Araluen – An Afternoon Stroll


Monday and it’s time to clear out of the Perth suburbs and get some fresh air. Where better to go than Araluen Botanical Park.

We have visited a few times before but never tire of returning. There is always something to see and during the week, in term time, so tranquil. There were only a few cars in the car park and once we were in the park everyone was so spread out it was as if we had the place to ourselves.

 

Part way round the park we popped into Chalet Healy Cafe, where they prepared lunch, a very nice Seafood Basket for each of us. Each basket comprising fish, prawns, scallops, and fish bites with chips and salad. Very tasty.

On any visit to Araluen, you never know what you will see, as you follow the many meandering paths. On this occasion we were treated to a close up view of a bird of prey, too quick to be captured in a photo. A large, almost black, lizard that darted under the steps to the cafe. Around the pool there were several families of ducks, Terrapins and large gold fish.

Sculpture Park Pleasure


Last Saturday we spent a fabulous few hours, with friends, exploring this sculpture park at Churt in Surrey.

The park comprises some 650 modern and contemporary sculptures displayed throughout ten acres of arboretum and water gardens. To do it justice you really need to have 360 degree vision as you explore the various trails. Not only that, but you also have to remember to look up into the trees as the owners of the park have done a marvelous job, secreting many of the exhibits above ones head or within the shrubs and bushes.

The following photos reflect just a subset of the exhibits on view. Where possible, I have added the name of the piece and that of its creator.

 

As you can see there is a huge variety of styles. Many of the sculptures are totally surreal and many are just beautiful. All provoke thought and some, even with the aid of the guide book, are just plain confusing. Sometimes you need to look behind an exhibit to understand what is going on. They are not always what they seem ….

The following is my own particular favourite …… beautiful.

Paraiso (Paradise) by Rafael Miranda San Juan
Paraiso (Paradise)

Throughout the park there was a recurring humorous theme …… these guys kept popping up, putting a smile on our faces even when theirs were looking a little manic.

And finally, whatever else is said about this park, it’s certainly larger than life.

Oh, and remember, many of these pieces are available to buy…… get your wallets out.

Staunton Country Park Farm


A few days ago we spent a cracking day with some of our grand children. We visited Staunton Country Park Farm, a calm oasis just a short distance out-of-town. Calm that is, if you ignore the general hubbub of the excited children feeding the animals or in the play park.

From the Staunton website ….

Our farm, based on the 1830s style ferme ormeé (ornamental farm), is home to many different animals. Ranging from the everyday farm animal, like pigs, sheep, Shetland ponies, and chickens, to a selection of other animals such as llamas, a Poitou donkey and alpacas.

Here are just a few snaps that I took between pushing grandchildren on swings or carrying the youngest. Operating a Canon EOS 7D Mk II single-handed is no mean feat, weighing, as it does, nearly as much as my great-grandson.

So, for your delectation and delight ….

All in all a great place to take young children.

The farm is just part of the greater country park which has walking and cycling trails as well as three permanent orienteering courses. In the past we have hired bikes and explored the park. Sadly they no longer do the bike hire.

Staunton Country Park is a real gem and right on my doorstep.