Does it get cold in Australia?

This is Canberra on a cold wintery day, with a dusting of snow on the Brindabella Mountains and the Australian Parliament House in the foreground.

Fog is more common than snow in Canberra, and this is often very stressful for politicians flying into Canberra, or indeed, Canberrans flying out to Queensland to get some warmth and sunshine!

Paul and I go to the markets every Thursday, but it has been a cold night, so Paul is checking the birdbaths, and removing the ice.

The birds are very dependent on us for water in these icy conditions…

The cockatoos are socialising and drinking from the neighbourhood’s gutters.

The lovely King Parrots are always here in winter..

They love to feed on the leftover leaves from the Japanese Maples..

The markets are very quiet this morning. In summer these corridors are full of people in shorts and T-shirts by lunch time! The markets specialise in food and lunches for all nationalities.

Today we are buying fresh vegetables, nuts, milk and yogurt and a few nice sauces for casseroles.

We had a chat to a new person at the cash register. She is from Germany, and has not long been in Australia. Today, everyone in the market is in coats and warm clothes, I asked her if she was expecting this cold weather…. her reply “I never thought it would be this cold in Australia.

The good news is that although Canberra has cold winters, it often has clear blue skies, and four seasons, so you know spring is coming.

This is often a good time for riding around the lake, or walking along the bridge..

Before long the Manchurian Pear trees will start to blossom, a real sign of spring!

This photo was taken at the beginning of spring, more and more people venture out to enjoy the sun…

Thank you for taking the time to read my post today, and may the sun shine on you today.

Copyright: Geraldine Mackey : All Rights Reserved..

Marvellous Melbourne, and a flashback to Covid days..

The two biggest cities in Australia, Sydney and Melbourne, are often compared and contrasted.

There was, and still is, much rivalry between the two..

Melbourne Royal Exhibition Gardens

I once asked a gracious old lady what she thought of Melbourne and Sydney….

She said “Well of course, Melbourne is marvellous..…”

‘but my dear………. what could compare with Sydney Harbour?”

Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House
Sydney Harbour and skyline

So never the twain shall meet.

Our family became more familar with Melbourne when our elder daughter and family moved to this gracious city, full of colour and movement!

Red Hot Pokers
Cliveas
The local tram

Melbourne is well known for its trams, they are a novelty for us and fun to take the tram in the city, and watch the world go by…

One of many Melbourne Arcades, food, coffee, people!

Melbourne has become a very multicultural city, and is represented by many many different cultures. Needless to say there is a great variety of foods, markets, coffee, cafes and restaurants.

We often visit this café because it is near the Botanic Gardens…

In the older suburbs of the city, it is easy to see the early pioneers and gold rush days… (my father’s family came from Wicklow, Ireland.)

Our daughter and family live in a well kept inner city suburb, with lots of parks and lovely gardens.

The small Eucalyptus trees are perfect for the streets, and the flowers bring the birds too.

During Australia’s Covid Lockdown, we travelled to Melbourne to help out with our daughter and son-in-law, as they were expecting their second baby in September. Lockdown rules still applied, with social distancing, wearing masks and restricted numbers of people socialising together.

The highlight of our day was a slow walk with our three year old granddaughter

Thanks to her we noticed every ant, insect and bug along the path, all of which was very interesting….

Kind and thoughtful neighbours helped by putting toys in street trees, Winnie the Pooh was very popular, and we looked forward to seeing Winnie every day.

The Rainbow Lorikeets enjoy the parks and seem to be everywhere..

Gardening continued through Covid…

Before Covid this park was full of people, playing sport, sitting under trees, having picnics, children swinging on play equipment.

Looking at these photos now, the very quiet and strange life of Lockdowns and Covid seems a long time ago, and what an uncertain, and worrying time it was!

We were very grateful to have an enthusiastic three year old on hand!

However, we realised flying a make-shift kite was harder than we thought..

A bonny baby boy was born, and before long it was Christmas..

The Eucalyptus flowers were decorated by kindly neighbours, and, for us, Melbourne was marvellous..

Some time ago I have written a blog post about the Covid Lockdowns in Australia, and there might be some overlap of photos. My apologies.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog post today. I hope you are having a day of sunshine…

Copyright: Geraldine Mackey: All Rights Reserved.

The Blue Mountains, wild life in the vineyard..

