Flying Fox Dreaming–or nightmare?

A year ago I posted “Nightbats” on YouTube.

Well, they have certainly increased since then! See this story, and some excellent pictures, in The Illawarra Mercury.

A flourishing colony of flying foxes at Figtree is driving some businesses and residents batty. It is estimated that tens of thousands of grey-headed flying foxes have turned a patch of bushland just north of the freeway exit into their summer home.

"The smell is overwhelming and they gather at dusk in numbers that completely blacken the sky overhead," said Chris Caroutas from Figtree Cellars.

WIRES bat co-ordinator Sandra Leonard has called for patience, assuring people the flying foxes are crucial to forest regeneration and will move on once the bush food runs out.

But Mr Caroutas said numbers had been steadily increasing each year and so had the stench. "Customers are constantly commenting on the smell, which is not good if that’s the first thing they notice when they get out of their cars," he said.

It has been likened to cat urine, marijuana and lantana.

Hakan Karama from Star Kebab House described the bats as "annoying and smelly". "Customers are always complaining and it seems worse when it rains," he said.

Juliette Fox, an assistant at Pet Barn, said the squealing and flapping did not bother her. "Their numbers have definitely increased but that’s probably because they have been displaced from their natural habitat," she said.

Nearby resident Con Stefanou from London Drive estimates the bats have multiplied 10-fold over the past few years and believes such numbers are unhygienic…

Since I was going shopping at Figtree yesterday I thought I would call in on the bats as I walked by. And the numbers are indeed amazing, something my camera could not really capture.

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Australian poet Les Murray wrote a wonderful poem “The Flying Fox Dreaming” – “finger-winged night workers… Upside down all their days…” They are a significant element in Indigenous culture also, as in this painting by Jimmy Djilminy (2000).

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See also a site of questionable authenticity — but nonetheless it may please some – an attempt to do a tarot on indigenous symbols. Very New Age. There is a lot of that around. Nice art work though.

Who remembers the disgraceful Marlo Morgan and her bullshit exploiting Aboriginal Culture?

1996: Dr. John Stanton (Berndt Museum of Anthropology, WA) “said the book contained misleading and damaging information about Aboriginal people” [5]. He was not sure, he said, “whether the damage the book had done to the overseas image of Aboriginal culture, which was complex, diverse and vibrant, could be ever undone.” Morgan promised a written apology, which she actually never produced [6].

Not saying that Wildspeak site is totally doing a “Mutant Messages Down Under” shtick – but one does need to question such things.

This, however, is authentic:

Oh, and after photographing the bats I called in at The Hellenic Club and…

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BUFFET LUNCH
& DINNER
All you can eat with
a combination of
Traditional Greek
and Australian Cuisine

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In which Paul Sheehan has been taking happy pills…

Maybe. Or is it just me? But I actually found myself enjoying a thing or two he has written lately.

Today, for example: The camera is capturing the modern narrative.  Not at all bad, and I do think Loon Pond is too mocking in this one. And then, a recent piece Loon Pond refers to sarcastically as a contradiction of today’s: We cannot slow down and it is at our peril.

The transfer of wealth upwards over the past quarter-century is well documented as a byproduct of global capitalism.

Then there is climate change, an encompassing process of accelerating change and disruption. The ideology of manic economic growth, driven by the false wisdom that technology can conquer problems caused by technology, is clearly having a global impact on the environment caused by the reality that 7 billion people now live on the planet and the average person is consuming far more than ever before in history. That this must significantly affect not just the environment but the global climate invokes the most basic and self-evident commonsense.

The world’s scientific community has presented a compelling case that the acceleration of global consumption is in turn accelerating the much deeper natural pattern of climate change.

If you feel like life around you is speeding up, especially the cycle of invention to obsolescence, it’s not you, it’s everyone and everything.

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But then Loon Pond, along with just about everyone including, I would think, Ms Macklin herself, is onto one of the great attacks of foot-in-mouth compounded by a very dubious attempt to airbrush the evidence.

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Unfortunate, to say the least.

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Climate change or not? Well one day proves nought, but all I can say I am glad my part of the world – The Gong – is apparently going to avoid this corker on Friday.

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AUSTRALIA’S notoriously variable climate is on full display, with parts of the nation about to experience one of the largest heatwaves in territorial extent in decades after coming off a sharp shift in 2012 from wetter to drier-than-average conditions.

A major swath of central Australia stretching from Oodnadatta to Coober Pedy and Birdsville can expect maximum temperatures of 45 degrees or hotter for at least a week.

Towns to the south and east, such as Mildura and Hay, can expect to broil with 40-degree maximum temperatures for just as long.

The heat will be focused on internal regions.

”We have a major heat event under way,” Karl Braganza, manager of climate monitoring at the Bureau of Meteorology, said. ”There are not many instances in the historical record where you get a heat event covering such a large area of the continent.”…

Well, cheers then… Stay cool.

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And yes, I am still playing with the new photo software. My attempts at turning myself into a koala have not been too successful yet, but keep watching!

Still playing, I’m afraid

The toy is a free program — Funny Photo Maker.  If you decide to download it watch carefully and uncheck anything offered that you don’t really want. That is good advice when downloading quite a number of free programs.

But what fun it is, especially used in conjunction with a couple of other photo programs I already have.

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Oh and sites stats: this blog averaged 136 views a day in 2012, the same as 2011. The photo blog was slightly up on 2011 – 33 views a day compared with 32!

Sitemeter shows an overall decline in the Floating Life blogs, however. They are listed in the sidebar here under “My Sites”. English/ESL is not included.

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Floating Life Sitemeter for 2012

The only other blog to score a WordPress annual report was Ninglun’s Specials, an archive with a lot of family history.

The busiest day of the year was June 11th with 176views. The most popular post that day was Family stories 4 — A Guringai Family Story — Warren Whitfield.

These are the posts that got the most views in 2012. You can see all of the year’s most-viewed posts in your Site Stats.

English/ESL, according to WordPress, had 106,641 views in 2012, down 30,000 on last year. Mind you, that is still a lot of views for a site that in no longer active – except for checking the comments from time to time.

mais où est l’Albury d’antan?

Last night I confessed on Facebook:

Instead of watching what I intended on ABC2 I have found myself deep in memories thanks to Bruce Part’s photos of The Albury Hotel. This is a rendition of one of those photos.

And someone comments on Bruce’s album:

Such an beautiful original old pub destroyed! I was saddened when I finally moved to Syd and it was gone. I met a lovely guy there on my first visit around 1996 and didn’t leave empty handed….a big deal for a country boy!!!

“Such an beautiful original old pub destroyed!” indeed. I hope Bruce finds a few more to share in that “boot box full of photo memories.”

I have cropped a couple and given them the art makeover treatment.

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And see these searches of my blogs:

Yum Cha this morning was myself, The Empress, Clive, James, and eventually M, absolutely exhausted and needing the food. It was a good Yum Cha (The Emperor’s Garden service was friendly and excellent). After that M went home to sleep — he starts again tonight at 6 pm, and I went with James and The Empress to the Albury — yes, I was there this Sunday — where we surprised the bar staff by eating barbecued quail that Ian had purchased, and added a Chinese tonic to our beer (it said it could be used in beer) which caused the beer to look like some Jekyll-and-Hyde potion, but actually improved the taste!  — March 4 2001