February 5 - 11 2023: Issue 570

Sunday Cartoons

Sunday cartoons returns this year. This week: Dennis The Menace - Dangerous Detour

A serious Backyard waterslide: + Manly Water Chute

Spotted last weeked - looks like GREAT fun

Did you know there once was a BIG water slide at Manly called the 'Water Chute'?


Situated in Manly at the corner of South Steyne and Ashburner Street (an area known as Steyne Court), the Manly Chute was established in 1903 by a syndicate called the Manly Chute and Amusements Company. The site had previously operated for some three years as a place of amusement known as The Maze, before being purchased sometime around September 1903. Included in the sale was a building that had operated as a refreshment room. The new company was incorporated on November 6th 1903, and shortly afterwards, General Manager, Archibald Baird, struck a deal with previous refreshment room operator, Henry Bardolph, to buy his business. 

After securing the rights to the refreshment room, demolition of the maze began. The company then set about erecting the water slides that were to be the park's main attraction. The Manly Chute's official opening, timed to coincide with the school holidays, took place on December 14th in the presence of Sir John See, members of the New South Wales Ministry and the Mayor of Manly. The first entertainment was presented by a military band under the conductorship of Mr L. De Groen. The Sydney Morning Herald indicates that the park was open at night, with illumination provided by "fairy and other lamps."


THE MANLY CHUTE.

The Manly Water Chute and Amusements Company have issued an attractive guidebook profusely illustrated, setting forth the numerous attractions at the company’s grounds at Manly. The chute, toboggan. Bijou Theatre, and the fiery dragon are all depicted, and the letterpress is well and smartly written. Trippers to Manly (the Brighton of Australia) who have not yet experienced the sensation of " chuting" on reading the brochure, will no doubt be tempted to " take the plunge." The little book is a credit alike to its author, printer, and all concerned. THE MANLY CHUTE. (1904, May 7). Watchman (Sydney, NSW : 1902 - 1926), p. 3. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article111920950 


Water Chute, Manly, N.S.W. , postcards courtesy National Museum of Australia, Image No.: 1986.0117.0258 - from an old Postcard, and Manly Library History collection.

The Manly Shute  operated during the warmer months of each year - approximately October to April. While the feature attractions were a Canadian water chute and a Toboggan ride, the management also provided other entertainments, including variety concerts and film exhibitions. The park was leased to music director/manager Lewis De Groen from October 1905 to April 1906. It remained open until the end of June that year, however, and then closed permanently. The site was sold in November 1906, around the same time that the Manly Chute and Amusements Company went into liquidation.

Manly's fascination with fun and water had not ceased though. 

In 1981 Manly Waterworks opened and now named Manly Surf'n'Slide, although most people still call it Manly Waterworks and it's still opne on Saturdays and Sundays. Interestingly this site was, apparently, used in the movie BMX Bandits starring Nicole Kidman during which an escape is staged in one of the waterslides.

Moth Eggs

It's that time of year when all the insects that have been busy feeding and flitting during Summer are laying eggs. This one was flapping about in our bathroom, and we though 'oh, pretty.'.

When we went back in a few hours later we noticed it had laid some eggs on the outside of the shower screen. Pretty colour:




This one is Gastrophora henricaria, described by A. Guenée, in 1857, also called a 'Beautiful Leaf Moth' or 'Fallen-bark Looper'.

The Caterpillars of this species are brown, with a pair of protuberances on abdominal segment three. The first three pairs of prolegs are vestigial, and there are dark triangular ventral marks under those segments. Intermediate instars have a dark chevron on the back of each segment, and an orange dorsal patch on the fourth segment.

The Larvae feed on eucalypts and Brush Box. 

The male adult moths have fawn forewings, each with a dark brown transverse line, and a prominent dark brown dot near the base of the hind margin.

The female adult moths have fawn forewings, each with a broad slightly darker trapezoidal transverse band, and a faint dark brown dot near the base of the hind margin.

