A monthly Bulletin devoted to matters of interest to The Sydney Bushwalkers, 5 Hamilton Street, Sydney.
|Assistant Editor||Grace Jolly|
|Business Manager||J. Johnson|
|Production Assistant||Alice Wyborn|
|Sales & Subs||Betty Dickenson|
|Sept. Week-end to Carlon's||Edna Garrad||5|
|De-mosquito-ing Bouddi||Marie B. Byles||6|
|Letters from Lads and Lasses||8|
|Ski by Winter||Len Scotland||11|
|River Canoe Club Maps||11|
|Backyard Bushwalking (Paddy Pallin)||12|
The basic cause of erosion is the lack of awareness that the soil is part of mankind - an integral part of the unity which is our bodies and our deeper selves, our thoughts and our inspiration.
Exploited impoverished soil loses its essential living quality. Is it strange that the nations who draw their life from this soil should slowly lose some vital essence of themselves - as the Romans did, and the ancient Greeks after their forests had gone, their streams dried up, and dessication set in on their peninsula?
Age-old Egyptian cities are filled with sand. The Roman Empire made the deserts of North Africa, Mongols flooded Europe when deserts started to encroach on their own pastures. Are we unconscious of history or are we deeply careless of the future?
From “Soil and Civilization” by Elyne Mitchell. S.M. Herald 9.9.44.
Brisbane 1943. Enter conservative traveller from the South to whom travelling by mistake in a first class car with a second class ticket was a moral sin and who well remembers his first attempt at “hitching”. I had missed the train up the Blue Mountains for my official walk and I suspected that no one likely to be present knew the country. I thought of every possible means of making the journey to Faulconbridge and could see no alternative but to attempt to “hitch” from the Nepean bridge. Many a criminal must have committed murder much more light heartedly than I, for the first time, raised my thumb. To add to my confusion and injured feelings the first car turned off the road a few hundred feet in front of me and the second car when it pulled up proved to be a taxi. My gratitude was immense but I did not know at the time that to “hitch” a taxi is, amongst professionals, a very bad faux pas.
So in Brisbane 1943 I naturally first surveyed the orthodox methods of transport and made my maiden trip by train at Xmas, the alleged season of good-will towards man. Realizing that it is well nigh impossible to get a pack on the trams, and living close to the city, I eschewed this method of transport from the beginning, first making quite long journeys by foot rather than face the problem of getting on a tram and, just as important, getting off again. Innocently, with the rest of the crowd I milled into that railway compartment with my pack, only to find that in the whole carriage there was not a rack 1arge enough to hold it nor was there room to put it on the floor. I was dejectedly contemplating nursing it for the whole journey when the idea occurred to me to place it in the luggage van so I rushed along at one station and was remonstrated with by the guard on account of the possibility of holding up the train. The train took only four and a half hours to dash over 67 miles of flat country so of course every second was valuable. There was no accommodation of any kind on the train and, not being in the least degree hot, no water. The return trip was made in a motor train of such ancient vintage that Stephenson's “Rocket” would have felt ultra-modern in its company and which moved so wildly that I was quite alarmed. However I sustained no injury beyond a lump on the forehead where I was flung against the window. These experiences caused me to enter the cautious phase of my life as a traveller.
The South Coast beaches and sunshine next attracted me. On this line is daily enacted a drama having some of the features of the Hampden maze and some of the riddle of the Sphinx. A train leaves Brisbane which is not one but consists really of two halves - ordinarily the sheep going to Southport or the goats off to Coolangatta are shepherded to their respective compartments by notices and railway officials, but this occasion being a holiday, everyone was confused and there was much speculation as to which half went where. Zero hour came at a small platform in the middle of the bush where the ceremony of breaking the train takes place and here a large crowd, myself included, was pushing up and down the line in the rain endeavouring to discover which train was which. Just as I made sure of my portion it began to disappear and I frantically after it until a yelling official told me that it was just going to be parked somewhere temporarily. Eventually one finds oneself on the move again but if one has been facing the engine now one has one's back to it. The whole operation can be understood if you are prepared to diligently study it and include a daylight inspection of the junction but it is wiser to get into the correctly labelled portion of the train and try to ignore anything that happens. (Even if you are on the wrong “bit” you are sure of quite a pleasant weekend).
