A monthly Bulletin of matters of interest to The Sydney Bushwalkers, 5 Hamilton Street, Sydney.
|Associate Ed.||Grace Jolley|
|Oh Yeola||Grace Jolly||2|
|Hotham and Feathertop||Dot English||5|
|Barrington Tops||Bill Hall||7|
|Front Page News||Dot English||11|
|December Flowers||Ray Birt||12|
|Why Not Pick Wild Flowers?||Abores Australia||13|
|Am I Shy?||“Ubi”||15|
|Our Own Meeting||15|
|The Voice of the Social Committee||17|
|Goodman's Bros. Photo Supplies||17|
by Chan Fang-Sheng. 4th Century Chinese Poet.
Cliffs that rise a thousand feet
Without a break,
Lake that stretches a hundred miles
Without a wave,
Sands that are white through all the year,
Without a stain,
Pine-tree woods, winter and summer
Streams that for ever glow and glow
Without a pause,
Trees that for twenty thousand years
Your vows have kept,
You have suddenly healed the pain
Of a traveller's heart,
And moved his brush to write a new song.
Looking at the photo of Yeola in the Annual Bushwalker, made me laugh. Mind you, it's a nice photo, and it is not the photo, but the memories it recalls that brings the smile. The trips down there have always been so funny, to me at least they have seemed so. Of course it always rained whenever we went and it got so that we used to go there in a particularly dry spell just to break the drought for them at Robertson.
The second time we went, we were seven, two of these weren't bushwalkers and the way they carried on about the rain was something dreadful. Certainly they hadn't ground sheets, but still!
Two of us had seen Yeola in fine weather and knew how lovely it was and after trying for weeks to sell them the idea of a weekend there, they were disgusted to find the place surrounded by mist. The mist would lift exasperatingly a couple of inches, reveal an intriguing view of hills and sit down again. Well we couldn't help laughing.
But I am ahead of myself, we really haven't go there yet. Lets go back. Back to Bowral, where the trip was first ruined.
It was arranged that at Bowral, we should hang out of the train and find out the cost of a car to Robertson. Everyone agreed to this arrangement but on arriving at Bowral, Cosgrove hung out of the window and no one else could get a look in, or out, rather. We at the back heard a very reasonable price mentioned and reached up for our packs, the next thing we heard was the usual haggling, offers being generously made, and as generously rejected, and the train pulled out. We all expressed our view on people who spoiled ships for a ha'porth of tar etc., and delivered an ultimatum. A car to be found for us at Moss Vale or else.
Moss Vale. Cold wet and no cars. We knew this would happen and said so.
One of the chaps with commendable forethought pulled out a pack of cards and played patience, on the window sill of the railway station. George Dibley put in first claim to a large dog kennel standing under the overhead steps (if the worst came to the worst) and seeing there was a collar and chain attached to the kennel, we reckoned he was entitled to it.
Bill was being very bright, determinedly so, running after non-existent cars. We still weren't speaking him. So we decided to camp in the Showground. Years ago, before I bushwalked, I used to visit this place at its annual show and little did I think then, dear Reader, that one day, or night, I would sleep there and be glad of it.
A pair of massive bronze gates loomed up out of the mist. A most ostentatious display we thought. “Yes this was the showground” I said with memories of the many two bobs I had paid to go in once upon a time. Now I was going in for nothing. Only the gates to climb and they were only about 8 feet high. George looked hard at the gates and decided he would camp outside. The rest of us started to climb, and believe me those gates may have been the pride of someone's eye but they were a confounded nuisance to climb and we were trying to make no noise.
Over, and the party, in the best “breaking and entering” tradition separated. The less squeamish “found a door open” in the Agricultural Hall and settled there. The rest of us drew the line at “breaking” and just “entered” the pig pens. There was quite a choice, and as is usual in a case like this we took some time to pick the best or what we thought was the best. We stolidly ignored the rain dripping on us till we couldn't stand it any longer. So we moved. We moved up one. An hour later we moved up two and so it went on. At three o'clock I rebelled, I wasn't moving again and said so. I may not have said it very nicely and I may not have used those words, but to be told that “I am doing the best I can for you” in a frigid voice in a pig pen in the early morning is not encouraging.
