I met Miriam through the Eternal Traveller’s blog. She posts frequently about Australia, so I thought you might enjoy this play on names. “I’ve been everywhere, man … I’ve been to Wollongong, Geelong, Kurrajong, Mullumbimby, Mittagong, Molong, Grong Grong, Goondiwindi … Cabramatta, Parramatta, Wangaratta, Coolangatta; what’s it matter?”
So goes the classic Aussie song penned by Australian country singer Geoff Mack in 1959.
Whilst I definitely haven’t been everywhere I’ll be working on it this year. And I can vouch for Mr. Mack’s words. Within our vast land and our Aboriginal ancestry, we have some pretty bizarre place names.
There’s a place in the Northern Territory where we’re traveling mid year called Bong Bong. Apparently, it translates in an Aboriginal dialect to “mosquitoes buzzing”. Ah, not exactly inspiring.
We’ve traveled to some strange sounding places. But twice? Mitta Mitta, Wagga Wagga, Baw Baw, Lang Lang, Dum Dum, Booti Booti, Colac Colac, Mundi Mundi and Nar Nar Goon. And that’s just for starters.
What’s with the double-barrelled names?
There’s even a place called Woop Woop in the outback of Western Australia. That’s our slang term for “in the middle of nowhere”.
And it’s not somewhere I want to get stranded anytime soon.
One of my favorite places is Yackandandah, known by the locals as Yack. A picturesque town in the valleys of the high country.
There’s a suburb in Perth called Innaloo. It was originally called Njookenbooroo but was changed as no one could spell or say it right. Can you imagine if someone asked where you lived? Innaloo.
The wacky names extend beyond the towns and cities to the islands. Continued on Miriam’s blog
When I think of the best documentaries of chaos, I think American Pickers and some of the hoarders they visit. Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures of hoarders. The closest I can come to chaos is the old church in Delaware that begs for restoration.
There is so much work here to create order from chaos. I wonder whether the organization raising money for restoration will ever reconstruct order from chaos. In order to document this building, I journeyed beyond the road, even ventured past the caution barricade and the quick snapshot. I used my Canon XTi Rebel and not my iPhone. The zoom lens creates higher quality photos than the iPhone.
With every passing day the chaos increases due to weather eroding the mortar that holds the structure together. If nothing happens to make the repairs, soon there will be nothing left standing. The weather is not the only force that erodes. Humans have already done their part in the building’s demise. They might continue the demolition work they started.
During the week I spent in Delaware in September, the weather treated the chaotic church kindly. The clouds threatened, but they did nothing but add charm to the old building. I captured these shots during the golden hour before sunset.
This scene looks like broken Humpty Dumpty to me, only it is the wall not the good old egg. To make it more menacing and artistic I could have darkened it and added filters, but I chose to document only and not become artistic.
What are some of your chaotic moments? Please share!
Everything in Delaware winds. Driving from the airport in Philadelphia, I turned off the freeway onto a state road and headed towards Hockessin, DE. It felt like I had entered a land of make-believe.
Even state highways were paths through a deep, mysterious forest. And water showed up at almost every bend.
The day after I arrived, mom’s cousin Hal suggested a drive to the historic district of Wilmington. He knows I love historic buildings and babbling streams. This spot along the Brandywine was the perfect stop.
You can never say corner in Delaware, it seems. Points are obliterated in curves, drown in the gurgling streams. How could this pastoral scene be part of the 9-11 Battle in 1777?
Mr. Dylan Duck stands on his rocky lookout over the Brandywine surveying his family activities. Donovan and Dana Duck discovered something fishy in the Brandywine.
The twenty-mile lower stem of Brandywine Creek winds lazily around the historic district of Wilmington, DE. Maybe Dylan’s ancestors watched for Redcoats.
Possibly Dylan’s ancestral family watched Peter Minuit who founded New Sweden in 1638 along the Delaware River and inland to the Brandywine. He died in a hurricane on his return trip, but his colony remained. I can imagine the Swedes lounging with their feet dangling in the stream sipping a mug of home brew on a beautiful September day after harvesting crops all day.
Gossip Along the Brandywine in 1644
Overheard by Dylan Duck I
“This here is mighty fine wine, you’ve made, Peter.”
It’s not wine. It’s brandy, Beatus. Made from this gurgling stream right here. It’s the water that makes it tasty.”
Brandy? Wine? Whatever. It is delicious. ” Abram added.
“Sounds like a good name for this river to me, Brandywine,” Beatus said.
Don’t tell that old Swede, who built the grain mill, Andreas Brainwende. He thinks this stream is his, and we should call it the Brainwend River after him,” Peter said.
Brainwend, Brandywine, his hearing’s so bad, he won’t know the difference.
“You got the water in just the right place, didn’t you, Peter?” Abram said.
Yeah, a couple miles from here the creek pours into the Christina River,” Peter told them. “Ah the beautiful Christina, named after our queen. She’s a spoiler.”
“Yeah, she looks sweet, but looks are deceiving, so I hear.”
“Shhh, you two! Someone might be overhear you. You don’t want to mess with our governor!”
“I’m talking about that brakish water two miles yonder at the confluence of the two rivers. Christina’s waters would make a brandy that even you wouldn’t drink, Abram,” Beatus said
“You don’t think much of my tasting skills, Beatus?”