A grand old “mixed” brought us back from Canungra. The “mixeds” are like elderly, portly 1adies - you do not expect them to be fast and they have no pretensions so you can be tolerant. The two compartments attached were full so we obtained permission to ride in a half-empty truck which proved luxury travel both for sight-seeing and for coolness. All track records were broken in a 48 mile run occupying five and a quarter hours.
The whole train position was wicked but we soon decided that we would not complain, not even as we dug ourselves out of the coal dust, as long as there was a train but we quickly realised that the few convenient times were quite inadequate for walking trips.
One day a local happened to mention that a lift could be arranged to his district by milk lorry from a Brisbane factory and that news was a seed which did not fall on stony ground. I interviewed the milk receiving department and, as a result, lay in wait for a truck coming from Beaudesert, the centre of a region almost famous for its walking attractions. As I stood on the corner I missed what was probably the only opportunity which will ever come my way of getting rich quickly. The case I carried was apparently the snare, for I had to keep up a constant conversation telling Allied servicemen, who inquired both openly and covertly, that I was not dealing in black market whisky. To one thirsty enquirer for a drink “around here” I pointed out that there was a large milk depot opposite but he disgustedly replied “Ugh, that stuff 'd kill me”.
Several weeks later we commenced our Easter trip on this milk lorry, each one perched on an empty can. The noise of the empty cans was terrific, particularly as we made several detours over rough country roads nor was the riding very smooth so we arrived at our destination somewhat battered. I have had many trips on this lorry since, the last one being so violent that I was unable to sit down in comfort for many days afterwards, besides nearly putting my thumb out of joint. It would happen on that occasion when I was some miles from the station at the end of my trip that a chap should offer to take me there on horseback.
Next morning we completed our journey by service bus but on the roof as the inside was crowded. This concession was as pleasant as the open railway truck and we enjoyed it as much. The return trip should have been made by the same bus but we missed it by a mere two or three hours so after exhausting every avenue we decided to try to stop a goods train on the [illegible] line. This was accomplished without difficulty and within fifteen minutes we were aboard the train and snugly stretched out in our sleeping bags on the floor of the guard's van. On reviewing transport expenses we found that we had travelled 40 miles by lorry, 35 by service bus and 60 by train for 6/6d. To crown it all the tram conductress, thinking we were soldiers, gave us concession fares.
The denoument of this trip had most valuable repercussions, for this line passes through excellent walking country adjacent to Lamington National Park though the only passenger train is the daily express each way at a very inconvenient time. However I heard that it was possible to travel up by goods train so one Friday night found us infiltrating the goods yard - crawling over sidings and under trucks on the track of an alleged early departing train. We found it and gradually got to know the “ropes” as the Army says, with the result that we now ring up during the day to enquire the hour of departure of all “goods”. Of course chance looms large in our arrangements but it is quite true to say that we have never been seriously put out at any time.
At one station, most strategically placed, all trains stop and it is here that we plan to finish all our walks in this country. Upon arriving one enquires when the next goods is expected - it may be in half an hour or it may be in six hours. In the former case we skip tea, in the latter we adjourn to the beautiful creek only one hundred yards from the station and dine from the remains of our food then perhaps sleep on the station secure in the station master's promise to wake us when it is time. On one occasion I arrived in Brisbane at 3.30 a.m. and on another occasion at 5.30 a.m. but the chances of not arriving before six on Monday morning are very remote.
