Welcome to our blog

We both live at Simpsons Gap in the West Macdonnell National Park, Central Australia, the best spot in the NT! Our blog is for friends and family to see how we are going, and to share in what we have been up to throughout the year. Please leave us a comment, and we hope you enjoy!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Merry Christmas Everyone

Well, it's that time of year again, when TV screens the 238th re-run of the Griswolds Family Christmas (love that movie!), the Aussies punish a limp English batting line up on Boxing Day, I eat like it's the last time I'll ever see meat again, and the old Rolf Harris xmas classic, '6 White Boomers' is played until the cd player overheats. We both wish everyone a great Xmas break and a happy New Year. We are spending our break here at Owen Springs this year. It will be nice to have a quiet one, although we are a bit jealous of everyone having holidays. So, Merry Xmas to all!!!

Above - Our tree, over 40yrs old so therefore qualifies as a family heirloom. She's a beauty, although it may be a little bare in some patches...

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Crikey, take a look at that little beauty!

Below is a photo of Kylie handling a LIVE SNAKE!!!!!!* It is a Mulga Snake, which is very dangerous and could kill if mad enough . Luckily Kylie is a trained professional, or she may have been biten. Harry alerted us to his presence last night and he ended up right next to the front door, just a little unsettling. *The snake was actually dead, killed by an unknown guy with a large brick (mean bugger).

Here are some more random pics for your enjoyment and entertainment...

More kids deep in concentration

Harry again...

Monday, November 13, 2006

Moving in, kids, and of course, more of Harry

All our stuff is finally here at Owen Springs, and we have unpacked everything. It now actually feels like our home, rather than just a place to sleep! I've put in a few photos for those that visited the house before, just to show the changes. I've also included some pics of the kids that Kylie helps 'look after' at church, they are pretty funny and make a great subject to take photos of. Harry is a media junkie, he now has his own agent we have to go through to get a photo of him published.
The lounge (above) & the shed (below)
Kids church (below)

We can't publish a blog without Harry getting a run...

Friday, October 20, 2006

Owen Springs Wildlife

As our favourite Aussie adventurer would say, 'Australia is as vast as it is large', which incidentaly has nothing to do with this current blog. In my travels however, I have come across a few animals of interest on the Reserve (see below). The lizard is a Perentie - largest lizard in Oz, while the little mammal is a Dunnart (this particular guy is relatively uncommon around here). So, thanks for watching, and I'll see you, on another all Aussie adventure......

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Harry impersonating a lamp shade

In a sad development in the life of Harry 'Bitey' Cowan, Harry left a small piece of himself behind at the vet on Monday (2 small pieces actually). He now walks around doing his best lampshade/spacedog impression, looking every bit the shattered shadow of a once proud, virile young dog. Enough to make you weep......except that it really hasn't changed his pyscho puppy enthusiasm one little bit. At least he can't run off with the Dingoes that would have resulted in a litter of crazy mongrel biting hydrid Dingo X Camp dog puppies! We love our little Harry.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Latest Events

Kylie and I have had a great time with all the family in Alice Springs here a week or so ago. Alison flew in from New York City, and Dad and Gayle celebrated their birthdays together. Dad is now 60 - good on you Dad!! We had a great birthday dinner, and the super fit ones climbed Mt Gillen - see below for the proof...

Monday, August 21, 2006

Moving to Owen Springs... Phil's promotion to Senior Park Ranger!

For those of you who don't know, Phil has been promoted to 'T3 - Senior Park Ranger' at Owen Springs Reserve. He started work today and we spent our first night in the Park house last night. Phil will be based out there during the week and after the Masters Games I'll move out there permanantly (and hopefully work from there a couple of days a week).
To find out a bit more about Owen Springs (including where on earth it is!!) check out the website and fact sheet http://www.nt.gov.au/nreta/parks/find/owensprings.html

After 'renovating' our bathroom it's back to basics!

The house comes with recliner chairs and couch (which Phil is already VERY attached too!), fridge, 6 seater table. The kitchen and lounge area is all pretty neat and tidy.

We will move all our stuff into the house in November which will make it look really homely, but for now it's the bare minimum.

This is the back of the house where we will have BBQ's and stuff. The house is 3 bedrooms - plenty of room for visitors! Call now to make a booking :)

The last Ranger to live here is leaving us his pool! (and his table tennis table)

This is the front of the house. The views around are great - Harry loves it out there and didn't want to come back home with me this morning! Bring on the 4WD so we can get out and explore our new backyard... a bit different to Larapinta... aka 'the Bronx'

Our first sighting of a Central Australian Echidna!

