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Re: Nature CHAT

Sat Oct 22, 2016 5:24 pm

There are loads of hoverflies around down south at the moment. Swarms of them from Queenscliff to Goondiwindi. I think it must be all the stagnant water and rotting veg for the larvae.

Re: Nature CHAT

Sat Oct 22, 2016 5:59 pm

Helix wrote:There are loads of hoverflies around down south at the moment. Swarms of them from Queenscliff to Goondiwindi. I think it must be all the stagnant water and rotting veg for the larvae.

Probably is plenty of food, yes.
So blustery I was suprised to get any good pictures at all.

Image

Re: Nature CHAT

Thu Oct 27, 2016 12:02 pm

'ning

Back from hols. Ate too much. Caught up with a lot of people. Stopped in the Parkes on Friday and now have a hail-dimpled car. Should be doing this again next year. Probably not the hail thing, but the rest of it.

Re: Nature CHAT

Fri Oct 28, 2016 10:46 pm

Didn't you only buy it recently? That's very unfortunate :(

Re: Nature CHAT

Sat Oct 29, 2016 6:53 am

Teleost wrote:Didn't you only buy it recently? That's very unfortunate :(

insurance?

Re: Nature CHAT

Sat Oct 29, 2016 3:23 pm

Teleost wrote:Didn't you only buy it recently? That's very unfortunate :(


I bought it new in June last year. That storm was rather bad timing. Still, it's just a car and the damage is cosmetic. (Which doesn't mean that I won't whinge about it, of course!)

roughbarked wrote:insurance?


Yep. I'll have a talk with the insurance people.

Re: Nature CHAT

Sun Oct 30, 2016 6:25 pm

Hiya strangers
:)
I just thought of you, Helix (in particular) while going through old photos here.
Found a series on an adventure playground children at work built for snails.
The base was a stepladder with "bridges" made from all kinds of things all over the place. Little wonder parents arriving at the end of the day would rather tentatively ask their children, "What did you do today?" :)

Like you, I am chatting to insurance people after significant rain damage to my place; they say no probs re eligibility ... now fixing it is the issue ... not many builders in SA have experience with sodden (sodding) mud brick.

A big family gathering here yesterday (AKA working bee) has me ready for summer safety ... including test run of sprinkler system, fine wire mesh stapled around base of sleep out etc ... and whippersnippering madness AND excellent access for the CFS fire truck to refill from my water tank.

I also happened to score meals / leftovers in my freezer! I am happy to live on vegemite sandwiches but a change is always nice :)

The wildflowers this year have been phenomenal and for the first time here I have spotted King Spider Orchids naturally fertilized ... in past years they've had to be hand-pollinated as their pollinator seemed to have moved out of the valley.

There are hundreds of self-sown Callitris (native pines) , and I have so far counted and marked more than 50 self-sown small Hakeas* and a good many eucs too, though the eucs are still less than 10cm tall. I will have to mark them and put in supplementary watering to keep them going.... it has been a tremendous year for the block.

The orchids, handflowers, trigger plants and most especially the Sundews have been especially abundant this year ... in fact, almost everything has been pretty amazing .. right now it is sun orchids (including The Grand Sun Orchid) and everlastings.

This week has seen the return of the Yellow Tailed Black Cockatoos; just the one pair with one young, as per the last two years ... it will be interesting to see how many eventually turn up.


I haven't seen any blue banded bees here in years, so have embarked on plantings of salvia / sage things in the vege patch to try to encourage them and made many little cylindrical "homes for them ... here's hoping.
I am not able to see the many teenytiny native pollinators that I am told must be here; I just keep trying to protect / produce shelter for them.

The creek is now running slower, if not yet slowly ...


My job this week is to clean up all the bird baths and then keep them topped up; the YTBC's tried to drink from a dirty one this week ... not good.
Thank goodness I have the bush to keep me out of mischief
:)

That's it ... my Nature Chat news for y'all
I enjoy hearing your doings too, though don't respond much.
I wish you all well
jj





* I would have pulled up well over 200 dead, standing Hakeas over the past few years ... quite likely 500, _ute loads_ all the same age and which had germinated after a bush fire over 20 years ago).
The new ones (first time they have germinated and reached this height of around 20cm ) are very welcome. Daughter has propagated well over a 100 over that time and helped me plant them, so it feels as if the block is regaining some of its old diversity.

Re: Nature CHAT

Mon Oct 31, 2016 1:18 am

It has been a good year for native plant germination. Your block must look beautiful jj. :) Clearing out the dead hakeas should open it up for new colonists. Hakea are slow growing though. I've had Eucalypts reach 20 metres while Hakea haven't reached one metre.
Blue banded bees particularly love the mint family, in particular Basil attracts them. It is yet another reason to plant basil with your tomatoes.
How bad is the damage to your house?

