Present(s) for Review

 In 1989 we visited New York for the first time staying with friends and taking a couple of tours to the hinterland.  In those days it was possible to take enough kit on a plane with you to go camping, although we had ordered a new tent from L L Bean to be delivered to our friend's apartment.  So we packed our rental car and headed off to the South.   As we went down the New Jersey Turnpike we started thinking about the things we had forgotten including a hammer and cutlery.  Fortunately this coincided with turning off the 12-lane and seeing an army surplus store which supplied our needs.  This included a serrated knife which was claimed would last forever and cut anything.  Perhaps not forever but 34 years later the knife was still cutting away finely, until the blade separated from the handle.  Bugger. I decided that a replacement knife would be a nice Christmas present for Frances, to accompany the glass vase she suggested.  Both were acquired and well received on the day.  It w

More Canberra

 Our stay continues.

A couple more days in Canberra

 Some photos around town.   I start with  the construction site formerly known as Commonwealth Park.  It is a mess,  and the bloke I spoke to was unsure when they'd finish but hoped before the site is set up up for the next Floriade.  Resign, Sally Barnes, for this annual fiasco.  Oh - she has resigned, but apparently for being old, not because of poor policies. The Grey-headed Flying Foxes are back in numbers. An interesting crane being shifted around.  The driver is on the end of the jib travelling backwards! Another crane: this one removing the site office from our facade removal project as they have finished  after about 18 months. Jobs I wouldn't like - an ongoing series.  I have spoken to these folk in the past and they are mainly rock climbers keeping in shape and earning a few $$$ while doing so.  They are also young. A couple more window cleaning photos, from the next day. On the evening of the 20th

Back up the hill

 We are making a few visits to Canberra as the year runs down.  These are mainly due to both of us having to get medical clearance to renew our drivers licences (and in my case follow-up on an issue detected in that process).   Departure on 19 November was slightly delayed by calling in to the official opening of the Mallacoota Endemic Garden .  The speeches etc hadn't started but there looked to be a good roll-up and the garden looked excellent. The drive up was basically a drive.  Somewhat enlivened by several Goannas seen on and near Imlay Rd. including one small one which I had to straddle - but thankfully it looked OK after I had passed! After unloading I went to the Arboretum to check for the Painted-snipe, which was not available.  Its friend, a Buff-banded Rail was more obliging. A family of Australian Wood Ducks came for a swim. An Eastern Rosella had a drink  ... .. while a pair of Red-rumped Parrots combined the two activities.

Continuing in Canberra

Our trip to Canberra will be a little longer than thought due to me needing to get a medical issue fixed up.  So here are the next tranche of photos. They begin with things seen on a walk to and through Commonwealth Park.  This plaque honours the designer of the Park in 1964 (when the Lake was filled). The underpass  next to the plaque had some pleasing images. Choughs were evident, including one excited enough to be flashing a red eye. This one got tangled in a ring of bark and flashed the white in the wing as it escaped.  The bones in the wing are very visible. The following morning I went to Parkwood, looking for the Red-backed Kingfisher (RbK).  No joy, but I did tick a Rufous Songlark which became BAD. A colourful sunset. Out to Bluetts Block looking for RbK.  No luck, but a Black-faced Cuckooshrike was sitting on a nest. Our morning walk had gone past what used to be Commonweaith Park.  Now known as Temporary Fence Hire Dump.   Out to Kellys.  Australasian Grebes stacking some ze