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Showing posts from June, 2013

"Wrens" get damp

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Today turned out to be mixed bathing day in our red birdbath.  None of the birds are any close relative to the Northern Hemisphere Wrens.

The first three shots are of a White-browed scrubwren.  The first shot interested me in showing the "about to dive pose" with what could be anthropomorphised as an expression of great determination.
 A very average snap, but it does show the white brow and the white patch on the wing very clearly.
This fascinates me because of what it appears to show of the position of the bird.  I had always assumed they jumped in and then splashed water up on to their backs.  Unless this one has remarkable cervical articulation it is lying flat on its back!
Finally a post bath zoom on a Superb Fairy-wren. Iinclude this one because it gives a good look at the red around the eyes.

Tradition: and a New Prize

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Each year that we have been out here I have lit up a pile of weeds (that are too virulent to compost -  eg ivy), prunings and other stuff flammable outdoors but not in an enclosed fire.  That is constrained to Winter months by bush fire risk and is often difficult to pick exactly the right day to avoid strong winds and/or dry periods.

The forecast for 29 June looked brilliant: not long after some good rain, light winds but not actually honking down with rain.  In fact there was slight drizzle in the morning making it even less likely that a frisky ember could light up the Shire.
The pile looked a bit damp, but I was optimistic that once I got it going it would generate enough heat to keep going. At 9:14 that was looking optimistic, even though I had gone for a Baden-Powell Prize by putting some kindling in there as well.  (OK, I had some paper rather than dry leaves to start it off, but I reckon any woodland in the UK would have as much waste paper as dry leaves, so I was just Being F…

Winter garden flowers

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It is coincidental that the day after the Kevster is reincarnated I noticed some nice flowers in our garden.

From memory, these jonquils seem a bit earlier than in the past.

Snowdrops are by definition to be expected in Winter. These red hot pokers (Kniphofia sp.) always seem to flower in Winter.  This is bit contra-indicated because they usually get to about this stage and then meet a minimum of -7C and all die before setting any seed!

Now that the dust has settled ...

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.. from yesterdays momentous events in politics I will pass a few thoughts on the way forward.

First up, for me the disappointment of the day was seeing Rob Oakeshott and Tony Windsor bow out.  They were both brilliant for the past three years.

Moving on to the ALP  it seems quite clear that the Kevster is more popular with the electorate than was Julia Gillard.  While there is probably an element of misogynism underlying this, our local MP - Mike Kelly (ALP) - in a interview with ABC, commented that
"The community was very strongly saying to me in no uncertain terms that they felt it was wrong to have deposed Kevin Rudd in 2010.“People knew exactly where I stood in relation to that and certainly they have demanded that he be returned."I expect to be doing a bit to help Mike get re-elected, including being seen running around the streets of Queanbeyan wearing a "Mike Kelly gets the job done" T-shirt.
The shirt got its first airing this morning and a few people peered…

A short-lived flood here

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The rain in this area (by which I mean within 20km of our house) has not been any where near as bad as reported by Denis from Robertson.  It was raining when we drove from Mallacoota but basically a quite gentle fall.  However shortly after we got back Denis enquired what was going on at Captains Flat as the radar based near there was showing a huge spinning yellow mass (ie very heavy rain).

The next morning there was a band of rain going diagonally across the Tablelands but keeping about 15km East of us.  As a result of this I wasn't surprised to find, when I went out to take Tammy to the vet (annual shots, no drama) that Briars Sharrow Rd was cut by the Molonglo (which has its source upstream from The Flat.  I tried to take a photo on my phone but the light was too poor.

So today I went back .  The road was open but the water was not far below the crossing:
When the water was over the crossing on Tuesday these trees were in the middle of the road!   Well done Palerang Shire for …

A damp drive home.

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So the last day dawned.  Sort of: the cloud and drizzle were so pervasive it might have been better had it stayed dark!
 We packed up and tidied the house and took off just after 9.  It was raining more or less all the time, and with the road to Genoa being rather wet and twisty I moved very moderately.  This also averted a visit from Chunderpooch.  We paused briefly in Eden to acquire some smoked fish from an excellent purveyor of same and had a quick look in the port for any seals.  As usual, there were none we could see,

On to Merimbula, our first addition to the NSW Towns project for this trip.  It was interesting that when I asked if there was a War memorial in the town I was told no, but there is an RSL one.  It seems that to some people 'proper' War Memorials must be administered by the State or Local Government.  I disagree, and rated this an excellent specimen.
 The diggers commemorated also have a nice view out over the harbour and oyster leases.  (An oysterperson wa…

Call this weather?

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Our dog walk this morning was mainly along Karbethong Rd (as opposed to Karbethong Avenue which is our base).  Lots of Correa reflexa, Epacris impressa andAcacia suaveolens.  Also a fair bit of calling by Superb Lyrebirds: one was obviously displaying close to the road but fled – unfortunately, into the bush rather than out across the road - as we approached.  The sign is true: There were a few interesting looking fungi beside the road ....

... and much Acacia terminalis in the bush.
The view across the Inlet was rather attenuated because of low cloud and/or the drizzle emanating from same.  In Melbourne the rule of thumb is “Don't like our weather?  No worries, it'll change in 5 minutes.”   I have a suspicion that may not apply in Mallacoota.  In fact it did: it is important to remember that not all change is for the better – by 2pm it was micturating down, and we were very pleased that we had done our “pleasure walk” in the morning.

At some point I remembered to have a look…