Thursday, January 26, 2012

Googong Dam, Australia day (Jan 26, 2012)

Since we moved to Australia, Australia Day has become my favoriate holiday for a couple of reasons.  First, it is the most, er, Australian holiday (Melbourne Cup Day is the runner-up only because it is not a holiday in Canberra).  Second, it gives me a mixed but, strangely enough, enjoyable feeling of happiness and sadness.  I feel happy because it feels like an extra day off (obviously I haven't got used to the idea of celerbrating the day).  The sadness comes from the fact that it is finally the time to get down to business, after all the happy hours of Haanukhah, Christmas, New Year, and Chinese New Year (if it happens early in the year like this time).

In the US, it is difficult to do serious business between Thanksgiving and New Year because of the holiday spirit.  For many Australians, they took quite some, if not all time off between Christmas and Australia Day.  After all, everybody got four weeks of recreational leave every year on top of all the public holidays!

To celebrate this year's Australia Day, we went to the Googong Dam for a picnic with some friends.  It was my first time there and the area was more picturesque than I thought.  In addition to an enormous water surface (about 50% Canberra water comes from here, according to Mr Hippo), we also spotted a beautiful pond unexpectedly (we had to drive all over the place, looking for the exact picnic site our friends were at).  I managed to capture the moment when two butterflies resting on some purple flowers (picture on the right)...

My grilled salmon was too popular to last long enough for picture-taking.  Of course, it would not have been easy anyway with an army of flies hovering around--I bet Australian flies are the most attentive and the least seletive kind.  My watermelon was also a hit.  Growing up in north China where watermolon was the everyday necessity for hot summer days, I have extraordinary skills of picking perfectly-ripen ones :)

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