Showing posts from August, 2010

Spring thinks about springing

Today is the first day it has felt warm since we left England in early July!  It has seemed a very long seven weeks.

There are a range of signs of Spring around Carwoola this morning.  I will start with the avian indications:
The frogmouths are still adding to their nest;Pied Currawongs must be close to completing theirs, higher up the same tree;A fan-tailed cuckoo calls all night - apprently this is a male advertising his presence.A couple of insect indications:
The fresh 'roo poop is well attended by flies, rather than stiff with frost; andthe first Alpina callisto caterpillars have appeared in the top paddock.  Very convenient for the cuckoos which dine on them.We also found the first Early Nancy flowering in the top paddock.  Around the garden we are getting quite a good array of flowers.  Herewith some pictures:

The meaning of Terrier

There is an awful warning in a review of J.R. Ackerley’s cult novel “My Dog Tulip’’about going into detail about one's pooch.  While we do keep a close eye on Tammy's bowels this is more a 'horrified fascination' than a subject I wish to write about.  So we are not competing with Tulip - even though they have made a film of it!

Her eating habits are little better: while a nice fresh bone is accepted with pleasure after a period of chomping it is buried to be dug up again in a few days - or some cases a few months - time.  Our vet is well aware of such matters as he recognised that the black bones are the ones which taste best!  I shall return to this topic in a few lines, but for the moment let us head back to the subject line of this post:

The wikipedia entry begins "A terrier is a dog of any one of many breeds or landraces of terrier type, which are typically small, wiry, very active and fearless dogs."  That covers a good bit of our beast but misses a key …

Moon images

From time to time the moon strikes me as an appealing subject for some photos.  Here is is rising above some shrubs towards a Yellow Box.

The Shoe and the 'Roo

The image to the left shows the prints left in our lawn by an Eastern Grey Kangaroo and, for comparison one of Frances's size 8 Crocs.  The depth of the prints gives some indication of the soggy state of our lawn, which I suspect getting a bit of outflow from our dam which is still brimming.

The beast in question was grazing on our lawn late one evening as I was going out to get some firewood.  My guess is that it was about 1.7m tall when it deigned to stand up and take some notice of me.  When I got within about 5m:
I was beginning to wonder if it was time for me to back off; butit turned and hopped away.  I have subsequently measured the distance between prints (aka craters) as 3m - and it wasn't going as fast as I have seen them!

This is yet another example of how the roos are pretty habituated to our presence.   When the small dog gets close to them (on the lead) she barks furiously and they usually look up and bounce a few metres away.

This morning a female and quite large…

Mosses: greyer shades of green

This post has been grouped under 'Native flowers' since it is about native vegetation, albeit not flowering vegetation.  It is some images of moss growing on the part of our property immediately above Whiskers Creek. 

I suspect as a result of the wet Winter there is a lot more moss around than I have noticed in the past and it seems to be showing a good level of diversity.  Of course with my knowledge of mosses etc it could be the same stuff at different stages of its life cycle!

With no further ado, nor commentary here are the pix.


As a change from the Hellish bores of the election campaign.  Here are some images of a few of the hellebores that are really blooming well in our garden at the moment.  this is the first time I have really taken a good look at them, and can certainly see their appeal!


Not quite pass the hemlock time

Saturday evening
It is now nearly 9pm and it looks as though there will be a hung Parliament.  That is better that havig the Monk in charge, although 3 of the Independents are all of the rural persuasion and thus likely to see the Monk as more likely than Ms Gillard to deal out pork to the bush.  There are also a couple of Greenish folk likely to get elected; so one has no idea what will happen. 

We have just been subject to Kevin Rudd's chat to his electorate after winning his own seat.  It was nauseous.

Fortunately everyone seems to agree that Mike Kelly has won in Eden Monaro.  As the market suggested Maxine McKew has been kicked out by the voters of Bennelong.  Her interview on ABC TV summarised a whole lot of issues  particularly the difference in mood.

Sunday morning
Given that the Coalition appears to have won more of the popular vote and more seats than Labour it is difficult to see how three of the Independents will not line up with them, so they would only need the sup…

Election update: the run home.

This will cover most everything up to the close of the poll. As the market seems to be moving around a bit - to be expected as the picture should be clearer (and people begin to actually put their money where their mouths are) - I will put in more detail on the prices on offer.

