In March for about ten days my city goes a bit balloon mad. Each year we have a Balloon Spectacular (which starts as Enlighten finishes) and up to fifty balloons are launched each day. Bliss. There is always at least one 'feature' balloon.
Weather permitting they take off from the lawns of Old Parliament House shortly after dawn, and as well as the fortunate riders, it has become a tradition for people to come along and watch them inflate and take off (another free treat). Some mornings there are hundreds of spectators. Breakfast is available, and the crowd is happy.
The balloons are weather dependent and sadly most days this year they were grounded. My heart goes out to the participants some of whom have come considerable distances. I suspect the costs are large too. My youngest brother is, like me, a balloon tragic. The first day of the Spectacular was also his birthday and of course we were there. We were lucky and the balloons did take to the air. I showed you the feature balloons in a Sunday Selections.
Here are some of the others.
The smaller portion missed that day (he was visiting his sister in another state). There were only a few days left of the festival when he returned, so naturally I rousted him out of bed on a cool grey morning to see if the balloons would fly. Sadly when we got to the venue we were told that it was too windy. Some of the balloons would be inflated and tethered and a few would attempt to fly from other unspecified parts of the lake.
Bah humbug. Tethered balloons don't do it for either of us. So we headed off around the lake foreshores, hoping, hoping, hoping.
And we were lucky. He didn't see the feature balloons (which we assume were tethered, but did see quite a number of the others. From a distance it is true, but we saw them.
I wonder whether the early morning rowers saw the balloons as a treat? I hope so.
I loved the kangaroo and the balloon in this final shot. The roos were unperturbed. The same cannot be said for the cockatoos who were shrieking their resentment at the invasion of their skies.