Wet and Aggressive Corella challenges Magpie

Wet and Aggressive Corella challenges Magpie

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Sunday Selections #163

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 usually run with a theme.  And this week it is one which has made my heart sing.  I am a hot-air balloon tragic and each March we have a balloon festival.  Lots of balloons and ordinarily a 'feature' balloon or two.  This year they were SkyWhale (which some of you will remember) and a pirate parrot.

His high and skinniness had a very bad night on Wednesday, and gave up and got up around 4am.  As a rule he is decidedly a 'spring out of bed at the crack of noon' person, so I took advantage of this, and we headed off a little before six to see the balloons inflated and take off. 

I took around 934, 711 photos (conservatively speaking).  A few of them follow.  Clicking on the photos will, of course, embiggen them.














Despite rather a lot of cloud it was a magical morning.  The sunrise was lovely too.

I have cajoled my youngest brother, and we are heading out shortly in the hopes of seeing it all over again (though it is quite windy, so I am a bit worried that it won't happen today).  More photos will follow later this week.

Update:  Sadly the wind continued, and we didn't get to see them today.  How lucky that the smaller portion had a bad night earlier this week.  And yes, I do feel a bit guilty for saying that.  A bit.

96 comments:

  1. I LOVE the pirate and parrot. They are great, and yes I remember the interesting Sky Whale, too. Sorry to hear he had a bad night, but it turned out good for me, since I got to see these pictures. Hope he's better by now. Sending you both hugs. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. DJan: So much fun. And thank you for the hugs.

      Delete
  2. The unique shape ones are so cool. Looks like it was well worth it to get out there early. You got some great shots.
    I've been to balloon launches before dawn and nothing is weirder than hearing one blast gas right over your head in the dark.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Alex J. Cavanaugh: Hearing those jets just above your head is fairly weird too.

      Delete
  3. OMG, that is a lot do photos Sue. I am terrible for taking too many and never deleting them. Those balloons a fabulous ~ so colourful. How could you not smile when you see them ~ even at that hour of the morning. Have a wonderful Sunday :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Carol in Cairns: I am an early riser so it is easier for me - but yes, they ALWAYS produce a smile. A broad one.

      Delete
  4. Riding in a hot air balloon is on my Bucket List.

    Ummm....are those nipples in that last pictures?

    I hope His High and Skinniness is feeling better.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Birdie: I have now flown in them three times - and loved it. Pure magic. Floating gently above the ground, close enough to appreciate the view.
      Yes, those are nipples. SkyWhale has five boobs on each side. A very, very maternal creature.

      Delete
  5. Higher higher higher, lovely hot air balloons.

    ReplyDelete
  6. There are some weird balloons there, the likes of which we don't see in Melbourne and so many people at the launch site. The parrot one is rather good.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Andrew: I think that watching the balloons inflate and take to the skies has become a bit of a tradition. I certainly try and get there at least once every year. And I did like the peg-leg parrot. And the skull n crossbones on his shoulder...

      Delete
  7. I sure The Skinny One's bad night was forgotten...to a degree...when you were both out an about in the early morn to see the balloons and enjoy the crisp, pureness of sunrise.

    Although there appears there was a lot of hot air about rather than the crisp chill of early morning!

    Have a great week, EC. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lee: It was a wonderful use of a morning. He was already up, so doing something pleasant was a gift.

      Delete
  8. I went to a balloon fesival a few years back when we were in Colorado ... I can tell you, you will never get enough pictures of them. They are so beautiful and cute in the case of your parrot pirate and well ... how does one describe the whale ... hmmmm. Great pictures and I am looking forward to more of them later this week. We are celebrating St.Patricks Day here this week so I should be coming up with lots of green pictures sometime soon. Hope the SP is feeling better. I don't like that he had a bad night and I understand you being a bit quilty for saying it was a good thing :) ... but then, it was, wasn't it? Be well EC ...

    Andrea @ FromThe Sol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Andrea: Isn't it an amazing sight watching balloon after balloon fill, fly and soar...
      If I knew where my guilt button was I would disconnect it. Permanently. It gives me a lot of grief about things I cannot change.
      I am looking forward to your greenery.

      Delete
  9. What a treat....something I've always wanted to see and/or go up in one. Sorry about the bad night, still no date, I am assuming?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gillie: No, no date. Sigh. And I love balloons. Flying in them, or just watching them drift across the sky. Bliss.

