Saturday, January 02, 2021

Monarch Repost

Hey, a repost is better than calling in sick, hey.

I've been seeing Monarch butterflies flying over our building today after hatching on a warm day. They must head north, so up the side of our building they go and off they go to who knows where. I thought it was someone a long way away and that I had posted about it in the past. While I have posted about Monarch butterflies before, a blog search brought up this post, which is a repost.The text below is my butterfly post. 

Here is a link to what I think was quite an amusing post about another monarch. There is a comment from the late and lovely Cranky Bar.

Sunday we were home for a good bit. I suppose because of the good rainfall this year there are lot of dragonflies and butterflies around. We have seen quite a lot up at our level. Yesterday there were many many monarch butterflies. After a bit I started watching where they were coming from and going to.

They were rising from somewhere at the base of the building and flying upwards, past our balcony and onto or over the roof. At a guess over the whole day the figure was certainly in the hundreds. They just kept coming and coming. Time for some research.

First thing that I learnt was that we in Australia know them as wanderer butterflies. They only eat and are born on milk weed plants, which I later learnt was untrue, and their life cycle is typical of a butterfly, eggs are laid on the underside of a plant leaf, they grow into caterpillars, pupate then come out as a butterflies.

They are native to North America and probably arrived in Australia and New Zealand by island hopping in the 19th century as white man planted exotic plants on the islands.

They are poisonousness to birds.

Kiwi Nomad has taken a good photo of one here.

Interesting but none of this explains what happened yesterday. Here is my theory. They were crawling out of their pupas and drying their wings during the day on plants at the base of the highrise. They are pre programmed to fly in a certain direction. To go in that direction they had to fly up the side of the highrise and over the top. I doubt there was anything on the roof to attract them so they went on the merry way to wherever they were going. There was only ever three visible at once, but they mostly flew up singly.

It was quite a special sight. Of course everytime I went for the camera, they stopped coming, as if they knew. The few shots I did take are not worth posting.

Today, Monday, there were a few stragglers in the late afternoon, following the same path.

Friday, January 01, 2021

Person of 2020

Happy New Year you all. 

I won't state the obvious about 2020 but let me mention in my opinion the heroes of 2020.

Health care workers on the front line of COVID? Just doing their job? They were as fearful of COVID as the rest of the population yet they had to be among COVID infected people and a number of them caught COVID. They had to wear PPE, learn how to safely put it on and more importantly take it off when it could be contaminated. John Gray of Wales describes here with his Pig in a Condom post. Do that for how ever many hours a day, along with all workers who masked up for their whole working time.........for months. Many worked extraordinary hours at the height of our pandemic, including eminent surgeons doing general nursing duties. We really do thank you.

My personal hero of the year is broadcaster Doctor Norman Swan. He is a Glaswegian educated Jew who luckily for us chose to move from Scotland to Australia. Who knows what he is paid but he is worth every cent. I think he should be paid a good bit more this year past.

Via his ABC Radio National, Health Report, rebroadcast on Canada's CBC at some ungodly hour, to his Corana Cast, to his TV appearances, he brought sanity to what was happening with facts, expert opinion from around the world, comfort, answered listeners questions and if he was unsure, concerned, or as worried as the population was, we knew it. I expect he already has a gong. Perhaps that should be upgraded. Thanks Dr Norm. You are a real Australian treasure. 

Sadly after my state not having any community transmission for two months, the year 2020 ends on a sour note with what is hoped a small and quickly contained COVID outbreak. State borders are closing again, restrictive numbers of visitors in your home and masking up indoors in public spaces.

Just as an aside, Dr Norman Swan's son journalist Jonathon came to note when he was very challenging towards #45 during an interview. All #45 could do was filibuster in reply to scathing questions. It's worth reading the whole piece, especially retelling when a five year old asked him a salient question.

Thursday, December 31, 2020

Pop Ups

"What is that popping up, my love". Well things don't pop up personally like they used to and that is somewhat of a relief.

Is pop up everything an Australian phenomena? Pop up cafes. Pop up shops. Pop up art galleries. Pop up everything. They are meant to be temporary and often are. At the corner of Park Street and Domain Road, less than two kilometres from us, pop up outdoor eating was installed, meaning a few car parking spaces were taken to put more outdoor eating and drinking spaces. This was planned for before COVID but it is now an added bonus if you don't want to be in close inside air with others. This is a good thing for mine. Only in the most extreme heat or in a freezing cold wind will we sit inside a cafe during the day. If we can't sit outside, we find somewhere where we can.

It's not unusual here to see a cafe inside empty of patrons and crowded outside.

Also as part of the Metro Tunnel Rail Project about 500 metres away is a long promised and a long time coming pop up park has been installed in the Albert Road triangle. Just a bit of seating really, but it is ok.

More pop up here and I assume Domain Road being blocked off and these structures being assembled will be for tomorrow night, New Year's Eve. We are advised to not gather unless we have a booking for a restaurant or venue. They will be very brief pop ups.

This one is outside The Botanical Hotel, or The Bot as it was called in the 1980s at least.

This one is outside Entrecote.

