Peter’s Blog

I need to place on record my feeling that overwhelmingly throughout my life, my contact with my fellow men, women and children has been a total delight.
It is a recurring pleasure which I experience each day and is among the precious things which makes my life rewarding and worth living, not least because moments of the keenest enjoyment can as readily occur with a complete stranger as with family and friends.



A cherished dream, my book   One small place on earth …  discovering biodiversity where you are,   self-published in August 2019, has been long in the making. Jan Watson created its design template nine years ago. The idea of doing a book seems to have occurred during my stay with Clive Tempest, the website’s first architect, when I was visiting the UK in 2006. By the time Steve Guttormsen and I began sustained work on the book in 2017, much of which I had already written, the imperative was to create a hard copy version of a project whose content is otherwise entirely digital.


People may wonder why there is little mention of climate change – global warming on my website. There are two related reasons. Firstly, if former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s 2007 remark that climate change is the “great moral, environmental and economic challenge of our age” is true, we have not acted accordingly before or since. Rudd’s statement is only true if we collectively live as if it is true, Rudd included. Instead, our politics has wasted decades favouring business as usual, and a global economy excessively dependent on fossil fuels – in the wilful absence of a politics intent on achieving a low carbon economy. Secondly, although it is open to individuals to strive to live the truth of Rudd’s remarks, the vast majority of people, myself included, do not. I salute those who do. The precautionary principle alone makes me regard climate change as a current planetary crisis, but because I have only marginally changed the way I live, and still wish to fly, I am not inclined to pontificate on the subject.


The ‘Film Diary’ entries are selected items from the diary I keep whenever I am filming. To check location references, click on ‘Tamborine Mountain’ on the top information bar then hit the ‘Tamborine Mountain’ button on the map. 


Other / 28.02.2008

Steve has completed the initial edit of Supplements 1 & 2 of the archive, filmed in HDV. I now need to go over the footage and start the draft script.

The Supplements are very different to the published archive. They do not follow the seasons, but apart from some grouping of particular subjects, unfold chronologically in the order of filming. Also, the sequences tend to be longer because proportionally more of the footage is devoted to fauna. I plan to keep the narration to a minimum and rely more on generating a good soundtrack. We’ll see.


Other / 12.02.2008

Christina has adjusted the running time of the recently introduced slideshow on the home page, thus completing the blog update which she and Clive began last October.

We have introduced Gallery pages 8 and 9 which contain frames from the HDV footage and were filmed in widescreen. We have a March deadline because the State Library are planning to do a recapture of the site for the National Web Archive. This was initially scheduled six weeks ago to mark the site’s second anniversary.


My Travels / 31.10.2007

On the first of November I returned from a three-week trip to China, which provided one highlight after another – scenery, flora and fauna, some memorable human encounters and one or two outstanding meals. Read about the highlights.



I traveled with a friend from the Mountain. My main purpose in visiting China was to see Tiger Leaping Gorge. My friend’s main purpose was to see the terracotta warriors in Xian.

Though only about 30km long, the gorge, at 3700m, is reputedly the deepest chasm on the planet. We joined a small group of 15 people for a seven-day tour of Yunnan, flying into its capital Kunming, considered a bit on the small side with a population of 3,000,000, at an altitude of 1800m and predictably beset by pollution.

Our first day schedule did not allow us to breakfast at our hotel. We had to take an early flight to Dali, roughly the same altitude as Kunming. The cloud cover descended to 3,000 or so metres, concealing the mountaintops. At Dali we first glimpsed a… Read Complete Text


Other / 27.09.2007

I intend to add to the Archive with a series of hour-long DVD supplements. I have spent most of September shot-listing the nine 64 minute HD tapes filmed so far, and I have been doing shot selection on the first eight.

While engaged on this work I have done a small amount of filming – mainly of moths – as the beginning of Spring has resulted in warmer weather and a reinvigorated insect life.

I have also updated filming of an immensely spreading fig tree, which loses its leaves for all of two weeks. I only get to pass the tree one day a week on my way to the coast. My film diary shows a 15 day gap between filming the tree without leaves and then with new leaves.


Other / 06.09.2007

After the Recovering Rainforest Forum, I emailed the two professors at Griffith University (see entry for 25-27 June) and set out my ideas about video archiving biodiversity projects in the field. I subsequently followed this up by letter but have not received replies. I find the professors’ silence disappointing, but would still welcome the opportunity to engage with scientists to see if video archiving research projects is viable. With this in mind I have been in contact with the director of business development at Earthwatch in Melbourne. He had earlier sent me an email praising this website and we spoke on the phone. Maybe the idea can be pursued after all.



Other / 21.08.2007

Brisbane Extra is a Monday to Friday TV magazine programme which preceeds Channel 9’s main evening news. I was the subject of a segment which included footage from the Archive. As with Totally Wild earlier in the year, it was gratifying to see my material shown on TV.