Monday, December 20, 2010

Round the New England blogging traps 21 - a few photos

I have been remiss in not mentioning before that our fellow blogger Bronwyn Parry has been unwell.  Partner Gordon Smith has been posting regular updates on Bronwyn's blog. Fortunately Bronwyn seems to have come through a very serious operation okay.

In this blogging round-up, I thought that I would focus on New England photographic blogs, or at least blogs with a high photographic content. I also thought that I should write in such a way as to make the post more accessible to those who do not know New England, including the large number of US visitors attracted by the title.

For the benefit of those who do know New England, the New England or Northern Tablelands is Australia's largest tablelands and stretches from the Hunter Valley into southern Queensland. When I speak of New England I mean not just not the Tablelands, this is often described as the New England, but also the river valleys that flow from the Tablelands to the west, north, east and south. While diverse, it is an area also united by geography and history.

The boundaries ascribed to New England and hence its size vary. However, the boundaries set by the 1935 Nicholas Commission as suitable for self-government within the Australian Federation cover an area of 64,000 square miles, 166,000 square kilometres. The area I cover in my present history of New England project is actually larger, because it includes part of New England now included in Queensland.

Whichever way you cut it, we are talking about a large geographic area. To put this in perspective, England is 50,346 square miles, 130,000 square kilometres.   

For those who are interested in a little more, in The colours of New England I tried to paint a picture of the area's diversity using a combination of prose, poetry, photos and painting.

My coverage today begins with a Gordon Smith photo, Storm season begins. This shows storm clouds gathering over the University of New England in Armidale. This attractive if small cathedral and university city is located on the Tablelands and for much of the twentieth century was regarded as the capital in waiting for a self-governing New England state.20101214-storm-season

The Clarence River, the big river, rises in the Tablelands and flows north before heading east to the sea. This photo by Clarence photo-blogger Mark Bellamy  is entitled "Oh the Flame Trees Will Blind a Weary Driver". Mark's caption reads:

Don Walker wrote the lyrics to Flame Trees about Grafton.
It's the classic aussie country town song of love, loss, friendship and anti-nostalgia.
I can't get this tune out of my head at this time of the year.

This song from 1984 is one of the best known ones from Australian band Cold Chisel.

Flame Tree

As you might expect given its size, each river valley in New England is different. Then within each valley you find variety again.

The Bellinger River lies to the south of the Clarence. A much smaller river, it runs through a very pretty valley. The first thing that generally strikes a visitor from inland New England is just how green it all is. This photo from Lynne Sanders-Braithwaite is simply entitled REPTON NSW DECEMBER 2010. 


Much of life along the rivers flowing from the ranges to the Pacific Ocean centres around the river and nearby sea. This photo from Lynne, again from the Bellinger Valley, is simply entitled NORTH BEACH POOL.

North Beach Pool

I am out of time now. More later.


Peter Firminger said...

Flame trees is my all-time favourite song. Every morning I worked on breakfast radio I used that song at full volume to warm up the studio and myself.

Jim Belshaw said...

Peter, the varied things that you have done!