We recently went to a wedding in the Hunter Valley, and we stayed in an AirBnB nearby. The AirBnB was a cottage set in an olive grove.

When we arrived a young kangaroo and his family were watching close by…

It was a very hot day, and the owner of the property said they had very little rain this year…never a good sign.

However the next morning the light was soft across the fields, and the kangaroo family had moved down to greener pastures.

We enjoyed the wedding, and had a hearty breakfast at one of the many places to eat in the Hunter valley.

We had planned a short holiday around the wedding, and the next day, we drove to the beautiful Blue Mountains…

It was a long and winding road to our next AirBnB, however, when we arrived we knew it was all worth it. We had a lovely spacious cottage, looking across to the wonderful views of the Blue Mountains.

Paul is looking very cheerful after our early morning walk around the vineyards. The views were breath-taking, and the mountain air was cold and clear. The verandah of our cottage gave us a beautiful view of the surrounds.

Every morning the mist slowly lifted across the vineyards and towards the mountains..

….. the day gradually cleared into blue skies..

During our time here we also watched the frustration of the owners of nearby vineyards…it is the season for picking the grapes, and a huge flock of cockatoos had flown by to help with the pickings.

Occasionally the birds could hear loud bangs, (known as bird scarers, designed to deter birds near crops) and they would rise up gracefully, and sit in a neighbouring tree. (it is against the law to kill most wildlife birds in Australia, including Cockatoos)

The above photo does not do justice to the amount of cockatoos waiting in the trees. The next morning we watched the fruit pickers and farm workers, as they got to work stretching out long netting and then lifting it carefully onto the vines and covering the grapes.

It is a tough job working in a vineyard!

Meanwhile we had a wonderful time watching the escarpment of the distant Blue Mountains, turning a deep colour red in the evening. A lovely place to relax.

Thanks for taking the time to read my post and best wishes for spring in the Northern Hemisphere, and autumn in the Southern Hemisphere…..the days grow shorter every week here in Canberra.

Copyright Geraldine Mackey: All Rights Reserved..

Powerful stories and a powerful teacher: The Man from Snowy River to the Boer War

I began my blog, Canberra’s Green Spaces to write about gardens and green spaces. However, blogging is often about storytelling, and in the memory of one of my teachers, Mrs O’Brien, I decided to dedicate this post to her teaching, and story-telling.

I was born and brought up in Zambia, and Zimbabwe, I loved reading and talking, and listening to stories. Yet my memory of school was of long boring lessons, mediocre grades, and being told by one teacher that I was ..“nothing but a flibbertigibbet!

In my last year of school I changed from my high school in Zimbabwe to a tutorial college in Cape Town, South Africa. A tiny brown-eyed woman of about fifty introduced herself as Mrs O’Brien, our English and History teacher. As a newcomer to South Africa, I just hoped I would not be asked too many questions..

The Man from Snowy River (National Film and Sound Archives of Australia.)

I did not need to worry, Mrs O’Brien began with the Australian poem by Banjo Patterson,

The Man from Snowy River.

Some of these photos are taken from the movie, The Man from Snowy River… (The movie was shot in Victorian High Country near Mansfield Victoria.)

As Mrs O’Brien read and talked, the class was transfixed. Although I had not been to Australia I could see the horses charging over the gullies and through the rivers and past the stringy barks …Clancy’s gnarled Australian face was easily transported into our African classroom.

When I came to Australia I immediately recognised the landscape that Mrs O’Brien had easily portrayed through her reading of the poem. Yet she had not been out of the Cape Province. The power of the teacher, the power of the poem.

As good fortune would have it, Paul and I live close to the Snowy Mountains, and I often think of her, while we are walking in this rugged but beautiful countryside.

Spring in the Snowy Mountains

Mrs O’Brien’s greatest strength was teaching us South African history. Everything came alive, the Voortrekkers, the Zulus, the massacres, the peace treaties….

The First Boer War

Just looking at these pictures of the Boer wars brought back memories..

The picture below belonged to my mother (who lived in South Africa when she was young). This was her favourite print, called The Great Trek 1838 and it depicts the hardships of people in bygone eras.

The Great Trek painted by Tinus De Jongh

My family immigrated to Australia, and a few years later I married Paul. We went on a trip to South Africa and spent some time in the Drakensberg Mountains which held some of the turbulent history of the time. Needless to say, Mrs O’Brien’s words and stories remained with me.

