We started off with a quick visit to the art gallery in Federation Square. There are paintings there my cousin loves to see every time she comes to Melbourne. There was also a very small exhibition featuring corrugated iron, which went down very well with me. I can't explain my love of the stuff, but I just do like it a lot! (See my previous post http://therunningwave.blogspot.com.au/2016/07/corrugated.html)
We walked along to the National Gallery with the intention of visiting the van Gogh exhibition. The queue was a mile long, and the sun was shining outside, so we decided a better way to spend our day would be to walk through the botanical gardens instead. Good decision!
The handsome bird below is a spinebill, a honeyeater.
Tucked away in a corner of the botanical gardens is the plant craft cottage. https://www.rbgfriendsmelbourne.org/FRBGM_Content/PCC_Folder/Plant_Craft_Cottage.aspx It is actually one of the oldest properties in Melbourne, built as a gardener's home in 1850-51, and was used by Baron Ferdinand von Mueller, one of the gardens' founders, between 1853 and 1857, when he was the State of Victoria’s first Government botanist. It's a delightful place to visit now, and is surrounded by a lovely cottage garden.We walked round the lake to the cafe in the middle of the gardens, passing some cheerful yellow wattle on the way, and then sat outside, in the sunshine, listening to a man playing the harp. We drank our tea, scoffed an enormous white chocolate and raspberry muffin each, and chatted some more. A pretty good way to spend the afternoon!
A swamphen, a water bird with very large feet, was doing a spot of clearing up on a neighbouring table, watched by an Indian myna bird!