Author Archives: Ray

Wattlebirds Are Evil

Wattlebirds have been a long time feature of our backyard and I think we’ve had pretty much the same family, or pair, around since we moved to our country abode. I’ve always thought of them as somewhat timid, nectar eating, birds that prefer to mind their own business as much as possible. How wrong could I be. Wattlebirds are simply evil, spawn of the devil, in the way they have been behaving this last year. And I don’t think it’s anything to do with the virus we’ve experienced since late last year. We have two families as best as I can tell and both are right royal bastards when it comes to the other birds that live and visit our backyard.

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Film Gear

Let me say first off that I’m not a film maker, but I’ve developed a huge interest in film making, video, whatever you want to call it, mainly to record the activities that happen in Gippsland as well as those that I undertake, such as our High Country Cruises. Photography is still one medium that I use, but I’ve increasingly tried to expand that to video. I think I’ve pointed out previously that I was never interested in video in the past and that none of my cameras were really that great for video. All that has changed and things have certainly moved on. I’ve already started to include videos that I’ve posted on YouTube and I thought, in this COVID age and for what it’s worth, to include a section covering YouTube videos that I’ve made about video gear that I use.

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More Backyard Birds

Over the last year, I’ve been giving our backyard birds, those that are meat eaters, a little bit of mince each day just to see how they react. And because we’ve been under COVID lockdown for most of the year, this has become a regular event in the mornings and evenings. The amount of mince that I give them is quite small, no larger than a ping pong ball in size each morning and evening, and this is for four Kookaburras, two Magpies, two Butcher Birds and a Wattlebird, with the occasional Crimson Rosella snaffling a small piece. The birds, naturally, have become quite accustomed to this (though surprisingly quickly) and I now have nearly all of them taking mince from my hand, or when placed very close to me on our veranda balustrade.

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Television Sewerage

People often call today’s television (TV) rubbish, but even rubbish can sometimes be useful, such as recycling for what it’s worth. But the TV that’s presented today is veritable sewerage, at least for us who have to watch it via satellite and especially during these lockdowns. Our TV comes via the north of Australia, Northern Territory and Far North Queensland, as it was the only way to get satellite TV signal. And the reason that we have satellite TV is because we simply can’t get watchable TV via regular means, as we seem to be in a black spot when it come to reception. We still get the regular programs that others get via satellite, but what kills it are the ads that come with the transmissions from the far north.

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Gippsland

While still in pause mode, I thought I’d add something along the lines of my page on Backyard Critters that contains videos of the various animals that I’ve come across near and far. To that end, I’ll include a this page on Gippsland covering videos that I’ve taken of the natural events that occur in this region. Again, I’ll simply add to this and re-post as new videos arise.

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A Pause

Following on from my post on Change Of Pace, until this virus crap is over, I’m going to pause further posts for the time being. I really don’t want to write stories pointing out absurdities and the like that’s going on at the moment. The world is an increasingly depressing place and I’d really like to get back to writing about Gippsland and more positive stories, rather than how the world is swirling down the toilet. Nothing is happening anywhere and all that we hear on the news is doom and gloom. We’ve only just been allowed ‘some’ concessions as to what can be done in Victoria but, in reality, most activities are still in shut down mode. With Winter on its way, there’s even less happening and I can see things remaining much the same for some time to come.

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Backyard Critters

This particular page is solely intended to be a record of the various videos that I put together that record the numerous backyard critters that live in and about our backyard. Most are directly from our backyard and others from our metaphorical backyard and surrounds, such as the High Country. There’s no story to be told, just a visual record that I’ll add to from time to time. Hopefully YouTube will remain in existence to retain these videos for a long time to come. One day, in the future, it may provide an informative reference as to what we enjoyed in our rural abode and I hope that future generations will continue to enjoy this wonderful wildlife of ours.

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Life Behind Bars – Part 11

If there’s one pub that I’ve been wanting to visit for a long time, it’s the Macalister Hotel in Maffra. I used to live in Sale many years ago and, for the life of me, I can’t remember whether I ever went to the Macalister Hotel for a meal or even just a beer. I know on our 4WD trips we went through Maffra many a time and have done so more often now on our High Country Cruises, but have never stopped there. It’s something that I’ve mentioned a number of times as we’ve driven past, noting that I need to pay a visit. So finally I had the chance to pay that visit as we decided to go out for lunch one Thursday and the Macalister Hotel immediately came to mind. And being one of the first warm and pleasant days this Spring, it was a perfect opportunity to go for a drive. Continue reading

The Police State

As Australia, and the world, copes with the Coronavirus (Wuhan Virus, COVID-19 or what have you), governments around the world and notably in Australia began to impose ever more draconian rules and regulations in order to ‘save lives’. Some of the concerns and the actions were warranted, especially in the early days when little was known about the virus, but many mistakes were made by Federal and state governments and some of these mistakes exacerbated the dangers of this virus. Australia was well placed to avoid the perils that other countries had experienced and continued to experience, yet once again politics as well as experts and the like delivered the wrong assessments and outcomes and continued to do so until virus cases rose and most states, especially Victoria, began to impose restrictions and penalties that resembled a Communist era police state, with associated public support.

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The High Country – Mar 2020

I don’t really know what happened to 2019 as we simply didn’t have a Cruise, with our last one being in Nov 2018. Summer (for what it was) flashed past and then at the end of 2019 when the tracks re-opened, the bushfires started, burning into the New Year and causing us to defer things once again. Things have settled down now, other than flooding rains, but travelling to the East is out of the question as all the tracks are still likely to be closed and will likely be so for some time to come. I’d be very surprised if the majority of tracks will be open by 2021. But once again we were itching to get out and our only option was to go closer to home, which meant around the Thomson Dam and Licola area. This wasn’t necessarily a bad thing though, as COVID-19 and the statewide shutdown may or may not have impacted on crowd numbers, despite there still being a surprising number about on the first day,

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