Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Bugs to Beatles

  •    Harlequin Bug -- They are brightly coloured and rounded shield shaped bug that grow to about 20 mm. They reproduce rapidly and females mate multiple times with many males before laying up to 150 eggs per female. Adult females are mostly orange and males are both blue and red or orange. The colours are quite variable. They live in Northern and Eastern Australia and are known as the Hibiscus Harlequin Bug or Jewel Bug .They probably get their name from the Italian comics/clowns called Harlequin’s who's costumes were usually covered with many coloured patches. The comics patches later evolved into triangles and diamond shapes. In the Americas and other tropical areas they are known as the harlequin cabbage bug, calico bug,or fire bug.
 Harlequin/Jewel Bug
 Forgiven by A.A.Milne
Alexander Beetle by Melanie Safca 
based on the A.A.Milne Poem

  •  Arthur Alexander /Another Beatle  was born 10 May 1940, in Florence, Alabama. known to his friends as “June,” for Junior. By the time he left school in his teenage years, Arthur was crazy in love with music C&W, R&B, pop. In the early 1960s, he recorded a handful of discs that inspired a generation of artists. Sir Paul McCartney once said, "If the Beatles ever wanted a sound it was Arthur Alexander. Arthur Alexanders songs recorded by the Beatles were Anna,Soldier of Love and Shot of Rhythm and Blues. He first came to fame with “You Better Move On”, which peaked at number 24 on billboard charts in April of 1962 and then covered by The Rolling Stones.  During The Beatles search for songs to perform in their stage act, they were keen to learn songs that no one else was doing. Discovering flip sides of songs they admired became part of their live performances. The flip side to “You Better Move On” was “A Shot Of Rhythm And Blues”, which was the first performed live on stage. Then Arthur's  next single, “Where Have You Been All My Life” failed to make the top 40, but its’ flip side, “Soldier Of Love”, was also performed by The Beatles on the BBC .
Soldier of Love
Arthur Alexander

  •  Arthur Alexanders next single, the self-penned “Anna” named after Arthur's real life wife Ann, became a top 10 hit on the Billboard R&B charts, and made an impact on  John Lennon, who suggested the song to the band and was recorded for their first album Please Please Me. “Alexanders’ R&B chart career continued for many years, but without being able to crack the Billboard top 40 again and struggling financially he decided to retire from the music business. In the late 1970's he became a bus driver in Cleveland, Ohio for a local social service organization. Arthurs final recording was Hound Dog Mans Gone Home in 1977. A tribute to the king. 
My Favourite Beatle 
  •  George Harrison -- A master musician, best known as the lead guitarist and occasionally lead vocalist of The Beatles. He was born February 25, 1943, in Liverpool, Merseyside, England. Wonderwall was a film that George wrote the score for in 1968 and was the first solo album released by any of the band after the Beatles split and the first recorded on the Apple label. This was used as inspiration for Oasis song of the same name, according to the Gallaghers. The song Inner Light was written by George at these sessions and was used as the flipside for the final Beatles single Lady Madonna . My all time favourite album was Cloud Nine, Georges final album which included songs My Mind Set On You and Fish on the Sand
  •  Personal Experience -- Thanks for the music and memories George ! My dad had just been diagnosed with cancer and given a year to live. During the twelve months I would make the 600 km road trip on numerous ocassions. One of these was with my eleven year old daughter. I remember the talks we had and that great George Harrison album that accompanied us. His final solo album Cloud Nine was filled with beautifully crafted music. I know my daughter had a soft spot for I Got My Mind Set On You. We played that tape non stop and talked about her poppy and all the music legends that had left us. I remember discussing John Lennon's shooting and the Beatles classics. Then telling her the reasons why George was my favourite beatle. I think back to us sitting, on the beach front, at a little town called 1770 and watching the sunrise listening to Fish on the Sand. Cloud Nine will always be one of my favourite albums. A beautiful piece of artistry compiled by George and his friends Jeff Lynne,Elton John,Eric Clapton and Ringo Starr.
Jewel Bug

  • Scarab Beetle --  This particular species of beetle is represented in numerous ancient Egyptian amulets and works of art .The amulets were often placed over the heart of the mummified deceased and called heart scarabs. The reasoning was the persons was to be weighed against the feather of truth during the final judgement. In ancient Egyptian religion, the sun god Ra is seen to roll across the sky each day, transforming bodies and souls. The beetle would roll dung into a ball as food and as a brood chamber in which to lay eggs. For these reasons the scarab was seen as a symbol of this heavenly cycle and of the idea of rebirth or regeneration. The Egyptian god Ra, the rising sun, was often depicted as a scarab beetle. The scarab was usually inscribed with designs to form an official impression seal.

