I visited the Canberra Zoo with some of my family to celebrate my great nephew’s 3rd birthday. It was a beautiful day and everyone had a great time, especially the three year old. I was able to see several familiar Australian animals but a good selection of foreigners as well! Above is a snow leopard and below are the lions we could hear roaring from all over the park.
The wallabies and fairy penguins were cute as always.
The fur of the dingoes was surprisingly soft and a beautiful colour
The giraffe was the favourite of the birthday boy and one of the animals we were able to see up really close.
There is also a reptile area and aquarium.
Between Andrew and B14 we have soccer games or practices seven times a week. We are also enjoying some Women’s World cup games in Ottawa. Last week A & A watched France beat Mexico then Korea win against Spain. The week before we joined B’s soccer team to watch Germany tie with Norway then Thailand beat Côte d’Ivoire.
B14’s team has played a couple of tournaments already this season including one this weekend.
A17 made melted snowman cookies for the bake sale at school this week.
She used a sugar cookie recipe, sliced marshmallows for heads, candy covered sunflower seeds for noses and various colours of icing.
They all sold. Not suprising.
I am enjoying a couple of days in Canberra with my older brother David and his family. My younger brother Stephen and his wife are here too so it has been a real treat.
Of course meeting my brand new, week old great nephew has been quite the highlight too!
I am staying with my parents in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney at present and the area is in the midst of a bush fire emergency. When I returned to Australia last week I was looking forward to experiencing many of the Australian sights, sounds, tastes and smells I have missed over the thirteen years I have been in Canada. I had no idea I would encounter anything like the current bush fire crisis.
Driving home last Thursday, October 17th, I took the following photos:
When we arrived home we talked to my parent’s neighbour about the closest fire. He assured us that it was not travelling in our direction nor would it when the wind changed later that day. The damage caused by that fire and the many others still burning is extensive. Hundreds of homes have been lost. There is a constant smell of smoke in the air and the sound of sirens and helicopters close by. The view from my parents home on Thursday is below. When I looked out today it was no longer so dramatic but the threat is still serious as the temperatures and wind speeds forecast for the next few days are very high. We have spent time clearing the yard and roof of dry leaves and preparing for a possible evacuation.
There are still over 60 fires burning in New South Wales so please pray for an end to this crisis and for the safety of all those involved.
We are enjoying some sunny warm autumn days this week, perfect weather for a picnic in Gatineau Park. My parents are visiting from Australia so we enjoyed an afternoon in the park snapping photos and enjoying each other’s company. While eating our lunch we were treated to an impromptu concert at an adjacent picnic table. First the musician played a couple of pieces on the erhu then packed it away and pulled out a trombone!