Plants

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

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

lizards

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

scorpions

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

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

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

Birds of Prey

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

What people thought about being involved in the BioBlitz.

5 Comments

Mrs. Renton left a special message on her class blog for the incoming Grade 3 students...

Welcome to Grade Three!

I wanted to share some thoughts on their year ahead and the learning waiting to be explored.

Learning is like a seed

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

This is part photo, part drawing of a seed of acacia longifolia or Sydney golden wattle. It grows in the wild in my area and produces seeds around 6mm in length.

Why is learning like a seed?

In all of us when we are young there is a strong ability to learn, our seed, if only we are given the chance to experience new things and we keep our minds and eyes open to the world around us. With these experiences as its food and water, our seed starts to grow into a strong plant. Eventually, our plant brings forth flowers and seeds of its own.

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

With new seeds to sow learning into the hearts of minds of others, our knowledge grows and our plant thrives and is joined by others.

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 seeds grow strong into a tree of knowledge. Our learning continues throughout our lives adding new branches and planting more seeds as we share our learning with others.

Our learning and sharing can help keep our minds young even though we might grow older. I still discover new learning and, when I do, try to find ways of sharing with others.

A man made famous because of the cars he produced, Henry Ford once said, "Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young."

Grade 3 with Mrs. Renton will bring you many chances to grow your trees of knowledge and blogging will allow you to share with others as it has with me.

P.S. Like Mrs. Renton, I don't skateboard, would much rather go rock hunting and also have a love of science and drawing. I have been using computers with students since 1981 and am interested in many other subjects. There is so much to know and the aim of my journey is to learn as much as I can and share my learning with others. If we had all of the knowledge in the world it's of no use unless it is shared.

To see the fascinating original post on Arbor Day by Mrs. Ranney's class...

Astonishing Arbor Day - Then and Now!

Hello Mrs. Ranney and class,

I was fascinated by the tree photo you shared. Knowing exactly when a tree was planted and being able to see how much it has grown reminds us how change happens over time. For humans, 28 years would see us grow from newborn babies into adulthood and possibly as parents of a new generation.

Your tree, the silk floss tree, interested me because you shared it is related to the kapok tree. When I was young, our bed pillows were often filled with kapok fibres. Kapok pillows can still be bought and it's claimed "Kapok is resistant to mites, mold and mildew so its hygienic, non toxic, hypo allergenic and environmentally friendly." (taken from Kapok Pillows Australia website)

I know kapok was also an important resource around the time of World War II because it was used in life preservers but, when the Japanese captured the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia), a new source of fibres was needed. From some research, I found children in U.S.A. collected milkweed pods to use their "silk". If they had a forest of your silk floss trees, they would probably have used them. They might have been an important war resource.

 

When I noticed your silk floss tree was planted in 1986, I remembered an old photo I only today scanned into my computer. It was a photo I took in 1986 of a tree in New Zealand. Let me show you Tane Mahuta, the kauri tree...

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

Tane Mahuta, Lord of the Forest, is 13.77m (45.2 ft) around its base. In the photo, you can see its trunk is about the same size up to the branches. To the top of its branches,  it is 51.2m (168 ft) in height.

Was I around when it was first planted?

No. No one is sure how old the tree is but it is estimated to be anywhere from 1,250 to 2,500 years old.

If this old tree could speak, I wonder what stories of long ago it might share?

Tane Mahuta has a part in Maori cultural heritage. Here is a link to the story of Tane Mahuta...

Tāne Mahuta: separator of heaven and earth

3 Comments

In the comments of their poster entitled “Welcome to Grade THREE!”, the Battalion Bloggers asked some questions. Posts lead to questions and questions to a search for answers. Below is the next part of our shared learning journey as I attempt to find answers and learn more along the way.

For their original post…

Welcome to Grade THREE!

For the related preceding post on this blog...

The Outback and Other Information

Hello Battalion Bloggers,

I know you're having are busy in school at this time and I have been very busy with DVD/CD work for schools and community groups so it seems it can take us some time to reply to each other but our contacts are always interesting.

I thought I would share some ideas I had when thinking about the questions and curiosities in your comment. I know some ideas I share can be a little hard to understand at times but this is what can make learning interesting as we try to discover meaning. To answer you, I always have to research more information, try to understand what I find and then try to explain what I find in in a way you can more easily understand. Our posts and comments means our learning journeys cross for a time. Here's what resulted...

We are glad that the perentie and lace monitors are only slightly venomous and that they are shy and will run away when they see people. Can the perentie and lace monitor venom kill a person if they bite them?

In the original post, I mentioned the monitors are thought to be slightly venemous but I haven't heard of any deaths from monitor bites in Australia. Some of the effects of a monitor bite from lace monitors or Komodos might be (according to Wikipedia's Komodo reference) rapid swelling, localized disruption of blood clotting, and shooting pains, with some symptoms lasting for several hours. The large Komodo has been known to attack and kill animals such as goats and there are reports of human deaths. As with all animals, we should be careful with the biting end and leave wild animals alone.

Perentie

This graphic has been sourced through Wikimedia Commons and is listed as in the public domain.

This graphic has been sourced through Wikimedia Commons and is listed as in the public domain.

Lace Monitor

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 wonder why the komodo dragon is only found in Indonesia now and not in Australia anymore?

Komodo Dragon

The photo was sourced through Wikimedia Commons where it was listed as in the public domain.

The photo was sourced through Wikimedia Commons where it was listed as in the public domain.

Different species of monitor lizards are found in many countries. According to Wikipedia, they are found "through Africa, the Indian Subcontinent, to China, down Southeast Asia to Indonesia, the Philippines, New Guinea, Australia and islands of the Indian Ocean, and the South China Sea. A large concentration of monitor lizards occurs on Tioman Island in the Malaysian state of Pahang." What this suggests is there are many species of monitor lizards. The Komodo, perentie and lace monitors are just three.

HOW could they get to Indonesia when they once roamed Australia?

