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IndyWatch Central Victorian News Feed was generated at Castlemaine VIC IndyWatch.

Friday, 23 March


How to save a life Edgar's Mission Farm SanctuaryEdgar's Mission Farm Sanctuary


Its been four weeks since How Now arrived at Edgars Mission, dangerously thin, too weak to stand, eat or drink, yet somehow still miraculously clinging to life. During her initial veterinary exam, it soon became clear what had led to this dear girls shocking condition when x-rays revealed two metal nails inside How Nows gizzard. The gizzard is an essential component of a chickens digestive tract, where hard stones and grit reside to grind down seeds. The presence of the nails in How Nows gizzard had hindered this crucial digestive process and, even worse, one of the nails had begun to work its way through the thick muscular lining of the gizzard. The diagnosis was in- the foreign material needed to be removed and there was little time to spare.nails 20180314 how now (2)

After gaining a little strength in our care, How Now was soon in the expert hands of our trusted veterinary team, who skilfully carried out lifesaving surgery to remove the nails, along with two other pieces of metal debris that were uncovered during the procedure. With the surgery complete, we knew it was still a long road to recovery for How Now with even more questions looming before us. Could her body recover from this? Had she found her way to us too late? And did she still have it within her to keep up her fight?

nails 20180314 how now (4)

One thing certainly is not in question is the incredible...


At the hotspot #3 Natural Newstead

Here are the results of some armchair birdwatching at my latest hotspot. It is always a thrill to catch a glimpse of a Chestnut-rumped Hylacola and that is usually all you get. This area is one of the few reliable spots for this species in the Muckleford bush and this inquisitive male posed momentarily before running off mouse-like as is its habit.

The Rainbow Bee-eater was photographed the previous evening, one of a small flock of six hawking round the dam. I heard them again in the distance last night. Also of note was Diamond Firetail, Black-chinned Honeyeater and Tree Martins chasing insects above the water.

Eastern Yellow Robin, South German Track, 22nd March 2018


Waiting forever at Footscray The Iron Road

We in public transport circles often lobby for more frequent services, better-connecting services, and more consistent stopping patterns. There's a lot of theory behind why these are good ideas - but in a practical sense, what does it mean to the average person?

I'm currently planning a trip which is proving to be a good example. I need to get from Ballarat to Castlemaine, to attend a meeting at 1pm on a Saturday afternoon, and it's proving surprisingly difficult to do it without a ton of waiting around.

Castlemaine Station (via Wikipedia)

The problems

There is a coach that goes from Ballarat to Bendigo via Castlemaine which I could use. But there's two issues with this - it doesn't run at all on weekends, and even on weekdays it only runs once a day - much too late to be useful for a 1pm meeting. So that's out.

The next most obvious option is to take a train from Ballarat to Footscray, then another train from Footscray to Castlemaine. If you plug this into Google Maps or the PTV Journey Planner, it gives you this:

Journey Plan (via Google Maps)

So basically, the whole journey takes three and a half hours - but that includes a 59-minute wait at Footscray.

59 minutes? Yes - trains to Ballarat and Bendigo both run hourly on a Saturday morning, and by a horrible coincidence they're timed in the worst possible way for someone trying to make this kind of trip. If the B...

Thursday, 22 March


Groovin The Moo have announced their Fresh Produce additions for 2018 "GroovUs Feed Afestivals"

This years Groovin The Moo lineup is looking pretty amazing already, but could you believe that the bill has managed to expand once more?

Following on from the recent announcement of the triple j Unearthed acts that will getting their big break on the Groovin The Moo stages, the festival have today announced the Fresh Produce acts that will be playing the Canberra, Wayville, and Maitland legs of the fest.

While acts such as Dear Seattle, Raave Tapes, Rachel Maria Cox, Rackett, and Ninajirachi will be hitting up the Maitland location, Dyspora, Playback 808, Mane, and more will be playing Wayville, while Haiku Hands, Black Summer, and Midas. Gold, and many more will also be appearing in Canberra.

Of course, this is only scratching the surface, with plenty more Fresh Produce acts announced already, and with the artists heading to the Bendigo, Townsville, and Bunbury locations expected to be announced quite soon.

All these amazing acts will be joining a stunning bill that already includes the likes of  Paul Kelly, Alex Lahey, Ball Park Music, Portugal. The Man, Duke Dumont, Royal Blood, and Claptone hitting up our regional stages. Tickets to the festival are on sale now, but dont wait too long, because with a lineup this good, they wont hang around much longer!

