At the water’s edge

Brisbane, Queensland, 31 July 2021.

(Click on any image to see it in a larger size.).
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We are on our second day in Brisbane, staying with friends, en route to Northern Queensland, or so we thought.

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Australia, Brisbane, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Reflections, Skywalk, Travel, Wildlife, Yachts

Though inside Brisbane, we are on a scenic drive that goes in part through a national park, and we are looking down some distance at a house on farmland.  It appears to be the mansion of a drug baron.  Perhaps a nineteenth century drug baron.  Probably opium, in that case.

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Near the road, we noticed this compact granny flat.  Specially adapted for natural air conditioning.

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And in the distance there are these massive ancient megaliths.  Some of them may be more than a hundred feet high.  How they carried the stones there is a mystery.

. Australia, Brisbane, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Reflections, Skywalk, Travel, Wildlife, Yachts

It’s not fire season yet so this was presumably burning off.  These days severe bush fires can occur even in winter though.

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We proceeded on to Wynnum, where we visited a cafe and then wandered out onto the pier.  Beside the pier, this I believe is a gazebo martin (though usually known as a tree martin).  I tried to get them in flight as a test of camera settings for that purpose but they are very fast and I did not succeed.

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Wynnum pier.  The martins were building a nest in the roof of the right-hand gazebo.

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Next we visited the nearby East Coast Marina and I photographed some of the yachts sailing around and in or out of the marina, from the end of a pier.

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Also, a couple of dragon boats.  Going out…

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…then coming back in.

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Small yacht returning to the marina.

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Two launches and a yacht coming out.

The red sign at the left is not blank on purpose for the benefit of people who cannot read, rather it is a marker for the dredged channel.  The water can be otherwise quite shallow around here.

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A launch and a windsurfer exploring the possibility of flight.

. Australia, Brisbane, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Reflections, Skywalk, Travel, Wildlife, Yachts

I think the same windsurfer.

. Australia, Brisbane, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Reflections, Skywalk, Travel, Wildlife, Yachts

A small flotilla of launches coming in on the channel. 

You can see the channel marker in the mid background (in itself an indication the water is not as deep as it may seem).

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There was a parasurfer there as well.

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We are now around behind the marina and a paddle-boarder is proceeding out.  He may not require as large a mooring as those catamarans.

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The boat at front in the middle is an old pearling lugger with a Maori name, which may indicate it was used by Maori divers.

. Australia, Brisbane, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Reflections, Skywalk, Travel, Wildlife, Yachts

We are now a bit further south at Cleveland Point.  There are a number of cormorants on this tree.

. Australia, Brisbane, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Reflections, Skywalk, Travel, Wildlife, Yachts

With a slightly different angle, I am now shooting into the sun.  It is still a colour image but the extreme contrast has wiped out the colour.

. Australia, Brisbane, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Reflections, Skywalk, Travel, Wildlife, Yachts

This is the old Cleveland Point Lighthouse, no longer in use.  It has an unusual design and was built in 1865.  It is a State lighthouse for local navigation so was not amongst the Commonwealth lighthouses I photographed in 1987 (Lighthouses tab, at top of page).

Half an hour after I took this photo, Brisbane went into a sudden COVID lockdown for at least seven days.  We worked that out later when we drove past a pub that had no patrons.  No flight for us to North Queensland early morning the day after next.

Fortunately, we were able to stay with our friends for the duration.  The lockdown did end after seven days but then there was a North Queensland lockdown for another three days.  That also ended after the three days and I would have waited and kept on going but I received a letter from the ACT (Australian Capital Territory) Government advising against further travel.  The problem was New South Wales where COVID was out of control by Australian standards because the NSW Government waited for 10 days before locking down.  Had I kept going I risked an ACT lockdown and either having difficulty returning or returning to 14-day hotel quarantine (as opposed to the much more benign home quarantine).

 

So after five days, I abandoned the North Queensland trip and returned to Canberra.

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Meanwhile, we stopped for the sunset at a beach a bit further south near Victoria Point.

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… as the light slowly receded.

MacLeay Island in the background and South Stradbroke Island beyond that.

. Australia, Brisbane, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Reflections, Skywalk, Travel, Wildlife, Yachts .

.Australia, Brisbane, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Reflections, Skywalk, Travel, Wildlife, Yachts .

.Australia, Brisbane, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Reflections, Skywalk, Travel, Wildlife, Yachts .

.Australia, Brisbane, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Reflections, Skywalk, Travel, Wildlife, Yachts .

.Australia, Brisbane, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Reflections, Skywalk, Travel, Wildlife, Yachts .

