The Grade Three Bloggers wrote a post about the packages I sent them. What started as a simple comment grew and so a post was needed. To see their original post, click the link below...

A Special Surprise Arrives!

“The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery.”

Mark Van Doren

When I retired from teaching I at first thought my times of assisting the education of others was coming to an end yet, as can happen in life, it was the time of new beginnings. Through blogging I found I could still be involved in the learning of others and, having always wanted to share with others, I found I could still share resources as I had with children in my classes. The packages I sent were some of the learning “treasures” I still collect in the hope of sharing.

“Sixty years ago I knew everything; now I know nothing; education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.”

Will Durant - The Great Gadfly, Time magazine, 8 October 1965

I shared the above quote because I have found similar to Will Durant, although sixty years ago I was only one year old. It seems the more we learn, the more we realise how much there is still to know.

As I read through the cards, I discovered new information about some of the animals; in fact some of the animals were unknown to me before I read the cards. I realised I still have large gaps of knowledge waiting to be filled. Learning is a lifelong journey just waiting for us to explore.

Unlike Mrs. Renton, I find snakes interesting and have seen a number of poisonous species while out hiking. Red-bellied black snakes, tiger snakes, eastern brown snakes and death adders are native to my area. I have a healthy respect for these snakes and tend to keep my distance although I once had to chase a young black snake out of a school playground. Black snakes are the shyest of these snakes and prefer to slither away rather than attack.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

What’s happening for the rest of my year?

You already know I film and produce DVDs and CDs for schools and community groups in my area. I have an adult choir and a dancing school production edit under way at this time and will soon film a school play (Dec. 8) and Kindergarten Graduation (Dec. 11) in two schools. With our year soon to end, I thought that might be the end of projects for the year but I had a phone call and have been asked to again be a photographer and videographer for a BioBlitz on December 4 and 5.

What’s a BioBlitz?

Scientists and interested amateurs, including school students, take part in animal and plant surveys in a given area. It’s a method of checking the environmental/ecological health of an area. This time it will be in Bournda National Park to the north of my town. It will be the second I have been able to record.

I arrive with cameras ready before dawn each day hoping to capture a sunrise at least once. The Friday doesn’t end until about 8 p.m. and the Saturday ends around 4 p.m. It’s a chance to learn more about my area. It seems there’s so much yet to see.

I know I will be adding photos and video clips to my collection and sharing them with the BioBlitz team. I hope to add a blog post about the experience by the beginning of 2016. I wonder if I will be able to photograph some interesting animals again this time?

Here are a few images from the 2014 BioBlitz in an area known as Panboola

Sunset  in Panboola

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

frogs

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

lizards

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

scorpions

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

The little guy below is a marsupial mouse, species antechinus.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Birds of Prey

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

What people thought about being involved in the BioBlitz.

To view Mrs, Watson and K/1/2/3 original post, click the link below…

Our First ABC Performance

Hello Mrs Watson and K/1/2/3,

A favourite instrument... Like so many things in life I have many favourites because I like the sounds. I play a little recorder, flute and piano but not very well so they are amongst my favourites.

At times, I like unusual musical sounds so discovering new instruments means hearing new sounds. From more ancient instruments in Aboriginal culture such as the didgeridoo (another spelling is didjeridu), clapsticks and bullroarer to instruments such as sitars (India), shamisen (Japan), djemba drums (Africa), Taiko drums (Japan), and voices raised in music, I like the sounds. They can be fascinating.

One big activity I have here in Australia is filming school and community performances in order to produce DVDs andsometimes CDs. While I can’t share the images, I can share the sounds from some performances. Here is a little audio from a few of the performances I have put together for you…

African Djemba drums and a cowbell

Djemba drumshave a fantastic sound when played together. You can feel the sound in the room. This is the sound of around 30 drummers from a primary school.

Didgeridoo and clapsticks

Didgeridoos are played by the men in a number of Aboriginal cultures. Women aren't permitted to play one. Clapsticks are two stcks struck together to give the beat. This was a recording of primary school boys and girls performing a traditional dance.

Dingboxes and boomwhackers

I must admit, when I first heard of dingboxes and boomwhackers, I wasn't certain what they were. Did you know? Dingboxes are boxes with a springed lid and a tuned bell inside. Step on the box lid and the bell rings. Boomwhackers are length of tuned plastic tubes you can hit together. The other sound a little like a drum is a person hitting a box with their hand.

Recorder and violin

As I once taught the recorder in class, I like their sound if played well. This is the sound of 31 primary school recorder players with two high school students playing violins over a recorded background.

Loop pedal

This was a new piece of equipment I heard for the first time this year. It was used by a high school student to create an original piece. You will hear her add sound using only her voice. The Loop pedal stores the sound and then repeats it while she adds a new sound. After adding a third sound to make the backing, you hear her sing. I thought it was fascinating to hear one person create such a sound using the loop pedal.

Storm Choir

This is an original piece of music from a performance I was asked to record. A choir of 9 people use their voices to create the sounds of a coming storm. You hear thunder as they stamp their feet and their voices create the sound of rain falling.

Taiko Drums

Taiko drums are traditional in Japan. Played together, I like the sound. You can feel the sound in the room as Taiko drums are played.

I also like the sounds of nature. Listen to the sounds of these birds…

A favourite, the kookaburra…

While hiking recently, I saw one kookaburra fly to a tree where another was perched. I suspected they would start to sing together. The recording is the sound they made. Can you hear why some people think kookaburras are laughing at us?

While hiking, 50 to 100 ravens landed in the trees around me…

It was quie a surprise to see so many ravens in one place so I took out my phone and recorded them. The raven choir sounded incredible.

and a sound recording taking me weeks to get close enough, the lyrebird…

The lyrebird, named for the lyre shape of its tail, is a mimic bird. This recording is of a lyrebird copying the calls of other birds. I have heard of lyrebirds copying the sound of machines and of one, raised from a chick by someone who played the flute, being heard mimicking the sound of flute music. While shy of people in the wild, I have seen them a number of times but find it hard to get close enough to record them singing. On the day of the recording, I was down wind from the bird and could see its lyre tail just above a bush. It didn't see or hear me.

  * * * * *

While sounds can be loud, soft, musical and even horrible, they are part of the world we live in. Whether we hear them or feel them, I love hearing interesting new sounds.

Did I say feel them? Have you felt the vibrations caused by sound? Drum beats, especially large drums, bass guitars, and the delicate vibrations of a soft piano piece when you put your ear against the piano, we can both hear and feel them.

Did you know one of the great composers, Beethoven, became deaf as he grew older? He still composed music but would place his ear against the piano to feel the sounds. He wrote his final and 9th symphony when almost totally deaf.

Did any of you feel the music through the floor as you listened to your ABC performance?

To see Global Grade 3's post, click the link blow...

Investigating Fossils

Life can be full of wonder and discovery if we only keep our minds and senses open to the world around us.

Some Fossils In My Collection

Hi there!

I didn't think I would be preparing another extended comment for you so soon but you wrote a post about one of my favourite topics, fossils. I thought I would write a post so I could share photos of some fossils in my collection and links to other posts written on this blog.

At the end of this post, I have added links to some other posts I have written about fossils and dinosaurs.

Some of my favourite fossils I collected.

Being able to find your own fossils makes a specimen more special because you could be the first person to have seen it.

The sample below was collected from a dolomite quarry. You can still see the remains of the original shell but the soft parts of the animal have been replaced by dolomite. This shell belonged to an animal living perhaps 30,000 years ago.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

The next dolomite stone was found when I was walking along a beach. You can see it has been rounded by wave action and rubbing against other rocks. In it are the remains of small shellfish. I can stlll find small shells similar to these on beaches today.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Below is part of a fossilised tree trunk I found when looking over a rockfall. I only have this section but I always wondered if the entire tree was somewhere in the tonnes of rock in the rockfall. According to my geological map, this fossil may have been a living tree perhaps 200 million years ago.

I don't know when the rockfall happened but I had also been to the same place before part of the cliff above gave way.

WARNING: unstable areas can be very dangerous. I only examined the edges of the rockfall and kept well away from the cliff area.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

In the next fossil we see a leaf in the middle and a piece of a branch below it. As it was found in the same rockfall as the fossilised tree trunk above, it may have come from the same tree.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

And some favourites I purchased...

Fossiled ammonite shell. Ammonites lived in the ocean from about 400 million to 65 million years ago.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

This ammonite fossil shell has been cut in half and polished to show the chambers inside the shell.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Dinosaur coprolite from U.S.A. Did you know it can be possible for scientists to find what animals had eaten from coprolite samples? This was from a herbivore dinosaur. It may only be a coprolite but it is my only real dinosaur fossil.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Trilobite - Species of trilobites roamed the oceans from about 500 to 250 million years ago.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

I've included the photo below but it isn't a fossil. It is a piece of wood from a New Zealand kauri tree found in a swamp. Because of the quality of the timber and the lack of oxygen in the swamp, it had been preserved but you can see the writing printed on the timber telling us it has been carbon dated to 44500 years. Imagine, it's over 40000 years old but looks as though it has been cut from a modern tree. Kauri trees are still found in New Zealand forests today.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Below is a photo of a kauri tree I had taken in 1986. It is known as Tane Mahuta. It's thought to be between 1250 and 2500 years old but is still alive. It's the largest kauri tree known to be standing in New Zealand. In the Maori language, Tane Mahuta means "Lord of the Forest".

