brilliant

Blackbutt Reserve


Since I was unable to visit Gap Creek Falls the other day, I decided I might pop in to have a look at the new animal enclosures at Blackbutt Reserve near Newcastle. I will say straight off the bat that I do have something of a prejudice against Blackbutt Reserve, as I see the place as nothing like a natural bush setting, it being far too ‘corrupted’ by human activity, weeds and the like. Having said that it is a good place for a family or group outing/event. It certainly has its place, but it is not a true nature reserve (in my opinion).

Visitor Centre

ABOVE: Visitor Centre

I do think that some well designed animal and bird enclosures at Blackbutt could lift the value of the reserve dramatically and make it a really great place for families, especially young families. There are opportunities for educational visits for kids, possible environmental activities and the like there. So the potential is certainly there for Blackbutt.

The enclosures of my youth are giving way to those that are much better and up to a more modern standard, which is great to see. Certainly the improvements I saw are great and some of them are outstanding. The Quoll enclosure, with nocturnal habitat viewing was brilliant. Some of the other enclosures are getting there also, though I was disappointed with the size of some of the aviaries and poor vegetation choices they appeared to have. They didn’t look to great for the birds, which I think is not a good look. Still, they are a major improvement on what had been there before.

Some of the other enclosures for snakes and amphibians were really good also I have to say and overall the place is going ahead and improving all of the time. So I think it has a place into the future, if it can continue to improve along the way. Just some thoughts…

Modern Enclosures Koala

ABOVE LEFT: Modern Enclosures  ABOVE RIGHT: Koala BELOW: Nocturnal Quoll Enclosure

Nocturnal Quoll Enclosure

Three Sisters: Blue Mountains


Some of the photos that I’ll be posting over the next little while were taken some years ago on very ordinary cameras, so they won’t be all that brilliant. However, the photos posted here are not all about quality, they are about memories, scenery and landscapes, and so on.

The picture posted below is of The Three Sisters, which is a rock formation in the Blue Mountains to the west of Sydney at Katoomba in New South Wales, Australia. I can’t remember exactly when I took the photo, but expect it was in the late 80s or early 90s. As can be seen in the photo, the Blue Mountains is a beautiful wilderness area.

Three Sisters

Paint.net


Today’s link is to paint.net, which in my opinion is a brilliant photo editing program that is free to download and use. It is my photo editing software program of choice. I use it on a very regular basis. Highly recommended.

Visit:

http://www.getpaint.net/index.html

Namo Web Editor


I used to use Windows Live Writer to update my various Blogs. I found it to be a very useful application/tool. However, as the number of posts in my Blog grew, I found that the software slowed down dramatically and it also began to play up on a very regular basis. Eventually I decided I needed to try something different. This process has interrupted my Blog posting for months and I have now settled on using the same software I use to maintain my various other websites – Namo Web Editor.

I use Namo Web Editor 2006 on my Windows 7 lap top without a problem and feel I have no need to upgrade to the latest version. However, I suspect that at some point I will probably do so and will very happily pay to do so. I believe that Namo Web Editor is a brilliant product and very easy to use.

To post to my WordPress Blogs, all I do is copy the HTML code and paste it into the HTML editor in my WordPress dashboard. On the dashboard I input the various post categories and tags, as well as set the time for my post (often posting for the future). This way I get my Blog post to look exactly as I wish it to look – especially given that I prefer a fully justified paragraph format.

Visit Namo Web Editor at:

http://www.namo.com/main/?skin=productdetail_webeditor.html

PS: I wasn’t paid to advertise or comment on this product – I use it and love it.

The Beaches of Newcastle


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It has often been said that Newcastle has some of the world’s best beaches. I wouldn’t know about that – I haven’t visited all of them.

What I do know is that having travelled around a lot of Australia, Newcastle is certainly up there with the best that Australia has to offer.

It is hard, in my view, to define just what makes the best beach. I imagine that someone who surfs would have certain criteria that differs from someone like me, who likes the natural beauty of a place more than anything else when it comes to liking a beach.

I think the beaches around the West Australia town of Esperance are simply stunning and I currently rate these as the best beaches in Australia that I have seen. There may well be better beaches, but in my opinion, those of Esperance are better than Newcastle’s beaches. But that opinion includes criteria such as seclusion, natural beauty, etc. For recreational use, access, etc, Newcastle has some brilliant beaches that the locals adore. They are certainly good for a walk along when it isn’t too hot and they aren’t too crowded.