The ASP e-newsletter was increasing in popularity and gravitating towards magazine style so the next step was to expand as an e-magazine. - Jocelyn Watts
Contents Weddings 3 5 6 7
Graveside commitment Remembering loved ones Popular spots to wed Hair style trends
10-11 Canberra Renaissance
14-15 Setting up at Home
Computers & Technology 16
Your Backyard 18 19
Say I Love You With a Chocolate Sapote Attracting Miners to Your Garden
Welcome to the first edition of iFocus Magazine. Although technically speaking, this special Valentine’s Day edition is not the “first” such publication by ASP Photography. The new e-magazine has morphed from the ASP e-newsletter published monthly at www.issuu.com/jocelynwatts The ASP e-newsletter was increasing in popularity and gravitating towards magazine style so the next step was to expand as an e-magazine. I hope you like the new format and enjoy reading the stories and information that a few close friends and colleagues have generously helped create to bring this edition to fruition. Having morphed from a photography business newsletter
means the content focuses primarily on topics that relate to ASP’s core specialty areas of weddings, kids and commercial. However, our Fraser Coast lifestyle offers so much more, therefore as the publication continues to evolve, more lifestyle topics will be included. The magazine is being published solely online, not in print form. I am keen to hear your thoughts on the e-magazine’s new format, and if you have a unique story to tell I’d love to hear about it. I’m also inviting expressions of interest from businesses wishing to advertise on these pages. The next edition is scheduled for publication on April 1 (no joke!). I can be contacted at jocelyn@ aspphotography.biz.
Send us your favourite holiday photos Page 22
Top Holiday Spots 20-21 Fraser Island 22 Send us your photos
Deb’s Blueberry & White Chocolate Muffins
Do you have a favourite holiday photo you’d like to share? Email it to iFocus at firstname.lastname@example.org
Photos: KYLANA McINTOSH
Surprise, Honey! We’re getting hitched today, beside your Dad’s grave
Steven McIntosh didn’t just pop the question. He was so confident of a positive response that he arranged the marriage celebrant and invited the guests first, then surprised his partner with a commitment ceremony beside her father’s grave. Lynne Prowd of Maryborough hates surprises, so for her longtime partner to choose a graveyard in which to promise a lifetime of love in the presence of family and friends, and without her having the opportunity to dress for the occasion, was a brave, brave move. However this was one surprise
that, after first expressing a few profanities, Lynne said she would treasure for the rest of her life, for all the right reasons. The gesture was so typical of the man she loves – Aussie larrikin on the outside and wonderfully sentimental on the inside. Steve said it was love at first sight when they met 11 years ago. “Having both been married previously with unhappy endings, we had lost the taste for wedding cake and all the fanfare that goes with it.
Not to mention the enormous costs involved. “We have always planned to have some form of ceremony to substantiate our relationship, with the view that it would be simple and discreet. It would be very personal, with no legalities, vows or holy matrimony – easy, just like our relationship. “During the Christmas period just passed, we were in country Victoria to share the festivities with family and friends.
Lynne Prowd and Steven McIntosh (right) of Maryborough confirmed their long-time relationship in a commitment ceremony at the Lang Lang cemetery in South East Gippsland, Victoria, on December 22, 2011. Photo: JOCELYN WATTS
PUBLISHER ASP Photography EDITOR Jocelyn Watts CONTRIBUTORS Julie-Ann Bradwyn Debbie Foale Don Watts Steve McIntosh Pam McKay DESIGN Sofiano COVER PHOTO ASP Photography / Jocelyn Watts ADVERTISING/EMAIL email@example.com WEBSITE www.aspphotogrpahy.biz FACEBOOK www.facebook.com/aspgallery
This publication and its entire contents are protected by Copyright. No use may be made of all or any parts of this magazine without the prior written consent of ASP Photography. The views expressed by contributors and advertisers within iFocus Magazine do not necessarily reflect the views of the editor. ASP Photography takes no responsibility for the accuracy of information contained within its magazine.
