January 16, 2013


Ever wondered where water comes from? This diagram shows you how the water cycle works.

*The Sun's energy makes water evaporate from rivers, dams and the sea.
*Water also passes into the air when people and animals breathe.
*Water moves through plants, going in through their roots and passes out through their leaves into the air.
*Water molecules rise through the air and join together to form clouds.
* When it falls as rain, water flows back to the sea either over or under the ground.

This diagram is just one of the fascinating things on display at 'ecologic', an exhibition at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney about creating a sustainable future.

There was a water lab where you could see the different kinds of microbes and bacteria that can live in water. And charts that showed you how much water went in to producing one kilogram of beef (166 litres!). There was also a computer that told you some vital statistics about the planet such as the current world population (6 billion 366 million 211 thousand 120 and rising every second!) and how many days until all the coal on the planet is used up (152,178, almost 417 years).

Burning coal to generate electricity releases carbon dioxide in to the atmosphere. This CO2 builds up and causes global warming which makes countries like Australia even hotter. This means that our precious water supplies are more likely to dry up.

Maybe we should stop burning coal and start protecting water? After all, Australia is already the driest inhabited continent on Earth.

What do you think?

July 4, 2012


Some running streams have watercress growing along their banks and while this is not a native plant, it is edible and very good for you too. It's full of iron and calcium and even helps in the prevention of cancer.

We gathered a big bunch and had it in a salad with beetroot and fetta cheese - yum! Perfect with yabbies too.

What other things can you eat in a running stream?

April 19, 2012


Ilford dams are full of yabbies ! This easter saw a bumper crop caught across 2 dams from Mt. Misery to Mt. Vincent during the easter weekend . A wonderful sign that our water is fresh and fabulous. Of course we checked them for eggs and threw back the females carrying eggs under their tails.

February 15, 2012


It's been a long time since we've had this much rain! All the creeks are flowing and the dams are full.

This is a photo of Windemere Dam which provides water to Mudgee so that the town can irrigate all those vineyards. They dammed up the Cudgegong River back in 1984 to make the dam and somewhere down there under all that water is the old town of Cudgegong which was flooded in the process.

People love to go fishing in this dam because it was stocked with all sorts of fish including golden perch, Murray cod and silver perch. Catfish were indigenous to the Cudgegong River before it was dammed and you can still catch one here. Goldfish also swim here as do the odd Freshwater Blackfish.

Have you ever been fishing here? If so, what fish did you catch?

December 21, 2011


Some of the living things that you find in running streams aren't all that cute.

We found this leech in a spring just near Running Stream.

Leeches love nothing better than to suck your blood. They don't hurt you because they use a natural  anesthetic which means that you can't feel them when they latch on to you. They simply fall off when they've had their fill but you can just pull them off or use salt which they hate the taste off. But because they also secrete an anticoagulant enzyme into your blood stream, which makes your blood flow freely and not coagulate (or clot and stop), it means that blood often keeps flowing after the leech is removed.

All this means that you don't want to get them on you if you can avoid it. They really are quite revolting!

Have you had an experience with leeches? If so, let us know!

P.S four more sleeps until Christmas kids!

December 16, 2011


I spy with my little eye something beginning with 's'.

Can you guess what it is??? Every day it brings us one step closer to Christmas which is now only nine  sleeps away!!

We've had so much rain lately that all the streams are running fast and filling up all the dams. At night you can really hear the chorus of frogs singing their hearts out with joy.

But  I wonder if those storm clouds will clear by Christmas?

What are your Christmas wishes?

I know that last year, one Puggles Club member wanted a tortoise for Christmas and Santa delivered one to his doorstep! Can you guess what happened to him???

October 18, 2011


Puggles Club members were out in force last Sunday to mark the start of National Water Week. http://www.nationalwaterweek.org.au/index.php 

Gathering at the Running Stream, these cool kids inspected the water way and were delighted to discover a freshwater spring nearby, bubbling up from underground. Hudson had stumbled upon the spring two years ago and after a short trek upstream, he found it again and dug it out with his hand so that the other children could see how it worked.

Huddie's Spring is surrounded by little mint plants making the water that flows from it very delicious. It's just one of over one hundred springs in the area. In fact, the mountain is a bit like a fountain! 

