Memorable Encounters - The Edible Animals of Australia

February 28, 2023  •  Leave a Comment

Fabio 2300 3097-cropFabio 2300 3097-cropAustralia and Tasmania vacation I will digress a moment from the "living" Australian and Tasmanian animals to write about my favorite food while I was traveling the country, which are Eastern King prawns. So every chance I had I would oder a bucket of prawns, while everyone else ordered fresh oysters, which is not my favorite food! Prawns could be found in restaurants, at local fisheries and in any grocery store. They are delicious and I am unable to find them in my local stores, so I'm glad I ate them every chance I had. They were worth the $30 AU/kilo price tag!

They are caught in the waters of South East Queensland, South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania, Australia, and they taste so fresh being caught that morning. I can see why they are the most popular species of prawn in Australia, because of their size and rich and moist flavor. They are cooked with the shell on to keep the juices and flavor inside, which of course can make for a messy, but extremely satisfying and tasty meal. I could eat a kilo, and often did, of these beautiful bright orange prawns in one sitting because they were that delectable.

With a bucket of prawns, a squeeze of lemon, and a glass of local Chardonnay, I was all set.

Fabio 2300 0105Fabio 2300 0105Australia and Tasmania vacation

Sydney has the largest fish market I have ever visited. This market is filled with restaurants, cafes, a bakery (great bread), a gourmet deli, a butcher and even a bottle shop (which is the only place you can buy alcohol!) Since 1966 the fish market has been located at Blackwattle Bay, but next year it will move to Sydney's inner harbor. In addition to everything else located there, they even have the Sydney Seafood School.

The market was crowded and filled with sites and smells that was captivating. It was filled with colors and textures and of course every type of fish imaginable. Our stay in Sydney was short, but we managed to visit twice for our fresh seafood dinners. The fresh scallop sashimi were the best I have ever eaten, and made for great appetizers...I'm hungry again!

There were bright blue buckets filled with all type of fish, but my favorite were the ones filled with large crabs. For a seafood lover, The Sydney Fish Market is the place to visit, and a visit to Sydney would not be complete without it.

For more information: https://australiantropicalfoods.com/index.php/australian-seafood/king-prawn/
 

https://www.sydneyfishmarket.com.au/

Fabio 2300 0051Fabio 2300 0051Australia and Tasmania vacation Fabio 2300 Pixel7Pro 0032Fabio 2300 Pixel7Pro 00322023 Sailing Season & Events

2023 Soup Off
Fabio 2300 0049Fabio 2300 0049Australia and Tasmania vacation Fabio 2300 0082Fabio 2300 0082Australia and Tasmania vacation
 

 

 

Photographs taken with a Nikon Z6II camera and Z lenses.


Memorable Encounters....the Animals of Australia Part 1 - Kangaroos

February 27, 2023  •  Leave a Comment

Fabio 2300 1789Fabio 2300 1789Australia and Tasmania vacation Fabio 2300 1860Fabio 2300 1860Australia and Tasmania vacation Not even in zoos have I seen kangaroos. Imagine my surprise when we were staying at one of our airbnb's and the entire grassy area by the beach was filled with as many as 100, of various ages! These groups are called troops or herds ("mobs by Australians.") We were less than a quarter of a block from them. I was in awe and took way too many photographs of these marsupials during our stay, but no complaints, it was the only place on our trip where they were in the wild and allowed you to get sort of close. In these mobs, is a large male, called ("old man," or "boomer") that dominates during mating season. There was no mistaking him as he kept his eye on me. This area had two sets of mobs, one that was laying under the trees by the homes, and the other in a more thick area of trees about 50 yards apart. I would say that this is about the same as here in Michigan having geese everywhere, and not being able to walk without the soles of your shoes being covered in poop! Fabio 2300 1678Fabio 2300 1678Australia and Tasmania vacation

I was warned not to seem like a predator to them. The have have been known to disembowel dogs and humans with their huge clawed hind feet. Which is why I stayed behind trees! Since we were in the eastern part of Australia, the ones I photographed are the eastern gray kangaroo. The alpha male can grow up to 6.9 feet and weigh about 200 pounds. Seeing a couple of females with young in their pouches was fantastic, but was not able to approach them at all. The can leap up to 30 feet, but the ones I saw didn't leap half as far.

The fact that these kangaroos were living so close to civilization was interesting...also was the fact that most of the SUV's had huge bush guards on the front of their vehicles. We saw so many dead kangaroos and wallabies on the side of the roads, which is why we never drove at night!!!!

