Monday, May 28, 2007

Critters in the Wild

A week ago Sunday, we drove about two hours south to Lamington National Park, a subtropical rain forest on the escarpment that acts as the divide between Queensland and New South Wales.

Our first day it rained. What more might one expect from the rain forest? We camped out in our room, shared all kinds of stories, took naps, played sudoku, read, and what else? ate! The meals were scrumptous and well presented. A fine Australian merlot added just the right accent to our evening meal.

Is this beginning to sound like a bad ad? Well, it was a lovely respite from life in the city.

The coup de grace of the entire three days, however, occurred on our 9 mile tramp through the beech forest of the upper elevations of the park. As we rounded a long slow uphill curve, there in the midst of one long ray of sunlight lay a meter long red bellied black snake.

Doesn't mean much to my American readers, I know, so let me add a little more information about this beautiful creature. First of all, he was as broad around as my wrist. Second of all, his haemotoxic poison would kill any one of us unless we were able to find help almost immediately...and that is hardly likely along the rain forest tracks where motorized vehicles find it very difficult to travel.

We stood about two meters away watching the sleeping snake and talking quietly about how large and lovely he was. Of course, we were both thinking, ' deadly'. By some transmission of energy, the snake slowly slipped off into the underbrush and we, we gingerly moved up the trail with silent thanks for his hospitality.

Later, on the return portion of the circuit, we were once again blessed. This time with a pair of lyre birds..the critters whose male partner has a lyre shaped filigree tail..off in the bush above the track the two were scratching among the debris of the ancient forest.

Two discoveries in one trip and that is enough to take us back later in the winter to see whom else we might encounter among the patemelons, Lamington crays, the ever present leeches along with the bromedliads, the wait-a-while vines, the stinging trees, the hoop pine, the satinwoods, and the various and sundry 89 species of eucalyptus trees .

Yeah..abundance is the right word..and thankfulness the right attitude!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

MBTI..a test of your vital functions :)

Hi ya..

Here is the web address for those of you who love self discovery..to take a look at how you operate in the world. I just took the test..which is an offshoot of the Meyers/Briggs Personality Sorter..of which many of you are already aware.

Of course, this test is just one more example of my need to understand how I work in the world, how my loved onesand I fit our own patterns, how best to make a difference in the world..et al. If that stuff is of no interest to you just now..ignore the whole thing. If, however, you are intrigued as I am about how relationships operate, this one is for you!

http://www.cognitiveprocesses.com/assessment/survey.html

On the other hand..drought..drought..drought..

Does it come as a result of climate change? Not sure..the driest year in Brisbane recorded history occured in 1904..but this past year is one for the record books, too. We are down to 4 minute showers, no watering of plants with 'town water'..so..rain water tanks have been installed to catch the rain off the huge tin roof of our house..so that we can water the camellia bushes and keep them alive..

We don't wash cars anymore..which means that I noticed that the western sun this afternoon turned my car windows into reflecting glass rather than see through. I'll go out and wash the car windows before driving off tomorrow.

Australia is busily building de-salination plants for her cities..and plants to recycle waste water for us to drink..ugh!..Cotton plantations are being asked to discontinue their crops..at last!..do you realize just how thirsty cotton is? another ugh!!

Our lawns are brown and the birds delight in the rain gutters in which each morning there still is dew dropping drips.

be well..talk soon

Friday, May 11, 2007

Permanent residency

Happy day!

This morning Australian Immigration notified me that my application for a permanent residency visa had been approved for the next two years. I suppose that really means temporary residency. However, the process at the end of two years leads to a permanent residency visa.

I may come and go as I like and depending on the countries I visit between now and March 2009, I will or won't have to have additional health checks. Sounds like I better stay healthy though, just in case.

It is a good feeling to know that I don't have to apply or make further applications for the next two years.

Tonight is champagne and Thai food for the family who have helped me to move to this stage in my attempt to have a passport to the wider planet.

Hope all is well for each of you in the next few months. Many of you are school teachers. May this last six weeks of the school year be full of bright lights and relaxed classrooms. To the others of you who do not teach, happy May .

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Roses and the Credit Union

Greetings, all!!

I have just returned from a week in Sydney. I was assisting a friend who owns Gifts of the Goddess, a business involved in promoting and selling archetypal items associated with a variety of goddess manifestations. We spent four days selling amulets, Isis necklaces, vases, cards, calendars, incense holders, t-shirts, and various and sundry other items.

Since our product was so extensive, we drove the 13 hours on mostly two lane highways 1000 kilometres from Brisbane to Sydney. What a beautiful country the east coast of Oz turns out to be. Fortunately the only road kill we encountered were foxes, whose lovely pelts lay across the highway several times. Foxes are NOT indigenous to Australia. The government uses a virus to try and control populations because otherwise these wily European critters would quickly destroy the native fauna of New South Wales. The Brits brought in the fox early on to facilitate their desire for fox hunting. Needless to say, they forgot to consider that there are no natural predators, except for a few python, to cull this population, which quickly became overwhelming and destructive.

Now that you know all of that, let me share with you also that upon arriving home, I found that my Aussie credit union had sent me a newsletter. Upon opening the envelope I was amazed to find on the first page a lengthly article on THE ROSE, another European interloper in Australia, kind of like I am. Some of you may know that for thrirteen years I owned Natural High Health Foods in California. And so, I am always pleased to find info on new uses of herbs and plant varieties. Here was a surprise. I knew of rose hips, but I didn't know of some other uses of the rose.


First of all, the most fragrant roses grow in Bulgaria and Turkey.

Second of all, rosewater makes an excellent toner for dry skin as it is anti-inflammatory, a gentle antiseptic.

That rose hip mentioned earlier has more vitamin C than most citrus fruits and so a good cup of rosehips tea offers about 1700 mg of vitamin C. Try it; you might like it.

Rosewater soaked in cotton pads help to refresh eyes infected with conjunctivitis.

The antibacterial aspects of some roses help constrict the tiny blod capillaries that redden cheeks... easier than lazer surgery.

The Bach flower remedy, the wild rose, helps with a sense of hopelessness, anger, and anxiety.

So..there you have it..European news from the southern hemisphere. Not precisely what I expected from my credit union.

Be well!