Chinese Cemetery Vaughan Springs

In 1861, there were more than 24,000 Chinese immigrants on the Victorian goldfields of Ararat, Ballarat, Beechworth, Bendigo, Castlemaine and Maryborough.  Vaughan Springs was once a large gold rush town called "the Junction". Many Chinese miners moved there in 1854 and searched for alluvial gold in areas that had been abandoned by the Europeans. They … Continue reading Chinese Cemetery Vaughan Springs

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

Suffer the Children

Life on the goldfields was particularly harsh on children. They were often used as a source of labour and could earn small amounts of money for errands. Their young immune systems were still developing and children were highly susceptible to diseases that sometimes ran through mining communities. However, even the young were drawn to the … Continue reading Suffer the Children

“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

The Stones and Ground Here Tells Stories

Recently I have taken to exploring cemeteries.  A taphophile, otherwise known as Tombstone tourist, cemetery enthusiast, detective or graver is an individual who has a passion for and enjoyment of cemeteries, epitaphs, gravestone rubbing, photography, art, and history of (famous) deaths. I am not sure I will become a taphophile but I can see how visiting cemeteries … Continue reading The Stones and Ground Here Tells Stories

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

Was She Robert Burns Granddaughter?

And fare thee well, my only Luve And fare thee well, a while! And I will come again, my Luve, Tho' it were ten thousand mile. Robert Burns Robert Burns, the celebrated Scottish poet, had 12 children by four women - nine by his wife Jean Armour. Seven of his children were illegitimate, including the … Continue reading Was She Robert Burns Granddaughter?

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

A Window to the Past

A graveyard can be a great place to explore local history and genealogy, or just take a peaceful late winter walk. So let’s grab our coats and cameras and head out to the nearest cemetery to learn about local history! How to Explore a Graveyard In a piece called Travel With a Purpose Angela Dollar … Continue reading A Window to the Past

Tonight I Write the Saddest Lines

Tonight I can write the saddest lines. To think that I do not have her. To feel that I have lost her. Pablo Neruda What are the saddest lines?  Neruda expresses the grief of lost love! If you believe the Weekly Times the story of the Daylesford lost boys is one of the saddest stories in … Continue reading Tonight I Write the Saddest Lines

Geological Lesson in Castlemaine

  "This upward facing fold, called an anticline, is a nice example of how the gold-bearing strata in the Victorian goldfields are folded. The curved stratum, about 50 cm thick, is composed of sandstone and interpreted to have been deposited as a turbidite—an underwater sediment-rich, turbulence deposit. This particular one involved a lot of sand and … Continue reading Geological Lesson in Castlemaine

Mixing with Trees

"A forest is much more than what you see," says ecologist Suzanne Simard. Her 30 years of research in Canadian forests have led to an astounding discovery -- trees talk, often and over vast distances. Learn more about the harmonious yet complicated social lives of trees and prepare to see the natural world with new … Continue reading Mixing with Trees

Spring is Coming

Tolstoy wrote in Anna Karenina that “spring is the time of plans and projects.” With  the passing of equinox, July inspires us to seriously lift our game. Slow, cosy winter days are replaced with big plans for action.  There are many  spots to find little signs that Spring is coming. Here, in July, in the … Continue reading Spring is Coming