I live in a country town called Drouin (pronounced drew-in). We are in south eastern Australia 95kms east of Melbourne. We are enjoying a beautiful summer, warm but with cool nights and good rainfall. During early February every year we celebrate our "Ficifolia Festival". The festival recognizes the Ficifolia tree thats lines the main roads into our town.
The Ficifolia tree is a variety of the eucalyptus tree which is a native of Australia. The ficifolia version actually flowers where some other versions don't. They go straight to a seed pod. The ficifolia flowers are usually bright red or maroon, however new varieties are being bred with different colors. This photos shows the red colored flower.
After the flowers drop the tree produces seed pods as in the next photo,
These are seed pods produced from last years flowers. In our childhood we used to collect these seed pods (referred to as gum nuts) and add a stem to them and use them as pipes, (No tobacco of course!).
Early this month we celebrated a week long Ficifolia Festival. Highlight of the week was the street parade. The following photos were taken with my G1 and 45-200mm lens. Please enjoy.
Leading the parade this year were members of the local Fire Brigade. This was in recognition of the brigade's 75th anniversary.
The theme for the parade this year was "Year of the Dragon" because the Chinese community was also celebrating their new year, which was themed "Dragon" also.
One local school entered a float with a dragon theme, but to me is distinctly looked more like a cow. Thus said we live in one of the best cow raising areas west of Texas.
Children played a big part in the parade, this school gets a picture because that is where my grand children attend.
Hows this for catching action, not bad for an old photographer.
Crowds lined the main street, and took advantage of every vantage point.
Drouin Primary School added great color with their "Dragon"
Because of our farming heritage, antique tractors were on parade, as well as antique cars and motor bikes.
Parade watching is a hungry past-time. I think the local food shops had a great days trade.
If you wished to "clown around" that was OK too.
An old photographer told me once: "Sometimes the best photo is the one behind you" And in this case he was correct.
After the parade it was of to Civic Park for the fair, market and entertainment.
No fair is complete without rides for the children.
Now it's over and we await the blooming of the Ficifolia tree and another festival in February 2013.