“The tricky thing was to arrange for our closest friends to be there” “In secret, with the help of Lynne’s mother Judy and our daughter Kylana Ruby, I planned to have the ceremony next to Lynne’s father’s resting place. Steve explained that soon after meeting Lynne he told her father, Fred Prowd, he would someday ask for his daughter’s hand in marriage. “Sadly, Fred Prowd passed away suddenly a few years ago. He was, and always will be, extremely close to us all,” Steve said. So it was fitting their commitment ceremony was held at a place where Fred was sure to be nearby. “The tricky thing was to arrange for our closest friends to be there. My friend Anthony and his wife Kylie from Melbourne, as well as Lynne’s friend Silvana and her husband Shane from Cairns made a huge effort to meet us at the small Lang Lang cemetery in South East Gippsland. “When I asked them, they both said they wouldn’t have missed being there as our unofficial Best Man and Matron of Honour for anything so I hastily met with and organised a civil celebrant to perform the commitment ceremony. Amazingly, it all came together perfectly.
“The most remarkable thing about this wonderful event was that it was all arranged in two days and we kept it secret from Lynne for the next two weeks while we holidayed in Tasmania. The day after we returned the weather was stunning. At 9am on December 22, Lynne, Judy, Kylana and I went to the cemetery to pay our respects to Fred.
“At 9.15am, Lynne was totally astounded and extremely delighted when she glanced around to see our friends with the celebrant Elizabeth, walking up the main path through the tiny cemetery toward us. Tears flowed freely. “It was truly magnificent. Under a stunning blue sky, we exchanged single red roses and smiled adoringly into each other’s eyes throughout the entire ceremony. Lynne’s sweet tears of joy when we kissed will linger on my tongue forever. “We all celebrated in the car park afterwards with charged glasses of cold champagne and plenty of chocolate dipped strawberries. Superb.”
- Jocelyn Watts
Single white rose for Mum A white rose laying on the vacant chair will be a poignant tribute for the bride’s late mother at a wedding on Fraser Island next month. Marriage celebrant David Proctor said it was not uncommon for couples to honour deceased relatives or close friends at wedding ceremonies. He said the bride at next month’s wedding was planning to place a single white rose on the chair on which her mother, who died six months ago, would have sat. The couple will also have a photo of her on the register signing table.
During the service David will explain to guests the significance of the chair and rose. He said to include such a tribute in a wedding ceremony was a personal choice. “Some couples will but others won’t even entertain the idea. One bride said she couldn’t because she feared she’d be overcome with emotion. Each to their own.” When couples want to include a tribute for deceased relatives or friends, David offers to recite the poem below by an unknown author.
- Jocelyn Watts
Roses from Heaven If roses grow in heaven Lord pick a bunch for us Place them in our loved one’s arms And tell them they’re from us Tell them we love them and miss them And when they turn to smile Place a kiss upon their cheek And hold them for a while Because remembering them is easy We do it every day But there’s an ache within our hearts Because we’re missing them today. (Author Unknown)
Fraser Coast’s most popular spots to wed Maryborough
Mary River Parklands Queens Park – Rotunda and Bush Chapel Historic churches – St Paul’s Anglican, St Mary’s Catholic, St Stephen’s Uniting Elizabeth Park Rose Gardens
Matthew Flinders Lookout, Urangan Botanic Gardens Any of the many beaches
Kingfisher Bay Resort & Village LEFT: Tanya Crammond and Jason Webber chose the scenic Matthew Flinders Lookout at Dayman Point, Urangan, for their wedding ceremony in November 2011.
Photo: WATTS Photo:JOCELYN JOCELYN WATTS
RIGHT: Murray Greenhalgh and Natallia Davidovich married in St Stephen’s Uniting Church and chose the most popular locations in Maryborough for their wedding photography - Mary River Parklands and Queens Park. Photos: JOCELYN WATTS
Ultimate waterfront Natural terracing, winding pathways, gardens and the glorious royal palms of Mary River Parklands combine to create a superb setting for wedding ceremonies and photography. Marriage celebrant David Proctor rated the parklands, created as part of Maryborough’s urban renewal project, as the most popular outdoor location for weddings in the Heritage City. Nipping at its heels in the popularity stakes is nearby Queens Park with its bush chapel and historic rotunda appealing to many bride and grooms. “There are lots of spots in Queens Park where people choose to marry but the bush chapel and rotunda are the most popular. Although I have to say, Mary River Parklands gets the edge over Queens Park,” David said. “The terracing goes right down to the water’s edge but I don’t recommend getting too close because from the lowest level all you see of the river is the muddy water. There’s also a danger that if the ring is dropped it may fall through the cracks of the timber wharf.”