Puggles Club members also had a fascinating lesson in divining or dousing for water. Trevor gave them each a wire wand which they held in one hand (keeping their thumbs off the metal) while walking across the paddock and asking the question; "where is good quality permanent underground running water?". At one spot all the wands moved across their chests indicating where the water was and which way it was flowing. It really was like magic! 

The kids then joined members and friends of the Running Stream Water Users Association for a picnic on the banks of the Running Stream to Defend Our Water. 

Water is the most important thing on Earth. It covers three quarters of the planet but only 1% of that water is drinkable. We need fresh clean water to live because our bodies are largely made up of water. Babies are 77% water! Old people are 50% water. So we need to make sure nothing damages our precious water systems.

What are some of things we need water for?

October 15, 2011



We've had to make a last minute change to our meeting place tomorrow. Don't worry, it's not too far away. Just down Cherry Tree Hill at the Running Stream Hall.

From there we will go to the junction of the two tributaries of the Running Stream for a picnic and some platypus spotting.

Same time: 12 noon
Different place: Running Stream Hall

See you there!

September 23, 2011


The Running Stream Water Users Association is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year and we’re kicking off the festivities with the launch of the Puggles Club, a special sub-branch of the Association for kids!

The Puggles Club is a cool gang of kids learning about running streams and all the amazing creatures that play in them.

We all know how important running streams are, not just for us humans but for all living creatures. So we’re inviting young people to join us in our mission to protect them.

We’ve created an online activity area where club members can post comments and send in information about the many different animals they see in their own creeks and streams (http://pugglesclub.blogspot.com).

We’re also planning an excursion to the actual Running Stream above the village of Running Stream at the Gateway to Central NSW where we hope to spot elusive platypus and their baby puggles! Teaming up with the Association’s participation in the Lock The Gate Alliance’s National Day of Action to Defend Our Water, this excursion aims to highlight the valuable role that water plays in our lives.

Families are invited to join us at ‘Morven Park’, 6216 Castlereagh Highway, Cherry Tree Hill at 12 noon on Sunday Oct. 16th for a picnic at the source of Running Steam.

Please let us know if you and your family would like to join in the fun by calling Nell on 0413 746909 or Chrissie on 63588 531.

Looking forward to welcoming you all on board!

Here's a pic from our last excursion!

Posted for Nell

September 12, 2011


- Babies are 77% water
- Grown men are 65% water
- grown women are 58% water
- old people are 50% water

QUESTION: What sort of things do we need water for?

September 8, 2011

Science Day at Ilford Public School

Puggles Club members recently joined students from Ilford, Glen Alice and Sofala for Science Day activities at Ilford School. In small groups we thought about how we are all water users and discussed where our water comes from and the importance of water in relation to ourselves and the local ecology. We looked at topographical maps to see how our communities are linked by water and the kids told stories about their local rivers, creeks, springs and dams... including a number of platypus sightings! Then some fabulous pictures were drawn of favourite water places and/or favourite water animals. Here are a few of them .....

By Mel, Year 5/6 Glen Alice                                                      By Austin, Year 3/4 Sofala

By Gina, K-2 Ilford

August 28, 2011


There are lots of kids caring for creeks all over Australia. This is a drawing from some kids at Camp Kedron who are looking after Werreandra Creek in the Kuringai National Park.

What sorts of things are they doing to look after their creek?

Can you spot the platypus?

There's another group of people caring for all the creeks of Ingleside which is also on the edge of Kuringai National Park.

There's another platypus in this creek. Can you spot it?

What other creatures can you see living in this creek?

Which side of the creek would you rather live on?

Can you draw a picture of your favorite creek and send it to us? If you can, we'll put it up on the Puggles Club blog! Send it to nell@themovies.com.au

Happy drawing!

August 23, 2011

Carwell Creek

This is Carwell Creek after rain.

*what can you hear?

*What flowers are blooming now?

July 5, 2011


Gina and her dad Gav are modeling our excellent Running Stream Water Users Association caps which feature a cute platypus on the logo. They only cost $15.00 each ($20.00 if you want to buy a membership as well), and all proceeds go towards funding the work of the Association. So if you'd like to place an order for one, email nell@themovies.com.au and we'll get one out to you asap.
Keep Running Streams Running!

