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Author Topic: Australia by Tibrogargan January 2007 - present and 155216+ views later!  (Read 550148 times)
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Tibrogargan
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« Reply #620 on: July 11, 2007, 03:24:20 AM »

Thank you CJ1.  I am glad you enjoyed them. My biggest problem is selecting which ones to use as there are so many.
More of them today for your enjoyment.

Monkey Friends

My apologies for dropping off the radar without any warning but the computer crashed so unable to contact anyone.

I will also be away for a few days this coming weekend.
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« Reply #621 on: July 11, 2007, 03:33:34 AM »

WEST AUSTRALIAN WILDFLOWER TRAILS

West Australia have many wildflower trails, a lot of them through National Parks.  I will post a selection of photos from various trails and I will post more in the future.

ALBANY TRACK



CALEY'S BANKSIA



BLUFF KNOLL



GRASS TREES



CAPE RANGE NATIONAL PARK



COWSLIP ORCHID



KARRI TREES



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« Reply #622 on: July 11, 2007, 03:39:20 AM »

HANCOCK GORGE



MELALEUCA



MOUNT AUGUSTUS



MOUNT BARRON GREVILLEA



WARREN NATIONAL PARK



PINK BORONIA



SWAN RIVER, PERTH



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« Reply #623 on: July 12, 2007, 03:10:35 AM »

THREDBO ALPINE VILLAGE

Champagne corks are popping as Thredbo turns 50 in 2007. What a journey over those 50 years it has been, taking Thredbo from a few chalets and rope tows in 1957 to the thriving year round village it is today. Thredbo was established back in 1956, when the first chairlifts and lodges transformed the snowy terrain into a snow riders dream. Thanks to this early vision, Thredbo has taken off and developed into the ripping year round resort it is today.



Aboriginal History

The Aborigines made their way to Australia around 50, 000 years ago, entering through Cape York Peninsula. Back then the Kosciuszko Plateau was the ultimate winter playground, set deep within the ice age. Life was scarce due to the big freeze, but as the earth gradually warmed the Snowy Mountains blossomed. It is believed that Aborigines saw this potential and took up permanent residence on the Monaro between 5,000 to 10,000 years ago.  The Aborigines that moved to the base of the mountains formed 4 major tribal groups: the YA-itmathang, the Wolgal, the Waradgery and the Ngarigo. The upper slopes were regarded as no-mans land, held in trust for the tribes and because of the winter chill remained uninhabited. The changing of seasons brought on a new lease of life for the Aborigines. In Spring the peaks became the perfect meeting place where thousands would gather for ceremonies, share in the wonder of the alpine environment and hold the annual feasting on the Bogong moth, which was considered a delicious delicacy. These moths (Agrotis infusa) breed on the plains between Queensland to Victoria and migrate to the Alps in spring to escape the heatwave and chill in the rocky crevices. The Bogong moth was a crucial part of the Aborigines diet. After a long winter of fasting the moth was seen as the ideal meal, rich in proteins and containing 50-75% fat.



The Village

Thredbo Village, set within the magic Kosciuszko National park is one of Australia’s highest alpine towns. It’s perched among the awesome mountains between 1365 to 1930 metres above sea level. (Cabramurra being the highest). The Thredbo area was originally used by graziers, when in 1955, a Czechoslovakian with great vision saw the potential for a wicked mountain resort. Tony Sponar was working as a hydrographer for the Snowy Mountains Authority and was captivated by the snow capped peaks and their ski-ability. Sponar had been a ski instructor at the renowned St Anton Resort, Austria from 1941 to 1948. He saw Thredbo developing as an Australian equivalent, with super snow riding and an electric atmosphere to match.



In May 1955, the Kosciusko Chairlift and Thredbo Hotel Syndicate was formed. The directors Tony Sponar, Charles Anton, Eric Nicholls and Geoffrey Hughes attained a lease from the state government with a year round resort in mind. In the winter of 1955 a study of snowfall and weather patterns was carried out, and by the years end it was decided the Friday Flat/ Crackenback Peak was the best place to kick of Thredbo’s snow riding sanctuary. A line was cleared and surveyed for the proposed chairlift on Crackenback Peak and in October Andrew Thyne Reid joined the syndicate.


 
In January 1957 the good news came through. The State Park Trust gave the syndicate an option for a lease, and in the summer of 1956-57 work began on a chairlift and basic accommodation.



