Wet and Aggressive Corella challenges Magpie

Wet and Aggressive Corella challenges Magpie

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Sunday Selections #121

Sunday Selections was originally brought to us by Kim, of Frogpondsrock, as an ongoing meme where participants could post previously unused photos languishing in their files. 

The meme is now continued by River at Drifting through life.  The rules are so simple as to be almost non-existent.  Post some photos under the title Sunday Selections and link back to River.

Like River I generally run with a theme. And this week it is a doozy.

Canberra turned 100 in March this year.  We have been celebrating ALL year.  One of the presents we gave ourselves was a balloon.  And what a balloon.

On Monday I got up very early and checked on line.  Yes, it was going to fly.  So I woke the smaller portion up (and remember this is someone who springs out of bed at the crack of noon).  He, reluctantly, headed into the shower, and I went back on line to see where the balloon was flying from.  Oops.  Cancelled due to impending rain.  Not a happy chappy.

Yesterday morning we tried again.  First we headed off to where we were told the balloon would (probably) be inflated.



It was very pretty (albeit chilly) but there were no balloons.  We waited.  I took a photo of a squid which was lurking on top of our interactive science museum Questacon, and waited some more.



Eventually we  were told that the balloon was on the other side of town and might be flying.  So off we went.

And it wasn't there either.  So we turned on the radio and got further clues.  Not very good ones.  Finally we found the spot where the action, if there was any, was going to happen.

And shortly afterwards things did start to move...









 These balloons are lovely but they are NOT our birthday balloon.  Our birthday balloon is called Skywhale, is huge (more than twice as big as other balloons) and is the subject of rather a lot of controversy.  And criticism.

The next two photos are of the lady herself - and in the next few days I will devote a whole post and many more photos to her.  Stay tuned (please).





76 comments:

  1. Wow, Skywhale is amazing, and also scares the willies out of me. She looks like she has long breasts hanging off her on either side too. What an amazing construction! Tuned I shall be *smiles.

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    1. All Consuming: Breasts they are - ten of them. Though I did see an article from a man who wondered whether they were breasts or testicles (?!).

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    2. Some men just can't stand not getting all of the attention.

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    3. Paper Chipmunk (aka Ellen): Perhaps it was the inflated size that made him think that they were testicles.

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    4. But testicles don't have nipples.

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    5. Skywhale is the distant relative you hear nasty rumors about as a child, but never met, the eccentric of the family, the woman who never married and is ridiculed and gossiped about. But when you go to meet her, her house is magical, with all sorts of nooks and crannies and street art and hanging windchimes and bird feeders and flowers and you, along with everybody else, including all children, feel immediately comfortable and welcomed. That's the feeling I get from Skywhale.

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  2. Well, definately unique and artistic and big ... I can see why you might be attached to her. I am excited to learn more about her and how she became your BD Balloon. Meanwhile, sorry for all the running you had to do to find her, but it was well worth it in the end. The only time I have seen a Balloon festival was in Colorado where they have wide open spaces and some pretty amazing scenery to observe from way up there. Here there is too much air traffic and if you do get up, all you will see is miles of corn and bean fields. So a treat it is to see your lady. Looking forward to more ...

    Andrea @ From The Sol

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    1. Andrea: She is certainly quirky. We have a balloon festival in March each year. I have gone up a few times, and always try and get to a least one launch. Magic.

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  3. Balloons are simply amazing. Simple and amazing... and gorgeous! All those colors... brilliant!

    I've often thought of visiting New Mexico when they have the great balloon launch but have yet to make it. Maybe it'll make it to my bucket list :)

    and Skywhale is glorious!! I can't wait to read more about her!

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    1. Sherri: Balloons are one of my most favourite things. If you get the chance to go to a giant launch - go!

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  4. You are actually going up in it?

    If so, I hope you don't (or didn't) drop the camera.

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    1. Don QuiScottie: Not this time. I have been up in balloons several times and LOVED it. I am not certain I could get into the basket now, but haven't given up yet.

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  5. Love balloons - from the ground. Went up in one once and my hair almost caught fire. The most terrifying hour of my life.

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    1. Wendy aka Quillfeather: I love them too - from the ground or in the air. I get frightened in planes, but am happy in balloons - though almost burning your hair would be terrifying.

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  6. Wait, you mean you went through all that rigamarole and didn't even get to RIDE in the damn thing??? Oh well, the photo ops were worth the trouble - the balloons are just beautiful, especially in that early morning light! (No, really SP, it was worth getting up at oh-dark:30, trust us!) :-)

    Love the squid on the roof, but must admit - I'm speechless (and this happens so rarely) over Skywhale. Truly, are those boobies dangling off her sides? She looks like the love-child of a turtle, a camel, a lizard, a parrot, and this poor creature (that was some tryst!) but I see no resemblance whatsoever to a whale. Soooo, I'm looking forward (I think) to your more detailed post and (gulp) additional photos. ;-)

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    1. Laloofah: Not this year. Watching the launch was magic too though (and the smaller portion did later say that he had liked it too).
      Skywhale is quite something isn't she?

