A-Z Challenge – F


My contribution this week.


Friends, fingers and a foot.



First bounce of the football at a football game on the football ground.



More food than I could eat.




by frizztext


Breakfast with Lions ~ 2

Breakfast with Lions ~ 2

Breakfast with the lions at Shambala Animal Kingdom took place at an open air, except for a roof, venue surrounded by the largest pride of lions in Australasia.


A splendid breakfast of various juices, bacon, eggs, coffee and tea the odours of which had only a few metres to drift to the nostrils of some grumpy and unfed lions.


To reach the breakfast area we had to walk along a short, narrow laneway between four hungry lions on our right, and their counterparts on our left.   We thought they were all females.  More later.


While most of the boys waited with some degree of patience…….



Lion Hungry_4445




Hungry Lion

The alpha male was decidedly displeased at the wait for his morning morsels.


While enjoying breakfast we were within close proximity to the inhabitants of both sides

and taking these photos was not a difficult task.





I cannot remember if there was any food placed in these red balls or if they were just toys.  Either way the lions enjoyed playing with them until staff produced a bucket of red meat.  Breakfast!














We noticed some of the “lionesses” looked to be quite a bit bigger than their counterparts.  Upon commenting about our observation we were told that these females were actually boys with the ‘male’ part removed.  I did not know that a male lion needs to be ‘entire’ to grow a mane until then.  Although, having been around sheep all my life I have seen the difference between wethers and rams – both males but the latter can be used for breeding.


Just as the these fellas can.






Breakfast or no breakfast this bloke had a burr under his saddle.

He did not appreciate company at all.

Either that or he wanted to let everyone know who was boss.

Breakfast with Lions ~ 1

Breakfast with Lions ~ 1

Early one morning we rose and skipped the usual holiday breakfast, clambered into our rental car and motored down, or up, the Kennedy Highway towards Kuranda for breakfast with the lions at Shambala Animal Kingdom.

First impression was that we had arrived at an almost open range park until we spied, in the distance, some high mesh fences and what appeared to be a wall-less building that was complete with table, chairs and cooking facilities.

Breakfast_4433A short while later staff appeared and began to make us a sumptuous African savannah breakfast of various juices, bacon, eggs, coffee and tea. While we were enjoying our breakfast the odours from our bacon, eggs, etc. only had to drift a few metres to the nostrils of what is claimed to be the largest pride of (unfed) lions in Australasia.

However, Shambala Animal Kingdom boasts, and is home, to a variety of other animals all of which have their own personality and temperament. In this post focus will be on the other animals. Peacock

We found Percy Peacock keeping an eye on the hippos for any leftovers from their breakfast.


Percy observed, from the safety of his perch, his mates getting up close and personal in their search for tasty morsels.


All the while staying clear of powerful jaws.


The otters were moving so quickly that I often only managed to photograph the tip of their tail. The other option was a nice photo of concrete after the otter completed a snappy U-turn just as I pushed the shutter.


It was indeed a relief to see that they actually would stop to eat.


I’m told this bear had a cute name, however, at the time of writing no-one can remember it. Must have made an impression!



Grizzly Bear To mimic how, or where, bears find their food in the wild, handlers create places to hide food to create a challenge at meal times and keep the bears mind stimulated.


It is only the wire keeping hungry lions from that bacon…..

I left the gallery in to ponder over it…..not sure which format I prefer….individual photos or gallery.


Tomorrow I will include more photos of ‘Happy’ and his friends.

Mothers Day

Tomorrow, Sunday, May 12, is Mother’s Day in Australia. I specify Australia as I think it could be Father’s Day in England. At least it was in 1976 and I totally confused my Dad when I sent him Father’s Day card from England in May! For all I know it may be Father’s Day in the entire northern hemisphere. But, I digress! Let’s move the story back Down Under.

This year our eldest told his Mother he would take her out to brunch at The Coffee Cartel cafe in Leather St., Breakwater on the imageoutskirts of Geelong. Brunch? Ten to ten thirty am? Oh, and Dad could come but he would have to pay for himself….. Sound familiar?