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Some of the most interesting dinosaur fossils found are those of dinosaur eggs. Look at the photo below. It shows dinosaur eggs in a nest so we know at least some dinosaurs had nesting grounds for their eggs. Can you imagine seeing a heard of nesting dinosaurs caring for their eggs?

This image was sourced through WIkimedia Commons where it is listed as in the public domain. It was taken in China's Kunming Natural History Museum of Zoology.

This image was sourced through WIkimedia Commons where it is listed as in the public domain. It was taken in China's Kunming Natural History Museum of Zoology.

And now for something a little different.

Below is a photo of a toy dinosaur egg.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

When placed in water and left, the egg starts to open and the toy dinosaur can be seen hatching. It grows (swells) in the water.  It can take up to one week so I might have to top up the water. According to the information sheet, the dinosaur in this egg is named Matilda and is a Diamantinasaurus matildae. The diamantinasaurus is an Australian dinosaur. Fossils were found in the Australian state of Queensland.

I don't know whether to try it or not because I like the secret inside being a secret.

Would you hatch it if you had one?

It's only through fossils and other remains we can start to discover animals and plants from the past. As examples, some are simply washed out of the ground in storms, some uncovered in mining, and some are seen after rockfalls. Back in 1984, I visited Naracoorte's Victoria Fossil Cave in South Australia. Animals had wandered into the cave, become lost and died. Paleontologists had been digging and found, amongst other animals, the remains of an extinct kangaroo species as well as diprotodon (a little like a huge wombat). Here is a photo of the dig site back in 1984..

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

I checked Wikipedia to see what they have since discovered and found Wikimedia Commons has a wonderful public domain photo taken in the cave in 2006. It shows thylacoleo skeleton. This was an extinct carnivorous marsupial. Being a marsupial, the females would have had pouches for their young.

his image was sourced through WIkimedia Commons where it is listed as in the public domain. It was taken in China's Kunming Natural History Museum of Zoology.

his image was sourced through WIkimedia Commons where it is listed as in the public domain. It was taken in China's Kunming Natural History Museum of Zoology.

And now for a little gift I posted to you today...

I have just finished collecting cards from a new series named "Ancient Animals". I thought you might like one of the sets for your class. It has 81 cards on different types of animals from the past. It does come with a special magnifying glass with a UV light to show secret information on some of the cards. I had to put the UV magnifying glass in a small box to keep it safer. Both were posted on October 16. If all goes well and both parcels reach you, I wonder how long they will take and whether the book or magnifying glass arrives first?

Ancient Animals

 

AND NOW FOR THE LINKS TO EARLIER POSTS ON THIS BLOG I PROMISED

It was back in 2012 I wrote a post about fossils for the Global Grade 3. They would probably be Grade 6 now. Here is a link...

My Fossils for Global Grade 3

I've included links to posts I wrote after a visit the the National Dinosaur Museum in Canberra, Australia's capital city.

What the Dino Saw

What the Dino Saw Next

 All of the knowledge in the world is of no use unless it's used to help, and is shared with, others.

2 Comments

To see Global Grade 3's original post, click the link below

A Closer Look at MAPS!

Hello Global Grade 3,

I'll start by repeating the wonderful quote from Henry Miller at the beginning of you post...

The moment one gives close attention to any thing, even a blade of grass it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself. 

~Henry Miller

I saw your post entitled "The Power of Observation and Wonder" and found it very interesting to read. I was going to write a reply because, as the previous Global Grade 3 class knows, I am interested in many things including stones but I have been very busy filming and making DVDs for schools. However, your "A Closer Look at MAPS!" post again caught my attention so I thought I'd write a short post about maps.

I have seen many types of maps including the types you have studied. Perhaps my favourite modern maps are the types I used as a Scout. I would say, "Give me a good map and a compass and I can usually find my way around."

I have scanned an old topographical map I used in the 1970s. It was measured in miles and feet but we were changing over to kilometres and metres around then. Have a look at the map. Click on it to see it larger...

This is a scanned section of Central Mapping Authority of N.S.W. topographical map printed in 1970. I do not hold copyright over this image.

This is a scanned section of Central Mapping Authority of N.S.W. topographical map printed in 1970. I do not hold copyright over this image.

The map has a great deal of information. I can see red lines showing roads. Some roads are shown as white with red dashes to show they are dirt roads. There are thick black lines with small, double dashes along them to show a railway line. Blues lines show rivers and creeks. We can easily see Blackheath is a town but there are large areas without streets and those areas interest me as I have explored those areas.

Can you see the brown wriggly lines on the map?

The brown lines are contour lines. They show heights. Each line shows a height of 50 feet more or less than the next. Some of the lines have numbers such as 3200.  The 3200 tells me at that place the land is 3200 feet above sea level. Looking at the numbers and the lines can tell me if I will be going up or down when hiking. Let's look closer at a section of the map...

This is a scanned section of Central Mapping Authority of N.S.W. topographical map printed in 1970. I do not hold copyright over this image.

This is a scanned section of Central Mapping Authority of N.S.W. topographical map printed in 1970. I do not hold copyright over this image.

I have added the red numbers to help students find specific points.

See the black, single dashed lines?

They are walking tracks I have followed. I have walked down from number 1 to 3 and up from 3 to 2.

1 - The beginning of the track is about 3250 feet above sea level.

2 - The end of the dirt road is about 3200 feet above sea level

3 - Beachamp Falls is about 2650 feet above sea level.

The map shows me if I walk down from 1 to 3, I will drop 600 feet. If I then walk up to 2, I will go up 550 feet. Because the brown lines are close together, I know the track will be steep in places.

Do you notice one section is named Grand Canyon?

It's not even close to the size of the Grand Canyon in U.S.A. but it is steep sided.

Let's look at some photos I had taken around 1980 in the Grand Canyon and at Beauchamp Falls.

Starting down the steep track from 1.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

We pass through a small tunnel and behind waterfalls.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Deep down in the Grand Canyon.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Until we reach Beauchamp Falls at 3.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

And now for two photos for your "The Power of Observation and Wonder" post. The photos show rocks that caught my eye but were left in place. They were in a national park so we are not allowed to take them. They were also far too big to carry.

The first shows a large sandstone rock.

Can you see the black mark?

It is the remains of a tree trunk buried under sand millions of years ago but now exposed after a rock fall. It is a fossil record of the tree.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

The second shows an even larger sandstone rock.

Do you notice the ripples on it?

Millions of years ago sand was rippled by flowing water. A thin layer of mud covered the ripples and in time left a fossil record of water running over sand.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

What is even more amazing is this sandstone was sand under the sea millions of years ago but it is now lying 2650 feet above sea level. These rocks of sandstone certainly caught my eye and the eyes of the children I had taken there as we thought of their long history.

When we then walk the 550 feet in height (but much longer along  track) back up to 2, this is what we see when looking north.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

...and now your interesting questions...

How long does it take to study a place and then make the map?

For early map makers, they might have to walk, ride or travel by ship in order to make maps so it could take a long time to make a map.

Back in August 1768, Captain James Cook set sail from England. He was taking scientists to Tahiti to observe Venus crossing the Sun. Once the scentists had finished their observations, Cook's orders were to sail south to find Terra Australis Incognita, the unknown southern land, some people thought must exist.

In September, 1769 he reached New Zealand and set about mapping its islands.

In April 1770, he reached a land he named New South Wales. It was really the east coast of Australia. He sailed north along the coast mapping as he went. Cook and his ship didn't return to England until 12th July, 1771. It had taken him and his crew three years to make the journey and return with the maps he had made.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Today, with satellites, GPS and Google Earth, we can map the world from our own homes.

How many different kinds of maps are there?

Interesting question and makes me wonder what a map might be. We know most types but is a plan for a house a map? Is a design for a new machine a map? They also show where things are.

Are there maps about SPACE?

Now this is complicated. In your post , you noticed the maps you saw were two dimensional flat maps. In order to find a place on a map, you needed to know how far up or down and side to side a place is.

To accurately map space, we would need a three dimensional map and it would have to be huge because space is huge. Using computer models, there are space maps. Here is a link to a 3D space map animation representing 400,000 galaxies. Remember our Sun is just one star amongst possibly hundreds of billions in just one of those galaxies.

Amazing Universe Fly-Through

How do pilots use maps?