In my post, I mentioned fossils of Komodo dragons were found in Australia so they had once been here. If you look at the Komodo Dragon Evolutionary History link, it mentions recent fossil finds in Australia suggest it's possible Komodo dragons evolved in Australia and spread to Indonesia when sea levels were much lower during the last glacial period (around 12,000 to 110,000 years back). With the end of the glacial age, they were cut off from Australia by rising waters.  Perhaps a changing environment wasn't suitable for them here in Australia so they died out leaving the Komodo only in Indonesia. We would need more information to be certain but, at this time, an accepted belief is the monitors evolved in Asia perhaps 40 million years back and then spread.

We also have evidence of much a much larger monitor lizard in Australia known as Megalania (Megalania prisca or Varanus priscus). It is thought to have died out 30,000 to 40,000 years back so it's possible the earliest indigenous Australians had seen them. Most recent estimates say they might have grown to 4.5m (15 feet) and weighed up to 331kg (730lb). With the largest wild Komodo measuring 3.13 m (10.3 ft) long and weighing 166 kg (366 lb), the megalania would have been huge. I wouldn't go hiking in our national parks if they were still around.

The photo was sourced through Wikimedia Commons where it was listed as in the public domain.

The photo was sourced through Wikimedia Commons where it was listed as in the public domain.

We wonder if they lived in both places but then they died out in Australia.

I liked your suggestion and suspect there was a time when they were found in both places. Somewhere back in time monitors must have had a common ancestor. The different species evolved when populations were cut off from others. Adapting to the local conditions, in time they developed differences to other populations. When there is enough change so one population is unlikely to breed with another*, they are said to be a new species. Look at the monitor lizard below. It is a varanus salvatorii (Salvatori's monitor) from New Guinea.

Do you notice all of the monitor lizards on this post have similarities? They are all part of the genus varanus (monitor lizards).

Do you see they also all have differences? The differences suggest different species.

Salvatori's Monitor Lizard

The photo was sourced through Wikimedia Commons where it was listed as in the public domain.

The photo was sourced through Wikimedia Commons where it was listed as in the public domain.

New Guinea's Salvadori's Monitor Lizard

* There are examples where animals of different species can interbreed (have babies together) so long as the animals are of the same genus.

horse (equus ferus) + donkey (equus tigris)= mule   

(equus is the genus and ferus/tigris are the species names)

male tiger (panthera tigris) + lioness (panthera leo) = tigon

male lion (panthera leo) + female tiger (panthera tigris) = liger

(panthera is the genus and tigris/leo are the species names)

Why would they die out?

As mentioned above. the Komodo dragons may have died out in Australia because of climate change. As an example, when the first people came to Australia perhaps fifty to sixty thousand years ago, Australia was much wetter with forests and lakes. In time, changes in climate led to Australia drying out leaving desert where once there was forest. There might have been other reasons why they became extinct in Australia but, without evidence, we're only guessing.

Spike is SO cute! We think that the picture of the echidna digging his claws into the grown and curling into a ball to protect himself was SO cute! Do echidnas get frightened easily?

Echidna

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

When I discovered an echidna in my garden, it was probing the soils with its snout in search of food. It didn't take much notice of me and I suspect their eyesight isn't too strong. When I came too close, it dug its claws into the ground and showed its spines. I don't think they are too easily frightened but, just like you, they are careful if danger is near.
Once they feel danger has gone, they go back to their hunt for food.

We wonder if they do much damage to gardens like voles can do?

If I hadn't seen the echidna in my garden, I don't think I would have known it had been there as they leave little trace. It's possible others have been in my garden but I have only ever seen one. I have seen many in the wild. I saw the above echidna waddling its way across a local park. Even though I was close, it either didn't see me or wasn't frightened.

We wonder what they like to eat … besides ants!

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

In the wild, the echidnas mostly eat ants and termites. The above photo shows a local termite mound around 1m high although I have seen some termite mounds much higher in other parts of Australia. When hiking, I sometimes see termite mounds where I can tell echidnas have been using their strong claws to dig. Once opened, the echidna can use its long, sticky tongue to catch ants or termites.

My favourite local animal sanctuary, Potoroo Palace , has three echidna. It isn't possible to gather enough ants or termites for them so the keepers mix a special recipe to feed their echidna. The mix includes minced meat, olive oil, raw egg, glucose powder, baby porridge, processed bran, vitamin E powder and calcium powder. In the video below, you will see Spike enjoying a meal as the keeper shares information with tourists.

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We wonder how small an echidna’s egg would be. We STILL think it’s SO cool that they are egg-laying MAMMALS like platypuses!

Echidna eggs are only about 2cm across. The females produce only one small egg about two weeks after mating. It's egg is placed in a backward facing pouch where it hatches about 10 days later. The baby echidna (known as a puggle) stays in the pouch for about two to three months before it's ejected from the pouch. It's spines start to develop in the pouch. Can you imagine a mother with a spiky baby in it's pouch? Perhaps when the puggle gets too spiky, mum thinks it's time for baby to leave the pouch.

How BIG do echidnas grow … we wonder if our Grade Six teacher would be a GOOD referent for measuring an echidna!

Long-beaked echidna can be 45cm to 100cm in length and weigh around 4kg to 9kg. The short-beaked echidna in my area  can be around 30cm to 45cm in length and weigh 2 to 7 kg.

We really enjoyed seeing all the pictures of your fieldtrip to the Outback! It looks like hardly anybody lives there. It would probably be a hard place to live because it looks like there aren’t any stores around to get food or water. It looks SO hot too!

 Summer temperatures in Australia can reach over 40C in summer. There has been a few examples measured up to around 50C. My first full time school wasn't in a desert area but was in a semi-arid (not quite desert) area. I recorded a maximum temperature in the shade of around 45C for two weeks running. As the sun goes down, the temperatures in Australian deserts can normally drop down to around 3C to 6C and there have been recordings of temperatures as low as -7C in Alice Springs in winter.

