Birds, beards (and camels thrown in for good measure)

Well, who would believe it. I had to come half way round the world to meet up with Judy Johnson. We were at boarding school together 39 years ago – the Wykeham Collegiate, in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. Now Judy has her own sea plane, and flies it out of Port Macquarie in New South Wales.

Judy’s sea plane

Judy’s on a mission!

Nice looking bird. Judy too!!!!

On a different note, but still on birds, here’s a photo of a lorikeet taken yesterday. He was feeding off some growth on a tree next to the front porch.

Stunning bird, but they are pretty raucous and very brazen.

OK – we’ve had enough interruptions by birds of various sorts.

Now, there is something you need to know about Australian men. They love beards.

It’s a work of art

Well, not all men, but those who do cultivate the most hideous sprout of facial hair known to mankind.

I defy you to find last night’s dinner

I share a few photos taken within the space of two hours. Look if you dare, and don’t blame me for your nightmares.

I’ll comb it tomorrow.

And, if you never see Waldo again, you can imagine where he’s hiding

Also to be seen in Australia, although not common on the city streets, are camels.

There are an estimated 1 million of these beasts of burden living in Australia, causing a great deal of damage to the environment, and there is a plan in place to cull a great number of them.

Thousands of camels were imported into Australia between 1840 and 1907 to open up the arid areas of central and western Australia. They were used for riding, and as draught and pack animals for exploration and construction of rail and telegraph lines. They were also used to supply goods to remote mines and settlements. Many different types and breeds of camels were brought into Australia, but most were from India. They included the large, fleece-bearing, two-humped Bactrian camel of China and Mongolia, the elite Bishari and Bikaneri riding camels of Arabia, and the powerful, freight-carrying lowland Indian camels, capable of moving huge loads of up to 800 kilograms. The feral camels found in Australia are a meld of these breeds. (Source:

Russell and I have finally moved into the condo we will have as a home for the next six months. A one-bedroom, completely renovated and newly-furnished unit on the ground floor. We open the front door to walk 20 meters to the first tee on the Horizons Golf Course in Salamander Bay, New South Wales. And an exhausting 30 meters to the tennis court and swimming pool. Pretty cool stuff! We shall return to Canada fit as fiddles, 10 kilos lighter (each) and much better golf players. Oh yeah.

Now you have learned about the birds and the beards (and other strange goings on), and it’s time for me to sign off. Till next time…..


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