The man with the vision, Tony Sponar was the first area manager. In 1957 he was handed the task of building a road from the Alpine Way to the present site of the Thredbo Alpine Hotel on a budget of just 4000 pounds. To make things ever tougher he had a budget of 1000 pounds to build a lodge.  In May 1957 the syndicate was given a new name Kosciuszko Thredbo Limited and with the new name came a fresh change. Andrew Thyne Reid was named Chairman and thanks to his experience with James Hardie Asbestos, the money was raised to continue the development of Thredbo.



To obtain a 99 year lease the group had to build a ski lift and 100 bed hotel within five years. After three and a half years it was clear the group needed a partner with more financial strength and construction expertise. Tyne Reid negotiated with the bidders, McGrath Coach Houses and Lend Lease. In 1961, Lend Lease acquired the lease and up until 1987 developed Thredbo into the most unique alpine resort in Australia.



In January 1987, Amalgamated Holdings Limited, known to most as the Greater Union Organisation, purchased the lease and since then Thredbo has charged into the 21st century. During the summer of 1987/88 over $30 million was invested, installing the largest snowmaking facility in the southern hemisphere along with two state of the art detachable quad chairs. These moves not only ensure great snow when mother nature takes a break, but provide a comfortable and fast means to explore the great outdoors and rip up the slopes.

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« Reply #624 on: July 13, 2007, 02:51:22 AM »

THREDBO LANDSLIDE OF 1997

The road above the village, the Alpine Way, had been built as a temporary service road during the 1950’s to access Murray 1 and 2 power stations. Once the power stations were completed, the Snowy Mountains Authority upgraded the road with fill and planted vegetation on the downhill hillside. Maintenance of the road was then transferred to the State Park, now Kosciuszko National Park.

On the Night of 30 July 1997 the Alpine Way collapsed under pressure from heavy rain, melting snow and transported weathered material. Carinya Lodge was pushed by the road collapse into the lodge below and both it and Bimbadeen Staff Lodge were completely destroyed. The collapse occurred late at night when most residents were in bed.

2000 square metres of liquefied soil with a water flow of 1.7 litres per second took barely a few seconds to move 250 metres. Carinya moved downhill so rapidly that it crossed the road separating it from Bimbadeen causing its total collapse.

In the aftermath the area was unstable with an underground stream flowing through the remains of the two lodges. Rescuers were hampered by possible collapse of flattened walls and concrete floorings. Eighteen people perished in the collapse and one, Stuart Diver, was pulled out alive after three days buried beneath interleaved concrete slabs, liquified soil and chilling water.

The resultant emergency rescue effort brought volunteers and specialists together from all over Australia. They worked night and day to clear the debris from the two lodges and prevent further mishap. The State Emergency Service rotated 1350 crew with about 250 on the site at any one time.

In the aftermath all aspects of the physical geography of the site were examined by engineers, geologists, civil contractors, technical experts such as the geomophologists, climatologists, geotechnical advisors and landscaping specialists.

By February 1998 Stage One reconstruction had begun with a fully retained cut and fill embankment. The Alpine Way itself was closed early in the year and a 15m wall built at the back of the site including extensive gabion work and drainage. Three terraces with gabions and reinforced fill were constructed on the site. This was completed by June 1998.

In October 1998 Stage Two began with the reconstruction of 600 metres of the Alpine Way and the building of upslope retaining walls. At the site a Contemplation Platform was built and the area landscaped.

The site plus 900 metres of the Alpine Way is now monitored for runoff with 25 inclinometers, which detect any down slope movement, and 12 piezometers, which keep track of water fluidity and the water table in general.

A coroner's inquest was conducted into the events surrounding the road collapse. The inquest found that:" The causes of the tragic deaths, which occurred as a result of that landslide, are complex. "

The Coroner concluded that, at the time of the road collapse, no individual government authority had responsibility for the maintenance of the Alpine Way. The fill embankment was in a marginally stable state at the time due in the main to it having been originally built as a construction access road by the Snowy Mountains Hydroelectric Authority, not the public road that it subsequently became.

Funding constraints on the National Parks and Wildlife Service limited what could be done to maintain roads operationally. The NPWS had been "inheriting roads not designed for the purpose to which they were later put".  Responsibility for the Alpine Way and the Kosciuszko Road into Perisher Blue has subsequently been handed over to the Road and Traffic Authority (RTA).

Coroner Derrick Hand found that a leaking water main triggered the fatal slippage, but reserved ultimate blame for the New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service and the Roads and Traffic Authority for 40 years of neglect of unstable land around Thredbo.

