Tuesday, December 31, 2019


Inducted into Lego Hall of Fame
With great pride, Little Darwin  announces that our  rare  Shipping Reporter , seen above  during his  wild  outback  teenage years   setting  sail for the distant  waterfront, has  signed a  contract authorising  part of  his body to be used  for the advancement  of  medical  science.  We  hasten to  state we are  not pulling your leg , dear  reader .
As usual , the local media  failed to cover the  momentous  signing  event  which   took place at  a  golden  staph   free   bus stop outside the newly named  Townsville University Hospital .  The Shipping Reporter's  hard to read scribbled signature  gave the okay for  the  cardio vascular  department  to  use ultra  sound  footage of  a  barnacle encrusted  leg  of  his  in  which  a stent had been  inserted in a most unusual  position .

 Rated  X because of  the his technicolour  groin , the  film  will be used for training  purposes , possibly  even  shown  in  cinemas  worldwide, Disney Land . The hospital  has  kindly agreed   that  extensive  royalties  flowing   from   the  hit   leg  flashing  show  will  be donated  to  the  worthy  Decrepit ,  Seasick  and  Wrecked   Journalists   Fund .


Attention  new Townsville Bulletin  editor

In the lead up to  Christmas , the  Weekend Australian  announced  that the   Townsville Bulletin editor   Jenny  Cairney, who had recently won a  News Corp  award ,   would  be  moving to the Hobart Mercury  , but  did  not name her  replacement. Odd . You would think that this  would be a logical  bit of info. to include in the story  to inform readers .
But  then obvious questions you   would expect to be asked and  details which  normally would   be included  in   media  reports  are  frequently not  included.

With  Christmas looming, the Bulletin ran  a front page story  on  December  19  about the  Townsville City Council denying a woman the right to  decorate her daughter's grave , declaring it a  cemetery stoush,  the  council  acting  like  the Dr Seuss  Grinch , stealing  Christmas .

The  associated poster went out  across the circulation area  , but  this one is  still  on  display  at  the entrance to  a busy shopping  centre  on  January  1.    Mind you  , it is not uncommon  to see    posters  for  The Australian, Courier Mail and the Bulletin   linger  longer than  they  should , like the ghosts of Christmases past , which  indicates  the scrambled eggs  circulation  department  needs  an  overhaul.

Here is a news  tip for the new editor . The cutting down  of  North Queensland's giant  of sustainability , Billy Bombax , in the  Anderson Botanic Gardens ,  missed by the  entire  Townsville  media , is  a  great follow up story  for you to stamp  your  investigative  reporter style  on  the  paper .

Here  resteth   the  remains of  BB

 Angles to chase up apart  from  the reason why he was chopped down  are his  close association  with  the Mundingburra school (what do they think  about him being reduced to woodchips , were they recycled  in anyway? ). And what does the boy  who gave   the  tree   its  name  feel  about the sad demise  of Billy Bombax ? What happened to the happy  human face which was  cut from his decaying trunk?    The reason why  other  trees are dying and being chopped down in the Townsville  region   and on Magnetic Island  could  make an award winning  feature  article . 


The torturous task of  culling and   getting the  Little Darwin  files, ephemera  and books into some kind of  order continues  , in the process  attracting some  unusual viewers .

