Friday, September 28, 2007

Climate Change and the Federal Election

GetUp!, the Australian grassroots lobbying group, has created an ad parodying the Howard Government's climate change policies and spin. In the space of a couple of days, nearly over $200,000 worth of donations have poured in to get this on air during this weekend's Big Boofy Blokes Kicking a Ball Around grand final.

It's so heartening to see so many people digging into their pockets. The environment is finally becoming a mainstream issue!

Here's the ad:

Saturday, September 15, 2007

"Living in a wildlife park..."

This morning, as Maxine (the ten-year old offspring) and I were in the back garden regarding--and being regarded by--a metre-long goanna (Varanus varius), she said to me, "It's like living in a wildlife park." And she's right. How I love living here!

This goanna was a stunner, as interested in us as we were in it. It can't be too old, since they grow to 2 metres, but it looked like it could have done a great deal of damage with those claws. I have a nasty feeling it likes living around here because of the brush turkey eggs and babies. And the frogs. Ah, life's rich tapestry.

And here are some photos that Martien (the spouse) took when he was walking in Berowra Valley this morning. I think I have photographic competition....

Grevillea buxifolia

Telopea  speciosissima

Huge day in the garden, today. I've created a new bed, fenced it off from the wallabies, and planted all sorts of goodies. Photos soon!

It's all feeling very spring.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Dicksonia antarctica

There are a number of tree ferns in our garden, some of which were already here (mainly Cyathea species), but I've planted one of my favourites, Dicksonia antarctica. It was just a stump when I put it in a couple of weeks ago, but now it's sprouting these beautiful fronds.

Seriously, they are growing around 2 cm a day. Remarkable energy reserves. Just imagine the frenzied mitosis going on in there!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Today, eight Australian rainbow fish (sp. to be advised!) moved in, so now the pond is finally finished.

More photos on my website. The photo above is of the small pond. The big pond is to the right....

Below is an Isopogon, growing next to Steve and Jacqui's pond (see previous post.)

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Steve and Jacqui's Pond, a year on.

Just over a year ago, we helped our friends Steve and Jacqui restore and plant out an old pond in their front garden.

Now, it's beautifully established and home to a range of frog species. See the journey from beginning to end, here.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

The Brush Turkeys Descend

(As opposed to the Bush turkey. To visit Sydney, do you really need all this? "Two 747s, one of which is the celebrated Air Force One; it is bolstered by several transport planes, one of which will carry two helicopters, not to mention more than a dozen vehicles, including two bulletproof Cadillacs for the purposes of motoring with confidence through Sydney streets while an angry mob of high-school truants chucks eggs and chants 'Hey, hey! Ho, ho! George Bush has got to go!'" It adds up to "total greenhouse emissions of 57,886 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents, or to put it another way, the amount produced by 2000 average Australians over the course of a whole year," according to Annabel Crabb in the Sydney Morning Herald. But that's not what this post is about.)

A while ago, I mentioned that Brush Turkeys (Alectura lathami) breed in our area. Well, it looks like they're getting ready to do just that. We've had a few sightings in the last few days, including this, just outside the sunroom window:

It's a little hard from these photos to get a sense of just how big this bird is. But it's around the size of a medium-sized dog. It's around 70 cm long. So we're not talking a mere chook here.

Having just planted my spring/summer crops (tomatoes, potatoes and strawberries), I am hoping my fences are sufficient to keep this gorgeous creature in the right part of the garden....