New Skills and Bird Watching

Retirement can be challenging but there’s always something to learn and do, especially when it comes to the garden.

Well done, Norm. You’re never too old to learn new skills. I can’t wait to see what other species of birds will visit the garden.

Archived in: I’m in the Garden and Retirement

Whales Ahoy!

It’s whale season here on the mid-north coast of New South Wales, Australia. Whales head north to warmer waters from the Antarctic to breed and give birth. Just a few days ago, we were taking the ocean road to head home the long way when I spotted a whale breaching of the coast. We parked the car at one of the lookouts and enjoyed the view. Unfortunately, we left our camera at home. Today we set off with the right equipment but sadly they were 15 to 20 kilometres off-shore. Even the long distance lens didn’t help. We met a gentleman who is one of the official whale counters who told us that 396 whales passed the headland and just a couple of kilometres off the coastline yesterday. Sadly, these are the best of 50 photos we took today.

Because you have read this far, I shall reward you with a few photos taken back in June 2016 – three years before we moved here. We had brought my dad up here from Sydney for a holiday. The whale watching cruise was the highlight of his trip. These whales came within 20 feet of the boat with one coming up alongside the boat to check out the humans.

Note: Boat owners are not allowed to approach whales but sometimes the whales come to the boat so engines are switched off to wait for the whales to move on.

Archived in: Retirement

This is Australia

500 pieces in a tubular box. We referred to a photo I took earlier constantly because the picture on the box was way to small to view. The tiny sections looked like they were printed on woven cloth. The song “This is Australia” kept playing in my head whenever a piece of “Australia” was completed.

We spent a couple of hours sitting and a few walk-by, grab-a-piece, fit into place and move on moments.

We finally succeeded to complete the puzzle on our second sitting. It’s been 12 months since jigsaw puzzles have been a time-passer in our home. Winter months can drag on when there’s not much to do in the garden and days are so short. I have one more puzzle we purchased last year that I haven’t open yet so another similar post will be coming up soon.

I’ve decided to archive this post under: Retirement

Board Walk

A chilly morning kept our hands in our pockets but I couldn’t resist one photo while out on our morning walk. Taking a sea plane flight is one of those things on our bucket list but it’s way to cold in June.

Photo by Chrissy

Archived in: Retirement

Two Days in Port Stephens – oops. Take 2.

It’s been two days since we returned from a two day break in beautiful Port Stephens. The weather was nice with just a few showers over night. This is where we stayed. This photo is a photo of an advertising photo taken from the other side of the golf course. The apartment we stayed in was on the first floor facing the golf course in the building centre right of the photo – one of the taller buildings with the triangle frame at the top.

Neither of us play golf. It’s the tranquility of the place that lures us there.

On the first morning we took a ten minute drive to Nelson Bay where we enjoyed a quiet coffee while we waited for the ferry to take us to a little riverside town named Tea Gardens.

It’s near quietness was due to it being a day before Easter and the school holidays had not yet begun.

The ferry was pretty old but it added to the glamour of the trip. There was only half the passenger capacity so social distancing wasn’t a problem and the captain, and one crew man, were very informative.

Photo by Norm

With the swells being quite high through the heads, it was not easy trying to stand let alone holding a camera and taking photographs. These are just a few photos taken on the way to Tea Gardens.

After some window shopping, we wandered around to read the lunch menus on various cafe and restaurant windows. We settled on the Seagrass Cafe with gluten free options. I ate just over half of my meal. Norm ate all of his and almost the rest of mine.

The Singing Bridge was named after the hand-railed pedestrian fence had been installed. Apparently when the wind blows, from a certain direction at around 80 kilometres an hour, a very loud whining can be heard up and down the river until the wind lessens and changes direction. On the first occurrence, those who heard it were quite frightened by it. We didn’t get to hear it though.

The outing took just over three and a half hours with our return ferry ride being escorted at one time by a lone dolphin. We did see a few dolphins leaping out of the water some distance away on the trip out too.

Photo by Chrissy

Most of the time away was just to relax and watch the day go by. Returning home on Good Friday would have been OK except for road works that backed up traffic. We discovered just over this hill, two lanes suddenly became one. This photo was taken when the traffic came to a dead stop. We then proceeded at a speed of 2-4 km an hour for the next 5kms. As soon as we past the roadworks, the traffic disappeared.

Archived in: Retirement

More Holiday Photos

Just a few photos taken by Norm on my birthday. I learned a lot about these bottle-nose dolphins. This one is Bella. You can read about Bella here: https://riversidepeace.com/2022/03/15/happy-birthday-to-me/

At the research centre we also learned about the hundreds of turtles and tortoises that are injured every year, mostly by discarded fishing wire.

