Tuesday, June 20, 2017


Bark beetles have killed hundreds of Torrey Pines in the last years, including this collapsed pair, which used to across Carmel Valley to the
Reserve and the ocean - here's in a pic from 2013. Or perhaps it was just old age? Already in 2009, below, it was thinning. In any case, RIP.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Friday, June 16, 2017

Thursday, June 15, 2017


In Torrey Pines State Reserve Extension: an avalanche of coast buckwheat, lava sprays of scarlet larkspur - and hummingbirds!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Longest day

Views from airplane windows of our points of departure - Mount Macedon, VIC - and arrival - Del Mar, CA. The first picture was taken at about 9:45am of an Australian winter, the second ostensibly an hour later in Californian summer, diagonally across the vast Pacific!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Sunset over the Mount

And so another Australian visit comes to an end...
I'm glad this part of the world is part of my life.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Closing the circle

It's been a long time coming, but I've finally been to see the "footie" at the "G" - an Australian Rules Football match at the Melbourne Cricket Grounds! I'd been told from first arriving in Oz that sport was the national religion, and, in Victoria, footie in particular. I've seen bits on television and made a half-hearted effort at understanding what was going on - there seem to be few rules, as there are few lines on the pitch. I've met people who've played (including my nephews as tykes doing Auskick), and a woman whose father was a famous footballer, who, she proudly told me, broke every bone in his body (the players have none of the armor of American football players), even his fingers!
But it really is different seeing it live, the vast oval below you, seventy thousand fans around you, and unbelievably energetic long-legged players racing one way and another far below, the ball changing sides constantly, the scale of things alternating between graceful long kicks, elegant passing and tangled scrimages. The word "balletic" recurs in people's praise of the game (at least among the people I know), and beyond the moments when a bunch of men rise, Kierkegaard-style, into the air to catch a kicked ball, there is a grace and a fluid joy to the whole thing - quite the antithesis of the US' static pointillistic national sports (except basketball and hockey, I suppose). The teams playing were Collingwood vs. Melbourne, and underdog Melbourne squeaked out a victory against the fearsome Collingwood, so that was nice, too.

Sunday, June 11, 2017


Being in Australia with dear friends, delightful family and delicious food doesn't mean not missing home a little.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

We took the road over the mount to the Woodend Winter Arts Festival.

Friday, June 09, 2017

Proud brother

Photography was not allowed and I usually don't post pictures of little people I know on my blog, but I can't not let you know that at this year's primary school choirs eisteddfod in nearby Bendigo (no, I didn't know what an eisteddfod was), the choir my sister directs won gold! The staid other choirs have numbers, but the scrappy Warblers have swing!

Thursday, June 08, 2017

Memory lane

Took at peek at the place I lived in Melbourne ten years ago - the last surviving bluestone terrace on Lygon Street. I was not as surprised to see it looking just as shabby as it did then as I was to find the graffiti on its northern wall hasn't been updated in a decade. My main hangout during my Melbourneyear, the State Library of Victoria reading room, seems unchanged, too.

Wednesday, June 07, 2017


How did it escape me that First Dog on the Moon is Australian? Many of its characters are marsupials, for goodness sake - though not Ian the Climate Denialist Potato. Luckily, my Fitzroy friend and host D has a complete set, as well as the monthly calendar, with its spot-on take-down of the month where National Reconciliation Week finishes.

Tuesday, June 06, 2017


At the National Gallery of Victoria on Melbourne's Federation Square I was entranced by two oeuvres of extraordinary attention, Margaret Stones' botanical watercolors, and Gulumbu Yunupingu's Gan'yu (stars).
Vita Brits!

Monday, June 05, 2017

Macedon ranges

Local pleasures - a genuine bona fide Aussie-made flat white, and my nephews' primary school, soon to be a place of memory, as the younger one will graduate out for middle school at the end of this year.

Sunday, June 04, 2017

Saturday, June 03, 2017

Winter in Australia

Snowy Great Dividing Ranges from the last leg of our trip down under.

Thursday, June 01, 2017


This is a little bit of a simplification but we're going from Brooklyn (zip 11238) to Mt. Macedon (postal code 3441). With stops our journey will be more like 28 than 23 hours (well more than 30 if you include getting to and from airports), arriving Saturday though departing Thursday. But if our trajectory is enough like this simplification, we'll actually cross the International Date line 3 times. Trippy! Catch you on the weekend!