Tanami Desert Gold: _"All that glitters is not Gold"_

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Comments (17)

Hazel Coetzee on March 3, 2009

Ian...?

"Fool's Gold"...? Yes? No? Well, whatever it is, you could have fooled me...!!

And whatever 'tis - 'tis indeed beautiful!! (o;

Hazel

Ian Stehbens on March 3, 2009

Multiple Choice time, Hazel.

A. It's a 'gold theme' image.

B. It's molten gold cascading into moulds.

c. An illuminated fountain outside a casino that lures the gambler inside to part with their gold.

D. I left the headlights on when the car went through the car wash so I could try to create an interesting photograph to share with Panoramio friends.

Hazel Coetzee on March 4, 2009

Ian Oh darn!! Now I won't sleep tonight trying to work out which one it is!!

Your photo label suggests that it is (a) but I could be wrong.....

There are lights there.... Now I suppose you'll say it was just another pesky UFO landing in your garden and you wish they would just leave you alone...?

Hazel

Ian Stehbens on March 4, 2009

OK, Hazel, so it's multiple choice time with another possibility:

A. It's a 'gold theme' image.

B. It's molten gold cascading into moulds.

c. An illuminated fountain outside a casino that lures the gambler inside to part with their gold.

D. I left the headlights on when the car went through the car wash so I could try to create an interesting photograph to share with Panoramio friends.

E. These are lights.... it was just another pesky UFO landing in our garden and you wish they would just leave me alone, and land in your garden instead so that you might rush out with your camera too.

In making your selection, you are not required to chose only one or any of the above. The correct answer maybe a combination, say A and C, or another figment of your imagination. But you must come up with an answer.

Ian

Hazel Coetzee on March 4, 2009

OOOh Whiskers!!! I could take the coward's way out and say it's just (a) and wonder for the rest of my days what it was... Not about to do that!! Think, woman, think.....

Uh - A submarine that got stuck in a swamp? - no.... too many lights on the top - unless it's a secret new prototype

Aliens that crashlanded in sinking sand or a grassy lagoon? - no.... they would have managed to escape and be taken to your leader by now

A fur coat with illuminated sequins? - no.... Liberace's long gone, can't be

A really old fur rug (or Kaross) flung over a lit lamp? - hmmm that's a possibility....

A search party wandering through grasslands after dark? (Altho why they would all be shining their torches upwards is beyond my comprehension... Looking for rare bats, maybe?)

  • well, it certainly isn't an illuminated Swiss Cheese slice, 'cos it's too furry (unless said cheese is VERY - VERY - VERY mature.....)

Okay - ya got me.. I concede defeat. So there!! W-H-A-T I-S I-T ....????

Haze (now in a Daze)

KelvinRose on March 5, 2009

Dear Hazel,

Together we will be breaking new ground in geographical inquiry and ecosystem research if we keep this up!

So now, we have opened up a whole new realm of knowledge. Did you imagine that?

Here's your multiple choice distractors again:

A. It's a 'gold theme' image.

B. It's molten gold cascading into moulds.

c. An illuminated fountain outside a casino that lures the gambler inside to part with their gold.

D. I left the headlights on when the car went through the car wash so I could try to create an interesting photograph to share with Panoramio friends.

E. These are lights.... it was just another pesky UFO landing in our garden and you wish they would just leave me alone, and land in your garden instead so that you might rush out with your camera too.

F. A search party wandering through [Central Australian /could be Veldt also] grasslands after dark? (Altho why they would all be shining their torches upwards is beyond comprehension... Not quite, but close perhaps.) Looking for rare bats, maybe? actually a setting of illuminated lures to attract insects, as part of a scientific research into grassland ecosystem. By identifying grassland insects species and relative populations the diet of the rare bats can be established. The bats live in a limestone cave system on the scarp to the northwest but feed above the grasslands each night. And what has this to do with the gold theme? The traditional landowners have been using a mosiac pattern of grassland burning to create a diverse environment for centuries in order to enhance the variety and quantity of food available. The gold miners (and diamond, uranium, and gas/petroleum searchers have disturbed that pattern significantly with their graded lines, tracks and elimination of burning in vicinity of leases. The bat populations are indicators of a healthy ecosystem. Research is now needed to determine relative health of rehabilitated areas after the mining disturbance, especially as here in the semi-desert climatic and meteorological variables are great.

It is over to you, Hazel. The answer has been given, methinks.

Ian

Hazel Coetzee on March 5, 2009

Hazel - Now weak at the knees, can only mutter: "I knew that!! Of course - I knew that all along!..." |o;

Seriously: Good grief!! Never thought I'd come so close to guessing the facts. I've nearly dislocated my shoulder patting myself on the back!!

Thanks to you Ian and to you Rose - a big hug for you both! You are dear folk!!

-- oh and by the way, it's A SUPERB PHOTO! Did I tell you that before??

Warm regards, Hazel

Ian Stehbens on March 5, 2009

Dear Hazel,

How can I reward you for your outstanding contribution to the field of virtual science?

But first an apology for the glitch. I was teaching my mother to use email and Panoramio today, for she arrived for a visit with us yesterday. And as I am retired as of this week, what better thing to do. So she now has an email address and a Panoramio account! I forgot that we were still signed in to her account when I last replied to you, but, yes, she was in on the conversation and imagination! Sorry, if I threw you for a moment signing out as Ian on Winnfred Rose's account. Forgive me.

The correct factual answer had been given in A + C, if you look back. But the virtual scientific answer was generated along the way, and which was better?