We loved Ayer’s Rock and the Devil’s Marbles at Karlu Karlu. We wonder how those rocks got stacked like that. They look like they could fall off at any moment! We wonder how long they’ve been stacked like that...

Karlu Karlu

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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.

In the top photo, you can see Karlu Karlu has many such granite rocks but they haven't been stacked. The second photo gives you an idea of how large they can be. The man in the photo is standing on and leaning against the same rock. Erosion by rain and wind has been at work wearing away the rock at what looks like the base of the upper section. The upper section will eventually break off and fall. Maybe it already has. The photo was taken 28 years back but the erosion is a slow process.

… and also how old Ayer’s Rock is! It just looks like a place where tons of poisonous snakes and spiders would live.

Uluru is known as a monolith (single stone) and is sandstone. The sandstone was thought to have been deposited perhaps 550 million years ago. There are snakes and spiders around Uluru but I think the snake is the woma python. Being a python, it isn't poisonous. There are poisonous species of snakes in my area near the coast. They are the red-bellied black snake, brown snake, tiger snake, and death adder. I have seen the first three in the wild but, as yet, haven't seen a death adder.

Do armadillos live in the outback?

Armadillos aren't native to Australia.

How long and how tall is Ayer’s Rock?

It is really much larger than what you can see in the photos. Most of it is below the surface. If you were to go for a walk around the base of the Uluru you see in the photo, it would be a walk of a little over 9km (~6 miles). The second photo gives you an idea of how high it is. You can see people have climbed to what looks like the top although the real highest point on Uluru is 348m above the base and is to the left and not quite in the photo.

Uluru  (Ayers Rock)

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

Uluru Climb

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

 We LOVED all your pictures of the outback. We loved how you told us that people would build their houses underground to stay cooler. How would they get to their houses?

Coober Pedy

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

Coober Pedy's underground homes can be basic but I have been inside one I would consider more luxurious. It included a swimming pool with a walled part built out of the home. Like most homes, it had a front door, rooms, furniture and electricity. While there are no windows in walls, there are vents in the ceilings for light and air.

What would happen if a rainstorm came … would those houses get flooded?

Being in an arid area of Australia, its average yearly rainfall is only about 156mm (about 6") so flooding isn't too much of a problem. The homes also tend to be built into hills and not low where water might be a problem.

Do the houses leak when there is a rainstorm?

Low rainfall means having leaks would be a rare but I guess they would have big problems if climate change brought much higher rainfall. People find being underground is more comfortable where summer temperatures have reached as much as 47C although the average summer temperature is 30-32C. The big attraction for living in Coober Pedy is the opal. Opal is mined and made into jewellery.

Wouldn’t it be hard to dig into the ground to build a house?

Many in Coober Pedy are miners. They can use digging machines to dig mines in search of opals or to dig homes. Early settlers probably used a pick to dig their homes. Imagine, you don't need bricks or timber if you want a new room, you just need a place to dump what you dig. If you're lucky, you might even find opal when digging your house.

I thought I had a photo of a home interior but I haven't as yet located it amongst thousands of old photos so below is a photo I found through Wikimedia Commons.

This photo was sourced through WIkimedia Commons. The information below shows the original author.

This photo was sourced through WIkimedia Commons. The information below shows the original author.

Description: Coober Pedy, South Australia - underground house display.        Date: 26 August 2003     Author: Nachoman-au

Couldn’t it cave in?

The home I visited looked very solid. Experienced miners would know the danger of cave-ins if they weren't careful. You would probably find the town has rules on how dugout homes should be built. I suppose a serious earthquake might cause problems but serious earthquakes are rare in Australia.

We wonder, if they go out, how do they find their houses again, if they are underground. Do they mark an x on the roof?

Like you finding your home, they know where their homes are in town so they wouldn't need to mark their homes. They might simply remember it's on the north side of the third hill from the local shop.

We wonder what kinds of animals live in the outback.

That is a big topic so let's look at the area around Uluru. Go to the Wikipedia reference on Uluru and scroll down for some details.

There are known to have been 46 mammal species found around although there are currently only 27 including bats. There are also birds, reptiles, insects and frogs. Frogs in the desert? There are four known species of frogs found around the base of Uluru where you also find waterholes. There can also be introduced animals such as mice, camels, dogs, foxes, cats and rabbits.

emus

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

camels

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

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In the comments of their poster entitled "Welcome to Grade THREE!", the Battalion Bloggers asked some questions. For their original post...

Welcome to Grade THREE!

Monitor Lizards

Perentie Lizards

This graphic has been sourced through Wikimedia Commons and is listed as in the public domain.

This graphic has been sourced through Wikimedia Commons and is listed as in the public domain.

The Perentie tend to live in central Australia across to Western Australia but are not native to my area. Their patterning is very attractive but I have only seen them in zoos and not in the wild. They are one of the monitor lizards.

 Lace Monitors

 The photo below shows a local lace monitor (goanna) I photographed while hiking. It was about 1.5m long and was seen eating an animal killed on the road. I have seen them a number of times.

Lace monitors are our second largest monitor lizards after the perentie. The perentie and lace monitor are thought to be slightly venomous but they are generally shy and run away if surprised. I have read fossils have been found in Australia showing komodo dragons, the largest of the monitors once also roamed Australia but are now only found in Indonesia.

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.

Kangaroo, Koalas and Echidnas

I have seen kangaroos (and wallabies), koalas and echidnas in zoos and in the wild a number of times. There has been an echidna in my garden and kangaroos on the sports oval across the road. While wild koalas aren't common in my area, my local animal sanctuary has had them. Potoroo Palace has a female named Sapphire who was born in their sanctuary. I have known her since birth.

All of the video clips shown below were filmed by me at Potoroo Palace.

Kangaroo

The most common kangaroo in my area is the eastern grey kangaroo. The males can be up to around 2m tall and are common in my area. The pictured male was as tall as me. He watched me as I took his photo them he hopped away. They are only dangerous if they feel trapped.

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

Here is one of my short video clips showing eastern grey kangaroos.