While going through the melancholy task of  cutting out and   saving  illustrations  and  or photographing  art work in old   books   badly  riddled  by bookworms  , an operating  theatre was set up  on  the  back veranda  for  several weeks .   Books to undergo  the scalpel  included  Frank Hardy's  1950  controversial  novel Power Without Glory   which landed him in court charged  with  criminal defamation of the wife of  sports promoter and gambler John Wren , with pasted in  associated newspaper  cuttings, chapter vignettes by  Ambrose Dyson  ; The Lone Hand , an Australian monthly ,  May to October ,  1908, prolifically illustrated by Norman Lindsay and other artists   ; A Second Diary of  the Great War , by Saml. Pepys  Junr., with effigies enlarged upon copper  by John Kettelwell, 1917  ; FIFTY YEARS   Memories and Contrasts   from l882-l932 , from The Times  ;  A   1900  slim volume on cricket including a chapter on  the  Australian  Eleven  of  l899 ;   a l926 traveller guide to New Zealand  which  may have been read in Adelaide  by Clem Hawke , father of Bob , during  retirement , he having  spent several years  in NZ in  the early l920s  during  which time he became an ordained Congregationalist  minister .  More book  cadavers  could be listed , but  it  is starting  to  bring  tears  to  my eyes , so enough is  enough .
 While wielding the scalpel on the inert tomes , I was  joined by an inquisitive , stubby-tailed Kookaburra,  who  hungrily eyed the  books.   Days earlier , a Kookaburra, possibly the same one , had  been  seen land  on   and closely examine  a  plastic bag   containing  a collection of  historical feature articles   written for the Darwin Star  newspaper  by  the  American  journalist  and author  Barbara  James .
 The Kookaburra shown above  was photographed standing   on a badly drilled  l909  copy of   The Little Black Princess  of  the Never-Never, by Mrs Aeneas Gunn , pasted on the  front advice  about   shipping  services to and from  Port  Darwin  and  other  travel  information .   Several boxes  of  dusty notebooks  were  pulled out of  dark  places , some going back 40  years , bringing back many memories . One box , containing much information  about the Northern Territory and other places, a variety of  subjects and individuals , attracted  an equally  inquisitive  lizard when  placed  outside   the   den  to  be  examined . 
Another well taped , battered  box hauled out  for inspection  attracted the  attention  of   the  inquisitive Kookaburra .
More culling  sob stories  and  discoveries  to come. 

Monday, December 30, 2019


Q:  What is the link between  the  American  state of  Arizona and  Darwin, capital of  Australia's  Northern Territory ?

A:  Former Darwin journalist ,Tony Malone ,  who worked on the Northern Territory News back in the  l960s , later ran the  Arizona  newspaper , part of the Murdoch empire . And  Darwin activist  , Stuart Highway , who changed his  name   to  the  main  north south road in  the  Territory ,   for years ran an information stall at  the Nightcliff  Market  at which he  purveyed  a wide range  of literature , including the  Tucson,  Arizona, published" Journal of Ethical Anarchism " , The  Match! 
This quiz  was   prompted by the  surprise  find  of   a  folder containing  some of the  literature  dispersed  by  Stuart Highway which included the above    Summer  2007  edition of  The  Match!, well illustrated, 72pp, including  two letters  from  the  state  of  Victoria , one about the barbaric  practice of clitoris mutilation.
In its Crap-Detection Department  column  it  revisited its warning  about a new   mail out promotion outfit called the  Independent Press Association  ,   that  claimed it  would help  members  work  out  ways to  reduce costs, improve their publications  and  get  ideas out  to  a  wider audience .   
Another  booklet , the  February  2008 edition of the   Hobnail Review, published in Earls  Court, London , with " radical intent" , contains  an article on the Green Anarchist  magazine  ; there is also a  review of the   first annual New York City Anarchist  Book Fair. 
 Going through  Stuart Highway's folder turned up  the unexpected  above booklet , Ned Kelly's Ghost ,  by  John Patten,  in the Kate Sharpley  Library, BM Hurricane, London .     In explaining the  unusual title, it said  Sydney's  Sunday Times of  December 21, l916  ran  a   cartoon  with an  IWW desperado holding a  torch marked ' Incediarism,' a gun, and carrying a bottle of 'liquid fire' and copies of 'Direct Action'  and 'Sabotage' in his pocket.

Continuing, it said that in case the fact that he was a  bad 'un was missed, reward posters  for murder, arson and forgery  were  shown  on  the wall behind him .The ghost of Ned Kelly , the famous  Australian bushranger , stood next to him  in  trademark armour , saying 'if they hanged me , what should be done with  him?'
Through  obvious  extensive search, Patten covered the execution of two  men, Herb  Kennedy and  Frank  Franz , members of the Industrial Workers of the World, known as the Wobblies,  over  the  murder of  Constable   George Duncan, who had been shot dead at his desk in the Tottenham Police Station , near Dubbo ,  New South Wales, while working  on a report about  dead cattle  on  September 26, l916.  It was  suggested that  the accused had been victimised by the constable  because of their  IWW membership and activities.

Another Kennedy , Roland , was  charged   with the murder, but acquitted . Another  Kennedy brother, Kevin, in July l916, also an IWW member , had been involved in a huge miner's strike against the US Steel Corporation in Duluth, Minnesota . Direct Action ran one of his  letters  under the headline  Industrial War in the USA ,  about the clash in which  a striker and  two police  had been killed .  Strike organisers were arrested  for murder.  Kevin Kennedy and  his Australian  IWW travelling  partner  had been deported back to  Sydney . 

