Showing posts from December, 2017

Rainfall and Whiskers Creek

Starting in 2010 I have recorded the flow in Whiskers Creek on a daily basis.  I began this, thinking that it might be useful in some way to the Waterwatch project which monitors various aspects of water quality in the watercourses of (inter alia) the Queanbeyan and Molonglo River basins.  Each month I send off a report of the daily flow ratings and rainfall and they get added to the information bank.

However, until now I have never tried analysing the data myself.  Given the difficulties I have found in compiling this post that is possibly not surprising!

Cutting to the chase, what the data suggests is that if there is:
a high amount of rain there will be a high number of days with higher flows; ora lot of days of light rain gives a low number of days with higher flows but a high number of days with lower flows That would seem to be somewhere in the vicinity of a statement of the bleeding obvious, but does at least suggest the quality of the data is reasonable!

The monitoring site is …

Wasps potter around

It is quite common to find wasps building their nest around our house.  While they do indeed potter around, on consulting Roger Farrow's ecological guide to the Insects of South-Eastern Australia I find that these are in fact mud-dauber wasps Sceliphron laetum. 
 All the nests seem to start out like the one shown, but some of them seem to have been decorated - if this is the correct word - with additional layers of mud.
 All the nests comprise cells such as this.
 A paralysed caterpillar is placed in each cell, providing food for the wasp larva which develops in there.

4 weather forecasts

I have just looked up 4 weather forecasts for Canberra (or near thereto) the next few days.  I was mainly interested in the likely rainfall. 
Basically pay your money and take a random number!

Unpaid work

In the past the Census only concerned itself with traditional market based employment.  More recently it was widened its scope to include some information on other aspects of employment, notably domestic work and volunteering.  I wouldn't want people to think I'm a stick in the mud so here is a little information about those two aspects of Gazette area activity.
Domestic workThis includes work that the person did without pay, in their own home and in other places, for themselves, their family and other people in the household, in the week prior to Census night.

I can't remember how I answered the Census question (and it was complicated by us being on a camping trip in Queensland at the time) but would be surprised if a two person household (who mainly eat at home) would put in less than 20 hours on these tasks per week.  I'm not sure how much extra time is added by additional people and expect quite a bit would be reduced by eating out (eg lunches at work).  The impact …

Keeping occupied in the Gazette area

The remaining major element of the workforce data from the 2016 Census is the occupation of people in the area.  While "industry" relates to the goods and services produced by an enterprise "occupation" covers the tasks performed by the individuals who work for the enterprise.

I'll start this by comparing Industry and Occupation in the Gazette area.  Its a bit messy and uses abbreviated titles but I hope you can work out what's going on!
Prim indsManuf' + UtilitiesConst Retail W'sale TradeAccom FoodTransp + mediaFinan servsPublic AdminEducn Health Care Arts etc Inad and N/SMan'rs211016245822690121010Prof''als0530063768483576Trades619658678603156Services00001000201427120Clerical381774112878312108Sales0504230900000Oper''rs03160012000003Lab'rers8015080433034 A key point is that most Industries employ people in a range of Occupations.  By and large the distribution of occupations within a group is as expected (eg Retail mainly emp…

COG does the AIS

21 members and guests gathered at a warm, dry and calm AIS car park.  Despite moving into summer mode and gathering at 0830 to avoid the heat it was already 28.5C according to the Jetta's thermometer.  Here is a graph of the 2 days temperatures at Carwoola.
This did not deter our first target species - Superb Parrot - of which 6 were seen before the sign on sheet was completed.  2 of these were recently fledged young, seen being fed by adults.  Others of this species were seen overflying by most of the group at various stages.  Fortunately for our Canadian guests a female posed very clearly in a eucalypt as we returned to the cars.
We proceeded down to the wetland adjacent to Ginninderra drive which was unfortunately devoid of the hoped-for Australasian Bittern. Indeed, the only member of the Family Ardeidae was a good number of Australian White Ibis, mainly exploring the ground outside the tennis courts.  At the wetlands the most significant sightings were dependent young of each…

Feeling the heat

We are currently experiencing a disgusting spell of hot weather.  I am reminded of a couple of lines from the poem "Integrated Adjective" by John O'Grady:
".... drinkin' beer and arguin' an' talkin' of the heat, An' boggin' in the bitumen in the middle of the street; " This post started off "talking'of the heat,"and in particular the heat of December but then wandered off into general issues of maximum and minimum temperatures.  I have discovered that there appear to be a few anomalies in some of the temperatures recorded for Carwoola between 2000 and 2006(ish) but they appear to vary somewhat according to the variable being examined. 

My conclusions thus far are that
there seems to have been a change of an unknown nature to site conditions in the early noughties;in most cases, more recent data appears to correlate well with data for Canberra airport;for the principal use to which the Carwoola series is applied - general inte…

From the sunroom

We are spending quite a bit of time in the sunroom at present as it is out of the direct sun for much of the day.  When it gets really hot we head up to the lounge and turn on the AC!

When I went down this afternoon Frances drew my attention to a Jacky Lizard on a stump in the garden bed.
With a tail that long it has to be a Jacky Lizard!

As is usual for this time of year, and despite the unpleasantness in February, the Red Hot Pokers (Kniphofia sp) are flowering well.  They are (also as usual) attracting Honeyeaters.

Noisy Friarbird
I have included this second shot of a Friarbird because it shows the yellow from the pollen so well. 
 An Eastern Spinebill: as usual this little blighter wouldn't stay still long enough to get a decent photo.
A Red Wattlebird turned up and flaunted its wattles until just before I pointed the camera at it.

progress report n+x

This morning I was up in the top paddock and was pleased to find that the dam up there was completely full.
I was also pleased to see a Long-necked Tortoise swimming about.  I was astonished onreviewing the photo to see a small face peering at me! 
The reason for my presence in the paddock was some guys from Active Tree Services  had come to knock over a dangerous tree.  It took Essential Energy about 4 months to approve the submission they'd put in.

The guys spent a few minutes working out out a plan.  Very wise when a possible outcome of not planning is getting a large Yellow Box falling on you!
A relatively thin rope was pulled up into the tree - arrows mark the rope - and after tightening it was tied to another tree some distance away.
 Sawdust was made.  on the fall side of the tree ....
 ...  and the other side.
 The non-wielder of the Stihl leant on the rope.
 And down came the tree.
 Many hours of harmless fun to come in cutting it up.

Meanwhile back at the ranch our new b…

Weather of 14-15 December

Carwoola has recently been having a heat wave (the maximum today - 15 December - is slated for 28oC so the sequence will break briefly).  Yesterday was interesting in that the day was mainly cloudy which kept the temperatures not too bad although the maximum of 33.6oC was a bit ugly.

Here are the temperature through the day.
I have highlighted 3Pm and 5PM as that is when very brief showers (not enough rain to register on the weather station) occurred, showing up as little dips in the high temperature line.  as soon as the showers passed the temperature went up again.

The midnight temperature of 20.5oC is also notable.

There has been more significant precipitation early on 15 December with 4mm by 06:45.  The coolness and dampness has got the fire danger back to Low/Moderate.