To have had this experience was spectacular and I could have spent hours being around them, but alas, the rest of Australia and Tasmania was beckoning.

For more information: https://www.australia.com/en-us

 

Photographs taken with a Nikon Z6II and Z lens.

Fabio 2300 2574Fabio 2300 2574Australia and Tasmania vacation


Memorable Encounters....The Sydney Opera House

February 19, 2023  •  Leave a Comment

Fabio 2300 Pixel7Pro 0148Fabio 2300 Pixel7Pro 0148Australia and Tasmania vacation While I was growing up and dreaming of far away adventures, the Sydney Opera House was always at the back of my mind. I have wanted to visit and see all of its glorious peaks since I was a child, and this past January I found myself not only seeing it from the harbour, but experiencing the play Amadeus in person.

Fabio 2300 0745Fabio 2300 0745Australia and Tasmania vacation According to the opera house web site: "The Sydney Opera House is the symbol of modern Australia. A World Heritage-listed masterpiece of “human creative genius,” it exists because a few brave people dared to think differently.

From conception to completion, the building tested the limits of engineering, construction and design. When the Opera House opened its doors in 1973, changing the image of Australia, a new era of cultural discovery and community engagement began.

Five decades later, we stand as an important community meeting place, the nation’s busiest performing arts centre and an integral part of Sydney through our contribution to culture, heritage, sustainability and tourism."

Yes, you read right, this is the 50th anniversary of the Opera Houses existence. The opera house is located in Sydney Harbor, and rests on Bennelong Point in New South Wales, Australia (as if I had to write that!) Bennelong is the name of one of two Aborigines who served as liaisons between Australia's first British settlers and the local population.) I've read that it is one the most-photographed building of the world, (yes, I can see that!) What I love about it, especially since I'm a sailor, is that it has white sail-shaped shells as the roof structure. It just glistens in the sun. I spent 4 days photographing the Opera House from as many angles as I could!!!

Fun facts that I didn't know, and were informed on one of our tours, is that the original estimate of construction ballooned from an estimated $7 million to $102 million! The Danish architect Jorn Utzon was the winning entry sponsored by the New South Wales government in 1956. Even though construction began in 1959, problems arose from the innovative design, which resulted in countless delays. The grand opening, of this grand Opera House, was on October 20th, 1973, fourteen years later! Fabio 2300 Pixel7Pro 0192Fabio 2300 Pixel7Pro 0192Australia and Tasmania vacation

It has two main theaters, and three other theaters of different sizes and configurations for stage plays, film screening and small musical performances. We were in the largest one with a 2,679 seat capacity. It also houses restaurants and a professional recording studio. Before the play we ate outside at the Portside restaurant overlooking the harbor, which was awe inspiring, especially after the enormous cruise liner departed. I would have loved to eat at the Bennelong Restaurant, inside the Opera House, but that proved to be way outside our culinary budget! (The fun facts were brought to you by Britannica.)

For me, being in front of the Sydney Opera House meant that one of my life long dreams had been fulfilled. I may not have the spectacular images I've seen on-line, but my photographs reflect my vision and my perspective on one of the most iconic buildings I have ever seen. Enjoy!!!!

Fabio 2300 slide 119Fabio 2300 slide 119Australia and Tasmania vacation

https://www.sydneyoperahouse.com/

This is the first of my blogs detailing my trip of a lifetime....stay tuned for more!

Photographs taken with a Nikon Z6II, Z lenses and the Google Pixel & Pro cell phone.
Fabio 2300 Pixel7Pro 0247Fabio 2300 Pixel7Pro 0247Australia and Tasmania vacation


Memorable Encounters......Hocking Hills State Park, Logan, Ohio

November 25, 2022  •  Leave a Comment

2280 Fabio Hocking Hills #12280 Fabio Hocking Hills #1Ravenwood Murder Mystery and Hocking Hills State Park, Ohio, Santa’s birthday weekend celebration.

Hocking Hills State Park was a total surprise to visit, and anyone who lives in the metro area should definitely venture to this piece of paradise.

Roughly 5 hours south of Detroit, Hocking Hills is located in Southeastern Ohio. It was an easy drive and the scenery is absolutely spectacular. We visited in November, when the weather was cool and since it had just rained, the waterfalls were running creating spectacular photographs! Even though people are my favorite photography subjects, I couldn't help but capture some gorgeous shots. The trails are easy, although hiking boots really are a must since the terrain is all natural and when it rains, it does become slippery.