“Not so much.”
“OK, fellows, better finish it up here before you get us in trouble. The wives will wonder where we are.”
Hey, Marsha,” Hal called interrupting my reverie. “Haven’t you seen ducks before? What are you doing?”
What looks like placid waters now, once powered grist and gunpowder mills. Mills fueled the industrial era before the onset of steam-powered machinery. The DuPonts made their fortunes here. Ah, this was the place to learn history.
Ah, this was the place to learn history.
I could see that it was no wonder why many nineteenth century builders used stone to construct Wilmington buildings along the Brandywine. Mmmm, I wanted to put my toes in the cool water and feed the ducks, sip some wine and…
“Marsha,” Hal called again. “What is so interesting down there? Come up here. I want to show you something about this old post office building.
How do you ignore a 91-year-old retired engineer who was tired of Dylan and Donovan, the dark-feathered ducks, and wanted me to move on to something more mathematical? More than likely he wanted to go home and eat, my stomach reminded me that it was getting late.
“Did you notice the way the sun is casting a shadow on this stairway of Breck’s Mill?”
Hal scores again – something I would not have noticed without him.
The shadows had crept up on me as time swirled dreamily down the stream. But the sun was dipping in the sky. Strawberry-rhubarb pie in the fridge was beckoning us to come back to the 21st century and go home for dinner.
What wonderful, lazy afternoons do you remember sitting by a gentle stream, or lovely lake, waterfall, or even a water fountain?
When I was about age 10, my dad began to enjoy my presence. He loved to take pictures, so on Saturdays, he loaded up his equipment and me, his best view finder, into the old Buick in search of a perfect scenic spot. I loved his pictures of fall leaves. The love of fall colors makes me nostalgic and brings me joy.
We do not get the magnificent colors in all trees that Indiana does, but we still have some gorgeous fall plants. Several years ago on my own impromptu photo shoot, I found a grape field so beautiful I had to pull over, jump out of my car, and take pictures.
Hoosiers tout many varieties of maple trees but the foothill community of Woodlake, CA in Tulare County honors the humble white oak or valley oak.
Wikipedia has a list of various kinds of oaks along with where they are found which I found helpful in trying to figure out which kind of oak this is. Google lists images of oaks by type.
It takes hours to compare leaves to pictures to figure out what kinds of trees and plants we see along the roads. I never appreciated people who can spout off names like that until I started writing my blog. I don’t think this is an oak tree because the bark is too smooth. Kiwanis supports the blue signs we see along the highways in our areas that names the crop next to the highway. But most places do not have signs.
While I think this is pretty, it cannot compare to the eastern parts of the United States for color and brilliance. However, in the east, the mountains do not pop up over the tops of the trees. In Hockessin, Delaware even if the mountains were there, you wouldn’t be able to see them because forests line nearly every street and obscure everything but the nearest leaves.
When my first husband and I moved to California, we lived in the middle of a walnut grove. My understanding is that growers grafted English walnut trees to the hardy black walnut trees then painted the trunks to keep the bugs out.
Even though I did not like to eat walnuts, I loved gathering them after the shakers harvested the main crop. The ants and I got the rest of them. The ants did not like what I did next. But it served them right for biting me one day when I gathered walnuts by making a hammock of my t-shirt. I baked the walnuts in their shells at 250 degrees for an hour or so to cure them. My friends loved their presents. The ants – not so much!
I caught this vagrant red beauty leaving the nest and fluttering down to create the soft carpet below the vine for the winter.
Hi, I’m Marsha, sitting on the edge of my seat at the edge of the Enchanted Woods at Winterthur Gardens near Hockessin, DE.
More than one of the du Pont boys who owned DuPont Chemical Company, where my mother’s cousin Hal worked, loved gardens. We were so glad he did as we meandered the broad path around the gardens for about three hours. Yes, we were lost at times. This map did not help. 🙂
“Winterthur’s 1,000 acres encompass rolling hills, streams, meadows, and forests. Founder Henry Francis du Pont (1880-1969) developed an appreciation of nature as a boy that served as the basis for his life’s work in the garden.”
Off the edge of the pathway at a middle point in the 1,000 acres of Winterthur was an Enchanted Woods.
Come on chickens. We crossed the troll bridge into the Enchanted Woods. First, let me introduce you to Hal. As some of you already know he’s 91. In his day he engineered hard plastics like you would find in car engines. Although now he is at the losing edge of blindness, he walked three hours guiding me through the gardens at Winterthur. (The blind leading the blind at times)
As we entered the Woods Hal could not resist the first hands-on activity for us kids.
I felt like a kid here. At one edge was a fairy ring. Hal told me not to get too close. But, Hal is blind. What does he know, right? Who can resist advice like that?
I was clearly standing on the edge. What would you do with a sign like that? You can’t read it either, can you? hahaha
Soon I was covered in a mist that spread through the gardens. Everyone passing by knew I had disobeyed the sign. I hoped these were good fairies.
Here are a few more pictures of the fairy ring. These giant concrete mushrooms trapped several gleeful young children. We could hear laughter and see mist filtering through the trees as we walked around.
Lucky for me I run fast! 🙂 That’s it for now. More later.
Did you enjoy your short tour? Did I keep you on the edge of your seat?