The following ABC article laments the possible loss of many historical audio visual records that are waiting for digitising into modern formats thus preserving them for future generations. Put simply the situation could be relieved by more funding. These records have possibly only a 10 year window to complete the task before deterioration sees them lost.
Hello. It's been a while. I'm still adjusting to 2021 slowly moving back into the internet mindset. There are nearly 700 posts on this blog and although I haven't posted much in a while still gets a couple of hundred visitors a day who, I hope, find the information I present interesting or useful. As the weather cools I intend to get out and about more with a view to creating content for this old blog.
Also as dipping my toe into the podcasting pool I have decided to develop some of the posts on this blog I have researched over the past 10 years into audio podcasts. It is a learning curve but I have posted a first episode today entitled "Onyong - the "last of the wild blacks". My podcast Channel 'Reid Report' can be found here.
I will probably be more eclectic in my online content from here on in. I may revisit some older posts on this blog, reworking some and developing some into podcasts. At the moment the east coast of Australia is getting a drenching. A far cry from the long drought of previous years. If you get a chance call in and give my podcast a listen.
Australia is in the grips of the worst drought in living memory. A walk down to the Murrumbidgee River found the lowest levels of flow that I can remember. I tweeted the short video below yesterday and was surprised at the reaction to it. Currently the tweet has had 50k impressions and 16k views of the video.
There is a lot of talk about poor water management practices by government at all levels.. anyway I think the video speaks for itself..
A night spent at the Euroka campground at Glenbrook in the Blue mountains NSW. It sparked a little controversy with some thinking it was a moulting fox, others, like me, thought it a Juvenile Dingo and yet others thought it was a Dingo/Fox hybrid.
To be honest I've never heard of such a thing and my money is still on dingo pup. The following video was the best I could capture. Let me know what you think in the comments..
What may be a timely warning to others. About 2 months ago I noticed a small lump on my hand that I had subconsciously scratched and had formed a dry scaley skin. If I had to describe the size I would estimate that it was about half the size of a 5 cent piece.
I, under the urging of a family member, attended the doctor who took a small biopsy which returned cancerous and I, thanks to an excellent hospital system, was seen by a surgeon at Canberra Hospital who designated my lump Stage 1 which apparently meant it was to be dealt with within 30 days.. and it was.
The surgery was carried out under local anaesthetic although I could not see the procedure because of a 'tent' obscuring my view. I was concerned as the time ticked on past what I estimate to be about 30 minutes and the pressure and 'tugging' of stitching made me wonder how such a small lesion could require so much fuss. A week later I discovered why.
I learned there was internal stitching and a continuous stitch to close. The size of the lesion was not to be determined by the visual inspection.
Get unusual spots on your skin checked early folks. Especially any Australian readers who, like me, spent most of their early life basking in the Aussie sun. The above photo was taken 7 days after surgery and was the first time I saw it.
I planned to spend two nights exploring the South East Forests National Park located near Bombala New South Wales.
My first impression was how dry it was and as one of my aims was to explore some peat swamps, which were marked on the map as permanently wet swamps, but alas were bone dry.
In fact, apart from dozens of wombats and a feral deer and a few wallaby, the mid spring flora seemed void of anything flowering. On one 3.5 km walk around a swamp I found only one flowering plant within view. A flowering fern. Which was the most stunning indigo colour.
Another quick visit was a call in at an old slab and corrugated iron hut called 'Alexander's hut'. Despite having only 3 rooms it is in suprisingly good condition and is obviously well maintained. It was apparently lived in permanently into the 80's. I'd live there today.
My 2 night trip was however cut short as the weather became uncomfortable for camping without a campfire which is something we had better get used to as there is a total fire ban in all NSW National Parks till March 2020.
I ended up taking more video than photos which seems to be my way in these nbn days. Here is a disjointed collection of video I took over the two days.
Back from a night spent at the Deua National Park. We started off exploring Monga National Park from the Braidwood end but found one access road was blocked by a big muddy bog which on inspection with a stick determined it was too soft to try and cross. So we backtracked and headed off to Deua.
The campground was deserted, small with 3 firepits and a long drop toilet. We were visited by a local ranger who collected $6 camp fees and stopped for a yarn and to remind us of the NSW National Parks fireban which is expected to extend to March 2020. So a cold camp it was.
