Skip to main content

Bright, Victoria. Australia. A Mob of Wallabies. May 2011.

I arrived in Sydney, Australia on May 15th for a two-week visit. My mom, sister, and brother-in-law live in the western suburbs known as the hills area. After a couple days rest, we drove down to Wandiligong, Victoria to have a look at my maternal grandfather's hometown. His family,the Norleys, was one of the pioneer families who settled in the area, working at the quartz and gold mines that flourished in Wandiligong beginning in the 1850s.

It was a wonderful trip for us. We were finally able to relate images to the oral history that my grandfather handed down to us. We even found the very spot on which the old homestead stood on what is now Growler's Creek Road. Thanks to a 93-yr old local historian who still remembered some of the family members---my grandfather's siblings and most certainly some members of the following generation ( mom's cousins ).

A trip to the local cemetery was imperative. The cemetery is located in the next town of Bright. There, we found the grave of my grandfather's grandfather. A fellow named Thomas Norley who hailed from Kent, England and who immigrated to Australia around the 1840s. He died in 1893. On the other side of the cemetery lay my mom's great grandparents on her mother's side. Their names were Allan and Sophia Kennedy. They are considered pioneers in the Ovens area which is North of Bright. Their eldest daughter, Sarah, married my grandfather's father, David Norley (b. 1850 d.1907). This was all very interesting although the distances in time were hard to fathom.

While meandering through the graveyard, we encountered this mob of wallabies. They quickly spotted us, and one of them immediately took up guard duty. We stayed clear of them because they seemed ready to stand their ground unlike deer and black bears in New Jersey who run at the sight of humans. These are wallabies and not kangaroos. Roos are bigger in size and usually have reddish fur. But, wallabies can be big enough to command some respect. Consider the wallaby in the background in relation to the tombstone near it. The wallaby on guard duty stood approximately six feet.


Welcome back and glad you had safe and memorable travels. Since my parents are both from Switzerland and their families are all there, I can relate to the awe of going and associating the stories with actual places.

Hope you are enjoying the sunny, warm weather.
kahel kuting said…
wow these photos and the story was really uplifting. you have an interesting heritage=)
Chessbuff said…
After more than 24 hours of air travel, I am finally home. If I don't see the interior of an airplane for the next year, that would be just fine.

Australia's flora and fauna is very interesting. There are wallabies, kangaroos, echidnas, platipusses, kookaburras, and many forms of spiders. There is also the Jackaranda tree that has blue leaves. Forgive the misspellings if there are any. But, my family in Australia gives me the most pleasure when I go down there.
So typically Australian, love those wallabies (or are they Eastern Grey Kangaroos). Anyway a great place to end up I reckon, nature and wildlife still bounding around long after we have left.
This comment has been removed by the author.

Popular posts from this blog

Northern New Jersey. Dog for Adoption. Simba. Pomeranian.

Here's a dog I want you to meet, Simba. He's an energetic little fellow who literally leaps in joy when it's time for a walk. I mean, Simba leaps vertically like he's on a pogo stick. He's very amusing. Simba was rescued from a pound down in West Virginia, and he's now with us in northern New Jersey. I love small dogs, and he's become my most recent favorite. Simba certainly qualifies as a lap dog. Last Sunday, after walking him, we sat in our patio area at the shelter and I gave him tummy rubs and back massages while he laid like a pillow on my lap. I've been told that Simba doesn't like having a collar put around his neck, and so he wears a harness instead. Interestingly, Simba is microchipped. So, he belonged to someone who cared for him. He's a good boy and only two years old. All predict that Simba will get adopted quickly, like most toy dogs do.

Bloomingdale Animal Shelter Society

UPDATE: Adopted by the Small Animal Rescue of Princeton, NJ

Poem. Captivity, Longing. Cruelty. Misery. Free the Animals.

Thumbing through some Robert Frost poems, I was led to this one by Maya Angelou . I don't know if Frost ever had an influence on Angelou, but certainly any American poet living today would be familiar with Frost's work. Frost and Whitman are my favorite poets, and the romantic poets ( Keats, Byron, and Shelley ) I can't bear. I find their work dense, abstruse and impenetrable. It's just a matter of taste and connectivity. I am no expert on verse, but I will accept the opinion of those who are. They warn us that Frost's poetry is deceivingly simple. If we were to try our hand at it, to put complicated emotions into simple verse, we would be tied up in knots.

Anyway, Angelou's poem below, Caged Bird, touches on the plaintive cries, the longing for better things, that captive individuals must go through. You can apply the core meaning or sentiment of this poem to any situation involving imprisonment or captivity, human or animal. Think of the dog in a dank, dark ba…

Hiking. Protection Against Snake Bites. Gaiters.

You might wonder what on Earth are these? They are called, "gaiters," and fashion has nothing to do with them. Gaiters act like shin guards against briars and other thorny plants, worn by those who work outdoors like forestry rangers, ranchers, and farmers. Gaiters come in different styles and material, but they normally protect the ankles up to the knees.

This pair provides protection against snake bites. New material called SuperFabric makes protection possible without putting on the usual thick, cumbersome gaiters with polycarbonate sheets embedded in them. This pair is flexible and light, made by Whitewater. I got this pair from

I believe that such protection is necessary for hikers considering that rattlesnakes, copperheads, and cottonmouths are not rare along the trails, and they can be difficult to spot on the ground. I am willing to accept the prevailing theory that snakes, like most wild animals, will avoid hikers if given enough tim…