 Longicorn Beetles

Harlequin Bug
Elvis Beetle

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Dogs and Gods

  • Dogstar  The brightest star visible from any part of Earth is Sirius. Sirius is sometimes called the Dog Star. It is located in the constellation Canis Major or the Greater Dog. Although white to blue white in color, Sirius is also called the rainbow star, as it often flickers with many colors.The brightness, twinkling and color changes sometimes prompt people to report Sirius as a UFO ! The shimmering and color changes happen for other stars, but are more noticeable for Sirius because Sirius is so bright.
  •      Greeks and Romans --  The dog days of summer occurred around the days when Sirius appeared to rise just before the sun, in late July. These days, were the hottest time of the year. Sirius was the god or goddess of the Dog Star.  It appears in many guises in myth. He or she was variously described as Maira or Maera daughter of the Titan Atlas, Maira the dog of the hero  Icarius, Lailaps or Laelaps the hound of Orion.When Zeus was a baby, a dog, known only as the “golden hound” was charged with protecting the future King of Gods. . The star was also connected with the dog loving goddess Hekate , daughter of Perses.

 Florence and the Machine 
Dog Days Are Over

  • Egyptians --  The name Sirius signified its nature as scorching or sparkling. The star was associated with the Egyptian gods Osiris, Sopdet and other gods. Ancient Egyptians noted that Sirius rose just before the sun each year, immediately prior to the annual flooding of the Nile River. Although the floods could bring destruction, they also brought new soil and new life. Osiris was an Egyptian god of life, death, fertility and rebirth of plant life along the Nile. Sopdet who might have an even closer association with the star Sirius  began as an agricultural deity in Egypt, also closely associated with the Nile. The Egyptian new year was celebrated with a festival known as The Coming of Sopdet.
  • In India -- Sirius is sometimes known as Svana, the dog of Prince Yudhistira. The prince and his four brothers, along with Svana, set out on a long and arduous journey to find the kingdom of heaven. However, one by one the brothers all abandoned the search until only Yudhistira and his dog, Svana, were left. At long last they came to the gates of heaven. The gatekeeper, Indra, welcomed the prince but denied Svana entrance. Yudhistira was aghast and told Indra that he could not forsake his good and faithful servant and friend. His brothers, Yudhistira said, had abandoned the journey to heaven to follow their hearts’ desires. But Svana, who had given his heart freely, chose to follow.

  • Romulus and Remus and the Wolf -- Legend has that the twins Romulus and Remus were born around 770BC, the sons of a mortal priestess, Rhea Silvia, and the Roman god of war, Mars. The boys were abandoned at birth and thrown into the River Tiber in a cradle. However, they were rescued by a she-wolf, taken to her cave lair, and suckled on her milk. After being found by the shepherd, Faustulus, and raised to adulthood, the twins decided to establish a city where the wolf had nursed them, Rome. However, the pair argued about who had the support of the gods, and Romulus killed Remus and became king of Rome. Roman scholars record that Romulus also created Rome's military system and senate, and conquered many areas of modern Italy for his city before death. He was deified as the devine spirit of  Rome and the Roman people.

A black dog is a spectral or demonic entity found primarily in the folklore of the British Isles. The black dog is essentially a nocturnal apparition, some of them shapeshifters, and are often said to be associated with the Devil or described as a ghost or hellhound. Its appearance was regarded as a portent of death. It is generally supposed to be larger than a normal dog and often has large glowing eyes.
Music Trivia 
In 1976,the song Shannon was a big hit written about Brian Wilson"s, dog. Who got lost at sea. The high falsetto voice was an imitation of Brian Wilson voice of the Beach Boys.

