Raeburn Orchard and Lesmurdie Falls - WTWW

As suggested by Anne Busby

Spring Blossoms

Spring Blossoms

Drove down to Roleystone to have a look about Raeburn Orchard yesterday for this week's outing, which brought up a minor glitch, in that there's a $3 charge to enter the Orchards, but no EFTPOS available; as I don't carry cash whilst on a shoot, that curtailed that particular plan, so I was reduced to taking a few snaps from the roads nearby for the time being.

Have to say though,  one of their neighbours has a fabulous collection of brightly coloured daisies!

I moved on from there to revisit another location, Lesmurdie Falls. Last time I visited, the region had had several days of extremely heavy rain, and that day was no exception, soaking me to the skin whilst trying desperately to avoid rain on the lens.  Yesterday, however, was an absolutely beautiful day, with the spring wildflowers out in force, and the Falls twinkling in the sunlight. I'm thinking that I'm going to make the spot a seasonal event, as it'll be interesting to see the changes through the year.

The Cascades

The Cascades

Lesmurdie Falls

Lesmurdie Falls

Araluen Botanic Park, Churchman Brook Dam & Sixty Foot Falls WTWW

As suggested by Arthur Hannant

I planned out an enormous run of revisits for yesterday, and no sooner than I'd posted it to my faithful Insta following than my beloved pointed out that Araluen had been suggested to me for this week. So I scrapped the carefully planned map, and headed down to Roleystone.

Araluen Botanic Park - not so much a Park as a Garden

Araluen Botanic Park - not so much a Park as a Garden

I'd arrived with the full intention of becoming a Member, as from reading up online the Park looked like somewhere I'd like to visit quite regularly, however the whole experience was soured by the unhelpful ladies on the Entrance, who wanted to charge me both for the Membership fee, and also for entry on the day, and were utterly disinterested in providing any assistance beyond handing me a (generally useless) map.

Yes, Araluen is very pretty indeed; the (readily signed as having been planted) tulips were out in force, but the whole place had something of a forced feel to it, nothing 'natural'. The plants are quite regimented, the signage is incomprehensible without a degree in botany, and in general it really wasn't a friendly place, with a frankly alarming number of 'no entry' or 'keep out' signs all over the place.

Churchman Brook Dam, Roleystone

Churchman Brook Dam, Roleystone

I headed off from here feeling very grumpy, and drove to the nearby Churchman Brook Dam, which personally I found much more rewarding, although considering it was only the 6th day of Spring, the water level was alarmingly low! I had a magpie following me pretty much everywhere I went, and sporadically a kookaburra could be heard clearly through the trees. This was a much more relaxing (and 'me') location.

Sixty Foot Falls, Ellis Valley Reserve

Sixty Foot Falls, Ellis Valley Reserve

Lastly, I drove up to Martin, and Ellis Valley Reserve, determined to finally see Sixty Foot Falls. With some effort and several blasts of my inhaler I made it to the top, but alas the Falls weren't so much Falling as Dribbling. However I did have the amusing experience of puzzling over a bagworm as it scuttled across the ground; that is one bizarre little creature!

Busselton, Margaret River and Augusta - Out and About

For our Wedding Anniversary this weekend, James and I took an extended break in Busselton, allowing us great access to the beautiful Margaret River region, and further afield to Augusta and Cape Leeuwin.

It was a joy to show him the sights I'd seen earlier such as Skippy Rock and the Waterwheel, but more so to explore new locations such as Ellen's Brook and Meekadarabee Falls, with the added bonus of a delicious lunch at the White Elephant Beach Cafe in Gnaragup.

Now there's just the small matter of sorting through the images...

Just a few of the places we visited over our anniversary weekend

Just a few of the places we visited over our anniversary weekend

Blackwall Reach & Howards Point - WTWW

as suggested by James Whitehouse

I was quite taken by the Mediterranean feel of this location, the homes on the hillside reminding me strongly of the smaller towns in Spain or Greece. I badly misjudged the time needed to get here, and as I had another appointment I only took a handful of snaps, but I will be returning to explore more thoroughly.

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While the Cat's Away - Augusta, Cape Leeuwin, Karridale, Boranup Forest - Out and About

I took advantage of James' business trip to Sydney to do some exploring around the region - the Caves around Margaret River had been recommended as a place to visit, so I was determined to visit at least one of them. 

