Reviving the old tradition of recapping the year in the form of some photos, here is the 2010 edition. As we move to 2011, 2010 stays in history as the first full year our family lived in Australia. Some snapshots from the year below, highlighting some of the things I have enjoyed over the past year: (thanks to the new, wider layout, there are no bigger versions of these photos)
Summer was full on in January; spending the New Year’s eve at blistering temperatures, brought down by a massive thunderstorm was an interesting contrast to the typical freezing January-temperatures in Finland.
Our small yard is home to a plethora of interesting creatures. From the early summer cicadas to year-round possums, in February this praying mantis was casually walking around. Later in the year it was followed by stick insects and other critters, but luckily no snakes or poisonous spiders around – yet.
One of the best things about Melbourne (for a family anyway) are the numerous suburban parks; this shot from March is from one of the about dozen parks within a half an hour’s walk from our home.
Another cool thing are the zoos; this shot from April from the Werribee Open Range Zoo is a good example – zoos here are very nice, from both the animals’ perspective (to the extent captivity is good for any animal) and the visitors.
I have been very positively surprised how well we can go on bush- and other walks with our kids. There are many pram-accessible trails and recently even our almost-2-year-old Benjamin has been bravely walking over 3km trips. I think that’s awesome; it means we can get back to our long nature walks much sooner than I anticipated. In May we visited Phillip Island, this shot from the end of the island.
June, the first “summer month” in Finland is fall time over here. While there are not that many coniferous trees in the Melbourne area, Carlton Gardens in the city becomes a spectacular sight in June.
July, the mid-winter, is a good time to enjoy the city and escape to some of the art galleries or cafes to escape from the “cold”. National Galleries Victoria always has some nice installation around their outdoor fountains:
Melbourne is famous for its innovative architecture; this shot from August is a walking bridge near South Bank. The construction reminds me of the typical house insulation here 😉
In September I had the opportunity to take an all-too-rare business trip to one of my favorite cities, San Francisco, for a mobile conference. Loved the city, as always.
In October we took a road trip to Sydney and Blue Mountains. In Sydney we had some hot days perfect for hitting the famous beaches, some cooler days better for sightseeing – Blue Mountains, however, were more like White Mountains. As we didn’t quite expect this chilly conditions, we will have to return to Blue Mountains later for a proper bushwalking experience.
Organic produce and excellent selection of fruit and veggies is a delight to foodies like us. This is our local organic food store in November. Now, with the Queensland floods, the prices of some fruits is bound to go temporarily up by as much as 50%, but thankfully Victoria has fared better without catastrophic crop losses this year, even if we, too, had a drought-breakingly wet spring.
In December summer finally started properly, with the first over +40C day late in the month. This picture is from a place called Hanging Rock.