Koala

The photo shows Sapphire when she was younger but had left her mother's pouch.

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

The first of my video clips shows one of the first times Sapphire looked out from her mother's pouch after about 26 weeks inside the pouch.

The second clip shows Sapphire with her mother, Suzie. Too big, Sapphire stayed out of the pouch but with her mother.

With the loss of Blinky (father) and Suzie (mother), Sapphire is now the only koala at Potoroo Palace. I am certain the staff will be hoping for a suitable mate for her to continue their koala breeding.

Echidna

 I have seen echidna when hiking, in a park in my town and even in my own backyard. Their eyesight isn't good and they can't bite. If threatened, they dig their strong claws into the ground, hold on, and show only their spines.

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

This is what they look like when they dig in.

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

 

 Below is a video clip of Potoroo Palace's Spike.

The Outback.

There was an old saying, "Out back of Bourke". Others have talked about the outback starting at the dingo fence or  beyond the  "black stump", or a number of other areas but, mostly, outback refers to isolated inland areas of Australia. Unlike Canada, much of Australia is arid or semi-arid (deserts or near deserts) where rainfall is low and the soil is often reddish from iron oxides (rust). I'll share some photos, a number just scanned into the computer from old 35mm film slides, so you'll be the first to see them since many were taken back in 1985.

In 1981 and 1982 I was the Teacher in Charge of a one teacher school. It was very isolated and ranked number 6 in our state. Town was 100km away. The school was there for children from sheep and cattle stations. I lived 20km distant in a shearer's quarters on a 100,000 acre sheep station. We did have a computer on loan for about six weeks each year but the internet was still many years away for schools.

Below is a picture from 1982. Does it look isolated?

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

1985 - A Trip to Uluru (Ayers Rock)

By 1985, I was a teacher in an 850 student school in western Sydney. In 1983, I had organised a trip for some families to New Zealand but, for 1985, organised a trip through the centre of Australia. I was the 20 seater bus driver for most of the trip of over 7000km. Our first night was spent in the schoolroom of my old school pictured above. From there, we took dirt roads and a main highway until we reached Bourke. From there, we could have said we were in the outback.

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

Here are some photos from back then...

This is the Darling River in the town of Bourke. The Darling River is part of an inland water system stretching from Queensland through New South Wales (N.S.W.), Victoria and out to sea in South Australia(S.A.). In times of severe drought it can run dry or overflow in flood during big rain.

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

Heading north from Bourke along the Mitchell Highway, we stopped at the state border between N.S.W. and Queensland. The countryside was very flat but green as we had some rain the week before our trip.

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

 We came to the mining town of Mt. Isa in Queensland. Mt. Isa is in the tropical but dry north of Australia. The red colouring of the soil is caused by iron oxide (rust) in the soil. Lead, silver, copper and zinc is mined there.

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

From Mt. Isa, we headed west and crossed into the Northern Territory, heading about half way across N.T.. before heading south to the Red Centre (the middle of Australia). One of our stops was at Karlu Karlu (Devil's Marbles) where there are many large rocks seemingly balanced on their ends. They are important in traditional Aboriginal beliefs.

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

Along the way, we crossed from the tropics back into the sub-tropics. A sign marked the line of the Tropic of Capricorn but I liked what someone had painted on the road. (The man in the photo was one of the dads and you can see we had some rain.)

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

Finally, we arrived in Alice Springs, the town close to the middle of Australia if not really then in our minds. Again, as you can see in the photo, we were travelling in a wet period. The Todd River passes through Alice Springs but flowing water is rarely seen so, when they hold the Henley-on-Todd Regatta, it's more a running race holding something looking like a sailing boat. If the river is flowing with water, they have to cancel their boat races. 🙂

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

The MacDonnell Ranges are the mountains around Alice Springs. There are many gorges and beautiful rock formations to visit. Below is a photo of Standley Chasm. The people in the photo will give you an idea of the size of the chasm.

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

Heading south out of Alice Springs, we stopped at the Henbury Meteorite Craters. The twelve craters were formed when a meteorite broke into pieces before hitting the ground it's estimated about 4,700 years back.

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

Finally, we came to our main aim for our tour, Uluru (Ayers Rock) and Kata Tjuta (The Olgas). Like Karlu Karlu, the sites have special significance to the local Aboriginal people who are the caretakers of the land. The first photo shows Uluru at sunset. It is the visible part of a huge monolith (single stone). The second photo shows the position where it's possible for visitors to climb the rock. The Aboriginal people wouldn't climb to the top of Uluru because of its cultural importance but they allow visitors if they choose to do so.

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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.

As you walk or drive around the base of Uluru, there are many places with simple barriers and signs asking people to respect special places for Aboriginal people. There are sacred places for Aborginal men and women they ask visitors not to enter. The photo below shows some Aboriginal artwork on Uluru in a place where visitors can visit.

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

Approximately west of Uluru is Kata Tjuta (The Olgas). You can see them in the distance in the first photo taken from Uluru and part of them up close in the second and third.

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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.

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

Heading south from Uluru, we crossed into South Australia (S.A.).

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

...and eventually reached the opal mining town of Coober Pedy where many people have built their homes underground to protect them from summer heat. The area is dotted with opal mines.

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

We started to see salt lakes. Water flowing all the way from Queensland during high rainfall, has nowhere to go when reaching the lakes. As the water evaporates, salt is left behind. The next photo, taken from our bus, shows a salt lake in the distance.

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

Upon reaching the town of Port Augusta, we headed north-east through the Flinders Ranges.

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

We crossed the border into N.S.W. and travelled 1200km to reach home.

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

 

1 Comment

To see the posts leading to this one...

