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Dr Patrick Moore speaks

Former Greenpeace founder speaks about his journey through life and the corruption of the environmental movement and climate change. He explains why C02 is good for the earth and good for us.

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Old wives tale #2.  (I love this one!)

Wearing glasses makes your eyes worse?

If I had a dollar for every time some one asked me this question, I would have retired 20 years ago and would have lived in every tropical paradise in the world.

But, before I get carried away with the drama and the rhetoric, lets just take a deep breath and establish a few facts first. The key to finding out the truth, is to ask the right questions. Ask the right questions, and you will get to the information to establish some truth(most of the time).

Question 1.  (This one to ask yourself) Did my eyes get worse first, or did I wear glasses first?

Answer : 99% of the time, it is yes “my eyes got worse before I got spectacles”, as logic would ordinarily dictate.

Question 2. (This one also for yourself) If I don’t wear my glasses for a week or two, do my eyes get better?

Answer :  Mostly, “my eyes do get a little better, but I still have to wear my specs to see clearly.”  The reason this happens is that the muscles go back to “straining” to see more clearly, so you do see a bit better, but it is not ideal to be stressing your eyes for any length of time. It is not their natural state.

Question 3. (The real question) Why is it that my eyesight gets worse  as I get older?

Answer : Hmmm. A bit complicated. But here it goes.

As we age our muscles deteriorate, including the muscles in our eyes. This means they are less able to cope with correcting any pre-existing (usually minor) focusing errors in the eye, as well as not being able to flex enough to focus our eyes for near vision.  For anyone to see clearly up close, the eye muscles have to do some work.   So, just as it gets harder to “run” a marathon or lift heavy weights as we get older, so it is also harder to be able to focus up close as we age.

Also, the crystalline lens inside our eye tends to get harder and less flexible as we age, so is less able to “flex up” to focus at a close distance.

Question 4. Will I eventually go blind? Haha. The short answer is …..NO.  This is a near focussing issue with the eye muscles and the slight hardening of the crystalline lens, not to do with any major deterioration of the critical parts of the eye.

Here is the clincher that should put any doubts to rest.  If, as you think, your specs have made your eyesight worse, then that would mean that it would be possible to change your eyesight with glasses.

Spectacles  designed to make your eyesight better?

Clearly, that is just not possible (pun intended).

Ps. I am able to write this blog because I use spectacles to see clearly, in spite of my age.

Pps. The information is true for the vast majority of people, however, all is not known about how the eyes develop and change as we grow and age. Research is ongoing. There are some individual cases and some weird effects that do happen.  If anyone has examples, please share in the comments.

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Disclaimer: This information is of a general nature and not intended to be specific advice for any one individual. As always, if you have a issue with your vision, consult a qualified Optometrist/Optician.

 

 

 

 

 

I have so many better things to do than concern myself with people and politicians that want to increase my taxes, increase my energy costs, and make me feel guilty so I will want to pay for “the sins of humanity”  Just read the following and hopefully understand it is just madness what is being proposed by those that supposedly “know better”.

We have been conned, and some of us are still being conned. The more people that speak up, the sooner we can actually start concerning ourselves with real issues. Not unicorns and rainbows. (No offence intended toward unicorns and rainbows. They are wonderful and I hope to see more of them).

Here is the evidence.

https://co2islife.wordpress.com/2017/01/17/climate-science-on-trial-the-smoking-gun-files/

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Bobby Creek Road

We played with the kangaroos again this morning on the way to Bobby’s Creek road. The Emu’s and the Wedgy’s were a little shyer though, keeping well away from the road. Fortunately the Roo’s tire pretty quickly of playing with cars, and so made their way through or over the fence.  One needing to learn how to jump a little higher, as he clipped the top of the fence almost completing a somersault with a half twist. Shame about the landing. Could have been a “ten”!

img_7660Sunny day, but with plenty of scattered cloud, which would persist all day. With a nice cool breeze, this made it a perfect day for walking in the Flinders.