Earlier in the year 12 men, all IWW members,  had  been charged with arson in Sydney .

If  Ned Kelly  and the Wobblies were  a  surprise , so too was   a copy of the July 2003  Apito    zine   publication  after a  long absence from the Australian scene . It invited readers to enter a contest   for a  prize pack  which included  Ruth Rebel's  documentary video of  North Queensland  punk  bands of the 1980s. 

Readers of this blog may  recall  that   several posts have been run about  Ruth  Rebel  who   lived in Townsville at one stage , wrote  poetry , stirred up    community radio station  4TTT , claimed  she  had  been born  in  a  biscuit tin  in  Brisbane . 

 In the bundle of other  literature covering so many topics was a    fold out leaflet about the   West Papua situation ; Laughter is Bourgeois -The Roots of Political Correctness by  L. Gambone , which  opens with a quote from a Vancouver New  Left  meeting ;  the   History of  the  Kulaluk  Aboriginal  Lease ( Darwin) by  Krimhilde Henderson .             

Stuart Highway's long gone  stall at   Nightcliff  showing the wide range of literature  and   causes   he   promoted .

Saturday, December 28, 2019


Scott Morrison's  flipper clapping  turtle  turns into large lump of frightening  anthracite .
Incinerated  Terra Australis .  Vallis pix.


The extensive range of  tiles  available   in  the colonies is apparent from these advertisements in the 1886 fifth, enlarged and revised edition of  The Australian Builders' Price Book,with essays on  building  materials  of  Australia and  New Zealand , by  Charles  Mayes  , architect and  engineer, published by George Robertson. 


Friday, December 27, 2019


 Despite having been  told on two occasions by female medical practitioners  that  men  60 and over  who clamber  up ladders onto roofs fit the description bestowed  by  PM Bob Hawke on an elderly gentleman , I cannot restrain myself from  occasionally  going  aloft .

In the  crazy  national  ritual of  tidying households  , inside and out ,  for   Christmas , a palm  frond  which  had caught up  high on a flame tree  for at least   a month created a challenge  which caused  me to twitch ,  get the old urge to become a  Canadian  lumberjack.  Don't be stupid and risk life and limb  by trying to get the  annoying frond down  to earth , a  voice  within  the old cranium  repeated .    
So  on  Christmas  Day, the frond was still  hanging there , mocking me . Was I man , mouse or  an old codger ?   On   Boxing  Day  I  eyed the   frond but did not rush in like a  deranged   chain store bargain  hunter . The next day , I cracked : the  rotten, rusty   telescopic  branch  lopper , which had never worked  properly  in  my opinion , and the rickety ladder ,were pulled out of the shed .
Safety glasses  were  donned...instantly steamed up, so that I could hardly see. Thus  prepared , I began to climb the  ladder  and attempt to either push  the wretched frond down  or  cut it  up into pieces until it , not l ,  responding like Newton's apple,  fell  to  the  ground . 

It was hard  going . The rotten  lopper  kept on  sliding  back into the  shaft , angry green ants  showered down on me ,  attacked my eyes , climbed up my legs into the  shorts, went  for  the  vitals , sweaty  joints  and  underarms .
This caused me to make several hasty retreats  to beat off  the ants  and curse the  lopper which , fully extended, seemed about   three  metres long , before it regularly collapsed .
Determined  to succeed ,  the  lopper was   twisted until it  no longer  collapsed , the safety glasses  were  cleaned , only to instantly  fog up , and charged back up the ladder .  Several small pieces were  cut from the frond  , but it  still remained  firmly  hooked over  a branch , next to  the trunk .
A bout of  frenzied  activity  with  the  saw part seemed to  achieve nothing much  except  for  another  shower of  green ants and near strangulation by the cord that operated the  cutter blade .     In my hysteria, I energetically jerked the  lopper about trying to   knock   the   frond to the ground . This resulted in me falling off backwards from the ladder, firmly holding the extended pole with both hands, but  fortunately  landed on my  feet, running  backwards  into  a  clump of  hibiscus , upsetting  a  Curlew  in  the  process. Was it The Goons who sang the idiotic song about running backwards for  Christmas ?