June 13, 2011


A bunch of cool kids and their extended families went on an expedition to see if they could spot some platypuses. First stop was Running Stream, just behind Foxwood Farm Cafe at Running Stream.

Savvy was leading and she wrote this story:

The baby red kangaroo belonged to Glenys who runs the Foxwood Farm Cafe. It's name is Boomer.

After our exploration of Running Stream we went to Cunningham's Creek on the other side of the mountain to see if we could spot any platypus there. Augie is Savvy's older brother and he wrote this story:

Cunningham's Creek flows through Hunter and Frank's place and they have a really cool spot in a tree by the creek which is perfect for platypus spotting. It is now the official Puggles Club Headquarters. Here's what it looks like:

Because it was mid winter, we think that most of the platypuses and their baby puggles were hiding in burrows in the creek bank. We're going to try again in springtime on September the 17th. Stay tuned for more details. Hopefully you'll be able to join us then and help us find a platypus or two!

June 6, 2011


This is a drawing of a platypus by an artist called Eugene von Guerard. It was done way back in 1854 (that's 157 years ago kids!) and the title of the work is 'Billed Animal - Ornithorhynchus paradoxus'.  This was the first scientific name given to this strange creature that has a bill like a duck and a tail like a beaver. "Ornithorhynchus" means "bird snout" in Greek and "Paradoxus" comes from the word "paradox" which means something that is hard to believe but true - just like the platypus! Later on, the name was officially changed to 'Ornithorhynchus anatinus' which means "bird snout duck-like".

We're going to go looking for a platypus or two in the Running Stream this Sunday (June 12). So if you want to join us, come and meet up at 4pm at Foxwood Farm Café, Running Stream. Platypus are very shy so we're going to have to be very quiet. There'll be a prize for the best platypus spotter! If you can't make it, don't worry. We'll take some photos and tell you all about it here on the Puggles Club Blog next Monday. We might even do some drawings too, just like Eugene's!

April 26, 2011


Thousands of fruit bats (Little Red Flying Foxes) came to visit Coco Creek in February 2008. They stayed for a month.

In the daytime they would hang upside down in the tall river oaks, squealing and squabbling amongst themselves. At dusk they would fly off silently into Wollemi National Park to feed on the nectar and pollen of flowering Bloodwood trees. Then before dawn they would fly back again to their roost at Coco Creek.

I tried to count them as they flew off one night, there were about ten thousand of them. After a month they all disappeared off somewhere else, don’t know where.

Flying foxes have a good sense of direction and they follow along water courses to find their way around.

Their favourite food is pollen and nectar from eucalpyt trees, although they sometimes do raid fruit orchards.

Do you know another name for a flying fox roost?

April 21, 2011


It's Easter and that mean lots of hot cross buns and chocolate! And sometimes you'll even find chocolate shaped in the form of a rabbit. Why? Because Easter is a celebration of spring in the Northern Hemisphere, a time when plants bloom and baby animals are born. Rabbits have lots and lots of babies so they are a symbol of spring and fertility and Easter time.

Rabbits are an introduced species in Australia but they like to drink at running streams too. They've got lovely soft fur.

What do you think we should have as a symbol of Easter in Australia, given that it is Autumn time for us?

Are you having an Easter egg hunt in your backyard? If so, let us know how many eggs you collect!

April 6, 2011


When you go yabbying you should always throw back yabbies with eggs or small yabbies. It helps preserve the species as they can breed or grow up to be caught again or feed a platypus. A yabbie's eggs are small black spheres underneath the tail. The yabbies will be trying to curl up their tail to protect their eggs.

1. What is the minimum size you should catch a yabby at?

2. Where do yabbies go when a dam or creek dries up?

March 30, 2011


This crazy creature is a baby eel, otherwise known as an elver. He and his buddies swim up running streams all along the east coast of Australia. But they never make it across the Great Dividing Range. It's too steep. And besides, they have to swim all the way back out to sea when they grow up into big eels.

So this means that there are elvers and eels in Running Stream, which flows east, but not in Cunninghams Creek which flows west, even though they are very close to each other. Incredible!
What other streams have eels in them?