Showing posts from September, 2009

Hughie obliges (finally)

For the benefit of the non-Australians - and possibly the younger Ockers - I will put in this link which explains the title.
After a year of miserable rainfall - Whiskers Creek hadn't run since about February - a good shower (5mm) came on Monday (21 September 2009) evening. Tuesday started with a major dust storm and just as evening fell a thunder storm arrived and dumped another 5mm. Then about 7pm it really started and came down for about 3 hours. By 7am on the Wednesday we had accumulated another 19mm.
The dams have all risen (one to the point of overflowing) and both Whiskers Creek and the smaller creek in the top paddock are both running.
The sprinkler system for the lawns has been turned off for the duration of our trip to Peru!

Spiky things

The chap to the left is a redback spider (possibly Latrodectus hasselti). As it only has 6 legs rather than 8 I assume it has had a hard life. It was lurking on the side of my mower trailer from where it got washed off to find a new home.

This orchid (Pterostylis curta) was given to us as a seedling and has prospered very nicely as shown by the growth. Indeed the prosperity continues with another 2 flower stems evident below the level of those shown. The impressionist background is the wattles growing, and flowering prolifically, up our drive..

Here be Dragons

When setting off for a run this morning I came across these two Bearded Dragons lying in the drive. From their later behaviour (a brawl with much biting of beards) I assumed they were 2 males discussing territorial boundaries.

Two 'roos

This is purely here because the sight of a joey eating grass while still ni the pouch makes me chuckle.

A tale of two trees

Frances ordered a Black Fig Tree from the Diggers Club. It arrived by post so I dug a hole, planted it and surrounded it with chook wire to keep the rodents and marsupials off of it.

We had also been offered a peach tree (and a cherry tree, but I haven't an image of that) by our friends Ros and John. They commented that "it was a bit bigger than we'd realised". Indeed - after turningup with the car we returned with the trailer.

Guess which is which (after planting).

More spring flowers

If this is boring for you, you really need to get out more!

This first image is of some of the daffs growing down our drive. I have included this to show the benefits of a '300 mixed' purchase. Note that each of these 4 blooms is very different.

Here we have some more daffs, in a massed planting under a prunus (?). These are very nice with a staged blooming pattern They are blocked from the kitchen window by some broom trees: I forsee some serious pruning/bonsai work in my future.

As well as daffs we have some tulips - which have escaped the attention of the crimson rosellas.

In an earlier post (2 years ago) I covered some direct seeding. That has been quite succesful, and some of the Acacias (possibly A. buxifolia) are now flowering.

The next two are of flowers seen on the ANPS walk on 2 September. One is a blue orchid Cyanicula caerulea and the other Dodonea viscosa, the sticky hop bush (with visiting bee). I am sure you'll work out which is which!

Brickbats and bouquets - an ongoing series

This is actually a bouquet wrapped round a brickbat. Those in Australia, and thus familiar with the term "shit sandwich" may like to reflect on whether these term are different. From my view
I deal out the adulterated floral products; but receive the contaminated bread.
On this day I noticed that my internet connection was running very very slowly. There didn't seem to be a reason for this in the context of the setup on my 'pooter and Francie's machine was also very slow. So I checked my ISP plan. Stone the corvids, I had gone over my limit. No idea why, I usually don't get within a mile of it.

So I buy some more bandwidth (for $19.95). The fact that they didn't send out a warning email constitutes a pair of brown slices to me (and the first refractory to be placed amongst the roses).

I then start looking more around the Netspace website and find that if I switch to ADSL2 I can get 10Gb anytime for the same cost as I am currently paying for 1Gb peak t…

Getting more Superb (Fairy-wrens)

To save those of you with a busy life from reading three pages of stuff, here is the short version.

I started trying to explain why the value of A for Superb Fairy-wrens (Malurus cyaneus) drops dramatically between years 17 and 18 of the Garden Bird Survey (GBS). I didn’t explain this.

I then moved to trying to explain why the value of A for this species shows a fairly steady increase from year 18 onwards. This was more successful. It appears to be due to a number of GBS sites, active for a relatively short period with several of them joining the Survey since year 18, showing a high recording rate of a fairly large number of birds. The sites tend to be on the edge of – or outside – the urban area of Canberra-Queanbeyan.

The Detail
While doing data entry for the GBS I was surprised at the small numbers of Superb Fairy-wrens reported in some sites where I would have expected them. This led me to look at what is in the database for this species.

The key summary statistic derived…