Jack o' Lantern

This year's Jack o' Lantern is a bit more even-keeled than last year's. Trick or treating is serious business around here, and you need a proper advertisement to attract costumed youngsters up our steps.

Audi R8

"Starting at $115,900", the Audi R8 is not for everyone. There are both V8 and V10 versions, and each yields over 400 horsepower in a very light body.

This one looks lovely in red.

Huckleberry Foliage

Unlike Mount Sawyer, there were only a few huckleberries on this slope. They sure lit up beautifully with light transmitting through their vibrant red leaves.

Larix lyallii

Being deciduous pines, these larches are in full fall colors and will soon be losing their needles entirely. It's been a warm fall, so there's little snow accumulation up here so far.

This is around 6700ft on the flank of Carne Mountain.

Central Cascades

A fall hike in the Central Cascades shows the narrow band of alpine larch across the valley that becomes the dominant species from about 6000 to 7000ft of elevation. Below that, evergreens outcompete them. And above that, there's nothing much but snow!

Mini Cornucopia

It was a good year for pumpkins and squash. We threaded vines along the back alley fence, which allowed for a substantial west-facing aspect for them to spread out on.

Planted Pond

City and state landscape planners seem to have developed a fetish for planting dead tree trunks in newly created wetlands. They seem like lovely places for raptors or other birds to perch.

But in this climate, they'll rot and fall over in a few years -- is there budget for their replacement then?

What Goes Up Must Come Down

This is the end of Snider's Lane, off another lane, tucked into Melbourne's CBD. Sister Bella is a lively bar to the right, run the same folks of the now deceased St. Jerome's. This sort of a place doesn't gain business from the impulses of passers-by; you'd have to know about it to find your way here.

Centre Place

Every urban planner faced with a decaying city center seems to look to Melbourne for ideas on cultivating a laneway culture. This is Centre Place, not even a notable alley in a city crowded with them. Look at how many options there are for a pedestrian! Incredibly, vehicle traffic is permitted outside of daylight hours, though it is likely only intended to permit deliveries.

Flinders Street Station

Melbourne's historic central train station is the typical backdrop to a national news item involving the city, or as the only iconic thing ad writers can conjure in brochures aimed at domestic Australian tourists. Nothing much happens right here; the most recent headline I can recall was a taxi strike in 2008.

Sydney is blessed with a few key sights a bit better suited to these purposes.

Bradmill Textiles, Yarraville

Bradford Cotton Mills opened here in Yarraville in 1927. The brand and offerings evolved and expanded, and this part was built in 1958. It was closed in 2002.

The smokestack of the factory power plant is prominent when approaching Melbourne's CBD on the West Gate Freeway. It's been decorated with the graffiti "MONSANTO = " and the skull and crossbones icon. It's a bit unfair, as I'm not sure how an abandoned textile factory represents the supposed evils of genetic engineering.

Australian Coffee

Coffee in Australia is extraordinarily good, especially in Victoria. Some speculate that the country's history of Italian immigration is the reason for this gift, with large numbers of arrivals both pre- and post-war.

Di Bella roasts in North Melbourne, and they make as fine a cup as any.

Twelve-ish Apostles

The Twelve Apostles are currently eight pillars of eroding sandstone. The last one fell in 2005. They look best in early morning light, but most folks visit midday in convoys of tour buses.


Warrnambool is known as a place to see transient Southern Right whales, and perhaps for its cheese factory.  It's really pleasant to visit, and most making their way along the Great Ocean Road don't get quite this far.

Don't pronounce the m.

Grampian Mountains

The Grampians are a low mountain range (and National Park) between Nhill and Ballarat in Victoria. There are plenty of gorgeous views like this one, and hardly any people around enjoying them.

The area has suffered two extensive rounds of bush fires in the past decade.