Check out Dear Seattles Afterthought:

Groovin The Moo 2018 Lineup

Maitlands Fresh Produce Lineup

Dear Seattle
Raave Tapes
Rachel Maria Cox
Arona Mane
Ebony Boadu
Imbi The Girl
Sarah Connor

Wayvilles Fresh Produce Lineup

Electric Fields
Young Offenders
Cats DJs
Dancespace vs Naish
Playback 808
Seek N Destroy

Canberras Fresh Produce Lineup

Haiku Hands
Lime Cordiale
Omar Musa
Andy Garvey
Black Summer
Genesis Owusu
Groove City
Mickey Kojak



New Community Transport Trial Begins in April! Castlemaine Community House

A trial of new community transport services will be rolled out in Mount Alexander Shire at the start of April to address the need for improved transport for older community members. For more information, and to register your interest as a bus passenger, please visit the Maldon Neighbourhood Centres Community Bus Web-page.


PTUA welcomes improvements to Shepparton line "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

The Public Transport Users Association (PTUA) has welcomed the governments announcement that the introduction of a fifth daily train to Shepparton will be brought forward.

Enabling work, including a new crossing loop and more train stabling, was originally to be completed by 2020, but the state government announced on Wednesday that construction will begin sooner than expected. It will allow trains to run more frequently and reliably on the Shepparton line.

PTUA Regional Spokesperson, Paul Westcott, noted that Shepparton-Mooroopna is one of the fastest-growing regional areas centres in Victoria, and deserves a faster, more frequent and more reliable rail service to Melbourne.

At the moment, train services to Shepparton/Mooroopna fall well short of those to regional centres such as Ballarat or Bendigo, he said. That has led to considerable dissatisfaction in the Goulburn Valley, and it has been an increasing problem as the population grows.

With more frequent trains, passengers will have more choice about when they travel, and not have to wait such a long time between trains, making trips to Melbourne more attractive and convenient, Mr Westcott said.

This investment in infrastructure and services on the Shepparton line is an important step towards a better-connected Goulburn Valley.


MAINfm Trivia with Scott and Genevieve 94.9 Main FM


Join us for another brilliant quiz night at the Tap Room.

This time with your hosts: Scott Sanders and Genevieve Ward!

Thursday 19th April. 7pm, for a 7:30pm start.

$10 to enter.

Raffle. Spot prizes. And a $50 bar tab to be won!

All proceeds go to MAINfm.

For more info


MAINfm Footy Tipping Comp 94.9 Main FM

MAINfm Footy Tipping Comp

Its that time of year, time to start thinking about tips! Thanks to the charming and witty Maine Game presenters for putting together a fundraising tipping comp for MAINfm this year!

$10 to enter, all the coin goes to station, and there are some pretty great prizes up for grabs!

FIRST PRIZE: $100 bar tab at The Bridge Hotel and a 1 year subscription to...


Four ants and a beetle Natural Newstead

There are plenty of ants active at our place at the moment. Leafhopper nymphs are growing on both wattles and eucalypts and being attended by ants like this Golden-flumed Sugar Ant. The ants will get honeydew from the nymph and in turn protect it from predators.

Golden-flumed Sugar Ant (Camponotus suffusus)

Golden-flumed Sugar Ant (Camponotus suffusus) and leafhopper nymph.

Nearby on a Golden Wattle a few Rhytodoponera ants were fossicking.

Rhytodoponera sp.

Rhytodoponera sp.

Deeper in the bush a colony of Muscle Man Tree Ants have burrowed their nest in a Grey Box tree.

Muscleman Tree Ant (Podomyrma adelaidae)

Muscle Man Tree Ant (Podomyrma adelaidae) as she carries wood pulp from the nest

Muscleman Tree Ant (Podomyrma adelaidae)

and keeps carrying it

Muscleman Tree Ant (Podomyrma adelaidae)

and she drops it from the edge of the branch.

Muscleman Tree Ant (Podomyrma adelaidae)

Close-up to the mouth parts of Podomyrma adelaidae

On the bank of one of our dams, Meat Ants (Iridomyrmex species) scurry to and from their large nests. Many people say that these ants are very aggressive near their nests, but theyve always let me get very close and never tried to bite.


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