The next morning we reterned to Monga and visited a place called Penance Grove. It consists of a wet forest Gully containg towering plumwood trees said to be an ancient remnant of when Australia was still conected to the prehistoric landmass of Gondwana.
You could feel the temprature drop as you climb the viewing boardwalk to be surrounded by these ancient trees interspersed with tree ferns and moss. Beautiful place.
I spent Friday and Saturday of last week at the Blue Range campground out past Urriara on Brindabella Road. We hired the rustic corrugated iron hut and loaded up with firewood in preparation for the cold nights forecasted.
The campground has an interesting history having once been a World War 2 Italian internment camp. The residents worked on forestry projects and produced charcoal. Supplies came from Canberra every two weeks and when the supplies failed to come they eat rabbits.
Its a first in best dressed for booking the hut and is a bargain for the price.
I spent a while this morning with Mark Parton, a local Tuggeranong MLA, visiting a few Indigenous heritage sites. After an inspection of the Theodore Grinding Grooves off Christmas Street we visited a few scar trees in Wanniassa.
Whilst visiting the canoe tree on Livingston Avenue Mark noticed a new third scar. Someone has recently, within months, removed a section of bark in traditional style from the tree.
The more I think about this the more disturbed I am. Couldn't they have chosen a tree not already scarred? Interestingly there is an Australian Federal Police notice stapled to the trunk so maybe there is an investigation underway.
Recently an identified Aboriginal scar tree was wrongly cut down and mulched despite heritage listing. The magnificent and free ABC reported on the occurance here.
I had first and last visited the tree in 2010 and the photo above is from that visit. The kids at some point in time called it the "spook Tree" which I'm sure is a story in itself.
I have visited the sites of many of the Tuggeranong and Woden Valley trees. Many are in an excellent condition and, protected by law, should be around for whatever the lifespan of the tree is. My thoughts go to the trees on the fringe of the Diplomatic area of Yarralumla on West Ridge.
These appear to me, although it could be a trait of the species, to be very old compared to others I have seen..
There are other trees however that, in 2010, were seeing the ravishes of white ants.. not much left of some but compost.
Which brings me to the point of this post.. is there more we can be doing to preserve these trees for future generations. Especially any neglected on Stirling Ridge
If anyone is interested in the not difficult walk it is located on the intersection of Empire Circuit and Forster Street Yarralumla starting at the signposted remnants of Westlake Settlement. Walk up the hill where you will find a track that climbs past a 1920's Canberra sewer vent that looks like an ornate chimney to the ridge where most of the trees are located.
The plan was to camp at Flea Creek Campground but the onset of wet weather made the notion of a steep incline on a greasy, clay fire trail unpalatable. We instead went looking for the Blue Range Campground and set out up Blue Range Road to where it joins with Two Sticks Road just short of the road to the Mount Coree summit.
As we progressed the rain turned to snow and the chill from the brisk wind was noticeably uncomfortable whenever we left the vehicles. The decision was made to abandon the adventure.
I did learn a lot about the area and a return trip is planned, however in the current season a booking of the Blue Range Hut as a basecamp could be the go.
I managed to cross something off my bucket list early this morning. A visit to the Yankee Hat Aboriginal Rock Art Site. The adventure required a 6 1/2 kilometer round trip from the carpark off Bobeyon Road in the south of the ACT.
It is an easy walk through an enormous grass covered plain at the base of Yankee Hat Mountain. On the walk we disturbed quite a few small mobs of Eastern Grey Kangaroos as we progressed along the well marked track.
I took a few minutes of video of the site. It really is a unique and special place.
In 2013, whilst hunting winter lyrebird song recordings, I managed to capture what I thought at the time to be 'out of place' noises for the location and times of the night they were recorded.
This will be a little more complex post than usual and I urge you to watch the videos I present, using headphones with mine if possible, and with Russell's video see an explanation of the two charts that were compiled by him from the compared data of his research into bipedal walking sound analysis.
The following two videos are the recordings I captured, firstly in 2013 and secondly in December of 2018.
The 2013 gap recordings were taken over two sessions of several days and I acknowledge now, six years later, that some of the recordings may indeed be native fauna e.g. wallabies as I think I can discern the sound of grass eating inbetween movements. There should however be no sounds of people in the location in the dark.
