Sunday, 30 August 2009

Other signs of Spring

I have put some pictures of Spring flowers elsewhere.

But animals also get in on the act as shown by the snuggling wombats referred to in also snuggling. One night recently they were on the lawn when I took Tammy for a pre-sleep coilpark. It is surprising how fast wombats can run when a dog melts down.




This reptile was found in a paddock near Canberra Airport. I think my foot missed it by about 10cm. Had I been 10cm closer I strongly suspect the paddock would have been declared an environmental disaster area!

Tathra Ho!

We took ourselves off to the South Coast - the village of Tathra to be precise - to spend a couple of days with friends. They offered to let the small dog come too, saying that their dog, Charlie, was very friendly.
Here is a picture of Tammy and Charley looking at each other: she is 3.1 kgs and he is 31kgs of Siberian Husky x Spaniel. He was inded very friendly - he didn't snap at all unlike her grumpiness who asserted her feelings a couple of times. Charles did lie down beside her at one point and yawn: the small dog would not have required two bites!

The following two images are the view from their lounge: one evening, one early morning. From my view if you want an attractive seascape that is at least world class.

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Spring flowers

This post is simply some images of the flowers beginning to emerge in our garden. They are a snowflake, daffodils, hellibores, almond blossom and jonquils. I'm sure you can work out which are which!

This one however needs a few words. The flowers are daffs from our garden. The painting in the background is a Tinga-Tinga vilage scene from the Morogoro Stores in Dar es Salaam and the vase is from Stockholm. A summary of the decade really.









Thursday, 20 August 2009

Also snuggling

As well as the echidnas which featured in the last post there has been a fair amount of snuggling going on around Carwoola in recent days.
The largest offenders have been a pair of wombats, whose activities I referred to a few days back. They have been seen in romantic postures several times recently but the female always bolts when I turn up with a camera. The male is much more laid back so he gets a picture. I'm trying to think of appropriate names but can't think of a couple in which the male is a camera hog and the female shy. Bill and Hill? I don't think so. Perhaps Kev and Therese?



Although not so (physically) large the tawny frogmouths do more snuggling per kilogram than any other species I can think of. They seem to spend all daylight hours cuddled up together. Sometimes trying to fool the small dog that they are branches (as here) and on other occasions cramming as close to the trunk as they can- especially when the Magpies are in bomb mode.

Friday, 14 August 2009

Things that that go "bonk" in the afternoon

At about 4pm on 14 August the small dog went ballistic. Not unusual, but nothing could be seen on the lawn to attract her attention so the lead was attached and we went outside. She immediately started snuffling along the deck , ending up at the East end of the house where she found an echidna. Almost immediately another appeared.

By the time Frances got back with the camera they had gone searching for privacy under the deck. Sorry, as evident from the above, privacy was not available then and there. 10 minutes later they had vanished: I hope they had a nice time!

According to the Australian Museum "Complete Book of Australian mammals" echidnas breed in July and August so this pair were bang (you should excuse that choice of word) on time.

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Orchids

I am not a good photographer of small plants: I suspect I don't use enough patience.

However the array or orchids below made me give it a try! They were shown to us by Jean Egan (one of the authors of the Field Guide to the Orchids of the ACT) on Black Mountain in Canberra. The P. nutans (in particular) were almost in 'carpet' numbers.









Bunochilus umbrinus











Pterostylis nutans














Corysanthes incurva
(with 'pixie hat lichen')




Acianthus collinus












The following image was taken on the nearby Gossan Hill. Each of these boring leaves should, if the rainfall gods are willing AND if there isn't a controlled burn, turn into a brilliant blue orchid.


Glossodia major

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Ruralish issues

This is a more or less random coverage of a few things that have interested me recently.







The first is the windfarm on the Eastern side of Lake George. In total there are 60+ turbines, of which about 20 are in the image above (the others are on the far side of the hill) and they are beginning to run some in "test" mode now. As one might expect, opinions in the community are varied, with many people in favour and a few grizzling about the noise. I took these images from about 1km away (I think down-wind) and could hear NO NOISE at all.







Go for it! Another post with some interesting commentary (and comments) on Wind Power is the Nature of Robertson.




The second pair of images are of some Eastern Grey Kangaroos kicking back in bed 84 of the Australian National Botanic Gardens.











The final wildlife thing is not, unfortunately, accompanied by an image. On 5 August as I was walking up to the letterbox I noticed a very large lump in our creek-side paddock. This resolved itself into a medium sized lump and a large lump as the two wombats ceased their private activities and ran back to their burrow. A population explosion is awaited! I had rated this as a sign of Spring but on reading about wombats it appears that they can breed at any time of year. (The sane reference also mentioned that they can visit up to 13 burrows in an evening - no wonder the creek bank looks like a supersized serve of Gruyere!

A recent post has covered my annual bonfire. The image below shows what the heap had reduced to 3 weeks later (and the pile was still smoking, gently, after 10 days).

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Adelaide trip Vegetation

We have just done a trip to Adelaide. There won't be a text report on the trip but there are a few interesting images on this page and the next.

The first image shows the green-ness of the Adelaide Hills. This area is the Bremer Range which is usually brown and horrible, being in the rain shadow of Mt Lofty.This second shot is even more amazing as it was in the middle of the Hay Plains which is usually a desert, by any sensible definition thereof.

The following 4 images are from Monarto Conservation Park and show a couple of variations on the themes of 1) eucalyptus and 2) Sundew (Drosera?). (It might be a good idea for those interested to click on the images to see them in a larger size.)










Adelaide birds

These two come from the beach at Glenelg.


This breakwater is cormorant heaven. Most of those in this shot are Black-faced Cormorants BfC), but the alert observer will also pick out Little Pied Cormorant and Pied Cormorant. I could only see half the rock (it being too cold to swim to the seaward side) and tallied 212 BfC.





This Pacific Gull was on the beach in front of the breakwater. The massive bill, with red on both halves is a great field mark. A missing foot is not a field mark but merely a sign of poor judgement in assessment of passing fish!