Tag Archives: Australia

Winter Moon and streets of Kogarah

I took a nice photo of the moon the other night from my place in the south of Sydney. Then I went to Kogarah in Sydney to take some street photos with a photography group.

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Sunset at La Perouse, Sydney

This is what Captain Cook would have seen on sunset when he sailed through the heads of Botany Bay Sydney in 1770

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The Beauty of the Untamed:Remembering Babylon.

There is a beauty in the untamed. 

What one may perceive as ugly can be quite beautiful when the layers are stripped away.

Aesthetic beauty or ugliness may only be skin deep. Peel away the top layer, that which we let others see, to what lies beneath… the true self, that is where real beauty or ugliness is.

True beauty or ugliness is revealed when one is blessed to look at the soul.

The bees which covered Janet were stripped away to reveal a beauty not immediately recognised when looking at her, but she was indeed changed. She had grown from a girl with some childish thoughts into a person who then was able to perceive people beyond the outer layer to the soul.

Gemmy proved to be a very beautiful person, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at him. He was an outsider. He was different.His thoughts were not of himself but on others. This is where his beauty shone.

It is not until the outer bark is stripped off that the beauty of the Rainbow Bark tree is evident

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Blake, Contraries, and the modern day.

A while ago I wrote a story about a farmer finding God. I reread it today and thought how it ties in with what we have learnt this semester about William Blake and Contraries. About black and white, good and bad. This story shows that but also shows a man seeking God on his own terms, finding God where he is, not in a church. I think the nearest church to this bloke would have been a few hundred kilometres away. Read it for yourself and see if you can see the connection. Please feel free to comment ( or peer review if you are in my lit class)

Dave

Prayer from the heart of the land

©Dave McGettigan 2 August 2011. Edited version may 2013.

 

Well God, I really don’t know how to start. I have heard of praying before but I have never done it, so I don’t know the right words to say. I will just say what’s on my mind.

I never believed in you before. You were never mentioned in my childhood home, except when dad lost on the horses, then he was heard to yell out your name.

I just got on with life here on the station. There was work to be done, so we rounded up some of the hands and did it. We rode the boundary fences, and sometimes didn’t come home for weeks if there were repairs to do.

Every once in a while, we mustered a few hundred head, and sent them off on trucks. A few weeks later, our bank account swelled so we could pay our tabs and workers, and save a bit for a not so rainy day.

The stationhands had their own ideas where we came from and how everything came into being. There was a story for everything; including how we got the space between the clouds and the Earth when Yondi pushed up the sky.

Some of the tales I found quite credible; but I always thought there was more to it.

When the droughts came, I heard other farmers over the UHF cursing you. Men would sob over the airwaves telling us how they didn’t have enough feed and the bank wouldn’t extend their credit any further. I listened while they unashamedly wept because they had to shoot cattle so emaciated that their legs wouldn’t hold them up any longer. The women would do wonders with what little food they had in the pantries; and cry when they didn’t know where the next meal was coming from.

More than once I had to tell the aboriginal workers that they were free to wander the property to search for food and water and to take care of themselves and their families as they could no longer rely on me. I would tell them they could shoot a bull or cow if they couldn’t find any other tucker. We couldn’t afford to feed the cattle anyhow. Often during these times, I would open the door to an unexpected knock, to find a slaughtered kangaroo or emu, given as a gift from a grateful farmhand.

We couldn’t go to the city. We wouldn’t survive there. We don’t know the ways of the people in the cities, and growing beef cattle is all I know.

I was thankful that the kids were in boarding school. The school offered the boys a full boarding scholarship so I didn’t have to worry that they would starve. They would also have hope and wouldn’t see the despair in my eyes. At best, with the learning, they could get work and live in the city; if the station failed and they couldn’t take over.

Then the rains came. The station flooded, but we were prepared and had dug extra dams in anticipation of promised rains. All the creeks and rivers overflowed and dams that had been empty for quite a while now broke the banks.

The stationhands returned and claimed credit for the rains stating they had been to see Uncle Bert and he calls water from the sky. There was dancing in mud puddles by all and sundry. The men all stripped to their shorts, grabbed some soap and had a welcome shower. The women dressed in summer frocks also welcomed the drop in temperature as the water began to cool everything by a couple of degrees.

The grasses grew, and trees sprouted new shoots. The birds were quick to return. Their songs once again woke me each morning and I was grateful that I had no further need for that wretched alarm clock.

I rode out to see the extent of the damage the drought, then the floods had caused. When I was a couple of miles from the homestead, I saw no living cattle. White bones were the only evidence that cattle once roamed these plains.

I realised I would have to take the chopper out to do a major muster. Then we would know exactly what financial position we were in.

We had to buy more stock from the south and with the rains, the banks would extend us credit and our accounts would swell with the rivers.

Last night I looked up at the stars. There is no possible way that they were all set in place by the ancestors of our stockhands.

I think about all the beauty in the world around me. The red earth, the green grass and the blue sky and I know there has to be someone responsible. My wife says a bloke on the telly talked about you and how even when we stuff up, you still look after us. I think that’s great. Fair Dinkum.

Well, I just wanted to say thanks God, for everything. You know, I think without the hard times, we wouldn’t know how good we got it. I reckon that when I am out on the land, fixing fences or whatever and I get a bit lonely, I can talk to you because you are always there.

So… well, see ya. Talk soon.

 

Oh yeah…Amen.

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ACU National Sacred Student Choir

This week is a big week for the ACU National Student Choir.

You are cordially invited to join us for Mass at St Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney,on Wednesday at 5:30pm
We are also having an open performance on Thursday at 6pm at Miguel Cordero complex, 43 Australia St, Camperdown in Sydney.