Our trek today takes us from Bobby Creek road through to Jarvis Hill. Not far from Hawker. The road took us though the scrubby bush, slowly evolving into a off road track, albeit a good one. We meandered through the undulating grassy hills which were in the process of drying out. Although, there was still some water persisting in some of the creeks.

img_7674Water is always a rare sight up here, and it still amazes me that there are tadpoles a plenty in the remaining pools. Where do the frogs go during the many dry months? Life is truly amazing.

Plenty of hawks and kites circling for their breakfast this morning, as we continue on our hike through the waves of greens and yellows. The coloured carpet softening the harsh red and sandy earth below.   A quiet reverence filling the space within my mind, but seemed to extend in all directions to the visible horizon. Nice.

img_7685We wandered on in the bright sunshine, refreshed with the chilled breeze.  All external senses engaged, while the mind quiet and still while we drifted through the landscape.

We met the first of our scaled friends just after our first break. Lazing in the sun, this very sandy coloured specimen greeting us with the usual grumpy stumpy hello.

His blue tongue flashing a fairly decent warning.  This would be the first of many today. Stumpy’s rule this landscape.

img_7695Life abounds out here at the moment. From grasses, and wild flowers, to all manner of six and eight legged warriors, and of course the stately and confident lizards. Do I have to mention the Kanga’s, Emu’s and a vast variety of birds?  My favorite though (sorry Stumpy), was the Bearded Dragon. What a beautiful creature! Too cool to even be bothered by us.

We wandered on the plains adjacent the ranges, mostly on good tracks, but occasionally having to contend with loose rocks of all sizes. How many ankles have been twisted on these I wondered?

img_7717Patches of white were splashed carelessly about by Mother Nature’s artist, with the occasional curse of the Patterson, only finding salvation in the arms of Jane.  In spite of it’s reputation, purple looks good in any environment.

The walk along these ranges seemed to go on for ever, and was at times quite challenging with loose rocks on the trail. We did however finally “hang” a right, heading downhill and looking towards Jarvis Hill, visible in the distance as a slight “V” in the opposing hill line.

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Mt Elm Camp site dunny

We had a brief stop at Mount Elm camp site before our final leg. It looked like an internally troubled hiker may have “blown” the door off the camp dunny!  I was however, not game to investigate further!

Once again the last few K’s seemed the longest, and as the gradient slowly increased, it only confirmed my suspicions of this ever increasing truth. The trail also got a little “abstract” before we hit the road (thank you Garmin for keeping us on track).

img_7749A shortish walk up the hill and around a couple of bends before we arrived at the gate of our relief. The beer was especially cold today, as we shared our company with the smallest of lizards. As we sat at our table of recovery and satisfaction, two Skinks cavorted about for our entertainment.

With our catch up walks now done, we will continue our trek north of Wilpena Pound in 2017. The last leg of our Heysen adventure takes in Wilpena Pound to Parachilna Gorge.  But for the moment, I will have to cope with my PHTD.

In Short

Bobby Creek Road to Jarvis Hill

Distance : 25.6 kms

Duration : 5 hours 10 minutes

Pace : 5 Kph

Terrain : Good tracks on the flat and undulating hills. Rocky, uneven ground and scrubby in later parts of the trail.

Elevation : Gain  573 mtrs.  Loss  331 mtrs

And…. the rest in pictures.

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Recent erosion from the storms

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Shortly before turning towads Jarvis Hill

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img_7799A coolish and cloudless day greeted us this morning. Certainly much cooler than the usual October weather in the Flinders. The road to our start point had plenty of furry and feathered friends greeting us along the way, slowing our journey at many a point. Mostly Kanga’s who seem to want an early morning race. One hitting 44kph!  Just a young’n too.  Leaving our friends, we kicked up a trail of dust leading to the gorge. The rock face stood large in front us. An amazing rock  sculpture that is Buckaringa Gorge.

img_7816Lizards feature quite regularly on our two walks this trip. Lazing in the sun seemingly without a care. Right in our “boot scootin” way on the trail.  Until we get too close of course.

The Stumpy’s are always grumpy, flashing their blue tongues. Every bit as aggressive as a Maori, in full Haka.   The bearded dragons however are pretty chilled. Not moving a muscle no matter what we do.  Grant has also learned to look first before stepping on them. It only took about a thousand Km’s to learn that one.

img_7817Seems to be a very healthy ecosystem out here. The recent rains have transformed the normally dusty grey landscape into a myriad of colours. Muted greens, browns and ochre bleed into each other, just like a Monet painting.