Have a look at this aviator's map. It's how a pilot might plot a course using information on their computer.

SkyVector Areonautical Maps

Of course, pilots in early days didn't have computers. They would look down to the ground and possibly follow roads or railways to their destination or they might use a compass so an old fashioned paper might might have helped.

Do we have maps for EVERYTHING?

WOW! Maps of everything? Even on our own Earth there are places no one has ever been so, for example, there are no accurate maps for some of the deepest places in our oceans. What about other planets, stars, galaxies? We may not have maps for everything but we do have maps of very many things but there is still so much more waiting for someone like you to map.

What jobs need maps?

Cartographers (map makers), pilots, sailors, explorers, delivery drivers, police, ambulance, fire fighters, tow truck drivers...   There would be so many jobs where we might need maps at some time.

How old is the OLDEST map?

A link if you want to see old maps....   Early World Maps

Look at these three maps...

These maps were sourced through Wikimedia Commons where they are listed as in the public domain.

These maps were sourced through Wikimedia Commons where they are listed as in the public domain.

The first shows the world as known by the Greeks perhaps 3000 years ago. It shows the Mediterranean Sea.

The 500 BC map from around 2500 years ago shows the Red Sea and the opening into the Atlantic Ocean.

By 150 AD Europe, parts of Africa, and Asia has appeared on the maps. Notice Terra Incognita at the bottom right of the map. It's what Captain Cook was sent to find or show wasn't there.

How many countries are there in the world?

Interesting... The United Nations has 193 countries as members. My blog has had visits from 193 countries and I have seen 196 listed as the number of independent countries in the world. Here is a link for you...

The Number of Countries in the World

Do maps ever change? (This one brought up some VERY interesting conversations around Bombay, Calgary, Nunavut and the NEW islands that VOLCANOES create!!!)

Maps have to change when what has been mapped changes.

Yes, volcanoes can create new islands.

1996 Hawaii Lava flow 01

You know about the big island of Hawaii. Did you know deep under the ocean around 30 kilometres south of The Big Ilsand there is a new volcano rising around 10,000 feet from the ocean floor with only about 3100 feet before it reaches the surface? If in the future it does break the surface, Hawaii will have a new Island.

The islands of Hawaii were formed in this way and will eventually erode into the ocean as many have already done over millions of years. Look at the Google Earth image below. The Hawaiian Islands are in the middle at the bottom. Look carefully and you can seen now submerged volcanoes moving off to the left  as you go north. They may once have been islands as is Hawaii.

Volcanic hotspots

When we have changes in the level of the sea, land also changes. In times of ice ages, sea levels can be much lower and expose more land. When the first people came to Australia around 30,000 years ago, they were able to walk from New Guinea into Australia and cross to Tasmania by land. Now you would need boats.

The opposite happens when sea levels rise. Some islands in our oceans are now underwater but were once above. It worries island nations in the Pacific and Indian Oceans.

Another country I find interesting is the Netherlands (Holland). Over generations, they have taken back land from the sea using dykes and sea walls. In the news recently there have been stories of islands being built by the Chinese government in the South China Sea.

And in your own part of the world, when new suburbs, roads, streets, airports, railways, etc are built, maps need to change.

Do maps ever change? They have to if they need to be accurate.

I'll end with a quote, not from some famous philosopher or writer but from a character in the movie, "Superman", released in 1978...

“Some people can read War and Peace and come away thinking it’s a simple adventure story. Others can read the ingredients on a chewing gum wrapper and unlock the secrets of the universe.” – Lex Luthor

Both your quote at the beginning and this at the end tell me the key to learning is to keep our minds and senses open to all around us for, if we do, we will begin to see our world and those beyond as containing mysterious, awesome and magnificent opportunites just waiting to be discovered.

OH DEAR!

At the beginning I said I'd write a short post about maps. I do get carried away when I see something as interesting as your posts. :)

To see the post from The Blogging Hawks, click below...

The Blogging Hawks

Hello Blogging Hawks,

What a wonderful surprise it was to read your post. You will find a comment for each of your comments below but I wanted to write a little first.

At the bottom of your post, there is a quote…

Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves.

~James Matthew Barrie 

Looking back through my life, I must say I cannot remember when I started along my journey of giving and sharing with others. I suspect it’s something that can grow in all of us from when we are very young if we can open ourselves to the sunshine it brings.

The sunshine can’t be stopped from lighting our own lives. I know I enjoy being able to share whether through words, photos and video clips in a blog or items I have picked up such as your Orlando.

You know about Polly Princess and your Orlando but I also purchased a third bear from “The Kids’ Cancer Project”. I hope they don’t mind me using the below image from their website but I wanted to show you Olivia Cate Fairy Bear.

This photo should not be used by others. It was taken from the Kids Cancer Project website, an act I hope they don't mind. It has been used to show the bear I donated back to them.

This photo should not be used by others. It was taken from the Kids Cancer Project website, an act I hope they don't mind. It has been used to show the bear I donated back to them.

I bought Olivia and donated her back to The Kids’ Cancer Project so they could give her to a sick child in hospital. In a time when sunshine might seem to leave us, I hoped she had brought a little brightness to a young heart.

And now to your class comments…

Oliver – I may have not had a class of my own for nearly 10 years but it seems I am always looking for things to share with classes. I am glad to read you liked Suzie, the card readers and Orlando. Believe it or not, I already have some other items I will probably give away on the blog in the future. It seems charities know I will help when I can. Here is a photo of the latest new friend of mine from Backyard Buddies. It's a green tree frog…

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Mani – How wonderful you mentioned the peregrine falcon. Every day I put out seed for local birds that come to visit my house. One day I heard the noise of birds flying off quickly and looked to see what had scared them. Sitting on my roof was a peregrine falcon. I think it wanted to catch one of the birds. Here is a photo of some of birds who regularly visit my yard. Unfortunately, I didn't have the camera handy when the falcon visited.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes. Birds include crimson rosellas, rainbow lorikeets, crested pigeons, a sparrow (not native) and spotted turtledoves (not native).

Aleah –I love to give but this means in return I also get gifts. My gifts come from the enjoyment I see in others when they receive things I send. I love that far more than receiving gifts I can hold. I’m glad Orlando has friends to keep him company.

Adam – It will be some time before my blog hits another milestone but I already have some new friends waiting for a chance to celebrate a milestone. I shared a photo of one with Oliver so here is another. He is a Backyard Buddies wallaby. I say he because he would have a pouch if a female…

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Faith – I knew Orlando would be welcome in your school because the other friends I have sent always found a good home. From my blog, you probably know I also sent Polly Princess to California. Unfortunately, Polly arrived too late as the class had gone on summer vacation. I have decided next year it would be better if I offer gifts before the blog’s birthday so I can show the winners on the day. This would mean gifts have the chance to arrive before vacations. I will write a birthday post in May, 2016 and show the winners on the blog’s birthday, May 23. What do you think?

Shaye – I know a number of people see the special milestone posts I write but many don’t leave a comment. Mrs. Renton’s classes have always been keen to write comments so they have better chances of receiving a gift. It seems strange but no schools in my own area have ever left comments. Perhaps they know they can see the real animals when they want.

Liam – You have probably noticed the photos of some new buddies above. I do have an unusual friend in the waiting queue. She is an Australian Army Nurse bear from the Australian War Memorial. Some of the money paid for her goes to wounded soldiers. I think she is cute but I shouldn't say that because she is a Lieutenant according to the pips on her shoulders. She will find a new home in the future.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Olivia – I think I am probably more surprised than you how many have visited my blog. When I started it in May 2012, I thought a few in the classes where I gave a comment might visit but now the blog has had over 110,000 visitors and 192 national flags. Isn’t it amazing how many people we can connect with through blogging?

Roxanne – I always find I learn when I share. I like to check the information I share and in doing so I often learn new things. Learning, good learning, comes from sharing and learning with others.

Haya – I also like the cards and reader. I ended up sending out three complete sets. Two went to Canada and one to U.S.A.. I’m waiting to see if my local supermarket runs another collector series I like. If so, I might have more to share with Mrs. Renton’s new class and perhaps you might be able to see them.

William – I also like to write comments but I think you know that. It seems a simple comment is really never enough if you have much to share. I do also have other collections I keep because of my many interests. They include rocks, music, movies, books and even some model trains I have had for very many years but these collections are never sent out or only, as in the rocks, shared as photos. Would you believe I even had a computer collection in the 1990s? I had 45 of them. They were old and needed repair so I fixed them then I would lend them to students. I mostly gave them all away to students over the years. Now I only have four including an iPad.

Robert – It’s easy to care about the world once you realise there are so many wonderful things, places and cultures. Back in the 90s, I worked as a teacher through the week and on weekends as a childcare worker in a hospital. My hospital work was as a playgroup leader. I would have games, crafts and activities for the children in the hospital. What amazed me about the children was they would try to have fun even when very ill. I like to think the Olivia Cate Fairy Bear I donated added a smile to a face.

