Dramatis persona*

helenhead Helen Chick

I've always wanted a bumper sticker that said "I'm a female, LDS/Mormon, Scout leading, geocaching, piano-playing, bicycling, mathematics educator with a PhD in maths ... and I VOTE"!

I think this makes me a minority group of cardinality 1!

* Since there's only one of me and "personae" is plural (I think), I've gone with dramatis persona.
June 2019
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A niece’s first overnight hike

The summer holidays seemed like a good time to introduce my 14-year-old niece, B, to overnight hiking. There’s an ideal spot down on the Tasman Peninsula which we sometimes use with Scouts: great scenery, mostly level track with enough hilly bits to help you learn to cope with them, not too long, and with fresh water […]

Photographing waterfalls

It was a lovely afternoon, and I decided to take my camera and tripod to visit a couple of waterfalls on Mt Wellington. Getting to the first — O’Grady’s Falls — involves a gentle stroll along a wide and easy track, and then has the potential for producing slightly damp feet if taking photos from within […]

A hidden waterfall

As I was tidying my house this week, I came across a map of part of Mt Wellington that had been given to me, upon which was marked the route to a waterfall I’d never visited. I am a sucker for a waterfall and an obscure track, so I called up Dad to see if he […]

Views from Cape Deslacs

I decided to go a little further afield for this afternoon’s walk, and headed along Clifton Beach to Cape Deslacs, a place I don’t think I’ve visited before today. I didn’t have time for a great deal of exploration, but the views were […]

Aurora regrets

The signs were good for a big aurora event on Friday night, but the day had brought a big snow dump and lots of showers and a full moon was also forecast. My evening plans actually involved a weekend troop Scout camp, and that was my main focus during a hectic day: I’d been able to […]

Disappearing Tarn and somewhere else

On the southern slopes of Mt Wellington, about 4km from The Springs, there is one of the mountain’s more famous features: the aptly named Disappearing Tarn. It lies — when it is there at all — in a curious depression in one of the bigger “potato fields”: a large area of tumbled dolerite rocks and boulders […]

“My hair a flock of cockatoos”

There’s a choral piece that we’ve been singing with Loose Canon entitled “My Nurse and I”, which was written by Matthew Orlovich in 2010 as a setting of a poem written by Nicolette Stasko. It references the Australian landscape and its fauna, and opens with the words

I am twined in the great trees
by the river
my hair […]

Kangaroos in the streets

Apparently some of the tourists who come to Australia have the expectation that they will see kangaroos in the streets. Any streets. Every street. We find this amusing, and proceed to inform them about precautions to protect themselves against drop bears.

Although kangaroos are only rarely found in Australian streets, I do have to report that on […]

“Hello, possums!”*

My sister’s house is on a bush block and the hollow of one of their trees is home to two possums: mum and a growing baby. They are well accustomed to humans, and, indeed, have come to expect food, and so they were not at all shy when we looked in on them today. In fact, […]

Bathurst Harbour Day 7

And the sun comes out properly for the final stretch

There was enough time between waking up and breakfast to pop down to the water’s edge and catch sight of a small flotilla of swans floating down Melaleuca Inlet. The light was quite gloomy and so this photo was shot at ISO1600 for 1/5 second, which explains […]