On Sunday 29 May a group from our camera club visited the Royal Botanic Garden at Cranbourne. This fabulous facility is a division of the Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne and as well as specialising in native Australian plants its 363 hectares includes heathlands, wetlands and woodlands. An incredible amount of design and effort has gone into creating such special displays as the Red Sand Garden, the Exhibition Gardens, a Eucalyptus Walk, and an Arid and Dry River Bed Garden. Of course with such a variety of habitats the gardens provide a home to an astonishing range of feathered and furry inhabitants.
While some members made their own way to Cranbourne, the majority took advantage of the the bus expertly driven by Anthony Slocum with some assistance from this co-pilot Darry Whittaker. A deliberate detour via a pot hole laden dirt road got all passengers in the right frame of mind for our outdoor adventure. Pick up points were at McDonalds (Morwell) at 08:30 and McDonalds (Moe) at 09:00 and despite the rather chilly weather everyone was very punctual and we were on our way on schedule. Judging by the size of the camera bags dragged aboard the bus I couldn’t help but think that the value of the camera gear would probably exceed that of our bus many times over. Travelling in groups always seems to make the time go quickly and with only one stop for fuel we arrived in Cranbourne around 10:30. With camera and telephoto lenses at the ready our group spread out into the garden clicking away at plants, birds, other photographers and the amazing features of the garden. While the weather looked a bit threatening, the rain stayed away and the soft diffused light seemed ideal for photography. By 1 pm most of us were enjoying the warmth of the excellent cafe, where large bowls of hot chips seemed to be one of the most popular choices. Bolstered by food and coffee the group once again dispersed into the surrounding landscape to capture a few more shots in the hope that a local bandicoot might show up for a photoshoot. By 3:45pm it was time to board our coach for the return trip. Can’t report much about the return trip. Anthony’s excellent driving, and all the windows fogging up completely combined to induce a very relaxing environment and I didn’t wake till we reached Yarragon. We all agreed that great time was had by all and that many special images had been captured and most importantly we all learned something new. Can’t wait to see the photos.
Attendees: Sharon and Anthony Slocum, Shirley Thorn, Julie Fletcher, Elaine Collier, Craig Drowley, Sue Juha, Colin Cook, Leonie Rogers, Darryl Whittaker, Alex and Iris DeKiefte, Julie and Steve Baxter, Jen Matthews, Donna and Nick Graham, Kamile and Helene George, Ros Vagg, Cheryl Fulton and her Mum Jean, Danielle Cartwright, Theo and Rosa van der Meulen