My note : Photobucket appears to be not working so I will post the photos later for this and the following article.
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« Reply #625 on: July 13, 2007, 02:55:01 AM »

HERO OF THREDBO RESCUE

"Legendary" Ambulance Paramedic – renowned for his work in the rescue of Stuart Diver in the Mt Thredbo disaster, the Granville Train Disaster and most recently the Beaconsfield Mine Rescue.

Paul Featherstone was the paramedic who psychologically held Diver's hand for 12 hours until he was freed from his concrete tomb after the disastrous Thredbo landslide in 1997. During the three–day ordeal the rescuers had little rest or sleep and Paul was seen as going beyond what anyone could expect in giving the sole survivor the best possible care and support during the extrication. The danger was real and imminent. If the concrete slabs had slipped to any significant degree, both men would certainly have perished. Yet even when the site had to be evacuated each time the rubble shifted, Paul would stay below ground to keep Stuart talking and distract him from the predicament. He did this in spite of the risk for himself as it helped the man stay calm and avoided making his condition worse.

Featherstone says he will never forget the grand–final–like roar that rolled down the mountain when the word spread that Diver had been pulled out alive. The crowd of locals that had spent the day mourning the loss of 18 friends, colleagues and loved ones – including Diver's wife, Sally – could now celebrate the sparing of at least one life.

Paul Featherstone is really a unique individual. He has spent the last 30 years perfecting skills in the recovery and care of people in life threatening situations.

Joining the NSW Ambulance Service in 1972, Paul pioneered the Ambulance Service's acclaimed Paramedic system in 1976. He conceived and developed the Special Casualty Access Team (S.C.A.T.) in 1986, and has since been a team leader in developing patient access methods and high levels of care under hostile environments.

Paul's experience positions him as a specialist in situations where lives may be at stake. Situations where perfect planning, quick assessment and responses are critical for the prevention of injury. In situations where injuries have occurred, Paul is skilled and equipped to access, treat, recover and transport injured individuals whether by foot, road, air or sea.

Paul has developed unique training methods in high–risk areas based on "real world" experience, with emphasis on self–motivation and teamwork. Paul's specific skills and experience are from heart attacks in domestic environments to severe multiple victim industrial accidents; and he has been at the forefront of literally thousands of emergency situations.

Twice the recipient of the Ambulance Service's highest award for bravery, the Distinguished Service Medal as well as the Australian Bravery Medal, the Humane Society's bronze, silver and gold medals and the Prince Phillip Helicopter Rescue Award, Paul Featherstone is a man who can be depended on.

Whether at Thredbo, or with Pat Portlock, pinned by the leg for 10 hours under a teetering crane at Kyeemagh, crawling through the rubble at Granville in 1977, or in boiling seas at Malabar miraculously plucking a fisherman to safety, everything he does is based on intensive and expert training of many years, and on experience which has grown in him an invaluable sixth sense.
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« Reply #626 on: July 13, 2007, 08:09:30 PM »

Looks like Photobucket is cooperating again so here are photos of the landslide.









Stuart Diver being rescued.



Paul Featherstone



Will be back in a few days, Monkeys.
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« Reply #627 on: July 19, 2007, 06:20:47 AM »

RARE GIBBON SURVIVES AT PERTH ZOO

WEIGHING just 500g at birth and abandoned by her mother, a rare baby gibbon is beating the odds with round-the-clock intensive care at Perth Zoo. The tiny white-cheeked gibbon, named Li-Lian, now weighs 800g and is thriving on a diet of formula milk eight times a day.



The species is critically endangered, making Li-Lian's progress extremely pleasing, says Perth Zoo exotic mammals curator Clare Campbell.  "The white-cheeked gibbon is a critically endangered species on the brink of extinction, so this is a very precious animal. We are very pleased with Li-Lian's progress,'' Ms Campbell said.



Perth Zoo is part of an Australasian breeding program for white-cheeked gibbons and has two breeding pairs. Li-Lian is the 10th of her kind to be born at Perth Zoo.  Her plight is a case of history repeating itself. Li-Lian's mother, Nelly, lost her own mother when she was quite young. And it was most likely why Nelly, a first-time mother, rejected Li-Lian, Ms Campbell said.  "The goal is to reintroduce Li-Lian to her parents when she is about four or five months old,'' Ms Campbell said.



The first few weeks of Li-Lian's life were spent in a humidicrib to maintain her body temperature. Zoo staff exercise Li-Lian daily, stretching her arms and swinging her while she hangs on to help strengthen her arms and encourage natural gibbon behaviour.  She will need the strength to leap the 17m that gibbons are known to jump, and to travel up to 60km/h.