Re: Nature CHAT

Tue Nov 08, 2016 7:56 pm

A beautiful day here ... typical of what Spring OUGHT TO BE!
:)
Am glad for a few reasons ... but mostly coz it lifts my spirits.
It was also useful for getting the roof leaks sealed properly, which also is good for my spirits.

The insurance engineering person says the damage is minor, but that's from a person who is accustomed to seeing places washed away or roofs blown off I suspect.

I also suspect he isn't familiar with how tricky mud brick is to repair, but we'll see.
It's cornices etc replaced), then plasterer and then painting.

On the plants front I have discovered a new plant here ... or at least a new variant on a common one ... hypochromic is the word of the moment.
A plant with no colour in it but white; what was once labeled albino, apparently.

This is the customary colouring
https://www.flickr.com/photos/justjjoke ... ateposted/
and this is the new one (to me)
https://www.flickr.com/photos/justjjoke ... otostream/

My weeding these days consists of spraying ... much as I'd prefer to pull them up, the task is just too great.

Seem to have been on the go with lots of people around nearly all the time .... has me looking forward to being away again, especially knowing the kids have lots of end of year commitments that will mean lots of babysitting.
otoh hand I know how lucky I am to be part of things AND to be able to get away when I must.

This is a current project ... watching and waiting for seed on the one plant known to cousin farmer.
:)

https://www.flickr.com/photos/justjjoke/21925400856/

Re: Nature CHAT

Thu Nov 10, 2016 4:10 pm

This is not nature of course, but if any of you are interested this is a great read on the US Electoral College system.

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2720 ... al-lottery

And yes, it is by THAT James Michener.
I've had the paperback since it came out and cannot recommend it highly enough ... easy to read and grasp the EC workings.
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2720 ... al-lottery

"In this eye-opening nonfiction account, world-renowned author James A. Michener details the reckless gamble U.S. voters make every four years: trusting the electoral college.

In 1968, Michener served as a presidential elector in Pennsylvania.

What he witnessed that fall disturbed him so much that he felt compelled to expose the very real potential in this system for a grave injustice with history-altering consequences.

Incorporating the wide-ranging insight and universal compassion of Michener’s bestselling novels, Presidential Lottery is essential reading for every American concerned about the ever-growing rift between the people and the political process.

Praise for Presidential Lottery

“Clear, concise, and sensible . . . a thoughtful book on how Americans choose their President.”—The New York Times

“An urgent appeal.”—Kirkus Reviews (less)

Re: Nature CHAT

Sat Nov 12, 2016 2:06 pm

I hope the repairs go smoothly, jj! Interesting to read about your block and the unusual colour morph. Had great fun tramping around the burnt sclerophyll N of Melb, looking at all the new growth popping up: peas of all sorts and early nancys and sundews...

Hot and dry here and the river valley is full of smoke from a fire somewhere. It's been smoky for four days now, so I don't think this is from a burn off.

The good thing about the dry weather is that more species visit the baths; even the usual visitors are less secretive about their ablutions. Am having to fill the bird baths 3 - 4 times a day.

Hopefully, we'll get a couple of days of storms and everything will return to normal. (Whatever that is.)

Re: Nature CHAT

Sat Nov 12, 2016 9:32 pm

Helix wrote:I hope the repairs go smoothly, jj! Interesting to read about your block and the unusual colour morph. Had great fun tramping around the burnt sclerophyll N of Melb, looking at all the new growth popping up: peas of all sorts and early nancys and sundews...

Hot and dry here and the river valley is full of smoke from a fire somewhere. It's been smoky for four days now, so I don't think this is from a burn off.

The good thing about the dry weather is that more species visit the baths; even the usual visitors are less secretive about their ablutions. Am having to fill the bird baths 3 - 4 times a day.

Hopefully, we'll get a couple of days of storms and everything will return to normal. (Whatever that is.)

In the dry country often the only places you see birds are at the pools of water, if there are any.

Re: Nature CHAT

Wed Nov 23, 2016 7:21 am

And while I am here ... hello to you two.
The major work (ie sealing the leaks) is done and after a couple of heavy showers everything seems fixed as promised (30 minutes work).

ON the block front; yellow tailed black cockatoos are back, but people are still cutting down the big old pine trees, so that's making it hard.

With so much bush burned in fires a couple of years ago their food sources are stretched to the limit.
The orchids are finished and the heath and trigger plants are flowering ... seed collecting and distributing is underway.

Spraying is an ongoing business, halted by a couple of days of fine rain (no complaints here).

Am hoping to get to see rare grevillea near whyalla this w/e but will depend on waking up raring to go!