As I plummeted to earth I felt like a silly old bugger-yet again .  Made a mental note to  try  new medication ; monkey gland injections are said to make you  a new  man , whatever  that  enables you  to  do?
Further  wild   wielding of the  lopper surprisingly  forced the   frond  to fall down  and it was   immediately hacked into toothpick-sized pieces for having given  me so  much  trouble .
Up early the next day , I walked outside to  admire  the frond free  flame tree ....only  to be  greeted  by another X*-X@X+* frond  hanging  from the flaming  tree , much higher  up !  It is the one  at the top of  this post , and even  though it looks easy to knock down , it can stay there till next Christmas , or until the  monsoons  arrive  and   blow  it  down .

Up  there  Cazaly  follow  up : wind blew down the frond  and  two others .


Carpets of  leaves  washed  up  behind Cockle Bay  mangroves.


Thursday, December 26, 2019


A surprise  Christmas present  from  daughters is  the bumper Bob Hawke biography  presented in  recycled  artistically designed  wrapping   paper  from  Cairns  featuring  Torres Strait Pigeons and  other  tropical motifs . Care was taken not to damage the wrapping as  it  is so good it  could  be   laminated  and  hung  on  a wall , perhaps  near  the  painting   of  a  parliament  by  American  Bucklee  Bell .
As the book runs to  996  pages, with  numerous  pix ,  a  cursory glance  from time  to  time  has  nevertheless  revealed  information  of  great interest. 
It was  illuminating  to read   that Hawke had once  instructed his German Alsatian  dog  to drive from  Canberra   premises Peter Coleman , later a  prominent Liberal politician .
This   immediately  reminded me of  the occasion in Darwin  when  Hawke , in the  Australian Council of  Trade Unions,   very  tired and emotional , came to an ALP function  . He slumped down in  a  chair,  the  hosts'  friendly  Alsatian   bitch   nuzzled  up  to  him . Hawke responded  by telling it to go away , but it persisted  in  trying to make friends with  him . At one stage, he grabbed handfuls of the animal's  hair , looked closely at it ,  declared  it had the worst  blankety  blank  definition  of  any  Alsatian  he  had  ever seen. 
The lady of the  house, cutting up tucker  for the  gathering with a sharp knife,   was  most upset by Hawke's  treatment and  description  of  the  pet.
There was another  moment of   mirth  upon  reading that  the  brilliant   high flying    finance  journalist   Max  Newton , one of Bob's drinking mates,   had become  the  publisher of   " a  newspaper of  vulgar titillation  for several years ". Strangely, that  saucy publication  was not named . It can be revealed that the    publication was none  other  than  the   Kings Cross  Whisper,bought  by Newton in l975.   Aspects of  the Whisper  will be covered  in  a  post  ready  to  be  run  in  Little Darwin in  the  near future . 

 No doubt other  items of  interest  will   be  discovered  in  Hawke's   book...in passing, the  photo of  Hawke with John Farnham at  the opening of  new headquarters for  the  AusMusic Training Centre  , l989 ,  instantly brought to mind  Pete Steedman , who headed the organisation . Pete's hectic  life, which included  editorship  of the  Labor Star newspaper  and a lively spell  as MHR for  Casey during  which he was  named   politician of the year ,   would make  both  a  great  unexpurgated  musical   and  a  gigantic  biography equal in size to the Encyclopedia  Britannica .


Vallis photograph .

Wednesday, December 25, 2019


As could be expected , a whole lot of hissing went on during the  day due  to the fact that the Curlews  had   insisted  on laying two eggs close to the driveway . People coming and  going , including one of Santa's elves , so attired,  from Darwin ,  were  hissed  at .

Even the Queen of the Jungle -who has done so much to protect  Australian birdlife  and  daily feeds a  crush of  Curlews - got the royal hiss treatment   when she arrived , bearing  German  treats, Kiwi  wine   and  assorted  presents.

