Saturday, January 28, 2012

Elsinora Station NSW

This is my Grandfather or 'Pop" as I preferred to call him. Frank Cotter. His brother Jim and he were arguably the best riders in the far west region. They are small men, almost jockey sized. As Bryce Killen said "There is nothing as good for the inside of a man as the outside of a horse." This is the horse that won many a race.

Jim went on to win many a horse race at Wanarring, and in QLD. Both were hard men but with a sense of humor. As Prue (my cousin), said- "My mother remembered Jim. He came in after winning a race all dressed to the 9's. There was a lot of back slapping and laughter and joke telling. Jim was a ladies man, very dapper. Jim walked up to the table where my mother sat at and started to chat her up. This caused her no end of embarrassment. When this failed, He whipped the table cloth off the table and let all the plates and, cutlery and glasses in place, much to the delight of the spectators."

In those days, 1880-1920's The race horse was owned by the rider, it was their daily work horse. Both boys had the best in the district. Frank was a major influence on me and his storis and tales lie with me today

This photo was taken in front of the same home as the one with the 4 men. Pop is on the far right. We think this is Elsinora Station part of Thurloo Downs. . All that remains of this is a few bricks and a memorial to the Killen family.

I recall my Pop in detail. He was a significant influence on me. I hope I can write a book about him

Monday, January 16, 2012



This is me, posing for a photo shoot. As you can see I am smiling. Do you think I have potential for movies?

My cousin Koko

One of my favorite movies is "Red Dog" which stars my cousin Koko a Red Cattle dog cross Kelpie. Based on a true story, and if you watch it you will see just how amazing we are as dogs and just how we make cats our friends.

He can ride motorbikes and I can bite them

Recently, we got a new cat called Sable. She looks very much like Midnight and I have tried my very best to get to know her. I have bent new security screens, jumped on tables to try and get through windows and even used my "super" bark to evoke fear and friendship.

He even like trucks as I do!

Still she sits right at the windows. Do you think she likes me? I think I am pretty good looking too, whilst I am not movies star I have a unique coat and colour. and it a double coat which means its water proof!

Do you like my smile? I have "choppy" jaws. they sound like two planks of wood clapping together when i am serious about issues. E.g. not being fed at exactly the same time, not going on walks, not being allowed to steal workshop tools.

Monday, January 9, 2012


The Fish River crossing. Quite fast flowing and deeper than usual.

It was time to capitalise on the beautiful weather by getting out again, this time back to the Fish River at Tarana in search of rainbow trout. Again I was to drive, use the crutches a bit, but basically sit and continue reading a book whilst others enjoyed a stroll along the mountain stream.
The track beside the river where I got tangled in barbed wire

The wind had picked up and the temperature dropped a bit, but it was not too long before a line was wet and trout could be seen in pursuit of the lure. I sat and enjoyed the pine trees, the smell of bush honey and hay. I did have a go at a bit of "bush walking" but I got tangled in barbed wire within a few feet of the we shall leave that for later.

Silvereye. (photo courtesy of Agmates).

Many of the usual bird were in the canopy. A little difficult to spot as the wind tossed the branches about, however I did get a brilliant look at a Silvereye. A charming little bird with a distinct white ring of feathers around the eye. Again the door configuration proved a valuable hide.

FJ door configuration.
As you can see from the photo above the door opening, whilst frustrating in a tight car park, proves a perfect "hide" for bird watching, with easy access to the binoculars, and camping equipment inside without spooking the wildlife.

All in all a nice way to spend an afternoon.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Penrith Lakes again

Dusky Woodswallow. ( Courtesy of Canberra Birds)

Yesterday I picked up the 250. I must say just how helpful Hawkesbury Honda are. There was no charge for the repair to the bike and despite looking "major," it was, in fact just a tweek of a few bolts and all was well. Dave and I cleaned the bike, (well, I sat in the car while he steamed cleaned it), and then it was time to return the trailer to the hire centre.

This gave me the perfect excuse to try some birding around the Penrith Lakes. I have posted before about the lakes and the system. However, each time I go it just gets better. I was curious to see how I coped without the use of the right leg and what the bird life was like now some of the lakes had dropped in water level.

I had no expectations, (critical if you want to have a good time regardless of where you are and what you are doing), plenty of "boyish enthusiasm" , and a desire to enjoy the outdoors in peace and quiet.

The day was warm, golden and sunny, with a blue sky and gentle breeze. It was a brilliant summers day. On the breeze was the smell of Privet and even Wattle tree. Flowers still seem to be in bloom. This is the thing with Australia- give it water and it comes alive for months.