.Australia, Brisbane, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Reflections, Skywalk, Travel, Wildlife, Yachts .

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An obliging pelican swam up and posed for me.

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The light was getting very low and although I was using a lens with good image stabilisation, that does not compensate for subject movement and I underestimated what shutter speed I needed so the pelican in this image is not actually in focus.  (I decided to show it anyway because of the feel and the colour).

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A last image in the gathering doom….

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Then when we got back home, I went to change lenses on my cameras for more compact storage and discovered I was missing a lens – actually the new lens from my recent post on Setting Up the X-E4.  It had fallen out of my bag.

Clearly it wouldn’t be there the next morning so notwithstanding the lockdown, I went back to try to find it.  I thought it had probably fallen out of the bag when I bent down to take a photo using a small post as support. 

When we got back to where we had been, I immediately saw it on the road where the car had been parked.  It had fallen out when I got the bag out of the car, about eighteen inches to two feet.  Fortunately I hadn’t run over it.  It was unmarked, had no apparent ill effects and still worked fine including autofocus.  (Phew!)

Husavik

Day 61 to 62. 28th to 29th August. Husavic, Iceland (North).

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Husavik, Iceland, Landscape, Photography, Reflections, seascape, Travel, Yachts

This is Husavik.  I don’t show anything of the town itself.  What caught my attention were the boats moored at the dock.

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Husavik, Iceland, Landscape, Photography, Reflections, seascape, Travel, Yachts

I arrived at Husavik in the late afternoon, coming from Dettifoss, Selfoss, Verterdalur and Ásbyrgi earlier in the day.

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Husavik, Iceland, Landscape, Photography, Reflections, seascape, Travel, Yachts

Husavik was the first Scandinavian settlement in Iceland.  The Swedish Viking Garðar Svavarsson sailed round Iceland and wintered here in 870.  He built a house on shore and hence Husavik means Bay of Houses.

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Husavik, Iceland, Landscape, Photography, Reflections, seascape, Travel, Yachts

The Landnámabók or Book of Settlements relates early settlement events between about 870 and 930 and the first version probably dates back to the 12th century.   It is the source of information for Garðar Svavarsson’s adventures.  It records that when he sailed away the next spring, a man called Náttfari escaped from the party in a boat with a young servant woman.  They settled on the other side of the bay from Husavik and thus became the first permanent settlers in Iceland, apart from a few Irish monks.

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Husavik, Iceland, Landscape, Photography, Reflections, seascape, Travel, Yachts

For the next thousand years there was not much at Husavik.  It only became a town in the late nineteenth century when it became a port for exporting sulphur to Europe to make gunpowder (sulphur being plentiful in volcanic Iceland).

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Husavik, Iceland, Landscape, Photography, Reflections, seascape, Travel, Yachts

There is a Whale Museum here and I remember visiting it but little more.  I presume that Husavik was a centre of whaling at the turn of the nineteenth century though I can find no explicit reference to this on the web.

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Husavik, Iceland, Landscape, Photography, Reflections, seascape, Travel, Yachts

It was certainly a fishing port and in the early 1960s the viability of the fishing industry began to recede so the town reinvented itself as a centre for whale watching and tourism.

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Husavik, Iceland, Landscape, Photography, Reflections, seascape, Travel, Yachts .

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Husavik, Iceland, Landscape, Photography, Reflections, seascape, Travel, Yachts .

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Husavik, Iceland, Landscape, Photography, Reflections, seascape, Travel, Yachts .

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Husavik, Iceland, Landscape, Photography, Reflections, seascape, Travel, Yachts .

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Husavik, Iceland, Landscape, Photography, Reflections, seascape, Travel, Yachts

Here is one of the whale watching boats coming in…

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Husavik, Iceland, Landscape, Photography, Reflections, seascape, Travel, Yachts

…and the passengers disembarking.

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Husavik, Iceland, Landscape, Photography, Reflections, seascape, Travel, Yachts .

Husavik, Iceland, Landscape, Photography, Reflections, seascape, Travel, Yachts .

Husavik, Iceland, Landscape, Photography, Reflections, seascape, Travel, Yachts

Next morning now, around dawn.

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Husavik, Iceland, Landscape, Photography, Reflections, seascape, Travel, Yachts .

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Husavik, Iceland, Landscape, Photography, Reflections, seascape, Travel, Yachts .

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Husavik, Iceland, Landscape, Photography, Reflections, seascape, Travel, Yachts .

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Husavik, Iceland, Landscape, Photography, Reflections, seascape, Travel, Yachts .