The  Queen set the sitting Curlew  off  when she collected  from the letterbox a   Christmas card   from  Bev and Jason  of   Man  Friday    on   Magnetic Island  and  their  resident  Curlew named Motley,  whose  inspiring  life story will appear soon in this  blog .
Home  almost  alone  near the end of the day with the presents , feeling bloated,  we lolled about  in  front of television intent on watching , for the umpteenth time , Chevy Chase in National Lampoon's  great Christmas    romp .
Before the  movie, the outside light was turned on  so  that the car  in the driveway could be closed and locked . The Curlews began screeching , not hissing  . On investigating the rumpus , it was  discovered  that  the eggs were  visible, the birds , wings outstretched  like  giant  Condor  eagles, were  going ballistic . 
Something was  clearly upsetting them . What ? Glancing about, a  brownish looking   snake was   seen  in the  driveway .
The Curlews were  going through the routine of  forming a line  and  shrieking   to  direct  the  snake away  from   their  territory .
For its part , the snake , not very big ,  hard to see  properly in the  veranda light ,   coiled up several times  , its  head raised, as if  to  strike . A quick, nervous check did not indicate a Death Adder or King Brown , one of the latter we had in a  Darwin toilet  bowl   many moons ago .

Rushing inside to get the camera and a torch , I informed my better half  ,  from a snake free  country , that there was a  serpent in the driveway  .Watch out you are not bitten , was  her  response . Acting on  this advice,  I grabbed a bucket , intent on putting it over the snake , placing  a brick on  top, doing a close up examination  in  daylight .

On  gingerly  placing the bucket  over  the still  coiled   snake , the  Curlews went berserk , continued  the  high  kicking chorus line act  from  Moulin Rouge . I was  firmly  told  that the  Curlews would not be happy if I left the bucket  overnight  near the eggs ; I  had  to move  the snake  on.
Anyway ,  to cut a  poor small apparent   python  story short , it  had taken  a liking to the  bucket . When the  bucket  was  removed   and  thrown aside  , it  slithered back in .  It  was encouraged  to  move on ,  coiled up  in  the grass  and   would not  move . One  Curlew seemed  to  indicate  the  way it  would like the snake  to  go by  making  a  run along the route  . Eventually the  snake  disappeared ,   probably hiding in the  neighbours' Christmas tree, like the squirrel  in  the  National  Lampoon Christmas Vacation  classic  , which on viewing made  me laugh so much , churning up the Xmas tucker, licorice sticks and German treats,   that I felt  crook and  sweaty , as if  bitten by a boa constrictor .         

Monday, December 23, 2019


Dear Sinners: Even though  it is  evident   you  are  an unGodly lot   at  Little Darwin , I want to thank you for  relentlessly campaigning to  have my badly faded   portrait  and  Southern  Cross constellation (Up the Eureka Stockade !)   in sleepy  Townsville  restored ( above )  while  the  devilish  local  media  and  the   faithful  said  nothing .
In my featureless , faded portrait (above) , I appeared  absolutely spooky, the  Southern  Cross resembled anaemic glow worms or floating  dandruff  , looking down  on  the Queen and  Football  Mad City  of the North , until  you took up  my cause . I wish  all  the  odd crew  in Little Darwin , especially the Shipping Reporter,   a   cool  Yule and  a  frantic  first.  Try and repent in  2020 . Yours, etc.,  New Look Mary .


Australian  Bower  Bird display
Vallis photographs.


The  stress  of  preparing  for Christmas  while also  culling  Little Darwin's  disorderly  den    has  been  added  to  in  a  most  worrying   way .  While escorting  a  much travelled  artistic   dealer  in  artefacts , recently back from  Sri Lanka , off   the  premises ,  there  was  uproar as we walked down the  path   to  his car  . A Curlew , fluffed up , wings extended , shrieked at  us, causing us to leap about  like Kandy dancers .  Why ?  The answer : it had  laid an egg  right next to the driveway . Backing out  the  car  would almost touch its tail feathers .

In a bid to  protect the Curlew , the egg was  picked up , placed  about a metre away in a  manger  protected  from the sun . The   Curlew  and its  partner  glared  mournfully  at  the  relocated  goog , but  did  not  go  near  it . 

A Curlew-wise   neighbour informed me  the Curlews would not sit on  an egg that  had  been  moved. Feeling remorseful ,  the  large eyed Curlews  glaring reproachfully  at  me  , I   moved  the  egg  back  .  Soon  after ... there  were  two   eggs  .

Hissing is  directed  at  me  each time  I  go near  or  get out of  the car , open the hatchback ,  take  items  to  the  wheelie  bins ,even when I  feed  the  sitter .           
I  and my  eggs  will  not  be  moved .

