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Latest Southern Cloud News
Dec 24, 2022
Copy Along with fish 'n chips at the Bay and sand in your togs, no summer pilgrimage to the South Coast is complete without a fleeting glimpse of Pooh Bear peeking out of his mountain cave at the top of the Clyde. But Pooh and his ever-expanding proliferation of furry friends now has competition in the form of a curious row of rocking horses that have mysteriously appeared towards the bottom of the Clyde. If you've travelled down the Kings Highway in the last year or two you must have seen them - a line of evenly-spaced out-of-place toy rocking horses perched on a fallen log spanning an unnamed creek that runs parallel to the northern side of the highway near Currowan. When I visited earlier this week there were eight of the eye-catching wooden toys, a number that has been steadily increasing since the first one materialised in October 2020. Mystery rocking horses ... Is this the new Pooh's Corner? Pictures by Phill Sledge, Tim the Yowie Man According to former Queanbeyan resident Dave Gray of Batemans Bay, who regularly drives up and down the Clyde, 'the second rocking horse arrived just before Christmas the same year, and since then a new one has arrived every few months or so." While their origins remain a mystery, that hasn't stopped many well-publicised theories ranging from a roadside memorial to honour a young child who died in a car accident to an elaborate prank by university students. Dave speculates "their original purpose may have been to put a smile on travellers' faces when travelling to the Bay after the Black Summer fires of 2019/2020". Perhaps. Tim checks out the mystery rocking horses at the bottom of the Clyde. Picture by Sarah Bull No matter their origins, on trips to the coast they have become a hot topic of discussion in the back seat of the Yowie mobile and Dave reveals his granddaughter "looks out for them on every trip". And I'm sure we're not the only ones. Can you help solve the mystery? Please let me know. Last year, when there were only three rocking horses. Picture by Dave Gray Where exactly are they? The eight rocking horses are best viewed if, when travelling down the Kings Highway towards Batemans Bay, you look out of the passenger side windows about 700 metres before Black Flat Road. The is another log with a couple more rocking horses on it about 250 metres downstream of the main herd. Warning: Unlike Pooh's Corner where there is a small pull-out bay, the rocking horses are located below a dangerous stretch of the highway. There is no safe spot to park beside the road. Don't attempt to stop or you could cause a serious accident. [Your akubra-clad columnist hiked (also not recommended unless you are an experienced bushwalker) in from a fire trail and then spent most of the trip home plucking leeches from my legs.] SPOTTED Do you know anything about this siren in Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve? Picture by John Evans Now for a mystery a bit closer to home. On a recent bushwalk in Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve, John Evans of Gordon was perplexed by the sight of this out-of-place device hidden in bush near the bottom of the Camelback Fire Trail. While current rangers are unaware of its origins, John has received several suggestions as to its purpose, including that it was a speaker related to historic lyrebird research or that it is some sort of siren, perhaps a fire warning device dating back to the 1960s, or even earlier. Does anyone have the definitive answer? Terrific Tetrahedrons Billy Clement Tomkins Eccles plays with one of the long-lost tetrahedrons. Picture supplied The tetrahedrons that formed part of the formwork during construction of the National Gallery of Australia over 40 years ago continue to show up in the most unusual of places. After 70 were salvaged by Digby Hyles and stored in a Lanyon Valley hay shed for many years, this column recently stumbled upon (literally) some in an adjoining property's paddock (' Why these metal pyramids are in a Tuggeranong paddock ', October 26, 2022). Then, just last month Digby's sister revealed she had several of the pyramid-type structures as features in her inner south garden (' Triangular pyramids for National Gallery of Australia's triagrid ceilings explained ', November 22, 2022). Now, this photo of three-year old Billy Clement Tomkins Eccles playing with one at a family home in Farrer has lobbed into my inbox. His mum, Kasey reveals "it's long been a treasured family object, but no one can recall how it ended up in our garden". A lead may lie in Billy's middle name, 'Clement', which was given to him to honour his late great-grandfather Clem Cummings (1934-1997), the architect who designed Canberra's iconic bus shelters. "As an architect Clem may