Archives

Jumpers and Jazz

Warwick, Queensland

In 2004 a group of citizens in Warwick who shared a passion for yarn had a bright idea. They decided to decorate the bare winter trees in the main street of their southern Queensland town. The keen crafters probably never imagined that their yarnbombing project would be the catalyst for an annual festival which now attracts thousands of visitors.

That first year, staff at the Warwick Art Gallery assembled a group of knitters, crocheters and weavers who worked together to create “tree jumpers” for every tree in the main shopping area. A program of jazz performances was planned to accompany the yarnbombing and Jumpers and Jazz in July was born!

Now decorating the trees is competitive, with cash prizes offered in several sections including excellence in knitting and/or crochet and best community and school groups.

One popular section in the competition is the theme challenge, with this year’s theme being Crackers – from Christmas bonbons

to firecrackers and fireworks

and even cheese and crackers!

While the trees take centre stage, public buildings undergo a yarnbombing transformation too. The sandstone pillars of Warwick Town Hall  and the bollards on the pedestrian crossings wear their own colourful jumpers.

In July, Warwick comes alive with Jumpers and Jazz.

31 Last Stop

I’m joining Becky in her July Square Photo Challenge over at The Life of B.  The rules of the challenge are simple: most photos must be square and fit the theme word tree. Look for #treesquare. Come with me on a Central Queensland road trip starring trees and the beautiful landscapes of my home state.

Judds Lagoon

Just like Becky’s July photo challenge our road trip is almost over. This free camp at Judds Lagoon, just east of Yuleba, is one of our favourites and we arrive early enough to choose a nice spot beside the water.

Once the campfire is lit there’s nothing left to do but relax and enjoy the sunset. It’s the perfect way to spend our last night on the road.

25 Made Out Of Trees

I’m joining Becky in her July Square Photo Challenge over at The Life of B.  The rules of the challenge are simple: most photos must be square and fit the theme word tree. Look for #treesquare. Come with me on a Central Queensland road trip starring trees and the beautiful landscapes of my home state.

Rainworth Station, Springsure

Three historic buildings stand on a corner block on Rainworth Station, not far from Springsure. While one is on its original site the others were relocated in 1987 from an adjoining family property. All three are time capsules, telling stories of the people who used them.

The largest is the stone storehouse, constructed in 1862 from hand quarried basalt blocks. The corrugated galvanised iron roof, extending beyond the building to create a wide shady veranda, is supported by posts made from solid tree trunks. With an internal temperature much lower than that outside, the storehouse was designed to keep food fresh in a time when everything had to be stored for long periods.

With its thick stone walls and sturdy timber door, the building gained a reputation as a place of safety in case of attack. Even though it was never used for that purpose, it became known as Old Rainworth Fort. It has also been used as a magistrate’s office and a post office.

The two relocated buildings are Cairdbeign Homestead and Cardbeign School.

Cairdbeign Homestead, built between 1878 and 1880, is an excellent example of a slab hut construction typical of this period. Large slabs of timber were hand split and pieced together to create the walls and floor. With its seven rooms, this sturdy homestead was larger than most pioneer homes.

Cairdbeign School is the newest of the buildings. Dating from 1897, it was built by the local community because the school in Springsure was too far away. It is also a slab construction, although the neatly cut planks are a little more refined.

After the school closed the building became a community centre, frequently used for parties, dances and as a polling booth.

Even the old outside “dunnies” are built with timber slabs. Surrounded by a traditional post and rail fence, they probably have stories of their own to tell.

24 A Bush Grave

I’m joining Becky in her July Square Photo Challenge over at The Life of B.  The rules of the challenge are simple: most photos must be square and fit the theme word tree. Look for #treesquare. Come with me on a Central Queensland road trip starring trees and the beautiful landscapes of my home state.

The Gemfields

A lonely headstone placed in bushland beside May Creek marks the final resting place of F.W. Schlieffen, an itinerant piano tuner who lost his life in floodwaters on 13 March 1906.

A plaque at the gravesite tells his tragic story.

23 Treasure Hunters

I’m joining Becky in her July Square Photo Challenge over at The Life of B.  The rules of the challenge are simple: most photos must be square and fit the theme word tree. Look for #treesquare. Come with me on a Central Queensland road trip starring trees and the beautiful landscapes of my home state.

Rubyvale, The Gemfields

There’s more to the Gemfields than precious gems.

The strudels at Muggachinno’s Strudel Hut in Rubyvale have an excellent reputation and we need no incentive to try them for ourselves.

Gunter is the strudel maker. Originally from a small village high in the Austrian Alps, he’s lived in in Australia for 65 years. Using his mother’s recipe he bakes fresh strudels every day, sometimes working a 20 hour day to keep up with demand. He tells us his strudels are better than the modern ones made in Austria because he sticks to tradition, never deviating from the original centuries-old formula.

The apostle birds and blue-faced honeyeaters have heard about Gunter’s strudels too. But they’ll have to wait their turn.

We have no intention of sharing ours – apple strudel on the left and cherry on the right.

We’ll leave the gem fossicking to others. We’ve found our treasure!

