What a River is.

 I have lived in The River for my whole life. I have swum against current and with it. I have sheltered beneath tree roots as water from the sky has pelted the surface water of the river churning it into froth. I have floated in the river as the sunshine warmed it.
Many humans often enjoy some kind of relaxation involving water, whether it is sitting beside a body of water, swimming in it or some other kind of activity on it. I have often heard it said by humans that the constant ebb and flow of water is relaxing.
But no human can really understand a river.
Water is one of the least peaceful things on earth. Something that is constantly moving is the complete opposite of peaceful and calm.
Of course there are peaceful moments in The River; I’m not denying that in some circumstances water can make you feel peaceful, only that as a substance, water is not peaceful. I defy anyone to be constantly around water and not be inspired to do something.
Sometimes if you take the time to just listen to the sound The River makes as it filters through your gills it almost sounds as if The River is telling stories of all the things it has seen and will see.
Relaxing? Bah! Never let them tell you that water is restful, listen to what I have to say, I, a fish who has never been out of The River! Anyone who says The River is peaceful must be deaf, or simply not able to understand how restless a river really is.
The River is always moving. The slightest breath of air and it trembles and ripples. Even the water atoms of The River pulsate, their opposite charges attracting, able to rise through a tree, float through the air, busy sustaining life. How can you call that peaceful? A river which never rests.
Perhaps a dry riverbed is peaceful, in a stagnate kind of way, deep murky puddles rest. But it is not very comfortable; give me the intensity and restlessness of a full river any day! A dry riverbed is nothing more than a promise that the river will flow again and until that promise is fulfilled all of us in The River are unhappy. In a dry riverbed you will find an underlying urgent expectation, waiting for the water. And over The River bugs and birds get impatient and the reeds are never still.
The happiest time at a river, is when it is late afternoon. Golden light sings and the river urgently tells its best stories, spinning tales you have never heard. Birds slow down to listen, and we fish that swim down below awaken and dart through the stories that the river tells, making sure not to miss a single word.

This is what a river is.

~ Sincerely Augustus The Fish.



What a Lot of Questions for a Fish!

Welcome once again to my informative blog, I hope you have been enjoying our journey together so far, there is much more to come!

Today I have some great questions that have been left in my questions box at the Age of Fishes Museum that I will share the answers to here and now. There is also one email.

Don’t forget, if you want to ask me questions you can email me at age.of.fishes@gmail.com send me a letter or post card at PO Box 360 Canowindra NSW 2804 or even put a question in my box on the front desk at the Museum. 

Here is a picture of my new Ask Augustus box, if you’re in the neighbourhood, I would be overjoyed if you’d drop me a line, if you’re not in the neighbourhood you can contact me as seen above.

The four questions I have received so far have been excellent, and they are from children and adults which is superb, keep the questions coming!
The first question is from Minus, who asks: 
“Hello Fish, is it cold in the water?”  

My answer: Dear Minus, 
it is becoming increasingly cold in my river as summer disappears, it wasn’t too bad up until last Friday when it started to rain and now it is getting very cool.
Sincerely Augustus The Fish.
The next question comes from Minu:
“Hello Fishy, what do you eat?”
My answer: Dear Minu,  

I enjoy lots of different foods, such as shrimps and small yabbies. I enjoy the occasional soft aquatic insect larvae. However I would have to say that my absolute favourite food is frogs.

Sincerely Augustus The Fish.

Next we have a lovely question from Kim:
“Dear Augustus, Do you have al kinds of different fish friends or do you just play with your own species?” 
My answer: Dear Kim, 
interesting question. Unfortunately it has been an extremely long time since I have ‘played’. However I still enjoy stimulating conversation with all my friends in and around The River, no matter what species. In fact I would say that a reluctance to associate with those who are not of your species or race seems to be isolated to humans, fish have never been so snobbish. Well, except to species such as some vulgar species of bird whose eating habits are disgraceful. But that is the exception to the rule and in general I will always talk to anybody. I have even managed to overcome my natural reluctance to talk to humans and now even enjoy it! 
Sincerely Augustus The Fish.
And the last question in my ask box is from John:
“Dear Augustus, Do fish see things in colour?”
My answer: Dear John, 
may I say how refreshing it is to get such a remarkable question, this is very thought-provoking! I have always thought of myself as thinking in colour but how do any of us know whether or not what I see in colour is the same as what you see? This is one of the great mysteries of the universe. However, as a direct answer to your question, yes I see in colour, as do most fish. Some fish can even see in ultraviolet and some are sensitive to polarized light.

Sincerely Augustus The Fish.
So thank you very much for all these great questions from visitors to the Age of Fishes Museum!
Lastly we have another email from Tilly who asks some questions that I am sure everyone will find interesting.
Dear Augustus,

In the holidays, are there any activities at the museum that I could participate in?
Also, I haven’t received any newsletters since your first one, have you done a newsletter? If not, can you please do one?

