Per usual, I didn't get all the information at posting time (sorry, the Melbourne Cup is running today and every bad pun that is related to horse racing is spewing forth).
The big bicycle ride is a fund raiser for MS. This year, they capped the number of riders to 10,000! Read that "Ten Freakin' Thousand" bicycle riders who raised nearly $3 Million! In this economy? Aussies are incredible when it comes to a good cause.
The very cool purple blossomed trees are Jacaranda, native to Central and South America but found in almost all tropical and sub-tropical areas Wikipedia has a very good article on them. It seems that little shoots were given to new Queensland moms leaving the hospital with their own, new-born sprouts to plant so they became very popular. They are pretty and start off the seasons of flowers here in the land of Oz.
Read and comment if you can. I know some of you have been having trouble with this site accepting comments but email works, too! See you at Christmas I hope!