In its resting position, the underside of each hindwing covers the undersides of the forewings, and is pale brown with a large slightly darker patch, and a submarginal arc of black dots. The underside of each forewing is displayed when the moth is disturbed, and is a startling yellow to orange with a large black patch containing a bluish-purple blotch, connected by an orange triangle to the base.

This is quite a large moth - Body length to 35 mm, wingspan to 80 mm. 

As you can see, this mum has a bald spot. Moths and butterflies constantly accumulate damage on their wings and bodies over time, and they're especially prone to loosing the delicate scales that coat their exoskeleton (which is usually visible as a 'bald spot' on the top part of a moth's thorax when it's been bumping around a light for a few hours). You can even get a sense of a moth's age by seeing how worn and tattered its wings are; newly emerged individuals are usually pristine, while older ones have frayed wings and patches of missing scales.

The species is found over much of the south-eastern quarter of Australia. Information courtesy and from: http://lepidoptera.butterflyhouse.com.au/chro/henricaria.htmlThis page also has more great photos.

This photo of a male shows you how they look if they haven't been bumping around too much and thos glorious colours underneath:


Gastrophora henricaria, moth, male. Great Otway National Park, Victoria. Photographer: Frank Pierce. Source: Museums Victoria. Copyright Museums Victoria / CC BY (Licensed as Attribution 4.0 International)


Gastrophora henricaria Guenée, 1857, to MV light, Aranda, ACT, 30 November/1 December 2008. Photo: Donald Hobern via Flickr

How long do eggs take to hatch?

The eggs for this moth are usually laid on eucalyptus leaves.

The female lays the eggs individually and she can lay as many as 220 eggs over a 2 week period. The eggs usually hatch after 4 - 8 days but can take as long as 3 weeks. The hatching larvae begin feeding and spinning immediately. They produce two lengthy tubes that run onto or into the infested material. The larvae can molt over 40 times and the larval stage can take between 1 - 24 months. The larval period can vary greatly because of the ability of the larvae to undergo diapause (phase of dormancy). This period of dormancy usually lasts between 8 - 24 months. Pupating larvae spin a quiver like pupal case which is thicker than the feeding tubes and closed at both ends. Pupation usually lasts between 2 - 6 weeks and the hatching adults normally live between 2 - 4 weeks.

Australia has around 22 000 species of moths. Around half of these have been scientifically named. This one has a lovely soft coat - imagine if there was a cloth made like this that you could wear.

The moths hatching out in the bathroom reminds us of a few years back around this time of year, when we had a huntsman mumma deposit her eggs in the bathroom. Soon we had tiny tiny spiders everywhere - but they went outswide when we opened the window - off into the Great Outdoors to continue the yearly cycles of insects and spiders and all those other tiny living things we share the world with.

Belrose Gets A New Mountain Bike Track

On January 30 2023 Council announced the opening of another mountain bike trail at Belrose. Wyatt Ave Bike Park in is a purpose-built facility for youngsters and new riders to safely practice and learn skills before progressing to more challenging trails like Bare Creek and Manly Dam.

Northern Beaches Mayor Michael Regan said Council’s own Landscape Construction Team worked with Trail Care to deliver a high-quality result and ensure the best outcome for the riding community.

“Riders of all ages will be super pumped to have a site they can call their own to practice their skills before they even consider going to the much more advanced Bare Creek and Manly Dam tracks.

“The site’s loop trail includes a beginner loop and mini flow loop; climb and descent, technical features, and gravity zone features, as well as bike launching area, a viewing platform, and so many environmentally conscious elements including 1050 new trees planted.

“This project would not have been possible without the instrumental work of local mountain biking advocacy and consultancy group Trail Care who helped design the park based on feedback from local skills coaches and parents of local riders to gain a clear understanding of what the community needed.” Mayor Regan said.

Trail Care’s Matt Ward is thrilled Council is supporting and investing in this growing sport.

“The new park provides awesome opportunities for kids and new riders to progress.  Perhaps they've never ridden a bike on dirt before; here they can build confidence on corners, rock rolls, drops, and jumps.  It's the ideal stepping stone towards other Council facilities like Bare Creek and Manly Dam. 

