Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Bogongs and Bogans - in Robertson

Last night the Robertson Pub was all abuzz - with Bogong Moths and Bogans.

Bogong Moths are medium large moths (wing span approx. 50 mm) which migrate through the NSW Central and Southern Highlands, each Spring, to the high granite mountains in the Australian Alps. Bright lights (such as the flood lights at the back of the Robbo Pub - to illuminate the car park) create a problem for Moths.
"The lights fool the moths into behaving as if the sun is coming up. Their natural response is to dive down to the ground to find a dark place before the heat of the day sets in, and suddenly there are moths everywhere." (Source ABC "Scribbly Gum" website)
That is exactly what the moths are doing here - trying to hide in cracks and crevices, or to group themselves together, for protection.
Moths are scattered all over these rustic doors at the back of the Pub, which being old wooden doors, have lots of crevices and cracks into which the Bogong Moths can crawl.
Bogong Moths are attracted to Robertson by the flowering of the Pittosporum undulatum, which has a heavy scent which becomes evident just on dusk (perfectly adapted to attract moths as pollinators). These Pittosporum plants are very common here in Robertson (they are common in many places), but they grow far larger here than I have seen anywhere else. On the coast they grow as large shrubs. In Robertson, they are capable of growing to the size of large trees. Just on dusk, the dominant local birds, Satin Bowerbirds and Pied Currawongs, feast on the huge numbers of moths which come to the edge of the rainforest, attracted by the heavy scent of these flowers. There is enough light for these birds to pick up the moths, in flight.Inside the Pub, they were having a talent quest "Robbo Idol" - and there were plenty of bogans performing (for effect). I am using the term in what Wikipedia refers to as the "non-pejorative use" - as "proudly un-fashionable or rough around the edges". That's one thing the locals do well, in Robbo. Everyone was well behaved, and it was a happy event.
David and Andrew were busy photographing the event. Even their "crew" T-shirts were for effect.
And some of the locals can dress as bogans, and yet sing and perform well. Here Richard was performing the Billy Idol song "White Wedding" with good effect. Wilkipedia tells me more than I wanted to know about the subtext of the lyrics of "White Wedding".

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