I decided to hand pollinate the "albino" orchid ... might as well have some seeds ... or give it a chance, even though it won't produce white plants.
Every one helps.

On the astounding news front, have had an enquiry of the "Please let us know first if you ever decide to sell this place" from someone who's known it even longer than I have!
I certainly will ... their interest is a great relief to know of.
Cheers to you all.

Re: Nature CHAT

Thu Nov 24, 2016 8:01 am

That's great news jj.
The hardest part about doing all the work is worrying about who will look after it when you have gone.

Re: Nature CHAT

Sun Nov 27, 2016 8:33 pm

jj....one of those damned books followed me home from the Skeptics conference. It could have been several, but I was strong. I really think it is cruel to have a stall from Embiggen books in the foyer. Anyway, I bought Lynne Kelly's latest tome on memory techniques used by oral tradition societies. She's just got a a PhD, and the book is basically her thesis.

https://www.allenandunwin.com/browse/bo ... 1760291327

Re: Nature CHAT

Sun Nov 27, 2016 10:27 pm

hehe I know the affliction well
:)

I've just checked and it is available as an ebook, AND an audiobook , so can have it and will look forward to reading and hearing it.
I've become super strict aboutanything new; considering next move before I "have to".

Have just finished listening to Len Beadell ... can't help "hearing" the indigenous back stories though.

Was it you who recommended Bruce Pascoe long ago?
I think so.
Am working my way through his ... definitely a labour of love.
Comparison of his Shark with Colin Thiele's Sea Caves perfectly ( and "wordlessly" ?) encapsulates cultural differences in our stories.

So many of western yarns stereotypical goodies and baddies, not a lot of complexities ... cant accuse Pascoe of that.

EDIT: that's a careless generalisation, isn't it, especially from someone who loves so many complex "western" yarns. Oh well, cant explain, but do "get" the different world view.


Am home early from trip away ... a lurgy just wont let go and has tripped my asthma switch after years of being free of it and felt the need to get home ...
Amazing harvesting scenes everywhere ... love it, notwithstanding the dust.

Re: Nature CHAT

Mon Nov 28, 2016 1:17 pm

Yes jj. I recommended Bruce Pascoe. Although I've only read his non fiction, none of his fiction.

Re: Nature CHAT

Tue Nov 29, 2016 8:13 am

Yes, that was where I started too.
In the last couple of years I have been hunting for reading for H.
His interest levels are up with his age, but his reading ability makes it a struggle.
He liked colin Thiele's yarns, so I thought I'd check Pascoe's and was delighted at how "accessible" they were.
Sufficiently interesting to hold H to the end
:)

And some good natural world news, on the face of it at least (though where the mercury is going is likely to prove interesting.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/carl-pope ... 17668.html

Re: Nature CHAT

Thu Dec 08, 2016 7:41 am

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-12-08/t ... nt/8100126

Re: Nature CHAT

Wed Jan 04, 2017 2:20 pm

I think I've done something good. One of my patients, who is now an elderly lady, was talking to me about native orchids. My patients know quite a lot about me. She told me that she had her father's collection of pressed orchids and his field notes. She was getting concerned about what to do with them, as her family have not expressed any interest. These specimens must have been collected in the 1930s and 1940s in mid Western Victoria. She mentioned that he used to send specimens to the Herbarium in Melbourne. After some discussion, I asked her if I could pass on her name and phone number to an acquaintance of mine who is heavily involved in SGAP (sorry, I think it has another name now) as I thought K might know what to do.

Today in the street Joyce hoyed me up and told me she had been contacted and someone was going to visit her and look at the collection. They were Quite Interested.

:)

Re: Nature CHAT

Wed Jan 04, 2017 9:16 pm

I'd say you did good for sure.

:)

Re: Nature CHAT

Thu Jan 05, 2017 7:28 am

*jj* wrote:I'd say you did good for sure.

:)

hear hear.

Re: Nature CHAT

Thu Jan 05, 2017 8:16 am

Image Spider season is well underway.

Re: Nature CHAT

Fri Jan 06, 2017 7:37 pm

Found on one of my light sensors.
Neat house builder, though nobody is home.

Image

Re: Nature CHAT

Thu May 25, 2017 8:41 pm

*Sticks nose in*

Image


*slinks out*

Re: Nature CHAT

Sat May 27, 2017 3:21 pm

Been to tumbleweed?

Re: Nature CHAT

Tue Aug 01, 2017 7:15 pm

Sorry I just went to make a cup of tea.
So what happens in Tumbleweed then, Roughie?

Re: Nature CHAT

Wed Aug 16, 2017 9:53 pm

Peak Warming Man wrote:Sorry I just went to make a cup of tea.
So what happens in Tumbleweed then, Roughie?


Maireana aphylla dries up and goes walkabout, often enough.
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