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Ásbyrgi

Day 61. 28th August. Ásbyrgi, Iceland (Northeast).

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Ásbyrgi, Iceland, Jökulsárgljúfur National Park, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Reflections, Travel, Wilderness

From Vesterdalur to Ásbyrgi, a giant horseshoe-shaped canyon.  It is 3.5 kilometres deep and 1.1 kilometres wide and there is a large rock formation at its entrance called Eyjan (or the Island).  It was formed when Odin’s eight-legged horse Sleipnir briefly touched down with one of its hooves, though there don’t appear to be any actual eyewitness accounts of this on the web.

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Ásbyrgi, Iceland, Jökulsárgljúfur National Park, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Reflections, Travel, Wilderness

It is not far from Vesterdalur and still in Jökulsárgljúfur National Park.

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Ásbyrgi, Iceland, Jökulsárgljúfur National Park, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Reflections, Travel, Wilderness

Here’s looking up one of the cliffs, which are one hundred metres high.

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Ásbyrgi, Iceland, Jökulsárgljúfur National Park, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Reflections, Travel, Wilderness

The canyon was once on the path of the river, which is now a few miles to the east.  It is said to have been formed in a couple of catastrophic events since the last ice age when a large lake built up behind glacial walls, the  walls were breached and a sudden and dramatic flash flood of unimaginable proportions ensued.

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Ásbyrgi, Iceland, Jökulsárgljúfur National Park, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Reflections, Travel, Wilderness

Ásbyrgi Canyon is also said to be the capital of the huldufólk or hidden folk or elves, living in the cliffs in wonderful buildings.  But only some can see them.

It is said that a young couple were living in separate farms, one in the canyon and one just outside, but social rank prevented their union.  One of the huldufólk told them her lover had been taken by a creature living in the cliffs and turned into a beast that lived in the pond.  The beast would surface only when the midnight sun played over the cliff face.  On the elf’s instruction they threw some of their most treasured possessions into the mouth of the beast when it surfaces which broke the spell.  The elf then made sure the young couple could marry.

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Ásbyrgi, Iceland, Jökulsárgljúfur National Park, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Reflections, Travel, Wilderness

Botnstjörn Lake is at the foot of the cliffs at the apex of the canyon, which makes it very protected and still, thus providing great reflections.

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Ásbyrgi, Iceland, Jökulsárgljúfur National Park, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Reflections, Travel, Wilderness .

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Ásbyrgi, Iceland, Jökulsárgljúfur National Park, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Reflections, Travel, Wilderness .

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Ásbyrgi, Iceland, Jökulsárgljúfur National Park, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Reflections, Travel, Wilderness ..

 

Ásbyrgi, Iceland, Jökulsárgljúfur National Park, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Reflections, Travel, Wilderness

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Ásbyrgi, Iceland, Jökulsárgljúfur National Park, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Reflections, Travel, Wilderness

Green-winged Teal (female).  (Click for larger view).

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Ásbyrgi, Iceland, Jökulsárgljúfur National Park, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Reflections, Travel, Wilderness

Green-winged Teal.

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Ásbyrgi, Iceland, Jökulsárgljúfur National Park, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Reflections, Travel, Wilderness .

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Ásbyrgi, Iceland, Jökulsárgljúfur National Park, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Reflections, Travel, Wilderness

Greeen-winged Teal

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Ásbyrgi, Iceland, Jökulsárgljúfur National Park, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Reflections, Travel, Wilderness

Ring-necked duck (female).

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Ásbyrgi, Iceland, Jökulsárgljúfur National Park, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Reflections, Travel, Wilderness1 .

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Ásbyrgi, Iceland, Jökulsárgljúfur National Park, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Reflections, Travel, Wilderness .

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Ásbyrgi, Iceland, Jökulsárgljúfur National Park, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Reflections, Travel, Wilderness .

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Ásbyrgi, Iceland, Jökulsárgljúfur National Park, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Reflections, Travel, Wilderness

According to the date/time stamp on the image, this is about a third of the way from Ásbyrgi to Husavik but I can’t be more specific than that.  You’d probably have to click on the image to see it larger but there is a house in the distance at the top left which must have a magnificent view indeed.

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20th February: Hokkaido – Rausu

In the late afternoon we arrived at Rausu, a small fishing port near the north-east tip of Hokkaido.  We stopped for a while to take some photographs around the fishing boats.

Rausu

Fishermen organising their nets after returning for the day.  The lightbulbs are mounted on the boat and indicate night fishing.  Alternatively, they may be preparing to go out.