Monday, April 27, 2009

Gum leaves

I watch the gum leaves as they fall
Their grey green colors cool and bright
Hold them up and oil is in their leaves.

Wooden Seat outside Woolworths

I said that it was a pity no-one had used the timber and railway tracks to create furniture, and here is a seat outside Woolworth's.
It was donated and sits there in solitary splendor chained to the concrete.

Uniting Church Cloncurry Australia

The Uniting Church in Cloncurry

Cats in the Back Garden

There are many cats that are homeless and not belonging to people.
One day I threw a small bone out for a little cat I saw sitting on my veranda, and to my amazement, eight cats jumped for it from under the house.

When I mentioned this to someone, I was told that there are any feral cats and that they should be reported.
Next day, the eight cats became 12 as a mother cat turned up with 4 kittens and they played in my yard as if it was their yard.

Today they were in the garden digging the dirt Jack had softened. When I tapped on the window, they barely looked at me. They belong there. I was the intruder.
I consoled myself with the though that at least I will not have many mice or snakes.
Then I realised the birds are not singing in the trees anymore.
They have probably all been eaten.

I should report the cats to the Council, as I love having birds in my garden.

Anzac Day 25th April 2009

Australia Remembers the Soldiers
This year the New Zealand Soldiers marched in the Anzac Parade.
Every town in Australia has an Anzac March.
This is the Cloncurry Anzac March

Lions Club...World's Greatest Barbecue and Anzac Day

The Lions Club is always ready to participate in Community Functions.
On Anzac Day they marched with the town and placed a wreath on the Shrine.

Cloncurry Lions did their part in running a Barbecue as part of the World's Greatest Barbecue.

Sunsets at Cloncurry

The sunsets are very beautiful.
The colors are from delicate pinks to bright reds.
A Sunset is God's way of showing the world's beauty

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Goannas ...Shaky Paws Lizard

When white people first came to Australia they saw large reptiles they thought were a kind of iguana, and called them 'goanna'. The goanna is in fact not an iguana, but a species of monitor lizard.

The goanna is about 160 cm long altogether. Its head and body measure about 70 cm. Its body is flattened, it has strong legs with long toes and claws. It has a long neck. It can give a fierce blow with its long tail. It has a tongue rather like a snake's, which it flicks in and out.

Goannas, or monitors as they are known elsewhere in the world, are a very distinctive group of lizards. They range in size from about 12 cm to 1.3 m, not including the tail. They include the largest lizard living today, the Komodo Dragon of Indonesia.

There are 58 living species of goanna and most of them are carnivores. Goannas find their food by searching widely across the landscape, catching animals by stalking or digging them out of shelters and nests. They are aided in their search for food by their long forked tongues which they flick in and

Goannas climb trees well and swim strongly. They can rear up or run quickly on their hind legs when threatened. They dig a system of burrows. Their habitat is woodland or grassland over much of Australia. In the northern parts of the country, goannas stay active all year round, but in the south they are inactive in the cold months.

The goanna eats lizards, the eggs of lizards and other reptiles, insects, spiders and small mammals.

There are 58 different types of Goannas...this one is called 'Shaky Paw' because when it sees danger, it sort of picks up its paws and shakes them as it runs away on its back legs. When I first saw them it looked like a dancer picking up her skirts and running away, but the name 'Skaky Paw' is aptly descriptive.

This species lives in the school ground. I have seen them sunning on the rocks and also around the school garden at the back. They run very fast so are not easy to photograph. This Shaky Paw got locked up in the Home Eco Room for almost 2 weeks. We finally cornered him, and I took some photos before we opened the door and sent him to freedom.

Mary Kathleen Park Cloncurry..Farm machinery

Mary Kathleen Park at Cloncurry has a selection of Farm Machinery from the Past.
The Shop and Museum is housed in the Old Post Office Building.
There is a Museum with memorabilia from the Mary Kathleen Uranium Mine and township as well as local History and Photographs.
The Showpiece is Robert O'Haras bottle, of Burke and Wills Fame.
A rock and Mineral Display is ranked as one of the most comprehensive in Australia.

The shop sells gemstones and jewellery from local miners, fossickers and artists, as well as books about the history of the area and Cloncurry trails.
I bought Cloncurry trails for $25 written by locals Gary and Wendy Baker, and an excellent colorful booklet called 'Discover Cloncurry' for $5

Desert Art

I lived in the Outback Desert Communities of West Australia and Central Australia for 7 years. Here is the link to Desert Art

I wrote a book about some of my experiences in the Desert Communities called 'Dancing with Dingoes'

Saturday, April 11, 2009


Xstrada Mine Cloncurry Queensland

Cloncurry, 20 February 2008 (Embargo 10:30hrs) Today the Deputy Premier of Queensland, Hon Paul Lucas, MP, the Minister for Mines and Energy, Hon Geoff Wilson, MP, and Member for Mount Isa, Betty Kiernan, witnessed the ’first cut’ of a 3.2 kilometre underground decline at Xstrata Copper’s Ernest Henry Mine open pit operation near Cloncurry in north west Queensland. Chief Operating Officer Xstrata Copper North Queensland, Steve de Kruijff, said Xstrata Copper was dedicated to maximising value from its existing assets and strengthening the Cloncurry economy. “Today’s successful first cut marks the starting point of the decline by cutting a ‘portal’ approximately half way down the western pit wall.

