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In life there is nothing more certain than the uncertainty of change. For most creatures time brings change, but for some it brings total transformation.

Most species undergo their most dramatic transformation as they develop as embryos before birth or hatching. However some species undergo a sudden, conspicuous change after birth or hatching and this process is called metamorphosis.

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Recent Astronomical happenings

Over the last few weeks we have seen a number of interesting phenomena in the skies above us.

Perigee full Moon - the largest and closest full moon for the year appeared on 5 May. Full moons occur when the Moon, Earth and Sun are aligned with the Earth in between the Moon and Sun. For a given month the closest point of the Moon to Earth is called perigee and the farthest is apogee. On 5 May the perigee Moon was 356,955 kms from Earth and on 19 May the apogee Moon was 406,448 kms from Earth. Full and Perigee Moons coincide because their cycles periodically align, the closest Moon for 2013 will occur on 23 June 2013 and the closest for the 21st Century will occur 6 December 2052 when the Moon will be 356,446 kms away from Earth. All full moons bring higher and lower tides than usual but perigee full moons cause the highest and lowest of tides.

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In many old B grade adventure movies, a substantial number of baddies perished by stumbling into quicksand where they became trapped before quickly submerging below the surface to drown in the sand. Is this really possible?

When we stand on the surface of dry sand or soil, it supports our weight because the grains are tightly packed and the friction between the grain particles creates a force chain. If sand or soil becomes moist, the water creates a capillary attraction between grains that allows the grains to clump more closely together. When we stand on moist sand or soil, our weight pushes out the water between the grains and we sink until we reach the depth where the grains are tightly packed enough to support our weight.

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Brush-tailed Phascogale

Prior to the arrival of humans in Australia there were a wide array of carnivorous marsupial species, the largest was probably the marsupial lion which may have weighed over 160 kilograms. After the extinction of the thylacine or Tasmanian Tiger in 1936, the Tasmanian Devil became the largest carnivorous marsupial in the world, now tragically this species is threatened by a cruel and deadly facial tumour disease. Many of the remaining smaller marsupial predators, such as quolls, are also under threat, among these is a species found on the escarpment of Tamborine Mountain, the Brush-tailed Phascogale.

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Jabiru – Black-necked Stork

We only have one species of stork in Australia and this is the Black-necked stork. Its more common name, Jabiru, is not an Aboriginal word; it is derived from the Amazonian Indian word zabiru which describes a South American stork species which resembles its Australian relative.

The Jabiru is the largest wading bird in Australia; it stands up to 1.5 metres tall, can weigh over 4 kilograms, and may have a wingspan in excess of 2 metres. It has long red legs and a thick black bill that it uses to forage in shallow water for molluscs, fish, eels, crustaceans, insects, reptiles, frogs and plants. The tail and wing stripe are glossy black, the body and remainder of the wings are white, the most striking plumage is on the neck and head, where the dark iridescent feathers shine with a stunning mix of vivid green, blue, black and purple. The males have dark eyes; the female's eyes are yellow.

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Injured Wildlife

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Random Images - NHA

  • 2013-07-13 Albert River Circuit
  • Description: Bushwalking in SE Qld
  • 2017-02-18 Contour1 - Sicyos australis - Star Cucumber
  • 2016-03-12 Coomera Circuit_119
  • Description: Bushwalking in SE Qld
  • 2012-08-11 West Canungra Creek
  • Description: Bushwalking in SE Qld

Why does attentiveness to nature matter? In a very fundamental sense, we are what we pay attention to. Paying heed to beauty, grace, and everyday miracles promotes a sense of possibility and coherence that runs deeper and truer than the often illusory commercial, social "realities" advanced by mainstream contemporary culture. ... Our attention is precious, and what we choose to focus it on has enormous consequences. What we choose to look at, and to listen to--these choices change the world. As Thich Nhat Hanh has pointed out, we become the bad television programs that we watch. A society that expends its energies tracking the latest doings of the celebrity couple is fundamentally distinct from one that watches for the first arriving spring migrant birds, or takes a weekend to check out insects in a mountain stream, or looks inside flowers to admire the marvelous ingenuities involved in pollination. The former tends to drag culture down to its lowest commonalities; the latter can lift us up in a sense of unity with all life. The Way of Natural History, edited by Thomas Lowe Fleischner and published by Trinity University Press (Texas)