Mary River Parklands and Queens Park are both within easy walking distance of the Wharf Street precinct where the heritage buildings serve wonderfully as backdrops in bridal party photography. David said some couples chose Elizabeth Park Rose Gardens but Furber Park, despite its attractive natural surroundings, wasn’t popular. “Couples don’t seem interested in Furber Park, perhaps because older people may find it difficult walking to the ceremony.” Maryborough’s old churches were perennial favourites. At Hervey Bay, the Matthew Flinders Lookout at Dayman Point, botanic gardens and long stretch of beaches from Point Vernon to Urangan offer numerous options for couples choosing the area for their nuptials. On Fraser Island, Kingfisher Bay Resort and Village is the No. 1 spot, where saying “I do” against a brilliant sunset adds to the romance of weddings. - Jocelyn Watts
Fraser Coast brides style hair on themes As Kate Middleton exchanged vows with Prince William last April, celebrity hair stylists were predicting her “youthful, gorgeous bridal look” would set a flurry across the world. Colourist Johnathan Gale told Amanda Chen at HollywoodLife. com that Kate’s hair, tiara band and natural makeup combined for a “very dignified look – without appearing too stately.” Other experts described her flowing locks as elegant and true to her personality. As the couple’s first anniversary approaches, iFocus Magazine asks Indulgence Hair & Beauty owner Emma MacDonald if the predicted flurry had influenced the hair style choices of Fraser Coast brides. “I haven’t had anyone ask me for her hair style but some people like elements from a few different styles all out together,” Emma said. “We don’t tend to get celebrity look-alikes as brides tend to pick a style that suits their theme and wedding dress.” So if Fraser Coast brides are not
being influenced by the royal bride or other celebrities in their wedding hair style choices, what are they looking for? Emma says the trend for 2012 is for lots of sleek, old-fashioned looks. For some inspirational photos, here are three websites worth viewing: www.instyle.com www.weddinghair.com www.lovehair.co.uk/wedding-hair Emma said if brides were unsure about what they wanted or if their preferred styles suited their overall looks, then talking to hairdressers would help give them confidence in their choices. She also recommended having a trial run. “I would definitely recommend a trial session for brides who were unsure on what they wanted or were nervous about how it will to look all put together. “This can be done from a few months before up to the week before the wedding.”
- Jocelyn Watts
Hair & make-up at one location Indulgence Hair & Beauty offers wedding packages for bridal parties from just three people up to five. Because they do the makeup in the same location, the wedding party only need to worry about one appointment and then the rest is taken care of until they leave to go get dressed and have photos taken. They take the stress out of organising all the pre-wedding appointments, for tanning, nails, trials, massages, facial, waxing everything. When brides book their wedding date the girls at Indulgence go through any of the little extras they may want and arrange times so they aren’t leaving things till the last minute and wishing they had got around to all the finishing touches.
– Indulgence Hair & Beauty, Pulgul Street, Urangan. Ph: (07) 4125 3717.
Renaissance RAPHAEL - BOTTICELLI - BELLINI - TITIAN
1. The exhibition has 71 works including: Tempera on panel: 26 works Oil on panel: 25 works Oil on canvas: 16 works Combination / other Tempera grassa: 2 oil on panel transferred to canvas: 1 not panel or canvas (tarot cards): 1 2. Oil paint was introduced to Italy from Flanders in the mid-15th century, initially to Venice. 3. At the beginning of the Renaissance, artists painted on wooden panel. By 1500 they had begun to change to paint canvas instead, however this process took many years, as did the adoption of oil paint. 4. During the course of the Renaissance, portraiture became popular for ordinary citizens. Before the Renaissance this genre of painting had been reserved exclusively for royalty and historic figures. 5. The first known tarot cards were created in northern Italy. The tarot cards in the exhibition are some of the oldest surviving and were made for rulers of Milan. Tarot was not used in fortune telling until the 18th century. 6. The most expensive pigment during the Renaissance was ultramarine, a bright deep blue. It was made from the semi-precious stone lapis lazuli, ground up and added to tempera and oil paint. It was imported from Afghanistan to Venice. Because of its extraordinary cost, ultramarine was reserved for only very wealthy commissions. It was more expensive than gold. 7. Saint Catherine of Siena is one of the best known saints in the exhibition. She was the patron saint of her home town Siena and then later Italy (along with Saint Francis of Assisi) and is one of several patron saints of Europe. In addition she is the patron saint of fire-fighters, illness, miscarriages, people ridiculed for their piety, sexual temptation, sick people and nurses. LEFT: Bartolomeo Vivarini Saint Michael from Scanzo polyptych 1488 tempera and gold on wood panel 137.0 x 47.8 cm Accademia Carrara, Bergamo, bequest of Giacomo Carrara 1796 RIGHT: Sandro Botticelli The story of Virginia the Roman c.1500 tempera and gold on wood panel 83.3 x 165.5 cm Accademia Carrara, Bergamo, bequest of Giovanni Morelli 1891 The National Gallery of Australia is an Australian Government Agency.
