Showing posts from November, 2007

Yer actual monotreme

On 30 November I was called out of the shower as an echidna (aka spiny ant-eater) was exploring under our deck. A few photos were taken.

This is the long view to give an idea of where it was at the start of the episode (just to the right of the steps).

Close up 1 - it looks to be 3/4 asleep to me!

Close-up 2 - getting ready for movement.

For reasons that escape me, Frances thought it worth taking this image of me assessing the beast's progress under the deck. It was aware of my presence so had done the usual "ostrich act" and dug itself in against the foundations. When we checked again 30 minutes later it had taken itself off.

Recent changes (since Nov 28)

This page will be a log of what's been did - nothin' will be hid - since 28 November. It will hopefully assist the reader to follow what is going on! Needless to say folk are welcome to go back through the older stuff as well (where an entry continues an old posting a backwards link is usually provided).

New pages

This one!!! an echidna visits us An arguable title. Disaster just avoided.

Major updates ad…

Election 2007

As those with a biological approach will know the photo to the left is of a weasel.

Lets start the narrative off with a quote from "The Australian" at 16:14 on election day.
"PUNTERS have rallied to back Prime Minister John Howard to win his seat, but Labor is still a raging favourite with bookmakers to win the election.
"Centrebet's Neil Evans said Mr Howard's price closed at $1.50 today after two punters helped themselves to $1.72 overnight with two separate bets of $10,000 on the big boss. Mr Howard, however, was a drifter overall after opening at $1.18.
"Labor's star candidate in Bennelong Maxine McKew on the other hand was firmer after after being backed in from $4.25 to close at $2.40, he said.
"Head-to-head, Labor finished at a miserly $1.28 with Centrebet to win the election, after opening at $2.75 when Kevin Rudd took over as opposition leader in December last year.
"By contrast, the Coalition blew like a gale over the same period to …

On the radar

When we first came back from New York there was quite a lot of conversation about the drought in Australia. That tended to die down as a result of a lot of storms in January - March although a few Hanrahans started muttering about floods. Then it went dry again until a deluge in June (followed by dry in July to October).

November has decided to make up for things a bit: by the 22nd we were up to 71mm for the month and it started raining in the afternoon. At 17:20 this is what the Met Bureau radar looked like - the system is basically moving down the screen (ie South) and X marks our house!

We ended up getting 22mm of rain out of this storm, which nicely topped up the rainwater tank, and removed the need to use the bore for lawn watering!

This was the radar image at noon on 7 December. I think the December total is going to get a bit of a boost this afternoon.

'Tis the season ..

.. to be jolly HOT!

This post is written about events while Frances was in Adelaide visiting her family, so she will not feature greatly in it!

After a couple of days birding in Western NSW, with the temperature over 37 degrees Centigrade it was nice to be back in canberra, where it was still well over 30C. This led me to spend a couple of hours sitting on our verandah with a cooling glass or 3 of honey wheat home brew. This was totally peaceful, with only birdsong and the rumbling of thunderstorms (see below) to disturb me.

{A parenthesis: While so relaxing I was reading "Dark Victory" by David Marr and Marian Wilkinson about the immigration crisis of 2001. We missed most of this as we were in Tanzania at the time, but it should be compulsory reading for anyone who wants to understand Australia and why Little Johnny Weasel (our current, but hopefully only for another week as I write, Prime Minister) is the foulest bum on the face of the planet - possibly excluding Dubya, but a…

November Gardening

This could possibly be part of a series, with the first being an October entry In fact with two related posts it is already a mini-series!

This could well be contrasted with the pre-weeding of the onions and garlic photo in the earlier posting. As is usually the case Frances is doing the weeding.

The aim of the exercise. The garlic was pulled because it looked a bit over the hill; we have more peas than a diabetic dachshund; and the best crop of strawberries we have ever grown. I have decided there are only two seasons: Winter and when we don't buy vegies!


On 5 November I was roused from my computer by Frances yelling for me to go to where she was. As she wanted me to hurry I guessed this was not another fallen tree (since they, traditionally, don't move too much once they're recumbent).

In fact it was the photographed mini-lobster walking down the concrete path in the vegetable garden. It was not a happy camper due to the attention of a large number of ants. After lobbing it into a bucket and thence into our dam it was much happier. I don't think the ants were so jovial: they seemed to make a strategic error in heading for the centre of the water rather than the side.

It could be noted that after getting 51mm of rain in the last few days the dam is now full. It could also be noted that the presence of yabbies may explain why the dam leaks a little bit!