Saturday, December 21, 2019


Aussie challenge to Chevy Chase  National Lampoon 
Gate-crashing Kookaburras  provided  unique  entertainment   at  a pleasant  festive season dinner . The cheeky birds , four in number ,  flew through the  house , inspected  Christmas trees  and  presents , dashed away at times   to feed a  demanding, raucous  baby  built  like  Billy Bunter . In an audacious  act ,  one    grabbed a  piece of tasty  chicken from the plate of the hostess   and gave  it  the MKR  snake  tenderiser  treatment of  bashing it  up against the  metal  railing .   
Checking  the  Xmas tree  for squirrels and serpents .
Intrigued  by the  wrapped  object (below)  on the  kitchen  table , an inquisitive  Kookaburra   flew down to inspect  the package  and discovered  it contained  a worn  book   ,  from the  Little Darwin  overflowing  pile ,  a reprint of  an early volume of 101 things for boys to make , including  imitation volcanoes, which had once been in the King Island  , Tasmania, school  library . The Kookaburra  was firmly told  to  get outside , where, unlike   the   Griswold  residence  in  National Lampoon's  classic  Christmas  Vacation  movie  , there is  a  nice  swimming  pool , in which the birds swim .   

Friday, December 20, 2019


Latest  Ghost  Fleet  news  from Shipping Reporter

The  very modern Beluga Ace  car carrier  stood out like a UFO  when it  tied up in  Townsville, but failed to attract the attention of the earthbound local  media . Of course, our  Shipping Reporter , the only one north  of  Port Lincoln ,    snapped the  Panamanian  flagged vessel, constructed  at the  Minaminippon Shipbuilding   yard  and   launched  last year, the first in a new  generation of  FLEXIE  carriers , with six  liftable  decks , 63,115 gross tonnage .  Roaming  about  the  nearby Duck Pond in the office coracle  , he  also  captured  another possible  visitor ( below)  from a far  flung  galaxy  in  a  strange  nautical  configuration  .  


Enjoying the Lotus  filled  lakes and  shaded  surrounding  banks in  large numbers  are  groups of   mixed   waterfowl  in Townsville's Anderson Botanic  Gardens.  Vallis  photographs.   
Where's Wally  the Magpie Goose ?

Tuesday, December 17, 2019


From  a cigarette card in  the   Australian Scenic Series  comes  this  real photo, number  81,  of tourists in  a "wonderful remnant " of  the original scrubland  at Kuranda  .There was a  winding track from the nearby Barron River  through giant  palm trees , tree ferns , tea  served  in the surrounds.


More exclusive photographs  from the  Queen of the Jungle's  album

During her  time  in North Queensland , she has worked  with  prominent  activists  Arthur and Margaret  Thorsborne   and others  to  save    the   wildlife and  rainforests of  the   region  , the  Germanic  Queen has  been through several  cyclones , a  bushfire   and  the  recent  monsoonal  downpour   which  damaged  her  house .  

While on the  2011  Torres Strait  Pigeon count   mission  on North Brook Island    she  saw and photographed   signs of  the  havoc caused  by  Cyclone Yasi . Staying  in the  Cardwell  caravan   park , she  photographed  the  op shop , its  roof  torn  off.
A  new  op shop  was    started in   another building , operational today , from which  this  blogger  has   bought   items of  interest , later  pausing for a  vanilla slice  in a  nearby eatery .

 Journeying from Cardwell by launch to North Brook Island for the  pigeon count , the Queen  saw  Reef Herons  standing on  branches of  trees  stripped of foliage  by  the  cyclonic  winds . 
It came   as a  shock   to  find   large turtles   had been  swept  way  ashore by  pounding  waves , apparently stranded . Sharks  appeared to be "herding " turtles   into  the  shallows ,  preparing  for   a  kill . 
Her group  struggled to push some of the  heavy, cumbersome   creatures into the sea , one of them  above . When Cyclone Kathy,  with  winds up to  250kmh,  smashed into  the  tiny settlement of   Borroloola in the Northern Territory  in  March l984,  conservationists , with the help of helicopters ,  went to the rescue of  scores of  turtles and  dugong  stranded  by the  huge tides   and   surges  at  the  mouth of  the  McArthur  River.  


Followed by  a tub of  low fat ice cream to wash away the salty taste .
Another  hallucination  by  Vallis .