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Showing posts from March, 2012

A walk up Palerang Rd

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We seem to be getting into a pattern of taking a longer walk mit hund on Saturday afternoons.  Today we went to Palerang Rd in Tallaganda State Forest wheer we hoped to find orchids and colourful fungi.  This is quite close to home and apart from discovering that
one of the bends on the way is extremely corrugated; andI can still apply opposite lock quickly when needed the drive through Hoskinstown and Rossi was enjoyable.

We began by exploring a creekside area where we have previously found Diplodium sp and Spiranthes sp.  Alas the cupboard was bare of orchids.  However these Dianella tasmanica fruit were quite appealing.
Further up the road - and up was certainly the appropriate description - we noticed a large clump of Clematis, justifying its vernacular name of Old-man's Beard.
The overall habitat was very pleasant to walk though on a beautiful Autumn afternoon.
While I regret that it is State Forest and thus these trees are likely to be subject to the tender ministrations of b…

Negative on the ladybird (plus a couple of other things)

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Most of the ladybirds I see around here are yellow to red, with a variable number of black spots on them.  It was thus interesting to find one today with the opposite situation: black with orange spots.
 It appears to match the images of Parapriasus australasiae shown on Brisbane insects.

In an earlier post I showed a strange looking larval insect which Denis Wilson identified as a ladybird larva.  A very similar mini-beast was also present this morning and in this case I will take a punt that it is the offspring of the adult lower down the twig..
Here is a closeup of the larva.
The text on Brisbane insects notes that these ladybirds predate scale insects. Thus they are a Good Thing. If only they predated Cherry Slugs (sawfly larvae)!

I haven't said much about our frogmouths recently.  They are back, and I am finding them more frequently this year than in the past.  Today I didn't find them initially but went looking for some noisy Scarlet Robins.  It emerged the Robins we…

Wanna Wanna Wanna Walk ... Now!

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The first "Wanna" in the title was inspired by a young child in Terry Pratchetts  tome "The Wee Free Men".  The child's dialogue is limited to phrases such as " Wanna sweetie.  Wanna Sweetie now!".   Perhaps the phrase "young child" could be replaced by "spoilt brat"?

So one could express the title of this post as " I wish to go for a walk in Wanna Wanna Nature Reserve, even though the ANPS outing has been called due to rain". 

Whatever I really wanted to go to see if I could find some orchids,  This desire was strengthened when our friend Jean called in to Stony Creek NR (very close to Wanna Wanna) and found several colonies of Diplodium truncatum.  So I put on some wet weather kit and toddled off,

This is a Google Earth image of the Reserve, with my approximate route marked in yellow.  North is pretty much at the top of the image.  The Reserve appears to be about 750m E-W and 400m N-S (amounting to about 30Ha.
This fir…

Passing clouds

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Tonight the small dog needed to go out on the lawn to clear off the wabbits.  After she had done so I glanced up and noticed the wispy clouds.  I normally notice the big lumpy cumulo-nimbus in front of thunderstorms but these seemed really pretty.


 This last shot was particularly appealing as Frances had noticed that one of Sidney Nolan's 'Ned Kelly' series features brown clouds.  Here they are above the hills of Taliesin!
As Joy has commented the Cloud Appreciation Society has many interesting and beautiful pictures of clouds.

Walks near Lake George

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In my post about a drive to Sydney I commented about the apparent increase in water in Lake George.  Today we walked along Lake road (North of Bungendore) to see the water and its wildlife.

Given the lake was effectively dry a couple of years ago the amount of water today was quite striking.  It is still a lot lower than it was in the late 1980s but a lot fuller than when I last went to this area.  The extra water became apparent when passing the dam on Lake Road: this was a great birding spot in the 1990s but has been as dry as a dead dingo for some time.  Here is the situation in March 2012.
Not many birds (although a flock of Double-barred Finches flew in front of the car on the drive out) but a lot of water.

One of the interesting aspects of the water in the lake was the reflections of the windmills.  Although quite sensible according to the laws of physics, it seemed bizarre that the towers could be reflected in the water some kilometres away.  Here are a couple of snaps.

The wat…

Jackass and various parts of a small dog

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This afternoon a Laughing Kookaburra (also known, at least in the past, as a Laughing Jackass) perched in one of the Yellow Box trees on the fringes of our lawn.  I suspect it was looking for grasshoppers or frogs.
A little later on the small dog came into our garage and became extremely interested in what was going on behind a bunch of paintings that are stacked there.  In watching her I spotted an old beer bottle lying on the floor, which explained the rattle which woke me at 5am this morning.  The small dog completely ignored the enticing scent of some garlic bulbs nearby but stuck her nose in and her tail (and a few other bits) out.  There is a rodent under there somewhere!!
"I can't get at it from that side, so lets try the other side of the wardrobe!"
"Nope, I have been looking behind there for 30 minutes and not found anything to play with, so I will go and find himself.  Perhaps there will be a Wascally Wabbit out on the lawn - or at least I can display my &…

A Day trip to Sydney

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We are taking a birding trip soon and Frances had been thinking about getting a new pair of binoculars so that she can see the birds properly!  Unfortunately there is nowhere in Canberra to buy good quality binoculars and it is more or less essential to put one's hands (and eyes) on the product before purchasing.  So a trip to Bintel Sydney seemed to be indicated.

Although quite a long way (about 290km in each direction) it is either quiet country road or 4-lane highway until very close to our destination.  Thus a day trip seems quite feasible.

I checked the RTA site and the track seemed clear(ish)  of road works  - see below- and flooding.  The one possible bit of flooding was a reference to closure of the Currawang Road Bridge near Goulburn.  I didn't know where that was so rang the Council, where the lady I spoke to didn't know either.  She thought the road I was proposing to use (through Tarago) was clear, but suggested I ring the Tarago pub to check!  (I then found Cu…