I went on tour of the Mine. See the Video YouTube - Cloncurry Queensland

Many people work at the Mine. They work in many fields...engineers, drivers, cooks, marketing, administration, electrical...Most live in Cloncurry and travel to the mine daily. Others who take contracts travel from Brisbane and fly in and stay at the Hotels or in Mine accommodation on the site. The Mine works 24 hours a day and there are 2 shifts. Workers work for 10 days and have a week off. The wages are very high because of the remote location, the mine work and the dangers associated with working in Mines. The company does a lot of Community Funding and provides a percentage of profit back to the Community.

The Open Cut Mine at Cloncurry File:

After the Rains the Open Cut Filled with water File:

Huge Trucks as big as 2 storeys of a building cart the Ore to be processed File:

Here I am standing at the Lookout Point over the Open Cut Mine File:

Friday, April 10, 2009


Phylum: Magnoliophyta Flowering Plants
Order: Casuarinales Casuarinas And She-Oaks
Allocasuarina luehmannii (Casuarinaceae) Buloke, Bull Oak, Bulloak, Bull Sheoak
Casuarina cristata (Casuarinaceae) Belah, Black Oak (SA)
Casuarina cunninghamiana (Casuarinaceae) River Oak, River Sheoak, Creek Oak
Casuarina equisetifolia (Casuarinaceae) Coast Sheoak, Beach Casuarina, Shingle Oak, Beach Sheoak, Horse-tail Sheoak
Casuarina glauca (Casuarinaceae) Swamp Sheoak, Swamp Oak, Grey Swamp Sheoak
Order: Fabales Wattles, Peas And Cassias
Sesbania formosa (Fabaceae) Swamp corkwood, white dragon tree, dragon-flower tree, water tree
Acacia ampliceps (Mimosaceae) Salt Wattle, Jila Jila, Nyarlka
Acacia aneura (Mimosaceae) Mulga
Acacia auriculiformis (Mimosaceae) Northern Black Wattle, Ear-pod Wattle
Acacia cambagei (Mimosaceae) Gidgee, Gidga, Gigya, Gidyea, Stinking Wattle
Acacia colei (Mimosaceae) Cole's Wattle
Acacia crassicarpa (Mimosaceae) Northern Wattle, Thick-podded Salwood
Acacia dealbata (Mimosaceae) Silver Wattle
Acacia elata (Mimosaceae) Cedar Wattle, Mountain Cedar Wattle
Acacia harpophylla (Mimosaceae) Brigalow, Brigalow Spearwood, Orkor
Acacia holosericea (Mimosaceae) Candelabra Wattle, Wah-roon, Soap Bush, Silver-leaved Wattle
Acacia hylonoma (Mimosaceae)
Acacia irrorata (Mimosaceae) Blueskin, Green Wattle
Acacia maidenii (Mimosaceae) Maiden's Wattle
Acacia mangium (Mimosaceae) Mangium, Hickory Wattle, Black Wattle
Acacia mearnsii (Mimosaceae) Black Wattle, Late Black Wattle
Acacia melanoxylon (Mimosaceae) Blackwood, Black Wattle, Hickory, Sally Wattle, Mudgerabah
Acacia orites (Mimosaceae) Mountain Sallow Wattle, Mountain Wattle
Acacia salicina (Mimosaceae) Cooba, Coobar, Willow Wattle, Doolan, Broughton Willow, Native Wattle
Acacia saligna (Mimosaceae) Golden-wreath Wattle, Coojong, Orange Wattle, Blue-leafed Wattle, Western Australian Golden Wattle
Acacia shirleyi (Mimosaceae) Lancewood
Acacia silvestris (Mimosaceae) Bodalla Wattle, Bodalla Silver Wattle, Red Wattle
Acacia stenophylla (Mimosaceae) Munumula, Balkura, Gurley, Gooralee, Ironwood, Dalby Wattle, River Cooba, River Myall, Belalei, Eumong, Native Willow, Black Wattle, Dunthy
Acacia trachycarpa (Mimosaceae) Minni Ritchi
Albizia procera (Mimosaceae) Forest siris, whirte siris, safed siris, weru, brown albizia
Order: Gentianales Gentians And Relatives
Alstonia scholaris (Apocynaceae) White Cheesewood, Milky Pine, Whitewood
Order: Malvales Kurrajong, Boabs, Hibiscus And Relatives
Elaeocarpus angustifolius (Elaeocarpaceae) Silver Quandong, blue quandong, blueberry ash, caloon, blue fig
Brachychiton diversifolius (Sterculiaceae) Northern Kurrajong, Tropical Kurrajong, Airitja, Nanunguwa
Order: Myrtales Gum Trees, Paper Barks, Bottlebrushes, Myrtles And Relatives
Eucalyptus argophloia (Myrtaceae) Queensland White Gum; Queensland Western White Gum, Lapunyah, Scrub Gum, White Gum
Eucalyptus camaldulensis (Myrtaceae) River Red Gum, Red Gum, Murray Red Gum, River Gum (WA)
Melaleuca bracteata (Myrtaceae) Black Ti-tree, River Ti-tree, Black Tea-tree
Melaleuca cajuputi (Myrtaceae) Swamp tea-tree, paperbark tea-tree, cajuput tree
Melaleuca dealbata (Myrtaceae) Soapy Tea-tree, Swamp Teatree, Blue-leaved Paperbark, Blue Paperbark, Soapy Teatree, Cloudy Teatree
Melaleuca leucadendra var. angustifolia (Myrtaceae) Long-leaved Paperbark, broad-leaved tea-tree, weeping tea-tree, kaya putih
Melaleuca quinquenervia (Myrtaceae) Swamp Paperbark, Paper-barked Teatree, Broad-leaved Teatree, Paperbark, Five-veined Paperbark
Syzygium suborbiculare (Myrtaceae) Forest Satinash, Apple, Lady Apple
Order: Proteales Waratahs, Banksias, Grevilleas (Spider Flowers) And Macadamias
Banksia integrifolia (Proteaceae) Coast Banksia
Grevillea pteridifolia (Proteaceae) Fern-leaved Silky Oak; Golden Grevillea, Yinungkwurra, Darwin silky oak
Grevillea robusta (Proteaceae) Silky Oak, Southern Silky Oak
Macadamia integrifolia (Proteaceae) Macadamia Nut, Queensland Nut, Smooth-shelled Macadamia, Bush Nut, Nut Oak
Order: Rosales Roses And Relatives
Parinari nonda (Chrysobalanaceae) Nonda, Nonda-tree
Order: Santalales Sandalwood, Mistletoe And Relatives
Santalum album (Santalaceae) East Indian sandalwood, sandalwood, cendana
Order: Sapindales Boronias, Citrus, Orange, Hops, Mangoes And Relatives
Melia azedarach (Meliaceae) White Cedar, Tulip Cedar, Bead Tree, Persian Lilac, Wyndet, Mindi Kechil (Christmas Is.)
Flindersia maculosa (Rutaceae) Leopardwood, Spotted tree, Spotted Dog, Leopard Tree, Prickly Pine
Geijera parviflora (Rutaceae)


