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Showing posts from June, 2011

Raven, rodents and ratbags

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This is going to be a very mixed post, as indicated by the Title.

Let us begin with the Raven topic.  In the area we live there are two possible species of Raven, the Australian Raven (Corvus coronoides) and the Little Raven (C. mellori).  Both are firm believers in 'basic-black' as the colour for feathers, and the size is not really much help for distinguishing them.  In most situations the key identification variable is the call:
Australian Raven has a rather deep, long drawn-out call, which I could render as Caaawwwwwwww;Little Raven has a somewhat higher and much more rapid and clipped call - Kakk, Kakk, Kakk.The number of birds in a flock is also often helpful.  If there are more than 3 or 4, I expect it to be Little Raven, but would generally expect this judgement to be confirmed by call.  It used to be the case that Little Ravens were rarely seen in Canberra urban area, but there have been a few recent sightings - possibly birds moving across the City.

A final feature is…

Updates in May

This is my usual trick of listing those posts to which possibly interesting stuff has been added.  The animals of May page has been updated progressively. 
Some more pictures of rising fog were taken;A later snap of the Dotterel has been included;Some icicles (or images thereof) were added to a gardening pageLife in Palerang  has been updated with the Election results;The question about Frogmouth roosts has been answered in part at least. Additional traces of wombat have been added.

Carbon footprint? What carbon footprint?

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It being out of fire-ban season and the weeds having grown alarmingly during the wet of last year we had a big pile of stuff to ignite.
We compost most of the weeds which we collect (my guess is that over a year that heap is almost the same size as that pictured, but it gets recycled back into the garden beds).  However some things are just too invasive, long lived or woody to be composted.  The invasive component includes Serrated Tussock, Brambles, Sweet Briar, Hypericum (both the garden variety and St John's Wort) and Periwinkle.  The woody lot include prunings from our fruit trees and vines.  Bits of willow meet both criteria.

The weather for 2 June looked excellent: cool. cloudy and light winds, plus we had showers forecast for the previous day. So I rang the RFS on Tuesdayand let them know I planned a pile burn for today.  I also let the neighbours know things were likely to get a bit smoky.

One of the things that has interested me in previous years has been how the heap has …

ANPS does Black Mountain

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I cannot recall why Black Mountain acquired its name.  It certainly had it before the process of  habitat, sorry hazard, reduction incinerations gained political imprimatur.  Despite the best efforts of the fire people there was some interesting stuff around today.

As usual I will begin with some snaps of angiosperms.  I'll begin with a nice set of burls on a Scribbly Gum (Eucalypus rossii).
Moving right along, to plants in flower rather than stress.  The first is notable, because I can generally recognise a Hakea!  This one is - according to the authorities - H. decurrens.
Next up is Coronidium oxylepis lanatum.  This wasn't the best specimen we saw today - and there were quite a few evident - but I had the camera out, pursuing a very uncooperative Hymenopterid, so snapped the flower Towards the end of the loop we came across some Cryptandra amara.  One might say the androecium is certainly cryptic!
Seeing as we have moved into 'white' let us stay there with White Punk. …