At the end of the year, I went back home, we immigrated to Australia and I never saw Mrs O’Brien again. I hope she kept on teaching and telling stories, and how lucky I was to spent time listening to her stories.

Many thanks for taking the time to read my blog post today.

May the sun shine and the days be cheerful where ever you are in the world today.

Copyright Geraldine Mackey: All Rights Reserved ..

Cockatoos, Christmas and Mount Taylor …..

Just before Christmas, we had an unexpected visitor. ..

A group of cockatoos were helping themselves to the flowers on our apricot tree, and when Paul chased them away he noticed that one of birds was walking, rather than flying away.

It seemed to be a young cockatoo, perhaps a male, with a very protective mother who walked along the path with him. (I wish I’d taken a photo of them)

 I hoped they would both fly away, and I returned to the house to get on with Christmas preparations.

Anxious relatives waiting on the carport roof..

However, a few hours later, the cockatoo was still sitting under a tree in the garden. He has a mark on his head…..we wondered if he’d had a “crash landing” in the garden while the apricot raid was on..

I decided to call WIRES (NSW Wildlife Information, Rescue, & Education service.) and I had a chat to a very helpful person called Lyn. She asked if the cockatoo had a tail, (which he didn’t have, compared with the other cockatoos) and this indicated he was definitely a Juvenile.

Lyn then gave me an interesting, and amusing insight into the life of a young cockatoo.

These two photos were taken last year at Rushcutters’s Bay

During the mating season, Sulphur Crested Cockatoos nest high in the hollow of gum (Eucalyptus) trees. The parents share the incubation of two to four eggs and feed nestlings for about 6 -8 weeks. Cockatoos may have as many as four young cockatoos in the hollow for a long time.!

Lyn said, ‘‘as you can imagine they are quite stunned and very reliant on their parents when they leave the hollow!”

Lyn said WIRES members, understandably do not take young birds if they are being fed by their parents. When the parents stop feeding the juvenile cockatoos starts to become independent and usually have developed well enough to fly.

The young mother (on the left) looks almost as young as her Juvenile offspring.

The young cockatoo, settled into one of our Japanese Maple trees. He pulled himself up by his beak and claws, looking a little stunned, but always with his mother close by.

Fortunately our cockatoo family were very quiet (which is VERY unusual). His mother was completely devoted to him, she arrived about dawn every morning, fed him and often spent time preening him, and then she flew off, and came back in the evening to feed him again.. Paul and I sometimes wondered if he was going to be bigger than his mother..

Meanwhile Christmas was just a few days away, and our daughter, son-in-law and our two grandchildren were arriving any minute. They live in the inner city of Melbourne, and so they greeted the idea of a young cockatoo in the tree, with great interest.

Christmas day was a happy family time, fortunately the young cockatoo and his energetic mother had moved to a densely covered Bottlebrush at the bottom of the garden, and we made sure they had peace and quiet there. Our granddaughter made the cockatoo a nest out of paper plates, and thoughtfully left it under the plum tree.

The parents continued to watch over their youngster, and his mother spent time gently spreading out his wings …very poignant to watch.

The cockatoo family gradually moved to another very quiet garden, and we are not sure exactly what has happened to him now, but I hope he is learning to fly..

Once Christmas was over, presents had been opened, visitors had come and gone, there were a couple more things to do. Paul wanted to harvest his abundant bed of carrots, and had two willing helpers. They loved it, nothing like getting your hands in soil!

Once the carrots were harvested and cleaned, we had one more box to tick….we don’t have many traditions in Canberra, but almost everyone enjoys the outdoors.

We have lived on the slopes of Mount Taylor for many years. Our tradition is that when we get together, we make a bit of a trek along the path to the middle section of Mount Taylor .

The following photos have been taken over the span of many years …

When our daughters were young we walked up the path to look at the view, to see if we could spot our house, and to look for the kangaroos.

Lake Tuggeranong and surrounding suburbs
The kangaroos relaxing…

Paul, our son-in-law Anthony, and our grandson and granddaughter walked half way up Mt Taylor. They didn’t see many kangaroos, but they loved the climb, especially our grandson who is three and half years old. He couldn’t wait to tell his Mum ..

“I went to the mountain: and I loved it!”