Now WE (Mum and Dad) breakfast around 0800 on weekends so there was no way that we would make it through to ten-thirty without some sustenance. Ten-thirty maybe the usual time for the twenty-something generation but not for these parents! While the ‘little ones’ still slept, the ‘olds’ rose at their normal time and partook of a reduced breakfast so there would be room left to enjoy brunch.

image imageAfter a forty minute drive through Geelong found the Coffee Cartel in what appeared to be, and was, an industrial estate; located appropriately on the corner of Leather St and Industrial Place.

Upon our arrival Several groups were enjoying their own quiet outdoors brunch in the late autumn sun. The interior of the establishment was decorated with fashionable retro style furniture and complete with appropriate mood music.

Our host, as expected, was on ‘twenty-something’ time and arrived about fifteen minutes after the oldies, who by then were beginning to feel like their throats had been cut!

Menus arrived. Orders were placed and it looked as if number one son was going let the moths out of his wallet and pay for the old man! Looked like…

Cappuccinos all round soon were gracing our table. And they tasted as good as they looked. It was way past imagethe oldies Saturday morning ‘cuppa’ time and we were really hanging out for our caffeine hit!

All the twenty-somethings could do was grumble light heatedly about how early the hour was for breakfast.

Breakfasts varied. Fettuccine and Avocado for Mum, a Big and Hearty Breakfast for number two son, eggs and toast for number one son (and host) and a breakfast called Sliders for Dad. I have been assured that all other breakfasts were excellent as was the aptly named Sliders breakfast. My hands have a slight tremor and while eating one of my mini-burgers some bacon managed to slide….out of the burger, side swipe my shirt and come to a grinding holt as it smashed to the floor.

imageIt could not get any worse….so I thought. Did you know that potato cakes, like the one in the cup, are not designed to be picked by hand. Let me assure you that if you do that a large portion of it will break off landing who knows where, thereby making you breakfast experience even more embarrassing!

However, today was not about Dad. Today was about taking Mum out for Mother’s Day and as it turned out the Coffee Cartel provided an excellent venue for a family gathering. Number one has lived in Melbourne for over twelve months and even when he does spend a weekend with us we have to share his time with other acquaintances. Mum loved brunch with her three boys as two of them have grown into lovely young men. Unfortunately MGW is still stuck with me and lives in hope that I too, will grow up……one day!

So happy Mother’s Day to the dear one in our lives from all her boys.

Photographs courtesy of My Good Wife and Number one son.

Word of the Week Photo Challenge – Orange

Orange, orange, orange! My eyes do not always see the same colour as other people do. Therefore, I do hope you can see the orange I saw in these photos!

My contribution for this week.


This one from travels.


Top and bottom…..because they were orange!


Can you guess what the photos,
top and bottom,
I will show you next weekend if no-one can name it.

Word a Week Photo Challenge – Orange

Word a Week Photo Challenge-Orange: no step too loose

A Word A Week Challenge: Orange: Edge of the Forest

Healthy Chocolate – Castlemaine

April 4th

  ChocMill1After a late breakfast we set off with Castlemaine being our lunchtime destination.

However, about 9 kilometres  out of Hepburn, in a beautiful natural Australian bush setting, was our first stop, the Chocolate Mill.  The Chocolate Mill focuses on making natural chocolate which helps lower blood pressure and lose weight…no less!

Our Canadian born host described the chocolate making process and told us that additives added to Australian commercial chocolate is the reason why Aussie chocolate cannot be called chocolate in Europe.
After hearing all these benefits how could one not help but stock up on chocolates before moving on to our lunchtime destination. Castlemaine.  A sedate 20 kilometres away. The closer we came to Castlemaine the dryer the country-side became.  Rain is badly needed.However, in a couple of weeks (or so) the area will be a picture, rain or not. Interspersed between Australian and exotic evergreens are abundant avenues and copses of deciduous trees almost to the point of painting that part of Central Victoria in a wash of red, yellow, green and brown hues as trees denude themselves prior to the onset of the winter chill and occasional snowfall.


Among other things a visit to the Burke and Wills monument who both perished while crossing Australia, was deemed appropriate. Robert Burke was a resident of Castlemaine at the time of his ill fated north-south crossing of the land Down Under.

Read more on the Castlemaine, Burke and Wills web site.

Now back to Hepburn for the Wedding Anniversary Treat!