Once at the entrance of the Gorge we hang a right heading across the creek heading North East and onto a slightly overgrown track.  Gaitors were a definite necessity today, as we were not keen to end up with porcupine img_7820socks.

The trail wanders along the edge of the range undulating a little up and down with open views to our right of scrubby grassland with the occasional tree line creek. Plenty of Roos to the left and the right, with one Mob numbering in the teens.

The scrubby bush persisted for the first 11 kms or so without any decent rest spots.  Not until we walked through the second gorge did we find a comfortable seat. The Heysen camp site with a seat and tank water was a welcome respite instead of having to sit in the prickly grass. Those grass burs f’n stick to everything.

img_7823A couple of wild goats welcomed us into the second gorge, but did not stick around to chat. The goats headed off into the scrub while we climbed the stile to the right and after a short rest at the camp site, we headed up the first of the two major hills. About 50 metres each. Nice views from the top, and even though there has been plenty of rain with the recent storms, it does not take much time for the land to dry out. This was evident today.

img_7849Off in the distance we could see a break in the landscape. A lighter coloured crescent splitting the land in two.  It became apparent soon that we would be heading straight towards this oasis in our muted Monet landscape.

Coming off the second hill, our “roman road” trail did not deviate until we reached the break in the landscape which is the “glistening” Willochra creek. But before we hit level ground, we spied a pelican circling high in the sky. I had not seen a pelican out here before.

img_7871Must be water in the creek I thought, or that jumbo of the bird world must be really lost!

The creek is a wonderful place to stop for lunch. The layered cliff face with whites and browns, stood silent watching over the still waters.  Wonderful clay pattern in one section. Looking just like a paved patio. If you do this walk, plan to spend your longest break here.

After a short steep climb up the cliff face, we were once again walking the fence line in the grass and burs, leaving Willochra creek to disappear from view. Once again swallowed up by the hardened dry landscape.

img_7878A couple of K’s later and after crossing Kanyaka creek, we hit the road. Although the walking was a little easier, the hardness of the road and the increased heat was starting to  take it’s toll.  Even though the road walking was only 4.5kms, it seem much longer and harder. Why is it that the last few K’s always seem to be the hardest. Strange that.

Our trail end today was Bobby Creek Road, and while we were still 3 odd kms from our end point, we could see a shiny blue glint in the distance. The bright beacon of my small piece of civilization parked in the harsh wilderness.  The thought of a soft seat and a cold beer teasing us for just a little longer.

In Short

Buckaringa Gorge to Calabrinda (Bobby Creek Road)

Distance : 21.4 kms

Duration : 4 hours 14 minutes (walking time). A bit over an hour of breaks.

Pace : 4.9 kph

Terrain : Undulating hills with only two major hills (50mtrs each). Rocky in places

And the rest…….

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Camp site just off of Buckaringa scenic drive

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Lone cyclist heading off into the wilderness.

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Feathered friends

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Looking back towards Buckaringa Gorge from Willochra Creek

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Willochra Creek

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The Camry still rockin on in The Flinders.

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In honour of our state leader and his green dream

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IMG_6644The night before our walk, Malcolm was doing his best to warn (or scare) us about the walk through to Eyre Depot. He had heard many a tale of heart ache and tears, so just in case there was a smidge of truth to his tales, we decided to leave a little earlier giving us sufficient time for any unforseen outcomes. (code for stuff ups and slip ups).

We managed a pre 8am start at Buckaringa Gorge in the cool and cloudy morning.  Armed with plenty of equipment for the day. Variable clothing to cope with Melbourne type weather (You know, four season in one day), topographic maps, Heysen book, GPS, and plenty of food and water.  We headed off with much confidence that we could tackle anything this day, and as it turned out, we needed most of what we took.

IMG_6641A stroll through the Gorge soon brought us into a creek bed again, and like the obstacle course on the previous day, it slowed us up considerably.  Again.

A few gems along the way though with a white Kangaroo stopping to say hello,  some interesting rock formations and plenty of flora with splashes of colour among the green and ochre. We made our way in and out of the creek meandering uphill slowly but surely.