Prayers – You are very welcome. I know Orlando will enjoy his new home, especially as Suzie will be there with him.

Bryan – The contests were a solution to a problem for me. I was buying items from charities but didn’t have room to keep them so I thought they would be happier in new homes where they would be loved. :)

Marah – I try to help charities whenever I can but I can’t help all that ask. I favour charities for children and animals. Kids Cancer Project is one I help when I can.

Riley – It’s hard to believe your year in Grade 3 has now ended. I wonder what great learning adventures lie ahead in Grade 4? I was always excited about getting a new class each year. It meant a whole new lot of shared learning adventures.

Sofie – It was kind of you to give a lovely gift to your sister. I know Kids Cancer Council, as well as Orlando and other bears his size, also have a much larger bear. Their Big Bear is 130cm (51 inches) tall. Could you imagine trying to post something that big? They might want him to sit in a seat on a passenger plane. :)

Alvin – I was once asked how I manage to win competitions (I have won a couple) and I say the first step is trying. Your class and other of Mrs. Renton’s classes enter whereas many don’t. It’s one of the secrets of life. We have to try if we want to succeed. I’m glad you liked the special friends I’ve sent. :)

Thomas – That’s kind of you to wish more classes had added comments for the koala draw. Maybe they thought they could only enter if I had written a comment for them but any class can enter the draws. I sent emails to my local schools about the draw but none entered. I suppose they thought the koala was cute but, living here, they can see living koalas. Yes, I have held a real koala. Because they only eat leaves from certain eucalyptus (you-ca-lip-tuss) trees, they smell a little like eucalyptus. Perhaps you can buy eucalyptus oil in Canada. If you can, you would know the smell.

The tall tree in the first photo is a type of eucalypt tree and the flowers are from a eucalypt tree. The flowers burst out of what we call gum nuts. You can see unopened gum nuts in the photo. You can’t eat them but bees love the flowers. Did you know native Australian bees can’t sting? We have honey bees here that do sting but native Aussie bees are smaller and safe.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Saadia – You can see in the comments above I already have other stuffies waiting to find new home in the future but you might not know about some others I have. Over the last few years Halloween Trick or Treating has grown in my town. I prepare all sorts of treats for what can be over 60 visitors. Some of the treats include small bears and other animals. You can see some I already have for this year.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Luisa – Before sending out the three sets of cards and readers to schools, I tried the cards on a spare reader I have. Some were incredible to hear. I don’t remember there being a card for koala sound but I can tell you they can make grunting like sounds, especially the males.

Marcus – It may seem strange but I never set out to have a blog seen by so many people but was happy to see the number of visitors grow. It made me feel as though I was still part of a class but this time, instead of being a class in a room, it is a very big class spread around the world.

Colby – One thing you can learn the more you know about a subject is how little you really know. That sounds strange but it means as you learn you start to realise how much more there is to know. That’s why I am still interested in many things. I seem to always be learning something new as I write blog posts. We only need keep out minds and senses open to the amazing world in which we live.

Carter – It would be very strange for my blog to receive gifts on its birthday but, from the pictures I share each birthday, you can see there is a party and I get to eat some birthday cake. Next door to my house there are two children I have at times looked after when their mother has to be away. They love to share the blog birthday cake even though they are now 12 and 15 years old.

Anita – Shipping can be expensive but I love to give and see that as part of giving. When I had classes of my own, I liked to buy things for them to use and still, after 10 years away from a class, have craft materials I bought back then. Now my “class” is much bigger but I still love buying things and sharing.

How do I get time? I sometimes wonder myself but I always seem to find time when it’s most needed but it can sometimes mean very long days.

I liked your comparison to changing a pumpkin into a carriage. Perhaps you were thinking of the recent cinema movie, “Cinderella”. Another of my hobbies is going to the cinema. I saw “Cinderella” a number of times before it finished and loved watching the pumpkin turn into a golden carriage.

Back to your post’s ending quote…

Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves.

~James Matthew Barrie

Your comments brought some sunshine into my life. I hope you all enjoy your learning adventures in Grade 4.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

This picture was one I prepared for a very short (54 word) story I wrote for a writing challenge back in 2011. We had to use the words “You are my sunshine.” I remembered it after I read your quote. Writing short stories was another hobby of mine but I never thought them particularly good. I just loved the writing challenges. You can find the stories using this link…

Ross’s Writing Blog

1 Comment

This post was written as an extended comment for a student sharing a post on Memorial Day in the U.S.A. You can see her post by clicking...

Memorial Day: A National Holiday

Hello Mallory, Mrs. Yollis and class,

I found this post to be interesting as it shares a few things of interest to me. Looking at Memorial Day, Australia's equivalent would be ANZAC Day held each year on April 25. It's a day when Australians remember those men and women who have served our country in war.

Bega Soldier's Memorial

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

A Little ANZAC History

This year, 2015, held special significance for Australia and New Zealand because it marked the 100th anniversary of the day the ANZAC tradition began. Firstly, ANZAC is an acronym coming from Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. It's a word used to describe the combined forces sent by New Zealand and Australia to help England in World War 1 (WW1).

Australia had only become a nation in 1901 when the British colonies, now our states, agreed to form the Australian Commonwealth, i.e. Australia as a nation. With England's declaration of war against Germany in WW1, the Prime Ministers of Australia and New Zealand also declared they were at war with Germany. This was to be the first time Australians had gone to war as Australians.

Ships set sail from Australia and New Zealand with troops expecting to fight in Europe against Germany but a failed attempt to use naval strength to take the Ottoman Empire, and ally of Germany now known as Turkey, out of the war, ANZAC and other troops of the British Commonwealth were sent to the Gallipoli Peninsula then known as Çanakkale Savaşı to the Turkish. It was on April 25, 1915 ANZAC troops first landed at Gallipoli.

The Battle of Gallipoli (Çanakkale) lasted from April 25, 1915 until January 9, 1916 when British troops including the ANZACs withdrew from Gallipoli. There was huge numbers of soldiers killed on both sides of the battle where conditions were very poor for soldiers, many also dying of disease.

For the ANZACs, it may have been a defeat but it marked the beginning of a tradition. ANZAC Day each April 25 is a time when Australians and New Zealanders pause to remember those who have died in wars from that first battle up until modern times.

What did I do on ANZAC Day, 2015?

A few years back, I set myself a task of filming the ANZAC Day ceremonies in towns having one of the local schools in our Sapphire Coast Learning Community including 2 high schools and 13 primary (elementary) schools. I knew it was a task that would take a number of years as I didn't expect to finish until 2018. the 100th anniversary of the end of WW1.

My ANZAC Day this year started at 4:30 a.m.. I rose and headed down to the memorial in my town of Merimbula in order to set up a video camera to record what is known as the Dawn Service. The Dawn Service ended a little after 6:00 a.m.. I haven't as yet processed the video of The Dawn Service so I can't yet share it here but the photo below was taken during the service.

Merimbula Dawn Service

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

After returning home for breakfast, I next headed into our main shire town of Bega for the ANZAC Day March and Ceremony. It was only after this ceremony my ANZAC Day ended. I returned home by 1:00 p.m..

Below are two video clips I made of the Bega ANZAC Day march and ceremony. They were used in a DVD I gave to schools in Bega and members of the R.S.L. (Returned Services League for veterans).

Bega ANZAC Day March and Ceremony part 1 and 2

Do I have anyone in my family who had served in the military?

Before WW1 started, I had a great uncle (my father's uncle) who was in the Australian Naval Reserve. With decelaration of war against Germany, naval reservists were called up and sailed north in order to capture Germany territories around New Guinea. That means my Great Uncle Ernie was in one of the first battles of World War 1.

Great Uncle Ernie taken in 1915

Permission should be sort before using this image.

Permission should be sort before using this image.

After taking over the German colonies, my great uncle had returned to Australia and had resigned from the naval reserve. He was later to join the Australian Army and was sent to fight in Europe. He was killed in action over there but exactly where he lies isn't certain. He was one of the many unknown soldiers.

With the coming of World War 2 (WW2), my father and five uncles joined the forces serving in the Australian Army, Royal Australian Navy and Royal Australian Air Force. All of my uncles survived that war and returned to Australia.

My father (left) and a friend in 1940 before leaving for Singapore.

Permission should be sort before using this image.

Permission should be sort before using this image.

My father had also returned but his fate in the war wasn't as "easy" as the others. He had been sent to defend Singapore from Japanese attack but, when Singapore surrendered to the Japanese, he spent most of the war as a Prisoner of War. He always marched in ANZAC Day marches. My brothers, mother and I would travel into Sydney to watch so ANZAC Day is also a day I remember my father who died back in 1967. My mother is a War Widow as it was determined my father had died as a result of his years as a P.O.W..

What else caught my interest in your post?