As they walked down the mountain, guess what they saw…a cockatoo looking towards the mountain..

Happy New Year to everyone, and thank you for taking the time to read my blog post, during this busy time of the year.

In the words of David Attenborough:

It seems to me that the natural world is the greatest source of excitement, the greatest source of visual beauty, the greatest source of intellectual interest..it is the greatest source of so much in life that makes life worth living...

Copyright Geraldine Mackey: All Rights Reserved

Spring time in Canberra, the garden, the birds and housing for chickens..

Despite the changeable weather, and perhaps because we have had so much rain, all the spring flowers and bulbs were smiling this year..

The wind blows relentlessly across this part of the garden, but the tulips stand firm… I love them!

The Aquilegias are thriving in the garden, which is quite remarkable because the possum (and family, we think) pay a nightly visit to this part of the garden…. they jump into and over the flowers to get onto the plum tree. Very very annoying!

The garden looks a colourful yellow in early spring, the daffodils defy all odds and come up looking stronger every year. The yellow flowering plant on the left is Bulbinella Nutans, which we bought at Lambley Nursery in Victoria.

Australian native plants have their own colour and beauty especially in the early morning light.

This part of the garden has become very shady, with maturing Manchurian Pear trees, Japanese Maples and big and small birdbaths. All birds have their favourites!

This delicate Japanese Maple attracts the tiny Silver-eye birds and the Honey-eaters. These birds come to the tree even when we are sitting under the branches. Our granddaughter says this is because it is a magic tree.

Paul has grown some lovely vegetables this year. He has just cut some Silverbeet and he gave some to our neighbours, Lois and Sandi.

Sandi made four Spanakopita pies and gave one to us. It was delicious and we took a photo of our empty plates, and sent them to him. Spanakopitas is a Savoury Greek spinach pie.

In early spring we noticed this little Sulphur Crested Cockatoo while we were walking up Heartbreak Hill. It was soon joined by a large (noisy) group of Cockatoos. Phew!

We are frequent visitors to Open Gardens, and quite often we see varied chicken coops.

A chicken coop with a creative flair.
I liked Cluckingham Palace

This chicken coop is in the wonderful estate of Retford Park in Bowral. What lucky chickens, it may even be temperature controlled.

The Retford Park gardens

I hope you are enjoying spring, or autumn in your part of the world. During this time of turbulence across the world, I am acutely aware of the peace, tranquillity, and friendship we find in our garden, our home and our neighbourhood.

Copyright Geraldine Mackey: All Rights Reserved

Canberra: A spring morning walk after a wedding…

September has been a very busy month, as we had a wedding in the family!

Our daughter Jess and her lovely husband Mike got married in the Margaret Whitlam Pavilion, a beautiful venue built up high on the hills around the National Arboretum.

Margaret Whitlam Pavilion

My apologies for using the above photo in my last post, however, it shows the height of the building and the views. This photo was taken a while ago and the trees around it have grown.

September is the beginning of our spring, and a festive time in Canberra. The biggest event is Floriade, a month long event in the Commonwealth Park, with huge garden beds exploding with colourful spring flowers. (the planning and planting for this festival goes on all year.) Tulip Tops is a smaller, but equally pretty display for spring, and the photo below shows some tulips called The American Dream.

Canberra is well known for its very cold winters (by Australian standards) and so we tend to celebrate spring as if we were in the Northern Hemisphere! We all long for warmth and sunshine by September, and even more so with a wedding coming up. Fortunately the stars were aligned and delivered a warm day with continual sunshine. The winds were blowing, but that was better than rain!

It was a lovely happy wedding with everyone in a festive mood. The gods were smiling on us. I hope to have some photos soon.

All good things must come to an end, and we enjoyed our time with family and friends. Our older daughter Rebecca lives in Melbourne and she and her family came to stay for a few extra days, which was an added bonus.

Needless to say, when everyone left, we missed the patter of little feet, and the early morning chatter of our grandchildren….not to mention our children and close relatives!

The Museum of Australian Democracy (Old Parliament House) looks down on the The Australian War Memorial and Anzac Parade

However, the weather was still warm and sunny and we decided to take a walk around Lake Burley Griffin. As Floriade was in full in swing we had to park near “Old Parliament House”.

Once we parked the car, we went to the gardens of Old Parliament House to see the lovely wisteria decorating some of the elegant buildings outside Old Parliament House (now known as the Museum of Australian Democracy.)