For now, she is in an off-display area and will stay away from the public spotlight until she is older. Li-Lian can look forward to an average lifespan of 28 years.  Gibbons - found in the rainforests of southern China, Laos and Vietnam - are threatened with extinction due to the destruction of their wild habitat, poaching and the illegal pet trade. Perth Zoo and Conservation International representatives will meet next week to discuss how best to help gibbons in the wild.
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« Reply #628 on: July 19, 2007, 06:28:51 AM »

PHILLIP ISLAND, VICTORIA

Phillip Island is Melbourne's holiday and recreational playground, located in Western Port Bay, just 90 minutes by road from the city centre. The island's gateway, at San Remo where a bridge links Phillip Island to the mainland, is an attractive fishing village dominated by eateries and speciality shops.



Phillip Island offers both swimming and surf beaches and unique wildlife including the famous penguins which make their epic journey along the beach at sunset. The Penguin Parade experience is sure to be the highlight of your visit. As the sun fades in the sky, the little Penguins waddle up the beach to the safety of their homes in the sand dunes.



The western tip of the island, known as The Nobbies, consists of rocky islands just off the coast which can be viewed from the surrounding boardwalks, and the famous Seal Rocks which is home to the largest colony of fur seals in Australia. Cape Woolamai is at the south-eastern tip of the island and is a state fauna reserve featuring mutton bird rookeries and walking tracks along the coastal cliffs,



Phillip Island Circuit is home to the International MotoGP Motorcycle Grand Prix, Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix, World Championship Superbikes and Australian Touring Car Championships and a host of other events.



Towering gums at the Koala Conservation Centre and woodlands of the Oswin Roberts Reserve provide a safe home for the island’s koala population. There are several walking tracks through the surrounding bush and Koalas can be viewed at the close viewing area and tree-top boardwalk at the visitor Centre.



San Remo is a well-known fishing village and is the base for Australia's largest shark fishing fleet. The main hub of boating activity occurs around the network of elevated walkways which constitutes the San Remo Jetty, offering direct access to both Western Port Bay and Bass Strait. On the beach foreshore adjacent to the San Remo Jetty pelicans are fed daily from freshly caught fish.



The National Vietnam Veterans Museum has recently opened its new premises next to the Phillip Island Airport. The new museum holds thousands of artefacts and displays.
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« Reply #629 on: July 19, 2007, 06:31:58 AM »

MORE VIEWS OF PHILLIP ISLAND










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« Reply #630 on: July 20, 2007, 03:21:03 AM »

HUMPTY DOO, NORTHERN TERRITORY

Humpty Doo lies 47 kms from Darwin on the Arnhem Highway. It is famous for the fact that in the 1950s it was one of the great failed postwar agricultural experiments. Ever since the German botanist Dr. Maurice Holtze had carried out experiments in Darwin in the 1870s and 1880s it was believed that the future of the Northern Territory probably lay in its ability to grow tropical crops. Holtze had experimented with everything from rubber to sugar and rice.  The goldrushes to the Northern Territory in the 1880s had brought an influx of Chinese miners and the area around Humpty Doo had been used to grow rice to satisfy this demand. The rice had grown without too many problems but there had been no further interest.




Then, in 1954, after considerable CSIRO experimentation, a joint Australia-US company known as Territory Rice Ltd was established. The plan was to irrigate the subcoastal plain of the Adelaide River and produce a commercial rice crop. The theory looked good. The practice was a total disaster.  In 1955-56 Territory Rice Ltd received agricultural leases of 303 000 hectares of land on the floodplain. Everything that could go wrong did go wrong.



Wild buffaloes moved in and started destroying the paddies and eating the crop. Rats appeared and wrought havoc. The birds consumed the seeds as quickly as the company could plant them. The soil proved to be too saline and the drainage was inadequate. Add to all these problems the weakness of the management of the project and by 1959 the paddy fields had been abandoned. The management could find no one else to take over the leases so in 1962 they forfeited their land to the government.



Today Humpty Doo looks like the fringe area of any large Australian city. It is a combination of market gardening, low level servicing for tourists travelling to Kakadu and a small local shopping area. Agricultural produce from the area is shipped out through the port of Darwin while the town's proximity to Darwin has attracted people who want to live beyond the city limits but within easy commuting distance.