Date and timeALPCoalitionKellyGazard15 August1.263.801.283.4016 August1.283.601.283.4017 August1.283.621.283.4018 August1.283.721.283.4019 August1.273.301.204.1020 August am1.333.301.223.8520 August pm1.542.441.472.5521 August 7am1.50

The joys of ...

...  no, not Spring  nor sex but tele(non)communications.

Being a chump I lost my mobile phone.  Fortunately I was able to block it before anyone found and called all their relatives in far-off parts.  So I had to get a new one.  This turned out to be relatively easy as we are generally happy with the service and charges provided by Virgin (and as Frances was staying with Virgin wanted to be able to call her for free).  They also offered a nice 3G phone at no cost if I signed up for 2 years.

So I rang and spoke to a nice person who I suspect knew her way round a lamb korma (and chicken tikka marsala).  I am not saying she was in Mumbai (since they also have call centres in Chennai, Kolkata and elsewhere in the subContinent).  They also said they could send me out a SIM card that would let me keep my old number.  It appeared that would be sent 2 days after the handset and I would have to sign for both.  They were very definitie about that.

The handset arrived on Wednesday (but of cours…

Acacias of Spring

15 August 2010
Despite there being a small gale blowing at lunchtime I took myself and the small dog off to see what members of the genus Acacia I could find flowering.  I managed to find 4 on this day: I couldn't find any A. genistifolia although I have seen it on the property, and the A. pravissima was not yet in flower.  I will try to keep this post updated as I find other species.

In the images which follow I have tried to include both the flower and leaf/phyllode, as the latter are far more reliable than the former as a guide to identification.

Acacia buxifolia: 'Box-leaf Wattle'.  On our property this is only represented in the direct seeding by Greening Australia.

Acacia Dawsonii:  Poverty Wattle.  So called because of the sparseness of the flowerheads.  This is a 'foreigner' which has escaped from someone's planting and now grows a fair bit in the area. Acacia dealbata:  Silver Wattle.  The commonest tree on the block with many dead clumps in the top paddo…

Election update week n-0

As well as handing out How-to-Vote cards etc I was asked to do a bit of letter boxing in a suburb of Queanbeyan.  This was quite interesting as I got to look round an area of that city which I hadn't previously seen much of.  I didn't have any interface with the local community apart from a young female person who handed back the card saying "we're voting for the Gay Rights Party".  Possibly she was trying to shock me, but she failed as I reckon she looked about 4 years too young to vote - and I was trying to recall if there is a gay rights group in the election (either Senate or the Reps).

I continued to wear my "Keep Kelly Working" tee shirt after this to see if it provoked any discussions during my other jobs in the Post Office and Woolworths.  The only one was a rather roughly attired guy (the Rooster Cogburn comment  - "reminds me of me" is applicable) in front of me at Woolies said to the effect that "Its going to be close".  T…

An orchid

Not a tiny-little, subtle, green, native jobbie, but a great big fat cabbage of a cymbidium!  The first of this season for us. It is here because its pretty!

Week n-1 Election update.

The media seem to be in a frenzy over past Leaders rather than saying anything about policies.  Possibly because while policy is rare, former Leaders (possibly too many of them) are all over the place.  Lets run through a few:
Big Mal the First (aka Mr Fraser): usually has a different adjective, which is one way of distinguishing him from Big Mal the second (Mr Meninga, who only scores the higher number because he is younger). On this occasion Mal 1's comment that the mad Monk is not ready to be PM shows that he has some good ideas!Harry Potter (sorry, I mean Kevin Rudd): the ongoing soap opera.  Hopefully will sort out the Queenslanders now he has got the shyte surgically removed from his liver.Mark Latham: seems to be going all out to prove how lucky we were that he didn't win the election.El comadreja (I am sorry to mix a masculine article with a feminine word but calling him a female just isn't right). I was really pleased to see the image appear in the on-line SMH: if …

How to meet your neighbours

A few minutes ago I was driving home, in the dark, and got to our drive, which we share with our neighbours who I will call Dan and Dot.  To my surprise Dan was walking up the drive with a torch which he flashed at me, so i stopped and he opened the door of the car and said "G'day mumble.  I was just checking the creek crossing so thought I'd walk up the top and get a lift".

