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

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Julian Rocks: Byron Bay

Julian Rocks is located about about 3 kms off the coast of Byron Bay. 
The local Aboriginal people, the Bundjalung, believe a warrior threw his spear at the canoe of his wife and her lover. The canoe broke in two and sank and what you see now is the bow and stern sticking out of the Pacific Ocean.
It is an integral section of the Cape Byron Marine National Park and is a world renowned scuba diving spot. It is also a popular spot for sea-kayaking which can be seen in the mid-ground.

Linking to the Watery Wednesday meme.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Coutts Crossing Cemetery

Coutts Crossing is a village about 15 minutes from Grafton on the Armidale Road. The cemetery is only a 100 metres from the village but is surrounded by natural bush and trees and has an air of isolation but also peace and quiet.
The oldest inscription is 1895 and it is still in use. It is a typical Australian bush cemetery with the gigantic termite mound that has almost encroached the graves.

Although it is mown by the Council, there is a disheveled feel due to all the leaf litter and tumbledown fences, I quite like this forlorn atmosphere.

This is the grave of Charlie Butters who died in 1988. I only met him once when I was a child. Every Easter my family went to Sydney and on one of these trips my dad said he could get us to the top of Australia Square, then Sydney's tallest skyscraper at 50 floors, for free. Charlie operated the goods lift and I remember getting in it with boxes of lettuce and tomatoes, I suppose headed for the famed revolving Summit Restaurant on the 47th floor.
Charlie would've been 100 in a few months and on another personal note I married his great-niece.

This is my contribution to Julie's Taphophile Tragics meme.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Utopia Cafe: Bangalow

This is the very popular Utopia Cafe at groovy Bangalow. I love their yellow Coffee Machine and they make a very good Flat White.

Linking to the Mellow Yellow Monday meme.

Friday, February 24, 2012

River Trawlers

These small trawlers specialise in river work: school prawns and mullet. The recent flood has meant there is no work for a while as the fresh water has flushed the catch out into the Pacific Ocean.
This is a Skywatch Friday Post. Click here for more heavenly scenes.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Surfing Mice

Here finally are the surfing mice. Is it cruel? Lots of people have pets that they perceive enjoy their 'playtime' with humans. I am unsure, the owner was very caring of the rodents and when he placed the mice on the surfboards for the first time they seemed very excited, however,  this could've been some form of Pavlovian response to do with feeding post-surf.
Whatever you think it certainly rates for me as a very bizarre hobby/interest.

The owner has a website, Radical Rodents, but the text is in Lorem ipsum, not sure if this is on purpose.

This is my contribution to the Watery Wednesday meme.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Peanut, Son of Razer.

Meet Peanut, son of Razer. He is one of a troop of surfing rodents, or if you look closely at the tattoo, he is a 'Radical Rodent'. Tomorrow watch Peanut surf.
This is a Our World Tuesday Post. Click here for the meme.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Tiny Surfboards for Tiny Surfers

It was a quiet day on Spooky's Beach @ Angourie when the arrival of the man with a dozen tiny surfboards sent the beach into a frenzy. As he began his 'show' a crowd soon gathered.

Come back tomorrow to see what could possibly ride the 'wild surf'. Here's a hint, 'Hamelin'.

Linking to the Mellow Yellow Monday meme.
Linking to the Blue Monday meme

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Briner Bridge: Coldstream River

This is the 104 year old Briner Bridge that crosses the Coldstream River and links the village of Tucabia with Ulmarra and Grafton. When you drive over the timber decked bridge it makes a marvelous clankety clank sound.

Linking to Louis's Sunday Bridges meme
Linking to Weekend Reflections meme

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Flannel Flowers @ Diggers Camp

Flannel Flowers, Actinotus helianthi, are a common and much loved wildflower that grows in the sandy coastal heaths of New South Wales and Queensland. They look like a daisy but they are related to carrots!

This is my contribution to Flowers on Saturday meme

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Lismore Woodchop Grandstand

The North Coast National Exhibition AKA The Lismore Show is held in October. Amongst it's pavilions and fields is an unusual Wood-chopping Grandstand. I don't think I have ever seen a building like this. It is called the Ted Fisher and Jack Arnett Stand, I guess they must've been famous wood-choppers.
I could do with a bit of restoration and is very worthy of preservation.

This is my contribution to Lesley's Signs Signs meme.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Natural Bridge

Natural Bridge is located in the Numinbah Valley between Nerang on Queensland's Gold Coast and Muwillumbah in New South Wales.