We rose early the next morning, we couldn't help it, and I wandered down to the Agricultural Hall to see how the others were doing. They were still asleep and over their innocent heads hung a notice, “All dogs MUST wear muzzles”. Whey they woke they pointed out the advantages of the place. “See” they said, pointing to a tap, “running water”. We, I said, had had the same.
George arrived. Not seeing him climb over the gates we enquired his method of ingress and were told that a few yards down from the gates there was no fence at all, any one could walk in. We were not amused. How had he slept we asked. His tent had fallen on him during the night and as a result he had spent a disturbed night. Thing seems even, then, and we felt a bit better.
By this time we were getting a bit tired of the Showground and decided to go back to Moss Vale and get a car to Robertson. There was no haggling this time, or very little, we saw to that.
On arriving at Robertson we thought we would have breakfast on the Railway Station out of the wind and rain. We had it out of the rain anyway. In no time we had everything out of our packs and spread out on the seats. We were going to prepare breakfast on the platform and eat in the waiting room. The station master came out of his little box looked us up and down, mostly down and firmly locked the waiting room, and the ladies room. As none of us cared, at the moment to freeze to death, even to spite the man, we moved off.
We slipped and slid our way down the track to Yeola telling the others of its glories in fine weather, of its luscious blackberries, (it was not the blackberry season by the way) and pulling up at certain spots, would remark that from here you could see right up Kangaroo Valley. As “here” was ankle deep in mud and they didn't seem to have any imagination whatsoever we changed the subject and told them instead of the deserted farm house, of the big fireplace by which they would soon be able to dry out. Looking at the two who were without groundsheets I had my doubts whether a week end would be long enough to dry them out.
Of course Bill overdid the farm-house business. He made it sound like a Hunting Lodge out of Country Life and I knew it couldn't have improved in the eighteen months since we had seen it, and it was pretty far gone then.
“So this is Yeola” said someone, and as though in answer the mist lifted a trifle and green hills were seen quite close.
Almost with the pride of ownership we approached the “house”. The door had been left open so we didn't have to open it anyway, which spoilt the effect a little, and two cows looked out at us resentfully.
The place was in a mess of course but most of the remarks passed were quite uncalled for. We persuaded the cows that it was quite nice outside, even if it was raining, and then tidied up the place and rebuilt the fireplace.
When the fire was going everyone talked at once, “Chairs were drawn up to the fire, the possibilities of the one bed speculated upon and the farming catalogues of 1906 were read with avidity, the diseases of animals being of special interest.
The afternoon span out. The vegetarians prepared their vegetable pie thinking every remark passed about food was an insult to them and at that they weren't far wrong. Green fruit from the trees outside was brought in and optimistically cooked, wasting much sugar and more firewood, but the desire to have something for nothing was too strong to resist.
After tea, positions on the floor for bed, were jockeyed for. The two non-bushwalkers picked the creaking bed and creaked thereon all night. The cows were thrown off the verandah for what we thought was the last time (and the cows knew darned well wasn't) and someone started “On the Road to Mandalay”. We were on that road for quite a while. Every verse was sung, out of order, then they remembered they had a book with the words in it and it was sung through again properly, to their ears, otherwise to the sufferers.
Sunday was still very wet, but most of the party walked to Carrington Falls. To see more water I suppose.
Although we had worked hard on the others they only very grudgingly admitted that Yeola might have possibilities.
So we started home, it was still raining. Back at Robertson, the two outcasts raced off to get a solid meal at the Hotel and just dragged themselves away in time for the train. The guard on the motor train sold tickets with one hand and ice-cream with the other, did big business with the latter.
At Moss Vale the train from Goulburn was waiting as the motor train was running late and the comments of the passengers on the waiting train about the tardiness of walkers in general, won't bear repeating.
The two outcasts have not been seen since but remarks of theirs, libellous too, have reached us through various channels.
But you must go to Yeola, you really must!