Saint Michael in Canberra By Julie-Ann Bradwyn Are you like me and enjoy viewing paintings that actually look like what they are supposed to be depicting? Art that is bright and colourful and able to be appreciated and enjoyed even by the masses? Well, if you also have the motive, now we have the means. Last December I was on the internet and purely by chance, I stumbled across a link to an amazing exhibition that has come to Canberra from Italy. I hadn’t heard or seen any advertising for it so it was a lucky find because an exhibition of this calibre doesn’t come along very often.
subject of Renaissance artwork, whether painted or sculpted. As well as this, the exhibition includes portraits aplenty and both indoor and outdoor scenes of daily life and townscapes. The colours of all of the paintings in the exhibition are vibrant and sumptuous, full of life and energy. It is hard to believe that they were painted five to six hundred years ago as the intensity of their colour is still so strong. For those who are passionate about their art, a premium experience allows weekend visitors access to the gallery before the normal opening hour. Guided tours are also available and audio sets can be purchased to provide a verbal description of the artwork, saving you struggling to read the exhibition piece labels.
The works are on loan from the Accademia Carrara in Bergamo, Italy whilst it is closed for renovations. Paintings from renowned artists such as Raphael, Botticelli, Bellini and Titian will be among those on display until April 9, 2012.
For more information, visit the National Gallery’s website at http://www.nationalgallery.com.au/RENAISSANCE. Remember, tickets have to be pre-purchased through Ticketek and they are timed entry into the exhibition.
There will be many Madonnas with Child, a common
My tickets are booked - see you down there!
Hello, my name is Jak Mack, author of the children’s book: Pumpkinpie & The Amazingly Magical Market Garden. I nicknamed my daughter Pumpkinpie when she was a beautiful, bouncing baby girl. About 10 years ago, I had a sketch of a pumpkin pie character, drawn by my niece Lisa, tattooed on my chest. The tattoo of the smiling pumpkin, nestled on a crusty pie base, soon became the inspiration for my book. I visualized the sketch coming to life as a cartoon character and my imagination ran wild with other images of fruit and vegetable characters. This bizarre cartoon world would be led by Pumpkinpie, a vegie farmer. Real-life Australian bird and animal characters interact with the cartoon-styled fruit and vegies and together they run the farm while the human owners are oblivious to the magical world functioning around them. Each character has a metaphorical social message to pass on. The most important message is to always strive as hard as you can to achieve the best results possible in everything you do. In this case, ripeness. The book is aimed at 8-10 year olds to read themselves and is also perfect for parents to read short chapters to younger children each night before bed. I hope you enjoy the sample here in this great new magazine. Please feel free to write me a note via the red “contact” symbol on the home page of my colourful interactive children’s website at www.pumpkinpie.org. au. Cheers, Jak Mack
The Magical Fishing Trip Extract from Pumpkinpie & The Amazingly Magical Market Garden by Jak Mack Digga the farmhand lives in an old one-bedroom shack, high up on the hill next door to the Vegie Patch Farm. It was left to him by his grandfather. Overlooking the whole district, it has fabulous views in every direction. The old shack gets lots of sunshine in winter and cool breezes in summer. There are a couple of old tin work sheds with swinging double front doors, an open hay shed and three small yards for looking after young or sick animals. Digga’s grandfather made the fences for the yards himself. The posts and rails are from trees taken out of the paddocks he cleared many years ago. Digga parks the ute near the work sheds then quickly digs up some garden worms from the compost heap for bait. All clever gardeners have a compost heap where they throw their food leftovers. Worms break the scraps down by eating the rotten section and passing it through their bodies. When it comes out the other end it is healthy food for the soil called compost. Spreading compost on your plants and vegies is the best way to fertilise them naturally. With twenty or so worms in the tin, Digga goes into the shack to fetch his fishing gear. He puts a couple of snacks and a drink in his small esky to keep them cold. With everything in the back of the ute, Digga bounces into the front seat beside Zoomer, his Jack Russell dog who hasn’t left the ute. There’s no way he will be left behind, that’s for sure. Ten minutes later the two drive into a quiet spot next to the river. This is their secret fishing hole where Digga