I drove down on Sunday, stopping at the quirky Crooked Carrot cafe, where I spent a while examining the charming home-made musical instruments, as well as everal extremely old vehicles. Then it was onto Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse, where I was disappointed to fnd out that they 'don't do tours for one person' but apparently 5 minutes later were happy to do one for two (as they walked past me). So I moved off to Sugarloaf Rock, which was absolutely beautiful to see, and later onto Canal Rocks where I caught some spectacular shots of the waves. And after that I finally headed to Karridale to my home for the night, a gorgeous little hideaway nestled deep within the Karri trees.

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On Monday I trooped into Calgardup Cave armed with a hard hat, a torch and my camera, and toured the cave entirely alone, which I have to admit was a new and invigorating (if scary) experience, and gained some fabulous images for the privilege. 

From there I ventured to the Boranup Forest viewpoint, then onto Hamelin Bay (which was covered in bluebottle jellyfish!) and set googlemaps for Foul Bay, which is where it let me down by losing signal after having sent me down an unfinished and extremely bumpy road - as it deteriorated more and more I realised I needed to turn around (no mean feat in those conditions) and thankfully the car had enough pulling power to get me through the sand and back to civilisation.

This time I set the sat-nav and found Foul Bay, but more impressive by far was Cosy Corner, an exquisite little spot with turquoise waters and pure white sand - I could happily have stayed there all day, but I had to move on if I was to get to Cape Leeuwin. So it was a quick stop at Flinders Bay, and then Quarry Bay, enroute to the fabulous Skippy Rock and the 'mini-pinnacles'.

After that I made a stop at the historic waterwheel, a timber structure now almost entirely covered in calcified lime so that it strongly resembles stone (see 'Wheel Beauty' in the Great Southern Gallery), before heading over to Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse, and finally a brief stop on the shore of Blackwood River.

As I was driving home Tuesday, I had a relatively early start, touring the beautiful Jewel Cave in Margaret River. After that I took a recommendation to take Sue's Road, which brought me across Alexandra Bridge, and later along to Sues Bridge Campground - I never actually found the bridge itself, but the campground was stunningly beautiful, with arum lilies all around (yes, I know they're weeds) and the most incredible reflections in the river.

Burswood Park - WTWW

For Safety's Sake

With the strong threat of a Severe Weather Warning, it seemed very sensible to stay local today, (particularly after my drenching on the last outing!) so I limited myself to  wander around the extremely waterlogged landscaping close to the Crown in Burswood. It turned largely into surveying the damage from the winds overnight and avoiding the incoming rain, so I'll be surprised if today's shots provide anything for the Gallery. Still, stranger things have happened.

Ellis Brook - Mundy Regional Park - Lesmurdie Falls - WTWW

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As recommended by Ash McPhail

Although the weather forecast was absolutely dire, I kept to the WTWW promise, and headed out to Ellis Brook Valley Reserve, hoping to catch some shots of Sixty Foot Falls. I managed to make it up to the Eagle View Trail, and was blessed with some great views over the wilderness back to Perth city before the rain hit hard. Unfortunately as there was an unsavoury looking gent hanging about in the carpark near the falls I bottled out of that part of the trip and headed off.

So I arrived in Mundy Regional Park, site of the incredible Lesmurdie Falls, and, on that day, the extremely well named Cascades. This visit was definitely worth the drenching!

Guildford - WTWW

as suggested by Greg

Guildford is a fascinating old town with a tremendous amount of history from the earliest days of the Swan Valley Colony, and I had a great day just wandering about snapping pics of the old and the new. Not quite brave enough to tackle the old gaol except from the outside, there was still plenty to read and visit.

It really is a beautiful little town, and I must give credit to the ladies in the tourist information centre for the recommendations they provided.

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Manning Lake, Beeliar Regional Park - WTWW

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as suggested by Tina Menges

Yet again the weather was kind to me, so the light was absolutely perfect for my visit to this gorgeous little park. A wonderfully still body of water, with an abundance of birdlife, surrounded by more 'squiggly' trees than I could ever wish for has provided me with a quite frankly alarming number of new shots which will certainly feature in the gallery very, very soon.

There were way too many terribly fit people in the vicinity too ;-)

Bells Rapids, Swan Valley - WTWW

as suggested by Embrace Marketing & Design

A beautiful little spot I hadn't previously discovered, and I managed to miss the official walk completely, opting instead to go clambering over rocks and avoiding falling into the Swan River. The weather wasn't the greatest, however this created some nice 'moody' moments, and definite future Gallery shots.

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