Increasing knowledge brings finesse. Local people mentioned that trains would sometimes stop right near the border which would save us a six mile, though pleasant, road walk. Our first engine driver was dubious on account of the steep grade but said that the train would be moving so slowly at this spot that if he slackened speed a little we could jump off quite easily. So selecting an empty truck each we waited until the driver blew the whistle to let us know the location - for it was night - then jumped. We never walk up that road now. Of course I tell my Queensland friends and those from other States that such convenience can be expected only on a N.S.W. line.
(to be concluded)
The silence and the sunshine creep
With soft caress,
O'er billowy plain and mountain steep
A velvet touch, a subtle breath?
As sweet as love, as calm as death,
On earth, on air, so soft, so fine,
Till all the soul a spell divine
The grey gums by the lonely creek;
The star-crowned height;
The wind-swept plain; the dim, blue peak;
The cold, white light;
The solitude, spread near and far
Around the camp-fire's tiny star;
The horse-bell's melody remote;
The curlew's melancholy note
Across the night.
George Essex Evans.
It had been a monotonous journey. Crowded train, slow speed, and outside drizzling rain and a heavy overcast sky. Suddenly however, as we approached Lawson, everyone sat up as if electrified. It was snowing in September! There was a rush to train windows, and lots of animated conversation where before everyone had been quiet and bored. As we climbed from one mountain town to another the scene became more and more beautiful. The snow had been falling some time and there were deep banks beside the railway line, and the trees which at first were just sprinkled with snow became heavily laden with their white burden.
Katoomba is a hideous town, but this day it was beautiful. The roof tops, the lawns, and the roadway were completely covered with snow, and each shrub and tree was an exquisite thing. The japonaoas were amongst the most beautiful, as the red of the flowers glowed beneath the mantle of snow.
We took the bus out to the golf links (our bare legs having been bombarded with snow balls by the local lads) and here the loveliness was breathtaking. The links were just one huge white expanse, and the trees between the fairways each had an individual beauty. They were cyprus and sundry English trees which vied with our gums in lovely silhouettes.
It was still snowing as we left the bus and proceeded towards the Devil's Hole. The track was slippery and the weighted bushes smothered us with snow as we descended. In the comparative shelter of the Hole itself we found patches of snow, and the way was slow and awkward. We looked ahead to a most extraordinary sight. The valley seemed filled with mist which had taken on a golden light from the westing sun, and through the mist there was a shaft of sunlight striking the orange faces of the Narrow Neck. As we went from the white tops into the green valley we regretted leaving behind so much loveliness.
However it was quite dark and we hurried on our way. In the dark, sometimes in the rain, and by torchlight it was a slow progress, but when we reached the road near Duncans there were stars overhead and a brilliant coldness in the air.
We arrived at Carlon's about 1 1/2 hours later than our schedule - a somewhat cold, tired and very hungry trio, but still excited. Mrs. Canlon served us with one of her typical dinners, and did we enjoy it!
We were entertained around the fire by a group of lads from Lithgow, and when finally we slipped very contentedly beneath our blankets, it was very pleasant for once not to have to worry about tent poles and gathering bracken and dead leaves for a bed.
Next morning was bright and clear with a cool breeze - excellent for walking. After a hearty breakfast (including cream on our porridge and jam!!!) we took the sawmill track and as we reached the higher slopes the views across the valley were fine. Our route was via Mitchell's Creek on to the Narrow Necks. The creek was full of tall tree ferns and other attractive foliage. Not so pleasant were the lawyer vines which lacerated our legs. We came at length to the tree in which some thoughtful soul had some time ago placed nails to assist those not quite sufficiently monkeylike to climb without aid. We had previous1y looked at this tree from above but hesitated to descend with packs in case we could not get up again. (Would suggest that if anyone is going through that way they take a supply of good strong nails as those at present in the tree have served their day). The party having safely negotiated this hazard, we made our way to the overhang at the top of Mitchell's Creek, and had lunch with the sun pouring down upon us. When we reached the main track along the Narrow Necks the wind had dropped, and visibility was excellent. We admired once again, as we always do, the lovely valleys and ridges extending into the Burragorang and beyond, and the cloud shadows and sunlight gave an everchanging variety to the Megalong Valley. We had time to be leisurely, to pause when we wanted to, and joy of joys - we had no heavy packs. I assure you it is a good thing to go away for a week end with a pair of pyjamas and Sunday's lunch! …
Marie B. Byles.
