Showing posts from June, 2016

A cool morning

We had arranged to go for a family walk in Canberra this morning and even though it was only -4oC we headed off.  As we drove in to Queanbeyan it was still -2.5oC when we got to the road 'works'.  (At least the bogans were present this morning, although opening a thermos seemed to be the main activity.)

On getting to the objective of the walk (the Boundless Playground) it was still very cold, with a good serve of hoar frost on parts of the equipment. Some comments were made about feeling cold so a fleece was transferred across a couple of generations.
Near the playground is the Workers Memorial.  This obviously doesn't apply to anybody involved in the project on Captains Flat Road since they are not dead (the usual requirement for a Memorial) and are rarely observed working.
 The Carillion with a misty Lake to the right.
 More misty Lake.
 Several years ago I was involved in organising a cycle race in which the recumbent riders got bolshy as they didn't have an event. …

Bird-A-Day for January 2016 is done (for me)

As expected my final bird in the Bird-a-day competition starting in January 2016 was Australian Magpie, on June 23.  This meant I had got 8 days further than last year.  As that was also an improvement on the previous year I have 3 observations, which means it is mechanically possible to construct a trendline.  Whether it is sensible to do so is another matter but, with that available EXCEL, enables me to project forward 190 periods (thus ending on 31 December) which shows I will complete the BaD year in 2045!  Something to look forward to!

I should note that on June 24 a Yellow-billed Spoonbill was briefly apparent at Jerrabombera Wetlands so I did an 80km, and 3 hour, round trip to fail to see it.  At least I didn't wimp out of trying.

The pattern I have previously reported of keeping both my index score and my BaD rating a little on the rarer side of last year has continued.  This means that my running average BaD rating was a little higher ....
 ... and my average Index score…

Land of (no) hope and (former) glory.

There are some interesting updates at the foot of this.  (I would have put in a link here but that bit of HTML no longer works in Blogger: apparently ity is a known problem, but their doesn't seem to be a known solution!)

I will start by noting that I used to really like the Pomp and Circumstance March No 1 until I saw Maggie Thatcher singing it after the sinking of the General Belgrano.  Since then it makes me chunder.

How could a country have come to such a stupid decision as to leave Europe?  The following graphics come from the Guardian website.

The map says it all, with yellow being sensible and blue being Nigel Farage's preference.  Cornwall is grey as they haven't decided yet - probably still looking for the 'secession' option.

Why is this so?  Again the Guardian is helpful.

The first two graphs show opposite trends - which is fortunate as they cover opposite ends of the educational spectrum.

 In looking at the second of those graphs you may recall The Donald…

A couple of observations about the Australian elections

The first is the current market for Eden-Monaro (our electorate) from Sportsbet.
Noting that when they first fielded, both candidates for the 2 biggies were at $1.87, I reckon a few folk have punted their superannuation funds on Mike Kelly.

However I am conscious that there is still over a week to go!

My second obsevation is that our landline rang this evening as I was watching the TV news.  I expected this to be someone with a South Asian accent trying to sell me an investment (unlikely to have a better payout than Sportsbet) or someone with a South Asian accent trying to get me to give them access to my computer.  In fact it was worse: the call began "Hello I'm Julie Bishop and I want to ....".  I guess she didn't want to offer investments or fix my computer but as I'd hung up I will never know.

However, if I had been thinking about voting for the Liberal candidate - and the odds on that are worse than those offered above by Sportsbet for the Animal Justice Pa…

A morning in the life

Sorry about the generic title but this post covers a few things that mainly happened before noon.

