Sunday, February 22, 2009

From the Kitsch to the Sublime


I took my camera with me as I usually do on my morning walk with the dog. Although it was another warm day the sky was overcast and dull and I didn't expect to take many shots.
It wasn't until I reached the pelican that I took my camera out of my pocket, (and I was pleased I did because my pants kept falling down), and began to snap all things from the kitsch to the sublime.
Later in my walk I was moved to see a hastily erected cross with withering bouquets - a communal focus for the outpouring of grief for the 200 lives lost in the Victorian bush fires.

Many towns in Australia seem to cling to the quaint (?) notion that a BIG something will effectively represent their area on the tourist trail. Nearby we have the BIG COW and the BIG PINEAPPLE, further afield are the BIG BANANA and the BIG PRAWN and not to be outdone, our little town of Noosa has the BIG PELICAN.
Built many years ago for the Festival of the Waters annual celebration he is now somewhat obsolete in that capacity as the festival is defunct, however since he had a face lift and a makeover he has taken on the job as town mascot.

The Australian flag fluttering on the dinghy is a remnant from Australia Day. Unlike in America, it is unusual to see flags flown here other than on significant government buildings or at major events.

The Noosa River flows down from a lake system to meet my river the Weyba River, at the estuary and river mouth where they both flow into Laguna Bay. When we moved to this town over 30 years ago the council was diverting the river mouth by pumping sand to establish a long spit which effectively protects the beach and golden half mile of our tourist town. It was a very controversial plan and each time the high tides and cyclones strip the sand from the beach as they do on a regular basis, the harbingers of gloom and doom make nasty remarks about people interferring with nature.

Several years ago the county council constructed a series of DIY keep fit stations in an attempt to encourage it's citizens to become more active. I'm not sure that we are much fitter as a community. Now the council is painting bike lanes on all of our major roads, and building looplines of bicycle tracks.

Billy tea is bushman's tea made in the billy over a camp fire. Banjo Patterson's most famous reference to billy tea is in the first verse and chorus of Waltzing Matilda, " And he sang as he watched and waited 'til his billy boiled."

The river mouth is wide and shallow and the dangerous bar makes for precarious crossings. This acts as a deterrent to larger vessels coming in from the ocean. While we don't have a harbour we have a busy yacht club and plenty of put put boats, some houseboats and even a gondola or two!



  1. Nice images and story about Noosa. My ex-husband lives in Metung which I think is down the coast from you and nearer to Melbourne. It looks very tropical with the palm trees. Thanks for showing the images.

  2. Oh, I meant to ask what kind of bird is in one of the photos?

  3. Noosa is a lovely area and pelicans are amongst my favourite birds but not that one haha.

    Actually I think that more Aussies do have our flag up these days. The man across the road from me puts up a flag every single morning and takes it down at sunset...he had a flag pole built especially.

    Enjoyed your photos ... Sarah Lulu

  4. Hello Lizzy, yes we are subtropical here - about 1/2 way up the east coast of Au. I call the bird a coo-ee bird and I suppose he is a pigeon.

  5. Hi to you Sarah Lulu, interesting to note that you see more flags. There's a few around here but they are residual from A Day. My pelican is pretty kitsch and I agree the real ones are amazing. I love to see them come in to land on the river- such enormous wing spans - actually there are only a few around at the moment because it is so wet inland I suppose.

  6. Lovely post -- and now I know about Billy tea. I learned Waltzing Matilda as a little girl, but didn't know what the words referred to.

  7. Gidday are learning about all things Aus from an ex NZer!!!

  8. Never, ever go for a walk without your camera.
    What a great series of photos.

    I would join that tai chi group if I was living there.

  9. Morning Violet. I do go to the gym for pump classes and for a class called Body Balance which is a combination of Tai Chi, Yoga and Pilates - and is a great stretch out.
    And I have started to carry my camera everywhere - you never know...


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