Mail Box Spotting and Front Yard Art

"The mailman, if he's extra tired, would pass them in his sleep, It's safest to address the note to 'Care of Conroy's sheep', For five and twenty thousand head can scarcely go astray, You write to 'Care of Conroy's sheep along the Castlereagh'." A.B. 'Banjo' Paterson, "The Travelling Post Office" The Bulletin, 10 March 1894 … Continue reading Mail Box Spotting and Front Yard Art

Make a Mailbox Happy and Improve your Mood

Painting, sculpting, dancing, making music, and all the other artistic pursuits have benefits that go far beyond pure enjoyment or cultural creation — these activities can also strengthen your brain and improve your mood. Since the inception of emailing and texts mail boxes around the globe have lain empty, gathering bills and cobwebs, lamenting the … Continue reading Make a Mailbox Happy and Improve your Mood

“Children need art and stories and poems and music as much as they need love and food and fresh air and play. “

Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award

Pullman Philip 2

Wise words from Philip Pullman, who received the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award in 2005:

Children need art and stories and poems and music as much as they need love and food and fresh air and play. If you don’t give a child food, the damage quickly becomes visible. If you don’t let a child have fresh air and play, the damage is also visible, but not so quickly. If you don’t give a child love, the damage might not be seen for some years, but it’s permanent.

But if you don’t give a child art and stories and poems and music, the damage is not so easy to see. It’s there, though. Their bodies are healthy enough; they can run and jump and swim and eat hungrily and make lots of noise, as children have always done, but something is missing.

It’s true that some people grow up never encountering…

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Become Rock Nerds

Majestic mountains, breathtaking canyon views, gorgeous arrays of sea stacks and beautiful sandstone arches are but a few of Mother Nature's wonders that beckon photographers worldwide. These geological features lure artists of all kinds to paint, preserve, photograph, or sculpt. They've been cut by rivers, uplifted by faults or folds, carved by the wind, and … Continue reading Become Rock Nerds

Two Feuding Volcanoes

The land around here is ancient. About 480 million years ago it was all under the sea. Then a couple of tectonic plates collided deep underground, squeezing everything like a vice. I love the idea of sitting on the top of Tarrengower reading the story, as told by Justice B Nelson, and published by Culture … Continue reading Two Feuding Volcanoes

Unknown Goldfields Miners Grave

'Since Saturday morning, the scene (on the goldfields) has greatly changed - then a tent would be seen here and there, but now they are becoming inconveniently crowded ... On Saturday, dozens were arriving at a time; on Sunday, hundreds; Monday and Tuesday, one continuous line of new arrivals.' Argus, 8 November 1851 KALIMNA PARK … Continue reading Unknown Goldfields Miners Grave

May They Have Found Peace

And when great souls die, after a period peace blooms Maya Angelou   On a quiet country back road, near the Newstead General Cemetery, lie two burial markers of interest. One is simply called Chinese Ground. The Chinese were not welcome on the Australian goldfields. They were thorough workers, often picking meticulously through the discarded … Continue reading May They Have Found Peace

Germ of Australian Independence

Much is made of the Eureka Stockade, a rebellion that took place in Ballarat. However, 160 years ago, in 1851, 15,000 protesters gathered on the Forest Creek diggings in central Victoria to object to higher gold license fees. This gathering took place at what has come to be known as the Monster Meeting place at … Continue reading Germ of Australian Independence

Treasure Hunting in Blanket Gully Road

Ochre was the most important painting material used traditionally by Aboriginal people. It is mined from particular sites and is a crumbly to hard rock heavily coloured by iron oxide. The source material was traded extensively across Australia in the past, with some material traveling many hundreds or even thousands of kilometres from where it … Continue reading Treasure Hunting in Blanket Gully Road

Nature’s Rock Art

In ancient India lived a sculptor renowned for his life-sized statues of elephants. With trunks curled high, tusks thrust forward, thick legs trampling the earth, these carved beasts seemed to trumpet the sky. One day, a king came to see these magnificent works and to commission statuary for his palace. Struck with wonder, he asked … Continue reading Nature’s Rock Art

Leanganook (Mt Alexander) Stone People

Rising 350 metres above the surrounding area, Mount Alexander (Leanganook) Regional Park is a prominent landmark offering magnificent views and a natural forest setting for picnics and bushwalking. It also provides important habitat for several rare or threatened species. On a bitterly cold winter day the mountain took on a spiritual quality. It was enough … Continue reading Leanganook (Mt Alexander) Stone People

Remembering Old Roadside Stops

When travelling long distances which is common in Australia (given the size and isolation of the country) sometimes it’s best just to pull over and have a rest.   While waiting for Godot I decided to head out and wander up to Leaganook (Mt Alexander). Coming back on the old highway between Harcourt and Taradale … Continue reading Remembering Old Roadside Stops

Winter on Mt Franklin (Lalgambook)

Mt Franklin, known as Lalgambook to the Dja Dja Warrung people, is a small volcanic crater that offers ideal place for a picnic set amongst plantings of huge conifers and deciduous trees that create an exotic atmosphere. It offers a fine example of a breached scoria cone. The breach, through which the road now enters the crater, is … Continue reading Winter on Mt Franklin (Lalgambook)