Saturday, 20 September 2008

Poisonous Australians

This is not a posting about members of any political party that might spring to your mind. Rather, it records the Big 3 of the morning of 20 September.
  1. On arising I started to fill our coffee maker with water. To my astonishment a huge - perhaps 10cm across the legs - huntsman spider emerged from the water container. I have no idea how it got in there, but with swift use of a tea towel the offending arachnid was moved outside.
  2. Shortly thereafter while taking the rodent for its walk she suddenly jumped forward. This regained my attention from the grebes in the dam) to see she was about 30cm from a 1.5m (at least) red-bellied black snake! A yank on the lead and she came back, and the snake took off for cover. Hmmm. For further info on this issue see also
  3. Towards the end of the walk I picked up a rock to put on one of our Goldsworthyesque sculptures and found a rather pretty and rather large scorpion sittng underneath it. I think I will start shaking my boots before I put them on! I went back to take a photograph later but it had vanished.

Monday, 15 September 2008

Joining the 20th Century

Before any of you say it, I am aware that the current year begins with a '2'. However many aspects of technology that the rest of you used when the date began with a '1' have only just joined my consciousness.

The particular sample I have in mind is using you telephone as a camera. I deliberately chose a new phone that had this capability but have never used it as such until 15 September. On that date I had taken the rodent for a long walk and when we got to Captains Flat Road became aware that something was moving around in a concrete drain. It turned out to be a wombat.

I had just started to invent new obscenities, due to camera insufficiency, when I realised had my phone with me. Click!

On getting home I was able to find the instruction manual for the phone and then: extract the mini SD card; put it in the mini-SD to SD adapter; put that in my camera (after various difficulties working out which way round to put things); and then get my computer to access the image. So here it is.

Monday, 8 September 2008

The second thing an old fellow contemplates ...

... is more gardening. So I have been wielding the fork (not as in, to quote Terry Pratchett when referring to the activities of the Ankh Morpork cops, "Kickim inna fork") to get ready for the upcoming vegie planting season.

The vegetation around here has other ideas and is littering the scenery with flowers. Here follow pictures of: prunus blossom, almond blossom; a small section of acacia (aka wattle) blossom; a big lump of Acacia dealbata (aka silver wattle) and some nice Hovea linearis (aka Purple Hovea).

Saturday, 6 September 2008

In the Spring an old man's thoughts ...

... turn to gardening!

In fact sometimes:
  1. you are born gardening (which I probably was, with my Dad's skills in that direction); or
  2. you achieve gardening (despite the hopeful start, I am still struggling towards that one); or
  3. you have gardening thrust upon you.
One morning in early September I was definitely in category 3, and this could be considered part of the series The previous night I had gone over to the stable to get a lump of yellow box to keep the fire in overnight and noticed a "squelch" as I walked across the lawn. This caused a more or less sleepless night as I went through what could be wrong - the main worry was that it was a leak from our main tank so we turned that off and used no water.

The next morning I was up at sparrow fart to find the water still evident so called a plumber. The first couldn't come but agreed that as it was leaking polypipe Rhett Cox from Bywong was the man. After some rapid work with a spade Rhett found that it was a leaking joint from the irrigation system - the tank was OK. The cause of the problem was a liquidamber growing into the joint so the liquidamber took some punishment (note the proximity of the axe in my hand to the roots). It has now been replanted, in a largely root-free situation.