Thank you,

My answer: Dear Tilly,

It is so good to hear about your interest in the museum, and thank you for your continued emails, keep them coming!

In answer to your question, this school holidays the visitor information center that is associated with the museum is helping with the Canowindra Balloon Festival, and everyone will be very busy with that. So no there will not be any official activities at the museum this school holidays, but there will be some in the next newsletter that is being sent out soon, which brings me to your next question!

The newsletter comes out every three months to coincide with the school holidays, so you should receive one in the next couple of weeks or so. On page 4 you will find some awesome activities for in the school holidays, so keep your eyes out for that! Once you have completed some of those activities you can email some of the completed ones and they may be featured on the blog.

Hope you enjoy the school holidays!

Sincerely yours,
Augustus The Fish
The newsletter for kids is lots of fun and great for any kids 4-14 years old. The cost is only $10 and is available world-wide. It is educational and features some activities and projects of my own so I would highly recommend anyone who wants their children to have this once in a life time opportunity to sign up for it! Just email aof@colourcity.com for a form to sign up! 
Once again thanks so much for all the amazing questions, I look forward to answering more in the future!
~ Sincerely Augustus The Fish.

Who’s Sending Postcards to Augustus?

I was very flattered to receive some postcards from some children visiting the Age of Fishes Museum. Two were given to me by Warren when I interviewed him and the others came later.

Today I will reply to these postcards here on this blog.

The first is from Tiare:

Thank you Tiare for your lovely postcard, I am a Golden Perch fish. Some people call us Yellow Bellies or Goldens. It’s a good name for us because we are all a beautiful golden colour and I am the goldest of them all.

Here’s one from Hugo:

I am doing very well, thank you Hugo. I sincerely hope you are well too. Your question about ‘scientific pollution problems’ is very insightful. My river is generally very clean and pleasant, occasionally there is a little bit of rubbish in it, which is very annoying, but generally the humans are considerate. This may seem surprising, but it is true.

As I mentioned before I am a Golden Perch, there are many of us in the River and in other rivers around Australia.

I am a relatively young fish, 15 years old. Many Golden Perch live to be about 26 years old!

I am not sure exactly how long and wide I am because I have never measured myself, however I know that I am bigger in stature than most other fish my age.

Thank you for your message Hugo!

For these next ones I have included the original artwork on the front of the post cards by the children.

This first whimsical one is from Dhayne:

Dear Dhayne, thank you for taking the time to write to me.

Yours is altogether the most interesting question I have ever been asked.

I have never ridden a scooter. However sometimes I like to ride the current in the middle of the River for a while, but I don’t do that very often because although it is fun, it takes lots of effort to swim back home afterwards. So I suppose I would like riding a scooter, if I had legs.

Also I have never put a shirt on, fish don’t wear clothes, although I have a cousin who occasionally likes to wear flowers. She is very frivolous.

Preston sent in the next postcard and designed the great front artwork:

Thank you for your question Preston, I am not a tuna fish, I am a Golden Perch. I have met some tuna fish once or twice, they were tourists and needed directions.

I am not familiar with the fish and rods game, on your recommendation I may go up to the museum one day and try it for myself.

This next postcard and fantastic artwork comes from James:

Dear James, I am not sure if you are talking about the game Preston was talking about, or fishing rods used for fishing. If you mean the second one, I am not very fond of them. If you mean the first, I will have to let you know.

Thank you for your question. I am glad you enjoyed learning about the fossils at the museum, did you know they are all my ancestors?

Guurramali sends in the next great postcard:

Thank you Guurramali for your interesting message. I think you will be very surprised to learn just how many brothers and sisters I have. I was very surprised to learn how few children humans have in my interview with Warren earlier.

Golden Perch lay about half a million eggs at one time. Unfortunately not all of my siblings survived to adulthood, but a good many did. I don’t get to see them all as much as I would like, they are widely dispersed through the River. I would say I have at least 75 000 000 siblings. I also have many cousins.

The last amazing postcard is from Yiri:

Thank you for your question, Yiri. I enjoy lots of different foods, such as shrimps and small yabbies. I enjoy the occasional soft aquatic insect larvae. However I would have to say that my absolute favorite food is frogs.

I would like to heartily thank all the children for sending in their beautiful postcards and engaging questions. I must say I never expected it from humans, it is very nice to see that some humans at least, have an interest in fish. I know without a doubt that not all do, some even are supremely cruel towards us, but perhaps I was wrong in lumping all humans in the same boat together. It would seem that some even wish to swim in the river, inasmuch co-existing peacefully with fish. There is nothing I would wish for more.

For anyone else, of any age, who would like to send me a postcard please address it to:
PO Box 360
c/o Age of Fishes Museum
Canowindra NSW 2804

Once again, thank you very much for your kind postcards! Comment below with what you thought about this post and any postcard stories you may have!

~ Sincerely Augustus The Fish.