Tuesday, September 26, 2006, 09:49 PMOuch it must be for Mums pouch when joey is about big enough to begin coming out for little excursions into life on the outside.
This family mob of Eastern Greys that have been seeking shelter here show 2 Mums with joeys at about this stage. These Mothers cannot hop at the speeds of the others naturally but do well in keeping up. This series of photos shows how they will break away from observation to flight & in particular how a younger animal takes the lead creating a wonderful overlap in passing two others. The mob will follow the leader whether this happens to be a young or older member...mostly the very young are speedy enough to be out in front & don't necessarily go the right way to safety. Later it is learnt to follow Mum who knows best.
Later I managed to time a hop over a fence with one of these Mums showing that extended pouch of carrying a larger joey. She will approach the fence & slow, going right up to it before jumping more or less straight up & over. Her juvenile joey from last year is seen following close behind.
Whilst we have lost forever the likes of the strikingly marked Bridled Nailtail Wallaby that ate exclusively native grasses. Eastern Greys are reputed to number more than when European settlement occurred....from, it is said land clearing & pasture improvements, along with more availability of water from farm dams.
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Tuesday, September 19, 2006, 09:18 PMAs a Group Captain with 4 Brigades in this area I am normally informed of a fire outbreak with both a pager alert & mobile phone text message. Last Sunday the 17th though was different, as this one announced itself in the way of what sounded like distant heavy gunfire. A short time later I was to discover this sound was coming from 200 ltr drums exploding in a truck fire over some 1.5k away on the Hwy.
At first the pall of smoke was obscured from view at home by a gumtree so it came as a shock to investigate these sounds then see it going up in a column thick & black. I was the first fire-fighter there but could do little other than to report the situation to Headquarters in Wagga Wagga. The driver of the B Double (twin trailers) semi-trailer had time luckily to un-hitch his 600hp Kenworth Prime-mover & drive away to safety. So far this fire was going well...No one hurt ! As in the last fire at Junee on New Years Day that burnt out 20,000 ha a young 21 year old farmer nearly lost his life with 80% burns. He is only just home now after a long battle towards recovery.
Rural Fire Service units were called from Junee to Wagga Wagga & everywhere it seems in between. A Specialist Hazardous Materials Team was sent in from Wagga Wagga as in the event there are on board chemicals they take over Control Operations of the fire. The manifest revealed our B Double had contents of oils, paint & acid which made the smoke toxic. A good stream of burning liquid was running down the roadside & had to be contained by RFS personnel in the way of ponding...That is by constucting an earthen dam to contain this liquid.
It was not untill some hours later that units could approach safely & subdue the flames with foam to complete the operation. At the height of this fire the pall of smoke could be seen from Wagga Wagga some 24 kilometers away & Police considered evacuating nearby farm residents from the toxic smoke. Fortunately though in what was almost calm conditions this smoke went straight up.
All took time & it was after dark that finaly the burnt out wreckage was removed & the Hwy re-opened to traffic. In many respects this was a good fire as it took place at a time when the grass is still green preventing the fire from getting away into the surrounding farmland. No one was burnt or injured in any way & whilst spectacular as it was the environment at the scene was very well cleaned up. I am led to believe the metal from the burnt out trailers was going to the re-cyclers & presumely the owner would have insurance. Everyone should have gone home happy, maybe even the driver who no longer had a 10 hr Sunday drive to Brisbane.
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Monday, September 4, 2006, 10:23 AMMorundah is a small village being a Hotel & several houses with a population of 15 found south of Narrandera on the Newell Hwy. What else is there you might ask, well not much but lots of wide open spaces.
It was here that OzOpera delivered Bizet's Carmen this past weekend due to the efforts of publican Dave Fahey. Any suggestion this was going to "flop" were discounted when the 1000 tickets over 2 shows to be performed in a pre-fab pig shed sold out in 3 hrs.
Whoever printed these tickets made a mistake as mine read Paradise Palladium Theatre ?
Thank's to Michelle Moloney who quickly purchased 20 of these tickets we found ourselves invited & on the bus hired & driven by husband Eugene to this bush Opera.