You mentioned you were a Girl Scout. I spent many years as a Cub Scout and Scout and eventually rose to earn the Queen's Scout Award (sort of like the Eagle Scout). As a scout, I had at times marched in ANZAC Day parades as a flag bearer. Scouting gave me a love for hiking and the outdoors that has stayed with me through life. Below is a photo of my Queen's Scout badge.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

If the British Commonwealth has a king as it's head, this badge would be known as the King's Scout badge. My Queen's Scout badge was awarded to me by the then Governor of New South Wales, Sir Roden Cutler, back in the early 70s.

6 Comments

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Like the bears in the photo above? They are Orlando Pirate and Polly Princess I purchased from The Kids' Cancer Project. Read to the end for a birthday surprise.

Background to Items given away on this blog...

When considering my major blogging events at the beginning of this year, I knew three were approaching. At that early time, I thought they might spread throughout the year but, with the free or not for profit photographic, video, DVD, CD work I do for community and schools growing, busy times have meant the events have come close together. Two have already been achieved and posts written. They were...

Koala – Phascolarctos cinereus & 100,000 Visitors posted February 18, 2015

Post 201: About Bilbies and 200 Posts posted May 23, 2015

It wasn't meant to be but I am writing this blog birthday post on the same day I wrote the post celebrating the 200th post which included a class giveaway. It means I will be running two giveaways for classes (the bilby items in another post and the above bears), both to be decided June 6 to allow for Northern Hemisphere classes approaching their end of school year.

Why giveaways? Whenever I can, I support a number of charities. Some, as fundraisers, offer items for sale. The koala in the Feb 18 post came from "Backyard Buddies", a group supporting animals and the environment in national parks. The bilby items come from "Save the Bilby Fund" raising money to help preserve the bilby.

For the 3rd birthday post, items come from "The Kids' Cancer Project" from The Oncology Children's Foundation. I bought two of their bears to give away. Details of the giveaway after a little information on "The Kids' Cancer Project".

A Little About The Kids' Cancer Project

(Text taken from The Kids' Cancer Project notes.)

The Kids' Cancer Project has a single mission: To cure kids' cancer

Childhood cancer is the leading cause of death from disease in Australian children. Finding cures for 100% of kids' cancer is dependent on medical research. The Kids' Cancer Project funds The Tumour Bank, The Gene Therapy Trial, Drug discovery Program and the C4 Consortium of 8 expert cancer scientists, as well as other targeted research.

Two Bears Needing a New Home

 

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Orlando Pirate and Polly Princess want to find a new home with classes somewhere in the world. If your class would like a chance to receive one of the bears, simply leave a birthday greeting for the blog in the comments. A random draw will decide the winning classes if there are more than two class comments. You don't need to have received a post or to have visited this blog previously. It's open to any school class.

* Note: If individual students want to leave a comment, they must ask permission from their teacher. The bears can only be sent to a class and not an individual student.

8 Comments

Another blogging milepost has been reached. There have now been over 200 posts on this blog since it was started in May, 2012. For number 201, I thought I would introduce the celebration for the 200th post by sharing a little information on bilbies. At the end, there is a surprise for the class that received post 200 and something for the class one off at post 199.

Lesser Bilby  (macrotis leucura)

 The lesser bilby (macrotis leucura) is thought to have become extinct in the 1950s.

This picture is in the public domain because its copyright has expired and was sourced through Wikimedia Commons.

This picture is in the public domain because its copyright has expired and was sourced through Wikimedia Commons.

Greater Bilby  (macrotis lagotis)

The greater bilby is listed as threatened. Let's learn a little about the greater bilby.

 

This image was sourced through Wikimedia Commons where it is listed as in the public domain. Author: Dcoetzee

This image was sourced through Wikimedia Commons where it is listed as in the public domain. Author: Dcoetzee

From the photo, you can see their size and long ears give them a rabbit-like appearance. While many comment on the likeness of bilbies to rabbits, bilbies are, like kangaroos, marsupials.

Bilbies are nocturnal (they come out at night) and were once found in arid (desert), semi-arid (almost desert) and  some better areas but are now only found  in arid areas.

Greater bilbies can be 29-55cm (11-22in) in length. Males can grow up to 1.0 - 2.4kg (2.2 - 5.3lb) in captivity (zoos and animal sanctuaries) while females can grow to 0.8 - 1.1kg (1.8 - 2.4lb) in the wild.

Bilbies have a good sense of smell and, as you might guess by their ears, good hearing. Like humans, they are omnivores (eat plants and animals). Their diet includes fruits, seeds, fruit, insects, spiders, and other small animals. They find most of their food by scratching and digging in the soil.

Like other marsupials, their young are born (usually 1 to 3 joeys) very small (about 0.5cm of 0.25in after only 12 to 14 days) and must make their way into the mother's pouch where they attach to a teat.

Bilbies live in burrows so bilby mothers have developed pouches facing backward to stop soil getting in or babies being knocked out. Young bilbies leave the pouch after about 70-75 days. A female bilby can have up to four litters per year if conditions are good.

Saving the Bilby

There are zoos and animal sanctuaries with bilby breeding programs in Australia. Possibly the most famous bilby has been named George. He lives in Taronga Zoo's Prince George Bilby Exhibit in Sydney and was given the name in honour of the young Prince George when he visited the zoo with his father and mother,  Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.

In 2014, I shared some information with a class about bilbies at Easter time and the sale of chocolate bilbies to help support the Save the Bilby Fund.  Easter has passed again but I wanted to support the Save the Bilby Fund yet again this year. With the 200th post on this blog approaching, I thought I might buy some of the Save the Bilby Fund items in order to give the class receiving the 200th as well as some items for the classes one off at the 199th and 201st posts.

The class that received the 200th post will get the following package of Save the Bilby items...

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

The 199th post class will receive the pack pictured below with a smaller bilby.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Your class missed out on the 199th or 200th post?

I have one extra pack pictured below. It was meant to be sent to the class receiving the 201st post but work I do for local schools and community groups has meant my time has been short and I am about to share another milestone for this blog. Any class leaving a comment for this post has the chance of receiving the pack below. You don't need to have received a post or to have ever visited this blog. You simply need to be a school class. Individual students need to ask permission from their teacher before leaving a comment because the pack will only be sent to a class not the student with the winning comment. I will randomly select a winning comment in two weeks (June 6, 2015).

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

How do you get a post on this blog?

As the name of the blog implies, most posts on this blog are written as a comment for a class or student blog post when content has caught my interest and I wish to share more than a simple comment. Others can be made in reply to a comment or question left in the comments section of this blog's posts. You can ask directly for a post on a topic but the decision to write a post depends on whether I feel I can and if I have time but the answer is usually yes if a class wants information.

8 Comments

200th Post

This post is the 200th to be posted on this blog. It's been a wonderful journey of sharing. :)

Mrs Jordan and Year 4, take a look at the "Post 201: About Bilbies and 200 Posts" post for a surprise.

**************************************

A class posed the question, "What technology did you use when you were younger?" To see their original post, click on their question.

What technology did I use?

Let's take a journey back to the 1950s. When I was born, radio and going to the cinema, drive in or live performances were the normal entertainment. Computers were around but they were big, heavy and very expensive yet your mobile phone of today is far more powerful. These computers were only found in big companies or universities, not in homes.

Let's see some of the changes I saw.

1950s

Telephone - Telephones had been around for a long time before I was nborn but my family was the first in our street to have a telephone so neighbours would make and receive calls to our house. I still remember our phone number. It was UY 5734. That's right, we had letters and numbers and the phone had a rotary dial. It could be very awkward if it was a cold, rainy night when someone called for a neighbour and my father had to go and get them.

By Louise Docker from sydney, Australia (Flickr) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Louise Docker from sydney, Australia (Flickr) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Television - They started to appear in Australia in 1956. We, like the phone, were the only home with television in our area. It was black and white and not a very big screen. My father would arrive home from work to find people everywhere in our loungeroom trying to look at the TV screen. At first, they were just looking at photos such as of the Sydney Harbour Bridge until one night on 16th September, 1956 a man named Bruce Gyngell appeared to welcome us to television. Television had started so we could watch the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games. For us in Sydney, our first TV station was TCN-9.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Record players - My parents owned a radio/record player for music and news. My mother had 78rpm* as well as 33 1/3rpm LP* records.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Games - They weren't electronic. We had board games such as Monopoly, checkers, chess and Ludo.

Cameras - We had film cameras we would use to take photos. Once taken, we would send the rolls of film away to be processed and printed. There were no video cameras but we did have movie cameras. The home movie cameras used 8mm film (see below). However, some people used 16mm film in cameras. They gave better pictures but were much more expensive. My first photo camera looked more like a black box and didn't take very good photos but my father had a better camera.

8mm movie camera and film 

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Here is a scan of some 8mm film frames. It's from a Popeye cartoon.