Life is particularly rosy at the moment, Due to the fact that I have just returned from a perfectly marvellous 5 days in the snow country. We were fairly slack at work for a few days, so, deciding that life was becoming about as flat as an anaesthetized pancake, Maude and I included ourselves in a party of 10 from work who were going up to Mt. Hotham for some ski-ing. We collected skis from Paddy's representative in these parts (Andy Broad) then off per train some 200 miles to Wangaratta, then service car 50 or 60 miles (more or less), arriving at the charming little Alpine town of Harrietville close on midnight. Maude and I camped on the padded seats of the service car as we are conserving cash for anticipated world tours in the mythological future, while the 8 others put up at the local hotel at 10/6 a head - (too much for a mere 7 hours' worth of bed and a not-so-hot breakfast.')
We had hoped to get pack horses the next morning to take up up the 11 miles of steep mountain side to Mt. Hotham Chalet, but alas they were not procurable so perforce we must walk, carrying all our gear including skis. Maude and I set out about 7 a.m. (we had to vacate our bedroom at 6 o'clock as the car was due to pass on), and it took us until almost 4 p.m. to reach the chalet. We stopped for swims at the creek crossings and sunbaked and rested for odd quarter hours whenever we felt like it, and on the whole quite enjoyed the trip. Still, I don't recommend the carrying of skis as a regular practice up a narrow mountain track.
When we got to the tops there was a vast expanse of snow, so we skied the remaining couple of miles to the Chalet, and had a bit of fun tearing down a steep slope into a nearby gully while waiting for the others to turn up. Most of them got in about tea time, but three made very heavy weather of it (having had a bit of a spree at the hotel the previous night) and didn't get in till about 11 o'clock, arriving like spectres through a dense sweeping mist.
The next day was a beautiful mountain-mist day, and we got our ski-legs by plodding up and swooping down the slopes, and being given a sort of tuition by the experts it the party. Other than the Chalet buildings, no sign of civilization break the rhythmic folds of the hills - wave after wave of misty blue mountains wherever you look in any direction - only away in the distance lies the little cleared green valley and elfin huddle of habitations which is Harrietville.
About 6 miles away as the crow flies, Mt. Feathertop cuts the sky sharply, some 300 ft. higher than Hotham and the highest peak in the district. It looked very much like the Remarkables at Queenstown (N.Z.) up which I had happily cavorted some 18 months ago with friend Birtle, and immediately the mist lifted sufficiently for me to get a good look at it I felt a tremendous urge to go and climb it.
The next day dawned palely through snow mist, born of the sun and the heights, which crept and floated like a soft white summer moth over the high snowy plateaux, making the deep gullys appear as though they had receded to some remote mysterious world apart. So we had fun ski-ing not more than a couple of miles from the Chalet. The next day, however, was perfectly clear - sunshine and blue sky and high floating white clouds. Feathertop stood sharply etched in black and white against the sky, and the clouds passed slowly over it as I set off on the great adventure. It was a 22-mile round trip, which included dropping down off Hotham several thousand feet into a most remarkably steep gully, and then an even steeper climb out of it again and up Feathertop.
There was sufficient snow to ski the first two miles along the Hotham ridge, then, leaving the skis sticking up on the skyline as a landmark for the return trio, I followed along a ridge till I found what looked like a negotiable route down.
The walls dropped for several thousand feet almost sheer down into the valley between Hotham and Feathertop - something like the steep earth slopes around Jenolan - so selecting a strong stick to act as a brake I scooted down the mountain side to the swiftly flowing stream that rushed along the valley floor, then up the other side in a long climb to Feathertop ridge. The snow was hanging down its sides in vast white sheets, and I even saw a minor avalanche and a great heap of avalanched blocks of snow down in the valley - the first time I have ever seen such in Australia - Kosciusko in my experience seems too gently undulating over to go in for avalanches.
I walked in the altogether except for a brief 6” of shorts (pardon me Censor) as it was such beautiful weather and, as possibly I may have mentioned on a previous occasion, Melbourne is not renowned for its fine weather. Anyhow, the result was a considerably sunburnt anatomy, of which I Was painfully conscious when I was carrying my pack and skis back to Harrietville next day, and soon I noted with suspicion the beginnings of a blister on the shoulder, which has now completed its career and passed away enshrouded in positively square yards of shed skin. Can you imagine it! Such a thing has never happened to me since the days of tender pink infancy! However it was worth it.
