Australia

Posted by Ellen

The sun sets on the other side of the International Date Line, in Teneriffe, a riverside suburb of Brisbane, Australia. Or so they say; this post is yet another in a long irregular series spouting off about places we've never seen and about which we know next to nothing.

But we persist.

In the early twentieth century, Teneriffe was the wool-export center of the universe, with warehouses that could store tens of thousands of bales of Australia's wool. During World War II, the country's largest submarine base was located here. But in recent years, shipping has moved to container facilities at the mouth of the Brisbane River, and Teneriffe has assumed more of a residential character.

Posted by Ellen

In January 1943, Australian truck gardener and food packager Edgell & Sons Ltd opened a new cannery in Cowra, New South Wales, for the war effort; by January 1944, these women and other employees working in shifts around the clock had shipped off one million cans of tomatoes and other vegetables.

The cannery at Cowra stayed in operation till 2013, by which time Edgell had shifted over mostly to frozen foods, and every other cannery in Australia had already closed down. Birdseye now owns the company, though Edgell survives as a brand for the Australian market.

Posted by Ellen

The highlight of this year's Australian Spring Racing Carnival, if it wasn't these hats, was last week's 153rd running of the Melbourne Cup, "the race that stops a nation."

Winning horse was Fiorente, trained by actress Gai Waterhouse. The BBC points out that even though Waterhouse spent several years in Britain, she is definitely Australian and thus continues the unbroken streak of 153 consecutive Melbourne Cup winners trained by non-British trainers.

Posted by Ellen

For the big Sydney Festival last month in Darling Harbour, Sydney, Australia, they floated a big rubber ducky out there in Cockle Bay.

Posted by Ellen

Just another day at the beach, in Australia.

When global warming brings us beach weather in January here in the mid-latitudes of the northern Hemisphere, this particular Australian beach, as well as all our American beaches and those of all the other continents, will be under water. The city of Philadelphia will be under water, along with most of the world's major cities. Oh well. Beaches in West Virginia could be nice.

Posted by Ellen

A couple of weeks ago, when the International Space Center was looping around the southern part of the globe, heading toward Antarctica from Australia, astronauts used the little digital camera on board to snap this picture.

The fires were intentionally set by farmers clearing fields or pastures to make way for spring growth. The green horizon is the Aurora Australis, bright pulses of electromagnetic energy released when solar pulses are deflected toward the earth's southern magnetic pole. Green is the most common color of auroras, produced when solar energy disrupts the normal spinning of oxygen molecules in the upper atmosphere; auroras can also be red, pink, or orange, depending on the atmospheric gases involved.

The space station itself is visible across the top of this photo and in the lower right corner.