A Semi -Regular Photo Blog about Life in Northern New South Wales, Australia.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year

I hope 2011 has been a great year, if not maybe 2012 will be better.

I wish blessings and prosperity on all visitors to Clarence Valley Today and especially those who leave a comment.Life gets pretty crazy sometimes, I know we are all in the same boat, and I just don't have time to reply (like the last 7 days) but I so enjoy my special correspondence with other bloggers from around this wonderful planet. Also an extra special blessing to those committed souls who run those great memes that I use most days.

Happy New Year and all the best in 2012 from Mark & family.

This is a weekend reflections post. Click here for more glorious scenes.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Loud Seas Quiet Fleet

The on going large South Pacific swells from ex-tropical cyclone Fina have meant that the Yamba Fishing Fleet has not been to sea since before Christmas.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Big Wednesday


Huge seas have brought hundreds of surfers to the world famous Angourie Point Break. 

Pro-surfers also attract pro-snappers with heavy duty equipment.

The view from the hills above the Point offer a spectacular view of the action.

This is a Watery Wednesday Post. Click here for more watery scenes.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Tucki Cemetery and Bora Ring

Tucki Cemetery, near Lismore, was established in 1891 with the oldest inscription dating from 1898. It follows the traditional Australian method of separate denominational sections, Anglican, Catholic, Methodist, etc, etc (I have always wondered where were the atheists buried in the old days) but amongst the trees in the background is an Aboriginal Bora Ring.

A Bora Ring is a series of raised earth rings, usually pairs sometimes 3, that were used to initiate Aboriginal  boys into men/adults. They are found in South Eastern Australia but mostly in Northern NSW and Southern Queensland. To read more about them click here. Of course most have been destroyed since the coming of Europeans, usually ploughed up for farm land.
The entrance to Tucki Bora Rings faces to the south west but the winding ceremonial path up from the valley floor no longer exists. In the centre is a depression which apparently once held rocks and gravel. I wish my picture could do greater justice to its construction but it is difficult to photograph.
I often call into Tucki, intrigued by the juxtaposition of dead Europeans and sacred Indigenous space. At first I was outraged that a cemetery could be built on such a spot, however, I have come to realise that the cemetery is the reason that the Bora Ring has survived over the last 120 years. I'm not sure if the local Aboriginal Nation, the Bundjalung People, still use it but it's sheer existence suggests hope for the future.

On the eastern side of the Bora Ring there is a solitary grave; Ivy Greber who died in 1900 aged 15 months. I have often wondered why it is not in the main cemetery that is situated on the western side of the Bora Ring?

Monday, December 26, 2011

Boxing Day Blues

The sun is shining and the beach towns of Northern NSW are packed with holidaymakers and day trippers celebrating Boxing Day, however, there is one very big problem, the beaches are closed due to large seas generated by ex-Tropical Cyclone Fina.
Oh well best turn on the TV and watch the Cricket from Melbourne, the start of the spectacular Sydney to Hobart yacht race and eat leftover prawns, ham and potato salad from yesterdays lunch.
This is a Blue Monday post. Click here for more Blue Scenes

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas 2011

Merry Christmas from Mark and family.

The flowers in the background are New South Wales Christmas Bush which is a traditional decoration at this time of year.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Maclean Sculpture

A series of sculptures have been unveiled in Maclean. This sandstone and steel piece is titled Productive Landscape 2011 by Stuart Payne.
This is a Skywatch Friday Post. Click here for more heavenly scenes.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Thong Tree

A Community Thong (Flip Flops to our North Hemisphere friends) Tree is an ingenuous Australian invention. Loose a thong and then head to nearest tree to find a matching replacement. The tree also doubles as a gorgeous piece of interactive Public Art!
This beauty is located in the quiet riverside hamlet of Chatsworth Island.

This is a Signs Signs Post. Click here fore more signs from around our planet.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Ce n'est pas un sac en cuir Louis Vuitton!

Julie @ Sydney Eye posted yesterday on a French leather goods company and their spectacular George St window display.
No LV shops on the Clarence, a Woolies bag is considered chic in these parts, but there are plenty of Pretty-faced Wallabies jumping about.

This is a Watery Wednesday Post. Click here for a white-water ride around our globe.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Vale Woodford Dale Public

Today is the last day that Woodford Dale Public School will be open. The students finished last Friday but the school has still been open for administrative purposes for two extra days. It has been operating for 144 years and is also the last school on Woodford Island, with South Arm and Woodford Leigh closing over 50 years ago.
Yes it is probably very uneconomical with 12 kids(it's interesting the the Department has banned any kids from enrolling outside the official catchment of the school),but this is the last bit of a farming community's infrastructure left. The parents have worked hard at increasing enrolments, it was only 6 kids a few years ago, and they felt they were guaranteed by the local Department of Education office 6 weeks ago that it would be open in 2012, so they feel shocked and dismayed by the sudden announcement last week.
It is only 30 minutes to some much larger schools, Maclean and Lawrence, but for some families this one teacher school has taught many generations.
Some will say they will get a better education at the larger schools with more opportunities, maybe, but it still comes down to the fact that it is a local school that understands what is important to students and their families. The Department says they will review the situation in a year and a groundsman will keep maintaining the  playgrounds for no-one, but we all know it is 'Yes Minister' speak for closure for ever.