      Delete
  10. Oh, I would love to see a balloon festival! These are really fun photos. I especially like the very last one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kathleen Cassen Mickelson: This festival (now renamed the balloon spectacular) is an annual event here. And a delight. And I am fond of SkyWhale too, though a lot of people loathe her. Quirkiness is always welcome in my world.

      Delete
  11. I love to see hot air balloons in the air but have no wish to ride in one, they just go too high.
    Merle.............

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Merlesworld: I don't like flying in planes - but balloons are a different matter. Weird isn't it?

      Delete
  12. have always enjoyed looking at balloons! If they got high enough a parachute would help I might consider riding in one! ha ha ha ha I can just picture me all 285 lbs. scared witless trying to take a balloon ride! very nice pictures. thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. mohave rat: The first time I went up I was with my brother, who is afraid of heights. He spent about the first minute cringing - then his sharp pointy elbows came into play as he got into a better viewing position.

      Delete
  13. Great shots of the balloons. Some real imagination went into designing those.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Delores: Imagination and rather a lot of skill. I forget how many pieces there are in SkyWhale - but it is a LOT.

      Delete
  14. How wonderful you got to go! What fun photos. I especially like the lighting in the second--magical! It's really beautiful. And I especially like the design of the last one…

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Paper Chimpmunk (aka Ellen): It was very lucky that we did go last week. This morning was the last morning - and too windy to fly. It was very dark when we arrived - and watching the balloons inflate was magic. And I too am a fan of SkyWhale - though lots are not.

      Delete
  15. Well worth the early rise to see that, not that the smaller portion had much choice so far as rising goes, but at least the pain was exchanged for some pleasure. I envy you these giant balloon-fests, we have nothing like it anywhere reachable at all. Have you ever been up in one? Would you?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. All Consuming: Been up in one three times now. Loved each and every trip. I don't think I could any longer - couldn't get into it safely. There were more than twenty of them up at once - and it was an incredible sight. Small as balloon festivals go - but so very beautiful.

      Delete
    2. Wow. I can't climb step ladder more than three rungs up, so a hot air balloon ride seems like something out of a science fiction story to me. Pleased you've had the chance to enjoy them though. If you took any piccies from the air I'd love to see them.

      Delete
    3. All Consuming: Of course there are photos. I will hunt some out and send them to you later today.

      Delete
  16. Absolutely wonderful. So the SP's bad night had a silver lining, so to speak. I love watching them fly - the nearest festival to me is over an hour's drive away, but this selection makes me think it might be worth getting up really really early - their event is on from the 26th to the 30th, so I'm thinking about going on the Sunday. It would be worth it to see something so spectacular.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Alexia: Could you stay the night somewhere close to the launch? It really is an incredible sight.

      Delete
  17. Reminds of the hot air balloon show I saw as a kid. When I was 3 years old I was terrified of them. I can't remember exactly why.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Adam: Possibly it was the noise of the gas jets which frightened you - they are surprisingly loud. How do you feel about balloons now?

      Delete
  18. I am awfully sorry that your SP had a bad night, truly. I hope his spirits brightened when he saw the balloons.
    And, I hope he has had better nights since. Good sleep is so important.

    Honestly, since last years post, I've been eagerly awaiting your balloon festival, and hoping that you'd have many photos to choose from for us. So very glad you have. They are wonderful - even the grey skies.
    I would've been as excited as a wee child if I had been there :)

    My heart soared almost as high as the balloons in your images when I saw them!
    I love, love, love the pirate parrot! What a hoot! So cleverly made. Pure fantasy, right out of a childrens book.
    I can't imagine how wonderful it must be to see in person.
    And, the elegant, surreal and beautiful skywhale returned in all her ripe and luscious splendour. She is very, very special.
    Imagine being able to sail the skies in her basket belly.

    Thank you SO much for these photos, EC. You've got me daydreaming for a while. And, that's a good thing.
    One day, I hope to go on a balloon ride. A bucket list item I think. Imagine viewing the world from the oldest form of "human" flight.
    Up, up and awayyyy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Vicki: Peg-leg Pete is a heap of fun isn't he? So clever. So bright. And as I type this response I can feel the reminiscent smile grow. The balloon festival is a joy - and yes, there are more photos to come. SkyWhale's mammary glands found their way into rather a lot of photos - and she and Peg-leg were inflated next to each other.
      I am so very glad that you enjoyed coming with me today.