The possibility of getting rid of mosquitoes by means of fish first came into my mind from hearing that the Army Medical Corp was stocking with fish certain malarial streams in North Queensland/ Enquiries from the Board of Health showed that there was little danger of dengue or malaria from our Sydney streams, but that did not alter the unpleasantness of mosquitoes in our popular Bouddi Natural Park.
The enquiries were pursued and it was discovered that a fish called Gambuoa Aginia found the mosquito larvae the most delectable of foods, that Mr. Meadows, the Newcastle Health Inspector had some of these estimable fish under his care, that if they were placed in fresh water to begin with, they did not mind getting acclimatized to the salt lagoons, and best of all that they were very prolific breeders. Mr. Meadows kindly gave me full directions about feeding them on rolled oats and putting them in the streams, and rang me up when he had put a kerosene tin full (about 200) on the train for Woy Woy. Eckhart Heilpern (Bush Club) and Laurie Raynor (S.B.W.) collected them here and transported them to Putty Beach and Maitland Bay.
Our attempt to “fish” the first stream was done by gingerly dipping a cup into the kerosene tin and after the third or fourth try landing one tiny fish about an inch long, and placing him (or her) in the pool. After about a quarter of an hour we had managed to catch eight fish, and praying that the sexes were properly mixed, we went on to the next stream. There was then a long controversy as to whether it might be possible to pour the fish out. The majority considered they would either come out en masse or stop at the bottom. EventlIally Laurie stopped the debate (rather unlike his usual self!) and started to pour. Much to our delight about 25 fish swam out happily into the pool. We then started off over the hill to Maitland Bay. Eckhart conceived the brilliant idea of putting the kerosene tin in his rucksack. But it did not work. The water slopped out of the holes, and we found, not only water, at the bottom of the pack, but one of our precious fish. So there was nothing for it but to carry the tin in the hand, not the easiest or lightest thing to carry along the rough rather overgrown footpath, where Eckhart's giant frame was usually bent double to get under the trees.
However, the job is now done. The streams at Putty Beach and Maitland Bay have all been “fished”, and we shall do the one at Little Beach, which never dries, when we have the next working bee in May 1945. At the same working bee we proposed to make a concrete dam at Tiny Beach below the best of all the camping spots in the park, and perhaps we may stock this at the same time.
So far, so good. There is only one little trouble, and that is that these fish bring forth their young alive, like sharks, and not in the form of eggs. This means that if the streams dry up, they die, and there is this risk with regard to most of the streams, and even the little brackish lagoons, around Sydney. It is therefore up to some promising you science graduate, who wants his B.Sc. to invent a fish which produces spawn as indestructible as mosquito larvae. Until then we only pray to the rain gods not to send us a drought like the last.
The arrival of the notice of the Half Yearly General Meeting with its frightening threats and ghastly alternatives, arrived unestatiously into the homes of many unsuspecting Bushwalkers. Such a crowd turned up on Sept. 8th, the day of the meeting. that we suspect the date had been viciously marked on most calendars for some time.
Apart from some GeneralBusiness the really beligerant portion of the notice read:
5. “To consider the following motion by Mr. A. Wyborn:
that the following be inserted in Section 5 after sub-section (a) of the Constitution.
bb. “Members are expected to lead at least one walk per year if requested. Failure to comply will result in transference to non-active membership. The Committee may waive this rule in special cases.”
6. “To consider the following motion moved by Mr. J. Hunter:
That the following be inserted in Section 5 after sub-section (a) of the Constitution:
bbb. “Members who do not complete three or more walks with the club per year shall be automatically transferred to non-active list. The Committee is to use its discretion in exceptional circumstances.”
