A Monthly Bulletin devoted to matters of interest to The Sydney Bush Walkers, 5 Hamilton Street, Sydney.
|Business Manager||Brian Harvey|
|Publication Staff||Misses Doreen Harris, Jessie Martin, and Mary Stoddart; Messrs. Bill Mullins and Arthur Salmon.|
|An Exploration of the Highlands between Nattai and Burragorang Walls||by Rudi Lemberg||3|
|Recipe for Happiness||by Dorothy Lawry||4|
|At Our Own Meeting||6|
|Through Northern Jungles||by Wiff Knight||8|
|Sleep beneath the Stars||Reprint..R.L.Stevenson||13|
|“Highlights”||Sponsored by Stephenson & Bird||14|
|The Poor Cow||15|
This war is now two months old, and already we are used to finding that So-and-so is not available for such and such a walk because he is in camp; that Someone-else cannot get her holidays because so many of her fellow workers are in camp; and even that we shall haste to get some other member to do the job now that our Honorary Pooh-bah has been mobilised.
We now have Joyce Trimble as Acting Treasurer to carry on the job Ron. Eddes was doing so well till he took to spending most of his time in militia camps. If family tradition means anything, then - even before Joyce has had time to show her own metal - all members can congratulate the Committee on its choice of a new executive officer for the Club.
In November both Committee and Club will again be exercising judgment and the vote in filling vacancies caused by the mobilisation of “Pooh-bah”. This issue is the last one for some time to come that will bear the name of Brian Harvey as Business Manager for, as a Naval Reservist both of whose knees are again functioning normally, he has been called up for the duration, and, on the night the magazine is on sale the Committee will be appointing a successor to be responsible for the production side of “The Sydney Bushwalker”. Doreen Harris, of course, is still in charge of the subscriptions section, as well as being the editorial offsider.
At the November General Meeting those present will have to elect a new Committee-man and a new Federation Delegate to replace Brian Harvey. That is the sort of worker Brian is. It will take two or three people, or more, to do the work he has been doing for the S.B.W. and they will all have to keep on their toes if they are going to do the jobs to Brian's standard.
Following on the President's call to arms last month, we know the Club will be well served by those it calls up to fill these vacancies, and whatever others may occur as the months go by; and we hope that, in the years to come, these new officers will all be able to look back to these troubled days as the evil out of which good came to them, since the war gave them the chance to prove themselves excellent workers and also to discover and develop their own capabilities.
All bushwalkers know that anything to do with food is most important. That is why this story comes to you right at the beginning of the magazine, and as an item all by itself so that all bushwalker cooks can read it and ponder over it and find the moral for themselves…
Have you heard this one? It comes from one of our members who is at present serving in a militia unit that is camped “Somewhere in Australia”. “These people who say things about the food the troops are getting!!! In our camp we get a three-course meal each day. Yes, indeed we do. The first course is breakfast; the second course is lunch; and the third course is tea; and every course is stew!”
(From a Rotarian Magazine via the “Catalina Islander” of Avalon, California).
Here's the trouble with truth: Long ago it severed all diplomatic relations with white lies and terminological inexactitudes, with prejudices and propagandas. Unfortunately, few adults have followed this policy; consequently, as vigilant custodians of truth, they fall short when a child wants to know why some children must live in slums, why some children must go hungry, why some children must be targets for bombs.
by Rudi Lemberg.
We camped on the delightful spot near the Nattai River, where the road comes down from Nattai Pass. Our original plan had been to cross the plateau (then, I still conceded this name to it) between Nattai and Burragorang, over Travis Pass, as Jack Debert named it, though I understand to the locals it is known as “The Get Over”. For an old mountaineer, however, the walls directly above us were too strong an attraction to resist, and I decided to attempt a front attack on the corner of the Highland (Reilly Mountain on the Tourist Map). I had some doubts whether we would reach the top, as we were not prepared for an actual climb, but once up there I expected an easy stroll with magnificent views down into the two valleys. I ought never to have laughed at the girl who once suggested a walk on Nattai Tableland, because it appeared so beautifully flat on the map!
