Tree Farming

About twenty years ago a new industry popped up in southern Australia. Rather than farming livestock many farmers nearing retirement sold, or leased, their land to companies which planted trees.

Blue Gum

Varieties planted are quick-growing and are harvested between ten and twelve years after planting.


Blue Gums

These are twelve-year-old Eucalyptus globulus, commonly known as ‘Blue Gums.’ There were
80,000 trees planted in this 80 hectare plantation.



Click or tap on images to view full size.

Harvest, shipping and shipping is scheduled for the end of 2013.  It is a shame really as although there is very little road traffic around here, three or four hundred metres along this track and you are in a different world.  Any road noise is eliminated by the trees and all one can hear is the rustle of the leaves.

Native wildlife, mainly kangaroos, birds and reptiles, have found their way into this man-made forest and will soon be homeless.


Weekly Photo Challenge ~ Companionable

Weekly Photo Challenge ~ Companionable

I was very pleased to see that the Weekly Photo Challenge was “Companionable”, this morning.

For those of us who are old enough to remember the television show “The Six Million Dollar Man”…… I give you….



…my Six Million Dollar dog, or pup in this case. He had to earn his name. When I was offered a pup, from a litter of about ten. He ran up to me as I arrived and that was that. He was christened “Brandy” by my wife and from late 1988 until a sad Sunday morning in September 2001….where I went, Brandy went.


buckeet head0002-2

About 1996, Brandy suffered an eye infection which necessitated him being locked in the wool shed (the darkest place I could find) and to have his eye medicated at least twice a day. The greatest indignity was the bucket he had to wear so he could not scratch, or irritate, his eye during that time. This was to earn him the nickname, “Buckethead”. What else could it be?



About three weeks before Brandy passed onto a world without sheep to chase, he became a “dad” for the first time. At least the first time I was aware of. Once again in this tribe of six puppies there was one who would always ‘ferret’ her way through her litter mates to be next to my body when they were small enough to nurse all six on my knees.



She was christened “Ginger” and is still with us today. Her eye sight is not as good as it was, but she never fails to bound down the drive and twist herself inside out as she greets me upon arriving home from work.

Ginger’s life has been much easier than her father’s. She has not had the responsibility of working, but she has extended my memories of Brandy and created some of her own for me. Both father and daughter are both of a similar, small, build for their breed and they are/were both ‘my’ dogs. In my sixty plus years I have only had one other canine companion who ran a distant third to Brandy and Ginger.



My favourite.

After being a stressful baby, Number 2, and I often were out and about the farm together as he enjoyed (still does) socialising and ‘helping’ at a very young age.

Sadly, as with many children, he was kidnapped about 10 years ago, by the “Teens”. But if I can pre-book, about a week in advance, and remind him every day of that week, he will still help his dear old dad…….occasionally.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Companionable (


Other Links

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First Date-pt4

Continued from parts 1 & 2 and 3

To read parts 1, 2 and 3 of ‘The First Date’Click Here ‘ 

Part 4/4.

‘Mum’ suggested that they would be home by 9.30 and dad would come over to collect Jo. ‘Come for coffee’ I suggested. And so around nine we began to listen for Jo’s dad when suddenly there was a thump on the back door and a muffled yell above the television. Nothing like dragging the girl friend around the back, in the dark and thumping the back door to gain entry to the cave. Jo has got a lot of work in front of her if she sticks around.

Coffee produced some interesting information – at least I thought so. Jo’s dad works with wool. We both know my school mates from my Boarding School days and finally, he knows the husband of my first cousin. So there was a lot to talk about. I’m told that there were two pairs of young eyes glancing at each other and looking quite bored.

When queried about how the night went, the reply was ‘….. Good, good, …we didn’t pash or anything…’. At 1.00 AM his lordship was still awake – not to mention that his lordship’s father was not having a good night either. And it is all set for next Sunday night.

Oh Well! She’s nice. He’s nice. And taking a girl to church is certainly not usual. But, then again I have always said our son was a little on the weird side of normal!

Before our Number 1 son was born we were frequently told that “… it gets better after the first six weeks ….” It could only be the celibate who told me that and they must have had their heads must have had their placed firmly in the sand, or elsewhere.



First Date-pt3

Continued from parts 1 & 2

To read parts 1, 2 and 3 of ‘The First Date’Click Here ‘ 


With a deep breath I entered the cave and began relaying the message. This got me wound up. Wow! Was I on a roll? Not only opening and closing doors but general manners were addressed. I explained that the grunt was no longer a suitable form of communication. Young ladies, particularly those who you may be inviting out because you appreciated their company, versus assisting a classmate to a class function, would expect a higher level of literacy skills (both written and vocabulary) than the caveman language which had emanated from deep within our son for the previous five years.

To lighten any tension I told him that although I had managed to avoid the birds and the bees talk, but this was the ‘Advanced Birds and the Bees’ version of that talk. So take heed.

As I left his room I noticed dogs galloping across the backyard, a sure sign of visitors or slow-moving locals stretching their legs in the evening air. Even though I hollered that it looked like visitors had arrived it was yours truly who opened the front door to greet Jo and her mother. Eventually, moving in barely a slow shuffle and dressed in his best blue denims, Neanderthal man entered the room. After some brief small talk and re-enforcing the safe driving lecture – yes in front of everyone – and telling him it was bad enough if he wrapped himself around a tree, but to wrap Jo around a tree was not pardonable. To which Jo added ‘…if you wrap me around a tree I’ll kill you…’ Another sure sign that God exists.

