centre

Stroud Parade


View from Silo Hill

ABOVE: View from Silo Hill

 

Today was the first day of my annual leave allottment (technically it starts Monday) and so I decided to get out and do something. The Stroud International Brick and Rolling Pin Throwing Competition seeemed to be the thing to do today. So I decided I would offer my mother and her husband a seat in the car and head off to Stroud. Turned out only my mother would be coming. Disappointingly the day was wet and miserable – a typical Australian winter’s day I guess. Still, we thought we would go and have a look anyway.

 

Stroud House

ABOVE: Stroud House

 

We arrived at Stroud just as the main street was being closed for the parade. So we got our park and headed into the centre of town to gain a reasonable vantage point, with the option of some shelter should the weather turn especially bad. We got our place easy enough. Stroud was fairly packed for the event, but not as much as I thought it may have been – the weather probably kept many away. Still, a pretty good turn out.

So off they went, a whole menagerie of marchers in the big parade. It was an odd bunch, some seemingly out of tune with the country in which they marched and the context of the town. Everyone was having a ball, particularly the kids who seemed to be the targets of the often thrown lollies and sweets that were being hurled from the floats and marching rag tag line of marchers. There were North American Indians, whip crackers, witches and wizards, some rather fat ballerina types (pictured) and many other odd characters. There were also the police (representing 150 years of police work), firemen, SES and other services – even church floats, a debutante ball float, school groups – as it went on and on for some time. There were musical groups, including a couple of groups of Scottish bands and a ukulele group.

 

Ballerinas

ABOVE: The Ballerinas BELOW: Marching Police

Police Marching

Debutantes

ABOVE: Debutante Float

 

Having attended the march we decided to not stay as the weather was rolling in again. We took a quick trip up to Silo Hill to enjoy the view and headed back to Gloucester.

A Little Perspective


In some respects we are right to think of our little planet as the centre of the universe, yet it helps to have a little perspective sometimes – the following web page does just that:

http://www.rense.com/general72/size.htm

SWOOPING BIRDS


 

It was the official first day of Spring here in Australia. However, Spring has really been with us here for quite some weeks now, given the very warm days and bushfires we have already experienced. In fact August 2009 was the hottest on record.

plovers and chicks Given that it is Spring it is time for a new season of new growth in the gardens and of new birth in the surrounding wildlife here in Tea Gardens (though it isn’t that clear cut obviously) and there is plenty of wildlife here.

On the way home from work today I was swooped by a Magpie – several times. The Magpie does this in its breeding season to drive off potential threats to its nest and young. Recently I have also been savagely swooped by the local plovers, which attack with even more ferocity than the Magpie.

The plovers had been defending their nest for some weeks prior to their eggs hatching. Their nest was beside the artificial lake in the centre of the village where I work at Tea Gardens Grange. The nest is just a small spot on the ground on which the eggs are laid. In this case their were four. They seemed to sit on the eggs for between 4 and 6 weeks before the young were hatched – swooping the entire time if you ventured too close, as well as making plenty of noise. One of the adults sometimes seemed to pretend to have a bad leg as it hobbled away from the nest in an attempt to get any threats to follow it.

At the moment there are two remaining chicks that are growing fairly rapidly now. The parents are still defending their young with menace.