Temporary Beauty

RAS (Global) Adventures

It was sunsets that taught me that sometimes beauty only lasts for a few moments.

And it was sunrises that showed me that all it takes is patience to experience it all over again.

~ AJ Lawless

Photo: “temporary beauty”, sunset somewhere in the Java Sea, on our way to Kalimantan (Borneo) to see the orangutans!

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The Lost Thing

I stumbled into a regional art gallery while I was exploring. They always surprise me.

The Perc Tucker gallery in Townsville had a fantastic exhibition: behind the scenes of an animated movie, Shaun Tan’s The Lost Thing. 

Amazing animation, cool collages, and a thought-provoking story-line. I especially loved the explanations of where his inspiration came from: signs that we recognise from everyday life.

I’m not sure where the exhibition is headed next, but look out for it. It’s worth a visit.

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Today is the tomorrow you expected yesterday.”

A symbol of incredible change is a butterfly. They all go through “complete metamorphosis”, starting life as eggs, then morphing into larva, pupa and finally emerging as majestic winged creatures.

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The delta from start to finish is a miracle of nature!

Hisss-tory

 

I’m a sucker for lame jokes. Like this one:

What is a snake’s favourite subject?
Hisss-tory.

I like a bit of history, but snakes, not so much. Still, I’ve had a few snake/history combinations recently.

In 1911 the SS Yongala sank after steaming into a cyclone off the QLD coast. All souls on board were lost, including a race horse and a prize-winning bull. The wreck wasn’t discovered until the 1970s, but is now one of the best dive sites in the world. I recently had the fortune to do a dive trip out to the Yongala and although the seas were a bit choppy, the diving was indeed excellent. The wreck sits in 26 metres of water, so you don’t get too much bottom time (and as it is a gravesite, wreck penetration is forbidden) but we saw giant Queensland grouper, colourful angel fish, and sea-snakes! Apparently they are more deadly than land snakes, but have brittle teeth that struggle to bite through human skin (or wetsuit). I didn’t test out the theory (but they did get pretty close!)

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Meanwhile on land, while we were bushwalking up to an old World War II fort constructed on Magnetic Island in 1943, I nearly stepped on another deadly snake: a coastal taipan. Unlike most other snakes that usually beat a hasty retreat when humans come stumbling by, taipans usually stand their ground. And this one did, eyeing me off. He ended up winning the stare-off and I cautiously backed up. We proceeded to the fort, learnt a bunch from the informative displays, and checked out the fantastic view. On the way back down we were lucky enough to also see koalas in the trees.

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Anyway, talk of shipwrecks and islands has led me to life’s big questions #3: If your ship sank and you were stuck on a deserted island, who would you want to be stuck on there with?

I’m thinking Bear Grylls, for his survival skills; Josh Richards, the Aussie ex-Army scientist/comedian who wants to get selected to live on Mars, because I reckon he’d be bloody handy too; and my bestie Sondra, because she’s great company. And maybe a Telstra or Optus technician to get wifi up running…(otherwise how would I blog about it??).

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Message in a bottle

The other day I was beachcombing on a deserted tropical island (Russell Island, in the Great Barrier Reef), and I found a bit of sea-glass. It was all milky white and smooth along the edges from being churned around in the ocean, rubbing up against sand and rocks and dead bits of coral.

On closer inspection, I could see the faint remains of the branding: Coke. In a previous life, it was a coca-cola bottle!

It got me thinking: if this bottle could talk, what stories would it be able to tell?

Where was it from? I’ve been to some pretty remote places: Bougainville (an island in PNG), Afghanistan, Uganda. But I’ve always been able to buy coca-cola, so it could be from anywhere. Who drank from it? Was it just an afternoon thirst-quencher? Or was it a mixer for a party? And where has it been since it fell in the ocean? Did it float for a while, past big tankers and small little yachts, or creatures from the deep? Or did it sink straight to the bottom and roll around with the other detritus on the sea-floor. And where are all the other shards of the bottle?

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Post publication edit: Andrea from the Daily Post and I have similar thoughts about transience

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