have been acquainted with someone from the art world who passed it onto him," explains Kasey. Surely there aren't any more out there?! MAILBAG Close call As is so often the case with disasters like the crash of the Southern Cloud in the Snowy Mountains on March 21, 1931 (' Bushwalker recalls stumbling on wreck of Southern Cloud ', October 21, 2022), there are stories of passengers who cheated death by making late changes to their travel itineraries. John McIntyre of Bruce reveals his great aunt Isabella (Isabel) McCorkindale who was prominent in the worldwide temperance movement, was initially booked on the Southern Cloud's fateful flight. "She travelled extensively mostly by ship to different parts of the world in the 1930s to 1960s" reports John, adding, "according to a family story, she was booked to fly on the Southern Cloud on that very flight from Sydney to Melbourne in 1931, but cancelled as she was unwell." "Turns out it was a good decision," states John. You can say that again. Magical Moths Mt Coree's crevices were once a stronghold for aestivating bogong moths. Picture by Spelio on Flickr Many readers were buoyed by this column's recent exposé on bogong moths, which, after several years missing in action, are returning this summer in good numbers to Mt Gingera and other peaks of the Brindabellas (' The bogongs are back ', November 25, 2022). "It's bloody fantastic", exclaims Peter Keast of Torrens, adding, "recently we had an Eastern spinebill in our backyard and a pair of Spotted pardalotes. I have not seen them around here for many years. On Friday we even had an echidna on our front deck." "Canberra really is the bush capital, let's hope it stays that way," asserts Peter. Hear! Hear! Narelle Sims of Queanbeyan reports while recently watching evening television something "fluttered past" her. "It was a beautiful bogong," she exclaims, adding, "I hadn't seen any for years, so caught it and gently released it outside". Wonderful. Meanwhile, Bill Crowle posted this photo he took of his friend Mary climbing on Mt Coree in the Brindabellas in 1968. "The cracks in the rocks were full of Bogong moths that would shower down on us if we rattled out pitons and carabiners," he exclaims. Oh, how I'd love to see that! "That was the first and last time I've ever seen so many bogong moths," asserts Bill. Gearys Gap Charles Body of Kaleen has answered the call for information regarding the origins of Gearys Gap at Lake George (' Will the real Gearys Gap please stand up ', November 19, 2022). "The website of the Bywong Community Association reports that Daniel Geary had a hotel (called the The Currency Lad) in the 1830s near what is now Gearys Gap," he reports, adding, "I think it's time to mount a campaign to have a sign at Gearys Gap, so the name does not die out." WHERE IN THE REGION Recognise the view out of the front door of this church? Picture by Tim the Yowie Man Rating: Hard Clue: There won't be a Christmas service at this remote church, but the graveyard does have a 'glowing' gravestone. How to enter: Email your guess along with your name and address to firstname.lastname@example.org The first correct email sent after 10am, Saturday 24 December, wins a double pass to Dendy, the Home of Quality Cinema. Many readers recognised this festive scene. Picture by Tim the Yowie Man Last week: Congratulations to Michael Gildea of Gilmore who was first to identify last week's photo as a Christmas scene on the side of the Monaro Highway near Michelago. The clue referred to 'Frosty the Snowman' as for many, Michelago is en route to the snowies where following recent snow falls, up on the peaks they may well enjoy a 'White Christmas'. Thanks to all the readers who've sent me other Christmas celebration scenes around the region including the trees donned in red ribbons in Narrabundah (check out Bundeela St) as well as several streets in Yarralumla. Oh, and happy Christmas to all! SIMULACRA CORNER Watch out for this fearsome creature in Isaacs. "I thought you might like this photo of the tail of a giant suburban reptile in Isaacs," writes regular reader Di Davies, adding, "I got quite a surprise when I first saw it, but closer inspection revealed a footpath in need of repair!". Meanwhile, Richard Wilson captured this image of a real live goanna on the South Coast. "This guy lives at Kianinny Bay, right at the picnic area/ boat ramp" reveals Richard, adding, "he gives everyone a good fright, especially when he comes down to see what you are cooking on the BBQ". It would be close to 2m long, if not a touch over". What a beauty. Picture by Richard Wilson Keep an eye out for this territorial goanna near Tathra. CONTACT TIM: Email: email@example.com or Twitter: @TimYowie or write c/- The Canberra Times, GPO Box 606, Civic, ACT, 2601. Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: