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Showing posts from May, 2013

Australian birds

The most famous of Australian birds is 'Kookaburra Jackass, whose derisive call seems to mock everyone who hears it. The Kookburra's head is almost as big as his body which has a downy grey waistcoat, brown feathers, and wings speckled with pale blue. He is a brave little bird and will seize a snake in his strong beak, fly up to the treetops and drop the snake on the ground, doing this again and again until the snake is dead.

The Lyre Bird gets his name from the unusual shape of his tail. He is about the size of a chicken and is fine singer and mimic. He can imitate, not only forest sounds, but any noises that he hears, and practise new imitation for hours until he has them perfected.

The largest and stateliest of Australian birds is Emu which is about seven feet high and has brownish black plumage, small wings, and a very shot tail. The emu cannot fly, but it does swim, and it can run almost as fast as kangaroo can hop. Young emus, with their vivid black and white stripped fe…

Jackeroo

A jackeroo is an apprentice to a sheep farm in Australia.

The big estate on which sheep or cattle are reared in large numbers are always called "station," and not farms; the owner is always the "boss"; and the men who work for them are "stockmen," and never shepherds or cowmen, although you are quite in order if you speak to them as "hands".

The land over which the sheep roam is the "run". A large station will probably be divided into what should be called in Britain "fields," but which the jackeroo soon learns to call " padocks".

The life of a jackeroo of Australia, likes the rancher of Canada and the veld-rider of south Africa, if we may say.
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The real Eskimo

The real Eskimo whom we believed to live always in his igloo, in an eternally frozen land, never exist.

During the summer, Eskimo take to the land with their hunting kit and their tupic or skin tent, as well as to the sea in their light and wonderfully-made kayaks, and gather what food they can from both.

As winter comes down from the north, the Eskimo retire to their winter huts or anis, built of stone and turves, and often slightly underground, and perhaps built partly of drift-wood found on the summer beaches. Here they live snugly while the blizzards rage and howl outside, until the sea ice is strong enough to bear them on their winter hunting trips.

Each little Eskimo winter village is strung out over a considerable distance to give the people of every home a fairly wide area over which to hunt. Igloo or houses of hard blocks of frozen snow form the hunting and fishing headquarters of each family.
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The Red Hand of Ulster

Ulster is another and older name for Northern Ireland, and its badge is a red hand.

Long years ago, so legend tells, a party of bold adventurers was approaching the coast of Ireland when the leader announced that whoever of his party first touched the shore should possess the territory he reached. Thereupon an ancestor of the O'Neills from whom descended the Kings of Ulster, finding another boat forging slowly ahead of his, struck off his left hand and flung it on to the land. Thus the hand of Ulster, red with O'Neill blood, still remains an emblem.
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John O' Groats' Octagonal House

On the edge of northeast Scotland there once stood John 'O Ggroat's House.

According to some legends, John de Groot was a Dutchman. His family grew and grew since settled there until eventually there were eight brothers, and a dispute then arose as to which of them should sit at the head of the table, near the door.

To settle the quarrel once and for all John built a house that was octagonal, or eight-sided. It had eight doors and eight windows on the ground floor and the dinning table had eight sides to match. Thus each brother came into the main living-room by his own door, went straight to his place at the festive board, and so there was no excuse whatever for any arguments.
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Big ben

" Big Ben " is actually the bell upon which the hours are struck, but many people give the name to the Clock Tower in which the bell hangs.
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Cisterian rule

Tintern Abby was founded in 1131 for Cisterian monks, and was built according to the Cisterian rule: "None of our houses I'd to be built in cities, in castles, or villages; but in places remote from the conversation of men."

The monks of Tintern Abbey were driven out in the reign of Henry VIII, from then the decay has overtaken, but cannot destroy the faultless of its early English style and beauty of its proportions. It has been called "the most perfect ruin in England."
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The Land's End

Land's End, the westernmost tip of England, is some 293 miles from London.

In China, similar land's end is called Tian Ya Hai Jiao (天涯海角).
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