G’day from Patrick the oldest and biggest Wombat in captivity, tipping the scales at 79 lbs. Patrick has spent most of his life at the Ballarat Wild Life Park in Victoria. Hand-raised after being orphaned as a baby, he was unable to defend himself against other Wombats in the wild. Now celebrating his thirtieth birthday this adorable animal is much revered, usually Wombats survive ten to fifteen years but Patrick has a happy home, good food, and lots of cuddles. He is famous for greeting visitors in his own special wheelbarrow, and is joyfully pushed around the park. With hundreds of thousands of fans, Patrick has his own Face book Page and was named 3rd best ‘City Mascot’ in the world back in 2014. Interviewed on the Today Show he showed just how affectionate he is, constantly cuddling his carer perhaps that is the secret to his longevity. He has an Online shop with beautiful Photographs, Toys, Posters, Postcards, Tea Towels, Coins, Mugs and a delightful T.Shirt www.patrickthewombat.com Happy Birthday Patrick you beautiful buck-toothed Wombachelor – long may you reign.
The Wombat is a large pudgy mammal and is a marsupial, or a pouched animal, found in Australia and on scattered Islands nearby. Like other marsupials, Wombats give birth to tiny, undeveloped young that crawl into pouches on their mother’s bellies. A Wombat baby remains in its mother’s pouch for about five months before emerging. By about seven months of age, a young Wombat can care for itself. Wombats walk with a waddle, they are champion diggers, and they have a backwards-facing pouch. They have soft light brown fur and are mainly nocturnal, and look a little like a badger. They are a protected species.
The Bowman Brothers were pioneer pastoralists of Tasmania (then Van Diemen’s Land) and of South Australia arriving in Australia in 1838 together with a herd of sheep. Today a great story is coming out of Tasmania with better wool produced than anywhere else in the world. Tasmanian wool growers have secured a lucrative deal with German outdoor wear company Ortovox. They are exporting 30 tonnes of wool a year to Europe where avalanche survival equip- ment and high performance sportswear is being made with the merino fleece. Orotovox has fallen in love with Tasmania and its environment saying it has the cleanest air and water, plus a beautiful landscape and the fact that the sheep are really cared for. Recently Australia gifted a Tasmanian merino wool blanket to the newborn daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge .
Tasmania’s East Coast, with its natural beauty, spectacular landscapes and long glorious beaches offer a completely different Australian coastal experience. You will discover the Bay of Fires, one of Lonely Planet’s top 10 regions in the world, along with historic townships, fresh seafood and friendly locals – all on one of the best scenic coastal drives in the country. Five National Parks including Freycinet National Park with its pink granite mountains, white beaches and crystal clear sea. Two busy fishing ports Bicheno and St. Helen’s, and the best game fishing in Australia. A range of activities and adventures, diving, sheer rock walls, deep fissures, caves, sponges and sea whips, plus the world-famous kelp forests, and on a clear night you can look up at more stars than you would see in many secluded regions in the world. Star gazing is a poplar past time in Tassie, with clear views of the Milky Way, and the Aurora Australis, The Southern Lights, the Island is a stargazer’s dream.
The Southern Stars Women cricket team have regained the Women’s Ashes with a match to spare, beating England by 20 runs in the second T20 in Hove. It is the first time since the multi-format points system was introduced in 2010 that the Australians have beaten England who have won the past two series, and the first time they have triumphed on UK soil since 2001.
Celebrating 152 years Yeringberg is one of the most distinguished wine producing properties in the Yarra Valley, Victoria, and has been the home of the de Pury family since 1862. Yeringberg was founded by Baron Frederick Guillaume de Pury who migrated to the Yarra Valley from Switzerland. On arrival to the colony of Victoria, the Baron and his family made a unique and lasting friendship with William Barak the indigenous leader of the area, and the long-standing Wurundjeri population. Being neighbours and farmers the de Pury’s with beautiful grapes, and the aboriginals with their award winning hops, they got along very well. William Barak was a learned man and an artist determined to keep aboriginal history alive through his paintings, always depicting corroborees and the importance of his people’s cultural and spiritual way of life. He also painted his friend’s vineyard in a map-like image with ochre and charcoal, adding a touching inscription. Yeringberg produced wines until 1921 winning gold medals in London, Paris, Bordeaux, Calcutta and San
Francisco. The original two storey wooden winery underground cellars are still intact and classified by the national trust. In 1969 3rd generation Guill de Pury re-established the Yeringberg vineyard on the north-east slopes originally chosen by his grandfather. The de Pury family currently produce around 1200 cases of wines each year from some of the oldest vines in the valley. The vines are all hand pruned and the grapes handpicked. The wines are made with minimal intervention between the vineyard and the bottle and are cellared in the best French oak barrels. Yeringberg operates a cellar door for only one weekend each year (in May), when the new vintage wines are released. William Barak and the de Pury’s are still being discussed, descendants, historians, artists and writers, talk about the cross-cultural relationship. Was it extraordinary, political, personal or both? I think it was the recognition and respect of two like minds.
Spring has arrived but there is still a very cold wind here at Shelly Beach, it hasn’t stopped the surfers who are enjoying high tides and moonlight nights. The birds are still as beautiful as ever with the most extraordinary colours, a crimson headed Rosella with gorgeous violet and yellow plumes, dropped in for breakfast with the Lorikeets. Pixie is pleasantly plump and enjoying her new life, Pomeranians are delightful dogs with delicate legs and love to dance up and down like a bouncing ball. My books are there “Letters of a Travelling Lady, Wallis the Woman I Love, The Complete Art of Painting and Decorating Porcelain,” enjoy. www.patriciasartworld.com