We were extremely lucky with our ascent. The promising little ridge which rises directly above the crossing (A. on the sketch map, not the more distinct corner ridge) led to a little saddle (B) and, turning north with an inhumanly steep rise, but without actual climbing, brought us finally over a few easily manageable rocks to the ridge C. In little more than an hour we stood there panting and looking down to our tents directly below us. The view from the ridge was splendid, and the rock lilies were in full bloom. Rambling along this ridge we came to a plateau where we found further progress by a long and deep gorge, and, instead of going W or SW, we had to go due N for about a mile, until the saddle (F) was reached, where we disturbed a fine wallaby, and had some tucker and a rest. The ridge turned now more W and progress became faster. Our good luck led us to the only water, a tiny rock pool with yellow water full of dead leaves (G). It had been raining only a few days before, so that it would be unwise to rely on water at all at normal times. We were now definitely on the main ridge, which runs along the Burragorang side. From two points (H and I) wonderful views were obtained looking over the Burragorang with Mt.Colong in the background. As it was evidently too late to reach the Pass we decided for an exploration of the Nattai side before returning, in the faint hope of finding a descent to the river. The walls between J and K were investigated but were found too forbidding. From J the ridge L did not appear impossible, thus we climbed down into the gully beyond K, finding several dozens of waratahs in full bloom, but also a disheartening drop in the ridge L. It might not be impossible, but experiments with climbing descents at a late hour of the day are not to my liking. Retreat was the command of the hour, and with the fair number of gullies on the Nattai side our old torturous route was the only way. We filled our only billy again at the rock pool and marched along happily and carelessly. Of our way we felt quite sure, and the sinking sun found us indeed on a spur on top of the Nattai-Little River Junction, but it was the wrong one (E)! With perpendicular walls. The correct ridge, C-D, rose opposite. The spot was fine, but we had no time to enjoy it. Back we scrambled through the darkening bush, until the beginning of our ridge came (D), but also complete darkness. There was no lack of wood and soon enough had been collected to have a roaring fire burning through the whole of the night. We had to be content with two pieces of chocolate each and a cup of tea for dinner, and hungry thoughts were sent to the wealth of good stuff, in out tents. When morning came, we were black as miners from gathering trunks blackened by bush fires, but otherwise quite happy. For breakfast at 5 a.m. the iron ration was handed out, consisting of butter and sugar mixed, an excellent tonic.
Above the valleys drowned in a cold sea of mist, we walked along the ridge warmed by the rising sun. The bush was alive with parrots. Down the steep slope in good Christiania technique (thank God for it, it allows me to catch up even with “tigers”, miles ahead on the way up); Into the river for a wash (very necessary indeed) and then eating from 8 to 2 o'clock with occasional short intervals given to swimming, watching the rich bird life and to botanizing. Eriostemon myoporoides and prostanthera bushes were in wonderful bloom.
Then back to the Nattai Pass and home by car. I was glad not to be the driver! If I can help it, this will not be my last visit to this fine bit of highland, which excels even Narrow Neck Peninsula but, believe me, it has no right whatever to be called a plateau, if one understands this word in the normal sense, namely, “a surface predominantly flat.”
by Dorothy Lawry.
Recently one of our local newspapers reported that a Dutchman had motored 300,000 miles in search of happiness and, on his arrival at Singapore, had sadly admitted that he had not yet found it.
We suggest that he should get out and walk.
This is a recipe for happiness that cannot fail because–
If the Dutchman is “a lunatic at large” - or “one of those whom the gods love”, according to your point of view, he will certainly find happiness afoot wandering the byways of this lovely world;
but, on the other hand,
if he is “a highly civilised man” - “a lover of the fleshpots”, if you must - he will hate the toil and sweat of walking and be so glad to get back to his car that he will be very happy to have finished with walking for the rest of his life.