22 On the Gemfields

I’m joining Becky in her July Square Photo Challenge over at The Life of B.  The rules of the challenge are simple: most photos must be square and fit the theme word tree. Look for #treesquare. Come with me on a Central Queensland road trip starring trees and the beautiful landscapes of my home state.

The Gemfields, Central Queensland

The towns on the Central Queensland Gemfields may be tiny but their street art is larger than life. Every piece celebrates the riches found here, in the most prolific sapphire yielding region in the world.

The welcome signs on the edge of each town show a fossicker in his hopeful search for precious gems including rubies, emeralds, zircon and peridot as well as the beautiful sapphires.

The striking sculpture Sapphire Reflections greets visitors to Anakie. The coloured glass shapes sparkling in the the morning sun mirror the colours of the sapphires found in this area – the traditional deep blue but also yellow, green and black.

An oversized miner’s toolkit stands outside the general store in Sapphire, ready for a day’s fossicking.

Outside the Bobby Dazzler Mine at Rubyvale, a lucky miner shows off his find.

Even the shelter sheds celebrate the precious stones which can be found on the Gemfields!

19 Supersized Sunflowers

I’m joining Becky in her July Square Photo Challenge over at The Life of B.  The rules of the challenge are simple: most photos must be square and fit the theme word tree. Look for #treesquare. Come with me on a Central Queensland road trip starring trees and the beautiful landscapes of my home state.

Emerald

A supersized Van Gogh painting in a park in Emerald is a unexpected sight! At a height of 25 metres, it towers above the trees surrounding Morton Park.

This huge painting on its massive steel easel was created by Canadian artist Cameron Cross, whose aim is to place copies of Van Gogh’s seven different sunflower paintings in seven countries around the world.

Why did he select Emerald as the location for the third painting in the series? Sunflower production is one of the region’s major industries and the town’s annual Sunflower Festival is a highlight every Easter.

Also joining in with Marsha’s PPAC challenge

18 Feathers In Their Caps

I’m joining Becky in her July Square Photo Challenge over at The Life of B. The rules of the challenge are simple: most photos must be square and fit the theme word tree. Look for #treesquare. Come with me on a Central Queensland road trip starring trees and the beautiful landscapes of my home state.

Capella

A long avenue of bottle trees defines the park beside the highway at Capella. At one end a little shelter shed provides shade from the morning sun. At the other end a beautiful memorial pays homage to the Australian Light Horse, who served with distinction in the Boer War and World War One.

Local legend connects Capella with the traditional emu plumes worn in the slouch hats of the troops of the Light Horse. A group of Mounted Infantry troopers based on duty near the town in 1891 is said to have been the first to tuck a handful of emu feathers in their hatbands.

Today, Australian Light Horse units operate as part of the Royal Australian Armoured Corps and the troops proudly wear their slouch hats, still decorated with plumes of emu feathers.

15 Ghosts of the Past

I’m joining Becky in her July Square Photo Challenge over at The Life of B.  The rules of the challenge are simple: most photos must be square and fit the theme word tree. Look for #treesquare. Come with me on a Central Queensland road trip starring trees and the beautiful landscapes of my home state.

Copperfield

In 1862 a solid wall of copper ore more than three metres high was discovered at a site just south of Clermont. Within months Queensland’s first copper mine opened and the township of Copperfield was established. At its peak more than 2000 people lived in the town, which was serviced by many businesses including six hotels.

Copperfield’s rapid development was followed almost as quickly by decline. In the mid 1880s copper prices in London plunged, demand slumped and the population dwindled as opportunities elsewhere beckoned.

Three lonely sites are all that survive of this once thriving township. The General Store, long ago closed, sits right beside Rubyvale Road. At one time it housed a small museum dedicated to the story of Copperfield and its residents.

A few kilometres further south, a brick chimney stack is all that remains of the Peak Downs Copper Mine. At the height of the boom, 22 chimneys like this stood sentinel over the minefield. Built of bricks handmade in Clermont and finished with a layer of powdered glass, the chimney shimmers in the sunlight.

The most moving of the three sites is the Copperfield Cemetery, where dozens of inhabitants were laid to rest from the 1870s to the early 1900s. Many of the historic graves are no longer identifiable but the cemetery is still maintained by the local shire council.

Imagine the stories these people could tell about their lives in the once prosperous town of Copperfield.

14 Washed Away

I’m joining Becky in her July Square Photo Challenge over at The Life of B.  The rules of the challenge are simple: most photos must be square and fit the theme word tree. Look for #treesquare. Come with me on a Central Queensland road trip starring trees and the beautiful landscapes of my home state.

Clermont

On 29th December 1916 disaster struck the little town of Clermont. The previous day a tropical cyclone off the coast had delivered torrential rain over the central Queensland region and early that morning a wall of water rushed along Sandy and Wolfgang Creeks, destroying the town and killing 65 people.

A flood memorial on the corner of Drummond and Capricorn Streets commemorates the tragedy.

A marker on the Flood Tree shows the height of the water at the peak of the flood and the memorial plaques tell the story.

Later on that fateful day in 1916 a piano was found downstream on Sandy Creek, stuck high in a tree where the raging water had left it. Across the road from the flood memorial a replica piano, wedged in the branches of a gum tree, is another reminder of the day Clermont was changed forever.