These are the recent he recent gap recordings. Not as dramatic as the original recordings but with definite, at least I believe, bipedal walking accompanied by dramatic tree breaking. I sent these recordings down to a friend who I would personally describe as an expert on wildlife sound recording. He has done extensive work on analysing this type of recording.
For full information on Russell's "therusty222" research visit his website at..
These are the charts compiled by Russell for the unknown subject in my recordings in the December. Based on the impact and stride of wallabies, a 75 kg human and calculated height by stride time calculations the unknown subject of my recordings was dramatically taller than 5' 9" (possibly nearly 7' and much heavier.
For an explanation of Russell's method he recently uploaded a video which is quite descriptive and I highly recommended..
As promised, the results of the camera I put out near Gibraltar Creek two weeks ago.
I had collected am image of a very healthy tabby feral cat at the location and was basicly interested in learning about any population of them there. I don't aim to persue it any further after satisfying my curiosity with the capture of a cat ear shown in the video.
Its a very active area for wildlife with captures of several wallabies, a lyrebird, and a photogenic wombat who all visited the field of view recently..
I took some video tosay while I picked up the camera and tacked the results on the end.
Years ago I was told the story of a young man who claimed to have an encounter with yowies at Shanahan's Mountain in 2009.
As the tale went this fellow, who had argued with his parents, decided to drive out on Bobeyon Road to the southern most reach of the Territory to camp in the Shanahan's Mountain walking trail carpark. (why there I couldn't imagine).
On the second night of his stay there he says he was confronted by the sounds of branches breaking and bipedal movements around the carpark culminating in an attack of rocks being hurled into the carpark. In terror he fled in his car at this juncture. And so ends the story.
On Saturday a couple of friends and myself enjoyed the views atop Shanahan's Mountain and spent the evening camped down in the carpark. The night was quite cool and deathly still. Many a good conversation was had while we waited for our yowies. I took some video..
Spent an hour setting up a single remote camera this morning at a location I have visited several times over the years. It is a small gully seldom visited at the end of a disused old forestry trail on a tributary of the Gibraltar Creek.
In the past I have collected images and video of the usual native fauna and the small gully flat seems to be a natural pathway from the Gibraltar Creek to higher ground. The area is cooler than the higher ground and feels a bit 'jurassic' in contrast to the surrounding dense bush.
Of particular interest to me are the population of feral cats in the area. The following photo is the image captured of a tabby feral cat at this location. I'd like to see how active they are there now.
On the 22nd of December I returned to a small geological feature near Canberra called Devil's Gap which is located in between Gibraltar Creek and Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve. My aim was to see if some strange out of place type of noises I first captured in 2012 whilst recording lyrebird song would repeat.
I collected the recorder and returned home to find that my computer had given up the ghost so I sent the SD card containing 16 files of 6 hours duration each to a fellow called Dan who edits an Australian online newsletter called the Yowie Times and who researches the existence of what we today would commonly refer to as a Yowie.
He collaborates with several persons in the field of study a lot more knowledgeable and technologically savvy than David. The recordings in the following video are the results. Feel free to comment.
( if you are interested in subscribing to the Yowie Times send an email requesting submission to email@example.com )
Some years ago I had placed an audio recorder out at a place called Devil's Gap which is located in between Gibraltar Creek and Tidbinbilla and accessible by foot from the Tidbinbilla Ring Road or via the fire trail which starts just up from the woods reserve campground located on Corin Road.
It was mid winter at the time and I was attempting to record the sound of a lyrebird display. It is my habit to put out a sony voice recorder which will run for 4 days with high powered lithium batteries on super high quality. The 8gb memory card holds 16 x 8 hour files which matches the battery life.
I did manage to capture a lovely recording which had the claim to fame of being played on ABC Radio Canberra. I also captured some unidentified noises which had left me wondering for a long time as to what had made the noises.
I would describe the sounds captured as being like a very heavy man running past the recorder several times and at times striking the recorder.
This was accompanied by the sound of tree branches/bushes being snapped in what sounded like an aggressive action and a separate approach by a set of walking sounds, stopping to rummage the granite rock that was placed on the plastic weather sheild that protected the recorder.
All this happened in the small hours of the morning in fairly dense scrub at an hour that I wouldn't expect bushwalkers let alone cross country runners..
I returned there 6 days ago and again set a recorder.. I picked it up today.
Here is a short video of the set up..