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  7. Quite an interesting balloon that Skywhale! They are all actually beautiful. I went for a balloon ride one extremely cold January in California over the Lancaster area. I might have had the start of frostbite on my toes by the time we landed, but it was wonderful.

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    1. Cindi Summerlin: Wonderful, and worth it. I think they are incredible, and I love the view as well. The first time I went up I went with my youngest brother who is scared of heights. Less than ten minutes into the flight he was using his sharp pointy elbows to get a better vantage point.

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  8. Wow. Who decided on that one? BTW I am still wondering about the inflatable crustacean.

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    1. Riot Kitty: The squid isn't inflatable, but simply sits on the roof and admires the view. And yes, skywhale IS controversial. Very.

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  9. Well that is quite a unique balloon! I'm glad you got to see it. :)

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    1. Lynn: I was very, very happy to see her - and watching her inflate was special too.

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  10. You certainly had the run around to find that special balloon but glad you finally made it. We saw it on the TV news here but it was hard to make out exactly what it was so thank you for your pics and look forward to more of them. I will reserve my judgement about that particular balloon though as not sure (or heard) what its message is.
    Ballooning is part of life up in Northam (60 miles north-east of Perth) but I've never been to see them nor been tempted to ride in one but admit they are truly beautiful. Not cheap...about $230 per ride. Loved that squid.

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    1. Mimsie: I have been given balloon rides for significant birthdays - and have loved it. Just the same, watching them is also a joy.

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  11. Oh!!! I love balloons! It is always a delight to see them up in the sky, floating by. I get a real kick out if it!

    And, what a wonderful, strange and fantastical being your balloon is. I eagerly await her story.
    Staying tuned :)

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    1. Vicki: Magic in the air. During our balloon festival in March there can be dozens of them flying and it makes my heart sing.

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  12. Looking forward to more photos - I think. Very strange and not a little scary... Glad you managed to track it/her down, though!

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    1. Alexia: She is certainly different. Some people love her, and naturally others hate her...

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  13. Oh I love hot air ballons! We have a festival every August, but it's always too hot for me to go.

    Excellent shots EC, but.......ummmmmmm...gosh, those look like droppy breasts hanging off the side of the Skywhale.

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    1. Karen: Our balloon festival is in early Autumn so it is just about perfect by my standards. And yes, those mammaries have never known a bra have they?

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  14. She's quite a balloon. You're right. A real doozie. (And it made me smile that you used that word. Nice to know I'm not the only one way says it.) Hmmm, reckon that whale can make it around the world in 80 days...?

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    1. Susan: She is not a fast moving balloon, but adventurous. So... perhaps.

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  15. Good heavens, A whale with dangling mammaries! Well, vive la difference though crossing species, even on a balloon is not exactly my cup of tea. Love the sky shots and you did have a lovely, if cold and extended drive.
    We were going up in a ballon with Wally Wallington but did not make it to Canberra before he died. I believe his son took over the scenic flight business. Wally was a good friend. Now of course, it is much too dangerous for me to try it.

    Re. my violet, I cheated a little, I do have lots starting to flower but in the dark this was the only one I could find.
    PS I wish I knew your name, I have been blogging under my maiden name because my husband was too well known. So I understand there can be complications. Just Jane or Mary or whatever your Monica is . . .

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    1. Arija: What a little, little world it is. You are right - John has taken over his father's business. I was friends with John's sister growing up, though we have lost contact now.
      It was a beautiful start to the day and I much prefer a cool start to the alternative.
      I answer to EC, sue, soo or soosie. Among other things.

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    2. All of the above will do, thanks.

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  16. Beautiful ? Not to my eyes. Different? Certainly. Who cares - it's a b'loooon and I love b'loooons.

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    1. dinahmow: Snap. Love, love, love them all.

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  17. Skywhale looks a lot like my Portuguese grandma, kindly and tall --I was little. My first impulse is to hug it and show it a crayola drawing.

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    1. Geo: I liked the lipstick she is certainly wearing and her kindly eyes. I never knew my grandparents but like the thought of a skywhale granny. And she does look as if she would appreciate a crayola drawing too.

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  18. Now that is a different kind of balloon! I like it!

    And nice shots of the dawn.

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    1. ladyfi: She is a little out of the usual isn't she?

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  19. I thought it was a joke when a cartoonist at Crikey made reference to it. Bizarre!

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    1. J Cosmo Newbery: I suppose she could be looked at as bizarre, but I prefer to think of her as 'quirky'.

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  20. I enjoyed your giant balloon squid mounting that building. I'd rather live life seeing weird things more frequently. And that skywhale is nifty!

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    1. John Wiswell: I certainly think that we should see, and celebrate the unusual much more than we do.

