As promised, here are some photos of the Kite Festival held last weekend (March 2nd). Some of these were taken with my phone, and some were taken with my DSLR, and while each camera has its own strengths and weaknesses, the lack of a zoom on my phone camera meant that all but the largest kites looked like specks against the blue.
By the time I got there it was late afternoon, and Ajak Kwai (http://www.ajakkwai.com/ ) was performing on the Bell main stage. Ajak commented on the heat, which had been building all day and was making many people and dogs look a little frazzled. She, on the other hand, was revelling in it. Having moved to Tasmania 11 years ago from the Sudan, she said that she has missed the heat terribly.
Unlike the weekend just gone, though, the heat wasn’t excessive, and there were many families out enjoying the perfect kite-flying weather. WOMAD, on the other hand, – held last weekend in Adelaide – sweltered through a record-breaking heatwave. Clouds of dust stirred by passing crowds apparently coated everything and turned to mud on perspiring skin and on anyone entering the mist tent.
There weren’t many large kites in the later part of the day, but lots of smaller ones were up and flying in amongst the few big ones there were.
Street performers were also part of the entertainment for the day, and this particular one had a large crowd fascinated. He was performing tricks with three batons/rods, and had them moving so quickly that at one stage I wondered of they were actually connected to each other. He proved that they weren’t by tossing them in the air and then catching them and going on to the next trick, but I really wouldn’t have been surprised if they had been.
I had a great time walking around taking pictures – I’m only sorry that there were two events competing for our attention on the same day!
Sunday last week was a happily busy one: the Guide Dogs’ (GDV) Open Day in the morning gave us the chance to ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ over the labrador puppies and show support for a fantastic program; the Darebin kite festival in the afternoon provided some spectacular opportunities for photography (though not, I admit, with my camera phone).
To get to the Guide Dogs’, we parked in a side street north of the Yarra river, then walked across the bridge to cross at the lights just beyond the Yarra Boulevard turnoff. Even walking across the bridge was fun, with the traffic whizzing past but with the robust barrier between pedestrians and traffic still letting you feel secure.
The staff at GDV were hoping for a turnout of around 15,000, and the sunny weather certainly saw lots of people out early. Dr Harry Cooper, of Harry’s Practice fame already had a massive queue by 10.30 in the morning.
The puppies in the puppy playground were only 9 weeks old, and Meg and I had to fight our way through lots of babies, strollers and protective parents to get anywhere near. We didn’t get to pat any, but they were still good to look at.
Dogs of various stages were in the kennels – some awaiting assessment, and some ready to go onto their final stage of training before being assigned to their new owners. There was even a cat in the kennels, whose job it is to de-sensitise the dogs from the distractions of cats, and make them better working dogs.
The kite festival – photos to be uploaded on Tuesday – was full of colour and music. It was lovely to see the little children, faces turned up towards the sky, looking in awe at the kites flying overhead. It was hot and the wind was erratic, but overall it was a fantastic day for it.