So, to the wandering Dutchman, and to everyone else in search of Happiness with a Capital H, we say -
Get out and walk.
At the October meeting those present were pleased to join the President in welcoming the following new members:- Miss Joan Atthill, Messrs. Dick Jackson, Jim Hodges, Fred Svenson and Norman Hellyer.
Through the Federation, and on behalf of visiting oversea teachers interested in bushwalking, the Exchange Teacher's Club is asking the various bushwalking clubs to extend invitations to these teachers as they are desirous of seeing as much of the country as possible during their stay in Australia. The S.B.W. has notified the Federation that we shall be pleased to welcome such visitors to our Clubroom and on our walks.
Owing to members changing their plans, or their minds, at the last moment and disorganising arrangements for theatre parties etc. the Social Committee has decided that, in future, all tickets for social functions must be paid for not later than the Friday before the function takes place.
The Federation Council meetings are now open to members of Federated Clubs, and members are permitted to attend without power to speak or vote. The meetings are held on the third Tuesday in each month, commencing at 6.15p.m. at the Scout Club rooms, Carrington Street, Sydney.
As a certain amount of enthusiasm is now evident in regard to holding the annual Concert this year, and a tentative programme has been drawn up, Tom Herbert moved that the motion passed at the last meeting, that no Concert be held this year, be rescinded. The meeting agreed to rescind the motion and Mrs. Joan Savage was appointed director with power to form a concert committee and to co-opt members to help with the function.
Will folks with ideas or willing to assist in any way, please let Joan have their names as soon as possible?
The concert will be held at the New Theatre, on Tuesday, 12th December 1939.
Owing to the mobilisation of various officers of the Clubs it was announced that at the next meeting an election would be held to appoint a new committee man and delegate to the Federation.
As the Treasurer is one of the club officers to be mobilised, the committee has appointed Joyce Trimble as Acting Treasurer. For the information of members who have not yet paid their long overdue subscriptions we believe that Joyce writes a very nice receipt!
But words are things, and a small drop of ink,
Falling like dew upon a thought, produces
That which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think.
In our last issue we reported that a meeting had been called for September 19th at Paddy's to discuss a suggestion for a new camping club. This resulted in the formation of the Bush Club, which has absorbed the H.H.Club, has affiliated with the Federation, and has issued a schedule of walks covering every week-end to the 31st March 1940. This new club certainly got away to a flying start, and we expect that ever increasing numbers of members will be attending its weekly meetings on Friday evenings at Rona Barnes's Studio on the 3rd floor, 15 Hunter Street, Sydney. Welcome to the Bushwalking fraternity, all ye Bush Clubbers!
Talking of Club Rooms, the C.M.W. has moved again, and on Thursday, 19th October, it held an official room warming at 38 Clarence Street (just at the back of Wynyard), at which members of the affiliated clubs were invited to assist in exercising any ghosts, heeby-jeebies, or things-that-go-bump-in-the-night, which may have considered that building one of their favourite haunts in the past.
Talking of the C.M.W., this club is giving 100% support to the “Bushwalker” this year. Normally, its own magazine “Into the Blue”, is published quarterly and is issued gratis to all members. This year the October number has been cut out, and members will each receive a copy of “the annual” instead!
And talking about “Into the Blue”, our pal Brenda White has retired for a well-earned rest and Gwen Giovanelli has taken on the editorship.
Did you know that there is a lot of inter-club debating enjoyed by the members of the Federation? A recent variation was the General Knowledge Contest between the Rucksack Club and the C.M.W. We understand the teams were six-a-side, each armed with a set of questions for their opponents.
“Conjunction Walks” are another way in which the smaller clubs in particular are getting together, and one in which the newer clubs can benefit by the experience of the older one., On the weekend 14th/15th October the Trampers' Club, Campfire Club, and C.M.W. had a conjunction walk to St. Helens from Springwood.
