Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Do Fish See Things In Colour? - J

Dear J,

Fish eyes are generally similar in structure to the eyes of other vertebrates. Many species of fish have colour vision and some can even see ultraviolet which I'll bet you can't. You must remember that water absorbs lighht so it gets dimmer and darker the deeper you go. Shorter wavelengths of light (colours like blue & violet) penetrate deeper in the water than the longer wavelengths (red, orange)
(red, orange)

Hello Fish! Is it Cold in the Water - Minus

Dear Minus

When our billabong was full the temperature of the water didn't vary much except in the very top layers. Sadly the water level in the billabong has been getting less and less. This means it warms a bit more in summer than it used to. The biggest problem for we fish is that the warmer water holds less oxygen so a lot of my companions in the pond have slowed down a lot and have breathing problems. (makes it easier for my family to catch dinner)

Fortunately for my family we can breath air for a while, if we stick our nostrils out of the water

Monday, 23 May 2016

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.


Monday, 21 March 2016

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.

Monday, 15 February 2016

Email Augustus!

Recently I have had several emails from different people asking me questions. It is most enjoyable to be able to answer well thought out questions. If you would like to email me you can do so at age.of.fishes@gmail.com. Some of the emails I have replied to are below:

From Andy: Augustus what do you do to prepare for a flood coming down the river?

To which I replied: Dear Andy,

Thank you for your question, I enjoy answering questions immensely.

I had to think about this one for a little while because it has been so long since my River flooded. 

You see generally life in the river floats along in an easy sort of way, and a flood changes all that. As a fish I don't have access to all the warning systems that humans do, but to a certain extent I can tell in advance what The River is going to do. This mainly comes from living so long with The River. 

So in a few days before a flood, I feel the rhythm of the river shift slightly, it becomes fuller and stronger, until soon from the very beginning of the river it starts to roar. You can hear it thundering down the riverbed, feel the water ahead of the flood trembling because of the rush that's coming. The last few minutes before the flood reaches where we are, from in the river it seems like the whole world is shaking. At this point most fish will hide. Myself I like to wait, I will swim against the ever increasing current and right when I can see that huge frothing surge of floodwater heading down on me, then I will dart into my home among the tree roots and bunker down as the muddy brown water rushes past.

The last time it flooded The River was in August, last year, but that was only a baby flood, still it was fun to ride out. The most recent big one was in 2010, and that was a big one! I know floods can do a lot of damage, and I am always mindful of the dangers of a flood, but I do enjoy a good flood.

I really enjoyed answering your question Andy, please ask me any other questions you may want to, now or later. And I would like to ask you the same question, how do humans prepare for a flood coming? I must say I have never considered how it might affect you, and I am interested to know.

Yours sincerely,
Augustus The Fish

From Jennifer: Hi Augustus,

I would really like to come and visit you one day.  What days and times do you think would be the best. I have a two hour drive to reach you.

What type of fish are you?  Should I bring you anything? I’m not sure what a fish like you would enjoy.  I have a large outdoor goldfish pond and they like dry fish food and the occasional grass hopper.  They have had numerous offspring over some years now and I can no longer remember which one is which.  Names are impossible. You must be a special fish to have such an auspicious name.

Regards, Jennifer

My reply: Dear Jennifer,

I am most flattered that you would like to come and visit me. If you would like to visit me personally I live in The River and am available at any time. If you would like to visit the Age of Fishes Museum while you are there to talk to my colleagues they are open from 10 am to 4 pm every day!

I am a Golden Perch Fish, there is more about me on my blog, whatafishthinks.com!

I do not need you to bring anything at all if you would be pleased to visit me, there is more than sufficient for me in my River. I have never actually received a present so I don't know what I would like. Thank you for asking however.

Your goldfish sound like they live a pleasant life, for a goldfish that is. They are not fish that are very well known for their mental abilities. I have never eaten this thing you call 'dry fish food' but I also enjoy the occasional grasshopper. My favourite food however is frogs.