Skype with Our Friend Mr. Mannell

Follow up posts for K/1/2/3

Skyping with K/1/2/3 from Canada Part 1

Skyping with K/1/2/3 from Canada Part 2

Skyping with K/1/2/3 from Canada Part 3

After a wonderful Skype experience with K/1/2/3 where we are shared and learned together, they responded to our session and the additional information I shared in follow-up posts for them. My reply to their response looked at my lifelong learning journey where any day can be a learning adventure with something new or changed. I decided to share another experience while they began their summer vacation. On July 4, I spent the afternoon at our local Panboola Wetland Sanctuary. I thought they might like to be the first to share some of the photos taken.

Panboola is only around 8 kilometres from my home. It's popular with birdwatchers, bicycle riders, hikers, photographers and people wanting to spend some time out in the open. Escaping from my keyboard and with camera in hand I spent a winter's afternoon walking 6 or 7 kilometres of trails. From the map below you can see the areas I visited.

This is a map on display in the reserve and is not my work.

This is a map on display in the reserve and is not my work.

Panboola was set up to preserve our wetland area for future generations. The below sign recognises the part played by the traditional owners of the land. The second photo helped me learn more about the people whose contact with the land goes back to the Dreaming. Another post on this blog was made to share some Dreaming stories. The Dreaming stories are not from the people of my area but can help you understand some of the rich cultures of the original Australians. Click on DREAMING STORIES to see and hear if you are interested.

This display panel is the work of a friend and is not my work.

This display panel is the work of a friend and is not my work.

This display panel is the work of a friend and is not my work.

This display panel is the work of a friend and is not my work.

Tips Billabong greets you as you enter the reserve from the northern end. Form a lookout on a rise you can see black swans and other birds. A billabong is formed when a river changes course. Part of the old river course is cut off and remains as a pond.

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

Much of the marsh area is covered by reeds. At this time of the year they are brown but spring makes them a sea of green. I love the patterns you can capture with a camera. The second photo shows the old reed heads and contrast beautifully with the blue sky behind.

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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.

The cool winter afternoon with only a gentle breeze gave me chances to capture reflections in the ponds.

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

The salt marsh areas provide a good contrast of red against the blue sky. White fronted chats (birds) can be seen flitting across the marshes in search of  insects but they can be hard to photograph.

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On the far side of the reserve there is access to Pambula River. On the day, it was gently flowing. I was the only one there and found no footprints in the sand.

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

I did find places where the smoothly flowing water made for perfect reflections off the surface.

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

With the day growing late and shadows growing longer, I started heading back along the cycle and walk way to the exit.

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

The sun was now very low in the sky.

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

Eastern grey kangaroos were out feeding on the grass in the late afternoon.

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

Swamp hens searched for their food in the late light.

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

...and the family I last chatted with had disappeared down to the reserve exit with me following slowly behind with a camera still in hand.

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

Recognising the Original People of This Land

Official school events in my region normally start with an Acknowledgement of Country. It recognises the original owners of the land. Click the link below to hear one of my recordings.

Acknowledgement of Country

This audio recording should not be used without my written permission.

The Australian Aboriginal Flag

The Australian Aboriginal Flag was designed by artist Harold Thomas and first flown at Victoria Square in Adelaide, South Australia, on National Aborigines Day, 12 July 1971.

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Torres Strait Islander Flag

The Torres Strait Islander flag was designed by the late Bernard Namok as a symbol of unity and identity for Torres Strait Islanders.

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In 1995, both of these flags became official flags of Australia.

Source of information:   INDIGENOUS AUSTRALIAN FLAGS

In order to share some of the stories from the many peoples of Australia, below are a series of embedded You Tube videos sharing Dreaming stories. Where I can, I have added personal photos or drawings relating to the stories if students want to use them. At the end of this post you will find a video looking at indigenous tourism in Australia (52:26min).

Dreaming Stories

1. About Dreaming Stories  (7:32 min)

This embedded You Tube clip is not my video.

This is a draft video for the Australian Museum for their Dreaming Stories. The performers are Gumaroy Newman, Eric Arthur Tamwoy and Norm Barsah. Video by Fintonn Mahony, Lisa Duff, Bronwyn Turnbull and Gina Thomson.

2.  Aboriginal Dreaming story of Waatji Pulyeri (the Blue Wren or superb fairywren) (5:33 min)

This embedded You Tube clip is not my video.

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

These small wrens often visit my garden searching for insects. The drawing is of a male. Females and juveniles are plain brown.

 

3. The Rainbow Serpent  (11:23 min)

This embedded You Tube clip is not my video.

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

Rainbow lorikeets are native to my area and regularly visit my garden.

4. Mirram The Kangaroo and Warreen The Wombat (4:32 min)

This embedded You Tube clip is not my video.

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

A species of kangaroo common to my area is the eastern grey kangaroo.

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

Although mainly nocturnal, I found this wombat out during the day.

4. Girawu The Goanna  (4:00 min)

This embedded You Tube clip is not my video.

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

One of our local goannas.

5. Biladurang The Platypus  (2:58 min)

This embedded You Tube clip is not my video.

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

The platypus, a monotreme (egg laying) mammal, can be elusive. I have caught glimpses of them in mountain streams but don't have a photograph.

6. Tiddalick The Frog  (2:43 min)

This embedded You Tube clip is not my video.

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

7. Wayambeh The Turtle (2:43 min)

This embedded You Tube clip is not my video.

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

Snapper turtle at a local animal sanctuary.

The Aboriginal People of Australia

Many people think there was one Aboriginal (native Australian) culture and one language but, before the coming of European colonists, there were many, many of those cultures now lost. One of the best sites I have seen comes from the Yolngu people of Ramingining in the northern part of Central Arnhem Land in Australia’s Northern Territory.

For one of their creation stories, click the link Twelve Canoes and wait for the site to load. The picture below will appear. Once loaded, click on the picture indicated by the arrow to see a creation story.

This graphic should not be copied.

I think you will find many interesting things on this site as well as one of their creation stories.

Indigenous Tourism in Australia Today (52:26min)

This embedded You Tube clip is not my video.