When I strolled around the grounds it felt like a great place with it's shady trees and vegie gardens. I hope the parents keep fighting!
This is a My World Tuesday Post. Click here for more views on our Planet.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Save The Last Dance For Me

Woodford Dale Hall seems beyond beyond repair and even too far gone to be used as a barn anymore.

 I found this quote from the Clarence and Richmond Examiner of June 29th 1909, it made me feel melancholic.
"The opening social was hold in the new hall at Woodford Dale on Wednesday evening. The attendance numbered 70, and dancing commenced at 8.30. A bountiful supper, provided by lady friends, was par-
taken of at midnight. The music was gratuitously supplied by Miss Amos (piano), and Mr. J. Gillespie (violin). The duties of M.C. were faithfully carried out by Mr. D. Archer. Some pretty dresses were worn, the most conspicuous being Mrs. C. Wallwork, white silk, trimmed with medallions." and on it went describing the girls gowns......I don't know whether I would like to drive past this quiet spot at night, are spectral beings swathed in their fineries laughing and dancing into the wee hours remembering things long past?

Woodford Dale is now really only a locality but it still has one important building left, however, tomorrow (Tuesday) it will close after 144 years of operation....stay tuned.  

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Colemans Bridge Lismore

Colemans Bridge crosses Leycester Creek and links Lismore with South Lismore.
Opened in 1908, it is described as a Dare timber truss type. Harvey Dare, a leading engineer for the Public Works Department, designed the structure on principles of using as little iron as possible, as it had to be imported into Australia from Britain, and using locally sourced timber.
The building of the Ballina Road Bridge to the south in 1963 bypassed Colemans Bridge. It still is an important link but sees much less traffic. It is listed on the New South Wales State Heritage Register due to it's excellent condition and representaive nature of the Dare type bridges. To read more click here.

This is a Sunday Bridges post. Click here for Louis's excellent San Francisco Bay based meme.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Meet You At The Mecca

The Mecca Cafe has been serving refreshments in Lismore since the 1930's. The city was famous for it's many cafes and Peter Tsicalas has developed an extensive website that focuses on the impact of the Greeks in the Lismore catering trade. The Mecca was unusual as it was not owned and operated by the 'cafe mafia'.

The Mecca still has it's beautiful fixtures from the early 1950's: chrome, mirrors, mosaic tiles, booths and images of 'modern Lismore' adorn the walls.

But there are also numerous objects to remind you that this is no museum piece and they demonstrate the many changes to town life over the last 50 years.  
The menu also reflects the contrast of past and present. It is possible to order a Meat Pie with a Blue Heaven malted milkshake or Char-grilled Spanish Chicken Salad with a cold glass of white wine. Long may the Mecca continue to be the place to meet in Lismore!

This is a Weekend Reflections post. Click here for James's very popular meme.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Schools Out For Summer

Ring that bell!!!!!!!! Most Australian school kids will be on Summer holidays by today and enjoying the long hot Christmas and January break; parents maybe not so much.This classic old school bell is at the fantastic Alumy Creek School Museum on Grafton's outskirts.

So many memories of the school bell, the favoured goody goody kids who always got that special job to ring it,  the naughty kids who dreamt about ringing it until they broke the rope, those kids who liked lessons and the sound signaled a joyous escape from the rough-house of the playground. Which kid were you? What is your school bell story?

This is a Skywatch Friday post. Click here for more heavenly scenes.

Reasons To Be Cheerful

Isn't it fortuitous that the Ray White corporate colour scheme works so well with this Woodlark St Lismore classic; white, black and egg yolk yellow was a favourite combination for early 20th Century trendsetters. The grand late-Victorian banking chambers to the left is also nicely painted as well.
I am also impressed how the Lismore City Council has embraced the austerity of our times with their minimalist Christmas decoration attached to the telegraph pole.

This is a Signs Signs post. Click here for Lesley's fantastic meme.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Ulmarra to Southgate Ferry

It is a tiny cable ferry but also one of the great river crossings of New South Wales. You will often have it all to yourself as although it is a vital piece of transport, it only services a couple of hundred people and trucks aren't allowed. During floods the ferry is chained to the tall poles so it won't wash away. The height of the poles gives a good idea of how high the water gets in a major flood.