This part of South Yarra is such a genteel place, where at a cafe seated at an outside table you can lay down your phone and wallet on the table and never feel a risk of someone snatching it off the table.
Nevertheless, Harry the Hirer company takes terrorism seriously and had these serious car barriers in three directions. Don't worry about the barriers blocking trams. Trams haven't run along Domain Road for a few years as part of the Metro Tunnel construction.

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Pedos and murals

I hate writing this and I hate myself for thinking about this and its control of me. Worst of all, I hate society for making me feel like this.

I cast my mind back to about ten years ago when I was in the Botanic Gardens and came across a very young child wandering around on its own without visible signs of a carer of any sort. My natural inclination was to ask the child where its parents were and perhaps lead the child by the hand in some direction. I didn't but I did ask a woman nearby to see if the child was ok. I suppose she did.

Great niece Little M turned 2 and her paternal grandfather hosted a party for her and people swam in the pool. I was going to take a photo of niece Jo in the pool and she told me to ask her Mother's permission to take her photo. This child, who from being a crying baby and we walked her around the paths of The Highrise to get her to sleep, whose nappies we had changed so many times, who we cared for umpteen times! I was furious and upset that she had been educated to react so and that she spoke to me in such a manner.

I stewed on it for a week before with the help of Le Carton de Vino Ordinaire I got up some Dutch Courage and called Sister. Sister apologised and said she would have a talk to Jo about the how to speak to people appropriately. Maybe I was going to put a photo of her swimming on FB but I didn't take a photo. 

About five years later since then I have never taken a photo of Jo. She has not been included in any family gathering photos I have posted on FB, which is mostly for family and only very trusted people. I did post photos of her in group shots at family gatherings recently at Torquay but she was masked. One photo I posted where she wasn't masked, I cut her out. Such a sad arse thing to do. 

Yes before you point it out, I know most paedophilia activity is within families.

Am I the only one? Boxing Day family Christmas gathering at Ex Sis in Laws. They have a steep back garden and a long sheet of plastic running the length of the garden. Pour on some cheap washing detergent and put on the hose and it's a water slide and children and some far beyond childhood years had great fun sliding down for about an hour. Four litres of Aldi's cheapest washing detergent was used. Great entertainment for so many for about $5.

I didn't take photos but R did. The next day he said, 'I am not sure about putting these photos on FB. I am not sure if it was right to take them with children in them'.

This is effing shite.

Which brings me back to Monday's mural post. Yes, if you clicked on the link the mural was part of a bigger one. Near the mural before I posted of the dragon there was a kiddies playground. I avoided including the children in the background. In this week's mural post you can see some basketball court markings on the pavement. Behind the pillar where the mural was were some young teen lads shooting hoops. To get the full mural camera photo they would be in shot. I quickly took the photo and bolted with my paedophiliac lens pointing camera. How sad.

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Town Hall Tuesday

This week's offering is Footscray Town Hall which is post local council amalgamation, City of Maribyrnong and is the main town hall for local council. It is older than I thought on my viewing and it did replace an earlier town hall. I quite like the old town hall, even if it doesn't look like a town hall but a large private house.

The current town hall was designed by Joseph Plottel and built in 1936. It is located on the very busy Napier Street.

I kind of like Footscray Town Hall but it doesn't make me dream.

Monday, December 28, 2020

Monday Mural

I accidently double posted yesterday at the same time. Sorry about that.

I am not sure that I really like this work, even though it has been well done in my opinion. Ryot is a well enough known street artist and I just happened across this piece when I was walking back from taking last week's dragon mural. If you look at this photo, you can see I rather missed a photo op.

Sunday, December 27, 2020

Clapp the Father and the Son

Francis Clapp, US born, and his son Harold lived in a large house in Domain Road, South Yarra, about fifteen minutes walk from home. I think it is two storey but otherwise unremarkable.

F B Clapp made lots of money from his Cobb and Co horse powered stage coach business. 

I am mostly working on memory here, but Clapp the elder visited San Francisco to examine its cable tram system, where a moving cable runs under the road and through a slot and a grip mechanism built into the tram, the tram is hauled along the streets. He brought his knowledge back to Melbourne was instrumental in establishing our first cable tram line, which soon expanded to quite a large system. San Francisco still has cable trams, mostly for tourists. Melbourne just has a few remnants. 

The first cable tram line in Melbourne ran from Spencer Street Station along Flinders Street and Bridge Road to terminate at Hawthorn Bridge, where the Yarra River was a natural barrier to going further. Here is the kept façade of the first cable car tram depot.

His son Harold, later knighted, in 1920 became Chairman of Victorian Railways and improved and modernised Victoria's railway system immensely, with also a strong focus on food and refreshments, in including railway café food, fresh fruit and vegetables and of all things, raisins, and even raisin toast. 

Victorians and Melbournians have lots of reasons to applaud Clapp and son. This plaque is in front of their Domain Road home, Airlie. 

What was going on?

The area was fenced off and wiring was laid underground and wondered what it was about. We discovered last week.

This one is a bit amusing at the end where real birds are feeding near a display bird.