Thank you very much for taking the time to email me, please feel free to email me at any time you like.

Also thank you for the lovely compliment about my auspicious name, I've always liked it.

Yours sincerely,
Augustus The Fish

From Emma and Katelyn: Dear Augustus
I didn't know you were an actor Augustus?? Very well played I could feel your fear! But I have to ask you... Did you really bite that poor man or was it just acting??


PS... Katelyn (my little sister that breathing down my neck right now) said to say it's nice to meet you Augustus!

Sincerely Emma J

My Reply: Dear Emma and Katelyn,

Thank you for your amusing message, I had not previously seen that video, but to that fish who made a stand for its rights I say "Well done!”

Thank you for contacting me, it's nice to meet you both as well. Please feel free to ask me any questions you want and I will be happy to answer.

Yours sincerely,
Augustus The Fish.

I really enjoyed receiving and replying to all these emails, I hope I will continue to receive many more emails and letters in the future.

Don’t forget you can email me at age.of.fishes@gmail.com, write to me at:
PO Box 360
c/o Age of Fishes Museum
Canowindra NSW 2804

~Sincerely, Augustus The Fish.

Monday, 28 December 2015

Reach out

One of the best parts of taking on this blog has been, I must admit, the contact I am able to receive from people who can, through this medium, reach out to talk to a fish.

So far I have had the postcards which have been featured on this blog and last week I received this email from a young lady named Tilly: 

Hello Augustus and everyone else!

My name is Tilly and I am 9.
I love geology and palaeontology and that is how I got here.
My great grandpa kindly signed me up and I am loving your newsletter!
In the next newsletter, can you show us around the museum with a few images?
Lots of love,

To which I replied;

Dear Tilly,
Thank you very much for taking the time to email me, I am highly flattered!
It is praise-worthy indeed that a young person like you is interested in things like geology and palaeontology. I myself am also highly interested in learning more about the science of things that I see around me. Never stop learning Tilly and never stop being interested in things around you, for that is how wonderful things are discovered!
I am extremely glad you are enjoying the newsletter, thank you for your excellent suggestion about a tour of the Museum in pictures. I will personally make sure that it is put in the next newsletter, so keep your eye out for that!
Have you been to the Museum yourself? I think you would enjoy it. Unfortunately I have not been able to make the trip up there to see the fossils of my ancestors but I am hoping to soon.
All the best Tilly, and don't forget to continue to enjoy learning all the incredible things there are to learn!
Augustus The Fish

Like I said, emails and postcards are the best part of having this blog and I really appreciate those who have been brave enough to reach across the gap separating humans and fish. 

However I must note that the adults of the human species have been holding back from this kind of contact, and this makes me very annoyed. This is one of the most important things that has been done between humans and fish and it is being neglected. 

I don't know how many people out there read this blog, but I would like to urge all to reach out and contact me, the representative for all fish to humans. I am sure that all of you have interesting insights that you could share if you were brave enough. 

Therefore if you have any comments or questions at all, humorous, serious, curious, controversial, or otherwise, please, drop me a line at;

PO Box 360
c/o Age of Fishes Museum
Canowindra NSW 2804

OR email at;

Now is the time!

I really look forward hearing from you all, I know we will have some interesting conversations. Thank you again to Tilly and the others who have taken time to contact me!

~ Sincerely Augustus The Fish.

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Interviewing Augustus

Last week I had the stupendous honor of being interviewed by Warren Keedle, Manager of the Age of Fishes Museum, for this blog. You can read this interview, transcribed by Zoe Urquhart, below:

Warren: Thank you for letting me come down to your river for this interview.

AugustusI’m sure it will be interesting.

Warren: My first question is who else lives in this part of the river?