8mm film scan

Movie film shows 1 frame (picture) at a time. When chaning quickly, the pictures seem to be moving. Here is a video clip showing how 8 frames from above can seem to move.

We would watch the 8mm movies projected on a screen.

*rpm - revolutions per minute - the number of times it turns in one minute.

* LP - long playing

There were no computers, iPads, and mobile phones in homes back then.

1960s

I was in primary and high school in the 1960s. Classes could have 40 children.

Pens and ink wells - At first, we had pencils but no ball point pens in class. In Year 3, I was an ink well monitor. My job was to fill the inkwells so students could dip their pens in to write. It was late 1963 when the school allowed students to use ball point pens. The only other way of writing was if we had a typewriter.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Computers - It was in the late 60s I saw my first computer at a science fair at high school. It was huge and could only play noughts and crosses. By the late 60s I had an interest in electronics so the big machine with valves in it reminded me of inside TVs of the day.

Transistor radio - The 60s was also the time I bought my first transistor radio. Imagine being able to hold a radio in your hand and listen to music.

1970s

This was when technology started to take off for me.

TV Games - I bought an electronic kit and was able to make a very simple game I could play on a TV. A small, very simple motorbike would move across the screen as you twisted a knob on the control box I built. You had to jump small "buses" that looked like white blobs.

The game looked a little like this on the screen.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Computers - In 1971, I visited the Atomic Energy Commission at Lucas Heights south of Sydney. I saw my first nuclear reactor and serious computer while there, a computer no one could afford to have in the home. The programs were on a series of cards. Programmers punched out holes in them. Hundreds might be needed for a big project so they would be left to run overnight. If one card had a mistake, the whole computer stopped and waited until the car was fixed.

This is what a programming card looked like.

This image was sourced through Wikimedia commons where it is listed as being in the public domain.

This image was sourced through Wikimedia commons where it is listed as being in the public domain.

Computers and me - It was in the 70s I first had the chance to use a computer while studying science at Sydney University. We didn't have floppy disks, hard drives, CDs, DVDs, USB devices or computer screens. There was a very large typing machine where you would type in your program. To have a copy of the program, a long strip of thick paper tape was fed through the printer and holes were punched in it. Graduates had something special, they had cassette drive but I was an undergraduate and had to stick to the tape.

The first computer I used at university (college) looked a little like this.

This image was sourced through Wikimedia commons where it is listed as being in the public domain.

This image was sourced through Wikimedia commons where it is listed as being in the public domain.

Teaching technology - When I started teaching in the 70s, I was a high tech type of teacher. Back then it meant I used a cassette player/recorder, a slide projector, and 8mm movie projector and an overhead projector in class. I wasn't able to use computers in class in the 70s but I did build some simple electronic kits for the children to use.

Audio cassette.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

35mm Slide Projector. It still works.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

8mm Movie Projector. It still works.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

 Overhead Projector. It still works.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Television - Colour TV started in the mid 70s.

Calculators - I was able to buy my first calculator in the 1970s. It could only add, subtract, multiply and divide. Around 1975, I bought my first scientific calculator. It could do much more. It's old and very worn but I still have it. Before calculators, I used a slide rule and logarithm tables.

My old calculator is 40 years old but still works. Good one Sharp!

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Cameras - I have a few cameras to take still photos in the 70s. All used rolls of film.

Floppy Disks - Cassettes had been used to store program for computers since the early 70s but, by the late 70s, we had floppy disks to store programs. They came first in 8 inch, 5.25 inch and 3.5 inch sizes.

5 1/4 inch (13cm) Floppy Disk

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

1980s

Now we were starting to get really serious.

An Apple II computer.

Rama [CC BY-SA 2.0 fr (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/fr/deed.en)], via Wikimedia Commons

Rama [CC BY-SA 2.0 fr (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/fr/deed.en)], via Wikimedia Commons

Computers in class In 1981 - I was in a small country school in western N.S.W. We had one Apple II computer we shared with five other small schools. There was still no internet, our class TV only had one channel if the weather was good, and the phone was oen where you would wind a handle and ask the operator for a number. It was in this year I wrote a couple simple programs for the children to use on the computer. One was a treasure hunt game and I always managed to beat the class members. Remember, I was the programmer so I programme d the computer to give me hints only I understood. Did that make me a cheat? :)

Video camera - It was in 1982 I bought my first video camera. It was large and had a heavy side pack you carried over your shoulder. Batteries were large and had lead inside so they were heavy. Back then, people thought I was with a televison station because video camera were very rare. I was visitng the town of Bathurst with my school that year when Queen Elizabeth II visited. Seeing the camera, police let me through the barrier so I could take a close up of the Queen. I'm sure they also thought I was from a TV station.

This is part of the video clip  taken in 1982 during the Queen's visit to Bathurst. It was converted from VHS to digital.

Video Cassette Recorders (VCR) - These appeared in the early 80s and we could finally record programmes and watch movies. With my video camera and VCR, I was able to edit video I had taken. With my school Apple II computer and a small program I wrote, I could even add titles to the videos.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Computers in Schools - I helped introduce computers to two schools in the 80s. I was called a computer coordinator back then. As well as teaching, it was my job to care for the computers in the schools. Because of my electronics hobby, I was often able to fix computers with problems.

Computers and me - It was in the late 80s I bought my first computer. It was an Apple IIGS. With a printer (black and white only), I was able to print worksheets and dislpays for my class and other teachers . With only one computer in the school for classes to share in my first year there in 1988, I bought an Apple IIC computer for my class to use. I was really hooked on how they could be used in class.

An Applie IIGS computer just like the one I owned.

By Alison Cassidy (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Alison Cassidy (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

1990s

Computers in schools - In the 90s, the number of computers I owned grew as I bought or was given computers needing repair. The computer room I ran for a few years had 16 computers but only one was owned by the school. It was also in the early 90s I first used the internet with classes. I would roll my Apple IIc computer and modem down to an office and connect to a phone line. It was slow and could only show text. There was no graphics, music or video and I paid $5 an hour for access. By the end of the 90s, I had installed the first network room in the school and we then had a whole school network installed with internet access.

Computers and me - By the end of the 90s, I owned about 45 computers. I would have some of them in my classroom and lend others to the students in my class to use at home. The computers included Apple II, Apple Macintosh, Atari, Commodore, Acorn and a few other types as well as Sega and Gameboy handheld game devices. At home, I was using Apple Macintosh and Windows computers.

Handheld Gameboy Advance games machine.

The copyright holder of this image, Christopher Down, allows anyone to use it [Attribution], via Wikimedia Commons

The copyright holder of this image, Christopher Down, allows anyone to use it [Attribution], via Wikimedia Commons

Cameras - In the 90s, I ran after school computer classes for students, the money I raised bought the schools first digital photo camera. The camera wasn't of great quality but the Apple Quicktake 100 meant I could load photos straight into a computer. In the late 90s, I also bought my first digital video camera. The photo quality was much better than the old video camera.

By Gmhofmann at de.wikipedia (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

By Gmhofmann at de.wikipedia (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Phones - In the 1990s, I bought my first mobile phone. You had to carry it like a small bag as it was large and weighed around 1kg but it was mobile and it worked.

Scanners and printers - In the 90s, I bought my first scanners and colour printers and had fun scanning photos and making changed photos for the student newspaper. Scanners were able to read printed writing so I didn't need to type everything.

CDs - Music CDs appeared and we were able to use these instead of vinyl LP records. We were even able to burn our own CDs .

This graphic came from a Corel graphics CD purchased in the 1980s under the Totem set of graphics.

This graphic came from a Corel graphics CD purchased in the 1980s under the Totem set of graphics.

DVDs - DVDs appeared in the late 90s and we were able to record movies from TV or add videos we made to them.

2000s

in these years I was retired from teaching by the end of 2005.

Computers in schools - Whole school networks, internet, You Tube, editing video on computers, digital cameras, small mobile phonesetc... The growth has been amazing. I moved to a new school and allowed children in my old school who had borrowed my computers to keep them. I had way too many for moving house and made a rule I should own no more than 10 for use in home and school.

Computers and me - I added my first laptop computer in this era.

Cameras - I bought my first digital SLR* camera and could simply plug it into the computer to load and edit photos and started buying extra video cameras for making DVDs and CDs for schools and community groups.

I have only just replaced this camera with a new digital SLR camera able to record HD video as well as photos.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Internet - was a part of everyday life.

Mobile phone - Mobiles were now much smarter and started to access the internet.

* SLR - Single Lens Reflex - It meant a type of camera where so look through the camera lens when taking a photo.

2010s

We're up to the current era.

I started blogging in 2012 and still am a keen techie type of person but no longer need all of the equipment I used while teaching but still have enough for producing filming and photographing performances as well as making CDs and DVDs for school and community groups.

So much has changed since I was your age. It makes you wonder what we might have in the future.

Will one of you invent something or create a brilliant app in the future?