Fighting words to Bushwalkers. But they rose to the occasion. A full house, stirring speeches by the opposition and sarcastic interjections and the meeting was almost pre-war. Old members who perhaps haven't seen a track for years emerged from their hideouts (marvelous service P.M.G.) and entered the ring to do battle in the war against regimentation.
Mr. A. Wyborn and Mr. J. Hunter each touched delicately if insistently on the increasing decadence of the Club as a walking club and had several supporters. There were several against the motion as well. Marie Byles gave a very forceful speech the gist of which seemed to be that most of the old members who did not go on official walks were those who were doing a large amount of work of some kind or another for the club. The others apparently were really concerned about the birth rate and were doing something practical about it. Official walks and the birth rate are things apart. After this and several speeches in the same vein we did think the Walks Secretary had an awful nerve expecting leaders for his walks. May we suggest that Mr. Wyborn refrains from asking any who appear deeply interested in the birth rate to lead walks, as a refusal often offends. Tom Herbert, Ch. Colberg, M. Harrison and others all gave impassioned speeches.
Yes, you guessed it. The motions were defeated.
Letters were received from the fol1owing members during September:
Remember Me? I have once again changed my abode and am now, as you can see, out in the dead heart of Orstrilyer, the land of opportunity, the golden west where men are not men but 18 years old air trainees or elderly civilian labourers. Sacramento, I do get stuck into some strange spots, don't I? But what I did to deserve this, I don't imagine, my life is entirely blameless, (well almost) and nothing I've ever done could possibly warrant banishment to this far flung out-post of the Empire. It is quite the most uninteresting country I've ever been in - not a hill between here and Perth to break the howling gales that sweep across the prairie. Last stand-down I went for a walk - trotted about 6 miles but might just as well have stood on one square foot and lifted my feet up and down for all the change in scenery. Never in all my life have I seen so much sky at one time. I'm all for the wide open spaces where men are men, but these spaces are a bit too wide and the men are only 18 or cripples. What a life.
This is a flying training school and every one dashed about looking most terribly important, but having been in the Air Force for 2 years I secretly suspect that it is all just a lot of hooey and that nobody is important and that nobody has anything to do and just dashed about in such manner to sort of draw a red herring or two or three over the trail. Of course I may not be right but it is just a theory I have.
The unit is about 2 miles out of the town and for all the good that is it might just so well be 200. The town is just a town and the whir1 of reckless social gaiety is confined to movies and a dance put on by the local Comfort's Fund on Tuesday. There is a ball once a month to which the farmers and their numerous female offspring give their patronage, clad in the most astonishing array of “evening gowns”, with sequins and things scattered will-nilly over the entire ensemble.
We have a dance on the unit on Mondays and most of the girls trot along very resplendent in their chiffons and their organdies with much trilling and flouncing and much in the way of floral decoration in the hair, and eye-shadow and gord knows wot-not. All their finery is covered by the Service great-coats, airwomen for the use of, and they trot off clutching their 2/- and appear to have a wonderful time. I am afraid that I have lost my joie de vivre, because I am no longer anxious to wear my very best-go-to-meeting evening gown and silver slippers and wait to be asked to dance by pimply 18 year old youths with their hair plastered down with petroleum bought at the canteen for 8 1/2 per -jar. I am afraid the rot is setting in, because I prefer to sit by the little stove in the hut and do my knitting and read my book and make myself a cup of tea at 9 o'clock and then go to sleep on my couch of straw, and snarl inwardly at the roysters coming home at the indecent hour of 11.30 and stumbling over the kit bags in the aisle of the hut.
I have found it so cold here after the warmth of Queensland's sunny skies that I have only been out at night to the movies on the station (and then under loud protest) about twice in the two months I have been here. It has been bitterly cold - (refer 1st paragraph, in regard to cold and wind coming from Perth). The last couple of days have been considerably warmer, but not enough for me to cast off one of the numerous layers of clothes in which my body beautiful is swaddled.
