Garden of Dreams


The Garden of Dreams, a neo classical historical garden, is situated in the midst of Kathmandu city, Nepal. The Garden was famous as the garden of Six Seasons which was created by late Field Marshal Kaiser Sumsher Rana (1892-1964) in early 1920

Within the Garden walls, Kaiser Sumsher created an exquisite ensemble of pavilions, fountains, decorative garden furniture and European inspired features such as verandas, pergolas, balustrades, urns and birdhouses. He erected six impressive pavilions, each dedicated to one of the six seasons of Nepal.

Garden of Dreams was restored in cooperation with Austrian Government during the period of 2000 to 2007. The Garden of Dreams became a place of peaceful oasis with full of unique architect and varieties of flowers and fauna brought from the different countries.


Consequences of cutting down trees



There were three blocks of land that were full of trees. There were White gums, River Gums, paper barks, Grevilleas, different smaller shrubs and undergrowth, grasses and flowering plants. Someone bought the block next to me, and when I came home one evening, the top part of the block was bare, only a few trees remained at the shoreline next to the mangroves, and all the flowering trees were gone. Next a three level house was erected.

That house was sold while it was being built, and the block next to it was also sold. The couple who bought that block came and mowed it, cut down the smaller trees and sat under the tall trees and enjoyed their block. Then they stopped coming.

The house next door was sold again, and this time the man came to see me about the water drainage issue, and I told him that that block was the natural drainage for the hill, and would flood when the rains came. He said it was alright and he would be removing all the trees for the view. I said the trees were protected because of the bird life nesting in the trees, but he said that was not his problem, and the trees would go.

They moved in now almost a month ago and last week, a tree lopper was there taking the huge pine tree on the nature strip, and clearing the vacant block. All those trees were taken down and shredded in a mulcher. When I came back from a weekend at Open House, he had cut down all the trees on the lower part of the next block too. I took photographs of the stumps…twelve trees cut down next to the mangroves, and I live in fear that he will make the mangroves ‘vanish’ too like he did the trees.

I was not the only one upset. Most of the neighbours, and also it appears those who walked their dogs along the road to the Cricket ground called Council to complain, and they have now been here at least three times talking with the property and the tree loppers, who are being blamed for cutting down the trees. The block opposite also got into the action and cut down the huge tree and the block opposite did the same. Five blocks, all vacant land, one with the house on it, all cleared huge trees and it was disastrous for the wild life living on those trees.

At night you now hear plaintive cries of the curlews. I had a pair that visited and lived in my garden. Last night there were six of them in the front garden. The neighbour said she had 15 curlews just standing there on the block next door, now all cleared and totally vacant, along with six magpies. She also said that a huge flock of white crested cockatoos were flying around looking for the tree they usually sit on when they come here every morning. I also wonder about the magpie nests and what has happened to the juveniles. They used to visit every morning along with the curlews.

I also wonder where the nesting Ospreys have gone. They were nesting on the huge tree next door. They had eggs in their nest. The neighbour told me how the birds would take turns sitting on the nest and one would sit on the other pine tree, now cut down, while the mate sat on the nest. There were Kookaburras who had their nest in the trees. I took photo of one bird in the hollow, and the other out as they shared looking after the nest. Where are they living now?

There were a pair of nesting owls. I saw one on the nature strip one night when I came home. There is a coucal who lived in the trees, and many honey eaters and friar birds and also the mangrove rufus who love the mangroves and the Rainbow bee eater.

Where would they all have gone now that they have lost their habitat that provided insects, flowering gums and flowers full of nectar. The Rosellas and Rainbow parrots love to swing on the flowering branches as they enjoy the honey and the wild bees, where have they gone and where are they living now? These trees were not just a block for the view of the water. They were home to many birds and animals. We have lizards, a myriad of insects living in the bark and in the roots, butterflies and ladybirds, and small animals living below, snakes, the bandicoot and all the lizards and flies.

There was a whole ecology there in the waterside environment that had the mangrove lined shore with supporting trees and foliage along the shore. It is not just a few trees that have been cut down so someone can get a better view of the water, it is the destruction of a whole environment, where the trees support the land which supports those living on the land…the birds, the insects, the small animals and the spirit of the trees. These trees have been here for over 50 years, maybe more and these animals have lived in the trees. Many are migratory, birds flying 8,000 kms to Russia and back here like the Plovers do. The Black swans will soon be back, and so will the migratory Eastern curlew. The Ibis are always here and the spoonbill seem to come and go. Will these birds and animals all now come and live in the few trees that are on the blocks of my home?

Birds are territorial. They tend to live in a tree or area and chase off invaders of what they think is their territory. You now have over 20 curlews, that we have seen, six or more magpies, the honey eaters, the whistling mangrove rufus, and the very territorial Kookaburra all homeless. Where will they go, and how will they react when they are not welcomed by birds already living in the trees that are left…and they are all on my property in this area right now.

What will happen to the snakes, the bandicoot, the possums, and the other animals? The insects that lived in the trees was food for the birds, and the flowers were food for the insects and the birds.