2 Comments

To visit the original blog, click on Rocky River Goes Global

This is the 199th post on this blog. Rocky River, check out post number 201...

Post 201: About  Bilbies and 200 posts

Hello Rocky River, here is the second part of a post I promised. This time we will look at life in a small, isolated school serving sheep and cattle stations, School of the Air, cattle stations in the Outback and life on a large sheep station.

Schools of the Air

By Premier's Department, State Public Relations Bureau, Photographic Unit [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

By Queensland Premier's Department, State Public Relations Bureau, Photographic Unit [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons 1960

Because of the isolated locations of some children on sheep and cattle properties or in communities too small for a school around Australia, a number of schools were set up to allow children to use two way radio. The first radio broadcasts dated back to 1951 and were sent out from the Royal Flying Doctors Service in Alice Springs. From 2003 till 2009, short wave radio was used but schools of the air are now turnng to internet technology giving students better access to information and the world.

In earlier years, radio became a contact to the world for isolated people. They used radios which were pedal powered. Someone would pedal to make electricity from a generator in order to power their radio.

 

Sourced through Wikimedia Commons - This image is of Australian origin and is now in the public domain because its term of copyright has expired. According to the Australian Copyright Council (ACC), ACC Information Sheet G023v16 (Duration of copyright) (Feb 2012).

Sourced through Wikimedia Commons - This image is of Australian origin and is now in the public domain because its term of copyright has expired. According to the Australian Copyright Council (ACC), ACC Information Sheet G023v16 (Duration of copyright) (Feb 2012).

With modern technology, you would find it much easier to use solar energy for electricity.

There are now a number of locations for Schools of the Air around Australia. According to Wikipedia, the schools of the air are in the towns of...

 School of the Air Locations

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Within my state of New South Wales, the most isolated school is listed as Tibooburra School of the Air. The school is based in the town of Tibooburra. The school where I first had a permanent teaching position wasn't a school of the air although some high school students in my area used correspondence school where lessons were sent by mail. My school, Marra Creek Public School, was the sixth most isolated school in my state and the first not to be located in a town.

Marra Creek Public School

This was the first school were I was a permanent teacher and it was considered the sixth most isolated school in New South Wales. The five more isolated, while further from the state capital of Sydney, were in towns. Marra Creek Public School was 100km (62mi) from the nearest town. The children lived on sheep and cattle stations around the school and could travel from up to 50km (31mi) to school each day. Because the outback refers to isolated and remote areas, it could be considered an outback school. If you click on the school website link above, you will see they list themselves as an outback school.

This section of the blog post looks at my time in this outback school in the early 1980s.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

When I first arrived at the school, the above photo shows what I found. You can see it had tanks to catch rain falling on the roof if it rained and a toilet block near the school building. We had a flagpole and a tall TV antenna but we could only receive one TV channel if the weather conditions were good.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

The playground was mostly dirt but there was some ground covering plants. You couldn't go barefoot because there were often nasty wooden thorns called catheads. They would always have one spike pointing up.

Phone winding

We had a phone where, if you wanted to make a phone call, you would pick up the handset and listen to make certain no one else was using it. You would then put the handset down, wind a handle, then pick the handset up to see if the operator had answered. You could then ask for a number.

We didn't have mobile phones, push button numbers, emails, CDs, DVDs, Bluray or the internet back then but, for 6 weeks each year, we were able to use a borrowed Apple II computer. The computer had only about 12 programs so I wrote some extras for the class to use. Luckily for the children, I had used computers while a university student in the 1970s.

It was back in 1982 I purchased my first personal video camera. They were new on the market and expensive. When I used it, some people thought I might be from a television station. Using it, I produced my first school video clip. Now converted from VHS video tape to digital, below is a section of that first video clip. The youngest children, 5 years old, in the video would now be about 37 years old. I have never before shared this video clip with others since I was in that school so this is a special share for you to see outback children at work and play in the 1980s..

You Tube has removed some copyrighted music I used back then. I try to make certain video clips I now make only have music I am allowed to use.

During my two years at the school, numbers ranged from 12 to 20 students aged from 5 to 13 all in the one small classroom. I was the only teacher and was known as the Teacher In Charge (not a principal).

With a new classroom and my old classroom now the library, a teacher house and access to the internet, the school would be very different compared to when I taught there but it is still about 100km from the nearest town and so is still an outback, isolated school.

Sheep Stations

While teaching at Marra Creek Public School, I lived "next door" to the school about 20km (12mi) distant by road. I stayed in a house on a sheep station known as Lemon Grove. While I has there, the property grew to about 400 square kilometres (100,000 acres) although at the time the video clip below was made, the property was half that size. A neighbouring property had been bought by the end of 1982.

Below is a video clip I again made in 1982. It features Lemon Grove stud (sheep breeding property) and its annual field day. The field day allowed Lemon Grove and neighbouring properties to sell their sheep. It was also a social event for the area.

For any outback property, reliable water supplies can be a problem. Many properties have to pump water from natural underground sources such as the Great Artesian Basin found under about one quarter of Australia although water from the Basin came come to the surface by itself  (see the grey shaded area on the map below).

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

On many farms, and sheep and cattle stations, you will see windmills. The windmills use wind power to pump water up from underground. Lemon Grove had a windmill near the main houses.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Each year, the sheep on Lemon Grove would be brought in for shearing in the shearing shed.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Shearers take the sheep and shear off the fleece in one piece.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Once done, the shearer takes the next sheep while others collect the fleece and take it to a table where bits of plants or dirt can be removed. A woolclasser then checks the quality of the fleece. They check how fine the wool is. Merino wool from these sheep is amongst the finest wool in the world.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Once classed, the fleece is put into a press with the same quality wool. When full, the press forces the wool together into bales. Bales can then be placed on trucks and sent off for sale.

Sunsets at Lemon Grove could sometimes be amazing, especially when storm clouds were gathering.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Sometimes, the miracle of rain comes to the dry land and within two weeks, the land can turn green with plant growth.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

If you look very carefully in the middle of this photo, you can see an emu running away from where I was standing. Like ostriches, they can't fly. They rely on running to escape danger.

It is a male. How do I know? Look even more carefully and you can see chicks following the emu. For emus, once the female has laid the eggs she leaves. It's the males that care for the eggs and developing chicks.

 

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

CATTLE STATIONS

Cattle stations mixed with sheep stations are found near Marra Creek School but, as you move into northern and more western Australia, sheep give way to cattle. Australia's largest cattle station is known as Anna Creek Station.

Anna Creek Station is roughly 24,000 square kilometres (6,000,000 acres or 9,400 sq mi) or about the size of the U.S.A. state of New Hampshire. It is in the state of South Australia. The largest cattle ranch in the U.S. is, I think, King Ranch in Texas.  At 3,340 square kilometres (825,000 acres or 1289 sq mi) you would need a little over 7 King Ranch to make up Anna Creek Station.

In areas where rainfall is low, stations need to be very large to allow enough land for cattle to feed. In the photo below, taken by Robert Kerton of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) in the Northern Territory, you can see how arid cattle station land can be.

This image is a CSIRO Science Image taken by Robert Kerton. It was sourced through Wikimedia Commons. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:CSIRO_ScienceImage_1672_Cattle_in_dry_landscape.jpg

This image is a CSIRO Science Image taken by Robert Kerton. It was sourced through Wikimedia Commons. This photo was taken in the Northern Territory in NOvember, 1989. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:CSIRO_ScienceImage_1672_Cattle_in_dry_landscape.jpg

Anna Creek Station in South Australia is roughly 24,000 square kilometres (6,000,000 acres or 9,400 sq mi) and, as at 2012, it had 17,000 cattle. That means each animal has about 1.4 square kilometres (353 acres or about half a sq mi). Smaller stations where more feed and water is available would have higher numbers of cattle for the land available.

Australia is a huge country, although smaller than U.S.A.'s 50 states yet most of it is arid or semi-arid (desert or near desert). Most Australians live around the coastal areas, paricularly in the east of Australia.

Sheep and Cattle Where I Live

My home is along Australia's east coast about half way between Sydney and Melbourne. It is in the Bega Valley Shire, an area known for Bega Cheese and its beautful coastline is popular with tourists. My family has been in this area since the 1840s. They were, and my cousin still is, dairy farmers. As well as dairy, we have beef cattle and sheep in my area. A few properties also have alpacas, none of these animals being native to Australia.

Below is a photo taken on the old family farm...

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

You can see it is much greener and hillier than central Australia. Farms are much smaller than the sheep and cattle stations of the Outback.

...and since I mentioned our coastline, here is a photo I have taken of the coastline as can be seen from my town.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

 

3 Comments

Mrs. Todd and her Roadrunners are looking at Outback Australia. This is a post about an Outback journey I organised for parents and children from a school back in 1985. It's hard to believe those students would now be about 40 years old.