The cave in which the waterfall tumbles is home to a glow worm colony. When I used to visit the cave as a child there were always lots of people swimming under the falls. This has now been prohibited to protect the glow worms. You can do a sunset tour to see these tiny insects that aren't really worms but the larval stage of a small fly.

The view from above as the creek tumbles through the hole. Ever so slowly new holes are being created.

This is my contribution to the Watery Wednesday meme.
This is my contribution to the Outdoor Wednesday meme.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Grand Old Dames

Well it's Valentine's Day so lets have a flower story. Shirley inherited these Eucharist Lillies from her mother, they are at least 60 years old, maybe 70. She had blooms from these plants in her bridal bouquet over 50 years ago. Never been re-potted, never fertilized just kept in the shade and regularly watered. It is a very romantic story amongst the commercial razzamatazz that is Valentine's Day.

In a nice local link I found this Margaret Olley oil entitled of course 'Eucharist Lillies'. Olley died last year in Sydney after a brilliant life but she was born in Lismore in 1923.

This is my contribution to the Our World Tuesday meme.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Lismore Art Nouveau

This is one of my favourite buildings in Lismore. Located in Woodlark St, it has a striking design. It was built in 1915 and I wish I knew a lot more about it. Do any of my Lismore readers know anymore?

The roof is more like a hat and it has beautiful mouldings. Sadly the whole building is empty at present.
This is my contribution to the Blue Monday meme.
This is my contribution to the Mellow Yellow Monday meme

Sunday, February 12, 2012


Meet Patch, he was born on an Upper Clarence property and is deaf. Sadly he can't stay where he was born because it is just too dangerous on a cattle station.
His owner's said a bitter sweet goodbye to him this week as he was flown to Sydney to the New South Wales Animal Rescue.
Of course they are sad to farewell such a cute and friendly little pup but also happy to know that he has a new safe home with the a child who is also hearing impaired.
This my contribution to the Camera Critters meme.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Black & White in Swan Creek?

Swan Creek is a very small village 5 minutes north of Grafton. Someone is mightily pissed off about road works which are occurring in the village at present.

This is my contribution to Dragonstar's Weekend in Black & White.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Breaking the Glass Ceiling

Coraki is a small town located at the junction of the Richmond and Wilson's River. The old Shire Chambers is an unlikely location for an important breakthrough in the Movement for Women's Equality but in 1967 Miss Esme E Martens became the first woman to be appointed as Shire Engineer in Australia. The Town Clerk told the Council they had gone 'stark raving mad in appointing a woman'! In one of those great twists in life Martens ended up marrying the Town Clerk.
Martens held the position for a number of years before becoming Shire Engineer in Rylstone in the Central-West of New South Wales. She is still involved in Local Government as a Councillor on the Mid-West Regional Council based in Mudgee. To read more about this remarkable woman visit this site.
This is a Sky-Watch Friday Post. Click here to see more contributions.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Ulmarra Signs

There are some lanes around the Ulmarra Swamps with very evocative names. Here are 2 of my favourites.

This is my Contribution to Lesley's Signs Signs meme.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Driving Through the Swamp

I would never suggest to anyone to drive through flood waters but I knew the road well, the water wasn't moving, it was only a few inches deep and slowly going down. Still we proceeded slowly and kept looking at the just visible bitumen. I am truly amazed how clear the water was, unlike the thick brownness of the Clarence River.
It was a strange sensation to be driving in the middle of a vast lake that the Ulmarra Swamps have become in the last fortnight.

This is my contribution to the Watery Wednesday meme.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Ulmarra Cemetery: Samuel and Clara Weston

This is the weathered memorial to Samuel Weston who drowned when the S.S. New England was wrecked at the entrance to the Clarence River on 27th December 1882. He was a school teacher and the citizens of Cowper raised the money for the obelisk. This suggests he was a very well respected man.
The shipwreck is a terrible story of a Captain who ignored the displayed flags that it was too dangerous to cross the river bar and possible cowardice by the river mouth Pilot who would not launch his boat to attempt a rescue of the passengers and crew. Some were saved by 3 heroic Italians, they all received a gold medal for their courage.The Captain went down with the ship and after an inquiry the Pilot was relieved of his post.

