I have enjoyed much of Frank Zappa’s music, but I loved the fact that he was right on to what Norman Gunston ( Gary McDonald) was up to with his TV show in the early 70s. Many international celebrities just could not get a handle on Gunston’s subversive parodies. Zappa was right on to it and even got Gunston to play at one of his concerts. I think Zappa would be rolling over in his grave if knew what was going on with his family now.
Xanthorrhoea australis, the Grass-tree or Black Boy is an Australian plant. It is the most commonly seen species of the genus Xanthorrhoea. Its trunk can grow up to several metres tall and is often branched. (pinched from Wikipedia)
This last weekend just has been an uplifting experience, spent with family and friends in wonderful weather by the beach. Glorious sunsets of course. We watched tonight’s set over the bay near Melbourne, on the drive home – we avoided all tunnels. These snaps were taken on Sunday while sitting at the beach with a beer, some cheese, biscuits, a ukulele, and good friends. Does it get any better than that?
I can ignore T altogether, or spend my precious long weekend searching for T photographs in my database, or better still, go take some fancy photos. But no, I will add some fairly average photos I took last night of Melbourne’s Burnley Tunnel. I have driven through this tunnel, but since there was a very nasty accident there many years ago, I have elected not to. I am passenger in these photos, and even then I was anxious. Burnley tunnel is 3 or 4 kms long and that is too long for me. It is also very deep so it has a quite a climb out the other side.
The big double tipper changed lanes as we were climbing out of the tunnel. It was this behaviour that caused the nasty accident in there. It is not illegal, and drivers are discouraged from doing it. The truckie has a job to do. No excuse.
Australia has some mighty rivers, but for size of the island continent, the rivers are not in the same class as the mighty rivers elsewhere in the world. European settlement and more recently, climate change, has placed an large burden on our rivers. Our mightiest river, The Murray, almost dried up at the its mouth during the elongated dry period around 2009. Having said this, it was not unusual for the river mouth to dry up prior to 1800, but this was usually coupled with a rich brackish wetland behind the barrier and regular flushing when the river levels were high. Today, due to control upstream, when the mouth dries, the wetland also suffers dramatically. After the Great Barrier Reef, the Murray-Darling system degradation is the biggest environmental problem Australia faces.
I’d like to add some lesser river photos here, mainly ones I live near.
Lerderderg River, currently dry at this location
Below is a merge of the Snowy River at McKillops Bridge in Eastern Victoria. The Snowy River’s headwaters are in the Snowy Mountains. If you have seen photographs I have added of Lake Eucembene, it is this area. In the 1950’s the headwaters of the Snowy were harnessed for irrigation and hydro electricity. Most of any excess water was directed to turbines on the western and northern side of Snowys, or the inland side of the divide. As the Snowy lies on the eastern and southern side of the divide, this engineering marvel deprived it of regular spring thaw flooding. The photograph was taken in November and the river is comparatively low. Having said that, my fellow walker and I thought we may be able to make a B-line to the car by rock hopping or wading across the river. When we got to the river, it was certainly not an option.
Snowy River near McKillops Bridge
McKillops Bridge – Top middle of merge above. Where the car was.
I’ll never forget this day, because when we arrived at the bridge I could hear the sound of motor which was unlike a truck. It was a constant rev, not going up and down gears like you would expect with a truck. Then through the trees towards the river I caught sight of something moving quite quickly, and looked like a mast. It was a cessna flying along the valley which then flew beneath the bridge then it had to make a very sharp incline to get up over the hill you see on the right of this picture. What a dare devil.
In a past life I have enjoyed bushwalking. It has often been associated with reaching the top of mountains and checking out the fantastic views. But not always. I have done bit of cycling as well; in retrospect, I think I used this as way to get me off cigarettes. It worked. I may need to return to cycling and more walking for different reasons now.
Some of these photographs have been taken in the Victorian Alps. In height, they are similar to the Appalachians in the US.
Mt Buffalo, top left, and the Ovens Valley, taken from Mt Feathertop
Corner Inlet, with Wilson’s Promontory in the distance. That’s me with some fellow riders on the 1986 Great Victorian Bike Ride
Dunkeld from Mt Sturgeon, The Grampians
Mt Bogong and the Staircase spur, which I had just ascended