In this post, some video clips I had taken back in 1985 as my group travelled to Uluru and back have been shared. They have been converted from VHS tapes to digital and are being shared for the first time. 

The Australian Outback

I don't know exactly where The Outback is said to start but I've always understood it to be the more isolated, arid (desert-like) areas across the centre of Australia. Most Australians live in coastal areas although there are larger communities in some Outback areas including traditional land owners, miners and graziers (cattle ranchers).

Let's look at a satellite photo of Australia Wikimedia lists as NASA sourced and in the public domain...

This image was sourced through Wikimedia Commons where  it has bee sourced from NASA and is listed in the public domain. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Australia_satellite_plane.jpg

This image was sourced through Wikimedia Commons where it has bee sourced from NASA and is listed in the public domain. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Australia_satellite_plane.jpg

If you look at this photo you can see green areas are mostly coastal whereas from the west (left on the photo) to most of the way east you see reds, browns and even white. The white areas, especially the very white areas are not snow. They tend to be salt lakes and high salt areas only filling with water when there are very heavy rains in Queensland. Once the water reachers the lakes, it has nowhere to go as the lakes lie below sea level. The water evaporates and leaves the salt behind.

Let's look at the journey my group took back in 1985. I was the tour organiser and minibus driver on our two week, 7000+km (4350+mi) journey into The Outback and back .

 

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

We started out in Sydney, the capital of the state on New South Wales and headed west then turned north to spend our first night in an isolated school I had worked in in the early 80s.

The school, Marra Creek Public School, is about 670km (415mi) from Sydney and lies 100km (62mi) from the nearest town of Nyngan. It served children from local sheep and cattle properties. I stayed at a neighbouring shearer's house about 20km (13mi) from the school.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Was the school in The Outback? It was isolated, used water from tanks, had a phone where you had to talk to an operator to be connected, and only sometimes could pick up one television station if the conditions were good. I sometimes had to chase emus and kangaroos or even wild pigs out of the playground.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

A video clip of emus in an animal sanctuary close to my home.

 

And some kangaroos from the same sanctuary.

 

When I first started there we had been in drought and the water tanks were low, temperatures at times reached 47C (116F). With rains, the clay pans turned green with grass and roads became muddy. We didn't have snow days but we did have mud days when half of the students couldn't make it along the dirt roads. We didn't build mud men. Snow seems to work better and is cleaner.

Heading across country, we visited the town of Bourke most would consider an outback town. It lies along the Darling River, a river sometimes drying out if rains don't fall in Queensland and can also flood when heavy rainfall comes. On our trip, rainfall in the outback had been unusually good but still low compared to coastal.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Not too far north of Bourke, we crossed into the state of Queensland. You can see in the photo below just how flat and semi-arid (almost desert) much of inland Australia can be.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Heading north, we were heading towards the town of Longreach. The landscape had dried out.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Stopping for the night, we were entertained by brolgas, the only cranes native to Australia. While at Marra Creek Public School, I had watched brolgas "dancing" their mating dance as they made jumps into the air.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

The video clip below isn't one of mine but shows the dance of the brolgas.

Just north of Longreach, we crossed the Tropic of Capricorn. This means we were now in the tropical region of the world.

Near Longreach we saw an echidna on the side of the road. Echidnas and the platypus are the only living mammals that lay eggs but, as they are mammals, the mothers can give milk to their young. Echidnas are also found around my town and have sometimes visited my garden in search of ants.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Below is a video of an echidna taken at an animal sanctuary near my home.

Our next major settlement was Mount Isa (pictured below), a mining town in western Queensland, an area known as the Gulf Country. Lead, silver, copper and zinc are mined in the Mount Isa area.

You can easily see the red of the soil, a soil colour so common in The Outback.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

From Mt. Isa, we head west to the border with Northern Territory. The photo below was taken standing in the state of Northern Territory and looking into Queensland.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

 Reaching the Stuart Highway, a highway running from Adelaide, the capital of the state of South Australia, in the south to Darwin, Northern Territory's capital, in the north. We took a left turn as we had reached as far north as we were going on this journey.

Passing through the town of Tennant Creek,  our next major attraction was Karlu Karlu (known also as the Devil's Marbles) 105km (65mi) south of Tennant Creek. Here are some photos taken at Karlu Karlu.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

That's not me pretending to hold up the rock.

The video clip below was taken on the 1985 trip and has been converted to digital and shared for the first time.

Karlu Karlu is a sacred site to the Alyawarre (Aboriginal) whose country includes the site. It's also sacred to the Kaytetye, Warumungu and Warlpiri people. There are a number of traditional Dreaming stories for the Karlu Karlu area but only a few are able to be shared with uninitiated people such as us.

From Karlu Karlu, we continues south towards Alice Springs. As we travelled, we again crossed the Tropic of Capricorn, this time heading out of the tropics. Someone with a sense of humour had painted words on the road (not us).

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Alice Springs is the largest town in Central Australia and the third largest in Northern Territory. Central Australia is only a name for the area and is not a state. To the local people, the Arrernte, the Alice Springs area is known as Mparntwe.

On our visit, we managed to see a rare rainbow over Alice Springs.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Alice Springs lies within the MacDonnell Ranges. There are so many beautiful places to visit in this arid area. Here are just two...

Standley Chasm

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

The video clip of Standley Chasm below was taken on the 1985 trip and has been converted to digital and shared for the first time.

 

Simpsons Gap (it was late in the day)

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

The video clip of Simpsons Gap below was taken on the 1985 trip and has been converted to digital and shared for the first time.

The video clip of black-footed rock wallabies below was taken on the 1985 trip and has been converted to digital and shared for the first time. The rock wallabies were our companions as we explored Simpsons Gap.

After leaving Alice Springs, we took time for a camel ride. Camels aren't native to Australia but were brought here by Afghan camel herders in the 1800s. Before roads and railways, all supplies had to be brought in by camel trains. When road and rail arrived, many camels were released into the wild. Australia now is the country with the largest number of wild camels in the world and at times exports camels back to the Middle East.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

The video clip of camel riding below was taken on the 1985 trip and has been converted to digital and shared for the first time.

We were heading to Uluru and Kata Tjuta. Along the arid way, we saw Mount Conner standing high above the desert.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Tourists to Central Australia shouldn't miss a chance to see  Uluru and Kata Tjuta. Here are some photos I had taken.

Uluru (aka Ayers Rock) at sunset

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Uluru (aka Ayers Rock) at sunset

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Uluru (aka Ayers Rock) up close

You can get an idea of its size by looking at the people climbing it.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

And a view from almost the top of Uluru

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Since my visit 30 years ago, visitors have become much more aware of the importance of Uluru to the local people. While they don't stop visitors climbing the rock, many visitors now choose not to climb in respect for the beliefs of the local people.

The video clip of an Uluru sunset below was taken on the 1985 trip and has been converted to digital and shared for the first time. It is running at 20x normal speed.

Around the base of Uluru, there are many sacred sites we are asked to respect. Some are sacred men's sites and some sacred women's sites.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

However, there are sites visitors can see. Here is a photo taken at one such site, Mutitjula (Maggie Springs). You can see some of the rock paintings.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

From Uluru, it is possible to see the distant Kata Tjuta rising from the desert plain.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Back in our mini-bus, we head along the dirt road to Kata Tjuta.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

 

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

On leaving Uluru and Kata Tjuta, we rejoined the Stuart Highway and again headed  south crossing the state border into South Australia.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Our next stop would be Coober Pedy, famous for its opal mined in the area. Because of the high temperatures on summer days, some homes in Coober Pedy have been built underground.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Heading further sour, we started to see salt lakes near the road. As they are low than the distant sea, water entering can't flow our. The water evaporates and leaves the salt behind. You can see a late afternoon photo of a salt lake.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

There were many kilometres of flat roads as we continued south.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

On reaching Port Augusta in South Australia, we headed east and back to Sydney. We had travelled over 7000+km (4350+mi) in our journey through The Outback.

For the original post click 20 SOMETHING KIDS AND 1 KOOKY TEACHER 

Hello everyone,

I was reading your post on the Robinsons musicians' visit to your school. Is drumming fun? What I like best is you can feel the beat as well as hear it. I can't quite tell from your video clip but were they djembe drums? If they are, I think they began in West Africa but have since spread around the world.

Did you know schools in my area have drumming groups? In my area, I produce DVDs and CDs for local schools and community groups. This includes filming our area's major 14 school performance. While I can't show the actual video, I can share the sound of the drummers from a couple performances.

Djembe Drums

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Click on the video below to hear the drummers.

Taiko Drums

In another school, a teacher was fascinated by Japanese culture. She introduced Taiko drumming into her school. To buy genuine Taiko drums would have been too expensive for a small school but, being creative, the teacher realised a similar sound could be made using large plastic drums.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Click the video below to hear the Taiko drum performance.

(Yes, I managed to misspell Taiko on the video clip.)