My o my, it reminds me of lots of conversations I have listened to in outback pubs, or around campfires. Everyone seems so much more knowledgeable after dark! Like some of the kids I taught, or the fossikers I have met in the outback.

Everything is not as it seems and not all things are consistent. Not anymore it seems, for when you and I get going, well??

Now how are we going to unravel the truth from the virtual truth anymore? There are bats in the caves of the scarps. They do feed on the insects that swarm in the grasslands. There are prospectors and mining camps. The indigenous have used fire as a land management tool. There is a fountain of gold out there, and they are still searching for Lasseter's fabled reef, which seems to most to be as ephemeral as the lakes. And yes the Tanami gold mines are real, today, as shown in the GE image. So what about the Swiss Cheese that is very, very mature? A drover once shared his cheese with me, and it could only be eaten after it was melted in the campfire. And the kaross keeps a swagman warm as he waits till his billy has boiled for his Matilda has materialised this very night, and she threw it around his shoulders!

And you can cast one around me too, Hazel!

Ian

Hazel Coetzee on March 6, 2009

Very interesting. Thank you for all the info and update. AND CONGRATS ON ATTAINING YOUR RETIREMENT - YOU MUST BE FEELING VERY EXCITED ABOUT THIS!!! So pleased for you and your wife and family. Now you can do all those things you have been putting On Hold....!! Just one query: I see that Lutz Frankenveld talked about Lasseter's reef a long time back - has he actually got anything to show for it, by now? or was it just a lot of hot air? Surely all his negotiations should have achieved SOMETHING by this time?

As for the kaross, you have painted a lovely, nostalgic picture of Matilda and her swagman and I could picture them as clearly - faces glowing and illuminated by the fire, sitting side by side, billycan steaming softly, with stars above them and cricket sounds in the night - as if they were right here.

(Much more endearing than the picture of glitz, noise and glamour with Liberace's illuminated sequinned version don't you agree? - Although his piano playing was amazing.)

Cheers for now, Hi to WinRose - as ever, H

Ian Stehbens on March 6, 2009

Dear Hazel,

Thanks for your affirmation of my retirement. Perhaps now I should go and help Mr Frankenveld with his proposal. For there is gold in thar hills!

Ian

Amelia Royan on March 8, 2009

Dear Ian, Hazel and Winnifred, I have read all the above conversations with absolute delight. It's so pleasurable to be able to go to sleep thinking of fields of gold, search parties, gambling dens, UFOs, car headlights and prospective miners. I leave you with this goodnight:

Golden slumbers kiss my eyes,

Stars awake me when I rise

Greetings to you all, Amelia

Hazel Coetzee on March 9, 2009

Ian - Gold in them thar hills.. Really!! Aha!! A-hunting we will go.... Well, at least YOU can go a-hunting seeing that it's right on your doorstep (more or less). I'll just have to see if I can find any here, in South Africa. Gee -- I wonder if there's any gold to be found in our dusty "Koppies" - I wonder, I wonder..? ((o;

Amelia - Thanks for the visit! (chuckles)

Guess I got a lee-eetle carried away but it was great fun, and at last the actual facts came to the fore. Ian is showing me that Australia is a beautiful and FASCINATING place!

Warmest greetings to you both, Hazel

Amelia Royan on March 9, 2009

Go for the diamonds as well Hazel, and send as all rings :)

BTW what is a "koppy"?

Greetings, Amelia

Ian Stehbens on March 11, 2009

Dear Amelia,

If I am right a kopje is a hill, elsewhere called a mesa, that is common across the veldt (or savanna lands) of South Africa. Koppies also refers to a region in the Orange Free State where gold and diamonds are found, and in colloquial settings it can refer to the land of South Africa generally, I think.

But I suspect our sister, Hazel, is indicating that as Australia and South Africa were both once past, part of Gondwanaland together than one is a 'koppy" of the other, and therefore South Africa is a beautiful and FASCINATING place too, and that gold will also be found in many places in Australia as it is in ZA. And I think she also understands that South Africa plays cricket as well as Australia, and maybe England for that matter.

I hope this is what she means, for I found South Africa to be surprisingly like Australia in many respects. Except their Big Five move about, our Big Five are rooted and grow tall, and there are many distinctive and very dramatic landscapes that are special to South Africa that I envy.

And if you do ever cross the Indian Ocean Hazel I will be delighted to show you and your husband where you can find Australian diamonds and pan for gold!

Warmest regards to you both,

Ian

Hazel Coetzee on March 12, 2009

Hi Ian and Amelia

Thanks for all this entertaining interesting feedback. You really are a couple of STARS.

Yes, a "koppie" is usually a small, rounded hillock and they abound in the Karoo, which is I imagine very like the Australian Outback except for the Kangaroos of course. As for Cricket - no comment except to say that you are being very kind Ian, for which I thank you.

We lived in an alluvial diamond bearing area in the Northwest province for 3 years whilst my husband was working there.

The diggings were like a mass of Molehills on Steroids! They were practically deserted, and only the wind whispering through the long grasses around the gravelly mounds and discarded bits of rusty spades, etc. kept one company.

A great place to sit quietly and find yourself and also to imagine the ghosts of the diggers going about their daily excavations, the joys, sorrows, desperation - ups and downs of their 19th century lives.

I'm still hoping one day to cross the Indian Ocean Ian - who knows...? Anything is possible.

(My mother and her siblings attended a tiny German Mission School on a little island just off Samoa where her father was a German trader before WW1 - so it could just happen one day!)

Warmest wishes to all, Hazel

M and R on April 10, 2009

very effective lighting effects. R

Ian Stehbens on April 10, 2009

Thanks Robyn.

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