I recall back in 2004 when I first visited Moreton Bay. It was at night and I was on the final leg of my voyage from Sydney to Brisbane. I was exhausted from sailing solo and unlike the open ocean, there was a heightened need to keep a look out for sand banks and channel markers. I was surprised by the vast size of the bay. It seemed to go on forever and contained so many islands. I sailed past some of the smaller islands completely oblivious to their significance. I remember using the red lights on the top of the antenna towers at St Helena Island as a land mark. I had no idea at the time that St Helena was an historic penal island. I sailed past Peel Island, again having no clue that it was once used as a leper colony.
Fast forward ten years and I’m very familiar with the Bay and its islands. I find its rich history fascinating and also surprising that it’s not common knowledge for Brisbane residents. I’ve recently been doing a little bit of research on the history of the Bay and I’m completely intrigued by it. There is an exhibition currently on display at the Brisbane Art Gallery entitled, “The Many Lives of Moreton Bay”. I’m going to make a point of visiting the exhibition, but until then here is a short video about it.
This weekend wasn’t really that productive but I definitely feel more relaxed. It’s impossible not to when you are on an idyllic little island away from the bustle and stress of the city.
The island also has a great old fashioned community feel which is rare these days. One of my neighbours came by the house today to drop off some cumquat marmalade and brandy she had made from the local island cumquats. I haven’t tried them yet but the brandy smells amazing.
Unfortunately I had to leave a bit early today and as I drove down to the boat ramp I saw this old canoe on the beach. I couldn’t help but take a photo.
Just across the channel at the swimming enclosure there were kids enjoying the warm spring weather. What a great place for kids to spend their childhood. They probably take it all for granted and have no idea how fortunate they are to grow up in this little piece of paradise.
I’m heading over to the island today, but had a few things I wanted to do along the way. I stopped off at the range for a while and then dropped into a place I’ve been meaning to visit each time I pass it. The Indigiscapes garden centre is a native nursery designed to promote the planting of native plant species.
I have a first hand appreciation of the damage that introduced species can have on the habitat. I’ve struggled with Singapore Daisy on the island and just when I think I’ve won the war, another clump turns up. So the idea of natives on the property is appealing.
The nursery has large garden areas and some nature bush walking paths.
Cutty loves it.
It has a nice natural feel with lots of water areas.
As I was walking along the track I saw some movement along the water’s edge. On closer inspection it was a red belly black snake. These are one of the better snakes to have around and were pretty common where I grew up. I remember as a kid having one slither out from under some cushions I was laying on. The good thing about a red belly is that they actually eat other snakes. Also, their venom generally isn’t lethal so that’s a bonus.
This was as close as I was getting and Cutty was definitely not interested. She looked at it and knew immediately to keep her distance.
I went back to the nursery area and picked up some ideas for trees and plants.
I’ll have some reading for tonight.
As I was leaving the mainland on the barge I noticed some dolphins passing by. By the time I got the camera and managed to time a shot, they were well in the distance. This is as good a shot as I could manage.
Even though the sky is grey the boats still venture out onto the bay for the weekend. As the barge approached the island I could see some boats gathering off the beach.
This is a popular place to anchor for a weekend.
This photo is just for the sky. Hope the rain stays away tonight.
I was sitting at a footpath cafe having breakfast this morning when a ute parked beside my table. The driver got out and unloaded his tools to do some work on a shop front. I couldn’t help but notice the sign on his tool box. “Piss Off WERE FULL”. At the risk of sounding like a grammar nazi, I thought it was a great example of the importance of grammar and how it is rapidly becoming unused, especially with the use of abbreviated texting. Now I’m sounding like an old man.
What’s even more ironic about this is that the bloke is a sign writer.
And one of my favourites.
It’s bugging me that I don’t have much time to spend on the island cottage. I finally got some more of the fencing up this weekend. The front fence is just chain wire and once the Lilly Pillys grow to form a hedge the fence will be invisible. I’ll have 2 driveway entrances and a smaller pedestrian gate to enter the property. I’m yet to come up with some gate designs but I’m thinking about something with a bit of character.
Here are the front fence rails in place waiting for the cement to cure.
As I was working out the front today I saw a nice cruising yacht motoring down the passage. By the time I broke my trance and went to get my camera, it was a fair way out from the island. It reminded me of the old days on the boat. I really miss those sailing days.
Unfortunately I have to focus on getting the island finished, or at least to a point that the gardens are established and I don’t have dirt everywhere.
This is a section at the back of the cottage. It’s currently where I’m dumping excess soil and cement blend which I’ll use around the place. I’m putting a small retaining wall in where the level drops down, but I’m not sure what else I’ll do with this area. Maybe a nice lawn with a paved area for a bench seat under the tree? I definitely need something planted to hide the ugly fence.
I’ve been neglecting Cutty for a few weeks now and she was way overdue for a bath. After the weekend on the island she was muddy and I just didn’t have the time to bath and dry her. Since Spring has now Sprung I thought it was a good opportunity to take Cutty to the groomers for a haircut. I dropped her off before work and just picked her up. Here she is back at the office looking very slim and clean. Not having all the extra hair will make my job easier over the next month when I have to bath her. I think they missed a bit near her nose.