“Working in collaboration with Council on this project has led to great outcomes, bringing together amazing landscaping work with local trail design knowledge.  The end result is one of the best-looking skills parks I've seen.” Matt Ward said.  

“We’re also so grateful to the local member for Davidson, Jonathan O’Dea, for securing use of the site and advocating for this project. He has been instrumental since its inception, and it will be one of the many projects which will become his legacy.” Mayor Regan said.

Member for Davidson, The Hon, Jonathan O’Dea said he’s delighted to see all the hard work on the project has paid off.

“I was pleased to negotiate for the State Government to dedicate the land for community recreation on the basis that Northern Beaches Council took responsibility for planning and developing a new facility.

“Wyatt Ave Bike Park is designed for younger and less experienced riders and provides a safe introduction to an exciting and energetic sport. It is a wonderful complement to the neighbouring Bear Creek Bike Park” Mr O’Dea said.

In addition to 1050 new plants, 950 tonnes of excavated construction material from local construction sites formed the trail subbase, as well as 120 cubic metres of recycled mulch.

Council encourages all riders at any of the bike parks to wear appropriate safety gear.

Karen Pye is going to the Australian Antarctica's Davis Station in 2023

Curious Kids: where did the first seed come from?

How seeds came to be. Shutterstock.
Marjorie Lundgren, Lancaster University

Curious Kids is a series for children of all ages, where The Conversation asks experts to answer questions from kids. All questions are welcome: find out how to enter at the bottom of this article.


Where did the first seed come from? – Alice, age six, Beverley, UK

Hi Alice. This is a clever question. As I’m sure you know, plants use seeds to spread their young and make new plants. But plants haven’t always used seeds to do this. Seeds came together bit-by-bit over a really long time, as plants evolved.

To understand how this happened, you need to know that all living things change slowly over time, to get better at surviving in their environment – this process is called evolution.

Here’s how it works: when a living thing has a feature which works well, it will be able to live longer and have more young. These young will probably have similar features, thanks to their parents.

Plants started using seeds to spread their young somewhere between 385m and 365m years ago. Before seeds existed, plants had other ways of doing this.

Spores on the leaves of a fern. Shutterstock.

Back then, most plants used spores. Some plants today, such as algae, mosses and ferns, still do. You might have spotted the tiny brownish dots on the underside of fern leaves – these are spores.

Spores are different from seeds in a few ways. A spore is made of just one part – a single cell – while a seed contains many cells, each with different jobs to do.

Another difference is that spores only have one parent plant, while seeds have two.

This means that, after a seed starts sprouting, it can grow into a plant, just like its parents.

But spores have to work a bit harder: once they’ve travelled away from their parent plant, they grow into a little green plate of cells, which scientists call a “gametophyte”. Then, two gametophytes must join together, before they can grow into a plant.

It’s easier for gametophytes to join together when its wet – and that’s why plants that use spores usually need to grow in wet places.

For example, horsetails are a very ancient type of plant, which like to grow along lakes, rivers and ponds: they have very strange spores with four “legs” which help them to move and travel further away.

The first seed

Scientists believe that an extinct seed fern, called Elksinia polymorpha, was the first plant to use seeds.

This plant had cup-like features, called “cupules”, that would protect the developing seed. These cupules grew along the plant’s branches.

Today, plants with seeds do things a little differently. There are two main types: “angiosperms” and “gymnosperms”.

Angiosperms are flowering plants – their seeds develop inside of fruit, like apples, tomatoes or even rose hips or holly berries.

The seeds of gymnosperm and angiosperm plants. Shutterstock

Gymnosperms, such as pine trees, grow their seeds inside a hard cone.

The upside of seeds

Seeds have evolved because they are better at helping plants to survive than spores are. For example, seeds contain a food source to help the new plant grow.

They also have a hard coat, which helps them to live longer in different conditions: this means plants with seeds can life in lots of different places, from hot, dry deserts to cool, rainy places.