Word a Week Photography Challenge ~ Tropical

Word a Week Photography Challenge ~ Tropical

I was wrapped to see that Word of the Week was tropical beacuse I have had one or two photos taken in the tropics which I have been wanting post for some time.

All, but the first, were taken at Paronella Park about an hours drive from Cairns.  I hope you enjoy them.

This will push me to organise and post the other photos I took at Paronella.


I don’t know what this flower is except that it caught my eye and the Cairns Botanic Gardens.


A selection of tropical jungle at Paronella Park…


…more tropical ferns, vines and other plants adorn the ruins at Paronella Park.


This shot of the two-tone green leaves rising above the darker green foliage is only surpassed by…


…a closer shot of the spectacular contrasting greens in this plant.

And just when you think you have seen it all…

Paronella Hibiscus

Paronella Hibiscus

…you turn a corner to find this stunning hibiscus.

Wordless Wednesday-Emergency

Plane crash or garden ornament?


Should I ring 000/911??


In two hours it will be Wednesday. Half a world away it is 0600, Tuesday morning. Weird, hard to grasp…at times. Wednesday is my busiest day of the week. Not home until well after dark and it is either miss out or organise a post not knowing the theme. I prefer participation….even if I am off the mark!


Wordless Wednesday – Class Clown (

First Date-pt2

First Date -Part 2/4

To read parts 1 & 2 of ‘The First Date’Click Here ‘ 

The morning of the night arrived.  One more try.  It worked.  ‘Ah! How long will the gardening take?’ a sleepy-eyed number one son mumbled!  The bait had been cast.  And the Neanderthal teenage male was hungry, at last.  I still had my edge!

‘Ah, I have to go to church tonight’ and, ‘That’s not the best part!’, I’m told, by which time I could not contain my laughter.

Around five thirty, half an hour before ‘Dad’ was to arrive with his darling daughter, to be transferred to the care of our darling son, M-G-W asked ‘Have you told him to open (and close) the car door for Jo?’  I mean, how come I won the job?  I have never been consulted on any other matter.  And with hormones in full flight why was he going to take any notice of me tonight?  I dragged myself out of my comfy chair and wandered into this room where he was calming his nerves playing soccer on his computer.

No-one asked about my nerves!  The thought of a pretty girl being taken care of by my male chauvinist son was tearing at my gut.  He could not appreciate the beauty and gentleness of this girl.  Mind you I had only seen her on one or two occasions but I truly feared for her ‘health and wellbeing’ keeping company with my son.  Cavemen are not known for their appreciation of the fairer sex.

First Date – pt1

I know that I am not the best writer in the world, my English teachers told me often enough during my school days.

However, there have been a few times when I have put ‘pen to paper’ during the course of this period called ‘Fatherhood.’  Usually these occasions are times, or events, which I have considered worth remembering.

Before you groan and pass on, points to remember are:

1. I try to write with humour.

2. I often am the butt of the humour.

3. I don’t like long passages of text myself, so will break my ramblings to small chunks here, as well as post each part on my Raising Boys page.

4. One of my earlier posts Wedding Anniversary Treat is a sample of my ramblings.

I am hoping that it has been forgotten is because it was one of my first posts. Only time will tell.

5. So, with that in mind, I promise not continue if there is no interest and unlike the ‘Good Book’ I will be seeking a lot more than just one soul in the blogger sphere to like my work before I continue.

If you are still reading, you may wish to click
Click Here to read part one of ‘The First Date’.

Weekly Photo Challenge ~ Through My Eyes


After some contemplation I decided to take a slightly different angle to the challenge this week.

Rather than getting down on the pavement…too cold, wet and hard on the joints!

Too difficult to get above….as suggested.

I asked myself,

‘What do I see during my daily life?’

The response I received was enlightening…

…and lead to my contribution to this week’s challenge.

Hope you approve as it took a while to complete.



Tap or Click on the image to see the large version.


Most ages range from a few months to nearly eighty and are family, friends as well as including a few that fall into the ‘might be family one day’ category.


Phoneography~You Yangs

All photos, in this post, were taken using my HTC mobile/cell phone. Personally I am astounded at the quality of Smartphone cameras, especially when compared to my first digital camera.

I have just realised that thIs week’s Phoneography challenge is Black and White. As these are the only phone pics I have, at the moment, I will have to be a rebel this week. I am not a big user of my mobile phone, so my contributions may be irregular.


The first photos are of the You Yang Ranges as the
sun bursts through thick, late morning cloud about a week ago.


You-Yangs_0053I think the clouds are as interesting as, or more so, than the You Yangs.


You-Yangs_0051I am told that the You Yangs are well worth a visit and that My Good Wife visited them with her Grandmother in their younger days.



Apparently M-G-W and I visited the You Yangs in our courting days!!  Cannot remember that trip.
Were there other things I was thinking of?


Back to this afternoon….Friday, June, 21, 2013.


I could not help but notice the colour of the You Yangs today. In the past, and in another part of the country, mountains of this colour were a sign of a change in the weather.



Although the cloud formations resemble those seen on a mild summer day. Perhaps the colouring is telling me that by late afternoon it will become cold and damp very quickly.