AugustusI have many friends and acquaintances with the river. Nearby me live Dan and Nelly the platypuses and their family. They live just up the river from the swinging bridge; the names of their numerous offspring are Perry, Noah, Lindsay, Robert, Spencer, Billy, Harry, Bobby, Sono, Boots, Nelly, Penny and Chuck. I find them to be friendly agreeable animals.
Of course there are other fish, such as myself. One of my closest relatives is Cecily; she is my cousin and lives quite near me in the river. I find her to be somewhat frivolous and overly cheerful.
There are also a family of Carp who live nearby, by the name of Beringer. They are a quiet family, but not unintelligent. I have frequently had many stimulating conversations with Hastings Beringer, the father. They are of course descendants of the immigrant carp who came here many years ago, and have retained much of their fascinating history. Hastings tells me that he often feels that he would like to return to the homeland for a visit but he and his family agree that they would not like to leave their lovely home in The River.

Warren: We look forward to getting to know all of them too. Now not trying to be rude but how do you hold things with your fins?

AugustusI'm not trying to be rude either, but only a human would arrogantly assume that you need hands to be efficient.

Warren: Fair point. So how do fish communicate through the generations to pass down knowledge and history?

AugustusIt’s mostly an oral history. Stories of long past decades filter down throughout families, many of the same stories are told somewhat differently depending on which family you are in. In this respect it is similar to human history, changing depending on who is telling it.

Warren: Are there fish artists?

AugustusFish have learnt to appreciate beauty in everyday, without having to record it. Occasionally we sketch in the sand at the bottom of the river, perhaps to illustrate a point in a story or just for amusement, but of course it washes away very quickly leaving only a memory. In a way the transient nature of our art is a reflection of how transient our lives are in this river.

Warren: Are you superstitious?

AugustusNot in the least.

Warren: How far have you traveled in your lifetime?

AugustusAs far up stream as I can, before I reach that natural wall like object and then back. I have never really had a desire to travel any further, or perhaps it is because I have accepted that I cannot.

Warren: Natural wall like object , you mean the dam?

AugustusDam? Dam did you say? You mean to tell me that there is a dam in my river!?

Warren: Yes, I believe it would have been built before you were born.

AugustusThat’s no excuse! Well for goodness sake, so you humans are again the reason for hopes and dreams being crushed. Never being able to explore my natural habit because of a dam!

Warren: Well I really had nothing to do with it, but perhaps one day the museum can find a way for you to travel further upstream and find out what’s beyond that wall.

AugustusWell perhaps. It is very kind of you to offer.

Warren: So the next question. Have you ever had other close encounters with humans?

AugustusNaturally I have seen humans many times down near The River, I have actually evaded capture by humans bent on fishing many times by my sharp wit and natural instincts. However the most frightening experience I ever had was once when I was quite young my older brother Marcus was taken by a human who was fishing.

Warren: I’m very sorry to hear that.

AugustusThank you.

Warren: If you could give one message to the humans around your area what would it be?

AugustusFirst of all I would like to express that I have been surprised by the amount of good will shown to fish by humans through the Age of Fishes Museum and this blog. Also I would like to thank the humans around my river for not polluting it overly with much rubbish. I suppose there will always be some humans who pollute. The dam wall seems to be one instance of this, which you so kindly pointed out. 
However although humans seem to fairly good in this respect I would wish, more than anything for humans and fish to be able to live peacefully together without one killing the other.

Warren: Great message. If you could give one message to all humans worldwide what would it be?

AugustusI think that although not happening in my area, a lot of the atrocities being carried out against fish by humans such as the mass genocide happening on a regular basis in most oceans, must stop. I cannot expect that humans will give up killing fish altogether, such a thing is too deeply entrenched in human history, but that would be a wonderful achievement. However that is too much to expect, so I would just like to ask for a better feeling between fish and humans

Warren: Finally what’s the next big thing you hope to achieve in life?

AugustusLike I mentioned before, life in the river is very transient. Therefore most fish will not have huge goals and plans in life. I think the biggest thing I have ever tried to do is this blog as it is a way for fish to reach out to humans and get our message across.

So I hope my answers were illuminating. Thank you Warren for your support of this project. 
Keep watching here for more fascinating articles and posts!