I don't have fireflies in my garden - which is a shame... only cats, bees, a dog and the odd dragonfly!! So please settle down with a cuppa, put your feet up and enjoy!

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Penguins on Parade on the last day of the year....

Wow, New Year's Eve of 2011.  Where has the year gone too?  It really doesn't seem like 12 months since I was sitting here writing about the demise of 2010 and now we have 2011 breathing it's last gasp.

As a treat to end the year on Hubby and I decided to go over to Penguin Island.

Penguin Island is a little eco-bird santuary island off the coast of Rockingham - a 5 minute ferry ride to be precise.  There is a sand bar that connects the island to the Rockingham coastline and some stupid people do try to walk across when the tide is out.... however we value our lives and took the ferry!  Even though the sand bar is closed to public access people still walk across it!!!

We have been wanting to do this for years but never seem to have the time so today was the day!! It seems like today was the day for quite a lot of other people as well....  the ferry was so busy that instead of running it every hour they were running it continuously.  The weather was just fantastic - sunny, warm but not too hot with the loveliest sea breeze!  Almost too blowy on one side of the island!!

While over on the island we went into the Discovery Centre and watched the 10 Little Penguins get fed.  When we were talking to the Ranger after the feeding she was telling us how old the penguins were - the oldest is 19 years old!!  Can you believe it!  They all look so young and so little....

Swimming pool where the penguins have their dinner....
The sea water gets changed every day....
Aren't they adorable?

At the moment it is moulting season for the penguins so they are actually highly stressed.  Of course the heat at this time of the year doesn't help either for the poor things.  The penguins in the Discovery Centre are either orphans or injured ones that can't be returned completely to the wild.  They have already moulted so their feathers don't look quite so messy.  A couple of the ones that we saw out around the island are all messy while their feathers drop out.

After watching the feeding we went for a walk around the island along the boardwalk that runs around the areas of the island that the public are allowed to go to.  Part of the walk goes along a section of the beach.  So nice to walk on the beach and feel the sand in your toes.  The beach is littered with these limestone rocks and caves.  They are fascinating, and then we noticed a penguin pop out of one near the water and go for a swim!

Amazing limestone rock formations around the island and the beach

Little penguin hiding under the rocks after he went for a cooling swim

Hubby sitting in amongst the limestone rock formation
As we were heading back to the Discovery Centre to catch the ferry back to the mainland we saw some penguins hiding under the boardwalk.  These ones are still moulting so there feathers all look fluffy and brown rather than sleek and black.

Little penguin hiding under the boardwalk - he is currently moulting which is why he looks all fluffy

Small Little Penguin hiding in the bushes near the boardwalk
When we got back onto the mainland we wandered around the gift shop and bought a couple of penguins...

A new snowglobe to add to the collection!
To finish off our morning out we decided to have fish and chips for lunch and sit and watch the kiteboard and sailboard riders.

Such a lovely way to spend a morning on the last day of the year!

As the final hours of the year roll away I was thinking about the year that has gone by.  I have managed to do far more stitching this year than I have done in a long time.  So in that sense 2011 has been a very successful year even if I didn't quite get all my stitching goals completed.  On a personal level this year has been good for us as well... Hubby started a new job in February and has settled in quite nicely now.  My job is still going along well even with a change of boss mid-year.  Both of Hubby's sons have also had a good year and they both ended the year reasonably settled in their lives... well as settled as a 21 and 25 year old can be!!  The rest of the family have all been safe and healthy this year and made it through the year safe and sound.

Around the world 2011 hasn't been that great for a lot of people.  There has been some horrible natural disasters here in Australia and abroad that have struck at the heart of people's lives and left so many people heartbroken and without loved ones, homes and personal possessions.  Some people have recovered but many are still going along the road of recovery.  I do hope that 2012 is a better year for all those hurt in 2011, and also for everyone else at home and around the world.

I would like to say thank you to all my followers over the last year for your lovely comments and for taking time out of your busy days to read my posts and ramblings!  I would also like to say thank you to everyone out there in blogland - thank you for the inspiration and tutuorials.  I have loved reading all about what people have been stitching and what happens in different places around the world.  Blogging really does bring the world closer together.

I wish you all a very Happy New Year and a wonderful, properous 2012.  May your needles stay sharp and your fingers stay nimble over the coming year.

Til next year!


Cleejoow said...

Oh I love penguins, I adopted one once in our local zoo :)

cucki said...

aww cuteeeeeeeeeeeeeee i love penguins too..they are such lovely fellows..
wishing you and your family a very happy new year.
hugs cucki xx

Mouse said...

awwwwww love the penguins :) and it looks a great place to go and visit .... this year seems to have flown passed even with everything that has gone off around the world .. hasn't it .... wishing you a very merry , happy and stitchy new year :) love mouse xxxx

Catherine said...

What a great place! I can imagine how my boys would love it on Disovery Island!
Wishing you all the best in 2012!

Emily said...

I got your Christmas Card!!! I was soooooo excited!! Thank you so much for thinking of me!!!! I LOVED IT!!!!

Those penguins are soooo cute!! I would have loved to have gone and seen them with you!!

Have a Happy New Year!!!!!

Daffycat said...

Happy New Year, Noni!

Awwww, the penguins are sooo snuggly! What an awesome place to visit.

♥ Nia said...

Feliz Ano Novo!!! Happy New Year Noni :D
Ohhh those penguins are so cute!! adorableeeee =))))
I wish this year will be great for us all!! May good things happen on the world, for everyone!!!

Pumpuliina pistelee said...

So beautiful and funny penguins.
I've only once seen them live.

Nice blog you have. Many stitching greetings from Finland