Hey, folks. Some Goat that Wrote trivia for you: This is my 11th post to contain the word “dragon” in its title. You read it here first.
You’re probably tiring of water dragons at this point, and that would be very sad, but with this short final episode we’re leaving our reptilian friends behind to bask and swim and otherwise squander their Summer in standard Queensland fashion. I’ll be back before long to catch up and share festive season stories with them — no doubt theirs will leave mine for dead.
This was an interesting little visit to Roma Street…
..when for the first time I had a good look at the topiary garden.
You don’t see much topiary in Australian gardens, although there’s no shortage of poorly pruned hedges. It seems very “eccentric English” and olde-worlde, and kinda ridiculous when it’s done badly — well, even when it’s done well (Stanley Kubrick omitted the topiary-animals-come-to-life bit from his version of Stephen King’s The Shining, probably a wise move), although there’s a quirky Australian take on the practice at Roma Street…
..and these azalea mounds reminded me of gardens in Japan:
Several shrubs in this section have been groomed into attractive geometric shapes, and they’re nicely complemented by some romantically rendered stone fauna:
This stone snake basking on a rock is an effective touch — but check out what’s basking on the stone snake:
Well, that was one of the coolest things I’d seen in a while (even counting the hedge kangaroo), and of course I had to freak out in the subtlest, most inconspicuous manner possible, as I slowwwwwwly manoeuvred (Is this the toughest word to spell in English without spell check? It’s worse than “reminiscence”.) my camera into position, while creeping slowly closer to my prey…
..and not betraying my intentions to my camera-shy subject.
I have a theory that the best way to stalk animals in the open is sideways, avoiding eye contact at all costs. And if you can, whistle — everybody trusts a whistler.
It was nerve-wracking — this hobby is supposed to be relaxing, dammit — but I got there in the end, though it was touch and go for a few stressful minutes. The snake seemed unconcerned but the dragon was definitely paying close attention:
I backed off briefly to give him/her some space when another humanoid broke the spell — that’s a different lizard there, checking her out:
And that was it — it would be pretty hard to top that encounter, and it’s good to leave on a high. So I made a brief return to the Snake Stone to express my gratitude…
..and I was on my way.
Oh, one more thing. That person in the high-visibility jacket you can see through the gap in the hedge…
..interviewed me for a survey before I split.
She wanted to know how I rated the gardens and facilities. I gave everything a high score, complimented the standard of horticulture, and to the question “Why do you like to visit the gardens?” gave the obvious response.
“For the dragons.”
~ And that’s all the Goat wrote