Baudin and the Early Days of Albany.

There were several European explorer visits to the Albany shores prior to British settlement.
The Dutchman François Thijssen in 1627 is the earliest recorded visitor.
On the 19th October 1800, the Baudin Expedition set sail from Le Havre in Normandy, France with two ships.
Separated by storms, the two ships charted the Western Australian coast independently from Cape Leeuwin in the south west corner to Joseph Bonaparte Gulf near Wyndham in the north.
With 23 scientists in the party, over 200,000 specimens of flora and fauna were collected.
The Expedition was responsible for hundreds of French place names in Australia, of which around 240 are still in use in Western Australia.
Baudin charted nearly two thirds of the Australian coastline.
via Albany – History of the first settlement in Western Australia @ ExplorOz Blogs.

Grey Fantail in mid-flight.

A grey fantail captured mid-flight in Melbourne, Victoria.
The most restless of Australia’s fantails, Grey Fantails are almost continually on the move, constantly changing position when perched, the tail swished back and forth, fluttering about in the canopy of trees or darting out after flying insects.
They seem never to keep still. Despite their fluttering flight, they are nevertheless capable of relatively long-distance movements, with some regularly flying across Bass Strait.
Grey Fantails’ movements are particularly complex, with no general rule: birds in each different region have their own individual patterns of movement.
Image Credit: Photograph by ABC Open contributor honeycut
Source: Captured mid-flight – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

The Ten Pound Poms Scheme 1947.

The “Ten Pound Pom” scheme is the colloquial name for an assisted migration scheme that operated in Australia after World War II.
In spite of its name, this scheme was not limited to those from the United Kingdom but was open to citizens of all Commonwealth countries.
Adult migrants were charged ₤10 for their fare and children traveled for free. They were drawn by promises of employment and housing, a more relaxed lifestyle and a better climate.
“Ten Pound Poms” needed to be in sound health and under the age of 45 years.
There were initially no skill restrictions, although under the “White Australia” policy those from mixed race backgrounds found it very difficult to take advantage of the scheme.
At one point in 1947, more than 400,000 Brits were registered at Australia House in London for the scheme.
The aim of the scheme was to substantially increase Australia’s population in response to fears of a Japanese invasion, and a new awareness of Australia’s vulnerability and unrealised economic potential as an under-populated country.
The “Populate or Perish” policy was developed by the Curtin Government before the end of World War II.
By late 1944 the Australian Government had begun negotiations with Britain for assisted immigration programs in the post-war years.
Since all Australian political parties supported the “White Australia” policy they looked to Britain and northern European countries for immigrants in the belief that people from these countries would more easily assimilate with the Australian community.
After the war, Australia gradually extended assisted passage schemes to immigrants from other countries such as the Netherlands and Italy to maintain high levels of immigration. It also welcomed refugees from war-torn Europe.
Many migrants faced lengthy stays in migrant hostels, failed to get ideal employment or missed their old communities.
Around one quarter of the “Ten Pound Poms” left Australia within a few years of their arrival.
Now read on via Ten Pound Poms: Immigration Museum.

Witches Garden, Mitta Valley.


Contributors: EricGrundhauser, Dylan, candibrae
Journey though the green hills and cold, clear streams of the Mitta Valley long enough, and you’ll come across a tranquil haven with a misleadingly sinister name.
The sprawling landscape known as the Witches Garden is set on four acres of soil so fertile “you can plant a chicken feather and grow a chook!”
As a result, this garden is full to the brim with life, and resided over by a local witch who lives in a cottage on-site which itself doubles as a witchcraft museum and broomstick gallery.
Broken into several gardens, the grounds are immaculately maintained and superbly planned. The flower garden flows naturally onto the Physician’s garden, which contains the largest collection of medicinal plants in Australia.
Beyond the Physician’s Garden there is a lovely hedge maze, at the center of which is a newly-established poisons garden.
This is not to be confused with the edible garden, which is home to Stick and Twig, the two friendly Tawny Frogmouth owls who watch dutifully from amongst the foliage.
Past the light-flooded art gallery (complete with a tree growing through the centre), you’ll come to the cottage of the witch herself, surrounded by rose bushes, close to a Monet bridge and large circle fountain.
Knock loud, and watch out overhead for broomsticks!
via The Witches Garden | Atlas Obscura.