I am not on my own work, which is also a blow but am working (or rather, in attendance) at the Hospital in the orderly team, and muddle about with medical records and specialise in being sympathetic with the wrong patients. Somehow I seem to have a faculty for being nice to the wrong sorts and usually find that the “poor man” who looked so terribly ill and was waiting to see the doctor wasn't really ill, but only had to see the doc. to have his physical fitness verified for his week's hard labour, for on account of because he was drunk in town and battered a harmless civilian to death, or such. I have learned to call the old common cold a “coryza” and talk nonchalantly about “appendiscotomy” and “tonsilectomy” with carefree abandon.
I won't comment on your very news letter because it was written on 24th May (Shame on you, Elizabeth) and you will not have the remotest idea what you wrote on the 24th May, but it was really a most entertaining screed and I enjoyed it today re-reading it as much as ever. Your letters always entertain me. 'Scuse this being typed, but if I wrote a letter here at the hospital it looks as though I'm just loafing and could be better employed, but if I type, and make a great clatter with the keys, everybody thinks “Poor girl, she is terrib1y busy, we must not disturb her”.
We live in long tin huts, there is not a two storey building on the entire estate and from the distance it looks like “Stalag 999999”. The WAAF are in what we refer to as the Compound, sounds like an enclosure for wild animals. There are not many girls here, and we have about 24 to a hut, and you can imagine that it is about as private as a zoo. Isn't it extraordinary the ritual some girls go through when preparing for bed? We have little fue1 stoves in the centre of the hut and all sit around it at night cursing our unhappy lot and discussing what the sergeant said and what we said to the sergeant, and sooner or later we get down to the subject of food and leave and then we start all over again. One day, when I find a girl who is ready willing and able to discuss some matter other than the above mentioned topics on a RAAF station I will fall flat on my face in a foaming fit and will then be a patient in my own hospital. We have no sports facilities on the unit but can play tennis in the village on Saturdays on the town courts. This is pleasant enough if we can manage to get a game, but it usually is rather crowded, so we just take a packet of biscuits and an apple and go out and sit and brood and watch the sky.
At the August meeting the newly formed Blaxland Bushwalking Club applied for and was admitted to membership of the Federation. Mr. Theo Atkinson was welcomed as its delegate, not only as representing a new Club, but also as a past Hon. Secretary of the Federation and one of its representatives on the Garawarra Park Trust.
As a Trustee Mr. Atkinson reported that the Ranger at Burning Palms has been living in a tent, which has now gone the way of all tents, and that the Trust has obtained a special Government grant of £100 for materials for a hut for him. A design to blend in with the scenery has been chosen, the timber has been obtained, and has been cut to size by the National Park Trust; and the Garawarra Park Trust now needs bushwalkers to form a working-bee to carry this timber down from Maynards to the site prepared at the southern end of Burning Palms Beach. The week-end chosen for this job is the fourth in September, 23rd and 24th - so will all big strong members please note the date, and the place - that that the material has be be carried downhill, but not back up again. That should be easy, particularly if there is a good roll-up.
The Federation meeting was held before the latest cuts in the railway timetables. It may not be possible to carry out the arrangements, but if all those who are prepared to go if transport is available will send in their names (and 'phone numbers or addresses) we can arrange to have them advised what is doing.
The Federation had received a reply from the Forestry Commission to a letter asking what timber-cutting rights, if any, were in existence in the area of the proposed Blue Mountains National Park. The Forestry Commission said there are none on any of the Crown land there. Therefore, if bushwalkers should come across anyone cutting timber, it would be in order to question the person as to his right to do so.
In response to a request from the Federation, the Military authorities have agreed to the release for sale to the public of the Port Hacking District Map. However, for security reasons, the Hawkesbury River map is not released.