When I got back to the Chalet it was an hour past tea-time, and mild disquietude was beginning to set in because, although I had announced the fact that I was going to climb Mt. Feathertop that day, I had actually gone off without having mid-day dinner, and that is such a preposterous unthinkable thing for any sane person to do that anyone would be forgiven for entertaining doubts as to my sanity. It rather surprised me to find that, even among skiers, the Bushwalker is still regarded as some sort of rare and peculiar bird given to eating its meals at odd hours, and even occasionally skipping them altogether.
The Hotham-Feathertop region is definitely the most exciting of any place I have yet seen in Victoria, and well worth another visit even if all the snow has melted. Maybe the 4 days at Christmas will see us again sliding down into the happy valleys and climbing up into the high places of the air.
So many people in the club have been over Barrington Tops and have recounted their impressions of the countryside that in this account of my recent holiday I shall not stress that side of my trip but will tell of the people I met en route.
Ken White had made enquiries at Challis House and I had made them at Central Railway Station, and we were both told that there was a train to Dungog at 1.15 p.m. but the indicator board said it went only as far as Newcastle. However, it was going in the right direction and we clambered aboard. At Newcastle we found that there was a connection within a couple of hours, and immediately upon boarding that train I commenced discreet enquiries to find if any of the passengers lived at Dungog.
You see, we had to get car transport to as close as Barrington House as possible. Fortunately the first man I approached was the uncle of Ken Shelton, who, I was to learn, drove the milk waggon from Barrington House district to Dungog. I was assured that we would readily get a lift from Dungog to Salisbury, which is a centre about 6 miles from Barrington House.
Unfortunately at this stage our conversation was interrupted. The train had been stopping frequently and was quickly filling up with male passengers who had been imbibing freely at their local pub. One, a miner, still clad in his mining clothes, and clutching tenaciously a big fish whose head and tail were protruding from a bundle of newspapers, nearly flattened me as he lurched by to sit down alongside me. Another chap, who cheerily informed everybody near and far that he was employed at the “Newcastle Markets”, was dressed in his best. He was sailing well under the weather and commenced to judge our intelligence by asking a series of conundrums. The miner, all this time, was vociferously telling me that the person whose energies were bent in preventing the dapper market worker from telling the conundrums, was the best boxer in the West Newcastle area. However the market worker got a hearing.
“There you are”, he said, “what's twice the age of a thirteen year old boy six years ago?”.
By this time those in the next compartment had broken into song, and we were free for the moment from the constant demands for an answer to the problem. Yes, we had it, but unfortunately were not given another opportunity to tell our answer. The market bloke was loudly demanding an answer for another problem.
“One bricklayer lays bricks at the rate of ten in five minutes. Another lays them at the rate of five in ten minutes. How long would it take to lay fifteen bricks?”
We had that one to but the market man was too quick.
“Come on! Come on!” he yelled, “A hen and a half lays an egg and a half in a day and a half, how many eggs would a hen and a half lay in a week and a half?”
We had commenced to tackle that one when someone near gave an answer that was obviously wrong. During the altercation that followed, the market chap was drawn to give the answer to the conundrum, which he said was “Seven and a half eggs”.
I think the liquor fumes must have been thickening and he and the miner alighted at the next station, one trying to tell yet another conundrum, the other proclaiming that he was not going to sell his fish, he was going to cook it for breakfast.
Free once more I continued my enquiries from Ken Shelton's uncle, whom I found was a very helpful person. He gave us directions where we could find his nephew in the morning, and at Dungog directed us to a saw mill where we spent the night sheltered from the rain.
Next morning we spent an interesting couple of hours watching milk being loaded and treated at the local Dairying Co-op. Society, when Ken Shelton came along and we were at last off to Barrington.
Lunch time found us sheltering from the rain in a shed near the road, when along came a small boy with a stone gripped in each hand. Wishing to be friendly I asked him from whence he had come. “Down the creek”, he answered. “And what were you doing there”, I said. “After rabbits”, was the reply. Seeing no weapons about him, I sarcastically asked him if he caught them by putting salt on their tails. “No”, he said, “I knock them over with stones”. That proved a little too much for me and I again sarcastically enquired how many he had so far killed. “Three”, he soberly answered, I left him, doubt commencing to leak into my mind. Perhaps he may have felled three rabbits after all.
