Friday, November 3, 2006, 11:41 AMIt was pleasing to know it can still rain after not having a fall for well over a month. With the lunchtime Dust Storm & accompaning 5 spots I was beginning to think we were to be denied anything at all.
With the severe drought conditions of late most of course were hoping for a substantial amount to at least fill some grain of late sown crops in a landscape now sadly consisting mostly of all types that have died. To little to late as the saying goes with just 7mm around the district
At this time of year with rain at night the Giant Pobblebonk Frog will come out from underground to rejoice in the wet. I set forth in light drizzle under my big umbrella with torch in hand to see if I could find one of these amazing frogs. After much looking about I was finally rewarded to find a "Bull Frog" which is the local term. Closing in on this one quietly sitting there in the rain one can not help but wonder how these frogs can survive such long dry spells. They mostly burrow along creek banks, or near dam banks but can be found well away from any water source often down beside fence posts. Males can be heard calling with a deep "plunk" or "thud" from Aug through to Dec then again in Mar after the summer.
Away in the darkness of the field came the bleating of a sheep & as I am expecting twins to be born from the last of my White Dorper ewes, me first thougt was it is her in the pains of labour. A hurried investigation revealed all was well however, it was Dolly (she has a lamb) who was making this baaing. She for some reason baas to me both from afar & near not so the others. Dolly can be seen in the centre of the photograph & I think she even has her mouth open.
On return the Giant Pobblebonk was gone, not frightened by my earlier flash which would be taken for lightning but I expect from the sound of Dolly....No place for a frog to be amidst the trampling of feet.
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Thursday, November 2, 2006, 01:49 PMIf ever there is a sentence uttered by someone that gives you an instant sense of fright over the summer months it is this one. Or worse still on most occassions one will be caught completely by surprise when you come around a corner or look down & there it is, right there on the ground in front of you like it has been there all the time.
During one summer not so long ago we had the added excitement of having one of these Brown Snakes get into the house. We determined that it must have been in the garage at a time when Jen the wren went out through there from the laundry to garden. This snake then got up the step into the laundry remaining there untill the next day when it went on into the family room, possibly looking for a way back outside. Mo found it under the dining table with much barking to my great surprise....Luckily for him the floor was a slippery tiled surface so this snake whilst striking at the little fellow could not get a grip. I had time to grab one of Mo's back legs pulling him to safety silly little bugger, but then again he is an Aussie Terrier & that is what they do.
So having this visitor to our garden in the top photo taken only a few days ago means Mo is confined to barracks unless strictly supervised. As it is a half hr dash to the Vets if he were to show symptoms of being bitten it would be to late
Symptoms in Pets will vary depending on the type of Snake invenomation
Dogs usually get bitten on the nose whilst cats on their paws.
Brown Snake bite symptoms can be presented with trembling, salivation, vomiting, & dilated pupils.
Unsteadiness paralysis & coma can follow.
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Tuesday, October 10, 2006, 08:31 AMI seem to have accumulated quite a few bird photos taken here at myozspot since the Autumn & with not concentrating so much on nature they were crying out for a posting.
Stubble Quail by the hundreds loved this field cover in April
Apostlebirds just love togetherness in May or anytime !
Female Fairy Wren surveys the garden in August
Masked Lapwing Plovers take security near farm houses all year round to live & nest
Red-capped Robin in September was a cheeky little fellow
Flame Robin who liked to keep a safe September distance
Superb Parrot (Endangered) however more sightings this Spring
Oct Emus embrace an early end to Spring
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Tuesday, September 26, 2006, 09:49 PMOuch it must be for Mums pouch when joey is about big enough to begin coming out for little excursions into life on the outside.
This family mob of Eastern Greys that have been seeking shelter here show 2 Mums with joeys at about this stage. These Mothers cannot hop at the speeds of the others naturally but do well in keeping up. This series of photos shows how they will break away from observation to flight & in particular how a younger animal takes the lead creating a wonderful overlap in passing two others. The mob will follow the leader whether this happens to be a young or older member...mostly the very young are speedy enough to be out in front & don't necessarily go the right way to safety. Later it is learnt to follow Mum who knows best.
Later I managed to time a hop over a fence with one of these Mums showing that extended pouch of carrying a larger joey. She will approach the fence & slow, going right up to it before jumping more or less straight up & over. Her juvenile joey from last year is seen following close behind.
Whilst we have lost forever the likes of the strikingly marked Bridled Nailtail Wallaby that ate exclusively native grasses. Eastern Greys are reputed to number more than when European settlement occurred....from, it is said land clearing & pasture improvements, along with more availability of water from farm dams.
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Tuesday, September 19, 2006, 09:18 PMAs a Group Captain with 4 Brigades in this area I am normally informed of a fire outbreak with both a pager alert & mobile phone text message. Last Sunday the 17th though was different, as this one announced itself in the way of what sounded like distant heavy gunfire. A short time later I was to discover this sound was coming from 200 ltr drums exploding in a truck fire over some 1.5k away on the Hwy.
At first the pall of smoke was obscured from view at home by a gumtree so it came as a shock to investigate these sounds then see it going up in a column thick & black. I was the first fire-fighter there but could do little other than to report the situation to Headquarters in Wagga Wagga. The driver of the B Double (twin trailers) semi-trailer had time luckily to un-hitch his 600hp Kenworth Prime-mover & drive away to safety. So far this fire was going well...No one hurt ! As in the last fire at Junee on New Years Day that burnt out 20,000 ha a young 21 year old farmer nearly lost his life with 80% burns. He is only just home now after a long battle towards recovery.
Rural Fire Service units were called from Junee to Wagga Wagga & everywhere it seems in between. A Specialist Hazardous Materials Team was sent in from Wagga Wagga as in the event there are on board chemicals they take over Control Operations of the fire. The manifest revealed our B Double had contents of oils, paint & acid which made the smoke toxic. A good stream of burning liquid was running down the roadside & had to be contained by RFS personnel in the way of ponding...That is by constucting an earthen dam to contain this liquid.
It was not untill some hours later that units could approach safely & subdue the flames with foam to complete the operation. At the height of this fire the pall of smoke could be seen from Wagga Wagga some 24 kilometers away & Police considered evacuating nearby farm residents from the toxic smoke. Fortunately though in what was almost calm conditions this smoke went straight up.
All took time & it was after dark that finaly the burnt out wreckage was removed & the Hwy re-opened to traffic. In many respects this was a good fire as it took place at a time when the grass is still green preventing the fire from getting away into the surrounding farmland. No one was burnt or injured in any way & whilst spectacular as it was the environment at the scene was very well cleaned up. I am led to believe the metal from the burnt out trailers was going to the re-cyclers & presumely the owner would have insurance. Everyone should have gone home happy, maybe even the driver who no longer had a 10 hr Sunday drive to Brisbane.
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