Hocking Hills is a state park with more than 10,000 acres of breathtaking scenery (wrote this from the web site) and is so close to cute little cities filled with antique and artisan shops, plus lots of restaurants. There is something for everyone near this area.

I'm not sure how busy this park is in the summer, but fall was a great time. Not many people, cool temps and gorgeous foliage everywhere. It is hard to imagine that it is so close to home.

We saw lots of families, and people of all ages taking advantage of the views. Truly gorgeous.

Old Mans Cave and Hemlock Bridge Trail were the only trails we had time for, so another visit is in order.

 

ExploreHockingHills.com is a great source of information.
Fabio 2280 Ravenwood Hocking Hill 106Fabio 2280 Ravenwood Hocking Hill 106Tower family Christmas at Elizabeth and Andrew DeHate’s house in Burt, MI
Fabio 2280 Ravenwood Hocking Hill 182Fabio 2280 Ravenwood Hocking Hill 182Tower family Christmas at Elizabeth and Andrew DeHate’s house in Burt, MI
Fabio 2280 Ravenwood Hocking Hill 357Fabio 2280 Ravenwood Hocking Hill 357Tower family Christmas at Elizabeth and Andrew DeHate’s house in Burt, MI

Fabio 2280 Ravenwood Hocking Hill 493Fabio 2280 Ravenwood Hocking Hill 493Tower family Christmas at Elizabeth and Andrew DeHate’s house in Burt, MI
Fabio 2280 Ravenwood Hocking Hill 316-EditFabio 2280 Ravenwood Hocking Hill 316-EditTower family Christmas at Elizabeth and Andrew DeHate’s house in Burt, MI

 

 


Friendship and Betrayal

September 08, 2022  •  Leave a Comment

Sometimes TV sitcoms do mirror reality....

Watching the much applauded "Ted Lasso" on Apple TV has been delightful, has yielded some great laughs and has made me reflect on some extreme sadness that has happened in my life. The episodes "Midnight Train To Royston", and "Inverting the Pyramid of Success" were two episodes that hit me to my core. The exquisite writing and acting of these episodes balanced the friendships and the betrayals of the characters extremely well. I think everyone has known a bubbly Keeley or the dark character Nate in their lives. 

I have always preferred the "Keeley" type of people, but have been exposed to the "Nate" types more than once. Betrayal and deceit are the cruelest form of punishment a family member, or friend can inflict on you. These wounds are the deepest, hurtful and most insidious thing a person can do to another. Especially since they can blindside you, and destroy the world you've been living in. For me, I felt as if I had fallen into the rabbit hole, and been shrunk into oblivion. I didn't need magic mushrooms, the world crashing in on me was enough.

These horrific people, who I will not mention, have no remorse and a lack of conscience for what they've done.

I must admit, for a brief time I was defeated, and this is what these monsters wanted. In the end my phoenix rose and I have spread my wings even wider, and conquered all the challenges I have faced despite the adversity. Clawing my way from financial hardship took many years, but during those lean times my parents were my rock and helped immensely. I have changed, for the better, and I am still excelling and enjoying my personal and professional life. My perspective on life has grown and I I work with fantastic clients photographing fulfilling community projects, I sail and I love to travel; especially to Sicily where my family is from. 

After all these years, I've won. Especially since I know that the man I share my life with has a huge giving heart. We have the type of relationship that supports growth, friendship and love. What I've learned, the hard way, is that trust and respect is not just given; it is earned.

You never really know the heart of an individual, for evil does live amongst us, but if we truly cared no-one would have to go through the fires of hell. We have become divided and when money has more value than family, or humanity ... then we are all doomed.

Archive
January February March April May June July August (1) September October (2) November December (2)
January (2) February (1) March (1) April (1) May June (1) July (1) August (2) September October November December
January (2) February March (1) April May (1) June (1) July August (1) September (2) October (1) November December
January February March April May June July August (1) September October November (1) December (1)
January February March April (1) May June July August September October November December
January February March (1) April May June July August September (1) October November December
January February March April May (1) June July (1) August September (1) October November (1) December
January (1) February March April May June (1) July August September (1) October November (1) December (1)
January February March (1) April (2) May June (2) July August (1) September October November December
January February March April May (1) June (1) July August September October November December
January February March April (1) May June (1) July August September (1) October November (1) December
January February (3) March (2) April (3) May June July (1) August September October (1) November December
January February March (1) April May June July August September October November December