Sunday, June 30, 2013

Al forgets his head - uh, camera

Well we were out and about again today.

It was raining again so after a slow start we followed our noses and ended up down on the Nymboida River which starts not far from where we live.

The river descends 1,250 metres (4,100 ft) over its 165 kilometres (103 mi) course. We stopped at a section called Platypus Flat, which is a favoured spot for launching kayaks and white-water rafts. Some raft trips follow the gorges for three or four days.

Now for some reason my brain was not working this morning and I left my camera behind :-(
So these couple of shots were taken on my smart phone, which is just not up to the job.

This first piccie is looking upstream from the flat. You can see why this spot is used for launches,
a nice sandy beach and a slow moving pool

This piccie is looking downstream to where the first white-water starts around the bend.

 The eagle eyed among you might notice a little white dot in the water near the gravel bank on the far side of the river.

As I said I left my camera behind so this next piccie is the best I could do with the phone of the mysterious white dot.

It is a platypus!
It seems Platypus Flat is well named, In fact there were two platypus cruising around while we were watching.

Platypus are actually quite common, but they are so shy it is usually really hard to spot them.

These two were actually only the fourth and fifth platypus I have seen in the wild in my whole life!

 A special moment only slightly dampened by the fact my camera was sitting at home.

  So unfortunately there was no chance of shots like this one I got a couple of years ago


Friday, June 28, 2013

Head in the Clouds

Well we have our baby Lu visiting us for a few days. (You may remember that when we moved north from Melbourne she stayed behind moving on campus at her University)

So today we went for a drive instead of working on the cottage.  We headed along the Waterfall Way (one of the local highways) before turning off to drive up to one of the highest places around here - the 1,564 m (5,131 ft) Point Lookout in the New England National Park.

In clear weather you can see around 100km (around 60 miles) right down the Bellinger Valley to the coast.
But as you can see it was raining. So all Lu got to see from the lookout itself was the clouds.

Truth be told of the dozen or so times I have been up there it has probably only been clear twice.

Moist air coming in from the coast is pushed up by the mountains and condenses in to rain.

So much rain that it nurtures a sub-alpine rainforest.

Given the wet and cold we didn't hang around long... but behind this mossy rock
we spied a critter

to be precise she (and I know she is a she) is a female Superb Lyrebird (Menura novaehollandiae).
If you think she has a fancy tail it is nothing on her husbands!
Male Lyrebirds have a tail that is spectacular in its finery but perhaps more amazing they are fantastic mimics copying the sound of any thing from bird-song to the sound of a chainsaw. I once heard one making the sound of a camera shutter and film drive! 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Back on line!

Well finally our new internet modem arrived today.

Then to my dismay it would not connect. :-(

After retrying six or seven times I phoned tech support.

THREE HOURS on the line being shunted from person to person!

Finally it turned out that the modem listed on our account was not the one sent out to us!

But after all that we are online.

Fingers crossed that I will be able to resume more regular posting.

My piccie of the day is a dawn I shot 3 or 4 years ago

Monday, June 24, 2013

Native Violet

My piccie of the day is of a delicate Oz violet

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Full Moon

Well our internet saga continues, after umpteen calls to tech support our ISP have finally agreed to replace our modem.
Hopefully that will solve the problem.

For tonight we have patched through using a mobile phone as a hotspot which kind of works but sooooo slowly.

Speaking of tonight, those of you who have clear skies will notice we have a full moon.
It was gamely trying to break through the clouds down this way...
Hence my piccies of the day, taken off camera tonight

Friday, June 21, 2013

No internet = no WIIW

Well our internet has been down again... and again... and again.

With no explanation yet provided by our service provider.

This means I was unable to post WIIW for I think only the second time since I started posting them :-(

The net is live at the moment so I thought I would post a piccie of a mountain view near here.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Internet Woes and a Cottage Update

It seems that all I ever do lately is grumble about our internet issues.

We seem to have internet connection for about 24 hours, then it goes down again...

Ah well, at least we have more positive things to focus on.

We have 80% finished the cladding on the outside walls of the cottage. So now we are going to turn to the interior.
As you can see the place is a shell at the moment this is the lounge room. The grey sheet is tile underlay for the bathroom floor.

despite the  incompleteness Deb and I are hoping to move in soon.

You see at the moment we are boarding in my Mum and Stan's (my step-father) house down at the front part of the farm. As lovely as it is in many ways, Deb and I are ready for our own space again.

This next piccie is of what will be the bedroom, as you can see there is a way to go!

Thank goodness my new job means I will be able to spend four days a week here soon...

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Rainforest Fungi

My piccie of the day is a rainforest fungi that I took some time ago.
They are delicate bracket fungi growing straight out from the host tree's bark.

I did a bit of contorting to get my camera underneath so I could catch the light shining through from above.
Each was about the size of a 20c piece (like a 10p in England  or a bit bigger than a US quarter).

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Cool, uh warm, lizard

Our internet is back up tonight after about 36 hours off-line. It has been windy, windy, windy so I guess something was damaged somewhere.

Well, there were a few more guesses around the tail in my WIIW.
Kittie, guessed: “Hmm, it's a marsupial of some type . . . kangaroo?”
Unfortunately although Oz is a land of marsupials this creature is from a group that are arguably more dominant Downunder… 50% for being on the right continent.
Linda G tried to build on her 50% with: “Hmm...stingray, maybe?”
I can see why you might guess that given the shape, but although this is a critter that is associated with water it isn’t a fish.
Our closet guess was Susan with: “A skink? Horseshoe crab?”
A marine creature it ain’t, but like a skink it is a lizard so I guess that earns 70%!
SO here is the critter, an Eastern Water Dragon (Physignathus lesueurii).

