Beau and Monique, Dogs, Dog, Travel, Australia, Photos and Pictures

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Aboriginal cave paintings in Australia

Aboriginal cave paintings in Australia

In may 2003, scientists and archaeologists from the Australian Museum uncovered a 4,000-year-old Aboriginal rock art site at Eagles Reach, literally on Sydney’s doorstep. Despite the abundance of many Aboriginal art sites in the region, the Eagles Reach find, which is located about 160 kilometers  northwest of Sydney in the wilderness section of the Wollemi National Park, is regarded as the biggest and most significant discovery in the last 50 years. The more than 200 well-preserved and stunning images at the site have been previously hidden by the region’s rugged and inhospitable landscape. The site was first located in 1995 by a group of bushwalkers who accidentally came across the rock art when they abseiled past a large sandstone shelter. While they reported their discovery to the New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service, it took another eight years before a team of archaeologists, rock art specialists and Aborigines from the local Darkingung, Darug and Wiradjuri tribes were able to begin a scientific investigation. The delay was largely due to environmental factors such as floods and bushfire and to an initial underestimation of the significance of the sit. The cave is 12 meters long 6meters deep and 1 to 2 meters high, and contains 203 separate drawings, a painting and various stencils executed in charcoal, white pipe clay and yellow and red ochre. At least 12 layers of images have been superimposed, one upon the other, documenting the art and culture of many generations of Aborigines. A wide variety of birds, lizards and marsupials are depicted, including kangaroos, wallabies, goannas, leaf-tail geckoes and many other animals from the region. Also included are life-sized, delicately drawn eagles and an extremely rare design of a wombat. According to Aboriginal religious belief, some of these composite images are of ancestral beings and present on the rock walls since mythical times. Under this system of belief, human beings did not paint these images but were produced by ancient ancestors settling into the cave walls, while their spirits may have travelled on. In Australia, more than 100,000 rock art sites have been discovered; possibly more than any other country in the world; with most of the richest and colourful in the Pilbara, Kimberleys, Arnhem Land and Cape York regions of northern Australia. While the study of Aboriginal art and culture is now regarded as important, this was not always the case. During the late eighteenth and nineteenth century, after the British established Australia as a military outpost in the Asia-Pacific region against its colonial rival France, anthropological investigations of Aboriginal life and culture were of little or no interest. It was not until 1930s and establishment of an anthropology department at the University of Sydney that systematic scientific study really began.

posted by Monique at 11:43 am  

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Saturday, June 16, 2007

Harriet the Giant Galapagos Land Tortoise

Giant _Galapagos _Land_ Tortoise

Harriet the Giant Galapagos Land Tortoise was a national treasure, a beloved member of the Australia Zoo family. Harriet passed away peacefully at Australia Zoo on 23 June 2006 , Harriet was collected from the Galapagos Islands in 1835 by Sir Charles Darwin when she was just the size of a dinner plate. This means that she probably hatched somewhere around the year 1830. Harriet was brought down under by Darwin’s friend John Wickham to enjoy a warmer climate in Australia.  John Wickham arrived in Brisbane, Australia with Harriet in 1842. For more than 100 years Harriet called the Brisbane Botanical Gardens home and it was here in the early 1900s that she was given the name Harry, in honour of Harry Oakman, the groundskeeper of the time. She was eventually transferred to Fleay’s Fauna Sanctuary on the Gold Coast and as it turns out, it was owner David Fleay who discovered that Harry was, in fact, a Harriet. Harriet lived out the last two decades of her life in the lap of luxury at her Australia Zoo home in Beerwah on the Sunshine Coast, under the watchful and loving care of Steve and Terri Irwin. The Irwin family acquired Harriet for what was then the Queensland Reptile and Fauna Park in 1987, and it was love at first sight! Steve and his entire family have enjoyed a wonderful friendship with Harriet throughout the years, and she was always thought of as an honorary grandmother. A firm favourite with staff and guests as well, Harriet spent her days at Australia Zoo receiving attention and affection from people of all ages, and enjoying a diet of an assortment of fresh vegetables, greens and - her favourite - hibiscus flowers. DNA testing told us definitively that Harriet was at least one generation older than any existing tortoise in Australia.  Its not Harriet on the photo, we took this photo in januari 2007 at Australian Zoo.  

posted by Monique at 10:21 am  

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Saturday, June 9, 2007

Brian May, Queen

Brian_May_Queen

Brain Harold May, born 19 july 1974 in Hampton, Middlesex, England.His parents are Harold and Ruth May, he has no brothers and sisters. Brian attended primary school in Feltham during which time he showed an interest in music and his parents registered him for piano lessons, which Brian actually hated. When Brian was six years old he started learning to play the ukulele. Brian got very good very quickly and soon he wanted a guitar. A Spainish guitar was given to him as a birthday present, but it was too big for him, so he went and modified it. As the time went on and as he played the existing guitar he discovered, that his guitar wasn’t good enough to play music he liked. He didn’t have much money and the type of guitars Brian wanted were too expensive. Brian and his father decided to build a guitar to fit Brians needs exactly. This was to become Brian May’s famous “Red Special” (or fireplace guitar). The guitar took about 18 months to build and cost roughly 18 pounds at the time. Brians friends and schoolmates loved the guitar and offered to to buy the guitar from him. Brians guitar playing constantly improved and when he was 17 he founded a group with friends, Dave Dilloway and Tim Staffell.The group was named “1984″ after the name of a Sci-fi book. The band played locally performing in halls and schools. Within 18 months brian went to Imperial College in London to study astronomy and Physics. Brian began composing songs around this time, covering a wide variety of styles, but usually wrote ballads and hard rock. He still played in the group 1984 and even supported Jimmi Hendrix at one point. However the group did not last too long, as Brian needed time for study and the band itself felt there was not any potential for the group and they disbanded. Brian stayed in contact touch with Tim Staffell and they agreed that they missed playing as a group. They posted up a note on a college notice board stating that they needed a drummer. They organised Drum-off competition, and one of competitors was Roger Meddows Taylor, from which the group Smile wasformed and later Queen. Brians distinctive guitar style and excellent playing allowed Queen to launch them selves onto the music scene. Brian also wrote some of Queens great numbers from rockers such as Tie your mother Down and We Will Rock You to ballads like Who wants to live Forever. Brian remained an active musician after Freddies death in 1991, releasing solo albums and taking part in events such as 46664. In 1976, the 29th of may he married Chrissie at the ST OSMUNDS RC CHURCH, Castlenau. They have 3 children: James born in 1978 Louisa, born in 1981 Emily, born in 1987. He left his wife Chrissie for soap star Anita Dobson.They got married on November 18, 2000.

posted by Monique at 5:48 pm  

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