has caught many silver perch, yellow belly perch and colourfully spotted Mary River cod. He remembers sitting here with his Pop under the towering river gum tree when he was young. The tree was a lot smaller thirty-five years ago. His grandfather had shown him how to tie a hook properly when he was only eight years old. Many fond memories flood into his mind from his childhood in the area. Digga looks up and sees the branch where his father tied a rope swing. “Most kids these days don’t get out and do any of these wonderful things Zoomer. It’s a shame really. TV and computers have turned them into people who don’t care so much for the great outdoors. This is the best and most fun place to live and work.” Zoomer fetches a perfect forked stick for a fishing rod holder. Digga slides a worm on the hook and casts his P.22
Working from home
Live the dream
Plan your own days, have time off when you need, control your own destiny. These are just some of the advantages of working from home. Being your own boss. It’s a dream that most of us have - shrugging off the shackles of the daily grind, and working for yourself rather than toiling for someone else. And the good news is, anyone can do it! I know, because I did it … and if I can do it, so can you. For me, the catalyst to leave the 9 to 5 existence was for family reasons. However, I didn’t count on all the other benefits that have come with working from home. Being able to spend extra time with my husband.
Giving myself a half day off every week to run errands. Being able to stop for an hour to have a cuppa with a friend. Being able to choose to work on a rainy weekend, then taking a little time on a sunny weekday to ride my horse. I’m sure that you can think of any number of ways that your life would be richer if you had the freedom to work your own hours! Without doubt, walking away from a regular salary is probably one of the most daunting things you will face.
However, thoroughly researching your potential business can help you gain the confidence you need to make the massive change in your life. My tips for those who are thinking about starting a home-based business:
Do your research
Identify your market, and research potential clientele and the income that your business could generate
for you. Consider what demand you may have for your business, and what competition is out there. Think about things you can do to set your business apart from everyone else.
Talk to an accountant
It is vital that you speak to an Accountant, before launching your new business. An accountant will be able to give you guidance on the most appropriate way to structure your business and manage your cashflow. Your accountant will also be able to advise you on what establishment and ongoing costs can be claimed on your tax, and what can’t. It is important that you have a good understanding of how a business is run, from a “under the hood” perspective. There’s a lot more to running a business than producing goods and/or services and selling them!
Talk to a business coach
little time to get rolling, so that you don’t hobble yourself before you start.
Hedge your bets
If you can, an excellent way to start a home-based business is to get it started part-time, whilst you are still working. Whilst this wasn’t really an option for me due to the nature of my profession, you may be able to trial your business idea by working it on weekends or at night. This can help you get a bit more of an idea of how it could work for you before making the leap.
Set yourself goals and guidelines
Set yourself realistic goals. There aren’t too many business opportunities out there that can make you a million dollars in your first year, so be kind to yourself
and focus on building your business steadily. For most of us, starting our own business is the culmination of a dream. It’s a means to getting us to where we want to be in life, and to achieve a lifestyle not generally available when you work for someone else. By taking your time to think it through, do your research and implement your plans carefully, you are setting yourself up for success. Believe in yourself, and you will be amazed at what you can achieve!!
Debbie Foale DipFS (FP), JP (Qual) Edendale Contracting Paraplanning, Training & Compliance Phone: (07) 4123 3573 Mobile: 0422 813022
Don’t be afraid to have a yarn to a business coach who can help you to decide what you want to achieve and then help you to actually do it.
Check with your local council
Depending on what sort of business you want to start, you may need to check with your local council to ensure that you are permitted to do the type of work you want to do from home. For example, if you want to set up a panel-beating shop in your back shed - there’s the chance that Council will have something to say about property zoning. If you’re planning on working in a home office (like I do), there’s generally nothing to worry about - but ask the question if you’re not sure.
