Animal Farm

Once upon a time, yellow box and red gum grassy woodlands stretched from Toowoomba to Victoria (Australia), providing a continuous wildlife corridor 100-150 kilometres in width and 1,500 km in length.  Since colonisation, vast swathes of grassy woodland have been cleared for agriculture.  Now there may be as little as 1-5 percent remaining. most of which has been modified in some way by grazing.  Many birds and animals have become trapped in isolated communities, reducing valuable genetic diversity and leaving them vulnerable to threats of local habitat loss.  It is not surprising then, that yellow box and red gum grassy woodlands have been declared a critically endangered ecological community. Read more

Miracle Garden

In 2003, bush-fires ravaged the old Nil Desperandum homestead.  After the fires, the historic rammed-earth cottage was re-built to the original 1896 design.  Nil Desperandum forms part of the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve (near Canberra).   Amidst the devastation wrought by the fires, a part of a commercial camellia plantation somehow managed to survive.  Surrounded by dense bush on all sides, it truly is a miracle garden. Read more

Not So Creepy Crawly

I would like to thank Frank at Dutch Goes the Photo for his Tuesday word prompt, crawl.  It allows me to post about something near and dear to my heart.  Yes, I know.  Everything is near and dear to my heart, but that can’t be a bad thing surely?  You have probably all seen the news this week about a recent insect study review.  The review found that insect numbers have plummeted, experiencing a 2.5% loss per year.  Now one can argue about the rate of decline, whether it can be applied uniformly across the globe and to all insects, but one thing is clear, our insect population is in trouble. Read more

Camouflage Or Sabotage?

Today I have some clandestine photos to share with you, dear Readers.  Provided on a need-to-know basis.  Nudge, nudge, wink, wink.  The subjects are well camouflaged.

I recently went on a short walk with my son for the purpose of some online activity.  Suddenly I heard the unmistakable sound of a bird of prey.  “What was that?” I exclaimed.  “Oh yeah,” my son said, “two sparrow-hawks nest in those pine trees over there.”  To say I was indignant, Ladies and Gentlemen, was a total understatement.  I demanded to know why this information had been withheld from me.  Was the information top-secret, only to be disclosed to those who ‘need-to-know’?  Well, no.  He just forgot.  Can you really believe that? Read more

Keepsake

In the interests of posting more flower photos and sharing memories, I present to you some rose photos.

I have four lovely rose bushes at my house.  All but one was given to us.  One by our mum/mum-in-law — a treasured possession.  Friends gave us another (Homage to Barbara) when she (the mother-in-law, not the friend) died.  Ever practical, like the woman herself, the flower heads just drop off when they are done.  Barb would have appreciated the joke.  The third rose was also given to us by a friend.  It was one of the roses planted in the Rose Gardens at Old Parliament House (Canberra), but it was culled from the garden to make way for more healthy stock.  Their loss, our gain, don’t you think? Read more

The Changing Seasons – January

January —  the season of abundance.  It can’t help it if it so hot.  Temperature records were broken again during January, including in my little part of the world.  Our town had four consecutive days above 40ºc, a new record.  Due to the bushfire hazard, many of our nature reserves were closed to the public.  So I’ve been housebound and cabin fever has set in.  Hence, this month’s post focuses on the small haven that is my garden. Read more

More Of The Same

This is my response to the Ragtag Daily PromptForecast.  To join in, click on the link.

It seems that this month, there is a new temperature record broken every other day.  Another scorcher is forecast tomorrow.  When the temperature dropped below 35c yesterday, I quickly hightailed it out to the surrounding bush.  Due to my mosaic project and hot weather, I’ve been terribly inactive and was afraid my legs would no longer work, but I can report that they are still in walking order.

helicopter.jpg
My photograph of a helicopter carrying water to a fire near Tidbinbilla (24/01/2019).

This is what happens when water becomes a commodity.  I predict that the former federal water minister will lose his seat at the next election over this debacle.

My thoughts are with Vanda from Our Other Blog:  Two Sisters and Two Points of View, whose town has been evacuated due to the bushfire emergency in Tasmania.

Stay safe and look out for your neighbours.

Regards
Tracy

All Kinds of Awful

The Queensland Resources Council has just announced that Queensland (Australia) coal exports have reached a record high.  The Australian government must be jumping for joy, with the resources sector once again contributing substantial growth in federal revenues (and the election war-chest).  Apparently two thirds of our coal is destined for steel making, while the remainder will be used for power generation.

Maybe it is just sour grapes, but the news does not lighten my current mood or temperature, which can best be described as volcanic.  Why?  Because short-term gains are being put before long-term national interests, and because I am sweltering in my lounge room through yet another extended extreme heatwave.  My phone tells me it is 41º celcius (105º F) outside. Read more

It Is Okay To Stick Your Beak In

In my previous post, I mentioned that my love and I had gone out to the river for a sticky beak.  It soon became apparent that not everyone understood this strange Aussie/Kiwi colloquialism, with a number of readers requiring a translation.  In response, I thought I should provide a general explanation for those too polite to ask for a translation.  Which is completely fitting as the explanation links in so perfectly with today’s post (unintended) about one of our most weird and wonderful mammals, the short-beaked echidna — a real sticky beak. Read more