for Mia & her visit to King Gillette Ranch

Hello Mia,

This is a wonderful post about your visit to King Gillette Ranch. I’m glad you were able to return your permission slip quickly. I’m also glad Mrs. Yollis took her camera so we could see as well as read what happened.

The Chumash people seem to have a wonderful culture. I’m very impressed by the quality of the woven basket.

The maraca-like instrument has appeared in many cultures. Can you imagine people long ago picking up something, shaking it and hearing a sound? They then must have thought they could use it to make music.

Like the Chumash, many Aboriginal people used sticks they banged together to keep the rhythm in music. This is a very basic instrument but it sounds wonderful. Here is a recording...

Sticks and Didjeridoo

The “bull horn” is like the “bullroarer” used by Aboriginal people. The speed you swing changes the sound. Isn’t it amazing native people so far apart devised the same sorts of instruments?

The nature walk looks interesting. I was surprised you saw a eucalpytus tree. They are native to Australia. Most people here call them gum trees. If you crush a eucalyptus tree leaf, you can smell the eucalyptus oil in them. Here is a close-up photo of one of the many species of eucalypt in Australia...

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


Many trees have been hit by lightning here in Australia. Many years ago, as well as being a teacher through the week, I was a childcare worker in a hospital on weekends. One day when I was in the hospital, I had a phone call from my mother. A tree in our yard had been hit by lightning. The top third had been blown to pieces, the middle third had been split down the middle and the bottom had been scarred. It was lucky no one was in the yard at the time.

You seem interested in the bird life. They are interesting creatures. Australia also has herons, egrets, swans and owls.

In 2010, there was a wonderful PG animated film released called “Legend of the Guardians – The Owls of Ga’hoole”. The heroes and villains were all, I think, Australian owls.

Keep up the interesting posts.

Teacher, NSW, Australia

2 thoughts on “for Mia & her visit to King Gillette Ranch

  1. M♥a

    Dear Mr. Mannell,

    Thank you so much for making an extended comment for me! I think that your comment was very interesting. I especially admired the photograph of the eucalyptus tree. I did not know that if you squeezed the flower the oil would spill out.

    When I went on the field trip, our naturalist made some mistakes! Mrs. Yollis has been on a Chumash field trip before and she suddenly recognized that our naturalist said that the instrument was called a “bull horn,” but it is actually called a “bull roar!”

    Thank you again for making a fabulous extended comment on your blog!

    What was your favorite instrument?


    1. rossmannell

      Post author

      Dear M♥a,

      Not only was your post the first on to this blog, you have left the first comment. I am, at this time, transferring all of the posts from the old blog to this one. At this time there are 44 and your post and comment was first. 🙂

      You get the eucalyptus oil by crushing the leaves rather than the flowers. To separate the oil commercially, the leaves are placed in a large vat and a lid is locked down. As heat is applied, it adds pressure inside. The oil is “squeezed” out and collected. It has a very strong smell and is used in some medications and in cleaning products.

      Mrs. Yollis’s correction makes more sense the “bull horn” as the instrument isn’t a horn. As I mentioned, the same instrument is called, amongst other names, a bullroarer here in Australia. It’s sound can be very eerie. Of the instruments you mentioned, I would choose this as a favorite.

      Here is a link to more information…

      As you can see when reading the link, similar instruments appear in a number of native cultures. I have used one but care must be taken as the swinging bullroarer is dangerous.



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