Everyone seems to be going to St. Helens these days. The Bush Club scheduled it from Blaxland as an easy camping trip for October 28th/29th. Soon there will probably be a well worn track there and no one will have the fun of getting lost coming back!
Away, away, from men and towns,
To the wild wood and the downs –
To the silent wilderness
Where the soul need not repress
Its music, lest it should not find
An echo in another's mind,
While the touch of Nature's art
Harmonises heart to heart.
Percy Bysshe Shelley.
by Wiff Knight.
While staying at Cape Tribulation on Cape York Peninsular, I came in contact with two young chaps, Walter Mason and his mate, a Norwegian named Pete Christenson, who has a tin show right up in the mountains between 2,000 and 3,000 ft. above sea level, and due west about 10 miles as the crow flies from the Cape.
We left on Thursday 17th August at 7.30 a.m. in a flat-bottomed boat and sailed 15 miles north to the Bloomfield River, the sea being very calm. We made very good progress and arrived 4 miles up the Bloomfield River (or the Roaring Meg as it is called locally). It is not the crocadiles that roar, but the amount of water rushing over the rapids in the mountains that can be heard many miles away. We saw a lot of small fish about 6 inches long; they are called Skip Jacks because they rise up out of the water and fly along the top with their tales in the water (almost perpendicular) for about 200 ft. and then sink back into the water. We did not see any crocks.
We passed an abo. mission run by a Mr. Biddel and his wife, and called in at the Ayton Store, where the boys ordered their month's supplies to be carried up by packhorses 19 miles to their camp. Then we rowed over to the place of the man who has the pack horses. He invited us in for a cup of tea and a snack. His place was very rough. You would not believe how these people live and put up with hardships. Mr. Pearse, a man of 72, was going to take the hundredweight of supplies up to the boys for 6/-; one day there and come back the next day, and feed himself. He had three horses and rode all the way there and back. There were a lot of ripe manderins at his place and he told us to take as many as we could carry away.
The intention of the boys was to go right through to the camp on Thursday, so they had not provided much tucker, only for one meal, but it got too late to leave so we camped in a kitchen of an abandoned house and ate nearly all of our tucker. Next morning up at 6 o'clock, and after one small slice of bread and jam and two mandarins each we started on our climb. It was cold and we made the pace through 6ft, high grass along a track for a mile and then we had a 1,000 ft. very steep climb. From the top we had a splendid view of Weary Bay, where Captain Cook had a spell.
This part of the country was forest and easy to get through. When we had gone up and down for 7 miles we came to the Roaring Meg again. We had to cross the river but it was a dry time and the water was only a little over our knees.
Next stop was at China camp, where there are a few men still working. This place was booming about 1916. I think it is nearly washed out now. We were empty and I was thinking of getting some tucker at the store there, but the lads showed me it - a slab but with a padlock on and no one about! We had a drink of water and a small slice of bread and jam. I left the tucker part to them and did not fancy doing another seven miles of scrub country over three ranges of mountains of the worst country you would walk in. Three miles from our camp we pulled up at a camp and were given a cup of tea and a piece of damper. That helped me to get there. We were walking along the Roaring Meg again and passed a Gins' camp where four of them live and they work for young Pearse. He is putting in a water scheme that is costing him hundreds of pounds and he has not got a lease of any ground yet. He is falling huge kauri trees and pit sawing them into planks to make a race across a gully to carrying the water for tin sluicing.
At last, at 5 o'clock, we came on our camp. We were all empty and tired. I peeled off and fell in the creek to cool off and we soon had a tea of tinned corned beef and sweet potatoes, and then bed, such as it was. The two lads sleep in the fireplace on saplings with grass on top. They made me a bunk on the tool bench. The rats have an open go. Flour and sugar were in bags on another table. The rats ran over me all night. I was trying to nip them under the blanket, but the tiredness had me beat and I had to doze all night.