We also spent a few hours at the Butterfly House. We would have stayed longer but it suddenly become very busy with too many people and although we opted to wear masks, not many others did.

Archived in: Retirement

Just a few Holiday Photos

We have been in this beautiful town of Coffs Harbour since Sunday March 13th. We have so far visited the dolphin and marine research centre, a pebble beach, walking trails, spa, swimming pool and restaurants.

We also visited the Honey Place today but no photos. The information on beehives and whole honey process was very interesting. We’ll be here in Coffs Harbour for another three days. When we return home, there will many, many photos to sort through.

Archived in: Retirement

Happy Birthday to Me

What did I do on my 65th Birthday? Swim with a dolphin, of course.

She’s teaching the dedicated team of vets and researchers more than they can teach her.

Archived in: Retirement

Riverside Walks & Views

Archived in: Retirement

Special Places and Great Memories

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Amish country Ohio, America 2008

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East Coast – Tasmania, Australia 2015

Pa's famous seal-imp

Seal Island – Southern Tasmania, Australia 2015

South Coast Holiday with Dad-imp

South Coast – New South Wales, Australia 2012

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South Coast – New South Wales, Australia 2012

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Richmond – New South Wales, Australia 2007

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East Coast – Tasmania, Australia 2014

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Amish Country – Ohio, America 2008

Archived in: Pre – Retirement

Morning Walk

I hope you enjoy some of the animals I met on one of my morning walks this past week.

Archived in: Retirement

Cruise time

With the floods receded and the weather beautiful, we decided to take a dolphin sighting cruise.
My dear friend, Lyn at The Call of the Pen is visiting for a few days.
To our surprise, we were the only ones on the dining room level of the boat until lunch. There were only a few small groups in other areas. At a quick count, there was probably only a dozen on board. No problem here with Social distancing.
Some of the debris from the floods are still coming down river.
Many of these prestige homes were under water to at least first floor just a few weeks ago.

Archived in: Retirement

ECO River Cruise

Today we took in the views from the Port Jet Eco River Cruise Boat.
It was the perfect day with lots of sunshine and clear skies.
The Hasting River Oyster farms were scattered along the route.
An old Sydney ferry waiting to be renovated for river cruises.
This old place was once used by oyster farmers.
Now fish, oysters and other marine life attached themselves to anything submerged.
Mangroves appear as nature intended up and down the north side of the river.
An Osprey watched all the humans floating by in the cruise boat.
Pelicans were the only other birds we sited.
Oyster farms, mangroves and then the mountains in the background made the perfect view.
Captain Jake at the helm.
Jodie a wildlife photographer was on board and told us this is a Female Osprey.
Bridge crossing the Hastings River.
Norm took a great photo here of a couple of many pelicans we saw on the two hour cruise.

Unfortunately, there were no signs of resident dolphins or other wildlife which we were assured by the crew was unusual. Perhaps it was the relaxing afternoon that kept them home.

Photos by Norm and Chrissy Siggee.

Archived in: Retirement

Summer Garden

Bottle Brush bush weighed down with it’s first season’s bloom.
Sunny places to sit and wander.
The sun shines on the bird bath making it glisten.
We’ve had a lot of rain. This time last year we were in a drought. When the drought broke the lawn turned into a marsh land but the drainage our son put in back in August 2020 is working perfectly. https://riversidepeace.com/2020/08/19/more-activity-in-the-yard/ Gumboots no longer required.
Still planting and harvesting.
It’s amazing to think this was our backyard in January 2020.

Archived in: I’m in the Garden

A Summertime Christmas

I see a lot of winter Christmas posts and they’re all wonderful but I thought some photos of a summer Christmas needs to be shared.

It’s our 2nd Christmas at our new home but because we only moved in a few weeks before Christmas last year we didn’t decorate much.
Simple decorations in a little house can look good too.
Poinsettias are common here too.
Outdoors is where you will find us most days.

Archived in: Retirement

Beach Finds

A beautiful morning.

A beautiful beach.

Cool wet sand.

A quiet place.

Two cameras.

Beautiful pebbles.

And shells.

Dead coral?

Strange rock shapes.

Here and there.

End of the beach.

Enjoying the view.

Clear water.

So weird.

A very enjoyable morning at the beach.

Archived in: Retirement

In the trees

But up here it’s amazing.
Sometimes we just wanted to stay awhile.
Amazing trees. Huge and very old.
Now that’s a big tree. We were close to the end of the walkway and close to the ground. We couldn’t see the top of this one.
The base of this one wouldn’t fit into the camera viewer.
We could hear the roaring of the waves of a nearby beach.

Archived in: Retirement

Photos by Norm Siggee