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World War II: The Cheops Pyramid


The Cheops Pyramid from the Giza burial ground - 1936The following photo was taken by my grandfather while stationed with the British Army in North Africa. The photo was taken in 1936, showing the Cheops Pyramid from the Giza burial ground.

Newcastle – Custom’s House


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Here is a beautiful old building in Newcastle – Custom’s House. Across the road from the Newcastle Railway Station, this wonderful building is a landmark in it’s own right. Sadly, another old building in Newcastle that could be considered beautiful has been run into the ground so to speak – the Post Office.

Custom’s House is now occupied by a restaurant and what a beautiful location – right on the foreshore of Newcastle’s picturesque parkland area.

Whenever I catch a bus to Newcastle – I spend a bit of time here in the park in front of Custom’s House. The bus stop for the return trip (and the arrival stop) is right next to the train station and opposite this magnificent building and parkland area. It is a great little spot to pass the time while waiting for the bus.

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.