We were too late to see the white wisteria on the right hand side, and now looks as if it needs a trim.

Beyond the bench is a Bowling Green and an accompanying cottage.

Paul worked in Old Parliament House for a while and enjoyed the quiet elegance of the building and the gardens.

Beyond the gardens we found new statues of two important women in our history, both looking very elegant wearing their hats and holding their handbags. There was a plaque for both which told how much they had achieved…

Dame Dorothy Tangney and Dame Enid Lyons

Dame Dorothy Tangney (1907 – 1985) was elected to the Senate and was the first female member of the Labor Party to be elected to the Federal Parliament.

Dame Enid Lyons (1897-1981) was the first woman to be elected to the House of Representatives and the first female member to be appointed to Federal Cabinet. She married Joseph Lyons who became Prime Minister. She supported him greatly, and they had eleven children and the 12th child died in infancy. What tough lives they had!

We walked down to the lake, but unfortunately we had missed the white blossoms of the Manchurian Pear trees. Fortunately I had a photo from 2019 which showed the lovely blossoms and life before Covid!

We walked along the pathway and all the trees were looking very green and fresh. On the right there are Manchurian Pear trees and on the left there are Claret Ashes. Needless to say this avenue of trees looks glorious in the autumn.

Many thanks for spending some time to read my blog post, and may your gardens be flourishing regardless of the weather!

Copyright Geraldine Mackey: All Rights Reserved

Happy Wattle Day, National Arboretum Canberra, and a wedding

Wattle day is the beginning of spring in Australia, and Canberra is just exploding with lovely soft yellow wattle flowers and colourful birds

This was one of the first photos I took when I began my blog in 2014, and I chose the National Arboretum in Canberra at dawn.

The proposal for the site was to have 100 Forests 100 gardens…and this began to be implemented in 2005.

The building in the distance is the Margaret Whitlam Pavilion and when I took this photo, I never dreamt that one day the younger of our two daughters would be getting married in this Pavilion, and in this beautiful setting.

The wedding is planned for spring time, and we are hoping for a sunny day, but we will enjoy the day regardless of weather.

The grassy rolling hills next to the Pavilion always seem to be a big attraction for children.

There will be children at the wedding and I’m sure they will enjoy a run and play after the wedding.

The Village Centre is not far from the Pavilion, and has an Information Centre, a café, a restaurant and a gift shop.

The photos in this post were taken between 2014 to 2020, and since that time we have had some good years of rain, and the trees are flourishing. The National Arboretum has become a wonderful place of recreation for Canberrans and visitors alike.

Needless to say, for our family, this will be an extra special place in our hearts.

Many thanks for taking the time to read my blog, and I hope your gardens are flourishing regardless of rain, hail or snow!

Copyright: Geraldine Mackey: All Rights Reserved.

Far North Queensland and Hemingway’s on the Hill..

Far North Queensland: Port Douglas

Canberra is well known for having cold winters (by Australian standards). June to August can be cold, rainy and miserable in Canberra.

Fortunately the temperatures in Far North Queensland are mild and pleasant during these months. Many Australians from the southern states, including our family, go on holiday to Queensland during our winter months.

This year in mid-June, Paul’s much loved mother, at the age of 96, passed away. She had eight children and many grandchildren and great grandchildren, and will be sadly missed by everyone.

The last few months have been very busy, and at times very sad. However, we had planned a holiday in Far North Queensland and a few weeks ago, we packed our bags, and flew to Cairns.

Despite the overcast view that day, it is always a pleasure to see the coastline as the plane turns to land in Cairns.

We decided to start our holiday with a few quiet days in the Atherton Tablelands, despite it being a little colder than along the coast.

Paul found us a small cottage in the Atherton Tablelands and it was called Hemingway’s on the Hill.

It was quiet, rustic and peaceful, and just what we needed….a break away from everything.

On the way to our cottage we stopped at a pretty country town called Yungaburra and bought pizzas, a bottle of wine, and a few extra food supplies for our first meal at Hemingway’s on the Hill.

The cabin had all kinds of interesting books and magazines. The owner of the cottage lived on a farm nearby. She had packed the fridge and kitchen with fruit, eggs, bacon, butter, jams, honey and yogurt.

Everything we ate there came from local farms.. what a feast!