When a tree, in this case over 20 trees on 4 properties in my street by the water, are just cut down, do the people paying for the trees to be cut down even consider that they are actually destroying the home and life styles of possible over 1,000 plants, birds and wild life that all lived very happily in an environment that they have lived in for a long time. Many of the birds are migratory. The islands are a protected Maritime Reserve, and yet people buy properties with trees, and cut them down to build on. Worse still is the man who cut down all the trees at the bottom of his block so he could get better water views, and will get even better if the Mangroves go…

When will people realise that trees give the islands their beautiful oxygenated air, and are home to an entire world that is not human, a world that is being destroyed without thought. Why buy a block with trees to cut down the trees?

In June, I photographed the birds that visited these trees. There were over 25 that I photographed…and many I couldn’t as they were too small, and too fast, and too well camouflaged for me to see.  You can see the birds in this link

Here are some of the videos I have made of the birds in those trees that have been cut down.

Birds in my Garden June Russell Island – YouTube

▶ 3:11

Jul 7, 2016 – Uploaded by Maggi Carstairs

Some of the birds that have been enjoying the garden in June at Russell island… – created at

Birds in my Garden at Russell Island – YouTube

▶ 2:46

Nov 29, 2015 – Uploaded by Maggi Carstairs

The birds that come to my garden – created at

Curlews at Russell Island – YouTube

▶ 3:42

Oct 27, 2015 – Uploaded by Maggi Carstairs

Curlews in my garden at Russell Island – created at

Birds in my Garden June Russell Island – Birds Australia…/birds-in-my-garden-june-rus

Jul 7, 2016

Birds in my Garden June Russell IslandBirds on the islandsIn “birds“. Rainbow Lorrikeets in the White ..


Cleared for the view….

Maggi Carstairs



Beaches near Brisbane

Surf beaches

Ocean Beach, Woorim, Bribie Island

Drive over the bridge to Bribie Island, north of Brisbane, and head to the far side for the surf beach at Woorim. If you’d like to learn to surf, Bribie Island Surf School operates near here. If you’re just swimming, always dive in between the flags so the lifeguards can keep an eye on you.

Cylinder Beach, North Stradbroke Island

Cylinder Beach North Stradbroke Island

Find details on how to get to North Stradbroke Island here.

One of the most popular beaches on the island, Cylinder is patrolled 365 days a year and has a gentle wave that’s great for those wanting to learn to surf, body surfers or body boarders. North Stradbroke Island Learn to Surf School will assist those wanting to learn.

Main Beach, North Stradbroke Island

Main Beach, North Stradbroke Island

Nearby Cylinder, Main Beach gets larger, more powerful waves to swim and surf in. It’s also patrolled by lifeguards and is the pick of the two if Cylinder has onshore, choppy winds. At 32km long, it’s no surprise it’s the main beach.

Frenchmans Beach, North Stradbroke Island

Best in winter thanks to the westerly winds, this beach is for surfers not swimmers, though you might enjoy spotting marinelife in the rock pools. Take your board down the 200 stairs and catch a wave. It isn’t patrolled by lifeguards.

Surfside, Moreton Island

Moreton Island

Locals call the 27km strip on the eastern side of Moreton Island “surfside” due to the, ah, waves. Bet you never would have guessed that. No lifeguards patrol the beaches on Moreton Island and there are often rips on this side to be wary of.

Honeymoon Bay, Moreton Island

At just 50m wide, Honeymoon Bay is a secluded beach on the northern tip of the island and is surround by 15m-high rock bluffs. Facing east, this beach gets 1-1.5m high waves and is hazardous to swim at due to rips and hidden rocks. Best stick to the sand here.

Bayside beaches

Sandgate foreshore

When the tide is out, soldier crabs scuttle across the flats of this northern bayside beach. Chase them around the shore or walk your dog along the promenade. It’s just a 30-minute drive from the CBD and a great spot for fish ‘n’ chips.

Lower Moora Park, Shorncliffe


Just south of Sandgate and right next to the Shorncliffe Jetty is this great bayside beach and park for the kids. Lower Moora Park is home to an excellent adventure playground, the still and sandy bayside beach is perfect for a splash, and there are barbecue and picnic facilities nearby.

Suttons Beach, Redcliffe

The small waves at Suttons Beach are perfect for people after a gentle paddle and relaxing day. There are beach showers, barbecues and lifeguards on summer weekends.

Wynnum foreshore

The Wynnum Wading Pool is a heritage-listed tidal pool that was built in the 1930s. Children love to splash about in the generally shallow pool or aqua-playground nearby. Follow the promenade along here to Manly Marina and the village. There are plenty of spots for lunch or a drink here.


Changu NarayanTemple Kathmundu


The ancient Hindu temple of Changu Narayan About this sound Listen  is located on a high hilltop that is also known as Changu or Dolagiri. The temple was surrounded by forest with champak tree and a small village, known as Changu Village. The temple is located in Changunarayan VDC of Bhaktapur District, Nepal. This hill is about 8 miles east of Kathmandu and a few miles north of Bhaktapur. The Manahara River flows beside the hill. This shrine is dedicated to Lord Visnu and held in especial reverence by the Hindu people. This temple is considered as the oldest temple in Nepal

Currently the Temple and the area up to the Temple is under construction after the recent earthquakes damaged many of the buildings, including the Temple, which is being rebuilt and lovingly restored.

