Sunday, December 04, 2005

Australian Icons

This morning I had to drive to Birregurra to pick up my eldest daughter ,Celeste from a party sleepover. Birregurra is about 35 minutes from here and at the beginning of the Barwon Downs, which is rich rolling grazing country. I took my camera to capture what i consider to be iconic Australian sort of things to share with you.
So the top left is verandahed shops facing onto the street ( many older towns in Australia had shops with verandahs but they seem to be disappearing for modern shops which have none of the character of these old shops.
Top right is the windmill- used to pump up stock water and fill dams- no paddock is complete without one. When I lived in Jerilderie after my parents immigrated to Australia we used to have one of these beside the dam and no amount of grease would stop its grinding and screeching in the night.
Bottom left is post boxes on the road. The distances are too great for the postie to go down every road to deliver mail so you often find a collection of all manner of containers to collect post at the end of a road. I particularly like this little collection because of the one that is sitting on its lonesome on the ground- I bet the postie curses it every time he has to bend down!
Bottom right- road signs on the road to my home- watch out for kangaroos and echidnas ( spiny anteaters are monotreme which means the lay eggs but suckle their young- the only other animal that does this in the world is the platypus which also lives in our Gellibrand River).

A couple of years ago when we were going to Apollo Bay for a market we came across a koala sitting in the middle of the road. We stopped as we thought it might have been injured and of course the kids enjoyed seeing it. As we approached it carefully ( they have quite big claws and one once weed on one of our politicians, so the animal is very perspicasious gggg) it lurched itself up and with really loud grunting noises took a few steps and then sat down again. We were worried that it was injured and it is a busy road so we waited and the koala did exactly the same thing again, stood on his four legs arms, lurched and groaned and sat down. We were eventually able to see that the animal was not injured but that he was very drunk- they gorge themsleves on eucalyptus leaves during the night and become "drunk" By this stage several carloads of Japanese tourists with cameras had also stopped and I am sure they didn't believe a word of our explanation of what was wrong with the koala.Posted by Picasa


annabel said...

Hi, I'd heard that Koalas get "drunk" of eucalyptus leaves but have never seen it. It must have been hilarious! I went to Australia Zoo in Queensland whilst travelling through a couple of years ago, and there was a young lady whose job (and I kid you not) was to look after the Koalas, but she was paid an extra salary for taking care of one particular one that had been born with a brain injury. This little chap was very small for his age and couldn't mix with others, so she had the job of carrying it around and cuddling it for hours a day. I would love a job like that, in fact, I would pay to do it. They have to be the cutest looking animals on the planet.

Felicity said...

Wonderful photos Dijanne! I find the everyday things fascinating especially if I'm unlikely ever to visit that place. I couldn't find Gellibrand on any of my maps!

Sorry to hear of your disappointment today. (Is it OK to say I wasn't terribly impressed by the work in a couple of those links?)