Members of Lions Clubs International give their time, labour and means providing hands-on assistance to enhance their communities and while doing so acquire new skills, new friends for life and have an enormous amount of fun while doing things that make them feel wonderful about themselves.

Cloncurry Lions Club is a very active Club.


Chinaman's Dam is the source of water for the town of Cloncurry. It is a good fishing spot. It is located 3 km west of Cloncurry on the Barkly Highway.

Fish present - Barramundi, Sooty Grunter, Sleepy Cod and Redclaw crayfish.
Stocked fish - Barramundi, Sooty Grunter.

In 1861 Burke and Wills with King and Gray, were the first known Europeans to come into the area on their ill fated expedition to the Gulf of Carpentaria. Burke named the river "Cloncurry" for his cousin, Lady Elizabeth Cloncurry of County Galway in Ireland.

In May 1867, Ernest Henry (honoured as founder of the town and the vast mineral wealth of the district), came this way searching for grazing land, instead he discovered copper, he named this the Great Australia. The town was surveyed in 1876 and named after the river.

Over the years Cloncurry has been the focal point for many of Australia's greatest innovations. Cloncurry was involved with the beginnings of QANTAS, and the original QANTAS Hanger is still in use at the aerodrome, where "Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Service" is still displayed above the hanger door.

The Royal Flying Doctor Service was founded here in 1928, now recognised the world over. The airport was also on route for early planes coming from overseas and a stopping place for contestants in the great air races of 1919 and 1934.

During the Second World War, Cloncurry was the site of a major USA Air Base.

The railway reached Cloncurry in 1907 (opened official in 1908) and remains an important railway town. A Visit to the Museums: Mary Kathleen Memorial Park or John Flynn Place will open the eye of any budding historian to the richness of Cloncurry's history.

Cloncurry is a rural town, which derives it's main income from the mining and pastoral industries. The town itself is nestled on the banks of the Cloncurry River, the river and Chinaman Creek Dam, situated approximately 3km from the town centre, provides the town's water supply. Many residents supplement household supplies during the summer months with private bores. The Cloncurry River catchment area begins in the Selwyn Ranges and flows into the Flinders River where it continues on to empty into the Gulf of Carpentaria. The average annual rainfall is 500mm, with the heaviest falls being experienced between December and March. Cloncurry is noted for having Australia's highest recorded temperature in 1889 (53.1c)