Changu Narayan is considered to be the oldest temple of Nepal. It remains a milestone in Nepali temple architecture with rich embossed works. The two-storey roofed temple stands on a high plinth of stone. According to Professor Madhan Rimal, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Tribhuwan University, the temple is neither in Shikhara Style nor the Pagoda style. It has an architectural style which he would like to describe as a traditional Nepali temple.

The temple is surrounded by sculptures and arts related to Lord Vishnu. Also we can find the temples of lord Shiva, Ashta Matrika, Chhinnamasta, Kileshwor and Krishna inside the courtyard of main temple. There are four entrances to the temple and these gates are guarded by life size pairs of animals such as lions, sarabhas, graffins and elephants on each side of the entrances. The ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu and the other idols are carved in the struts, which support the roof. The entrance door is gilded with carvings of Nagas (snakes). On the main entrance gate (i.e. western entrance gate), we can find the Chakra, Sankha, Kamal and Khadga all at the top of a stone pillar. These stone pillars has inscription in Sanskrit. This inscription is considered to be the oldest inscription of Nepal and the stone inscription pillar was erected by Lichhavi King Manadeva in 464 AD

The following monument are located while visiting the temple from the right side after entering from the main entrance (Eastern gate) to courtyard.

  • Historical pillar erected by Mandeva in 464 AD [2]
  • Garuda:- flying vehicle of Lord Vishnu which has got a human face and is a devotee of Vishnu.
  • Statue of Bhupalendra Malla, King of Kantipur and his queen BhuwanLakshmi.
  • Chanda Narayan (Garuda Narayan):- 7th century stone sculpture of Vishnu riding on Garuda. This sculpture has been depicted in the 10 rupee paper note issued by Nepal Rastra Bank
  • Sridhar Vishnu:- 9th century stone sculpture of Vishnu, Laxmi and Garuda which stands on the pedestals of various motifs.
  • Vaikuntha Vishnu :- 16th century sculpture of Vishnu seated on the lalitason position on the six armed Garuda and Laxmi seated on the lap of Vishnu
  • Chhinnamasta:- Temple dedicated to Chhinnamasta devi, who beheaded herself, offered her own blood to feed the hungry Dakini and Varnini.
  • Vishworup:- 7th century stone sculpture- beautifully carved that depicts the scene from the Bhagwat Gita, in which Lord Krishna manifests his universal form to his devotee Arjun.
  • Vishnu Vikrant :- 7th century sculpture of Trivikram Vishnu that depicts the scene of popular Hindu myth of Lord Vishnu and his beloved Bali Raja.
  • Narasimha :- 7th century sculpture of Narasimha, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, killing the demon King Hiranyakasyapa to save his beloved devotee Prahalad.
  • Kileshwor:- small two storied temples of Lord Shiva, who is believed to have appeared in this place for the protection of the hill.

The main image in the sanctum is worshipped by Hindus as a Garuda Narayan, and by Buddhists as a Hariharihari Vahan Lokeshwara.[3][4] Only the priest is allowed to see the image.

The steps are lined with artists and artisans selling Nepalese products, mainly brass bowls and paintings and also stone, wooden and bronzes …Shop owners lost their homes in the earthquakes and are now living in tent cities down below the mountain while their homes are rebuilt. They also have to cart water from below as the main water are was damaged.



Shanti Stupa Pokhara


Pokhara Shanti Stupa is a Buddhist pagoda-style monument on a hilltop in Ananda hill of the former Pumdi Bhumdi Village Development Committee, in the district of Kaski, Nepal[1] (now a part of the city of Pokhara).

Shanti Stupa in Pokhara was built by Nipponzan-Myōhōji monk Morioka Sonin with local supporters under the guidance of Nichidatsu Fujii, a Buddhist monk and the founder of Nipponzan-Myōhōji. Shanti is a Sanskrit word meaning peace, also widely used in Nepali and Hindi language, and Shanti Stupa means Peace Pagoda. Shanti Stupa is the shrine build as symbol of peace. The spot situated at the height of 1100 meters on the Ananda Hill was chosen by Nichidatsu Fujii and he laid the foundation stone as well with the relics of Buddha on the hilltop on 12 September 1973

There are 660 steps from the bottom to the Top where the Peace Pagoda is located. From here, as well as the steps, there are magnificent views over the Valley looking down to Pokhara and the Lake Fewa below

Shanti Stupa in Pokhara is the first World Peace Pagoda in Nepal and seventy-first pagoda built by Nipponzan-Myōhōji in the world. The pagoda is 115 feet tall and 344 feet in diameter. The white pagoda has two tiers for tourist and religious people to circumambulate.[1] Second tier displays the four statues of Buddha presented as a souvenirs from different countries: ‘Dharmacakra Mudra’ from Japan, ‘Bodh Gaya’ from Sri Lanka, ‘Kushinagar’ from Thailand and ‘Lumbini’ from Nepal. Each statues represents the important events related to Buddha and named according to the place where it took place