Seeds are so good at helping plants to spread their young that most plant species on Earth today use seeds.


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Hello, curious kids! Have you got a question you’d like an expert to answer? Ask an adult to send your question – along with your name, age and town or city where you live – to curiouskids@theconversation.com. Send as many questions as you want! We won’t be able to answer every question, but we’ll do our best.


More Curious Kids articles, written by academic experts:

Marjorie Lundgren, Lecturer in Environmental Physiology, Lancaster University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Curious Kids: how do birds see where they’re going?

Shutterstock.
Hazel Jackson, University of Kent

This is an article from Curious Kids, a series for children of all ages. The Conversation is asking young people to send in questions they’d like an expert to answer. All questions are welcome: find out how to enter at the bottom.


We have eyes on the front of our heads so we can see where we are going, but birds’ eyes are on the side so how do they see where they’re going? – Thomas and Luke, age six, Sussex, UK


Dear Thomas and Luke,

Thanks for your question. First of all, I should mention that not all birds have their eyes on the sides of their heads. Pigeons and parrots do, but other birds, such as owls, have large eyes placed close together at the front of their heads – a bit like ours.

Whether they have eyes at the front or on the sides of their heads, all birds can still see straight ahead. But that doesn’t mean all birds see things in the same way. In fact, where a bird’s eyes are on its head can tell us a lot about how it sees the world.

Eyes to the front, owls! Shutterstock

Having two eyes means animals can see a three dimensional image of what’s around them. So they can perceive the height, width and depth of an object, as well as how far away it is.

Where a bird’s eyes are on its head affects its field of vision – that’s how much it can see in front and to the side at any one time. Think about how far you can see to either side without turning your head: these are the limits of your own field of vision.

Because owls have eyes at the front of their heads, they have a smaller field of vision – around 150 degrees for a barn owl (though they can turn their heads very far to look around).

Parrots, pigeons and other birds with eyes on the sides of their heads have a much bigger field of vision, of about 300 degrees. Amazingly, this means that they can see in front and a long way to the side, at the same time.

A ring-necked parakeet with eyes on the side of its head.

Where the eyes are placed decides how a bird views its surroundings using different types of vision. Binocular vision means both eyes focus on the same object at the same time, and eye movement is coordinated – this is the kind of vision that predatory birds such as owls rely on most.

Monocular vision means each eye is focused on a different object at any particular moment, and this is normal for parrots and pigeons. Having different kinds of vision helps different kinds of birds survive in the wild.

Different birds have different fields of vision.

For parrots and pigeons, having eyes on the sides of their heads is a huge advantage. Having a wider field of vision with only a small blind spot behind them lets these birds see where they are going, while also keeping an eye out for predators which might be trying to sneak up on them.

For predatory raptors such as barn owls, having forward-facing eyes helps them to see depth and distance much more clearly, since both eyes can focus on the same object at the same time. This is perfect for spotting and catching small prey such as field mice.

So though it might seem like birds with eyes on the side of their heads can’t see where they are going, they can see forward and sideways at the same time, and in fact can see much more than those with eyes facing forwards.


Hello, curious kids! Have you got a question you’d like an expert to answer? Ask an adult to send your question to us. You can:

* Email your question to curiouskids@theconversation.com
* Tell us on Twitter by tagging @ConversationUK with the hashtag #curiouskids, or
* Message us on Facebook.

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Please tell us your name, age and which town or city you live in. You can send an audio recording of your question too, if you want. Send as many questions as you like! We won’t be able to answer every question, but we will do our best.


More Curious Kids articles, written by academic experts:

Hazel Jackson, Affiliate, University of Kent

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Curious Kids: why do things look smaller when further away and bigger when closer to me?

Shutterstock.
David Franklin, University of Portsmouth

This is an article from Curious Kids, a series for children of all ages. The Conversation is asking young people to send in questions they’d like an expert to answer. All questions are welcome: find out how to enter at the bottom.