Attention was drawn to the fact that the upper part of the Grand Canyon track is closed, and that the notices are not very obvious. It was decided to write to the Blackheath and Katoomba Councils asking that the through track to Medlow be re-opened.
It was reported that some of the bolts are loose and the C.M.W. delegates were asked to see if anything can be done to have these bolts replaced, if possible by larger ones.
The Rover Ramblers' Club has agreed to act as convenor for the organising committee for this year's Reunion and will co-opt members of other Clubs to assist in the work. The camp will be held at the end of October, and suggestions are wanted for a site.
By L Scotland.
You Will Be Surprised to learn that you can Ski Before Winter. See Bertie Willier on the Sand Bronte Way and you Sure Will Be Fit when you go South by West to a Snow Bound World.
Don't get the idea that sand skiing is all hard work and only to be endured as training for the winter holiday. Far from it. For, after a little practice you will probably looking for higher and steeper sand hills.
If you have your own skis don't be afraid that the sand will harm them as they will be protected by a wax which we melt onto the skis.
If you have no skis they can he easily and cheaply made from two pieces of wood (spotted gum) 4 in. x 1 in., 7 ft. long costing 5/- at most.
Whether you be novice or expert you will benefit by practice on the sand as Snowplow, Stem, Christiana and Telemark turns are all possible and as we estimate speeds of 30 mph are attained, sand ski-ing is a sport in itself.
I would be glad to enlighten further anyone interested.
In a letter received from Ted Caines Phillips, Convenor Topographical Section, River Canoe Club N.S.W. particulars are given of their latest productions, with the reminder that they are for the use of any member of the federated c1ubs or interested non-members.
Map No. 23 Colo River… a useful canoeists' chart showing location and nature of rapids and other data… river topography by Bruce Stuart.
Map No. [illegible] Hastings River… complete canoeists' chart from Forbes River Junction (Yarras) to Wauchope (with inset showing canoeable section of Morton's Creek and short section of Ellenborough River).
Optometrist and Optician. Tel. B3438.
Modern methods of eye examination and eye training. Careful Spectacle fitting.
Fixing an appointment will facilitate the reservation of time for giving you proper attention, but should you be unable to ring us beforehand your visit will be welcome at any time you may chose to call.
We have a fan mail! Someone, besides the editor (and the censor) reads this column. Fancy fan mail! Not exactly “mail” because it was a phone call and not exactly “fan” either! But near enough. What really occurred was that our reader happens to be an apiarist and his eagle eye spotted the sentence about the bees “with pollen baskets full they speed from flower to flower with frantic haste to fill the larder with honey against times to come”. Now were rather proud of that sentence. It scans nicely. But alas! Scientifically if stinks. According to our friend the apiarist (our reader) bees don't collect honey and pollen at the same time. In fact to the [illegible], commercial minded bee keeper to whom bees are merely manufacturers of honey, the wattle season is a pain in the neck, because the bees knock off work to carry pollen. So that's that!
We had a thrill last week. Flannel flower seeds which were planted in May last in out-door beds have germinated after the recent rains and sturdy little seedlings are now coming up. Where several were crowded together we carefully lifted them and replanted in time for planting out later. Tiny seedlings one third of an inch high had roots 1 1/2 to 2 inches long. This long tap root seems to be a feature of most bush plants. It is necessary apparently because the light sandy soil dries out so quickly in a hot spell.
Similar long tap roots were noticed on waratahs, Bossiaeas and dwarf apple which we planted out. They seem to have survived the operation and are now putting on fresh leaf.
Some sticky mistletoe which we stuck in the crevices of casuarina bark just for curiosity have germinated and are putting on leaf. We have a ground orchid too. A Thelymitra blooms in serene solitude.
To complete the picture of domestic felicity a par of blue wrens has decided on a home site in a clump of pig-face and with complete disregard for W.O.I. they have commenced house building.
F.A. Pallin. Camp Gear For Walkers.
327 George Street, Sydney. Phone. B3101.