      Delete
  19. I am so glad you got to see the balloons, although sorry SP was feeling poorly. It must be magical to actually be there as they are launching (I've never been, so have to use my imagination). I do remember Sky Whale! Glad she's back.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. jenny_o: It is such a magical experience to watch the balloons inflate, start to rise - and take to the air. The occupants of the baskets have smiles from ear to ear - and so do the watchers.

      Delete
  20. Cool photos! I love sky whale! Sorry the Skinny One is not feeling well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Karen: I thought of you when I realised how many photos I had taken - in a fairly short time period too. But it was just soooo much fun.

      Delete
  21. Fantastic photos EC!! I'm rather glad SP had a bad night so you got to go. Sorry he had a bad night, but glad you got to take advantage of it. I hope he is feeling better now.
    I wish so much we had a similar event here in SA that I could either go to or at least see balloons flying over.
    Love the Pirate Parrot and that smiling black one with the little bow tie.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. River: We are having less bad days than we were, and I think that this was the very best use we could possibly put it to. And I am so glad that you enjoyed the balloons with me. The smiler with the bow tie is cute isn't it?

      Delete
  22. Now that is quite an assortment, all unique in their own way. I did rather like the pirate parrot.
    I have never seen anything like that. It is 60 miles to go to Northam where ballooning takes place regularly. We'd have to be up far too early in the morning to catch it so will just have to share and enjoy your experiences.
    Thank you so much for sharing even if it meant that the SP had a bad night. Let's hope they get that op over and done with soon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mimsie: I am so glad you liked them. And yes, Peg-leg Pete was fun. I wonder what feature balloon we will have next year.
      No date for surgery yet. Hiss and spit.

      Delete
  23. The second photo is my favorite. It's about loving the sport.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Joanne Noragon: Or loving the spectacle - which rather a lot of us did.

      Delete
  24. The biggest Balloon Festival I know of in the United States is in Albuquerque, New Mexico every year. Once we had the privilege of driving through when the balloons were in the air and it was absolutely spectacular. It would be very easy to develop a passion for the sport.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Grannie Annie: Very, very easy. I would love to see a giant balloon festival. Some year...

      Delete
  25. Oh that looks amazing!! My kids would love it! Hubby and I took a balloon ride on our 1 year anniversary and it was such a fun experience!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pk Hrezo: It is fun isn't it? So gentle...

      Delete
  26. Less than a million photos? I'm disappointed :-)

    They look absolutely spectacular, don't they? I bet you have a sore neck from rubber necking. I love the more unusual looking ones, although the classic shape is really elegant. They have balloon flights over Stockholm in the summer months, so we sometimes see them gliding over us when we are sailing through the archipelago.

    I had a fascination with balloons when I was younger, probably fuelled by my morbid interest in Andrée's 1897 expedition to the North Pole by balloon (yes, I was a weird child as well), however a dear friend's sister was killed in a balloon accident at Alice Springs in the late '80s, so I sort of lost the nerve to try it. But they are beautiful to watch.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Marie: I do have some restraint. Sometimes. And yes, both of us rubber-necked for all we were worth.
      So sad about your friend's sister. One of my sisters in law feels exactly the same. I decided I was more at risk in a car.

      Delete
  27. Second photo is my favorite of these.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Strayer: I was pleased with that one too. It captured the magic of the moment.

      Delete
  28. I have to admit, hot air balloons scare the bejeesus out of me- the idea of riding them, that is! But watching, that's another story, your photos are beautiful and I can't get over that awesome orange fish!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Raquel Somatra: SkyWhale is amazing isn't she? And is a balloon which stirs up love/hate relationships...

      Delete
  29. We have a hot air balloon festival that comes around each year too, and we always go and see them. I just love to watch them. I never tire of going!!

    The ones you've shown are lovely. I do like that parrot! I like the smiley face too. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. mail4rosey: It is addictive isn't it? See it once - and have to go back. I was really disappointed that I only saw the launch once this year.

      Delete
  30. Dearest, S,
    thank you for sharing your adventures and stunning photos w/ me. I feel as if they are only for me!!!!
    You are a great distraction. Xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My Inner Chick: I am very, very happy to be a distraction for you. Are you ok?