In the morning we went along the water race and cleaned it out and kept our eyes open for a pig. A bit of wild pork would be a luxury up there. The pigs were quicker than us; we could not get close enough to shoot one.
In the afternoon I saw how they wash for tin. They make a water race or trench down the piece of land they intend to wash. At the lowest end they start digging and the water runs down and all the loose earth is washed away. Six feet of earth had to be shifted before they came to the tin. The tin is loose in between granite boulders resting on clay. The racks are inspected to see if they contain tin and if not they are thrown away. After the earth is shifted they gather all the tin; it stays behind on the clay. That has to be re-washed to get the sand out of it. Before any digging is done the jungle had to be fallen and left to dry and then burned off to get to the earth, so you can see they earn every penny they get. I am told that they make from £4 upwards per week. Food is very dear, about double what it would cost in a town.
The bush is full of birds of all kinds; king parrots, bell-birds, jackey's, finches, fantails, willie wagtails and the usual night birds. I got some snaps of the upper Bloomfield River and camps but did not get the chance to snap the four aborigines that live in a hut alongside the Roaring Meg.
Sunday morning was spent washing for tin for a couple of hours, then the water failed and we decided to get some fresh meat for dinner. We went through the jungle, Peter first with a cane knife, hacking down cane vines and scrub so we could get through. If you want a drink all you have to do is to cut about three or four feet of cane, hold it up and suck the bottom end and the water will run out and give you a good drink. It is a pity the cane does not grow in the dry areas as there are plenty of running creeks in the jungle. We came out at the river and waited to see some platypus; I was told there ware plenty there but we did not see any.
It is surprising how the boys find their way through the jungle. Walter with a gun went one way, Peter and I another, and we roamed about for over an hour trying to get out. At last I sighted some cut bushes and we followed them and landed right back at our camp.
Sunday afternoon was spent looking over another of their claims where there was an old shack with a couple of pawpaw trees, some bananas and plenty of 6 ft. grass in the clearing.
I decided to leave on Monday morning early as I did not think it fair to be eating their tucker when it was so hard to get. At 7.20 a.m. I left by myself on the return journey and about 1 1/2 miles along I met the pack horses coming in with the boys' supplies. Mr. Pearse's sons were bringing it along the last 3 miles so the old man could have a spell before he returned to Bloomfield. Then the rough climbing started - two mountains to go over. I passed through the China Camp at 9.12 a.m. that was 7 miles off. Just as I came out of a creek I looked up and saw two black heads, and then their owners running away from me. They went so fast that I could not see if they were boys or gins. Feeling good, but sopping wet with perspiration, I was determined to cut the 19 miles out before I had a snack. I crossed the Roaring Meg at 11.5 a.m. (12 miles done!), and had a dip and cooled off 25 minutes; left at 11.30 and covered the last 7 miles by 1.15 p.m. It took me three-quarters of an hour to get across a creek that runs into the Bloomfield River. I had no knife to hack my way through. Walking up and down I at last found a tree trunk by which I could get down to the mangroves. My mind was on crocks as I knew they were in this river. At last I got out on the bed of the creek and, crocks or no crocks, I must have a dip. I selected a shallow place and cooled off for five minutes. When I came out I tied my shoes on by the laces to the buckle of my pack, leaving them hang down. As soon as I started, the shoe bumped the back of my leg, and I jumped with fright; could not think at first what it was! I crossed the creek and went up the bank and lay down in the long grass for a snack and a sleep.
I had another three miles to do to Mr. Bidell's mission. On the way I passed a blacks' camp with fires smouldering everywhere, old bucks sitting beside them, gins standing up, and the nippers running about. They all looked as though they were just waiting for the end.