For part 1 of this post...

http://rossmannellcomments.edublogs.org/2013/06/22/skyping-with-k123-from-canada-part-1-Koa-to-Jorja

For part 2 of this post...

http://rossmannellcomments.edublogs.org/2013/06/23/skyping-with-k123-from-canada-part-2-lily-to-may/

What kind of trees and plants are in Australia?

(Two questions in one)

Below is a photo of one of my favourite walking trails. It's a fire trail in Bournda Nature Reserve. While we have many types of trees, most of the tall trees you see are eucalypt trees. If you take a fresh leaf and crush it, you can smell the eucalyptus oil inside. Have any of you ever smelled eucalyptus oil?

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

Another favourite trail is in town. It leads around our lakeside to the town's old wharf. Most trees along this trail aren't eucalypt.

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

Here are some photos of plants, flowers and fungi I have seen in my area. Not all flowers are Australian natives but are seen in gardens...

Wattle

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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.

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.

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.

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

This is a photo of one type of eucalypt tree flowers.

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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.

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.

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

Bottlebrush

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

Grevillia (a favourite nectar flower for rainbow lorikeets)

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

Waratah

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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.

Grevillia

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

Banksia

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

FUNGI

Apart from flowers, I also enjoy taking photos of interesting fungi (singluar fungus). All of these photos were taken in Bournda Nature Reserve

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

What kind of berries grow in Australia?

There are many types of berries in Australia if you look for farms growing them. In the wild there are also berries but they aren't all edible. Blackberries grow wild in my area but they can be a problem on local dairy farms.

In my garden, we have an orange tree, two apple trees, lillipilli, guava and have had strawberries.

Oranges

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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.

 

Lillipilli (they are edible but aren't sweet)

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

Guava

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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.

Do people swim in the ocean here?

As it is now winter, swimming isn't as big at this time of year. Surfers wear wetsuits and go surfing and, if the day is a little warmer, some do try swimming. In summer, spending time swimming, surfing, scuba diving and boating are very popular.

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

Kayaking

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

Kiteboarding

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

Windsurfing

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

Surfing

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

Jumping from our old Merimbula Wharf

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

 

How is tomorrow?

I liked this question. Where I am in Australia it is 17 hours ahead of K/1/2/3. While we started our Skype session at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday for K/1/2/3, it was 6:30 a.m. Wednesday for me. Being close to our shortest day of the year, the sun hadn't yet risen but the sky was growing light. For K/1/2/3, the longest day of the year  was near. Even though I was starting winter and they summer, the temperature of the day ended up the same at about 13C. In my summer, temperatures can exceed 40C and bushfires can be a problem. The photo of a fire at the edge of town started on a day when temperatures reached about 44C.

 

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

Have I seen a flamingo? Are there zoos?

Flamingos aren't native to Australia but I have seen them in zoos. There are many zoos and animal parks around Australia. In Sydney, there is Taronga Zoo and the linked Taronga Western Plains Zoo in the middle of the state. Melbourne has the Melbourne Zoo. Our Australian capital city of Canberra is about three hours drive from here. It has the National Zoo & Aquarium. Mogo Zoo is about two to three hours drive from here.

Closest to me at about a ten minutes drive is Potoroo Palace. It's a native animal sanctuary run by volunteers. Many of my animal photos and video clips were taken there.

More About Australia

One class had been looking at Australia. In April this year I prepared a post for them. It included photos and links to some of my animal videos and some audio clips. Click on the link below to visit the post.

Australia

2 Comments

For part 1 of this post...

http://rossmannellcomments.edublogs.org/2013/06/22/skyping-with-k123-from-canada-part-1-Koa-to-Jorja

For Part 3 of this post...

 http://rossmannellcomments.edublogs.org/2013/06/23/skyping-with-k123-from-canada-part-3-linden-to-the-end/

Part 2

Do I know about an Australian tree which has black hair on it?

This one need a little research because I didn't know what type of tree it might be. Here is a link I found that has some "hairy" trees. They might help you know what tree you mean. 🙂

Australian Tree Images

What types of animals are found in Australia?

 Australia has a large range of animals but some of our most famous are our marsupial (pouched) and monotreme (egg laying) mammals and our birds. In Part 1 of this post, I have shown some of our reptiles I have photographed so I will only show some mammals and birds.

Here are some of the birds I have seen visiting my home.

Kookaburra

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

Magpie

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

Australian Wood Duck

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

Corella

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

Crimson Rosella

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

King Parrot (male)

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

Rainbow Lorikeet

This is the crazy type of bird I mentioned enjoyed a diet of sugary flower nectar. One of these birds flew between another person and me when we were talking.

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

Monotremes (egg laying) Mammals

The most ancient type of mammals are the monotremes. The females lay leathery eggs. On hatching, the young take milk from their mother like all mammals.

The only monotremes known to exist in our world today are the echidna and platypus. The platypus is only found in Australia. Echidnas are found in Australia and New Guinea.

The platypus is hard to photograph in the wild. While I have seen them, they are more like a ripple as they surface in creeks after searching for food. Not having a photo, here is my drawing of a platypus.

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

The echidna (or spiny anteater) is a harmless animal whose only defence when attacked is to dig it's strong claws into the ground and show its spines. I have found one wandering in my garden. The photo is of a short beaked echidna. The long beaked echidna is found in New Guinea.

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

Marsupial (pouched) Mammals

Marsupial or pouched animals are born very tiny. They make their way up their mothers fur and into the pouch where they can attach to a nipple. When they grow too large, they start to come out of the mother's pouch and eventually stay out. Here are some photos and drawings.

Brushtail Possum

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

Wombat - This joey (young marsupial) lost his mother on the road.

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

Tiger Quoll

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

Koala - Sapphire is the baby of Blinky and Suzie

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

Red Kangaroo - the largest of the kangaroos

This is a public domain image sourced through Wikimedia Commons.

This is a public domain image sourced through Wikimedia Commons.

Tasmanian Devil

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

Eastern Grey Kangaroo mob - groups of kangaroos are called mobs.

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

 Diprotodon (extinct) - When the first native Australians arrived, these huge marsupials still roamed the land.

