Showing posts from November, 2010

Overflow at the Queanbeyan Weir

The Queanbeyan weir was originally established to provide a water source for the town, but has since been adapted/adopted as a means of making the centre of town attractive (see entry for damming in this page).  I have commented elsewhere about the desirability of the area for platypuses.

So it was with great interest that I took this image of water flowing over the weir this afternoon.

This does, of course, mean it has been raining again.  Basically it has been precipitating for two days giving us 54mm by dark on 29 November (and an as yet unknown amount thereafter).  More is forecast over the rest of this week. The forecast was spot on.

For traditionalists, one must record that a horny handed son of toil was sitting in a truck, and reading a newspaper, looking down at the weir.  I did not ask if his name was Clancy, nor check to see if his thumbnail had been dipped in tar.

A couple of days later I decided the time had come to decide if the COG outing to Yanununbeyan was to go ahead.…

Matters horticultural and arthropodological

I apologise for the flood of posts to this blog recently, and especially 2 posts in a day today.  Of course it is all to do with the excellent rainfall, which has meant there is so much going on that I wish to record.  Whether I need to share it all with others is an interesting point of philosophy to which I shall return in my review of the year!

As I seem to have close to 20 images in this post I have cut the size down a bit.  I think they still get the idea across.

Anyway we will start off with a strawberry image.  This is not from the vegie garden (still cranking out 2 litres + per day - yummo!) but a hanging basket above the deck.  This is the first time we have tried this and to get fruit at once is great.
We will now have a few flowers, in ascending rank of "nativeness" and, after introducing insects in the natives, will get more exotic again,  A parabolic post!!

  About the least native flower I can think of is a rose.  They are pretty however.
Love in the mist isn&…

Land-art revisited

Following Mary's comment on "White poles" I decided that I should go and take some current pictures of our activities shown in a much earlier post.  This will also document matters for visitors to the physical property who see some of this stuff and wonder what the heck is going on!

In essence we started off on our morning walks carrying lumps of quartz from around the house area up the hill to decorate ant mounds.  In the second half of the walk we'd find any old rock and use it to built an artistically meandering line beside the drive.  We largely stopped dong this after we acquired the small dog: trying to place rocks in a careful manner with 3.1Kg of patience-challenged pooch became a matter for bad language!

So here is the current situation.
This is the first mound.  Rather than continue the spiral effect we decided to try to completely cover it.  As can be seen the ants have been busy and have built their tunnel spoil up over the rock.
This mound was to be covere…

Noisy Friarbirds are "honey"eaters

The Noisy Friarbird (Philemon corniculatus) is one of the larger members of the Honeyeaters of Australia.  I have put quotes around "honey" in the title of this post since honey is a substance derived from nectar by bees.  In fact most of the honeyeaters also munch insects that have come to feed on the nectar.

The principal aim of nectar is to attract vectors, such as insects, to transfer pollen from the stamens (male organs) of one plant to the style (female organs) of another.  I hope certain NSW politicians, and Angry of Mayfair as represented by Kenny Everett, will forgive that explicitness.

Now the Noisy Friarbird is commonly known as a Leatherhead because of its bare skinned, black head.  Thus I wondered if my camera had gone spare when i took a picture of a friarbird and the head looked yellow (or at least un-black).  I then realised it was covered in pollen which it had acquired from guzzling nectar (or munching insects which were guzzling nectar) from our Callistemo…

Australasian Grebes on the top dam

A few weeks ago when passing by our top dam I noticed an Australasian Grebe's nest in it.  This is quite a usual event at this time of year, with the only 'odd' thing being the position of the nest in more or less open water rather than under the brambles at the Northern end of the dam.  I have been slightly concerned that the adults appeared to spend quite a lot of time off the nest and the weather hadn't been particularly warm.

However all is extra-well.  Yesterday while dong some brush-cutting elsewhere in the paddock I heard the whistling calls of the young (obviously, not when the brush-cutter was running).  On looking down I could see both adults and 3 juveniles.  Whoo hoo!!

This morning I went back with my camera t see what could be snapped.  On my arrival the cupboard (or at least dam) was bare.  I then noticed some movement in the NW corner of the dam and on stealthily arriving there found an adult swimming towards a juvenile with a mouthful of something (poss…

Plant list

I have finally got off my botty and compiled a list of plants we (and others) have seen and identified around the place. They are at this post in my Reveg blog.

A Fringe Lily and dealing with brambles

It was nicely warm today and also still.  This is ideal weather for dealing with brambles, as shown in this post on my revegetation blog

On the way back to the house I wandered past one of the patches of orchids to see if any of the sun orchids had decided to reveal themselves.  They hadn't, and probably won't now, but I did get this rather nice snap of some Fringe Lilies (Thysanotus tuberosus).

Orchids: a couple more from the East

I have added an image of a Flying Duck orchid at the end of this.

Having dipped on the ANPS trip last Wednesday (but having a great walk with COG at the Hall TSR) Frances and I and the small dog took ourselves to Back Creek TSR (SW of Braidwood) to check out the purple Diuris orchids found there.

Although the name 'Back Creek' could be taken to suggest some dampness was likely this year I was surprised just how much liquid there was around.  I don't know if the small dog was surprised but she certainly appreciated it rolling around in the first bog and taking a full-on swim in the second.   The bogs were well endowed with a very tall yellow flower that appeared to be growing from a plant with spatulate leaves.  Very pretty, but not identified by us.

There were masses of Chrysocephalum apiculatum (and various other daisies).  There was also a mass of chocolate lilies Arthropodium fimbriatum - in much greater numbers than 4 days earlier. I have no idea why I didn't take …

White Poles

aOne of Frances' sisters recently visited the ranch.  As a small project she and Frances painted a couple of whites poles that were laying around the place.  Here is the production process.  Note that it is a little more 'plein aire' than the place where Blue Poles was created.
It took a while to complete the second pole and then we had to wait for dry weather to install them.  So here is (a zoomed and cropped) view from my study window.
 We finish with two versions of a close up of the poles.  The second includes the model for the stencils, caught somewhat in flagrante, but it was the only time she was stationary!

On the morning of 24 November I looked up to see a couple of 'roos engaged in robust discussion close to the poles.  Although the following image is not good quality it is a fair impression of the event, which could probably only happen in Australia!
Early in 2011 another pair of roos turned up in view and in a more studious manner:
I tried to get an image of th…