The next person we met was the keeper of Barrington House. We stood in the rain and talked to him for a quarter of an hour. He warned us so often of the difficulties of making a fire in that part of the bush that I was beginning to feel that he was persuading us to put up at his place for the night.
We didn't and went on to make a fire and camp, and to climb to Carey's Peak in sunshine next day. We camped in the tin shed and came down in the mist and rain and ice the next morning - such is Barrington. The weather changes overnight there.
Following the map we came out on the upper reaches of the South Arm of Stewart's Brook. Camp that night was made at the junction of the north and south arms and early next morning we were on our way again.
A debonair stockman was passing by on horseback. We hailed him and enquired at which point the track over the range to Moonan Brook commenced. He gave us directions and galloped on his way. I do not know if all life flows so casually in this pretty little valley, but twice more we saw and passed this stockman. Each time he had stopped by the road to talk to some acquaintance. The third time he became a little embarassed and commented that he would have to hurry on. We saw him no more.
Wandering on through this one time flourishing mining centre we met and talked to Mrs. Carter. She called to us from the front garden where she was pruning shrubs. She was a nice old lady. Evidently her mind had been with her sons. One was a Prisoner of War in Italy and had been wounded in the hand, and the other was a Prisoner of war in Japan. I hastened to lessen her fears, and assured her that I thought the Japanese would give her son reasonably good treatment, and that they would free him after the war, when he would come home to her again. She complained how hard it was to get provisions and thinking of the difficulties her boys had at times in getting supplies, thought perhaps we would like some eggs.
We had ample supplies but found it hard to say no, and in return for the eggs we gave her a packet of wheatmeal biscuits. Not very presentable you say.
We found the turn off to the bridle track over the range to Moonan Brook, and climbing up and over the ridge we came upon an old sundowner camped in a slab hut. The hut was littered about with tins and refuse, and the sundowner, a dirty old fellow if ever there was one, was seated in the hut brewing something in a billy. I looked from the billy to him, and back again to the billy and wondered which was the dirtier.
I found myself unconsciously indulging in a little self-analysis, searching myself to find if I had any traits that would in later life develop and cause me to become a counterpart of this follow. I could not get away from him too quickly, he spoilt the little side creek by which he was camped.
Other than waving to a woman who with her young daughter was digging in the field, we met no one until we hailed a man on horseback to enquire just how far it was to Moonan Flat. He seemed surprised to see us, and appeared amused that we should be touring the country on foot. He gave us directions how to find the little tin hut where he used to live in his bachelor days, we could camp there. I gave him a sly rub, and suggested that he was much better off having someone to care for him now, than in his single days. He laughed, but I noticed that he did not deny it, and after we had passed through Moonan Flat and came to his little hut, I could picture what a lonely life he had led. We did not sleep in the hut but camped by the river that flowed at the back of it.
Next morning we were on our way early and at Belltrees caught the service car to Scone. I stayed at a boarding house that night, and ate boarding house pudding. I do not recommend such places. The bush is far more friendly and there is no landlady to count the sticks of firewood that you put on the fire.
Post-war re-construction, which a year or two ago seemed little more than a dream, is now becoming a real issue. There are many signs that the crusts of conservatism are cracking in places; that now and immediately after the war there will be a good chance of getting something done in conservation. Already new movements with a vital interest in conservation have been formed - notably the National Fitness Council and Youth Hostels Movement. And the National Association of Youth, which is to be formed, may also be interested.
If Bushwalkers want anything done for conservation, they must be clear in their own minds as to just what they do want. So often in the past we have protested too late - after the road has gone through or after the trees have been rung. Our case would be immeasurably stronger if we had a plan. If we could say “This is why we want conservation and this is how we want it done - these are the areas we think should be conserved”.
But the making of such plans is a big job. Even in peace-time, nobody had time to do more than a fraction of the work necessary. Now, with most people working long hours, it just can't be done by any one person. But there are some people who have the knowledge and time to do something towards forming our plans. And there are some who have not very much knowledge but are willing to find out.