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  21. I would have been severely agitated by the lack of good information and abundance of misdirection! Not a great way to start the morning. Grrrr
    Beautiful photos for your efforts, though, and I love the squid! I snorted my tea when I got to the Skywhale...I trust you will explain to us intensely curious folk as to the symbolism of the breasts sprouting off her back?!
    Until you do offer a plausible explanation, I'm afraid I won't quit chuckling. Ah, well, maybe that was the purpose - though I doubt it. :)

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    1. Laura Eno: It was the smaller portion who suffered most. I like the early morning. He doesn't. It was worth the running around though - for both of us.

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  22. LOVE the squid! And the other balloons too. But the Skywhale?
    Not so much. All those boobies, ugh.
    What is she supposed to represent? The government feeding the nation? because they've got that wrong. It's us who feeds them. Our taxes, that fatten their coffers and which are then fed back to us in drips rather than streams.

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    1. River: You are not alone. This is a local government initiative, not a federal one, but there are still a lot of people who don't like Skywhale. At all.

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  23. Whoa, that's certainly a unique balloon. "Stay tuned" I will...

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    1. Ron Dudley: The one and only Skywhale.

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  24. Well, you certainly have gotten a lot of comments over that balloon. It's like nothing I've ever seen before, and I look forward to hearing more about SkyWhale! Wow, EC, you were right to track her down and get some pictures. More to come? I can't wait! :-)

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    1. DJan: I am very, very pleased that we did find her. And the other balloons. Balloons (big or small) always lift my spirits.

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  25. Incredible!

    Love to you, S. XXXxxxOOO

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    1. My Inner Chick: Isn't she? Thank you - and to you.

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  26. What fun! Happy Birthday to your wonderful city!


    Aloha dear Friend

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    1. Cloudia: I think so too. And I don't think there is enough fun in this world.

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  27. Aha, this posting sort of um left me up in the air. Those balloon photos are most interesting. Happy birthday centennial wishes to your amazing city. I was going to leave a long, rambling comment, but it would be all you 'Canberra'.

    Cheerio for now.

    Gary :)

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    1. klahanie: No, I could bear a lot more than that...

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  28. Hi Sue! I can certainly understand why Skywhale has gotten a lot of controversy and criticism!! Whoa, momma!! Very strange and scary to me! :)
    I'm SO glad you did manage to find the right place, though. And I DO love hot air balloons. See many in the air, but never ridden in one...yet.. It's funny because I'm not a bit afraid to fly, but get me a few feet off the ground and my stomach does flips. It's on my Bucket List, though!

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    1. BECKY: She is certainly different. And, if you get the chance, take a balloon flight. They are incredible. Amazing. So very, very beautiful.

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    2. Thanks, Sue! WHEN I do take a balloon flight....I will think of you...and maybe call you from my cell phone!! Do you think it would work???!!! :)

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    3. BECKY: I have been soooo excited while on balloon flights that I don't think a mobile phone would be needed. International squeals of delight.

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    4. Ahhhh, I think you are correct!! :)

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  29. I admit to cheating and reading the newer post first ... Skywhale is a bit shocking with all those unfettered mammaries, and it makes my chest hurt in solidarity with her, but this is why artists are artists - they see things differently, and share it with the rest of us. Sometimes we like what they share, and sometimes we don't, and sometimes we can get used to it after the shock wears off :)

    I would LOVE to go up in a balloon!

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    1. jenny_o: Ballooning is magic. Expensive, and magic just the same.
      I would love to be an artist, and not just an appreciator.

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    2. ...says the woman who takes amazing photographs and interprets her world so beautifully through words that she has more active followers than almost anyone else I know in the blogosphere. Not an artist!

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    3. Paper Chipmunk (aka Ellen): Sadly no. An appreciator and happy to share, but not a creator. And the blogosphere has been so very good to me, and for me.

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  30. EC, the way I look at it, there has to be an audience for the art to have life, whether the art is painting, dance, books, or hot air balloons :)

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    1. jenny_o: I know that appreciators are necessary - essential even, but greedy me would still like to be a creator AND an appreciator.

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  31. Dear EC, for 36 years I lived in Stillwater, Minnesota. It is a river town, situated right across the St. Croix River from Wisconsin. The river stretches for many miles and empties into the Mississippi. The river valley is lovely, with small towns dotting the shore line and many trees and birds, especially eagles.

    One of the wonders of living in Stillwater was hearing the sound of escaping gas on summer weekends. The cats and I would rush outside and look up into the sky and see the balloons floating by. Often they were so low that we could see the sky riders waving to us and hear echos of their greetings. Good memories that you brought back with your posting. Peace.

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    1. Dee: I am so glad to have brought back good memories of these beautiful things.

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  32. Love balloons. And that squid. Sorry I missed visiting here yesterday. Life called :)

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    1. Carol Kilgore: It is nice to see you, whenever you can drop by. No apologies though - life does get in the way sometimes. As it should.

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  33. What amazing art first of all. As far as taking a flight, oh no no no no, I'll spectate thank you. Amazing though.

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    1. Deb: On the ground or in the air, I do love to watch balloons.

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