Graeme Gow's Reptile World boasts no fewer than 300 different species of snake including most of Australia's deadliest varieties. One of the most dangerous snakes is the Taipan. Although the Inland Taipan has the most potent venom of any land snake on earth, it is usually quite shy and has a placid disposition. It occurs in the drainages of the Cooper and Diamantina creeks and their tributaries and, at least in the very recent past, also in the drainages of the Bulloo, Paroo, Warrego and lower Darling Rivers.
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« Reply #631 on: July 20, 2007, 04:59:36 PM »

Tibro - there you are!  We've been wondering about you!

Great photos as usual!
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« Reply #632 on: July 20, 2007, 06:53:02 PM »

Tibro - thanks again for all the wonderful stuff in this thread.

And I hafta say, I'm in love with that little gibbon. Adorable!  Very Happy
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« Reply #633 on: July 21, 2007, 03:23:37 AM »

Klaas - I did go missing for longer than I planned - family stuff.  Rolling Eyes

BT - that baby gibbon is a sweetie.  Reminded me of Hotshot!  Laughing

Something a bit sadder today :

ZOO MOURNS DEATH OF BELOVED CHIMP FIFI.

July 19, 2007 - 10:04PM

Fifi, one of the world's oldest chimpanzees and one of the most popular attractions at Sydney's Taronga Zoo, died peacefully at the zoo.
Fifi, one of the most senior-ranked female members of the zoo's chimpanzee group, celebrated her 60th birthday in May and had been in good health in recent times, zoo spokesman Mark Williams said.
"Apart from experiencing the normal age-related health problems such as arthritis, Fifi had generally been fit in recent times," Mr Williams said in a statement.
"However she decided not to venture outdoors this morning and keepers provided fresh bedding and favourite food items.
"The rest of the chimpanzee group spent time visiting her throughout the day.
"Fifi died late this afternoon and her dedicated keepers allowed the other members of the close group of 18 to spend time with her."
A chimpanzee's average life span is 40 to 45 years but with the protection and expert veterinary care available at zoos, they can live far longer, he said.
The zoo will hold a preliminary investigation into the cause of Fifi's death on Friday.
Taronga's chimpanzee family is recognised as one of the world's most significant, Mr Williams said.
It was one of the first zoos in the world to exhibit a whole chimpanzee group, and has a successful breeding record, he said.

Pictures of Fifi at her 60th birthday party :





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« Reply #634 on: July 21, 2007, 03:32:01 AM »

BLACK AND WHITE DAY

An inspirational idea by an eight-year-old Hobart schoolboy has raised more than $10,500 for research into the Tasmanian devil facial tumour disease.



Nic Bonnitcha – who goes by the name Nature Nic – encouraged schoolchildren across Tasmanian to wear black and white clothes to school on May 18 2007, and to make a gold coin donation to help save their devils.
“It’s not hard to come up with a simple idea,” said Nature Nic, a student from St Aloysius Primary School at Kingston Beach. “But it’s by following through with the idea that you make all the difference.”
More than 37 Tasmanian schools took part in the first-ever Black and White day, but this is only the beginning. Nic spent the July school holidays writing to Education and Environment Ministers across mainland Australia, hoping to make ‘Black and White’ day a national event next year. And why restrict it to school students? Couldn’t your workplace also organise a ‘Black and White’ day?
“All around the world, people think of Tassie devils whenever they hear about Tasmania,” said Nic. “Sometimes people think they’re evil or scary, but they’re not. They’re actually more scared of us than we are of them.
“So I’d feel like I’d be letting them down if I didn’t try to do something to help.”
Nic’s Mum, Linda Bonnitcha, said he came up with the idea after minor surgery forced him off school for a few weeks.
“To stop him from getting bored, we talked about things he could do to fill in time,” Linda explained. “Then he came up with the idea of a ‘Black and White’ day to raise money for the Tasmanian devil – it’s a simple idea, but it can be so effective. Nic told me that he didn’t want to tell his children, when he got older, that devils had died out, just like Tasmanian Tigers.”
‘Black and White’ days will be held each autumn, Nic said, because it’s a time of change.
“Just because kids are small,” Nic added, “it doesn’t mean we don’t have big voices.”
 
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CHILDREN RALLY TO SAVE THE TASSIE DEVIL

Children across Tasmania and the world have rallied to help save the iconic Tasmanian devil.