Why do things look smaller when further away and bigger when closer to me? – Elena, age ten, Haywards Heath, UK

The easiest way to understand this is by thinking about something called your field of view. This is how much you can see, without turning your head. When things are closer to you, they take up more of your field of view, so they seem bigger. When they’re further away, they take up less of your field of view, and so seem smaller.

One way to measure our field of view is to use an angle. An angle is a measure of how much something turns, and it’s measured in degrees. Zero degrees means there is no turn at all, while 360 degrees means a full turn.

So if you spin yourself all the way around, you have turned 360 degrees. If you spin yourself half way around, so that you’re facing the opposite direction, you’ve turned 180 degrees.

Vertically (that means up and down) our field of view is about 150 degrees. How big things appear to us has to do with how much of our field of view they take up.

If you look at a building from a long way away, you can easily see the whole building from top to bottom. So the angle between the line from your eye to the top of the building, and the line from your eye to the bottom of the building, is quite small.

The black arrows show your field of vision – the building takes up a small part. Shutterstock/The Conversation UK., Author provided

The further away the object is, the smaller this angle will be. So, the subject appears small, because it takes up less of your field of view.

But as you get closer to the building, it will take up more and more of your field of view, as the angle between the line from your eye to the top of the building, and the line from your eye to the bottom of the building, grows larger.

The building is closer, and takes up more of your field of view. Shutterstock/The Conversation UK., Author provided

When you get right up close to the building, you may not even be able to see the top without tipping your head backwards. The angle between the line from you to the bottom of the building, and the line from you to the top is bigger than 150 degrees. The building will take up your whole field of view – and then some!

You can’t even see the top anymore, without tilting your head. Shutterstock/The Conversation UK., Author provided

Scientists know that things are always better with experiments, so here’s one for you to try. You’ll need a smart phone with a camera, a big empty space (like a football field) and two friends or grown ups to help you.

One person stands far away, at the other end of the field. Another person stands much closer to the photographer, and holds out their hand. Now, the photographer might have to move around a little bit and give everyone directions, but as soon as everything is in line – click!

You should have a picture that looks something like this.

Say cheese! Shutterstock.

Of course, one person isn’t really that much smaller than the other – you’re actually just playing a trick, using everything you’ve just learned.

The camera is very much like your eye, so you know that the person who is closer to the camera will take up more of its “field of view”, appearing bigger, while the person who is further away will take up less of its “field of view”, appearing smaller.


Hello, curious kids! Have you got a question you’d like an expert to answer? Ask an adult to send your question to us. You can:

* Email your question to curiouskids@theconversation.com
* Tell us on Twitter by tagging @ConversationUK with the hashtag #curiouskids, or
* Message us on Facebook.

CC BY-ND

Please tell us your name, age and which town or city you live in. You can send an audio recording of your question too, if you want. Send as many questions as you like! We won’t be able to answer every question, but we will do our best.


More Curious Kids articles, written by academic experts:

David Franklin, Associate Head of Education, University of Portsmouth

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

The Cloud Fairy's Friend

Published by Toadstools and Fairy Dust

'A Bad Case of Stripes' read by Sean Astin

by Storyline Online

The Wiggles: The Story of the Frog

Published The Wiggles

 

summer reading 2022-2023 - Rescue Princesses: The Rainbow Opal

by Paula Harrison, Allen and Unwin, 2014
The Rescue Princesses are no ordinary princesses. If there's an animal in danger they'll be there, ready to stage a daring rescue with their ninja skills and magic jewels and nothing, except the occasional dress-fitting or curtseying lesson, will get in their way.


Princess Summer is so proud of her amazing kingdom of Mirrania. She can't wait for her friends, Maya, Lottie and Rosalind to visit. They'll love the little koala cub who lives in the bush. He's adorable!
But when the cub becomes ill, the Rescue Princesses must find a cure, even if it means going into the bush in the middle of the night. They just hope the magical Rainbow Opal can keep them safe.The Rescue Princesses are no ordinary princesses. If there's an animal in danger they'll be there, ready to stage a daring rescue with their ninja skills and magic jewels and nothing, except the occasional dress-fitting or curtseying lesson, will get in their way.