The first of these was going for our usual dog walk and noticing the sun rising behind clouds giving a nice effect.  The reflection in our neighbour's dam was also quite scenic.
 As we were returning, about 400m from Captains Flat Rd, Frances noticed these Amanita muscaria growing near some pines.  They are the first I have noticed this year, although the timing is about normal.  Presumably good rain and somewhat warmer weather has induced fruiting.
Rain has also left this pool of water near a new driveway.  It covers the concept of a 'witch pool' rather well, although I suspect no-one, witch or otherwise, would like to be dunked in water with the apparent temperature today.  Very strong winds so it felt very cold, even though the actual temperature wasn't that low.
The wind largely left people's placard stands erect, although the Liberals did give up on keeping their …

An aftermath

We seemed to pick up 24mm of rain from the storm that arrived yesterday.  As the media reports have said, everywhere was sodden from the big low pressure system 2 weeks ago so there has been lots of run off.

That of course leads to mist, as seen here behind our big Yellow Box, with the sun trying to break through.
The house dam is a complete brimmer with water still running in one end and out the other.  Note the little blob in the bottom centre.
That is the knob on the hilt of the sword embedded in the pond.  Three weeks ago about 90cm of blade was also visible.
At the top of the block the view towards Balcombe Hill was very picturesque.  This also shows the water in our top dam, which is in fact over full ...
 ... as evidenced by the run off into Canyon Creek.
 That Creek was also getting plenty of liquid running down from Taliesin Station.
 Here is the flow through the Canyon (OK, at 3m deep x 5m wide x 50m long "canyon" is a bit of an exaggeration).
 Whiskers Creek seems…

Is technology a good thing?

Lets begin with a definition.. offers a 5-part definition of which I think
5. the sum of the ways in which social groups provide themselves with the material
objects of their civilization. is a pretty relevant summary of what I am on about in this post.  It has arisen as we have had a couple of interfaces with technology recently.  In both cases the outcome has, I think at this stage, been positive but some fraughtedness has been evident along the way.
Mobile Phones The first of these related to a venerable mobile phone which had got to the stage that it would just about only hold a charge while connected to a mains supply.  There seemed no point in getting a new battery - if one was available - as it would likely cost as much as a new phone.  So we went to get a cheap new phone from the Good Guys to use the SIM card from her old phone and thus keep her very cost-efficient Virgin plan.  It seemed that a ZTE Blade 2 was the go, so the plastic was flashed and we got a pho…

Awaiting the next downpour

Today (19 June) was forecast to be damp again.  I'll note in passing that in the Carwoola area this month has already achieved the most rain recorded since community recording began in 1983!

I was getting fed up with sitting indoors waiting for it to start so thought I'd go for a stroll up the block to see if I could find some fungus for Frances to draw.  When I got back near the house I noticed spots on the rather full dam, and on getting to my computer found a half full radar.
I think that counts as just in time!

No Agaric or Bolete fungi were found, in a walk of about 2km.  Not even Omphalina chromacea, although that may have refused to fruit in protest about the forces of evil - you doremember taxonomists don't you - apparently renaming it to the genus Lichenomphalia!  However right at the start I did find some paint fungus on a fallen log.
 On the homeward leg I noticed that a stringybark had self-bonsaied.  Memo to self: that needs a little pruning.
Noticing the fung…

COG checks the Infrastructure and McMansions of Molonglo

18 members and guests gathered at the North Weston Ponds and sorted ourselves into a small number of cars for the short drive to Edgeworth Pond to start the walk.  It was still cool, but bright sunshine and no wind made for pleasant walking conditions.
Crossing the street to look at the ponds a few Coots and Australasian Grebes were seen on the water before attention was grabbed by a flock of birds feeding on a grassed area.   While the birds were rather nervous it was concluded that there were at least 12 Australasian Pipits (Bird of the Day - finally), 8 Flame Robins and 15 White-fronted Chats in the flock.  A number of Superb Fairy-wrens and 2 Golden-headed Cisticolas were foraging in flax plants a little further on.
As we crossed the wall at the end of the pond a further group of 10 Flame Robins were seen perched on a fence.  We walked out to a lookout over the Molonglo Valley ...  ... watching 2 immature Black-shouldered Kites flying between perches.   While the adult birds are …