Showing posts from January, 2012

Happy Anniversary, house

I realised today that it was just exactly 5 years ago that we first walked in the door as owners of the property.  What a good idea that was!  Here, more or less as a traditional diary-blog, are a few notes and photos of the day.

I shall begin with some pretties from the garden.  The first are some oriental lilies with a white one in the foreground and the much taller maroon ones to the back.
 These pineapple lilies used to lurk in the background.  Frances has put them in pots and they can now be appreciated.
These are known as N@ked L@dies (that should fool profanity filters, assuming they are as stupid as most security mechanisms).
Staying around the house, the small dog joined us about 3.5 years ago.  Here she is, sitting on my lap scanning the lawn for wabbits.
Looking out the window myself I spotted some Striated Thornbills having a bath.  The following are not great images but all amuse me for one reason or another.  The first shows them poised on the perch ...
 .. this is more …

Things loose in the top paddock

A few posts back I mentioned the insects gathered on some Bursaria growing fairly close to our house.  On a walk with the small dog I noticed another spinney of this prickly species.

A little later in the day I took myself and the small dog back there to see what was happening  in the way of photographic subjects in the upper part of the block.  As it was somewhat warm (30C) the small dog wimped after a short while so I got some extra exercise doing the trip twice.

Here are the images I captured that seem to be worthwhile bothering you with.  I will offer a viewer advisory - especially for folk who are little in the arachnophobic direction - that a couple of the images below show a close up of a spider doing business with a fiddle beetle.  The beetle still alive so there is no need for an advisory about dead things.

First is a Flower Scarab (Polystigma punctata).  It was unusual to find one of these, on Bursaria, to stay still long enough to be photographed.
 Next we have a Fiddle Bee…

Rainfall (or lack thereof)

At the start of this month (January 2012) I checked the 28 Day rainfall forecast on the Elders site.   The image it generated was very similar to this one (from 27 January):
However when my friend Denis sought my view about rainfall a bit east of here I had to answer that I really didn't know since it seemed that we has had no rain when it has bucketted down in Canberra and that they had had none when we had accumulated the pittance that has arrived since Christmas.  I tried to get some further information about the area he was particularly interested in from the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) climate data pages but all the small stations seem to report at the end of the month rather than daily.  (That is my interpretation of the lack of information for January 2012 for all except the automatic stations.)

In separate conversations with other folk a common comment is that the forecasters keep talking about showers and storms but they have never arrived.  So I thought I would get a bit…

A plague on your Yellow Box!

I have mentioned the infestations of Plague Soldier Beetles (Chauliognathus lugubris) in a few posts, most recently this one.  This afternoon I noticed the heavy blossom load on the huge ( perhaps 30m high, estimated to be >200 years old) Yellow Box (Eucalyptus meliodora) tree in our lawn.
Then my eye strayed down to the branches above the daisies featured in the earlier post.  Hooley, and also Dooley!  There were masses of beetles up there.
This next shot gives a closer view of one of the dark masses of beetles.
I am intrigued that thus far there doesn't seemed to be anything predating the beetles.  Perhaps they are so widespread that birds and other insects cannot keep up with the work?  It seems that at present the beetles are restricted to the lower levels of the tree, perhaps up to 10m above the ground.

By 30 January the number of beetles  in the tree had declined somewhat but there were still masses on the daisies and lawn underneath the tree.  In the middle of the aftern…

ANPS ties up to a Bollard

Today the ANPS crew went to Mt Bollard in Tallaganda National Park.  (This followed a reconnaissance trip almost exactly a year ago.)  A large group (27) rolled up and a surprisingly large proportion (10 of us) ascended the steep bit at the end.  Obviously the peak flowering season was over but some nice flowers and especially orchids were found.  There were lots of other interesting things as well but we'll deal with general habitat and plants first.

The first couple of kms from the cars seemed to be a bit undulating on the way in, but after the ascent of the peak seemed quite flat on the way back.  In both directions the main tree cover is Eucalyptus dives.
That habitat is shown in the background to "father of the day" - OK the typo is deliberate (for once)  - left behind by a Superb Lyrebird.

On reaching the base of the Mountain itself the track turned skywards through much larger trees (Eucalyptus fastigata, E. radiata and E. dalrympleana) with little unders…