Honeysuckle Creek and the Lunar Landing

One night recently, two of my friends took me down to Honeysuckle Creek because of something Vonda McIntyre said to me. I wanted an excuse, for in all my years in Canberra, I’ve never been there and Vonda gave me that excuse. I’ve been past there, but I’d never stopped and I’d never walked on the same ground the scientists walked when they were receiving the first pictures of the moon landing.

Honeysuckle Creek is where it happened first. Later, images were received in Parkes, where the film The Dish is set, but it was a dish like this that first grabbed the moon landings in 1969. It’s now sitting at Tidbinbilla, keeping operational dishes company. The dish in this picture was adjusting to catch data from one of the current missions. Juno, from memory (but don’t trust my memory!).

The Other Dish

Chris and Elizabeth and I left just before twilight, for Vonda and I had talked about the stars. Here are some of the stars Chris photographed.

Photographer Chris Fitzgerald

They aren’t the ones I wanted, so maybe that will happen another day and in a different place. There were too many trees at Honeysuckle Creek and we were too close to town. You can see some of the stars I was after in this picture, but not enough to make out a pattern.

Elizabeth photographed the possums while they headed towards our supper.

Instead of seeing the flying emu (which was our goal, but we could only see a segment of it) we saw the friendly possum and her child. She investigated all of us and made a dash for the chocolate-coated honeycake.

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Honeysuckle Creek and the Lunar Landing — 13 Comments

    • In urban areas they specialise in putting on hobnail boots and tramping over houses. That’s mostly the ring-tail, though. This was the closest I’ve ever been to a brush-tail.

  1. Our possums have tremendous ghosting abilities, but their greatest gift is they are tick magnets, and love to slump ticks up. In a land where Lyme is increasing, that’s priceless.

    Yours are cute enough to forgive many trespasses, though!

    I have never heard of the Flying Emu constellation, and look forward to pictures.

    • They’re cute, and many are forgiven… but not all.

      The Flying Emu is called Milky Way and Southern Cross in the West. It looks amazingly like an emu once one is taught how to look. Taking a picture of it is hard in Canberra, though, because of the mountains, so it may be a while before you get that shot! Maybe I’ll write the post next time we try and link to a good shot of the whole thing on the net, to help interpret it.

      • Ah, the Southern Cross! I may have a photo of it from when I lived in Southern Chile. And there was the eerie starless “void” in the night sky that I thought was called the Magellanic Cloud, but now find that that is something else. Anyone know what I mean?

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