'Inspiring' is the only way to describe their generosity - from the little boy who sold his computer games to donate money to the Tasmanian devil appeal, to the school that made devil toys (ropes with balls on the end) for the animals in the captive insurance population.
Here are a few more examples of the many wonderful children who are helping to save the Tasmania devils:

·   A young boy from Hobart's Sandy Bay Infants School was so concerned about the plight of the Tasmanian devil that he addressed his school's Parents and Friends Association. Their fundraising efforts generated $120 in donations, and members of the Devil Disease Program were invited to a school assembly to accept the cheque.

·   A nine-year-old girl from Boston, Massachusetts, USA, organised a penny drive at her school. The young girl's enthusiasm and generosity were greatly appreciated.

·   Three students from Hobart's Rose Bay High School raised $485 to assist with research. Hoping to understand even more of the program, one of the students later signed on for work experience with the Devil Facial Tumour Disease Program.

·   A nine-year-old from St John's Primary School, in historic Richmond, 26km from Hobart, built a cardboard donation box and managed to raise $300 for the Devil Disease Program. The student said he wanted to raise money to help Tasmanian devils because they are only found in Tasmania.
 
·   Two children, aged six and eight, surrendered their pocket money each week until they had filled a large tin. They donated the money to the Tasmanian Devil Appeal.

·   Blackman's Bay Primary School, south of Hobart, raised $350 for devil research by holding a free dress day. Students were asked to donate a gold coin.
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« Reply #635 on: July 22, 2007, 03:38:55 AM »

THUNDERSTORMS KILL KANGAROOS IN MEXICO

Article from: Reuters…By Noel Randewich in Mexico City…July 22, 2007 08:12am

VIOLENT thunderstorms caused the deaths of seven kangaroos at a Mexican zoo, say staff who are now pampering the remaining three mothers and their babies.
The zoo in the western city of Guadalajara brought the kangaroos from Texas in April and all went smoothly until last month, when the rainy season began.
Seven kangaroos died over a period of four weeks, most soon after harsh rain storms.
"They became apathetic in the morning, then sad in the afternoon, and by night they could be dead," said veterinarian Andrea Saucedo
"We would just be trying to understand what was happening, when – oops – another."
The kangaroos have ample food, shelter and outdoor space to hop at the zoo.
The animals were likely suffering stress from the move but the foul weather, including drastic daily swings in temperature, pushed some over the edge, the zoo believes.
"The storms weren't continuous," Ms Saucedo said.
"They were the only thing that was coinciding with the deaths."
Heavy rain soaks most of Mexico every June to September, causing floods and mudslides in many regions.
Hardy in their natural habitat, an estimated 57 million wild kangaroos live in Australia, nearly three times the human population.
The red kangaroo species at the Guadalajara zoo comes from arid central Australia.
The three surviving adult kangaroos gave birth just before arriving at the zoo. The joeys have just begun to poke their heads from their mothers' pouches, said zoo spokeswoman Danae Vazquez.
Vets in Australia were reluctant to speculate about the cause of the deaths without seeing the kangaroos and their environments first-hand.
Richard O'Neill, a safari guide in northwestern Australia, said the change in weather could have spooked them.
"Any animal, when you change his environment, will feel stress and that stress can be transmitted throughout the group," he said today.
Zoo workers are giving the remaining kangaroos added attention and vitamins and asking visitors to be extra quiet.
No kangaroos have died in the past three weeks and zookeepers are optimistic the survivors have adapted to their new home.
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« Reply #636 on: July 22, 2007, 03:45:22 AM »

SOME AUSTRALIAN NATIVE ANIMALS

RED KANGAROO



EASTERN BARRED BANDICOOT



BRUSH TAILED ROCK WALLABY



KOALA



MOUNTAIN BRUSH TAILED POSSUM



SPOTTED TAILED QUOLL



PYGMY POSSUM



A KOALA'S IMPRESSION OF AN ARUBAN OSTRICH




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« Reply #637 on: July 23, 2007, 04:28:15 AM »

BIG THINGS IN AUSTRALIA

The Big Things of Australia are a loosely related set of large structures or sculptures representing much smaller objects which pertain to the area in which they are located. Each one is individual and constructed without reference to any of the others, but together they have certain things in common and are collectively known as Australia's Big Things. The first Big Thing is usually held to be the Big Banana built in 1964 in Coffs Harbour, New South Wales. However, 'Ploddy' the diplodocus at the Australian Reptile Park in New South Wales has a claim to being the first big thing, which was built in 1963. Now there are over 146 similar objects around the country.