It would be great to see some of my friends at either performance. Please share this with anyone who likes good Sacred Choir Music.11755516_10153980989932971_3247621637822664540_n11014869_1466070180374862_7612148819769636402_n

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Winter in Sydney

Its been so cold in Winter this year in Sydney. Not that other winters haven’t been so as equally cold, but this weather just came upon us. One day 27 degrees, the next 13. it gets down to about 6 degrees in Sydney. Now for those of you from cooler climates this is not terribly cold at all. But we are a warm blooded race, us Sydneysiders, more used to a tank top (singlet) shorts (stubbies) and flip-flops (thongs) than wrapping up in out warm woolies. Consequently I have succumbed to the latest bout of virus, sinus colds. I have been in bed for a week, not able to look at a screen or book as my sinuses make my eyes water. Even though I am on Semester break for Uni, I am yet to have the joy to experience a full day off where I can just relax. I have only been out a couple of times with my camera, I have not gotten out a canvas and brushes all winter, I hope to do so in the next couple of weeks.

These shots were taken when I absolutely had to be out in the cold evening the other week. The winder sky at Dusk in Sydney is spectacular, and going into the night leads itself tyo some good black and whites.

I hope you enjoy just a small smattering of photos for now. More to come, I promise.

Dave

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Sunrise, sunset

I love dawn and dusk in Sydney in Autumn (fall ).

 

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The Turella Journals

I realised that I had not really done a creative entry for my 19th Century Literature blog, so I thought I would attempt a modern day Journal entry in the style of Dorothy Wordsworth’s Grasmere Journal.

Enjoy

Dave

 

15th May 2016

The nights are getting chilly in this cottage on the hill. The cool evenings however are soon forgotten as I feel the warm sun on my face as I venture out of doors. I decide to turn left on the path through Turella Reserve today and head down towards the Cooks River.

Walking down the new bike path to critique the new Turrella Reserve pedestrian bridge!

Photo credit: Earlwoodfarm.com

The section of the river I am trekking to today is a little more than a trickle. A weir has been built below the foot bridge to allow the hatchling fish to start life in calmer waters before heading downstream and out to sea; sometimes ending up on the hook of a young angler before reaching deep waters.

It’s not a long walk by any means, but there is much to see and hear, and sometimes I can make a short ten minute walk last over 2 hours as I stop to sketch or take some photographs of the flora and fauna of the area.

The birdlife is quite alive during the day. One can always see some Magpies and Rosellas loitering around the playground, with its seating, barbeque and unguarded garbage bins. They fight for food scraps with the native Ibis, while the kookaburras get ready to sing at the first sign of a cloud. As I wander down the gentle green hill, I spy a Dusky Moorhen and some Cormorants near the reed covered lake.

Photocredit: Flickrhivemind

With the weather getting cooler, a lot of the smaller birds have flown north to seek warmer air currents.

On the rolling hill, I spy a few people walking or playing with their dogs. The dogs are not disturbed by the birds, nor are the birds upset by the four legged intruders. Labradors and German Shepherds are too busy fetching balls or Frisbees thrown by their owners. They are easily distracted however by some interesting smells, or noises in the nearby bushland.

On a rocky outcrop I come across a bearded dragon sunning himself. He sits with his head raised majestically, as if trying to smell the sun. I see no wallabies today, although they are not an uncommon visitor to Turella reserve. I do hear some rustling in the bushland, however not seeing anything, I would be speculating to try to identify the noisemakers. At night I have spied ringtail and brushtail possums, foxes, rabbits, and thousands of Grey headed flying foxes can be heard screaming overhead on dusk, and on their return at about 5am each morning.

Photo credit: saveourtrees.wordpress.com

 

Flora present on the grasslands is limited to dandelions I’m afraid, however some flowering paperbark trees and small eucalypts are present around the play area. In the bush to my right on the way down the hill, there are a great variety of banksia bushes as well as Sydney Redgum and Turpentine trees.

I walk to the bridge over the trickling brook and look into the deep green of the water. The tide is down revealing some of the moss covered bricks placed along the banks by convicts in the early days of the colony.

Photo credit: Daily Telegraph

Nearby I hear a train coming into the station, and the sound of cars on the other side of the hill. But right now, I listen only to the wind through the trees and the occasional sound of birds among the trees. I am so blessed to be living so close to bushland in the midst of a busy city.

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Word Press Weekly Photo Challenge: Landscape

Landscape Photography is a form of Photography I love to indulge in. I love to remove myself occasionally from the hustle and bustle of city life to go bush.

I hope you enjoy these, some of my favorite landscape shots. All of these I took with a HP Compact camera in country NSW. No extreme editing done, the countryside really is this beautiful.

Dave

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Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Fair Day

I was reluctant to go to this yesterday, as when I awoke there were thunderstorms and heavy rain battering my roof. I turned over and went back to sleep, but then was summonsed by a number of friends who were there, so I got out of bed and went for a couple of hours. The fair day is a day of celebration for the gay community in Sydney. There are over 250 stalls set up to cater for the needs of any kind of fetish, health need, community group and so on, and even a special area this year called Doggywood for your favorite pooch.IMG_6235

I was lucky to meet the stars of the new YouTube TV show called Subject to Change… you can tell by the photo, I wasnt really that excited to meet the lad. LOL.IMG_6215

Sydney weather turned out to be hot and steamy, just like some of the guys that were there. Anyway, enjoy some of the photos.IMG_6212IMG_6216IMG_6223IMG_6225IMG_6227IMG_6232IMG_6239

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