Wikimedia Commons graphic created by Dmitry Bogdanov

Wikimedia Commons graphic created by Dmitry Bogdanov

Thylacine - Tasmanian Tiger - hunted to extinction. The last known thylacine died in captivity in the 1930s. Some believe they still exist in isolated areas of Tasmania.

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 animals even feature on the Australian Coat of Arms. Take a kangaroo and an emu...

 

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.

Add a little wattle

 

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.

Show the seven pointed Federation Star and the emblems of each state and you have the Australian Coat of Arms.

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 did I teach when I was a teacher?

When I was at university, I earned a Bachelor of Science degree. This meant if I taught high school (Grades 7 to 12) I would have taught science and possibly maths. Instead, I chose to gain a Diploma of Education in primary (Kindergarten to Grade 6) education. By teaching primary students I could teach English, Science, Maths, Social Studies, Music, Art, and Craft.

When computers came along, I was able to teach computer skills to classes and teachers. I first used computers back in 1975 and in class in 1981. Because I have many interests, I thought primary school would allow me to share much more than high school. Now, I share many of my interests online with classes around the world.

For part 2 of this post...

http://rossmannellcomments.edublogs.org/2013/06/23/skyping-with-k123-from-canada-part-2-lily-to-may/

For Part 3 of this post...

 http://rossmannellcomments.edublogs.org/2013/06/23/skyping-with-k123-from-canada-part-3-linden-to-the-end/

At 6:30 a.m. on Wednesday, June 19 I was waiting for a call on Skype. Mrs. Watson and her K/1/2/3 had planned a Skype session. For them, it was 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday. When the Skype call came, we started our question and answer session. Each student had the chance to ask questions about Australia.

I have broken this post into three parts because of the amount of its content.

Below is some of what was asked and answered...

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.

To hear Australia's national anthem sung by  a school choir I have filmed, click the "Advanced Australia Fair" link below

Advanced Australia Fair

How long have I been in Australia?

I was born in Australia.

My first known relative on my father's side of the family arrived in Australia (the called New South Wales) as a convict in 1789. The first with my family name arrived around 1850 as a free settler from England. The first known relative on my mother's side of the family arrived from Scotland in 1847.

Do I have any pets?

I have had many pets over the years although I don't have one at this time. I have had one cat, many dogs, budgerigars (small parrots), a galah (large parrot) and once was looking after a young kangaroo for a week until I could take it to a zoo. It's mother had been killed by a car.

Below is an old photo taken around 1960 of the first dog I remember having as a pet. Her name was Topsy.

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 my favourite place in town?

I am a movie fan. I like going to the cinema (movie theatre) and I enjoy filming and making DVDs for schools and community groups so, in the town itself, my favourite place is the cinema. The next nearest cinema is a twoto three hour drive north but we are a tourist town and are lucky to have one.

Near town, my favourite places are Bournda National Park, Bournda Nature Rerserve, Ben Boyd National Park, South East Forests National Park and Potoroo Palace Native Animal Educational Sanctuary. When not blogging, visiting schools, making DVDs, walking around town and going to the cinema, I like hiking in our national parks near my town.

I have loaded a short video clip showing my town and Merimbula Lake taken from a bridge in 2010. The quality of the video isn't high but it does show much of the town.

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

I live in the state of New South Wales. Is there an old South Wales?

The eastern half of Australia was named New South Wales by Captain James Cook in 1770. In his ship's log he recorded the name but didn't explain his choice. It's thought the coast might have reminded him of the southern coast of Wales in Great Britain. It was an interesting choice because I think part of Hudson Bay in Canada had been named New South Wales by the Welshman Thomas James on 20 August 1631 (according to Wikipedia).

In 2012, a replica of Captain James Cook's ship, Endeavour, visited Twofold Bay, Eden about 20km from my town. Below is a video clip I made of its departure.

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

If you want to see more of the Endeavour replica, there is a post on another of my blogs...

HMB Endeavour at Eden – May, 2012 – Cook and his Endeavour

Do we have tumbleweeds in Australia?

Tumbleweeds are really only the tops of plants dried, broken off and blown in the wind. While we can have this happen to our plants, we don't tend to call them tumbleweeds.

Being in a small school.

 K/1/2/3's school only has 41 students and two teachers. They normally talk to students from much larger schools. I shared a little about my first teaching position. In the two years I was there, I had from 12 to 20 students from surrounding sheep and cattle properties. The closest town was 100km distant. I was the only teacher with children from Kindergarten to Grade 6 in the room. My next school had over 800 students and was in Sydney. It was very different.

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.

Do we have any geckos or lizards?

Being a much warmer climate than Canada, we have a large range of reptiles from skinks and geckos right through to crocodiles in the warmer north of the country. I'll share a few of my photos with you...

 Bearded Dragon

They are harmless although they can bite. They may be called dragon but they can't breathe fire.

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.

Red Bellied Black Snake (poisonous)

Unlike the local brown and tiger poisonous snakes of our area, the black snake is a little shy and tries to keep away from humans.

red-bellied black snake

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

Goanna (Lace Monitor)

Goannas are the largest of our lizards.

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

Blue-tongued lizard (skink)

I have found these in my garden. They like snails and slugs.

Blue-tongued lizard

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

Olive python and handler

Being a python, these snakes aren't poisonous. Potoroo Palace volunteer is hold "Olive" the female olive python.

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.

Snapping Turtle

There are a number of turtles and tortoises around 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.

Black Headed Python (non-poisonous)

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 1

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

Lizards 2

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.

Eastern Water Skink (?)

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

 

 Have I travelled to other places including Canada?

I have travelled to many places in Australia and have been to New Zealand several times. I've visited friends in Singapore and travelled on to Paris and United Kingdom. I've also been to Hawaii. Here are some photos from my travels overseas.

London

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.

Paris

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.

Singapore

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.

Kilauea volcano, Hawaii

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.

