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Showing posts from May, 2018

Seen in Woden

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On our trip West I reported how we got dinged by a rock from a truck (I think somewhere outside Wentworth).  Today I took it to Aussie Windscreens to get the glass replaced.  They charge about half the price of most insurance repairers and (more importantly) can do the job within 24 hours rather than having to wait a week to be fitted in.

I was able to drop the car off and walk to the BBQ Stakes on the other side of Hindmarsh Drive.  As I had plenty of spare time I did a bird walk around part of Lyons.  A pleasant walk apart from these idiot tradies parking their truck across the sidewalk
 Although it is the second-last day of astronomic Autumn there was still a little colour around.  Both leaves ... 
 ... and berries.
 While I waited for the other runners to urn up this lady turned up.  I think she was speaking Italian, and probably on the horn to a relative in Rome.  Anywhere closer and they wouldn't need a phone to hear her  My goodness she was loud.
 After the run, which I tho…

What are the odds?

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A friend recently commented on Facebook:
My partner and my sister have remarkably similar taste in birthday cards!! One (card!) was bought in Whyalla, the other in Coffs Harbour. What are the odds?! He helpfully included an image of the two identical cards.
In various works by Sir Terry Pratchett, set in the Discworld Universe,  he mentions that the problem with million to one shots is that they always happen.  One book - sorry, can't find the exact reference - a bunch of wizards are trying to set something up so that the odds of it happening are exactly 1,000,000:1.  They keep getting close (eg 999,995:1 or 1,000,005:1) so say things like "Put it in a purple sweater and orange tie."  Eventually they get the million to one ratio and the problem is solved

So my first guess is the odds are 1,000,000 to 1.

I then tried some slightly more rational approaches.

The first of these started by looking through Google, for spots in Whyalla that sold birthday cards.  I came up with W…

More or less random jottings

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This blog has been pretty quiet recently as we have been away in South Australia for a couple of weeks and my doings have been reported on another blog.

We are now back and after spending Sunday recovering from a 13 hour drive I got stuck into a bit of gardening yesterday.
Even though we are in the second worst spell of dry weather since 1993 I decided that the time has come to start doing some rehab on the vegie garden. The first step was dig over a patch used for spuds last season. Of course with spuds having been there last year a few got missed. I'm always happy to find a few more kipflers. I also dug up an amphibian. As I am not a frog-eating surrender-monkey (et c'est un Pobblebonk, pas du simplement 'grenouille') this fine specimen was released into the garden to munch a few more slugs'n'grubs.. Then on the Tuesday morning Frances found this beastie in the bathroom.  She found one in early April as well, when our friend Roger Farrow identified it as a Scutig…

Interesting weather

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There has been much excitement on a Weather Forum of which I am part bout a series of cold fronts and lows that will be affecting SE Australia over the next two or three days.  Thus I have started this post to record the event.

Our overnight minimum by 1015 on 10 may was 4.9o
C which is quite mild.
At present it doesn't appear that we are going to get much rain out of it, the BoM forecast having 5-10mm over the 4 days 10-13 May.  It also seems very unlikely we'll get any snow, although its already falling at Perisher.
Here is the Weatherzone Victoria radar at 0945 on 10 May.  The red arrows show the approximate direction of movement on the current radar.
The discussion of models on the Forum suggests the more productive element of the second front may go further North and whup the Central Tablelands rather than the Southern Tablelands.

The first front delivered 1mm of rain to Carwoola.  Possibly better than nothing!  The temperature plummeted as it passed over between noon and…

Leaf it alone

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It being mid Autumn its surprising we still have leaves on most of the exotic trees.  Some of them do have nice colours at the moment.
Pistachio

 Willows by the Creek.
 A small Maple (regrowing after the fire).

The quick and the dipped

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In 1997 we were touring Europe and checked into a campground near Bled, Slovenia.  The Julian Alps were glorious behind the site but I didn't take a photo as they'd be better in the morning.  The morning was overcast and the mountains socked in.  They remained so for the rest of our stay.  So in our household the "Julian Alps Rule" means don't wait for something better but do it now!

That was very much the case with this morning's sunrise.  Frances mentioned it looked pretty good so I went out and got a couple of quick pix.

 As is so often the case the trees got in the way of the scenery  so I fired up the Pajero to drive up to the road to get a clearer shot.  By the time I got there - perhaps 3 minutes later most of the colour had gone.
By the time I got back to house (another 3 minutes) grey was the only colour avaailable in the clouds!

A new park in Acton

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For the last eternity members of the building trade have stuffed up the shore line to the NW of Commonwealth Avenue bridge.  This was creating a new park.  This is the third go that various Governments have had at this area:

Kate Carnell: Futsal slab (used once according to my memory);Katy Gallagher: pop-up nightclub thingy (not sure of usage but looked atrocious)Andrew Barr: New park The park finally opened last weekend.  Which I find interesting as it didn't get any coverage in the on'line edition of the Canberra Times.  Given the activities of the navvies has stuffed up a significant area for quite a long time I'd have thought the culmination of their efforts would have been worth a few electrons at least. 
As we were in town we went for a stroll there with daughter and the SPs.  The first comment is that it seemed to be getting quite a bit of use from the citizens, which is a major advance on the two previous efforts.  Herewith some snaps.
A Darter seemed to have made i…

Of pots and frogs

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With forecast overnight lows approaching zero, yesterday was the day to shift our more delicate container pots into the potting shed.
For a fair proportion of the Fuchsias Frances had a strategy of putting their daggy plastic pots into good looking ceramic items. That way we don't have to schlep the heavy ceramic items around. In two cases when I lifted the plastic pot out I found a Perons Tree Frog in the bottom of the ceramic pot.

The interesting question is, how did the frog get in there? For the smaller frog - perhaps 50mm long - the plastic pot fitted so tightly I had to grip the rim of the pot with pliers to get it out. There is a hole in the base of the ceramic pot, perhaps 10mm diameter which is a lot smaller than the amphibian.

The larger frog - at least 75mm long - was in a less tight fitting pot but I'd still have thought it would have trouble fitting through the gap.

Presumably they feed off insects and such like that decide to shelter in the pots.

Big Day Birding

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Each year eBird declares a Saturday as the Worldwide Big Day in which their members try to record as many species as possible.  I suspect the date is selected to be as close as possible to peak migration season in the USA, from where most eBird reports emanate.  However the most species on the day typically come from a country in South America (which isn't surprising as those countries typically have the greatest diversity).
In the past two years I have managed to get a couple of "world's biggest flocks".  In one year it was 150 Australian Magpies and the other a similar number of Little Ravens.  So I will be heading for the Plain later in the day.
By 6am AET there were 50 species reported with NZ leading the way with 21 species (again not surprising as it has been daylight there for about 2 hours, while still early evening of Friday in the Eastern US).  India, which can only just have got into the 5th, has 14 species, of which 7 are Owls or Nightjars.   Australia h…