Feb Photo 25 – Green
We are very lucky in Australia. We have cities, houses, low unemployment, a dollar that is trading very well, we don’t have any wars, widespread famine, dictatorships, or much of what we see each night on the news.
What we do have are wide open plains, bushland, forests, rainforests, deserts, beaches and many species of flora, fauna and animals that cannot be found anywhere else in the entire world. Australia is unique in this respect, as it discovered later in the grand scheme of things, and therefore it was able to preserve much of what many other countries took for granted for food, or simply to clear land for vegetation. Of course, we have done our fair share of land clearing, and we have caused devastation to many areas of our land, however compared to other countries, we are rather sensible.
I was reading today that an Amazonian tribe are being forced to move from their land; land where they have lived and their ancestors have lived for thousands of years. They are being moved to make way for a controversial dam, that will cause flooding to large areas of the Amazon, and completely destroy the way of life for many tribes, and of course the silent victims; the animals.
To do something like this on the same scale in Australia would be virtually unheard of these days, although in the past, the Snowy River Hydroelectric Project did ruin a lot of vegetation and who knows what else.
I am glad that in today’s day and age, in Australia at least, we have learnt from our mistakes, and tend not to do anything like this anymore. Our unique flora and fauna remain for future generations to enjoy, our animals remain in the wild, where they belong, and we can possibly learn from them all.
Recently I was reading that the venom of a Funnel Web Spider (I think?) was being extracted and used to fight certain forms of heart disease, and potentially Alzheimer’s. The venom, when administered in a diluted form, was able to kill of the sick cells, and leave the healthy cells virtually unharmed. Nature holds many secrets, most of which we still have not even began to imagine. Many can benefit the human race in one form or another, and I don’t mean solely in the medical field.
A bullet-proof vest, for example, is made of Kevlar. Kevlar is made from spider silk; spun from a spider, and collected for manufacturing. Spider’s webs can withstand a beating, when the size and scale of objects that are trapped by it, versus the size of the individual strand of silk are considered. Scientists have said that if scaled up, a spider’s web could stop a jetliner in mid-flight, and support its entire weight. The faster an object is travelling, the better it can stop the object. After much thinking, someone decided to test this theory, and constructed a vest out of silk, and fired a gun. It stopped the bullet, and we now have bullet-proof vests that save the lives of police and army personnel on a daily basis. However, these vests cannot prevent a knife, as the blade is travelling much slower than a bullet.
The above photo was taken in the Cape Otway National Park, in Victoria, Australia. Pay attention to the Eucalypt trees growing in harmony with the rainforest ferns in the foreground. This particular area is only about a 15 minute walk to the beach, where the Pacific Ocean laps at the sand. A 20 minute drive will find you in a bustling little country town called Lorne, and another 30 minutes, a fairly major city called Geelong. Australia has many of these forests, national parks and bushlands right on our doorstep, and I think the best part is, not many people bother to visit and appreciate them.
The less people who bother to visit, the longer they will remain untouched, and available for future generations.