IMG_6596The five K mark rescued us from the creek and we headed up the hill above 500 metres. Up another hill, and up another hill, until finally atop the ridge which would take us all the way to Mount Arden, 12 K’s in from the Gorge.

The panoramic views in all directions opened up bit by bit as we topped each hill.  The higher we got the windier it got also. We had been warned that the ridge is windy and usually in spite of any calm weather down below.  So we were prepared with arctic style tops to fend off the icy blasts.

IMG_6691The ridge meandered left and right and up and down a little, before the final push up above 800 metres, to the summit of Mount Arden.  At the top the wind was even more intense and absolutely relentless.  It was only a short stay at the peak, to catch our breath and snap a few photo’s, before descending down the southern slope back to a more tepid temperature.

The drop is quite dramatic, but very tiring. I certainly would not want to be going up this section though.

IMG_6748 Just after we saw horizontal ground again, the terrain opened up to a lazy creek with majestic old Gum’s and what looked like manicured lawn area’s either side. Every bit the public city park, but smack dab in the middle of the bush.

This is Mount Arden South camp site, and was very clear why it was here.  Fantastic spot, so we stopped for a break, having lunch and resting in the natural beauty of the surrounds.

IMG_6767We headed off again refreshed, and wandering along the idyllic creek setting, we were easily lulled into the comfort zone in these gentle surrounds.

The easy walking was not to last though. After a few more K’s the terrain turned back to the “obstacle course” of rocky tracks and in and out of the creek again. It seemed to go on for like, “evar”.  Pretty dramatic scenery, but pretty wild I have to say, and one of our more challenging walks.

IMG_6782Just when we thought we were nearing the end, the trail took us up the side of a very steep hill. So steep it had rope to hang onto. Great view at the top, but at this point we were a bit shagged to really care too much.  Once back in the creek we meandered our way through the canyon until coming to a rather steep waterfall. No water flowing over it, however it was much too steep to climb down, so we back tracked to where the trail actually IMG_6596leads up the hill and around the falls.

A rocky dirt road (twisted my ankle here) took us eventually out of the hills and onto the plain at Eyre Depot.

The last 3 kms to the car seemed like the longest leg though. Funny how it is quite regularly the case.

Ps. The gate that we had passed through at Eyre Depot to drop the car off, now had a sign saying, “Trespassers will be prosecuted”.

The walk in to Eyre Depot is now 6 kms, not the 3 that we did.  Best bet though if you are not doing an overnighter would be to get Malcolm from the Argadell’s to take you through Thompson’s Gap for a drop off or pick up.

In Short

Buckaringa Gorge to Eyre Depot

Distance : 27 kms (with an additional  3 km walk out)

Duration : 7 hours 1 min walking time. 2 hours 12 mins worth of breaks.

Pace : 4.3 kph

Terrain : Track (20%), steep hills/ridges(30%), and creek walking(50%).

And…….the rest

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Only three more hills before Mount Arden. Or was it four, or five?

 

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There is that song again. “and those big black birds they were circling in the sky”.

 

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Argadell’s from Mount Arden

 

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Looking north along the trail from north of Mount Arden

 

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Now where did I leave the car?

 

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Our Hosts for the weekend

 

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It was very windy on the ridge. You need to dress warm for the occasion.

 

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Lovely day for a stroll. Pity this view did not last.

 

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Looking down the valley towards Eyre Depot, way off in the distance.

 

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Grant and his lizards again.

 

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Almost looks like the shape of my old Holden panel van.

 

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The all seeing eye!  Ancient rock carving, or natural formation?

 

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Can you see the cat in this rock pattern?

 

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Just before sunset, we headed off in the car. Tired but satisfied.

 

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IMG_6522We arrived in the dark on a dusty red track with thick scrub all around.  An old blue tractor lit up in our headlights as we came upon the open grassy spread at the Homestead.  It was only in the early morning light on the following morning that the dark veil was lifted revealing the oasis that is the Argadell’s. A picturesc Flinders property to relax and explore. More about the Argadell’s later.

