Monday, August 02, 2010


Miss Eagle 
snuggling with Barrowless Boy
- one beautiful domesticated dingo
Miss Eagle was over at Eltham on Saturday -
as Trad Padders will note from the wattle below.

Enjoying relaxed refreshment in Eltham Square
was Julie Fechner of Dingo Care Network
with Barrowless and Shiralee.
I had heard about these people and their dingoes over at Eltham and the controversies surrounding Australia's own native dog so I got into conversation with Julie.  I asked if I could take Julie's photograph and she agreed.  She then insisted that she take one of me.  I was most reluctant since the dog didn't know me.  I was a stranger.  But that was no problem as you can see.  Beautiful, beautiful animals.  And as you can see, Julie and friends do a lot of work to restore confidence in the the beauty and value of the dingo.  

Related Reading:
(Montsalvat is a significant Eltham landmark)


Sunday, August 01, 2010


This tree was photographed in Eltham, Victoria on 31 July 2010

One of the things that annoys me is that we post-1788 settlers, don't pay sufficient attention to the seasons.  Decades ago, when I first visited, Kakadu in the Northern Territory and heard that the Aboriginal people of the area counted six seasons not four, I began to wonder about this.

I know that farmers and keen gardeners notice local differences.  I once listened to a group of old fellows from my church talking about gardening and the differences between planting and growing at Box Hill and Upper Ferntree Gully.  But do we rationalist, mechanistic modernists take this sort of knowledge seriously.

Spring, in the Southern Hemisphere, is listed for 1 September but how arbitrary that is.  The wattle is listed as a winter flowering plant.  And yet Australia has a special day, Wattle Day, on 1 September each year - past the flowering time for wattle but - surprise, surprise - marking the first day of spring.

So you see, I think we have things quite wrong.  Wattle Day would be better celebrated on 1 August - and Australia would be better placed to mark Australian Spring as commencing on that date too.

So let's give a thought to where we live.  We might have to centralise certain dates for the whole of the country - but lets acknowledge Mother Nature at work where we live and the different seasons and time zones of weather she has made for us.  It might just be the beginning of a whole new way of thinking about  Australian ecology.