Funny, I thought, how did he know I was coming?  He then gave me some instructions about which way the drive twisted and which drive was his.  Funny I thought.

I said "Shall I take you to the door or is the new gate locked?" to which I got the response "You can take me round the back and we'll unload and you can meet the wife and have a cuppa."  Funny I thought, he knows I have met his wife many times.

But I said "What are we going to unload?  At which point he turned on his torch again and said "Strewth its you Martin.  Why did you say G'day when I said Gday…

Wow, heavy, man

Since this post is about heavy flow in Whiskers Creek I couldn't resist making the title a reference back to the 1960s.  I had thought to ut in some informative links about the derivation of the term but ran into two issues:
WoW appears to be most used these days as an acronym for "World of Warcraft" a militaristic computer game, of limited interest to me; orputting quotes around the phrase got me links to pages that appeared to be written by people who really truly meant the term.In neither case was I particularly interested in linking to the sites.

Over the last 2 days we have had 24.8mm of rain.  Given that everywhere was still quite damp from what has gone on earlier in the year there is a fair bit of runoff and, I hope, trickle down into the ground water.  By 9:46am on 11August we are 6.6mm above the total rainfall for 2009.  Applying the average proportion of annual rainfall to this I end up with a projected total rainfall of 880mm.

Dams in the ACT are now at 59% of…

Electoral matters update 6 August

I had thought that by the time I published this post I would  have completed my first session handing out how to vote cards for Mike Kelly.  However there are a few other things worthy of mention and the post was getting too long.  So there will be another outburst this afternoon at the foot of this!

At the national level it was really good to see John Howard joining the fray.  People really need to be reminded what a bad lot the Liberals really are, and until now no-one has reflected back on that fact. This should get history into play.

I swung by Mike Kelly's office on Tuesday to sort out some details about my duties and picked up a bumper sticker (not yet attached to our car).  It is not bad: I don't think it has the humour of "No No Gary, this is Kelly Country' which was used in 2007, but does have a lot of nuance.
The Liberal dude Mr Gazard (I have to keep refraining from replacing the first 'a' with an 'i') sent us a large letter with the Liberal…

Ponzi demographics

This will possibly be the shortest post I have made. It is really just a link to an article in the Drum from the ABC,about sustainable population which I think really good.  Here is a link to the original article by Joe Chamie.

The only fault with it is that it sinks the boot into Kevin Rudd but not to Peter Costello who espoused similar disastrous views in the previous (mal)Adminstration.  And if anyone thinks that the staunchly Catholic Tony Abbott really disagrees with population growth ...

Kangaroos also do cute

I have posted, in the past, about the local frogmouths doing cute poses.  This afternoon Frances came up from the sun-room and acquired the camera to capture a mum and joey 'roo in a really nice pose.

I presume there is a nipple down there somewhere.  A little later they were both grazing on the weeds growing in the area (over the drainage line from the septic tank - I am pleased they like what we ate a few weeks ago) so the joey was just enjoying a slurp while he could.

Frances took this un-zoomed shot to show how close they were.  The nearest part of the lattice is no more than 2m from the window of the sun-room.  They were quite undisturbed by Frances playing the tin whistle or her (much louder) accordion.  While they didn't bopp to the whistle (as did an Australian King Parrot when we lived in Bruce) they suggested a fair degree of habituation to our activities.

(I will briefly revert to the frogmouths.  One of their popular roosts this year is a small eucalypt beside our …

Fungi from Sutton Road

These are some of the photos taken from the ANPS Wednesday Walk to Gail's place off Sutton Road on 4 August.
The star attraction was undoubtedly the Hairy Trumpets (Panus fasciatus) found lurking on a small fallen Branch.  They are a Fungimap target species, and in their publication 'Fungi Down Under ' they report only 49 records as against several hundred records for some other species.  So, very well done to spot them!

Next come the two commonest species.  The small orange inverted cones of Omphalina Chromea (the 'Yellow Navel') and the brown Laccaria (possibly) canaliculata.  While Laccaria grows everywhere, the species of Omphalina is nearly always in a damp spot, associated with green algae.
We also came across several clumps of coral fungus.  As it has blunt 'twigs' I will take a punt that it is a species of Ramaria but not try to guess the species.