There is not much to do except turn off the car and enjoy the 5 minute scenic ride; oh and it is traditional at this time of the year to give the ferryman a small Christmas present.
This is a Watery Wednesday Post. Click here for more watery scenes from our planet.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Back Alley Gallery: Lismore

Eggins Lane off Carrington Street Lismore is the site of a cool new art project.

Street artist Nathan Eyres is the brains behind a project to inject a bit of Melbourne into the back alleys of steamy Lismore. To read more about the project click here. Or visit their Facebook Page here

Definitely worth checking out if you are in Lismore.

This is a Our World Tuesday Post. Click here to see more scenes from our planet.

Monday, December 12, 2011

No Trains Today!

Here is the forlorn Lismore Rail Station, the last train passed through in 2004. It is highly unlikely the Casino-Murwillumbah Branch Line will ever reopen.

This is a Mellow Yellow Post. Click here for more Yellow pictures from around the globe.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Blue Pool in Colour

The Blue Pool of Angourie has an intriguing history. A freshwater swim hole only metres from the salty sea.
In the 1890's it was developed as a quarry for the break walls of the Clarence River at Yamba. The story has it that they dug so deep that they hit a freshwater spring and it quickly filled up the hole.
In the 1960's it was a dazzling blue but since then there has been a progressive decline in water quality, what's that quote about loving something to death.
The quarried stone was moved to Yamba via a rail line and in the late 1930's the engines were sold to Japan as scrap iron, a great local link to the Pig Iron Bob story.
In a future post I must also tell you about the 'Angourie Crocodile'.
This is a Scenic Sunday Post. Click here for more scenic scenes from Planet Earth.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Swarming Insects @ The Gorge

Insects can appear in incredible swarms at The Gorge. Millions of gnat like insects and lacewings fly over over lights and hit into windows. Food and drink often contains extra protein!

What's really bizarre is that the following night there are none? Nature is very dynamic and unpredictable!

Is this a Skywatch post? Sort of, maybe, dunno but I'll post it anyway. 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Gorge Toilet/Shower Block Signs.

The Gorge is a very famous fishing location and regularly features in magazines and on TV shows. Australian Bass is commonly caught as is the rare Clarence River or Eastern Codfish. For many years the owners of the property, the Winters Family, have insisted on all fish caught being released back into the river. It really is a sporting sanctuary.

I have always had a laugh at the toilet/shower block signs.

This is a Signs Signs Post. Click here for more signs from around the globe.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Gorge Creek Swimming Hole

Gorge Creek has a fantastic swim hole. 

You can ride the natural rock slide (if you're small enough).

Jump off the cliff!

Or just paddle about!

This is a Watery Wednesday Post. Click here for more Watery Scenes.
This is an Outdoor Wednesday Post. Click here for more Outdoor Scenes

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Visitors to the Shack

As there are no fences around The Shack at The Gorge we get many visitors.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Rainbow Falls in Flood

Our walk ended at the Rainbow Falls in flood, beautiful but also terrible in it's power.

I took this shot of the Falls in 2009.

This is a Natures Footstep Waters Post. Click here for more watery scenes.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Walk to Rainbow Falls: Part 2

As stated yesterday, the walk to Rainbow Falls quickly becomes a treacherous scramble across the slippery rocks and billabongs.

Now and again the track passes over large stony open spaces where only the hardiest plants eke out an existence amongst the cracks.

As the walk progresses the sounds of the Clarence River in flood begin to become louder and louder.
Tomorrow: Rainbow Falls in Flood

This is a Weekend Reflections Post. Click here for more reflections from around the Globe.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Walking to Rainbow Falls: Part 1

Rainbow Falls is a popular but very long and arduous walk at The Gorge and normally we would use a boat to get us half of the way. It is a spectacular boat ride through the eerie stone canyons.
On our most recent trip, heavy rain on the Northern Tablelands resulted in a rapid rise in the river which made the boat ride impossible, so we decided to do something we hadn't done for a number of years and walk the entire way. The track begins deceptively with green pastures amongst the billabongs.

On the mountain side of the greenway there is a thin strip of dry rainforest that grows amongst broken stone and boulders. It is nature at it's best! I always think that it is a Japanese Garden, but of course it is better than that because it needs no care whatsoever.
Tomorrow: The Track gets much harder!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Humps on the Horizon

I spend a few days every 6 months at a remote property called 'The Gorge', it's just below the junction of the Clarence and Mann Rivers. It is a working cattle property owned by the very friendly Winters family. It contains spectacular landscapes and over the years the Winters' have developed cottages they rent out and a number of camping spots on the banks of the Clarence River. Over the next few days I will show your some snaps from my recent visit.
To visit Neil and Sue's Gorge website click here.

This is a Sky Watch Friday post. Click here to see other sky views from around the globe.
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