postcard from america

We were in the White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire during 2006 for an October break and to do some “leaf peeping”. This photo is of Lake Winnipesaukee the largest lake in the area which we drove around on our way back to Boston and then on to Cape Cod for our last few days. The scenery in this part of the US is absolutely beautiful in the autumn and we were enchanted by not only the leaf colours and stunning scenery, but the pretty little towns with their covered bridges, clapboard houses and tall church steeples. 

Thursday’s Special

Paula’s (Lost in Translation) challenge this week is Inflated

A wet sheet and a flowing sea,
A wind that  follows fast
And fills the white and rustling sail
And bends  the gallant mast;

~ Allan Cunningham

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Yachts on Lac Léman (Lake Geneva) at Montreux were struggling to catch any breeze to inflate their sails.

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and the strange low mist / cloud gave the impression that they were floating in the sky.

R G Menzies Evening Walk

During my trip to Australia I managed to have a couple of days in Canberra, Australia’s capital city, though many people think that it is Sydney. Canberra gets a bad deal I think, from a tourism POV, mainly because it is full of politicians and museums! But the attraction for me (apart from having a granddaughter living there), is the chance to wander around the many galleries and museums scattered around the lovely Lake Burley Griffin, named after Walter Burley Griffin, the American architect who won the competition to design the city of Canberra.

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On our arrival in the city, my son and I stretched our legs by walking a short distance around the lake and enjoying the early evening sunshine. We parked at one end of the R G Menzies Walk and set off towards the National Carillon. You can see it in the distance, situated on Aspen Island.

 ‘I cannot honestly say that I liked Canberra very much; it was to me a place of exile; but I soon began to realize that the decision had been taken, that Canberra was and would continue to be the capital of the nation, and that it was therefore imperative to make it a worthy capital; something that the Australian people would come to admire and respect; something that would be a focal point for national pride and sentiment. Once I had converted myself to this faith, I became an apostle …’

Sir Robert Menzies – Senate Select Committee Report,
‘Development of Canberra’, September 1955

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The R.G. Menzies Walk was named in acknowledgement of Sir Robert Menzies’ crucial contribution to the development of the nation’s capital, Canberra. During his second term as Prime Minister (1949–66), he committed his government to the task of creating a capital worthy of the nation.

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The Captain Cook Memorial Globe uses meridians of longitude and parallels of latitude to form an open-cage globe, with landmasses depicted in beaten bas-relief copper. The three routes of Cook’s voyages, with explanations of ports of call, are inscribed on the surrounding handrail.

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At the Nerang Pool we wandered away from the lakeside path and into the bush and marshland around the pool where we viewed wonderfully clear reflections of the white gum trees in the early evening light, found some stepping-stones leading to a ‘waterfall’, wandered past a pretty ‘Smoke Tree’ and watched a colony of rabbits nibbling at the lawns.

Looping back onto the lakeside path we came across a statue of Menzies on the foreshore and a convenient bench to sit and admire the view across the lake to the National Library, Questacon, National Gallery and the Kings Avenue Bridge.

DSCF8517 The path is used by walkers, joggers, cyclists and skateboarders, so watch out when taking photos or you might lose a limb! If you look carefully at the duck photo you will see that the female leading her chicks back to the grass is hissing at a passing cyclist. The light was truly lovely at this time of the day with lengthening shadows and golden light.

This walk is only about 5 km return and took us about an hour and a half. It is easy-going, being quite flat and most of the route is accessible by wheelchair. There are many other interesting things to see on this side of the lake including statues, sculptures and memorials and also the National Bonsai and Penjing Collection, and it is the site of the annual Floriade, a major flower festival held each spring. (And those of you who know me know how much I’d love to be here then!)

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[The lake is nine kilometres long and the lakeshore is 40.5 kilometres in length. Yass-Canberra was chosen as the site for the national capital on 8 October 1908. The city owes its origins to an international design competition won in 1912 by the American architect, Walter Burley Griffin. Today, Canberra is known as one of the world’s great planned national capitals, along with Washington DC, Ottawa and Brasilia.]

If you enjoy a walk, long or short, then have a look at Jo’s site where you are welcome to join in.

A Lakeside Evening Stroll

It rained on Thursday 5th June, but not too heavily. After a lazy start and some essential shopping in Keswick, we drove to see the Catlerigg Stone Circle above Keswick and then on to Ullswater, stopping for an early dinner in a traditional pub, The Horse and Farrier,  in Dacre on the way back. On reaching Keswick it had turned into a lovely evening, with the sun shining and the air warm. Time to take another stroll around the lake – OK, not ALL the way round – just a short circuit past the Keswick launches, along the foreshore and up to Friar’s Crag then around a beach full of lambs playing tag and hide and seek, skirting Cockshut Wood, up towards Castlehead Wood and back into the town. About an hour’s gentle stroll.

Head on down to the lakeside from the town passing through Hope Park where the flower beds are full of pretty blues like these geraniums and irises.

alongside the new Theatre by the Lake

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with a glance across Crow Park where sheep roam and people gather for picnics and the 360 degree views of the surrounding fells – Borrowdale to the south, Catbells to the west, Skiddaw and Blencathra, north-east.

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Carry on along to where the road terminates at the Keswick Launch jetties. There are lots of benches to sit on and watch the sun set over Derwentwater

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And it continues as a broad pathway which follows the lake shore through shady trees to Friar’s Crag

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which is named because the craggy headland is said to have been the launch point for monks making a pilgrimage to St Herbert’s Island.

(St Herbert’s Island was the setting for Owl Island in Beatrix Potter’s book ‘The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin’. )

Bear left to visit a memorial to John Ruskin in amongst the trees, then head down some steps to another path which leads through a gate and onto the shoreline.

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Catbells
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Views south to Borrowdale

Where a group of young lambs were play-fighting and chasing one another along the shore.

At this point you can continue around the lakeside through another gate leading to Calfhouse Bay, but we left the shore and headed back towards Keswick via Cockshut Wood.

Through another gate into the wood, watch out for deer and red squirrels, then at a clearing, exit right through a gate towards Castlehead Wood, up on a hill in front of you.

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We didn’t go up there on this evening as we’d been up before and it’s a rough scramble at the top to a view-point. That’s another walk!

At the road, turn left along a path which runs parallel to the Borrowdale Road and back into the town. We left it at the churchyard and cut through the lane beside the church back to our apartment.

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Looking Back at the Lake

Where we had a lovely cold G&T.

If you enjoy a walk, short or long, then you may enjoy visiting Jo’s Monday Walk where you are in for a treat.