 Shannon is gone I heard 
She's drifting out to sea 
She always loved to swim away
 Maybe she'll find an island
With a shaded tree
Just like the one in our backyard

Henry Gross 

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Ocean and the Sea

     Oceans cover more than two thirds of the earth’s surface and contain more than 95% of the earth’s water, and yet their vastness is their least impressive feature. Life on earth began in the ocean, and there it continues to thrive. Conservatively, there are hundreds of thousands of species living in our oceans, and we continue to find more every day. The oceans also play a vital role in regulating the temperature of the earth, absorbing solar heat and redistributing it around the world. As much as they give life, oceans are also a source of fear for many, and are frequently used to depict isolation.

Oceans and the Waves 

  • John F. Kennedy Quote --We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch - we are going back from whence we came.
  •    Mahatma Gandi --  You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.

  •  Isaac Newton Quote -- I do not know what I may appear to the world, but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.
  • Pacific Ocean --The Pacific Ocean is the largest and deepest ocean basin on Earth.The Pacific is also our planet’s deepest water body, average depth of approximately 4,000 meters and was named by explorer Ferdinand Magellan in 1520, due to the calmness of the water at the time, pacific means peaceful.
Jim Warren Surreal Art 
 White Horses

 Van Morrison 
Into the Mystic  
“Hark, now hear the sailors cry, smell the sea and feel the sky”

  • The Indian Ocean -- is the third largest and the warmest ocean in the world. It is growing by 20cm every year due to the melting of polar caps .Indian Ocean water has the lowest oxygen content in the world.Recently, scientists have found a “lost continent” whose remains are thought to exist in the depths of the Indian Ocean.
Sailing the Seven Seas
Orchestral Manouevres in the Dark
The light of love that shines so bright
Seven Seas of  Blue

  • The Atlantic Ocean --  is the second largest ocean in the world. The equator subdivides it into the North Atlantic ocean and South Atlantic Ocean. There are 52 different nations that have shorelines along this ocean. This includes nations in Africa, Europe, North America and South America.The word ’Atlantic’ originates from the Greek mythology meaning Sea of Atlas. Islands in the Atlantic are mostly of volcanic origin. Greenland is the largest island in the world and is located in the Atlantic Ocean.The Atlantic has relatively few islands, with the greatest concentration found in the Caribbean region.  The Bermuda Triangle lies between the Cities of Bermuda, Puerto Rico and Fort Lauderdale.
Never Ending 
Endless Ocean of Love
Gaze upon the starlit dew 

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Birds of Song

The Robin 
Kahlil Gibran

O Robin, sing! For the secret of eternity is in song.
I wish I were as you, free from prisons and chains.
I wish I were as you; a soul flying over the valleys,
Sipping the light as wine is sipped from ethereal cups.
I wish I were as you, innocent, contented and happy.
Ignoring the future and forgetting the past.
I wish I were as you in beauty, grace and elegance
With the wind spreading my wings for adornment by the dew.
I wish I were as you in beauty, a thought floating above the land
Pouring out my songs between the forest and the sky.O Robin, sing!
and disperse my anxiety. listen to the voice within your voice
that whispers in my inner ear;”

Rockin Robin Jackson 5 

  • The Indian peafowl or blue peafowl is a large and brightly coloured bird, is a species of peafowl native to South Asia, but introduced in many other parts of the world. The male, or peacock, is predominantly blue with a fan-like crest of  feathers.
  • Peacock symbolism: Vision, Royalty, Spirituality, Awakening, Guidance, Protection, & Watchfulness. In Greco-Roman mythology the Peacock tail has the "eyes" of the stars. In Hinduism, the Peacock is associated with Lakshmi who represents patience, kindness and luck.
  • Ancient Greeks believed that the flesh of peafowl did not decay after death, and so it became a symbol of immortality. This symbolism was adopted by early Christianity, and thus many early Christian paintings and mosaics show the peacock.
  • The pride of the Peacock is the glory of God  William Blake
  • The sparrow is sorry for the peacock at the burden of its tail. Amitendranath Tagore

Elvis and his Peacock jumpsuit which sold for $300,000 in 2008 

Double Barred Finch

  • Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything. Plato
  • Death and love are the two wings that bear the good man to heaven. Michel Angelo
  • Be as a bird perched on a frail branch that she feels bending beneath her, still she sings away all the same, knowing she has wings. Victor Hugo
  • Intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings.” Salvador Dali
  • The reason birds can fly and we can't is simply because they have perfect faith, for to have faith is to have wings. J.M.Barrie
  • Pan, who and what art thou?" he cried huskily"I'm youth, I'm joy," Peter answered at a venture, "I'm a little bird that has broken out of the egg.
  • Use what talents you possess: the woods would be very silent if  no birds sang there except those that sang best. Henry Van Dyke
  • Heavenly bodies are nests of invisible birds