These guys are common up and down the east coast. This fellow is about average size at about 60cm (2 feet). You will sometimes see males up to about a metre long (39 inches). Usually they hunt small creatures around rivers and up into trees over hanging the banks, when they get a fright they will jump into the water.
I have to say these guys are one of my favourite Oz animals. Further north they are active all year round, normally in sub-tropical Port Macquarie you wouldn’t see these guys in winter. But this fellow has worked out that the central heating of the hotel I stayed at is warm. So he/she hunts moths and other insects that come in to the foyer and hangs out by the inside fish pond!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Cheekiness pays off again

Well tonight I am back home from Port Macquarie having finished the induction for my new job.
Our internet is playing up again (one of downs sides of living in the sticks) so I will keep this comparatively short.
So what about last night’s WIIW? Given the look of the mystery object I put in the misdirection of the boats in the Marina outside the hotel.
Kitty took the bait with a guess of :“It's the bit of rope tying a boat to a dock!”
Nope it is not rope.
Linda echoed with: “I agree with Old Kitty.”
But then Linda got surprisingly close with a throwaway line of: “Either that, or it's the tail of an extremely tense rat.”
You have done it again a 50% score, it is not a rat. But…
It is a tail!
SO does anyone have any guesses as to who this tail might belong?

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

What to do for a WIIW?

Well, it is day two of my 3 day job induction course.

It happens to be at Port Macquarie which is one of the more popular tourist traps on the NSW (New South Wales) coast.

As you can see from this piccie taken out my hotel window this far north in NSW is a sub-tropical climate. For those of you in the USA think about New Orleans in terms of latitude.

So in answer to Marcy's question of a few weeks ago, we don't get a lot of snow. Not even at 3,500 feet where our cottage is. Down the road a bit where it is over 4,000 to 5,000 feet there is snow most winters but it usually only stays on the ground a day or two (at the most).

So on the whole it is much warmer here than it was where we used to live in Victoria. Mountains that high in VIC have a permanent snow cover in winter, and end up being ski resorts which is a whole other story...

Now it is Wednesday, but I left my hard drives with my piccie archive at home so I have had to take an image this evening to use for my What is it Wednesday.

I'm hoping this one will flummox you!

So with out further ado, what on earth do you think this might be?


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Away from home

I am away from home for three days at the moment. I am at a three day induction course for a new job.

For the past few months I have been working in a case management job in a homeless service four days a week.

Quite important work, but not what I wanted to do forever. Most importantly it allowed us to move back up to this area and to begin preparing our cottage to move in.

Well an opportunity has come up for another, more senior, job. It will pay more but only be three days a week.

That is right three days a week.

Which means four days a week to work on the cottage and ultimately when I get that done...
 more time for writing..
and more time for photography.

Now to my piccie of the day this is the 1963 Land-rover that featured in my WIIW a few weeks ago.

It is getting a bit long in the tooth, but still gives sterling service as one of the family farm vehicles.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Not so cute (or arachnaphobes beware)

My piccie of the day is one taken this afternoon.
A "baby" wolf spider, only about an inch long.

Friday, June 7, 2013

A Star is Born?

Well once again no one was very close with this week’s WIIW. 

I honestly thought it was an easy one given the subject matter…
I guess I am just getting too tricky.

Linda G guessed “It's obviously the corner of a recliner upholstered in fake fur. (Hey, I say if you're going to be wrong, do it big!)”

Well in an odd way you are the closest, it is fur! Although definitely not faux!

I guess that earns 20% for the “fur” AND 30% bonus points for being so outrageous, so a total of 50%.

Susan was her usual indomitable self with this statement: “Well then, you suspect WRONG, big boy! Doesn't look easy to ME anyway. Looks like the back of somebody's head. But I like Linda's answer better.”

I guess I just can’t help myself :-) I have to say I like Linda’s answer better too :-)

Kirsten said: “Can I guess swan again?”

Of course you can…
It is the right colour, but as you will see while it is alive it is in a very different genus.

Marcy said “Obviously it's a close up of your finger - or what Linda said :)”

Nope, but I wish Linda’s answer was true!

So here is the answer: Lilli when she was a 7 week old puppy.

Wasn't she cute?

I thought the clue was easy because it looked like fur to me and Lilli has starred in my WIIW several times before.

Of course now she looks more like this,
 she loves that ball

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Red Sky in the Morning...

Dawn this morning was absolutely spectacular.

At the moment I see the dawn almost every morning, but today deserved taking the time to get out the camera. So my piccie of the day was taken today...

WIIW answer tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013


Well our internet service seems to be more or less back to normal. Which in this area is a lot better than an old fashioned dial up connection, but hardly scintilating.

Still, I remember the days of 300 baud modems and bulletin boards way before the internet was dreamed of. So I should not really complain...

Anyway as it is Wednesday and I have found an image I had better post a What is it Wednesday?

By the way I suspect this is an easy one.

So without further ado: What on Earth do you think this is?

Monday, June 3, 2013


My piccie of the day is Cataract Gorge, Launceston, Tasmania

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Internet woes and WIIW

Well our internet service has been down for the past few days.
Our only contact with the WWW has been through our mobile phones.
And mobile coverage is not great out here which means mobile broadband without an external antenna is not fun.
Connection is supposed to be back to normal tomorrow, but I have heard that before.
So down to last week’s WIIW

Once again Al has a win! (not that I am keeping score or anything).
No one was close…

Linda G guessed: “My first thought it that it's the skin of some animal. As to which clue.”
It is alive, but it is not skin…

Kirsten said: “Swan feathers?”
It would be the right colour, except in Oz swans look like this fellow…

While Susan guessed: “A close-up of some genuine faux leather?”
It is a close up but this is not faux anything.

So what is this mysterious object?
A trigger plant flower!