After consultation with the Editor of the “Bushwalker”, I have sought out some of these people and asked them each to contribute an article on an aspect of conservation. I am hoping that, when these articles are finished, they will be a start on what might be called our “Conservation Policy”. They might even be used for a small booklet, which would explain our aims to the public.
The first group of articles will deal with “The Need for Conservation” and will start in the January issue.
If anybody wants to contribute, please let me know and I will fit their article into the scheme.
[Cartoon of three bushwalkers falling off a cliff]
“What's the betting we make the front page in tomorrow's papers?”
“I went to the valley of flowers, (No one was with me).
I was there alone for hours; I was happy as could be
In the valley of flowers.
There was grass on the ground. There were buds on the trees.
And the wind had a sound of such gaiety. That I was as happy, As happy could be.
In the valley of flowers.”
I think we have all felt the joy of relaxing with a sigh of content in a flower filled valley; all stress and strain fades away leaving a pervading peace into which one sinks with a dreamy langour.
One of the most abundant of flowers at the present time, and the one nearest of all to Bushwalkers hearts is the Actinotus Helianthi (flannel flower). The popular name Flannel Flower is taken from the soft woolly covering. This wooly covering consists of a mass of branched hair, each hair is a single cell filled with air, so that the dense mass of air containing cells acts as an equaliser of temperature and prevents excess of evaporation. The head like umbel of tiny stalked flowers is surrounded by large attractive white bracts 1 to 2 inches long and often tipped with green. Each tiny flower has a hairy 5 lobed calyx, but no petals. The centre flowers are perfect with a pistil and 5 stamens, but the outer ones only have the 5 stamens. The leaves are grey green in colour.
Another beautiful favourite is the Boronia Floribunda. A very pretty free flowering shrub, found only in N.S.W. it is so abundant round Sydney that the name of Sydney Boronia has been suggested for it, although it is also very plentiful on the Blue Mts. The Flowers are pale pink to deep rose and occasionally quite white. They grow in loose clusters in the axil of the leaves and the 4 petals overlap in the bud. The 8 stamens are alternately long and short and the pistil has a globular stigma often as large as the ovary. Boronia Fraseri, is a Boronia liking damp peaty soil and is to be found in gullies. It has, I think, the prettiest foliage of all the Boronias, the trifoliate leaves being long and narrow with parallel edges. The deep pink flowers have a definite inflorescence, the central flower opening first the branches usually opposite and divided again, each branch bearing a flower.
We next come to one of the legumens. Gompholobuim Latifolium (golden glory Pea). The large golden yellow pea flowers grow singly or a few together in the axils of the upper leaves. The corolla of this Pea flower is often likened to a butterfly “on tip-toe for flight”. The largest of the 5 petals is known as the standard and is so broad that it envelops the other 4 in the bud and forms a reef to shelter the delicate inner parts. The next two narrow petals are called “the wings” and the inner ones which are joined together in the shape of a boat are known as the “keel”, inside which the 10 stamens and pistil are protected. The keel is edged by a dense fringe of hair probably to prevent small robbers, such as ants from entering to steal the honey which is secreted at its base.
Another beautiful favourite now steps to the fore. Styphelia triflora (five corners). The name Styphelis is taken from the Greek Stphelos - rough in allusion to the stiff compact, harsh growth of the shrub. Five corners, the popu1ar name comes from the 5 cornered and often edible fruit. The flowers, pale pink or yellow in colour generally grow singly or in groups of three in the axils of the lower leaves. The cylindrical corolla tube is about 3/4“ long with protruding stamens.
We complete the list with Glossolia (Major and Minor). A delightful dainty orchid growing on a slender stem, usually purple, mauve or white in colour. The single basal leaf grows more or less flat on the ground. Here then, as we approach the end of the year, is a bevy of flowers, the study of which will refresh our souls and give us renewed strength for the future.
“Day Road! Fancy you building your cottage there! Why when I was a boy that was the ridge - on which we children used to gather wild flowers every spring! We called it the Native Rose Ridge. And there were waratahs, too, fields of them. Boronia, did you say? Oh yes, there was boronia, too, but we did not bother picking the boronia, too common! It was only the native roses and waratahs.”
