Jacaranda

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The Jacaranda trees are in full bloom in Brisbane right now. It is Spring here and the city is bursting in purple blooms in tree-lined streets and dottings in and around the city. It is a magical time of year and the quintessential image of Brisbane. Adding to that magic is a lovely purple blanket of fallen blossoms. Traditionally signalling the beginning of the exam season, it is said that if you haven’t started studying by the time the trees are bursting then you are doomed.

The Brisbane City Botanic Gardens is the site of Australia’s first grown Jacaranda tree and was depicted in the 1903 painting by Richard Godfrey Rivers titled “Under the Jacaranda Tree”. The painting is of the artist and his wife Selina taking tea under the tree. That tree was a Brisbane landmark until it was knocked over by a cyclone in 1980.

I am grateful to Walter Hill  who planted the first tree here in 1864. He was at the time the superintendent of Brisbane’s Botanic Gardens and obtained the Jacaranda seed from Brazil via the Australian wheat ships that traded with South America. It has brought so much beauty to our city.

Here’s a poem I wrote a few years back:

Jacaranda

September blooms of purple hues,
adorn the city street.
And in bright splendour praises Spring,
where limbs and feathers meet.

Amid soft purple hues I lay,
to rest my weary head.
In fantasies drifting away,
upon a sprinkled spread.

Copyright © October 2011 Norma Martiri

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Under the Jacaranda Tree by Richard Godfrey Rivers 1903

General Douglas MacArthur

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When I was a young 16 yo girl, my very first office job entailed picking up the company’s mail from the General Post Office at the bottom end of Queen Street and then walking back to the top end to start my work day as a Junior Clerk Typist slogging away at those big old typewriters. On cold days the Westerly wind stung as it whipped in and out of the tall buildings and walking that distance in heels was torture.

Every day I walked past MacArthur Chambers and it fascinated me. I knew a little about its history and in time I learnt its significance. (Learning back then was a slower process because we actually had to go to the library to read books or ask those who were older and wiser.) I don’t know why it fascinated me so; I wasn’t consciously  interested in the war but it was the 70’s and the war hadn’t long been over, or maybe it was because I was young and in awe of Americans back then.

I learnt that General Douglas MacArthur occupied the offices on the eighth floor in Brisbane from July 1942 to November 1944 and lived at the Lennon’s Hotel. This is now a museum dedicated to his occupation.

On the weekend I visited the MacArthur Museum and still found it fascinating. I managed to take some photos of his office as it would have been set up when occupied and to my surprise the attendant offered to let me sit in the chair behind that big desk. Powerful!!

There is so much to see and learn, lots of reading and well worth the visit. It is certainly a great tribute to a great man. I don’t believe in warfare but do I believe that we can learn from history, and in a perfect world, never repeat mistakes of the past.

Learn more about General MacArthur’s Brisbane occupation here

Sunset Over the Captain Cook Bridge

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I almost didn’t go for my planned shoot after work this afternoon because of the cloud cover but I’m glad I did. It looked like rain was going to set in but for a short time the clouds parted for this glorious sunset over the Captain Cook Bridge. Within an hour it it was blue. Nature certainly likes to show off🙂

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Nepalese Pagoda Revisited

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Another photo on the Nepalese Pagoda at Southbank. This was taken a couple of weeks ago and the trees were much fuller this time.

See the original post here.
The Nepalese Pagoda is one of South Bank’s most treasured attractions. Originally brought to Brisbane as the Kingdom of Nepal’s contribution to World Expo 88, the three-story high Pagoda is now located in the heart of the Parklands. It features 80 tonnes of hand-carved Nepalese timber and took more than 160 Nepalese families two years to build. It is also one of only three Nepalese peace pagodas in the world to be located outside of Nepal. [Source]

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City Views

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Out and about at Kangaroo Point Cliffs once again. Brisbane has such breathtaking city views and the stars were out to play. Perfect!

 

The ABC Building

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The ABC Building at Southbank, Brisbane. Another “undercover” street photographer session🙂

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The HMQS Gayundah Revisited

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The HMQS Gayundah rests on the shore of Woody Point, Redcliffe. She has deteriorated significantly since taking this photo. Her bow broke in March 2016 so I’m glad I took this photo when I did. Read about her history here

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The Story Bridge

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“We build too many walls and not enough bridges.” Isaac Newton

The beautiful Story Bridge, Brisbane.

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