There's Always Time for the Beach

We've made another two trips to the beaches around Byron - our main discovery being that of the beaches in Byron proper, The Pass (which we spent an afternoon at with Louis and Mbweda) is good for family beach fun - uncrowded, plenty of rock pools and shallow water, shade from trees that run down to the edge of the sand, and a sheltered aspect from the prevailing winds because the point with the lighthouse offers protection.
Our other trip was to Wooyung - a much more remote beach, without any facilities except for a lonely campsite, and no lifeguards or flags indicating safety - and rips certainly were visible from shore. There is access to Pottsville's shops and cafes by road ten minutes to the North, and the place feels extremely quiet and secluded given its closeness to the madness that is Surfers Paradise just a 30 minute drive North. We met up with Rod and Cherdina and their boisterous labradors (who certainly were loving the endless empty sand) and made a slow day of it. Leaving in time to drive home before dark, we took a small country road we hadn't tried before - it cuts in from Byron Bay through the Mount Jerusalem National Park ( huge staghorn plants, a lazy carpet snake we had to wait for on the road, and a few kilometres of unpaved windings before Uki), ad still made it home for dusk.
That Sunday preceded Australia Day, so we celebrated with an extremely civilised dinner (and a decent red wine) at Richard and Lynne's (neighbours up the street).
I have also (finally) got some serious chainsawing done with Rob's help - we even untangled two large trees that were wrapped around our mains power cable and threatening to rip out the phone line as well. The frangipani trees near the front gate can't figure out what is going on now they're getting some light at last, and they have burst into bloom 4 moths late, which has confused our neighbours.
I've also glimpsed (but not yet photographed) two more animals in the garden that I haven't seen before - a black cockatoo and a bush turkey. Bush turkeys are common in these parts, but their presence in our garden is nonetheless a good sign in terms of the regeneration of the local bush.
This shot of several rainbow lorikeets feeding on a cocos palm in our front garden is (again) courtesy of Alex's dad's zoom lens.
The rest of our time has been filled with tasks of extreme mundanity - paving a new path down the Eastern side of the house, helping the roofing guy install roof insulation (which will be almost free after government rebate - and it makes such a difference to the temperature sat out on the back verandah; I am typing this at 2:45pm, with only a desk fan behind me, and I'm quite comfortable, despite a forecast high today of 41 degrees). Other news: I have signed up for a creative writing class, C is in week 3 of an art class, K is about to start daycare "visits" (where you don't leave, they just get used to the people and the place). In short, we're having a busy Summer, but there's always time for the beach.

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