Kerang Lakes, Victoria, Australia

BirdLife Port Natal

Report by Sally and Paul Bartho

28 December 2016

Sally and I are based in Bendigo with family. We decided to have a day away and go birding in the surrounding area.

Tim Dolby’s book “Where to see birds in Victoria” suggested we take a look at the Kerang Lakes – just over an hour’s drive north of Bendigo.

Kerang Lakes in relation to Bendigo and Melbourne Kerang Lakes in relation to Bendigo and Melbourne

The Kerang Lakes are in a flood prone region where many rivers and creeks converge to fill wetland areas. The drive was through farm lands – very flat and not exactly attractive countryside (in our opinion).

After an hour and a half we arrived in Kerang close to our first attempt at birding – almost 07h00.

Kerang Lakes Kerang Lakes

Based on the information in Tim Dolby’s book and the time we had available we decided to visit:

  • Fosters Swamp
  • Middle Lake
  • Lake Tutchewop
  • Round Lake and

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Master, Apprentice, Enthusiast – Bonsai Education.


It is generally accepted and published on various websites that an apprenticeship can take capbetween 2,000 and 12,000 hours to complete. The same websites mention that it will take between two and four years to complete an apprenticeship. It is also common knowledge that Bonsai cultivation apprenticeships can take many more years to complete than an apprenticeship for an electrician or a plumber. In my field of work, it takes four years to be trained as a teacher. This normally includes a three year degree programme as well as a one year professional Diploma in Education.

What do we get for all of this? You normally walk away with a piece of paper that announces that you are a qualified professional, a person that can do a good job to a good standard in your chosen area of studies. You also earn a salary. I have read somewhere that a…

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Bonsai in Taiwan: Trees + Art (Part 2)

My second bout of bonsai sightseeing in Taiwan was at Wan Jing Yi Yuan garden. Prior to visiting the garden I had seen my great aunt who as a hobby does calligraphy and painting. Below is some of her work:

wisteria Wisteria vines and caligraphy

painting Beautiful landscape

Her teacher apparently is a very talented and skilled having received recognition and awards for his work. Below is a reverse ink scroll of the Heart Sutra. You can find prints of these but this one is completely done by hand.


Having learned that I enjoy bonsai, my great aunt recalled some pictures her friend sent her in the past depicting bonsai in a garden. She found the pictures and later referred us to a garden to check out.

The garden we visited was located in Changhua. This city is one of the oldest, among the first Taiwanese settlements when Chinese migrants arrived in the 17th century…

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2 Life Lessons Learned from Bonsai to Help you this Year


2015-09-26 11.02.16

Today is the January 1st 2016.  Happy New Year!  I wanted to make at least an entry to my blog to mark the beginning of a fresh new year.  It’s traditional that most people make new a year’s resolutions and set goals to improve themselves for the new year.  Congratulations for those who have done that and best of luck to your future commitments.   However some, if not most, including myself fail to follow through those commitments.  It’s funny to watch the gyms get filled in the beginning of the year and later become sparse as people fail to follow through their regiments.

I’ve been wanting to make the connection between bonsai and life lessons.  By no means this is a catch all, but I will attempt to offer some lessons as simple as I can.

Here are two things to start with:

  1. Blemishes and imperfections can add character and…

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2017 Outlook


Today is January 1st 2017.  This post is to provide a brief outlook of some of what I’m thinking will be coming up for 2017.

It’s been 2 years since I started this blog.   In those 2 short years (in bonsai years), I am amazed at the many benefits I got out of this blog.   Made new friends, learned from others, kept better log of my trees, viewed my trees in a much deeper perspective, just to name a few.  During those 2 years I was surprised to have accumulated at least 114 followers via  WordPress, Facebook, and e-mail.  I had a total of 7,730 views since I started, with the best day of 357 views.  I posted a total of 70 blogs so far.  I have views from at least 13 different countries and followers from as many of the countries as well.  This numbers may not mean anything to you or for some these…

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