near the beach access. As we snacked on our packed lunch some of our children wandered along the beach collecting funny round, clear jelly blobs, affectionately named by our family as 'blobbies'. I think these jelly blobs are remains of harmless jelly fish as they are disk shaped with spots which possibly once had tentacles attached. Some sources suggest they may be fish egg sacks but those jellies are usually crescent shaped. Either way, the blobbies are quite fascinating.

Others enjoyed playing in the sand, redirecting the fresh water runoff, beach combing (not allowed remove any finds) or climbing the pandanus. I took opportunity to photograph my recently completed 'summer' hand stitched fabric block. I'll share more about my current sewing endeavours soon.

There is a wonderfully cool spout of water coming from a pipe sticking out of the side of the land bank near the beach entry. Definitely not for drinking and sometimes contaminated, we found out later it's not recommended for bathing but I suspect most people rinse off in it's crystal clear, cool water after time at the salty, sandy beach, just as we did!

All too soon it was time to head home. However as I was driving past the coastal heath I couldn't resist pulling over to jump out of our family minibus and take some quick photos of this beautiful countryside and the stunning red-orange Australian native Christmas Bells (Blandfordia grandiflora - Northern Christmas Bells). To my surprise many of these Christmas Bells were pure yellow! So striking amongst the mixed heath with its tall black boy/grass tree spikes.

All in all, a wonderful short day out before heading home for music and a cricket game.....never a dull moment.


Friday, February 10, 2017

And They Said "I Will"

Behind the church

I have never seen a bride as relaxed, happy and friendly as Jess. Our eldest son, Master J - or perhaps I should call him Mr J, is delighted to have found such an amazing young lady to be his wife and we are absolutely blessed to now have Jess as part of our family.

Last Friday we drove up the Armidale up on the tablelands in preparation for the Saturday's wedding. Jess and J took us for a quick drive to the Dangarsleigh Hall where the reception was to be held, a country hall which Jess has fond childhood memories of. Then it was back to the wedding rehearsal in the chapel on campus - the church Jess grew up attending with her family and the church Mr J has been involved with since commencing his university studies a few years ago. The weather was unusually hot and humid both days for Armidale. 

Jess's mum had reserved tables at an historic hotel in Armidale for all family members both sides who were in town Friday night. It was an excellent opportunity to meet some of Jess's extended family prior to the wedding - and all of them are treasures! So honoured to be joined by marriage to these wonderful people.

Everything about the wedding and reception was beautiful, relaxed, simple and friendly - and mostly organised by Jess, her sisters and their friends and church family. The sticky, uncomfortable heat of the day thankfully gave way shortly after the service to cool breezes as thunderstorms circled around but kept at bay. The afternoon and evening was one we will never forget - for all the right reasons!

Just when I was about to stop smiling and come back to reality from the excitement of the celebrations, guess who walked into our home yesterday with a bunch of flowers for his mother! Mr J and Jess took us by surprise and dropping in for lunch as they traveled from their first honeymoon destination to their second! So I'm still smiling - and so were they!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Until Further Notice, Celebrate Everything!

"Until further notice,
Celebrate everything!"

Both simple and profound, this quote has stuck with me since reading it. Amongst the difficulties and uncertainties of life (of which we are dealing with many) there is always something to not only be grateful for, but to celebrate and rejoice over. 

Looking through my fabrics has been like a treasure hunt, mixing and matching, hand stitching some more blossom blocks. You can read all about Jodi's new quilt subscription/club based on this design here. Details of construction are also on her Tales of Cloth site here.

Bird visitors and spots of hot summer colour always catch my eye in the garden. 

A particular 'hat' from the 1950's (??) has been recently spoken of on several occasions by my mother-in-law as important to complete her outfit for my son's upcoming wedding. When you are 83 these things matter, so Last week we made the required trip to collect it - via the scenic route. 😊
The hatbox was eventually located, containing pieces fit for a textile museum. I think she now feels ready to attend the wedding ☺️

So until further notice, I plan to celebrate EVERYTHING!

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