I found Mr. Bidell and his wife a splendid couple. They made me welcome and put me up for the night. My instructions were to get a black boy to bring me back to my camp from there, fifteen miles overland through jungle.
Mr. Bidell tried hard to get me a boy but they were all sick and one young chap that had been out all night getting a turtle promised to take me back in the afternoon by boat. I had an early dinner and walked down to their camp about a mile to the entrance of the river. No sign of the boy. He had not come over from the other side with his turtle. I waited until one o'clock, then he arrived with his turtle and started to share it round. You ought to see the way they hack and maul it about! You would not fancy being invited for dinner! I got a photo of them.
After he had had his meal the boy came to me and said the wind was no good to sail and for me to come back in the morning. There was nothing left for me to do but to go back to the mission and stay the night. You can't drive them, and when they say “no” you can't shift them.
The next morning I got up at 4.30 and went down to the blacks' camp in the dark. He was nowhere about. I asked an old abo and he said he would take me. As he had a fire I put my billy on and made a cup of tea and had a snack. We left in a small flattie and sailed for about 4 miles; then the wind dropped and we had to row all the rest. About half way, at Cowie Beach, we pulled in for a drink and I jumped over and had a swim. The water was beautifully clear with a sandy bottom.
I arrived back at 12 o'clock to find my wife in the tent waiting for me. She had been staying with Mrs. Mason at her place while I was away and just came down to the tent to see if everything was all right. I was away 6 1/2 days and was glad to get back to a bit of fresh fruit and tomatoes.
A year or so ago some members were inclined to say, “What good is the Federation? What does it do? We don't hear of anything it is doing.” This magazine started its monthly reports on Federation doings so that none of its readers should have to make that final complaint. When we learned that not one S.B.W. Delegate had attended the September meeting of the Federation we thought we were sunk. How could we learn what had taken place if there was no Federation Report available?
Once again it was a case of “Things are never as bad as they look as though they are going to be”. The correspondence tables at the Monthly Meeting included a sheaf of letters and circulars from the Federation on various matters, and Tom Herbert had a copy of the draft Minutes from which to make a verbal report. No, the mystery of the missing notice of that September meeting was not cleared up.
At that meeting the Federation Council was advised that an application had been lodged with the appropriate Govt. Dept. for a lease and a permit to quarry in the vicinity of Colong Caves. It was decided to oppose this application when it comes before the Land Board.
The S.B.W. Delegates being absent, apparently all those present thought an Annual Federation Camp would be a good idea, and a committee of three was appointed to investigate and organise it.
One of the main items of Federation News is that Council has decided that in future its meetings shall be opened to a “gallery” of any interested members of affiliated clubs. They may attend and listen, but not join in the discussions or vote, of course. The meetings are now being held at the Scout Club Room, Carrington Street, Sydney, at 6.15 p.m. on the third Tuesday in each month. If you are interested, there is NO excuse for not knowing what the Federation is doing.
In fact there is no excuse for not joining what the Federation is doing, for this month they asked for various helpers as well as announcing that the Clear Hill Working Bee had marked and defined the Wallaby Track which is part of Duncan's Pass. Some unknown person or persons have cut away the dangerous ladders.
The digging of three Wel1s in Corral Swamp having been postponed till the weather got warmer. This Working Bee is being organised by Brian Harvey for the end of October or early in November, and volunteers were called for.
To prevent destruction in the valley of Heathcote Creek, the Forestry Commission has asked the Federation to nominate some Honorary Foresters. Charles Rolfe and Charles Pryde of the S.B.W. have agreed to accept nomination.
The Department of Local Government having asked the Federation to arrange for a number of copies of the Protected Wild Flowers Proclamation to be taken into the bush and fixed in conspicuous places, several members present at the S.B.W. October meeting took the calico proclamations for erection.
Similar assistance is being sought by the Bushfires Advisory Council but their Bushfire Posters have not yet been received. When Tom Moppett gets a supply, you could take one or two and erect them in suitable spots. There are probably still some Wild Flower Proclamations available too.