Do your sums
New businesses generally take a little while to gather momentum, before your hoped-for income starts rolling in. One of the things you should think about is whether you have sufficient cash reserves or another income coming into the household to cover your living expenses whilst your business is getting going. Money pressure is one of the biggest stresses in life - make sure you have contingency plans if things take a
The Serious Bu siness Owner’s Guide to Crea Customers Fo ting r Life, by Fras er Co is available fro m Amazon.com ast business coach Steve Ba ker . Photos: JO CELYN WATTS
OMG! Having a reliable back-up system for your computer can save a lot of heartache, writes Julie-Ann Bradwyn. How many times have you heard someone say their computer has crashed and all the data has been lost? Any number of reasons can be the cause – from a computer crashing due to a hardware failure, to a power surge from a lightning strike, damage from viruses, to the cat knocking the laptop off the desk. I’ve heard them all and no matter why, it usually has ended in tears. The loss of emails and most of the electronic documents that we all accumulate over the years we can survive, but it is the loss of critical financial records and the irreplaceable photos of holidays, christenings, weddings and loved ones that really hurt us. Yet it is all so unnecessary and so easily avoided but few people know how. These days, there are a number of
My computer’s crashed and I’ve lost everything!
options. We can all buy a cheap USB stick just about anywhere, even from the local supermarket, to back up our data files on to, but truly, how many of us are diligent enough to do it on a regular basis? Not I. Then the other alternative is to buy a portable drive that is attached to the computer. It has a greater storage capacity than a USB stick and is more robust. Plus they often come with a program that copies the data from the computer and can be set to do it automatically. The downside can be they may only copy your data files, not your programs. That can be a trap that many people fall into. If you want to really play it safe, go the extra mile and buy some specialist backup software that you can set to run at a time of your choosing that copies both your datafiles and your programs. It’s just too easy but so few people know it exists and how accessible it is. You load it onto your computer like any other program, pick the frequency and time that you want it to run and then voila…., it creates a mirror image of your computer onto your external hard drive at the time you’ve selected. Too easy.
Mine is set to run every Sunday night at 7:30pm. By that time, I’ve settled down with a glass of wine to eat dinner or watch TV and I leave the software to do its thing. It’s a great feeling to know that if my laptop crashes, all I have to do is get the backup loaded onto a new computer or the repaired old one and all of my photos, financials, programs and digital certificates will be back again. Don’t be frightened off by the upfront cost either - $200 to $300 should cover a drive, the software and also a technician loading it if you aren’t confident to do it yourself. You can even sometimes download a trial version of the software to try it out and see if you like it before buying it. Backing up is something that we should all do and we all know it, but did you know how easy it can be? There’s really no excuse not to.
Julie-Ann Bradwyn Two Tone Electronics Computer Systems, Hervey Bay. 259 Boat Harbour Drive, Pialba QLD 4655. Ph: (07) 4128 3866
Dare to be different this Valentine’s day from 5cm to 13cm, with a thin but firm rind. It is low in fat and high in Vitamin C, containing about four times as much as an orange.
Say it with Chocolate Sapote It is so frustrating how everything goes up around Valentines Day, with roses tripling or quadrupling in price. How then, do you find a way of showing your appreciation of a loved one without being caught up in the commercialism of the day or paying an arm and a leg? If you want to avoid the typical presents that everyone gives, like flowers or chocolates, then why not consider buying something completely different, something that is enduring, like a plant? The plant I’m thinking of is the Chocolate Sapote tree, also known as the Chocolate Pudding Tree. Now you know why it’s perfect for Valentines Day! Diospyros digyna is actually a type of persimmon
By Julie-Ann Bradwyn that is native to eastern Mexico and Central America, extending as far south as Colombia. It is a lush evergreen tree that looks beautiful even without the added bounty of its fruit. The leaves are 10 to 30cm long, tapered at both ends and a dark glossy green. Mature trees can grow very tall but if the tip is cut out of the tree when it is about 2m high, it will promote bushier, wider growth and make it easier to pick the fruit. As they are frost sensitive and like a well drained soil, they do very well on the Fraser Coast. The fruit resembles a tomato and grows
The green fruit is picked when hard and allowed to soften and go brown within three to six days. When it is ripe, pressing the skin with your fingers should leave an indentation. The flesh inside a ripe fruit is a rich, dark brown colour and custard-like, with a sweet, nut-like flavour that resembles chocolate. Fruit can be cut in half and eaten fresh, or used as a chocolate substitute in recipes or milkshakes. Fruit pulp can be blended with yoghurt, milk, cream or ice-cream for a delicious dessert. Sounds scrumptious, doesn’t it? So this year, why not consider a Chocolate Sapote? Dare to be different and skip the roses. You would still be giving your loved one chocolate, but without the calories or caffeine.