There is no real consensus as to what qualifies a structure as a "Big Thing". Some loose rules could be:

• At least twice the size of the object it represents.
• At least twice human size.
• Dominant and accessible.
• Lifelike quality of construction.
• Enterprising and/or locally representative.

The Big Things have become something of a cult phenomenon, and are sometimes used as an excuse for a road trip, where many or all Big Things are visited and used as a backdrop to a group photograph.



Built in 1964, the Big Banana in Coffs Harbour NSW was the first of Australia's Big Things. The original Big Banana has been copied by the Big Bananas at Carnarvon, Western Australia and the Big Bunch of Bananas at Sawtell, New South Wales.



The Big Ram is located in Wagin, a town located in the Wheatbelt region of Western Australia. Very similar to this is the Big Merino in Goulburn, New South Wales.



Hamilton is a city in the Southern Grampians Shire of Victoria. Its contribution to the Big Things are these Wool Bales.



 The Golden Guitar in Tamworth, New South Wales was erected in front of the famous Longyard Hotel on the Sydney Road in 1988. It was unveiled by Australia's most popular country music artist, Slim Dusty (David Gordon Kirkpatrick). Its location in Tamworth is symbolic of the city's recognition and celebration of Australia's country music, and its artists. An estimated 3.6 million photographs have been taken of the site since its opening. Here is one of those.




This one is the Giant Koala near Ararat, Victoria. Sized at 14m x 8m it can be visited on the drive from Melbourne to Adelaide and houses a gift shop selling a wide array of sheepskin products and miscellaneous Australiana.



The Big Barramundi is perched at the front of the Big Barramundi BBQ Gardens in the Far North Queensland town of Daintree. The Gardens themselves are a pleasant diversion and a handy escape from the crocodiles that haunt the Daintree river nearby. The 'Big Barra' is one of those rare big things that manages to show a little style and taste. Apparently there is a butterfly farm nearby and we suggest the owners give thought to a installing a Big Butterfly as a companion.




Rooey II' the Big Kangaroo, is found at Border Village - on the border between South Australia and Western Australia. Rooey stands about 5 metres tall and is holding a can of soft drink. We've heard that 'Rooey I' used to hold a can of beer, but it was felt that it sent the wrong message to visitors. So it was changed to something softer. Here's cheers anyway, Rooey.




One of the more famous and visited locations in the Big Thing universe. The Big Pineapple is 16 metres high, and has been in place since 1971, serving as a sentinel for the plantation and its rides and flora and fauna attractions. Inside the structure is a guide to all things pineapple, so next time at a party the topic comes up you'll not grab it by the rough end, instead running rings around those gathered.




Built by the same people who did the Big Oyster, the Big Prawn can be found outside Ballina on the NSW north coast. If you compare the two big things (the Oyster and the Prawn) you'll note some similiarity in design features - the same glass viewing area and the same style and colour shed supporting the structure. Try to imagine the Big Prawn in a Big Prawn cocktail with a bit of shredded lettuce, Thousand Island Dressing and cocktail fork. Delish!



Kimba is a little town with a big thing going for it - the Big Galah. It's perched out the front of the tourist gift shop called "Half Way Across Australia". That's because Kimba is midway between the east and west coasts of this wide, brown land. Our local bird expert has said that the Big Galah looks like it needs a good feed. Bring on the Big Wheat Bag.

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....And at night the wond’rous glory of the everlasting stars..  A.B (Banjo) Paterson
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« Reply #638 on: July 24, 2007, 02:26:10 AM »

QANTAS UNVEILS SELF-SERVE BAR

Article from: AAP….July 24, 2007 11:02am

QANTAS has launched a new class for economy passengers travelling on long-haul flights - with a self-service bar among the attractions.
The airline's new premium economy class will be offered on international flights of its Boeing 747-400 and new Airbus A380 aircraft. Qantas executive general manager John Borghetti said premium economy will appeal to economy travellers seeking more space and a higher level of service.  "The seats offer extra width and recline, more legroom, and an in-arm digital wide screen television monitor, as well as laptop power connection," he said.



Premium economy passengers will have access to a self-service bar and a choice of meals designed by Neil Perry's Rockpool Group.  The seats are 19.4 inches wide and will have a nine-inch recline.  Premium economy travel will be available over time on B747-400 services to London, Hong Kong and Johannesburg from February next year. Further routes will be added following the introduction of A380 aircraft in August 2008.  The premium economy cabin will be located on the main deck of B747-400 aircraft and include 32 seats in a two-four-two configuration. On the A380, the cabin will be located on the upper deck with 32 seats in a two-three-two configuration.



