Posted by: Bruce | April 15, 2015

Cara Mia – Come a little bit closer.

Something to finish the night. What a voice. Same voice in the second video and a bit of fun to go with the lyrics. I guess they are just being little rascals, billy goats, silly billies, little devils, modern teenage whopper snippers or whipper snappers, rebels or scallywags. Jay and the Americans. and Word for today;    Pulchritudinous – heartbreaking beauty. More to come;    same blog time, same blog channel.

Posted by: Bruce | April 3, 2015

Tawny Frogmouth – a bump in the dark.

A little over 2 weeks ago and running a bit late, I aimed the pointy end of my car towards my Mums and nudged the pedal.

Just 3 minutes away and onto the main road, my peripherals caught a movement in the roadside kerbing to my left. A quick glance showed a bird of size, down, and a wing slowly sinking.

Going past at 90 kph wasn’t quick enough to outrun the wondering. Was it the wind from nature or passing cars that caused the wing to flap …….. or is the bird still alive? With a shake of my head, I knew I was going to be a little later still.

After a few turns and doubling back, I found the bird still alive but not looking good. With little knowledge of birds (read hardly any) I figured this one to be a Tawny Frogmouth owl. Turns out I was right except for the owl bit. We’ve had a few at home from time to time quietly sitting in the dark in various spots making their call.

A few quick photos and off to the nearest veterinary clinic at Rathmines. The bird objected to handling only a little so the front seat served as its resting place.

[A single click on any pic will quickly get you large photos to check.]

Within a couple of minutes, a staff member went to place the bird in a cage for observation, but it died while being held. She said the bird had probably been lying injured during the night after being hit by a car when chasing prey shown by headlights.

I was a little sad the bird didn’t make it, but at least it hadn’t gone while lying in the gutter. We got to check each other out a little.

This was a Wednesday morning. The following Friday night as I sat tapping these very keys, my attention was grabbed by a loud, scratching thump on the metal awning over the window next to me. Having had this before, I grabbed a torch and quietly went outside to check.

I expected to see an owl on the awning; occasionally this happens. They hit or land on the awning, stay a short while, maybe shake their head a little and take off or, slide off if they’re slow.

No owl this time, yet the crashing noise of arrival was the same. As I turned to leave, I noticed something out of place. Sitting on the fence, near the front gate, was a Tawny Frogmouth. It turned its head to see me, then flew into the night.

I went inside and given the timing, I started wondering again.

Word for today;    Coincidence – Friday night’s Tawny Frogmouth?

More to come;    same blog time, same blog channel

My stay would have been a little longer with the camera today but the mozzies were fierce. A short sleeve shirt and shorts not the go with rain just a day or two earlier.

I’d spotted a short reference to this cemetery and decided to check it out next time I passed. The reference mentioned an effort of sorts to retain the cemetery and restore it to some of its former glory.

It also mentioned imminent residential development of the cemetery area and its physical demise by topsoiling (sorry about the pun). Instead of the cemetery, a written and photographic record would substitute and this was pretty much rubber stamped by the council for Lake Macquarie City. My curiosity spiked a little.

After surrendering to the mozzies, I scratched and itched my arms and legs heading down Billy Goat Hill. While impatiently waiting to gain clear ground it was difficult (for me) to ignore the parallels between the current local situation and that of the movie Poltergeist back in the 80’s.

The ingredients are there except for the dramatic ending. I’m not intending any offence to those associated or related to residents of the cemetery; the opposite actually.

Prime suburban land, some with water views I’m thinking, is owned and being developed by a company owned by the (now former) Lord Mayor of Newcastle. The development is rubber stamped and the ground to be used for housing. Homes over graves?

Approx. 240 grave sites are said to be in this location, over the top of the hill, the best view. The last burial recorded to have taken place was in the 1970’s and apparently living relatives exist.

Below are some links readily available.

Just a click on one pic will present all images, enlarged, in a gallery. Easier on the eye and better for detail.

This will cost a bit to restore and maintain, especially security wise. It’s a little isolated and out of sight, despite being close to suburbs and Booragul Station.

Word for today;      Heritage – a present day expense.

More to come;    same blog time, same blog channel.

In the photo below is Norma who has the arm of Don (Charles) Cottrell. The year approximately 1945 or earlier.

Don (Charles) Cottrell and Norma

Recently I was contacted by Paul, Don’s son, via my post ‘Street Photography Sydney, 1945′ (photo G. McGrath).

Paul lives in the U.K. and has a photo, this one above, also taken by G. McGrath, Her Majesty’s Arcade, Sydney. He was hoping I’d be able to supply some information about the photographer which might have led to details of Norma and her family. He does not know Norma’s last name.

Paul provides some background to this photo from the little given by his Dad.

Don was a Chief leading stoker in the Royal British Navy and on shore leave. Aged approx. 18yrs, he credited Norma, and her family, with helping him to cut down on fighting and drinking. According to Paul, Norma was probably the love of his Dad’s life and would have married her, given the chance to return to Australia.

Like a couple of other readers, I have a photo from G. McGrath but that’s all. Meanwhile, a few emails with Paul later, I offered this post, offer accepted.

Paul, whose father has now passed, is still keen to contact Norma and/or her family. A great photo with a story and a slim chance to add another chapter. It might succeed if spotted by Norma or her family.

Don Cottrell and Norma

After a little research and close look at the pics, I feel safe saying the photo was taken in George St, Sydney outside Beard Watson’s, furniture manufacturers.

Word for today;    Romance – a never ending story.

More to come;    same blog time, same blog channel.


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