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Welcome

Welcome to our Blog

Ted and Judy out and about near Tenterfield

Ted and Judy out and about near Tenterfield

As a welcome message to our blog we thought it would be useful for visitors if we expanded the details in the About Us page. The intention is to provide more on our background and what you might expect from our Blog.

Our professional experience is taxonomic entomology (insect classification). I was senior curator of entomology at the Queensland Museum for 30 years and Judy my technical assistant until we left to pursue other careers (Judy in 1980 and me in 1992). Part of our job entailed field work in habitats from semi arid communities to rain forest.

This background provides us with skills in interpreting habitats and understanding relationships between the various elements adding considerably to our enjoyment of bush walking and travel. We are located in Brisbane and our touring notes generally have this as a starting point.

Occasionally we include mileages from other locations, but there are ample maps and information to assit visitors with their own calculations e.g. automobile associations have web sites with trip calculators and road conditions.

Our blogs cover information on Bush walking, Driving, Trees, Geology and Landforms, Clouds, History and significant buildings. Included in the blogs is information on various aspects of natural and social history.

We hope you find the bogs enjoyable and useful when out and bout. If so, stay in contact with new blogs by subscribing to our RSS feed.

Bush walking

Judy on Bald Rock track

Judy on Bald Rock track

What makes our world so diverse and interesting are the complex interactions between climate, soils and topography on biological communities. Bush walking offers a wonderful opportunity to observe the effects of these interactions and an enjoyable way of exercising. An understanding of these interactions extends walking enjoyment through the observation of subtle changes in the area being traversed and the development of an understanding of their underlying causes.

The rewards are a greater skill in observation, and increased knowledge, which can be further expanded by extra reading and by comparing observations when walking in different biological communities. Our Blog aims to share as much of this knowledge as possible to increase our visitor’s enjoyment of being out and about either on foot or by transport of some kind.

National Parks and State Forests provide safe walking trails for those inexperienced in map reading and navigation. Environmental departmens in all states have information and maps online. Always adhere to the warnings and note park closures in these documents. Call the local ranger stations for conditions in more remote areas as part of your trip planning.

Driving

Barakula State Forest road

Barakula State Forest road

There are various road trips available for conventional and four wheel drive vehicles. Our blogs will include both. In most cases you don’t need a 4 wheel drive to enjoy the contents of our blog but there are some trips suitable only for 4 wheel drives and these will be suitably noted.

Of course the destination is only part of the joy in travelling. On route we notice tree species, trees in bloom and changes in: forest types; topography; clouds; historical bulidings; land use (agriculture and pastoral); unusual signs etc. In a trip to Rockhampton (November 2010) the smooth barked eucalypts (Spotted Gum Lemon Scented Gum and angophoras) were shedding their bark – stepping out in their new finery of creams and rusy orange. They were a pleasure on the eye. A little research into the areas along the route before setting out can add immensly to the journey.

Trees

Nothpfagus Our quest for knowledge has continued since leaving the Museum. In 2002 Judy initiated a project to identify eucalypts and now our travels by car or on foot have greater enjoyment.

Eucalypts, with over 800 species, and growing – no pun intended, are not an easy group because of natural and habitat variation, as well as the tendency for some species to hybridise. Nevertheless we soldiered on and can now identify most of the species in south east Queensland and many from other areas. Total number of species identified is 167 with some ways to go yet. But what’s life without a challenge?

Our blogs will contain notes on various species and other aspects of these iconic Australian trees. There is something awe-inspiring about being in the presence of ancient, very large trees of any species and our blogs will include notes as we come across them.

Geology and Landforms

Solitary Mountain, Blue Mountains

Solitary Mountain, Blue Mountains

Another of our interests is geology which determines soils and topography. Soils vary in chemical and physical characteristics that determine critical factors such as depth, fertility, nutrient availability, drainage and moisture-holding capacity. Climate is never uniform across a given area but is modified by topography (height and aspect) to provide a varied series of micro climates.

Both soils and topography are the result of past geological history of the area: soils on the chemical composition of their parent rocks; and topography on major geological episodes such as mountain building, weathering and subsequent erosion (the rock cycle). Part of the information gathering we do before a trip is into the geology and land forms of the area we will be visiting. Google Earth is very useful for topography. Our blogs will contain notes on these aspects as appropriate and relevant publications.

Clouds

Couds

Clouds Blue Mountains NSW

The sky is a wonderful changing vista (God’s screen saver) and we regularly pause to look up at cloud formations. Our discovery of a cloud classification book increased our enjoyment of this pastime immensely. Our blogs will include interesting cloud formations as and when we come across them.

The book details are on our reference page and Clounds365 has marvellous cloud photos and information. In cities we find the top, open floors of parking stations provide a panoramic view of clouds and we regularly have our cameras with us when shopping.

Other places are the beach, mountains and highways in sparsely forested areas e.g. the Darling Downs (Queensland) Newell Highway (NSW) or any semi arid/desert areas. Remember to look up occasionally and enjoy the free show.

Historical

Heritage Hotel Rockhampton

Heritage Hotel Rockhampton

We like to visit town centres when travelling to examine the establishment buildings: town halls; court houses; School of Arts buildings, port authorities etc, banks; churches; and any historical buildings. Hotels are also great from both an historical and architectural view point.

We find that local Information Centres and Historical Museums are useful sources of historical references and information.

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