And now, Best Beloved, the ridge is still covered with bush, and there is one native rose on it, the one I bought from a florist and planted! And the waratahs? I don't know of any. All the seedlings I raised, have died.
Yet, outside London, despite the depradations of countless picknickers for countless years, the woods are still a blue mist of bluebells in the spring, the primroses grow at the rivers' brim, and the fields are gold with buttercups.
Why the difference?
It is explained by the long separation of Australia from the rest of the world geologically. Its flora has adapted itself to barren soils, and droughts, and even bush fires if they do not come too often, but it has not developed the means of protecting itself from imported plants and animals, least of all from the devastating fingers of human beings.
And that, Best Beloved, is why you must not pick our wild flowers. They are unique in the world. Cherish and admire them, but leave them alone, or your grandchildren may know them only from pictures.
The constellation of Orion is now rising early in the Eastern sky. It is the most striking and the easiest to picture of all the constellations. It is an area of the sky which is rich in astronomical phenomena.
The red star Betelgeuse (see diagram below) is one of the largest stars known. Its circumference is thought to be as large as the orbit of the earth. It is a diffuse low-temperature star, hence the colour. Rigel, the second star of the constellation, is one of the most luminous stars known - it radiates 6000 times the light and heat of the sun. Its surface temperature is also very high, so that it is bluish-white in colour. The three stars forming Orion's belt are well known to most people, also the three stars forming the sword. Often the sword is called the “pot-handle” - an ugly name for a beautiful star group. If you look closely at the middle star of the sword, you will see that it is hazy. The haziness you are looking at is caused by a great nebula.
Orion's belt is on the celestial equator. This means that it always rises directly East and sets directly West.
According to Homer, Orion was a beautiful youth and Aurora (the Goddess of the Dawn) fell in love with him. This aroused the jealousy of the Gods and Artemis (daughter of Zeus) slew him with arrows. Another myth describes Orion as a great hunter of colossal stature, who died of the sting of a scorpion. After his death, Orion and his hounds were placed in the heavens. He was placed far from the Scorpion (Scorpio disappears from the sky as Orion rises). Of Orion's hounds there will be more in the next issue.
The constellation will be in the position shown below at 9 p.m. on December 11.
There was an old walker said “I
Love shady jokes yes - on - the sly
While relishing burble
Provided its verbal,
In print, bless my soul, am I shy?”
A letter was received from the National Youth Parliament, saying that, due to call-ups of members of the Executive and the illness of one member, there would be no session on October 31. The Youth Parliament is to go into recess but it expects to be absorbed by the new National Youth Association.
The Social Secretary reported adversely on the epidiascope. Describing it as an “infernal machine”, she said - “Photographs have to be whisked on and off at such great speed, that we neither have time to see them, nor have the photographers time to tell us anything about them.” She suggested slides only for the next photographic night.
The meeting disapproved of North Era as a site for a youth hostel. The four areas outlined by the Conservation Bureau as primitive areas (see Federation report) were approved and two more added. These were the area between Wattamolla and Gundimaine Bay and the Barren Lands (South Coast). Our delegates were instructed to make it clear to the Federation that the acceptance of these six areas would not exclude other areas which might be defined as time permitted.
Betty Isaacs and John Noble were elected room stewards for two months.
The Secretary has a large number of Bush Fire Prevention posters which she would like members to take away with them to place in suitable spots.
At the Extraordinary General Meeting, held after the Ordinary Meeting, Wal Roots was elected Vice-President. Wal was already on the Committee as Federation delegate.
The C.M.W. is still strongly opposed to the Youth Hostels Movement; some letters had been received asking Federation to protest against the erection of the proposed hostel at Marley; and generally there seems to be a growing sense of fear and dissatisfaction regarding this movement because the first hostel is to be erected in the National Park.
Wire can be obtained for the Garrawarra Park fence. The line of the fence is yet to be decided.
Mr. Jacobs, delegate to the Parks and Playgrounds Movement, reported that its Annual Meeting dealt very fully with the Federation's Deputation to the Minister for Lands. Bilgeola Head has been handed over to the P & P.M. by the owner, Mr. A.J. Small. The Annual Report also contains a suggestion that all future war memorials take the form of parks, not monuments. A letter of support and congratulation was sent to the P. & P.M. and a letter of appreciation to Mr. A.J. Small.
