Anne Marie's Australian Adventure

Follow the Adventures of Anne Marie, Fergus, Cooper and Bean Sidhe in Australia!!

Archive for May, 2008

A word about…garbage

Posted by Anne Marie Serrano on May 31, 2008

There are many things I Iike about living in Australia but I must tell you garbage and the collection of it really impresses me. They are very good about recycling here in Canberra and I’m assuming in the rest of the country as well. You get two trash containers(everyone has the same trash cans owned by the government, one for actual garbage – food scraps. etc. and one for recyclables). You don’t need to separate the glass from the paper, or the cardboard,  you don’t have to take it to a recycle center, and you don’t have a tiny bin to put it all in you get a full size trash container for it all – in fact it is even larger than the regular trash can.

They pick up the trash every week but only pick up the recycle bin every other week. They have these trash collection trucks that grab the bins and tip them into the collection truck. That’s the reason they all have to be the same style trash cans. The yellow lidded cans are the recycle bins. I tried to get a picture of that but my timing was off and it tipped it all in before I could snap the picture. At the markets – those weekend farmers markets- they even have two separate bins. Now this maybe happening in many places in the US but in Kansas they don’t even recycle unless you do it yourself and even then it’s hard to find a location to take your recycle materials to.

In contrast if you go to a park or even in the malls you can never find a trash can. At the mall, the cafes or food stands may have some trash cans, and the food courts have them, but you don’t find many as you walk thru the hall ways.  Canberra is famous for it’s lakeside walking paths, the nature reserves, parks and green beltways through the subburbs (or what we would call neighborhoods). With all of this public access area you would think that they would provide trash cans along the way. But they are scarce especially when you need one. They encourage people to pick up after their dogs and for the most part people are really good about it – and we have been very diligent about taking a roll of blue poop bags with us – but then we have to walk around carrying these colorful but often disgusting packages of recycled materials from our dogs’ last meal. I don’t get it.

Over all, Oz is a very “green” country. We (our little family) generate A LOT of waste – paper mostly from us and the other kind of waste from the dogs. It’s nice to know some of it recyclable.

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Flora and Fauna

Posted by Anne Marie Serrano on May 17, 2008

I haven’t written for a while – sorry. It’s probably because we have been getting settled into the house and a routine which can be very boring. I have done some fun things between the normal grocery shopping and house maintenance. Britt Moore and I went to the Australian National Botanic Gardens just a few blocks walk from the house. It is unusual in that it has areas devoted to natural fauna of the various Australian regions – which includes a rainforest and an interesting rock garden.Wallaby

Our walk was more social rather than educational since we didn’t read all the informational signs along the path We came across a cute little wallaby munching on a plant and he was not frightened at all so I got lots of pictures of him. We were so close I didn’t need to zoom in too much. Wallaby on our walk.

Too cute!!!There is a great gift shop. I am finding that the best places to buy Australian merchandise is in these shops rather than in the stores – not that I have gotten much stuff but the quality and the variety is much better.

There is also a nice cafe on the premises. We had a snack and coffee. I tell you the coffee in Australia is great. A latte with no-form which is the way I like it, is called a flat white. I had to finally ask someone what a flat white was to figure it out. Starbucks is everywhere but it isn’t any better or worse than any of the little coffee shops you find everywhere around here. 

Outside our kitchen window is a bird feeder. We have enjoyed watching the wide range of birds that have been feasting. There have been the usual pigeons (some with crown feathers and the regular ones), sparrows – I wasn’t sure if there where any here but there are – and then the colorful ones. One morning we saw nine Sulfur-crested cockatoos all around the feeder. Here are just a few pictures of some that we have seen.

 

Pretty bird.

Cockatoos at the feeder.Where\'s your pirate?

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Meet the Moores

Posted by Anne Marie Serrano on May 1, 2008

Britt and Pat Moore are a couple from Ashland, Oregon who are over here like us. Pat is an Emergency Doctor working with Fergus. They are only staying for six months and are half way through their assignment. We went out to dinner with them last week at a great Japanese restaurant. They have been very helpful regarding the job logistics, suggestions for places to visit outside of Canberra and good places to eat in Canberra.

On Tuesday Britt and I met for lunch at a nice cafe with sidewalk seating. The morning was rather brisk (it’s Fall remember) but we sat in the sun and it was nice.  I had the dogs in the car because we had driven Fergus to work that morning so after lunch she and I walked the kids to the top of Red Hill. What beautiful views in all directions. Red Hill happens to be the area where I saw the kangaroos a couple of weeks ago. We didn’t see any on this day however.

I hope you’ve all had a chance to log onto google earth and take a look at the area. We are in Turner just west of City Centre. The next entry will be pictures of the house and yard. I’ll tell you more about it in that episode.

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