Saturday, June 21, 2008

A is for Australia

"Tempus fugit," as the ancient Italians were wont to say!

It has been over a week since my last post, so here goes:

Australia is a very special country to us because:

1) It's a very special country. Check out the official travel and tourism site here.

2) Australians have always been faithful friends and allies of our country. See my previous post here.
3) Our daughter lives there with her husband (who is from Australia) and their two children, as well as her husband's family, who have become very dear to us.
4) My mother had an uncle who immigrated to Australia and lived near Melbourne. We still have cousins there.
5) The unique flora and fauna that exist on this island continent and nowhere else in the world (otherwise, they wouldn't be unique flora and fauna. Duh!). For further info, check out this article and this article.
6) Infinitely many other reasons for which neither time nor space avail (obviously, since they're infinitely many!). Wikipedia is always a good place to start Internet exploration.
Getting back to the linguistics of the word (which is, after all, my purpose for going through the dictionary from A to Zed--have to say Zed, since I'm writing about Australia. Interestingly, though, it seems only in the U.S. do we name the last letter of the alphabet "Zee." Seems everyone else in the world says "Zed." You truly do learn quite a few new things every day!)
Terra australis incognita (literally, unknown southern land) was a phrase describing a southern land of legends going back at least as far as ancient Rome. Seems the land wasn't legendary, though! It just hadn't been discovered by the denizens of the northern hemisphere yet.
When I was a lad, my family in Ohio observed the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) on a few occasions. It's not something you forget. The Aurora Australis are the corresponding Southern Lights. For some amazing sights of Auroras (or Aurorae), both Southern and Northern, check out Youtube here.
The Australian flag also reflects Australia's southern location. The constellation represented on the right-hand side of the flag is the Southern Cross (Crux Australis).

More on Australia.


Bonnie said...

I can't believe I haven't commented on your last few post !! I loved this post. I was trying to find a link for you about Australia being the Great Southland of the Holy Spirit ... a statement made my an explorer called Pedro Fernandez de Quiros ... check out Interesting.

Ceana said...

You write very well.