IMG_6548This trip will see us do two days of quite challenging walking.  The logistics of start finish points without doing an overnighter is, well, also challenging.  Our agreed plan was to walk from Eyre Depot to Dutchman’s Stern on day one, and then walk from Buckaringa Gorge back to Eyre Depot on day two. We will leave my car at Dutchman’s Stern and then drive to Eyre Depot, leaving my trusty companion’s car there for the day and overnight. The following day we will drive to Buckaringa Gorge, before walking back to Eyre Depot where Grant’s car would still be waiting (we hoped). Simple enough, and to our surprise, it also worked. Go figure!

IMG_6560A 3 km walk-in to the Heysen trail to start at Eyre Depot got us warmed up for todays trek. Not that it was needed as this section of the trail is challenging enough without the extra K’s. We strode along adjacent the ranges with the plain stretching out along our right, almost as far as we could see. The salt bush only giving way to the occasional depression of the  salt lakes.  It wasn’t long before Grant, (the lizard magnet), nearly squished a bearded dragon underfoot. Completely missing it visually as well as orthopedically!

IMG_6577Our direction and landscape soon changed as we headed into the foothills with some moderate climbs along the track. It wasn’t too long before we left the pretty rugged fire track only to enter a pretty rugged creek bed. This creek trail was to be our companion for most of today’s walk, and I use the term “trail” only very loosely.  Now deep into the canyon ,we heard some crashing through the bush and some bleating going on. thinking it was some harmless wild goats just looking for a feed, we took no heed.

Suddenly though we were ambushed by IMG_6605what I can only describe as, a small agile group of “terrorist” goats, who attempted to “take us out” by rolling boulders onto our heads. If it were not for my lightness of foot, I would have copped one shoulder height. It was big enough to do some serious bone crunching, flesh tearing damage. I can clearly move quickly when my life is in danger it would appear.

One of the goats(clearly on recon) trailed us for the next 3 or so kms, before clearing off over a hill, once we had id’d him in a clearing.

IMG_6610Anyway, we struggled on over boulders, loose stones, trees, and rocky ledges. It was slow going heading upstream towards the Dutchman’s Stern, but once into the guts of it, there is no turning back. Tough as it is though at times, it is always amazing.

Still a bit of water in the creek with life abundant. Including lots of taddies. Truly amazing that frogs can survive here over the long months without rain, only to spawn thousands of tadpoles when it does rain. Very cool.

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Essentials for walking.

The trail got steeper and more cumbersome before we finally emerged up a steep incline onto a much more civilised track.  Once out of the creek we paused to reflect our journey so far.

After cooling off with a head soaking, and with the Stern now in full view we paced out the last few kms on the road to the Dutchman’s Stern accommodation.  With numerous Kangaroos , just lazing about with the family waiting for us to take their photo’s, we said hi, snapped a few, and walked on.

IMG_6624The car park which was only 3 dozen paces away was where my lonely car was waiting with a very special cargo inside. Two ice cold beers!  They always taste good at the end of a walk and sometimes it’s the only thing that keeps me going over the last few K’s.  It’s the old carrot trick. Self imposed I know, but it works every time.

This walk was tougher than it looked on paper. Would have been easier walking the other way, but was not an option for us. If you can manage the logistics, I would suggest walking from the Stern to Eyre Depot.

In Short

Eyre Depot to Dutchman’s Stern

Distance : 17 kms (with an additional  3 km walk in)

Duration : 4 hours 15 mins walking time. 1 hour 17 min worth of breaks.

Pace : 4.7 kph

Terrain : Undulating hills(25%), steeper hills(20%), and creek walking(55%).

And…….the rest

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Off the plain and into the hills.

Terrorist goats hideout.

Terrorist goats hideout.

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That’s what we have just walked through.

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Eyre Depot walk in gate

 

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Rounding the Stern

 

 

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WUWT takes a look at SA’s energy madness.

$14,000 per MWh – the price South Australia Pays for Renewables Madness

Our situation will only change when enough South Aussies make enough noise about this. Make some noise people.

For some background info to our energy market, see  https://eyesonbrowne.wordpress.com/2014/02/17/time-to-make-electricity-cheaper/

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Got this in the mail on the eve of election day. The Lib’s must be worried.

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