We found time along the way to dine on chicken & other culinary delights worthy of the outing.
Morundah sure was a buzz & it was difficult to take celebrity photos however I did manage to get this one
Paradise Palladium Theatre
Aust Post is the principal sponsor of bringing OzOpera to rural & regional Australians
For more information about Opera Australia's OzOpera go to www.opera-australia.org.au
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Thursday, August 31, 2006, 08:32 PMI am home again with much relief at leaving the city lights far behind. I made it back to Meribah late this afternoon after a round trip of some 1200 kilometers to the Prince of Wales Hospital once more in Sydney. Mind you I did take in as part of my upward journey a detour along the Murrumbidgee River Valley which is far more exciting than just the Hwy.
It was about 4pm & a nice time to take Mo who was doing circle work with excitement at my home coming, for a much needed walk, according to him. We were met with much baaing in the field from my White Dorper sheep, some 20 in fact who ran to greet us as I was seen to be carrying a bag of treats. So having this bait of special feed pellets, in hand, I am looked apon as being the most wonderful sheep carer ever known to such beasts. I can pat them all over & chat no end while they smell my breath & look nonchalant in reprose of this much endured trial of waiting. This is tolerated just as long as I deliver the "food" & do not take too long in their minds about it !.
So, back to the hospital & the coming together of the three Ians. The most important being Dr Ian Jacobson MB BCh FRACS Ear Nose Throat Surgeon Paediatric Head & Neck & more importantly for me Otolaryngology.
Ian did a Fat Augmentation of my right vocal chord to improve my voice as this side has been paralysed.
Dr Ian Woodforth was the Specialist Anaesthetist for this operation to make up our trio.
Dr Ian Cole of Sydney associated with this coming together will be duly kept informed.
My shared hospital room was with a very interesting character in the person of Stan Knopman, a long standing resident of some 68 years at Bondi in Sydney. Stan a man of 85 years & being a World War Two veteran serving 5 years in the Pacific islands was finding himself at battle again this time with circulation problems. It was a nice time of sharing conversation & Stans friendly smiling face I'm sure held many stories of trials & tribulations in life that we had not time to cover. I did not sleep well that night & found myself checking Stan frequently as he slept on without notice.
Steve Lai a native of Malaysia was the very capable Nurse who in turn made regular checks of myself. Steve left Malaya when he was 21 & did his Nursing training in the U.K. where he met & married his French wife. He then worked with Nursing in Paris for some 14 yrs before coming to Aus to clock up another 15 years including 2 at Brisbane. Steve confided with a smile over the top of his glasses with a soft voice that after 30 years of Nursing he is looking forward soon to retirement.
It was John who in wheeling me to theatre commented he does work for Opera Aus makes a fine point to end this blog.
Murrumbidgee River Jugiong
Dr Ian Jacobson & Steve
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Monday, August 7, 2006, 10:05 AMThis demon in my head is a chondrosarcoma one that cannot be removed or stopped, at least at this point of time in medical history. However, this type of sarcoma can be tamed by surgery which was achieved remarkably well by a man of great fame here in Aus.
I speak of the neurosurgeon Dr Charlie Teo who can be found at Prince of Wales Private Hospital in Randwick Sydney. He was assisted by Dan Gilligan from Iowa in the U.S. & surgeon Thomas Kertesz of Sydney. Dr Teo surgicaly removed 95% of this sarcoma that was set on paralyzing me.
So now it is that this demon as I call it is tamed & subdued, but will continue to lurk within. In time Dr Teo will be called on again to operate depending on when & how the tumor once more presents itself.
In the meantime life goes on & one is constantly reminded of the heroism found in the daily lives of people who live with many serious health problems....It serves as a reminder for me not to complain about the few problems I now contend with.
I have much to thank God for along with all the many, many people who prayed for my successful deliverance.
Thank you one & all !
A special thank you to Stevi Jones a modern day Florence Nightingale who's compassion shines through in the every day care of her patients.
Time to spread my wings
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