Paul lit the fire on the first evening and we sat quietly watching the sun going down …..it was cold, but a very pleasant quiet time…there is nothing like a flickering fire for relaxing.

In the morning we had better views of the rolling hills, and farms dotted across the mountains. The Atherton Tablelands provides food for many parts of Australia, with its rich volcanic soil there are an amazing amount of crops grown in this area. (more of that in another post)

The owner of the property had left instructions for everything, but this little note at the back of the folder made me smile….be warned of noises when you are in the countryside in Australia.

We did hear the Curlew birds in the night….my impression is that they have a rather sad cry, and always late at night. However, my cousin, who lives not very far from this area, says she loves coming home and listening to their long song.

A Bush Stone-curlew bird Photo: Birdlife Australia
A regular night time visitor, a possum

We have never had bandicoots in our garden, (thank goodness), but possums are a perennial problem and they bounce across our carport roof quite often in the night, usually looking for fruit and vegetables.

Our three days at Hemingway’s cottage was spent eating good nourishing food, having quiet times by the fire, and reading books…..we slept well, and were completely unaware of any night time activity during our stay.

Before we left for our second holiday house at the coast, I took some photos of the two colourful flowers that were growing in the gardens at Hemingway’s. As with all flowers and shrubs in this part of the world, they are large, bright and cheerful.

There are many interesting parts of Far North Queensland to see and enjoy, and I’ll write a few posts on some very different parts of Queensland.

Many thanks for taking the time to read my post today, and may you have some sunshine where ever you are in the world.

Copyright: Geraldine Mackey: All Rights Reserved.

Kangaroos, Koalas and the Brushed Tailed Rock Wallaby Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve

Yesterday Paul and I intended going out to Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve, until the weather took a turn for the worse, cold and windy and miserable. So, it was definitely a ”stay at home” kind of day.

However I had many photos from previous visits, quite often through winter, so I’ve used these photos and regular readers (over years) will recognise a few.

Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve is a much loved place, very close to Canberra, with walks and views of animals, all living in their natural habitat. The Reserve also has much needed threatened species breeding programs, and conservation of flora and fauna.

More than anything it gives us all the ability to connect in with nature and conservation.

Considering these photos were taken in winter the kangaroos and koalas are looking very healthy. The joey seems to be quite relaxed in his pouch.

The mother of this joey, instinctively protecting her joey before she continues to graze.

Brush-tailed Rock Wallaby amongst the burnt trees

In 2003 we had terrible fires in this region, and also in Canberra. The photo above was taken well after the fires, but still the remnants of the fire remain.

This photo was seen in many parts of the world at that time. Humans and animals desperately trying to survive during this exhausting and fearful time.

Lucky was the only koala to survive the 2003 fires in this region. Unfortunately the only photo of Lucky I could find was one taken just after he was rescued from the fire…all too dreadful to see, but he did survive and thrive until July 2008, and he died of old age.

For five years there were no koalas at Tidbinbilla. In 2013, some koalas were relocated from New South Wales to Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve. These koalas have been part of special breeding program and have thrived since this time.

Koalas eat a range of Eucalyptus leaves. .

The Rangers at Tidbinbilla created a special free-range enclosure which enabled adults and children to see the koalas eating, sleeping, and climbing branches without disturbing them.

This adult koala is tolerantly taking this almost fully grown youngster for a ride.

Brushed-tailed Rock Wallaby.

The brushed-tailed rock wallaby is another animal that survives well in Tidbinbilla. In the mid 1990s there were fewer than 40 southern brush-tailed rock wallabies in the wild and in this area.

In days well past, they were hunted for many years, then lost habitat to feral foxes and feral goats. Tidbinbilla joined the fight to save the brush-tailed wallaby. These days Tidbinbilla has about 70 per cent of the southern Brush-tailed Rock-Wallaby’s captive breeding population in Australia.

In the words of Brett McNamara, the Regional Manager ACT Parks and Conservation Service.(2019)

Next time you visit Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve, keep an eye out for the elusive shadow as it takes a giant leap forward, back from the edge of extinction.

Congratulation to all the Rangers and volunteers who work at Tidbinbilla, their dedication over the years has made Tidbinbilla a wonderful place to visit.

Best wishes to all readers and may your days be sunny and mild..

Copyright Geraldine Mackey: All Rights Reserved .