Showing posts from January, 2013

ANPS does party

This was a Christmas Party.  Some may say it is closer to Easter than Christmas but they fail 'rithmetic and will therefore be ignored.

The plan for this year's event was proposed by Frances and was to do a shortish walk in Stony Creek Nature Reserve and then retire to Stony Creek Community Hall for lunch.  This had the advantage of being indoors and thus not influenced by the weather.

The plants in the Reserve were definitely influenced by the weather with very few in flower and most of those that did deign to put forward their reproductive apparatus did so in a very weary fashion - thus not earning  themselves a photo.  The one exception was a Blue Devil (Eryngium ovinum) which more into stamen-flaunting than I have previously noticed.
Quite a few insects, at various stages of development were seen.  If I have this correct this first invertebrate image shows ants tending some aphid larvae.
 Roger identified this as an assassin bug and I believe it to be Scipinia arenacea.

Indoor(ish) plants and a beetle

As a result of the hot dry weather native flowers have been few and far between on our property recently.  The Garden flowers have also been a bit keen on giving up the struggle.  However we have been able to keep some container plants (were I to call them pot plants I might attract some attention from NSW's finest).

This bebonia flower is 16cm diameter which I feel is rather fine.
Another, smaller, but more complex Begonia.

This pineapple lily greets people coming to our back door (which is the way everyone enters the house because that is by the driveway)!
 It is possibly unusual to think of insects as pretty, but I reckon this one qualifies.  It was taken by flash on the window of my study one evening.  I suspect it is a longicorn.

The BoM gets it mostly right

In a recent post I followed the non-fulfillment of the official Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) weather forecast for the last week.  For the Saturday - the day after the series of forecasts ended - the forecast mentioned the possibility of Storms and a fall of 10-25mm.

By 1500 there had not been a drop of rain and according to the radar the nearest storm appeared to be about 150km away, and slipping to the South.  References to followers of Onan were heard to pass from my lips.

By 1605 the situation was a little different:

By 1700 it seemed quite likely we were going to get a drop ....
 and by 1815 it looked as though we were going to get rather more than a drop as BoM issued a local SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING.
No rain has fallen at 1815 but the text said the storm would hit Queanbeyan at 1900.  The rain started about 1850 and about 1905 the Heavens opened,
the lightning flashed, the thunder roared and the power went off.  It continued to pour like that for the next 45 minutes.  Our driv…

Summer Mixed feeding flock

In Winter it is quite common to find mixed feeding flocks comprising birds of many species apparently travelling around together.  There seem to be two aspects to this phenomenon:
many eyes find more food; andas one species finds food items not to its liking, they become available to other species with different preferences. This morning at the end of our dog/exercise walk we encountered a Summer Mixed Feeding Flock in the North Eastern corner of the place.  As I had committed a Major Sin (going round the property without binoculars) I had to jog back to get bins and camera.  In the next 10 minutes I observed these birds: Brown-headed Honeyeater2White-naped Honeyeater2Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike4White-winged Triller3Red-browed Finch4Diamond Firetail1Yellow-rumped Thornbill8White-throated Gerygone1Rufous Whistler2Superb Fairy-wren3Dusky Woodswallow8 I am working on a theory that the prolonged dry weather is having a similar effect as Winter, in that food resources are…

ANPS does the Tinderries (part 1)

On 23 January we finally made it to the Tinderries after a delay due to concerns about heat and fire risk the previous week.  It was a top walk (in the sense of being very enjoyable as well as covering the top of the range).  This post covers plants, birds and general topics while the insects use up so many images they have earned their own post.  As this one still ends up with 22 images I shall try to cut down the blather and let you look at some flowers etc.

I was going to say "pretty flowers" but then looked at this first image of the surrounds of Michelago Railway Station where we met for car pooling.  Some contractors were spraying noxious weeds along the railway line  but the fire hazard of this metre high grass appears to be ongoing.
 On the matter of fires, the area we were visiting was obliterated by a huge fire in December 2009.  As shown below much of the bush is regenerating both through germination in the soil and epicormic growth.

On the granite tops, without m…