York, England - York Minster Cathedral

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

Edinburgh Castle

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

Wellington, New Zealand - 1996

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

While I haven't yet been to Canada, I took a photo of a community play. The men were wearing a uniform but I'm not certain what type is was supposed to be. Do you know?

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.

 

Danny from Techie Kids asked about my state of New South Wales...

Hi, Danny.

So I could share some photos with you, I thought it better to answer with an extended comment.

While New South Wales isn't Australia's largest state, it is the state with the highest population. New South Wales has an area of 809,444 sq km (312,528 sq mi). This makes it larger than Texas but only half the size of Alaska. Western Australia is our largest state and is about 50% larger than Alaska.

Emblems of New South Wales.

Floral Emblem

The Waratah (Telopea speciosissima)

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

Location: Merimbula, Australia

Bird Emblem

Kookaburra (Dacelo gigas)

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

Location: Merimbula, Australia

Animal (Mammal) Emblem

Platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus)

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

Fish Emblem

Blue Groper (Achoerodus viridis)

Copyright (c) 2004 Richard Ling (richard@research.canon.com.au). Licensed under GFDL and CC-by-sa-2.5. All other rights reserved.

This graphic was sourced through Wikimedia Commons.

Gemstone Emblem

Black Opal

This is a public domain graphic sourced through Wikimedia Commons.

 For a class looking at Australia -

Australian Flag

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

Aboriginal Flag

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

Torres Strait Islander Flag

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

Some Audio Files

Australia's National Anthem - as sung by a combined choir in a performance I filmed...

 Advanced Australia Fair

Many official functions start with an Acknowledgement of Country in order to recognise the traditional owners of the land...

Acknowledgement of Country

The didjeridoo was made from a hollowed branch and was part of many ceremonies. The hitting of sticks or boomerangs together often accompanied them.

Sticks and Didjeridoo

Below are links to Australian related posts on my blogs including links to others. I hope they are of some help...

HMB Endeavour at Eden - Replica of Captain James Cook's HMS Endeavour visited  in 2012. James Cook was the first explorer from Europe/UK known to have sailed along Australia's east cost.

My Region of Australia - A general look at my area of Australia featuring the old family dairy farm, scenic photos, beach activities, and Australian animals.

Tasmania – Sharing old photos - Looks at the Australian island state of Tasmania and a little of our convict heritage.

Older Australian Currency - Australia uses dollars and cents these days but before 1966 used pounds, shillings and pence.

Aboriginal Cultural Resource Links for the Roadrunners - Information about the Aboriginal people of Australia and their traditional culture. Check the "Twelve Canoes" link in particular.

Class 6 – Olympic Countries – Australia - History, the Australian flag, National Anthem, animals, Sydney Harbour Bridge, sport

ANZAC Day for 2/3 Class - Looking at ANZAC Day and its meaning for me.

For Emily from Michigan who was interested in Australia - A collection of photos taken in different parts of Australia (including animals).

More photos and information on Sydney for Emily - Some photos of Sydney past and present.

Spring has Sprung in Australia – for 4KJ and 4KM - Looks at the seasons of the Southern Hemisphere.

 Australian National Parks near me in answer to ♥Ell♥e♥ and ಢAcacia✄ - Information about Australia as well as some national parks in my area.

Australian Birds – Mostly Close to Home…

Some plant photos taken in my area…

The family dairy farm for someone who loves everything farming

Maoris, Volcanoes and Aboriginal Rock Art (some notes) for Roadrunners and their comment. Includes the Aboriginal flags of Australia, information about paintings and engravings

Australian Animals for Mrs. Watson’s K/1/2/3 and “Our World, Our Numbers” - An assortment of photos, drawings and information.

Koalas and Kangaroos - Two video links I prepared for a class

Australia’s Extinct and Endangered Species – for Katey of Techie Kids

Tasmanian Devils for Christian and Techie Kids

Some More Aussie Animals for Alexis & Techie Kids

 

You Tube Video Clips

These are my own video clips uploaded to my You Tube Channel. Some are already embedded into the above posts but can be viewed here as well...

Eastern Grey Kangaroos

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

Location: Potoroo Palace, N.S.W., Australia

The life of "Sapphire" the koala

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

Location: Potoroo Palace, N.S.W., Australia

Echidna (Spiny Anteater)

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

Location: Potoroo Palace, N.S.W., Australia

"Bert" the wombat joey (baby)

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

Location: Potoroo Palace, N.S.W., Australia

Walking koala from a series of photos

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

Location: Potoroo Palace, N.S.W., Australia

The Song of the Lyrebird

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

Location: Potoroo Palace, N.S.W., Australia

"Lyrebird Story" by Alexandra Seddon

This video clip may not be copied or distributed in any fashion.

Location: Potoroo Palace, N.S.W., Australia

Suzie the koala's baby makes an appearance

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

Location: Potoroo Palace, N.S.W., Australia

Black-Headed Python Experience

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

Location: Potoroo Palace, N.S.W., Australia

Potoroo "Daniel"

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

Location: Potoroo Palace, N.S.W., Australia

Koala encounter with "Blinky" and "Suzie"

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

Location: Potoroo Palace, N.S.W., Australia

Echidna "Spike" Encounter

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

Location: Potoroo Palace, N.S.W., Australia

Ringtail Possum "Estelle" Encounter

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

Location: Potoroo Palace, N.S.W., Australia

Swamp Wallaby "Serena" Encounter

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

Location: Potoroo Palace, N.S.W., Australia

Emus

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

Location: Potoroo Palace, N.S.W., Australia

Many of the above animal video clips were filmed at Potoroo Palace . It is a native animal educational sanctuary operated by volunteers and funded by visitor entry fees and donations. Potoroo Palace is a not-for-profit organisation passionate about caring for the Earth. The aims of Potoroo Palace are...

  • To improve the habitats and wellbeing of the native animals already in our care

  • To promote public awareness of their plight in the wild

  • To educate the community about the importance of the conservation of our unique Australian native animals and plants.

At times I have been invited to film their animals.