A story leads to another story and was impressed and amazed by the life of his widow Clara Weston. After her husbands death she became the Sewing Mistress at the Grafton Grammar School and insisted that her daughter Una attend science classes. Una then went to Sydney University and became one of Australia's first female chemists.
In 1857 when Clara was 19 she lived in Watson's Bay, Sydney and never forgot the terrible cries on the night wind when the SS Dunbar was wrecked at The Gap with the loss of 121 lives. The poor woman, two terrible shipwrecks that probably haunted her life. Clara lived to 93 and loved her garden and reading the Psalms.
To read more about he Clara Weston click here.

Just a little bit about the Ulmarra Cemetery while we are here. The earliest inscription is 1868 and there are over 900 recorded burials. It is 5 kilometres from Ulmarra and located on a high ridge out of the swamps and lagoons. Due to it's isolated nature there has been very little vandalism and it is well maintained by the Clarence River Council. There are two sections about 200 metres apart, I presume one is Catholic and one Protestant.

This is my contribution to the Taphophile Tuesday meme.

Monday, February 6, 2012

The Spiders That Ate Ulmarra

After a big flood a very strange event occurs in the swamps and lagoons of the Lower Clarence, the appearance of billions of small brown spiders. Getting up close is not an event for the squeamish or arachnophobics as the ground is a moving sea of the little buggers.
They climb anything with height and then float off into the sky with their gossamer threads an airborne device. It doesn't photograph very well but everywhere you looked high into the sky there were thin wisps of spider silk. But of course what goes up must come down, so as you walk along webs are landing all about. The car looked like we had driven through a silk factory!

It is an extraordinary scene to pass kilometre after kilometre of spider web over everything.

It is one of those strange natural phenomena that make our world so interesting.

This is my contribution to Our World Tuesday.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

The Ulmarra Swamps

After a flood, large areas of the Lower Clarence revert to swamps and hold vast amounts of water. This week I will be showing you some amazing spectacles of nature and also the villages and localities which become tiny islands amongst 1000's of acres of water.

This is my contribution to the Weekend Reflections meme.
This is my contribution to the Scenic Sunday meme.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Chatsworth Island General Store

Country Towns by Ken Slessor

Country towns, with your willows and squares,
And farmers bouncing on barrel mares
To public houses of yellow wood
With "1860" over their doors,
And that mysterious race of Hogans
Which always keeps the General Stores….

At the School of Arts, a broadsheet lies
Sprayed with the sarcasm of flies:
"The Great Golightly Family
Of Entertainers Here To-night"–
Dated a year and a half ago,
But left there, less from carelessness
Than from a wish to seem polite.

Verandas baked with musky sleep,
Mulberry faces dozing deep,
And dogs that lick the sunlight up
Like paste of gold – or, roused in vain
By far, mysterious buggy-wheels,
Lower their ears, and drowse again….

Country towns with your schooner bees,
And locusts burnt in the pepper-trees,
Drown me with syrups, arch your boughs,
Find me a bench, and let me snore,
Till, charged with ale and unconcern,
I'll think it's noon at half-past four!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Grey & Blue

The skies over the last month has been characterised by mostly grey with a splash of blue every now and then.

This is a Skywatch Friday Post. Click here for more heavenly views.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

A Cuppa Tea, A Bex and a Good Lie Down

 I spotted this dolly in Grafton's Schaeffer House Museum and straight away thought of that old expression 'A cuppa tea, a Bex and a good lie down'.
The expression arose around WW2 and refers to Bex and Vincent's Powders that were available at corner stores and used in excessive amounts from large percentage of the population.
In the 1950's it was widely believed that most housewives were addicted to the powders to get them through the drudgery and hard work of the day, hence the expression.
I found a blog that contained vast amounts of information about this now vanished addiction. Click here for the Bex story

 The old advertisements certainly look aimed at women.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Theme Day: Animals

There is no bigger and more iconic animal in Northern New South Wales than Ballina's Big Prawn. It is adored and despised in equal measures. With the opening of the Ballina highway by-pass in December the Big Prawn is no-longer on the Pacific Highway.

It has certainly seen better days and is currently closed, however, a large hardware chain has bought the site and are committed to restoring this gargantuan crustacean. I do hope they restore the beams of light which once radiated from the bulbous eyes.

Here is a shot from the 1980's in it's heyday. The Big Prawn is the latest entrant into my Northern NSW Hall of Fame & Shame. Click on the label to view the others.

On the first of every month the City Daily Photo Community come together and post to a common theme. For January 2012 it is animals. Click here to view thumbnails for all participants
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