Posted: May, 1, 2013
Several years ago whilst visiting Far North Queensland a cruise on the World Heritage listed Daintree River, was suggested.
The Daintree River, located about 100 kilometres north-west of Cairns, flows through the Daintree Rainforest in the Cape Tribulation region of Queensland in northern Australia and drains approximately 2,125 square kilometres.
My preconceived idea of the Daintree River was similar to this picture. A broad expanse of water with lush green rain forest foliage growing down and into the river.
A total contrast to the type of foliage to that in southern Australia, where I have lived most of my life.
What I did not plan on was the anti-swimming ‘devices’ enjoying the autumn sunshine at strategic positions along the shore.
While reptiles are common in southern Australia I have never seen a reptile as large as these in the wild.
The Daintree River is in an isolated area and the once threatened saltwater crocodiles, now flourishing there, are beneficiaries of the legislation that protects them.
Death by crocodile is widely reported so a wise person will not venture too close to river’s edge or swim in the river.
The main thing I remember about Far North Queensland is that all its inhabitants wore a big friendly smile!
With a sky streaked with rose pink clouds I pulled my winter coat out of my car at 0600 prior to the Dawn Service to be held in the nearby and rapidly expanding town of Bannockburn.
The early morning start on April 25, 2013 (ANZAC DAY) had proven to be on the chilly side but far more comfortable to bear than the scorching summer we had just experienced.
A crowd of approximately three hundred gathered around the town’s memorial to all those who have served or fallen in the many theatres of war in which Australian men and women have served.
Ex serviceman who served in World War 2 veterans and veterans of more recent conflicts in which Australian soldiers participated were represented proudly wearing their decorations and service medals.
As soon as the Bannockburn Dawn Service was completed we moved onto to the smaller community of Teesdale, about ten kilometres away, for a 0700 ANZAC Day service among a small planting of Cyprus pines which would nearly be as old as the event we were commemorating.
Once again all age groups were represented at this smaller, but no less respectful, gathering
Our final ANZAC DAY service was held at a smaller township of Shelford.
All age groups were represented with some of the teenagers electing to wrap themselves in beach towels. A somewhat unconventional, but no doubt effective manner of keeping warm.
Below is an extract from Captain Dobson’s diary relating to Acting Bombardier Carlin’s actions whilst under fire around or on June 3rd, 1917.
Acting Bombardier Carlin’s records state that he was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal on June, 3, 1917.
There is no recorded date on the diary extract below.
I can only surmise what “O.P.” and “S. 9” mean. My guess, based on context of the entry, is Out Post and a type of Artillery shell. A further entry relates to a ‘S. 9. landing in the courtyard’
One day of routine manning I left Carlin and another at the tap in with instructions that if the line went we’d mend it at our end as it always got out about 150 yards from the O.P. the Hun strafing that point every day for no reason whatever and doing no damage except to a few telephone lines. Sure enough the Hun had his strafe and the line went. Harper was with me and another man, probably Davis. Of course they wanted to go out and mend it, but as the line was of no great importance at the moment told them to wait till the strafe stopped – we could see and hear shells bursting. Next thing Harper got a buzz on the phone showing it was through and a little later old Carlin’s head appeared at the parade, beaded with sweat and much wind up. I strafed him for coming out when he was told to stay in. His reply was, “I saw the O.P. was getting it and thought someone might be hit.” That did not prevent him stopping to mend the line amongst the S. 9.
I have always said that “Windy Bill Carlin” is the bravest man I have met and one of the windiest. The man who is not windy cannot be brave, but the man who does his job at all times and under all conditions and with the wind up all the time, is the man I admire.
On this day in many countries, all Australians remember those who fought and fell to preserve the freedom of our country in all wars, but particularly World Wars I and 2. We often hear of many heroic stories of valour, of lives saved and lost, but we seldom hear of regular soldiers who have served and returned home to their ‘normal’ lives.
Lochard Gorge is named after the ship Loch Ard which ran aground in a stormy night losing all souls aboard except for Eva Carmichael and Tom Pearce (both 18 years old) who managed to swim ashore, ending up in the gorge. There is a small cemetery nearby where crew members and passengers whose bodies were recovered are buried.
It is only a short drive to Port Campbell where we stopped long enough to re-hydrate and cool down a little…..okay we stopped at a pub! My Canadian friends would have called it a Bar. It was only a short stop, before heading inland for the two hour drive home after an enjoyable, but extremely hot, day.
As with us all our pets are not as young as they used to be and they need their morning nap! Particularly after the weather turns a bit chilly.
Looking closer you will see that both dogs being ‘well-trained’, have put themselves to bed without being chained to their kennel.
These are/were farm dogs and have spent their entire life in those kennels along with approximately five other working sheep dogs.
Admittedly the kennels probably need replacing, however, here are two contented dogs with a variety of blankets to keep them warm.
From a photographic point of view, I took the top shot on my Nikon D90 using a 70-300 mm lens. So as not to disturb Maggie and Ginger the photo was taken through the glass in the back door.
Upon leaving farming life dogs were our biggest concern…how would they settle in, etc. A slice bread for fun on the first morning, in their new home, has now become a ritual. No matter how much breakfast they have beforehand, I have to give them their slice of bread before they truly believe the day has begun.
Sometimes I think they are like kids ‘conning’ me into a treat each morning!
Finally, I have seen much larger images posted on WordPress blogs, however, as a newbie to WordPress I still have not worked out how to do that. Any help would be appreciated.