Spotted Turtle Dove 

The Wings of a Dove
Dolly Parton


Fleetwood Mac


When the Bluebird is on the Wind 
Elvis rare live performance 

Monday, May 15, 2017

Poe Poetry and Pied Stilts

 Pied Stilts on Pumicestone Passage

Passage from Poe's 


 And all I loved, I loved alone 
From ev’ry depth of good and ill
 The mystery which binds me still
  From the torrent, or the fountain
   From the red cliff of the mountain
    From the sun that ’round me roll’d
In its autumn tint of gold
From the lightning in the sky 

Lines from Poe

I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity.
There is no exquisite beauty without some strangeness in the proportion.
Years of love have been forgot, In the hatred of a minute.
It is by no means an irrational fancy that, in a future existence, we shall look upon what we think our present existence, as a dream.
I have no faith in human perfectibility. I think that human exertion will have no appreciable effect upon humanity. Man is now only more active, not more happy ,nor more wise, than he was 6000 years ago.
There are chords in the hearts of the most reckless which cannot be touched without emotion.

 Annabel Lee

I was a child and she was a child,
In this kingdom by the sea;
But we loved with a love that was more than love-
I and my Annabel Lee

The Story behind Annabel Lee 

  The Raven

“Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortals ever dared to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, "Lenore?"
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, "Lenore!" —
Merely this, and nothing more” 

The Raven Narrated by Christopher Lee 

Edgar Allan Poe Bio --
Born in Boston 19th January 1809 and Died 7th October 1849
Edgar Allan Poe was an American writer, editor, critic. Poe is best known for his poetry and short stories, particularly his tales of mystery and the macabre. His mother Elizabeth left her husband after Edgar was born and then she unfortunately past away when he was only two. He was adopted by Mr and Mrs John Allan. Between the ages of 6 and 12 Edgar spent his school years in England before going back to the Allan,s . Edgar went to University of Virginia and began to drink heavily before joining the army. The Allan's were quite wealthy but when John Allan died nothing was left for Edgar in the will so he struggled financially. In 1835 Edgar got his big break when he won a competition with his story,Manuscript in a Bottle and gained employment as an editor for a newspaper.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Kahlil Gibran
     Kahlil Gibran was a Lebanese artist, poet, and writer who died in 1931. He is the third best-selling poet of all time, behind Shakespeare and Lao Tzu.  Elvis Presley is known for his gift giving of cars,houses and jewellery but in the early sixties he also handed out many of Gibrans books to family, friends and fans. While John Lennon included a line from Gibrans Poem, Sand And Foam in the Beatles song Julia. Its a strong possibility that John F Kennedy in his inaugural address took a passage from Gibrans, A New Frontier. Are you a politician asking what your country can do for you or a zealous one asking what you can do for your country?
Kahlil writings has had a big influence on my life and I think his influence stretches alot further than many think. 

Some of My Favourite Gibran Passages 

  • They deem me mad because I will not sell my days for gold; and I deem them mad because they think my days have a price.
  • There must be something unusually sacred in salt if it is contained in our tears and in the sea
  • Our worst fault is our preoccupation with the faults of others
  •  Tenderness and kindness are not signs of weakness and despair, but manifestations of strength and resolution.  
  • The song of the voice is sweet, but the song of the heart is the pure voice of heaven. 
  •  Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars. 
  • Music is the language of the spirit. It opens the secret of life bringing peace, abolishing strife. 
  •  In a single drop of water are found all the secrets of all the oceans.
Gibran on Children
  • They came thru you but not from you & though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
Let these be your desires
To wake at dawn with a winged heart
and give thanks for another day of loving 
  • Many times the Christ has come to the world, and He has walked many lands. And always He has been deemed a stranger and a madman.

Friday, February 17, 2017

     Currimundi Lake is a saltwater lake situated beside Currimundi Beach on the Sunshine Coast. The lake is ideal for family canoeing.The park protects coastal plant of  wallum heathland, woodlands and dune plant communities.The coastal heath and woodland also supports many native bird species. Wildflowers are best viewed in late winter and spring.