If you want to do something bigger and better for the bushwalking movement itself, the Publicity Bureau offers you the chance. It has a panel of lecturers who give talks about various phases of bushwalking to any outside groups who ask for lectures, and it is now forming a panel of bushcraft instructors to go out “hiking” with interested groups who are not affiliated clubs but who wish to learn how to bushwalk. The Publicity Bureau is asking for volunteers as Lecturers and as Bushcraft Instructors – see either Horrie Salmon of the Trampers Club or Dorothy Lawry of the S.B.W. if you are willing to help in this way.
by R.L. Stevenson.
Night is a dead monotonous period under a roof; but in the open world it passes lightly, with its stars and dews and perfumes, and the hours are marked by changes in the face of Nature. What seems a kind of temporal death to people choked between walls and curtains, is only a light and living slumber to the man who sleeps a-field, All night long he can hear Nature breathing deeply and freely; even as she takes her rest she turns and smiles; and there is one stirring hour unknown to those who dwell in houses, when a wakeful influence goes abroad over the sleeping hemisphere, and all the outdoor world are on their feet. It is then that the cock first crows, not this time to announce the dawn, but like a cheerful watchman speeding the course of night. Cattle awake on the meadows; sheep break their fast on dewy hillsides, and change to a new lair among the ferns; and houseless men, who have lain down with the fowls, open their dim eyes and behold the beauty of the night.
At what inaudible summons, at what gentle touch of Nature, are all these sleepers thus recalled in the same hour to life? Do the stars rain down an influence, or do we share some thrill of mother earth below our resting bodies? Even shepherds and old country-folk, who are the deepest read in these arcana, have not a guess as to the means or purpose of this nightly resurrection. Toward two in the morning they declare the thing takes place; and neither know nor inquire further. And at least it is a pleasant incident. We are disturbed in our slumber only, like the luxurious Montaigne, “that we may the better and more sensibly relish it.” We have a moment to look upon the stars. And there is a special pleasure for some minds in the reflection that we share the impulse with all out-door creatures in our neighbourhood, that we have escaped out of the Bastille of civilisation, and are become, for the time being, a mere kindly animal and a sheep of Nature's flock.
Sponsored by Stephenson & Bird, Opticians, Optometrists and Orthopists.
Borrow a mirror and look into the nasal corner of the eye and you will see a crescent shaped fold of tissue, known as the half-moon fold. In man this structure has no great use, it is like the appendix, and is simply the remnant of a third eyelid known as the nictitating membrane.
It is found in some reptiles, all birds and some herbivorous mammals. These latter often graze in long and sharp grass and require protection against the spears of grass which might enter the eye.
In a particular form of desert alligator this third eyelid is well developed and possesses a window, so that in a sand storm the lid can be closed and the reptile can still see through the window.
In certain snakes the upper and lower lids disappear completely and the nictitating membrane completely covers the eyeball and becomes transparent, and forms a fixed film like a watchglass in front of the eye. Tear fluid then washes the eye and passes down the throat without ever reaching the surface. The watch-glass film becomes hardened, insensitive, scratched and scarred, but is renewed whenever the snake sheds its skin.
You have no nictitating membrane over your eyes, and you can't shed your skin but you can protect your sight by consulting Morrie Stephenson.
One holiday week-end not so long ago, a large party of Club members hired a drive yourself truck to take them to their starting point. Like most trucks, it was not so new and they had more than a spot of bother with it.
On one of the various occasions when horsepower had to be replaced by man-power, one of the girls noticed –
The mechanics (?) of the party had given up tinkering and all the men of the party were pushing, shoving and heaving at the recalcitrant truck; all, that is, except the Strong Man of the party, who was standing on a log, solemnly and blissfully practising “strong man” stunts!!