This is probably not one of the smartest
things I've ever done, but here is me
trying to relocate an Echidna from the road at Trephina Gorge (hmmm those spikes are actually very spiky...)
Anyway! We managed to get him off to the side and Phil got some great shots. After hearing for 5yrs that Echidnas do actually exist in Central Australia and seeing plenty of evidence of them - it was very exciting to finally see one.

Phil's first Thorny Devil!!

How unimpressed does this little guy look! Phil was beside himself to finally see a Thorny Devil on his trip to Native Gap on the North Stuart Highway. Looks cuddly doesn't he!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Will YOU be the 200TH visitor to our website????

Check the counter to the right to see if you are indeed our 200th visitor. If you are, send us an email to receive your prize! What prize is that I hear you ask? Well, we are going to give the lucky 200th visitor a FREE dinner for two to Kylie and Phil's house!!!! What fantastic value I hear you say. Included with the meal is FREE entry to our house, PLUS a complimentary drink of your choice (excluding mineral water, beer, coffee, tea or wine), PLUS 3 to 4 hours of scintiliating conversation with the both of us on a host of topics including, why Melbourne deserve to win this years AFL grand final, a run down on what Harry has destroyed in the past week etc... Good luck everyone, Phil & Kylie.
P.S. Phil and Kylie can not gaurantee the quality of the free meal provided, nor the ability to hold a conversation for more than 45 minutes. We take no responsibility if you are sick from food poisoning or bored from a lack of conversation. The free meal is not redeemable for cash or any other products.

Another Cappuccino thanks!

This is one camel at the cup who obviously likes his coffee with a bit of froth...

Monday, July 17, 2006

Dads trip to Alice

Wow, this is my first time using our 'blog'!! Dad and Christine came to Alice Springs for two weeks full of action packed adventure. Dad and I walked Section 10 of the Larapinta Trail, they visited EVERY tourist attraction in town, we had lunch at Ross River Resort and went to the Camel Cup and the ever exciting Alice Springs Show (and the 'slightly alternative' Beanie Festival...!) Check out our pics for your inspiration to come and visit!
Dad dwarfed by the giant Ghost Gum at Trephina Gorge

The camels were 'supposed to' be running in a straight line!

Dad, Christine and I coming down off the Ridgetop Walk at Trephina Gorge

A girl about to stack it!! Unfortunatly she did and was pretty badly hurt...

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Harry being cute (only when he isn't biting us)

Harry got his first bath a while ago and like proud parents, we were taking photos of the ocassion to embarrass him at his 21st. He is a bitey little bugger but hopefully he will grow out of it. He also passed puppy pre-school last week. I think he was easily the toughest dog there, biting all those other dogs into submission!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Our Wedding - some photos!

Well I have finally got around to posting a few pics of our wedding on our site. I don't think I need to describe how Kylie looked, you can see for yourself!

Alice Springs Telegraph Station Pics

above: Old wagon wheels (1/80, f7.1)

I went to the Telegraph Station with Dave to take some pics earlier in the week. It's such an amazing place, pity you can't freeze the afternoon light for a couple of hours when you want to!
above: Battery Room (1/10, f3.5)

Monday, April 24, 2006

Red Kangaroo, NT. (1/640, F5.3)
I thought I might use this site to post some random photos that I've taken over time, hopefully I might get some comment on them also - constructive and positive, both are welcome! I'm trying to get better at taking photos, and the first step I took was to buy an expensive digital SLR. As Dave Ashworth (good mate, and great photographer!) knows, it lets you really experiement with exposure and aperture, along with a few other tricks. This photo of a red kangaroo was taken with a 300mm zoom lens, and I deliberately used it to help blurr the background, therefore hiding the fact that it was taken within a fenced pen. I think it worked out ok!
Anyway, have a great Anzac Day,

Friday, April 21, 2006

left & bottom: Queenstown harbour

Thursday, April 20, 2006

This is my beautiful wife, Kylie!! I couldn't leave her off my site for too long. This was taken on a cool afternoon near Milford Sound, over another stunning river (the water over there is so clear, unlike the murky Todd when it flows).

Fox Glacier, the only time we saw it before it was covered by fog and rain. Pity that our heli-hike was cancelled, not that I'm still upset or anything...

This is a typical river not far from Milford Sound. It is so beautiful down there, we wish we had more time to stay.