      Delete
  31. Lovely balloon pictures...my favorite is the filling of the orange one...I can "feel" the fire!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bookie: And even standing behind it, that heat was very real. And, for some, in the predawn air, very welcome.

      Delete
  32. Some nice balloons.

    Thank you. Love love, Andrew. Bye.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. WordsPoeticallyWorth: There were lots of nice balloons.

      Delete
  33. Very magical and fun to see, you are very lucky!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. librarygirl: We see them in the air all year round, but going to the launch is an annual treat.

      Delete
  34. That was a feast for my eyes. So magical! :-)

    Greetings from London.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A Cuban in London: It was and is magical - and I am glad to share the joy.

      Delete
  35. My father-in-law went in an air ballon several years ago as a birthday gift. As beautiful as they look, you wouldn't get me in one of them! Flames, fabric and being miles above the ground in a wicker basket doesn't sound like a good combination to me!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LL Cool Joe: I do understand why it doesn't - but I have loved it. My fears tend to be less rational.

      Delete
  36. What a fantastic excuse to get up early. I should do it more often, as it's the best part of the day.

    Wonderful photos!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wendy: I am an early riser anyway - but not usually quite so bountefully rewarded.

      Delete
  37. A tragic is? Yank translation needed, please. These look so fun! I love the pirate parror.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Riot Kitty: A tragic is someone who is passionately interested/absorbed/obsessed with something. We have rather a lot of sporting tragics over here.
      And I loved the pirate parrot too - though my brother thought that he should have had a pirate perched on his shoulder.

      Delete
  38. I do hope His High and Skinniness has had a good night's sleep since. It worked out for the balloon festival. I love all your photos and even though they didn't take flight because of the wind, you have some great shots. I especially loved the second one down.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. DeniseinVA: The balloons did fly the day the smaller portion and I went out - which was lovely. It was my follow up visit which was disappointing.
      He has had some good night and another bad one since. Which means I have also had another shocker.

      Delete
  39. now that's a lot of photos, amazing to see especially the strange looking balloons

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Linda Starr: It was such a treat. And I loved all of the balloons.

      Delete
  40. Your imaginative eye took some shots to dream on.
    Dear, we cope with the needs of those in our charge the best way we can. I think you are praiseworthy. And I love Collette

    Aloha, Dear

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cloudia: Sweet dreams are made of these...? It was a magical morning. And I am not surprised to hear that you also love Collette.

      Delete
  41. Dear EC, for 38 years I lived in the Saint Croix River Valley in Minnesota and each year a nearby town--Bayport--would have a balloon festival. They are, as you and I both know, addictive! I so like the pirate balloon and like you, I'm glad that your husband got up so early and you got at least one day of photographs and delight. Peace.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dee: I haven't converted him to the delights of the early morning but, for that one day, he could see some benefit. And yes, as you say, balloons are addictive.

      Delete
  42. Sorry for his bad night, but happy for you that you got to get up and go! What an awesome excursion. I love hot air balloons, too. I've always wanted to go up in one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lynn: If you get the chance - go for it. It is a beautiful and serene way to spend some time (despite the gas jets hissing in your ears). Pure delight.

      Delete
  43. 934,711...why so few? ;) Most impressive photos! I'm sorry for the reason but how fortunate you got there before daybreak! The night photos are beautiful, as are all of the balloons.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. River Fairchild: So few photos because I am so restrained and moderate. In everything I do. And the balloons were/are a treat.

      Delete
  44. I love, love, love the image with the balloon taking off behind the backdrop of others!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tara: Thank you. How I wish that I could have shared this event - and made more balloon tragics.

      Delete
  45. We used to have an annual balloon race from Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, and all of the balloons would land in the fields beside my house. Spectacular times for me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. lotta joy: That would have been wonderful to see. Ours take off from the same area - and land where-ever. The support cars chase them across the city.

      Delete
  46. Greetings human, Sue,

    Now I know you want the skinny portion to get some really good sleep. I loved this photos. Although they left me a bit up in the air.

    Pawsitive wishes,

    Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. klahanie: Dear Penny, I am glad that you liked them, and sure that your feet were still firmly on the ground. I hope that Gary too is getting some rest.

      Delete