It was resolved to revive the Search and Rescue Section. The Conservation Committee is preparing a conservation scheme for the Blue Mountains based on the N.P.P.A.C's Greater Blue Mountains National Park Scheme. Four years ago this was adopted as the Federation's principal conservation project. The following areas are suggested as roadless areas - (1) Bouddi Natural Park (2) Kariong Peninsula (3) In Kuringai Chase the areas between the railway and Cowan Creek and between Cowan Creek and Commodore Heights, the former to be without any buildings like Youth Hostels. (4) The eastern side of Berowra Creek from Crosslands to Kangaroo Point. (5) In the Cheltenham Wahroonga Area - between Kissing Point Road and the Fox Valley Road as regards the area along the Lane Cove and its tributaries. (6) Lindfield Park - no roads along the Middle Harbour or its tributaries,
Astrologically speaking. This month it will be difficult to attend to any serious business with any continuity of purpose. A very negative month with a tendency to escape work. The temptation to follow the lure of easy money must be resisted. The desire for escape could cause temperamental people to dash off on strange roads that are full of pitfalls. All in all, a difficult month.
Read in a magazine that Soya Beans are used for making glycerine, varnish, billiard balls, notepaper and auto parts. Am now wondering if the benefits derived from eating Soya Beans would still be obtained by eating the abovementioned bi-products I suppose one could soak the billiard balls in glycerine for easy assimilation.
This month's mystery. Tuggy in the Club Friday night about 6.30 p.m. hysterically tearing up quantities of paper, burning them on the dustbin lid, then calling weakly for a cigarette. Sympathetic pumping only brought the answer “So would you have”. Beats me.
Situations Vacant. Tactful and capable Cook-Chaperone, guaranteed not to sleep in camp (references) requires a situation. Preferably one that needs handling.
Lady with 7 x 5 mosquito curtains desires to meet gent with 7 x 5 tent. View to platonic friendship. Duration of summer only. Apply in first instance to Committee.
DETOUR. The roughest distance between two points.
MIDDLE AGED. A person ten years older than you are.
I know not where tomorrow's paths may wend,
I have not been told; but this I know,
Whichever way my feet are forced to go,
It's no good getting hostile till the end.
|December 18th (Friday) 7.45 p.m.||Christmas Party at the Clubroom. XX.|
|January 14th (Thursday) 8 p.m.||Visit to the Observatory - First Division. N.B. As the maximum number is 15 persons per visit, this date is reserved for those who wanted to be included in the previous visit, but were too late! Alas!|
|January 15th (Friday) 8 p.m.||Lecture by Mr. Hanson illustrated with slides and entitled “The Moon”.|
|January 21st (Thursday) 8 p.m.||Visit to The Observatory - Second Division. For 15 other stargazers.|
|January 29th (Friday) 8 p.m.||“Scope Night” - That night of surprises. Positively no connection with Epidia-scope.|
XX The Christmas Party will be held at the Clubroom this year, and will be a Supper Party and not for tea as previously. Come as early as you like, to change into your “After 20 Years of Rationing” outfit, or wear it in of course, if you dare! The Orchestra will be about at 7.45, so don't miss a minute.
P.S. If you haven't time to think 20 years ahead, come just as you are after 6 months of rationing.
The Social Secretary.
For all your photographic requirements and for excellent developing work and enlarging service.
20 Hunter Street, Sydney (opp. Wynyard) Tel. B3438.
Being a truthful sort of cove Paddy is not a really good advertising man at any time.
Being a law abiding citizen and anxious to comply with all the many war time regulations, he carefully takes note of all the prohibitions which circumscribe the advertisers art.
So, between trying to be truthful and law abiding, it's a bit hard to know what a man can say.
Paddy cannot even give his customers, clients, and cobbers seasonal greetings, lot alone…
But enough. You'll still find a little camp gear and lots of service under the sign of:
Camp Gear For Walkers.
327 George Street, Sydney. 'Phone B3101.