Showing posts from December, 2016

Back to the movies

We have decided that we'll go to the movies once a month this year (2017).  Today was declared an honorary member of 2017 as we made our first visit to a cinema for about 20 years.

We gave Palace Electric our custom.  This is next door to Hotel Hotel in Acton, which had some interesting architecture.

 The cinema is interesting with about 8 screens and each theatre holding about 100 punters.  It was very comfortable although I was initially worried about the albedo factor of the guy in front.
The movie of choice was La La Land: apparently a reference to the dreamlike nature of life in LA.  Its interesting that in Kiswahili "lala" means "sleep".

Our overall rating of the movie was quite interesting.   Not a 10, but well above 5 - perhaps 7?  Without giving away the plot, I was expecting a musical with lots of dancing and singing, which is certainly where it starts off and continues for about 30 minutes.  Plot and character development then get in the way - althou…

Mainly stuff around the house and block

This extends the snaps I put on my facebook page today.  It's a few things that interested me around our house.  The first few photos are of Frances' fuchsias that are beginning to flower on the deck.  Its surprising (not) how much better they are going in the absence of a dose of glyphosate.

In the strip below the deck is a honeysuckle, which is a Bad Invasive Weed up the block but quite attractive when constrained.
The bed outside our sun-room has a variety of tubular flowers in it, which do a good job of feeding Eastern Spinebills and other honeyeaters.
 Penstemons help out with this task.
 As I was going out this morning a full size Gippsland Water Dragon was basking above the Creek.
I find these beasts quite attractive, and very interesting when seen in close-up.
Later in the day I had a sweep round the currants ...
 .. and berries.
The strawberries are taking a break at the moment but the Boysenberries and Loganberries are picking up the slack.  The raspberries are produ…

Last Zoo for 2016

A few things lined up today.  Ingrid and Alex wanted to go to the movies so we freed them up by taking Arabella to the Zoo.  It is also just before herself:
turns 4 and thus changes from free-list to an astonishing $23 per visit!  andbecomes part of the education industry pretty much full time. Wildlife viewing began in the rather full main car park.  There were a lot of pelicans there - not the attractive, white fish-eating birds, but the folk who got their driving licences by clipping a coupon on a Weeties packet.  The Jetta's horn got a bit of work.

Not only was the main park full but so was a fair bit of the overflow park where we went.  So there were lots of people in the facility.  It was good to see that several of the exhibits had misters going to cool the animals down.  In some other cases punters were commenting how the poor animals were feeling the heat - for example hyenas.  Which naturally occur in places like the Serengeti where today's high of 32oC would be cons…

Birding gets interesting as the year winds down

IMHO birding is usually interesting, but the recent period is perhaps a tad more so than average.

Taste alert: one of the images that follows is a bit gruesome.  That comes with the territory when looking at raptors!

My first comment is that I have had to update the comments about Frogmouths in yesterday's post,  All 4 of them are now present!

I am sure that we have had Collared Sparrowhawks nesting close to our property.  However I have not been able to find the nest, nor see the adult feeding the young.  Today an adult was calling a lot down by the Creek and, apart from a couple of flights between trees when I first got there, was very obliging in posing.
From the size I am confident it was a female.  Each time she landed with the prey she'd call loudly, but no-one answered.
Here is the prey - you were warned - and I think its avian.  If pushed I'd rate it as a headless chook, but it isn't running around.
Later in the day I went to see what was going on in some of the…

An excellent Christmas (Brianmas?) Day

The day began well with the return of Tawny Frogmouths.
I initially thought this was Dad and the 2 chicks,  However on Boxing Day they adopted a slightly different position which led me to conclude it was both adults and a single chick.  Given that one of the chicks was a complete Gumby in leaving the nest, it is not surprising it had trouble dealing with a continuing existence.  While not resiling from the Gumby call, while collecting the washing today I found all 4 of them.  Mum was perched on another branch (actually a bit of fallen timber) somewhat lower down and I hadn't spotted her in the first check!  Really good news.

Our first engagement for the day was visiting Ingrid, Alex and Arabella.  Arabella is very keen on drawing things so we had taken along lotsa equipment for her.

 I must buy some equity in a wrapping paper manufacturer!
 I can't remember what Frances was being painted as ...
 .. but know I was a leopard!
 In the evening we went to our friends - Rob, Carol …