In case you haven't heard the news — on October 14th the stork paid a visit to the Pallins. Jennifer is very thrilled with her baby sister and at once wanted to name her “Rosemary”, but Paddy and May were not to be rushed into deciding that very important matter without proper consideration.
Ex-member Jack Hallett will certainly remember Eight Hour Weekend 1939! After visiting his wife and very new son (John Cyril) in hospital, he returned home to find that burglars had been there in his absence!
Speaking of families and absences and things that keep folk from bush walking, we have not seen much of the Armstrongs or the Austens for a long time, and we understand that Clem and Ada, Ernie and Jean have all transferred to the Non-Active list. However, Jean Austen is back in town now and may be seen at John Sands any time you are buying Christmas Cards.
We are also glad to announce that Doreen Helmrich has returned safely from Europe.
Book these dates, and start saving your pennies –
Tuesday, December 12th - Club Concert.
Tuesday, December 19th,- Christmas Dinner.
“And I never saw a city
full of men manage to be as happy
as a congregation of mosquitoes
who have discovered a fat man
on a camping trip”
From Archy's Life of Mehitabel by Don Marquis.
by Jack Debert.
“Mumbedah” is to be congratulated upon his article “The Cox and the Cow” for apart from it having an appealing and appropriate heading, it is a timely one and contains a wealth of commonsense. Unfortunately it contains a few statements that all walkers cannot be agreed upon.
Can you walkers imagine just what will happen should our Greater Blue Mountains National Park dream be realized and cows prohibited from the domain? What tracks do walkers follow down the Kowmung, Breakfast Creek, the Cox and other places, walkers tracks or cow pads? Admittedly cows are destructive, but if cows did not roam along those places the cow pads (our tracks, which we few walkers do not frequent enough to keep in a state of repair) would soon go the way of wild things. Nettles would bar the way up Breakfast Creek. Blackthorns and blackberries would prevent progress in other parts. Take for example the upper parts of Harry's or Jenolan River where the cows do not bother to go. Do you know where the bush walker walks there Mumbedah? Well he doesn't! He wades in the river with blackberry briars to the left of them, blackberry briars to the right of them and in many cases blackberry briars above them as well.
I have been walking many years but not sufficiently long enough to know whether cows, civilization or what brought these pests into those areas. Most of our pests are imported (that goes for me too) nevertheless when once the pests are here we should endeavour to overcome them. The cows do quite a lot of good for the walker and I have yet to have it proved conclusively that the destruction they do outweighs their benefits.
The statement about “the terrain been unsuitable … than ever greet the slaughterman” is a misstatement. Good money has been made by stockmen from cattle in the Kowmung by the men who knew their business. When new chums put in domestic cows, almost devoid of life preserving instincts (like some city slickers) those poor cows had not enough sense to get off the river flats when floods were raging down the Kowmung. The wilder cattle, belonging to the men who knew their game, calmly climbed up the hillsides and remained alive, not to tell the tale, but to help obtain proof of what happened,
The erection of wooden guards is a sound suggestion, but unless they are of very strong structure they will not withstand the cows attacks. I have had barbed wire entanglements knocked down by domestically inclined cows who sighed for and desired the taste of my prize cauliflowers and cabbages. Nevertheless the scheme has much to commend it for I have kept close watch on certain groves of casurina saplings in the Burragorang and wherever those saplings managed to survive the cattle's desires long enough for their top of the main centre branch to be out of cows neck distance - well they grew and grew right into the air. One glorious example is to be seen just below Paradise Pool where Colemans Creek joins the Wollondilly River four miles above the Wollondilly bridge at Upper Burragorang.
A solution to the felling of casurinas would be to ask the Government to declare them a protected tree, only to be lopped for stock feeding. Many years ago the Upper Burragorang Progress Association endeavoured to have the trees protected, but failed. If the Federation combined with the Soil Erosion Department tried for protection nowadays they should prove more successful.
Be canny wi' the firewood !