“Weedidit weedidit weedidit”
Lure Noisy Miners with fruit and nectar By Don Watts
One of the joys of living on the Fraser Coast is being able to work in and around the garden pretty well 12 months of the year and to be able study and enjoy the multitude of wild life on offer. The simple selection and placement of trees and shrubs will open your garden to the splendours nature with the most prolific being birds. One bird species that is frequent in this area are the Miner birds (not to be confused with the Myna bird). Of the four varieties of Miner Birds the most common to us is the Noisy Miner also known as the Micky or Soldierbird. Noisy Miners are one of the most animated and aggressive species to visit the garden. They are especially noisy when a predator such as a goanna, crow or the household cat wonders into the garden and will fly around the intruder calling loudly and snapping its beak at it, which is possibly why it is also known as the Soldierbird’ Noisy Miners have adapted well to suburbia and our leafy gardens and green lawns. They’re easily identifiable with their incessant
Don Watts of Maryborough attracts Noisy Miners to his garden with pieces of fruit in a bowl. Below is its cousin, a Yellow Throated Miner, which is more commonly seen in Western Queensland where this fellow was photographed by Jocelyn Watts in Charleville.
chatter call of “pwee pwee pwee’” or the chuckling “weedidit weedidit weedidit”. Feeding mainly on insects in the upper tree covering they do enjoy fruit and nectar and will feed from a bird feeder placed near a tree. While they’ll have a go at most fruits they are very partial to PawPaw. Trees such as Banksia’s and Grevilleas are a great way of providing shelter and nectar for our Miner friends, These little blokes are real
entertainers when it comes to bath time, taking in turns to dive bomb into the bird bath or even the family pool and then retreating to a nearby fence or tree branch whilst they preen and clean their feathers. A close relative of the Noisy Miner is the Yellow Throated Miner. Almost identical to the Noisy excepting for a yellowish patch on the foreneck and a more pronounced white rump. It is not unheard of on the Fraser Coast but lives predominantly in drier area’s to the west of the Great Dividing Range. A keen eye is needed if you are to spot the difference. Miner birds have been wrongly linked with the introduced Myna bird which is of the Starling family and considered a pest in many areas. The Myna bird was introduced into Australia from south-east Asia in the 1860s and can be found in many parts of the country. They are a similar size to our native Miners but black to dark brown in colour with larger yellow feet and have a bandy walk.
If your idea of a great holiday is really getting away from it all and relaxing in a natural paradise, then salvation is close at hand at Queensland’s Hervey Bay and neighbouring Fraser Island. A three-hour drive or 40-minute flight north of Brisbane transports you into an official stress-free holiday zone, complete with sweeping golden beaches, safe swimming waters, aquatic adventures and an unspoiled island wilderness.
Hervey Bay’s endless choice of safe, warm swimming waters offers families the ideal aquatic playground. Set along 20km of pristine calm-water beaches, the bay is a haven for swimming, sailing, boating, fishing, diving, water and jet skiing, windsurfing and snorkelling. A wonderful holiday destination in its own right, Hervey Bay is also the gateway to the world’s largest sand island and nature lover’s paradise – Fraser Island. The World Heritage-listed Fraser Island is an ecological masterpiece of giant sand dunes, rainforests, open beaches, freshwater streams and lakes and an exceptional range of unique flora and fauna. For those looking for the ultimate island getaway, it is impossible to look past the award-winning Kingfisher Bay resort where the days are spent lazing around the pool, sunning on the resort’s private stretch of sand, fishing from the jetty or messing about in boats. At Kingfisher Bay, you can do as little or as much as you want,
with choices ranging from superb dining and indulgent massages and spas, to guided nature hikes and picnics. Kingfisher Bay also caters for kids of all ages, with two swimming pools and adventures such as fishing, canoeing, orienteering and night spotlighting around the resort.