Archive of millions of Historical Children’s Books All Digitised: Free to download or Read Online

Enter the 1: Baldwin Library of Historical Children’s Literature here, where you can browse several categories, search for subjects, authors, titles, etc, see full-screen, zoomable images of book covers, download XML versions, and read all of the 2: over 6,000 books in the collection with comfortable reader views. 

Find 3: more classics in the collection, 800 Free eBooks for iPad, Kindle & Other Devices.


WilderQuest online fun

The NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service is pleased to present the WilderQuest program for teachers, students and children.

The WilderQuest program includes a website and apps with game and video content, Ranger led tours and activities in national parks across NSW. It provides opportunities for families to experience nature, science and Aboriginal culture in classrooms, online, at events and in national parks. The Teacher portal and free primary school resources have been produced with support from our Environmental Trust partners.

Profile: Ingleside Riders Group

Ingleside Riders Group Inc. (IRG) is a not for profit incorporated association and is run solely by volunteers. It was formed in 2003 and provides a facility known as “Ingleside Equestrian Park” which is approximately 9 acres of land between Wattle St and McLean St, Ingleside. 
IRG has a licence agreement with the Minister of Education to use this land. This facility is very valuable as it is the only designated area solely for equestrian use in the Pittwater District.  IRG promotes equal rights and the respect of one another and our list of rules that all members must sign reflect this.
Profile: Pittwater Baseball Club

Their Mission: Share a community spirit through the joy of our children engaging in baseball.

National Geographic for Australian Kids

Find amazing facts about animals, science, history and geography, along with fun competitions, games and more. Visit National Geographic Kids today!

This week the National Geographic for Kids has launched a new free digital resource platform called NatGeo@Home to entertain and educate children affected by school closures.

The three main categories of content on the NatGeo@Home site aim to educate, inspire and entertain. For parents and teachers, there are also separate resources and lesson plans covering everything from getting to grips with Google Earth to learning to label the geological features of the ocean.

For the main Australian National Geographic for Kids, visit: www.natgeokids.com/au

For the National Geographic at Home site, visit:

LEGO AT THE LIBRARY

Mona Vale Library runs a Lego club on the first Sunday of each month from 2pm to 4pm. The club is open to children aged between seven and twelve years of age, with younger children welcome with parental supervision. If you are interested in attending a Lego at the Library session contact the library on 9970 1622 or book in person at the library, 1 Park Street, Mona Vale.

Children's Storytime at Mona Vale LibraryMona Vale Library offers storytime for pre-school children every week during school terms. Children and their carers come and participate in a fun sing-a-long with our story teller as well as listen to several stories in each session, followed by some craft.  

Storytime is held in the Pelican Room of the library in front of the service desk. Storytime is free and no bookings are required. 

Storytime Sessions: Tuesdays  10.00am - 11.00am - Wednesdays  10.00am - 11.00am  - Thursdays  10.00am - 11.00am

Profile: Avalon Soccer Club
Avalon Soccer Club is an amateur club situated at the northern end of Sydney’s Northern Beaches. As a club we pride ourselves on our friendly, family club environment. The club is comprised of over a thousand players aged from 5  who enjoy playing the beautiful game at a variety of levels and is entirely run by a group of dedicated volunteers. 
Avalon Bilgola Amateur Swimming Club Profile

We swim at Bilgola rock pool on Saturday mornings (8:45am till 11:30am). Our season runs between October and March

Profile Bayview Yacht Racing Association (BYRA)

Website: www.byra.org.au

BYRA has a passion for sharing the great waters of Pittwater and a love of sailing with everyone aged 8 to 80 or over!

 Mona Vale Mountain Cub Scouts



Find out more about all the fun you can have at Mona Vale Mountain Cub Scouts Profile
– 

our Profile pages aren’t just about those who can tell you about Pittwater before you were born, they’re also about great clubs and activities that you too can get involved in!