Qantas today also unveiled a new interpretation of its flying kangaroo logo.  The logo was adapted to fit the tail of the new A380 aircraft, as well as to reflect the airline's contemporary design focus.  "This move also reflects the changing structure of our new aircraft, for example the shape of our new kangaroo is a great fit for the tail of the A380 and other new generation aircraft," Mr Borghetti said. The new branding will be progressively rolled out in the lead up to the delivery of the first A380.  The first aircraft to carry the new logo and livery – a Boeing 767 plane flying domestic routes – was rolled out today.
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« Reply #639 on: July 24, 2007, 02:35:12 AM »

MURRAY RIVER REGIONS



The Murray region follows the Murray River which forms the state border between Victoria and neighbouring New South Wales.  In the north-west of the state, the river flows through arid and dry land, with the irrigated vineyards and fruit growing farms around the city of Mildura providing a welcome oasis. South of Mildura and away from the river, desert bushes, isolated national parks and semi-dry lakes are all part of the landscape.
The central part of the Murray region includes the riverfront towns of Echuca, Cobram and Yarrawonga. The historic river port of Echuca was once Australia's busiest inland port during the days of steamboat transport in the 1800s. Today, many of the towns along the Murray River in this area are holiday destinations, with river cruises, fishing and swimming on sandy river banks popular activities.  



The city of Shepparton is located in the southern part of the central Murray region, in the rich Goulburn Valley. This area is known as "The Food Bowl of Australia" and features dairying, fruit growing and agricultural farms which produce around 25 percent of the state's rural output.  The eastern section of the Murray region includes Wodonga which is situated on the southern banks of the river, and is the gateway to its twin city of Albury and the many water activities on nearby Lake Hume. Further east, the region extends into the highlands of the Great Diving Range, meeting the Kosciuszko National Park where the source of the Murray River can be found.



Mildura is located in the far north-western corner of Victoria, on the banks of the Murray River, around 400 kilometres from Adelaide and under 550 kilometres from Melbourne.  Originally a rather lifeless area, the region around Mildura was transformed into a rich agricultural oasis thanks to the work of the Chaffey brothers from Canada in the late 1800s due to their experience with creating irrigation settlements. These days, Mildura is a very popular tourist destination, a bustling regional city in an area well noted for its warm and stable weather. The city features wide, tree-lined streets and is surrounded by vast numbers of wineries and fruit growing farms. The Murray River offers many activities, such as paddle steamer cruises, swimming, fishing and the popular activity of living on a hired house boat and cruising along the river for a number of days. Mildura is home to a number of major festivals, and its long history has left behind a legacy of historical buildings including the Rio Vista Mansion, the Old Mildura Homestead, and the Grand Hotel.



Echuca is set within an irrigated pastoral and agricultural district, on the Murray River directly north of Melbourne, and just across the river from the New South Wales town of Moama.  In the mid-1800s, Echuca was one of Australia's busiest inland ports, with paddle steamers ferrying supplies throughout Australia's interior via the river network. Improving road and rail transport eventually took over, with cargo transport on the river through the Port of Echuca ceasing in the very early 1900s. The wharf at Echuca has been preserved, although it was originally 1200 metres long - five times its present length. The area around the wharf has been turned into a recreated river port of yesteryear, featuring paddle steamer cruises, restoration of historic buildings, and a couple of museums.  Echuca's location along the Murray River, lined with parks and native forests, makes it a popular destination for visitors, being just over two hours drive from Melbourne. Swimming, boating and fishing are popular activities, and the river is home to a constant stream of houseboats, providing an alternative type of accommodation for holiday makers. Echuca has a number of historic buildings dating back to its days as a busy river port, several museums, and just out of town are a number of wineries.



Yarrawonga is situated between Cobram and Rutherglen in the north of the state, across the Murray River from the New South Wales town of Mulwala. Yarrawonga's major natural attraction is Lake Mulwala which was formed by the building of a weir across the Murray River in the 1930s. The resulting 23 kilometre long lake is a popular location for boating, fishing and swimming. A number of tourist operators offer cruises on the lake and river for visitors.  Yarrawonga is a popular holiday destination, well known for its warm and stable climate and the array of festivals held in the area throughout the year. The main shopping strip is located along Belmore Street, with attractive parks and gardens located at the northern end which front onto Lake Mulwala.



Shepparton Moooving Art exhibition of cow sculptures
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....And at night the wond’rous glory of the everlasting stars..  A.B (Banjo) Paterson
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