Brown Quail. (Courtesy of Birds in Back Yards)

I chose not to attempt to walk with the crutches as the risk of a fall in a paddock was there. Instead I chose to drive, park and open the doors, using the car as a "hide". I have to say this worked brilliantly! The FJ has the unusual door opening and it acted as a perfect hide. So good in fact that a Brown Quail wandered past my feet!! For any birders who read my blog, the concept of using the doors as the sides of the hide and draping a camouflage netting over the top with holes/windows for telescopes and binoculars is very very feasible in this vehicle, and when the roof rack is fitted I am going to do this. In the outback, where cover is limited, opening the doors, and throwing a cover over is perfect. Bird don't seem to get stressed with cars, but the minute they see people they are off.

I spent a good couple of hours enjoying the sun. The birds I enjoyed the most was the Brown Quail, (got a brilliant look), and Black winged Stilt ( one of the prettiest birds imo). Of course Wedged tailed Eagles soaring in a pair is always breathtaking. From the list you can see that I got very few "small brown flitty things", as you do need to move around a bit in the long grass and trees which I could not do. The Thornbills were good though.

Black-winged Stilt (not my photo).

All in all a great way to enjoy sunshine and fresh air.

Birds seen:-Wedged tail Eagle, Black-winged Stilt, White Winged Cough, Australian Magpie, Australian Raven, Yellow-Billed Spoonbill, Yellow Thornbill, Australian White Ibis,Great Egret, Australia Darter, Black Swan, Little-pied Cormorant, Purple Swamphen, Hoary-headed Grebe, Eurasian Coot, Pacific Black Duck, Little Black Cormorant, Little Egret, Noisy Miner, Australian Kookaburra, Grey Butcherbird, Yellow-faced Honeyeater, White Plumed Honeyeater, Dusky Wood Swallow, Fairy Martin, Magpie Lark, Australian Pipit, Brown Quail, Crested Pigeon, Great Cormorant, Welcome Swallow, Bul Bul, Australian Pelican, Galah, Short-billed Corella, Black-shouldered Kite, Masked Lapwing, Willy Wagtail, White-faced Heron, Common Starling, House Sparrow. 40.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Pacific Park.

The three bikes. (L to R)- Honds Cr125 motocross, Honda Crf150F Trail, Honda Crf250xb Enduro and one FJ Landcruiser.

As per my previous post, I am finding it difficult to sit still. The boys are feeling the same. So, I thought it was time I took the boys to the motorbike park and see how I go driving the car. The weather was warm and humid but not as bad as the previous days 38c.
As best I try, I was not much help, and the boys loaded and unloaded the bikes for the afternoons activity. Upon arrival I simply got a chair and read yet another book. Both dust, noise and the smell of racing fuel filled the air..

Setting up camp. The unusual door configuration proved a useful change room

Needless to say, the boys rode with great gusto for 3 hours. David dropped the 250 and bent the forks, Logan's rear wheel nuts fell off and that caused a bit of drama as well. To top it off, Dave decided to ride to the shops on the 150 to get some drinks. When he got back he only had one... The look on his face when he realised he had dropped them was priceless. (The shop was a fair way away)


After about 4 hours in total of riding we packed up. 3 clean bikes returned covered in mud and we were all covered in dust. We dropped the 250 off for repair... the mechanic was not happy at working on a dirty bike, ( I don't blame him and I felt guilty). The Cr 125 has new wheel nuts ordered.

Yours truly reading a book, waiting for the next dust cloud to fill my nostrils.

In retrospect, some serious damage could have occurred if the wheel just fell off and the 250 had a serious tank slap, ( handling problem), as a result of the twist in the forks. Before stopping home we went and had the remaining two bikes steam cleaned.

Despite taking my binoculars, there was very little chance of spotting anything. A few wood ducks flew past. Besides, standing with crutches looking though binoculars makes me giddy!

As for driving, well it was very, very tiring and made me sore today as I write (very in fact). So I am not ready to battle peak hour and return to work just yet. try as I might.

All in all a good day had by all!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Ankle Update

Happy New Year everyone.!

Just a brief update- The ankle is healing well. No pain whatsoever. I cannot put weight on it at all yet, so mobility is frustrating. I do have an ache that extends down the leg. I am assuming its as a result of lack of exercise of those leg muscles. Frankly, it does drive me nuts. I have had a go at driving the car and can do it but would prefer not to try heavy traffic. Its tiring as well.

I have not been visiting or writing much as the internet here is almost at a standstill and will be until the 8th Jan. So, feel like a stale bottle of drink at a BBQ- just hanging around reading, (what on earth do people find in reading??), sitting, researching, sleeping.... ARGH!!!!! I need a walk/fish/mow/bike ride/garden/travel/birdwatch.....