To explore the island you can hire a four-wheel drive and take to the sand tracks on your own voyage of discovery. For those who want to sit back and have it all done for them, Kingfisher Bay Resort has an excellent range of daily ranger-guided four-wheel drive tours to choose from. Once you have four wheels,
the island is yours to explore. A good starting point is the superb white sandy beach stretching for 75 miles on the eastern side of the island. This sweeping beach provides an endless horizon of sand fringed by the ocean and is home to some of the best surf fishing in Australia. Along the beach
you will find one of the islandâ€™s most visited attractions - the wreck of the Maheno (formerly a World War II hospital ship) and the landmark rocky outcrops of Indian Head, Waddy Point and Middle Rocks. Fraser Island has more than 100 lakes. The most popular for swimming and picnicking
are spectacular lakes nestled at the edge of Hammerstone Sand Blow and the picture-perfect Basin Lake. The contrasts on the island are breathtaking - from the stark contours of the huge sand blows to the clear fresh water creeks winding through ancient rainforests growing in sand.
Photo: JOCELYN WATTS
the wild side
These photos were taken by Pam McKay while holidaying in North Queensland. Do You have favourite holiday photos you’d like to share too? If so, email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Digga’s catch that didn’t get away Continued from Page 13
line in under a low hanging willow branch. The leaves hang so low they brush the water’s surface. “Okay little fishes, here’s a nice juicy worm for dinner. Now come and play with ol’ Digga.” Lying back, he rests his head on a tuft of green grass. It feels like a soft pillow. His head is high enough to watch the river flowing quietly by. His ears are filled with sounds of cattle softly bellowing in the distance. The cows’ moos mix in perfectly with the birds singing. These sounds are the same anywhere in the valley. He can hear the cheeky swallows shriek and twitter in triumph as they swoop low
along the river catching insects. One of the swallows gliding just above the ripples on the water is suddenly startled by a fish jumping into the air only centimetres from his beak. With a quick flick of his wings and tail, the swallow turns sharply. As it rises high above the water the fish snatches the moth from the air and returns to the river with a loud splash. The swallow will need to find another insect for dinner. A gentle evening breeze makes the leaves sound like they are whispering. “This must be what it’s like in heaven,” Digga says to himself as he drifts off to sleep. Suddenly the tip of his fishing rod
bounces. It bounces again, then ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ, the fishing reel screams as the fish pulls out more line. With the rod bending sharply, the fish races off up the river with the worm in its mouth and Zoomer begins barking. Springing to his feet Digga snatches the fishing rod from its holder. First the fish goes upstream against the current. Then it swims back the other way twice as fast, along with the flow of the river. He fights and plays with the fish for a few minutes to stop it from tangling the line around a log or rock. Once the fish is tired, Digga can finally bring it up on to the river bank. “Wow Zoom, it’s a lovely big silver perch.”
Photo: JOCELYN WATTS
Blueberry & White Chocolate Muffins
Ingredients - What you’ll need to make 12 Muffins:
By Debbie Foale For me, one of life’s greatest pleasures is to relax in the garden, with a cup of coffee and a good book. To add an extra element of indulgence, I love to whip up a batch of these family favourites - my Blueberry and White Chocolate Muffins. Either fresh out of the oven or reheated later on, these muffins are a wonderful addition to any morning or afternoon tea. Delicious and superbly easy to make, I’m delighted to share them with you.
2 cups of self-raising flour 1/2 cup of raw sugar 1 egg, lightly beaten 250ml milk 80g butter, melted 1 tsp Vanilla 1 punnet of fresh blueberries 1 small packet of white chocolate buds (approx 100g)
12 x 1/3 cup capacity muffin tray 12 large paper muffin cases
Method - How it’s done:
1. Preheat the oven to 190°C 2. Mix the flour and sugar together in a large mixing bowl 3. Place the egg, milk, melted butter and vanilla in a mixing jug and whisk together until well combined and creamy. 4. Pour the mixed wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and fold
together with a large spoon until well combined. 5. Add the blueberries and white chocolate buds, and gently stir these into the mixture blueberries are delicate, and they break easily! 6. Spoon the mixture evenly into the prepared muffin cases. Bake for 20 minutes or until a fine skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. 7. Leave the muffins to cool in the muffin pan for 5 minutes, before lifting them out onto a wire rack to cool completely. The only thing left to do is enjoy! If you have the patience to let them cool completely before eating one, you’re better than me! These muffins keep beautifully in the fridge (in a sealed container) for about a week, and you can pop them into the microwave for about 20 seconds to have them piping hot again. Enjoy on their own or with a dob of butter, I’m sure you’ll be as addicted to them as I am!