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

Strange Aquatic Creatures

Today’s post will introduce two very strange aquatic creatures found at one of Canberra’s nature reserves — the first, one very odd looking duck, and the second, quite duck-like.

Australia’s musk duck looks half-fish, half duck.  It must be the oddest looking duck I’ve ever come across.  It is so named because it is very smelly, emitting a musky smell from scent glands on its rump.  Musk ducks spend most of their time in the water.  They even sleep on the water.  They can fly, but launching from the water or ground is hard work, so they do so infrequently.  When fleeing predators, they choose a watery escape rather than take to the wing.   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

Bridge Under Troubled Water

This time of year is not meant to be our rainiest season.  Summer in Canberra (Australia) is normally quite dry.  We usually get most of our rain in winter.  But as you know, the climate is changing and Canberra may yet turn out to be a tropical paradise to rival sunny Queensland.  And if sea levels rise significantly, we may even become relatively coastal! Read more

Fry-day

It is warming up in Australia.  Today we had a big fry up on the outskirts of Canberra.  The Pierces Creek Bushfire is believed to have been started from a burnt-out car.  With temperatures in the mid-30s (celcius) and gale force winds, the fire quickly spread and has now burnt out 147 hectares of bush and farmland.  The fire is not yet under control. Read more