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)

The Gower School Ruins

I have no particular talent! I am only passionately curious Einstein In 1912 the Gowar township was gazetted, but little came of it. Gowar is a rural locality 7 km south-east of Maldon. It was known as Muckleford North until 1880, but one hundred years later Muckleford North has probably become the name more often … Continue reading The Gower School Ruins

Forest Creek Diggings

Forest Creek Historic Gold diggings is situated mid-way between Castlemaine and Chewton. This historic mining site is in the Castlemaine Diggings National Heritage Park, and there is to do free of charge. A 400-metre walk allows you to discover how miners won gold from Forest Creek. The walk commences at a small shed below which … Continue reading Forest Creek Diggings

Scar Trees and Battle Coats

Scarred trees are trees which have had bark removed by indigenous Australians for the creation of bark canoes, shelters, shields and containers, such as coolamons. They are among the easiest-to-find archaeological sites in Australia. I have been out and about with the dogs and while they sniff map I am capturing images of some (modified) … Continue reading Scar Trees and Battle Coats

If I Do It All Over Again

My shipmates and I liked the sea lions, and envied their lives. They were all either fat or dead; there was no half way. By day they played in the shallows, alone or together, greeting each other and us with great noises of joy, or they took a turn offshore and body-surfed in the breakers, exultant... … Continue reading If I Do It All Over Again

The Potential of Stones and Pebbles

The island where I live is peopled with cranks like myself. In a cedar-shake shack on a cliff - but we all live like this - is a man in his thirties who lives alone with a stone he is trying to teach to talk. Annie Dillard   Annie Dillard's essay, Teaching a Stone to … Continue reading The Potential of Stones and Pebbles

A Nature Fix

Old tree Giant towering You Who saw the rise Of ancient suns, Chris Magadaza I would like to learn or remember how to live. I come to Troll Corner not so much to learn how to live as to learn from this giant yellow box, long separated from any kin. Friends estimate this old man's … Continue reading A Nature Fix

Memories of the Old Country

My car is white and glistening the frost is on the ground the only thing thats missing is the beautiful chirping sound, Irene Neville Frost bathing brings back genetic memories of the old country! There is nothing to compare with rolling joyfully and frolicking in the heavy frost.

Just Killing Time

A working dog is a canine working animal, i.e., a type of dog that is not merely a pet but learns and performs tasks to assist and/or entertain its human companions, or a breed of such origin. In Australia and New Zealand, a working dog is one which has been trained to work livestock, irrespective … Continue reading Just Killing Time

Global Sniff Mappers

“It perhaps comes down to us locating ourselves in an inconceivably vast universe on one hand, and in our own complicated lives as well.” Katherine Harmon Cartography, or mapmaking, has been an integral part of the human history for thousands of years. From cave paintings to ancient maps of Babylon, Greece, and Asia, through the … Continue reading Global Sniff Mappers