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MASTERS OF DISGUISE – THE FROGMOUTHS

MASTERS OF DISGUISE - THE FROGMOUTHS

FROGMOUTHS HIDE IN PLAIN SIGHT Can any bird or animal camoflague  itself as successfully as the Australian  Tawny Frogmouth? They are truly astonishing. The only way I can find them in my garden  is to look for  splashes of their droppings below mature eucalypts . None of

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Gossamer wings through the camera lens.

Gossamer wings through the camera lens.

ALWAYS CARRY A CAMERA Owning a small ‘point and shoot’ camera has transformed the way I look at  and appreciate my Blue Mountains  garden. The play of light, the beauty of a detail suddenly observed. It means that my ‘matron’s rounds’ are slower, but  they are also

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ARE CURRAWONGS CUTE?

ARE CURRAWONGS CUTE?

I must admit that  Australia’s  pied currawongs do not have a great reputation. They are opportunists, preying on  unwary small birds and robbing the nests of others. I’ve never  forgiven a local gang of them for harassing our nesting tawny frogmouth and stealing the eggs. However,  apart

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SNAP, CRACKLE, POP AT THE ‘COPHA’ CABANA

SNAP, CRACKLE, POP AT THE 'COPHA' CABANA

KEEP SOME COPHA IN THE CUPBOARD There is an Australian urban myth that Kellogs invented Copha for the express purpose of making chocolate crackles. Well let’s explode that for a start.   The advertisement  below appeared in the Women’s Weekly in December 1937.  It is the first known mention

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WHISTLING AN ODE TO THE GUM LEAF

WHISTLING AN ODE TO THE GUM LEAF

We Australians love gum leaves.  Expat Aussies can be reduced to tears by a whiff of their aroma.  Campers in the bush  put them into billy tea……for the flavor, but even more for nostalgia.   Our  property in the Blue Mountains was named The Gums by a

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MR WALL’S WHALE

MR WALL'S WHALE

Irish born Mr  William Sheridan Wall served as Curator of the Australian Museum in Sydney during  the 1840s and 50s.  He personally collected and preserved many native birds, but his greatest legacy to the institution was a creature from the deep. On December 5 1849 the schooner Thistle

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THE KEY TO BREAKING THE BANK

THE KEY TO BREAKING THE BANK

Towards the end of  1912 a new Bank of New South Wales branch was nearing completion in Sydney’s Surry Hills. About six weeks before opening day the strong room was constructed and the heavy iron door fitted. It had been  designed with excellent security features. Two keys

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THE LAMINGTON

THE LAMINGTON

 MORE THAN JUST A CHOCOLATE CAKE, MATE!                     If there is one culinary icon in Australia that ‘out-icons’ the pavlova it is  surely  the lamington.    We all know that the wretched Kiwis claim the pavlova (which is a lot of

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MR McGINTY’S GOLD

MR McGINTY'S GOLD

EUREKA—GOLD GOLD GOLD! In  1883, James McGinty and his  two  prospecting partners  found what is still the  largest gold nugget ever found in Tasmania.  It was discovered at Rocky River, near Corinna on the  wild west coast. It weighed 243ozs and was valued at £6,000. Below is an  image  of the

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GUY MENZIES; A LARRIKIN HERO

FOLLOWING ON FROM GUY MENZIES; A LIFE LIVED AT FAST FORWARD. Guy Menzies, the dashing young airman who made the first solo crossing from Australia to New Zealand in 1931 had plans for even greater feats; perhaps a flight from England to Australia, which he estimated could

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