Title Picture

Currumbin Beach, South East Queensland.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

TRAMS - OLD AND NEW

Motivated by our visit to the Sydney Tram museum a few weeks ago we decided to visit the Brisbane Tramway Museum in Ferny Grove on the other side of the city. It was a beautiful Spring day and the weekend traffic was light through the city. The museum is quite small and only open on Sundays. However, they have quite a few renovated trams that are operational just like they were many years ago. Trams stopped running in Brisbane1969. I didn't live in Brisbane before 1971 so I had never travelled on a Brisbane tram but TOH did and he was thrilled to ride on them again and remember.
 We bought tickets and looked around the static display in the small building. Then we saw the tramstop with its original signs and went to wait for a tram.
 Soon this one arrived. It was built in 1945. There was a driver and a conductor operating the tram.

 All the people working at the museum are volunteers.
The driver stands to operate the controls. He took us for a short ride through the property. It was fun rattling along the track.

The conductor punches TOH's ticket just like in the old days.
 A little later another old tram came along the track. This one was built in 1907 and has been lovingly restored by volunteers.

The driver tells us the history of the tram and explains that the coloured glass windows are originals but from different trams. The lights for night time were kerosine lamps.

 We alighted at the depot where other trams were being restored.

 But the one outside the depot caught TOH's attention. "That's the one I used to go to work on," he says excitedly. 

He enjoyed walking through the car and pretending to drive but then he told me one of his not so nice memories. On Friday afternoons after work, the boys would go to the hotel for a drink or two or three or more. TOH wasn't used to the Australian strong beer. He had only just arrived from Switzerland back then. 

On the way home from the hotel, he started to feel unwell and had to lean out of the tram and throw up. I even got a demo.

Soon the old tram arrived at the depot to take us back to the start of the track. The conductor has to change the direction of the pole that runs along the electric wires and the driver changes ends of the car. TOH was enjoying himself as much as the other kids on the tram.

                                      -----------------------------------------------
 Recently the Gold Coast City have reintroduced trams or light rail as it is called today. I managed to snap one from the car window when they were practicing running the trams so car drivers could get used to them sharing the road. There were some near misses for a while.
There was a bit of controversy about the trams being installed but I think it is a great idea. The tourists and uni students will find them a boon.


Monday, September 29, 2014

CLEVER BIRDS

More birds from the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary visit. 

The male Satin Bower Bird collects blue items to decorate outside the bower he has built for his girlfriend. He also dances around the bower to attract his mate.

Mr Bower bird has to woo his girlfriend in a bower he especially builds on the ground for the wooing ceremony. The Bower Birds build a nest in a tree for their eggs . 
The female Bower Bird is watching  her prospective mate dancing about the bower and its blue decorations wondering if he's good enough for her. She isn't the dark blue satin colour of her mate but she has beautiful purple eyes.

The Darter has a long snake like neck. It swims low with just the snake like neck visible. It dives often.

The  Black Breasted Buzzard is a medium sized rapture. It is about 60cm long with wing span of 155 cm and weighs 1.4 kg.

It cleverly uses a rock to throw down on an emu egg to break the tough shell. It will do it again and again until it can break open the egg with its beak.
This was a fake egg for the show but it had meal worms inside for the Buzzard to eat. I was impressed with this act.

Just before the end of the show it started to rain. I had to hide my camera under my jacket and it was hard to get shots of our biggest eagle , "The Wedge Tailed Eagle" He zoomed closely over our heads to land on the tree perch. The rest of my shots were too blurry to show so.......
I "borrowed" this one from the www" to give you an idea of his head since he didn't have one in my shot above. He stands 1m tall with a wing span of 2.2m and weighs 5kg. He eats rabbits, baby wallabies, rats, mice and other small mammals.
Linked with I'd rather be birdin'
and Wild Bird Wednesday

Saturday, September 27, 2014

CAN A PELICAN'S BEAK HOLD MORE THAN HIS BELLY CAN?

At feeding time for the Pelicans and Eels at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, the Pelicans circle in the sky, swoop down and ski across the water to a stop.


Paddling into the shore.

The clan is gathering.

Some cormorants with purple eyes were hoping to get some food too.

Soon the keepers arrived and threw fish for the birds and all the time giving an informative commentary. 

 The keeper explained how the pelican will turn the fish around in its beak so that the fish goes down head first so that the spines on the fins won't get caught in its throat. She purposely gave one the fish tail first so that we could watch the pelican juggle it around and gulp it down head first.

 Then it was the Eels' turn to be fed chicken pieces. The keeper tapped the water with his foot and they all came swimming up onto the sand. They can't see very well and they wave their head around trying to find the food. I think they use sense of smell to find their prey.
The slippery, slimy dudes were hard to capture as they were in a squirming, seething feeding frenzy. So the shot is blurry.
Joining in with Saturday Critters see more interesting critters here.