Spring is Beginning to Happen in Australia

All Photos by DWC.

To tell the truth, there’s not that much happening in the Spring garden yet. But if you look around, like that big male kangaroo in the photo above seems to be doing, you can certainly find a few patches of color here and there.

I’m not going to add a lot of words here, except to say we have been having a reasonably ‘wet’ winter and spring and are hoping this will extend into summer keeping the bush fire risk low.

I’m also interested in knowing whether my readers usually access Medium on phone or computer, so if you comment…

In caves, under bridges and on the Internet

Detail of an Illustration by John Bauer — of Walter Stenström’s The Boy and the Trolls (1915), Public Domain.


These days, of course, a troll is someone who posts offensive comments on the internet. Trolls live in online forums, blogs and on almost all social media. But the idea of the troll originally appeared in Norwegian folklore. In a word, trolls were always ugly and slow-witted, ate goats, and mainly lived under bridges. Perhaps not so very different from the classic Internet troll.

The original Scandinavian trolls were certainly not Christian. One might even say that trolls personified the exact opposite qualities of those taught by Jesus, whose followers were meant to be loving, kind, self-effacing, patient, gentle, just…

Sulfur-crested Cockatoos. Photo by DWC.

Aireys Inlet, Victoria, Australia

All four of the species shown below have visited our place within the past week. We also get regular appearances from the Rose Breasted Cockatoo, commonly known to Aussies as the Galah. Unfortunately, I have never captured one of our Galahs flying, but I have included a couple of pics at the end.

Redbacked Wallaby. Photo by DWC

They Add a Touch of Interest to an Otherwise Bleak Routine

This morning in the light of early dawn a small Wallaby (above) came hopping by. He stopped to have a quick chew of a blade of grass, then moved on. Note the technical effect of the window screen grid on the finished photo.

That moment when everything and everybody pauses in their tracks. Including this adult Wallaby. Photo by DWC.

“in the hole, boss, in the hole”

… as my grandad used to say and then chuckle meaningfully.

In his day, ‘a dollar in the hole’ meant ‘a dollar in debt’. I think this seemingly rather negative attitude is explained by the fact that he was an accountant who had just lived through the Great Depression in the thirties.

Now once again, times are hard. Even someone like myself, a former teacher who lives reasonably well on their retirement income, may find it difficult to cope with the stresses of the Pandemic. Just living in lockdown makes it harder to face each day as it comes.


but finding hunky male images

This week saw another quick trip to the hospital for a minor procedure. Scheduled for late afternoon, it was deemed best to stay in the hospital overnight rather than travel an hour to get home. At the last moment I realized I would be missing the Perseid meteor shower. Of course, it’s almost entirely a Northern Hemisphere show, but over the years I’ve usually been able to spot a meteor or two at our place in the Australian countryside.

The Perseid Shower, you may not know, is sometimes associated with the god Priapus, who was believed by the Romans to…

Here is my today’s glass of wine sitting on the kitchen window sill. Not quite an Alicia Florrick (The Good Wife) but getting there!

Brian, this piece is well researched and well written. And needed! At the same time, most of the literature on drinking focuses on alcoholism (as you do in this essay), which is very understandable.

The effects you mention which I quote above are also associated even with moderate drinking, much more discussion of which is needed. As the Mayo Clinic says on the subject, "moderate alcohol use isn't risk-free. For example, even light drinkers (those who have no more than one drink a day) have a tiny, but real, increased risk of some cancers, such as esophageal cancer. …

Thanks, Peter, I enjoyed reading this fascinating account of brutal sports over the ages. It helps me understand the degree of brutality that still exists in a number of modern sports, some of which are very careless of the health & well being of the players. Thank goodness that that is still changing for the better.

As an historian of science who did some work on Maya astonomy in the sixties, I agree with several other commentators here who have suggested that it is unlikely that the Maya rules of play are known quite as precisely as you have set them out in this account. For example, although human sacrifice did occur with the Maya, In particular, I very much doubt that it was as common or as systematic as you seem to depict it.

A literary and historical reflection on a loved (and hated) technology

Photo by Ramon Kagie on Unsplash

It is no surprise that many poems have been written about trains. Through train windows, one sees a kaleidoscopic cross-section of life: back garden laundries, industry, agriculture, birds, every nuance of arrival and departure, of greetings and farewell, faces, bridges, weddings, a blur of wildflowers. In a sense, one sees the land itself, as Judith Wright saw Australia:

“Glassed with cold sleep and dazzled by the moon,
out of the confused hammering dark of the train
I looked and saw under the moon’s cold sheet
your delicate dry breasts, country that built my heart.”

David Wade Chambers

Words and Pictures. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

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