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Showing posts from June, 2012

MURRUMBIDGEE RIVER WOMBATS #2

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A short video showing the results of five days watching over a wombat burrow entrance on the banks of the Murrumbidgee River near Canberra. Once again I am learning with the camera position. This time I think I overcompensated for last time and set the camera angle too low. If I can organise half way next time I think I will be on the money.
Only one feral fox showed itself this time however he was photogenic enough to stop for a portrait picture as he slid through. The wombats weren't as obliging however, being very active, but not quite in the right spot. Regardless of this I think the camera captured two wombats mating beneath the camera but just out of frame. They make several brief appearances in frame and at one stage the large wombat rolls over in front of the camera. Perhaps they were just being playful though.
The video starts slow as I left in clips of what could have been mating rituals of some type...

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CANBERRA PANTHEON

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I had read this article before and couldn't find it again to add it to the history collection until now. What I found interesting, in what is a very short snippet, were the dreams of King O'Malley. I find him to be a very interesting man. He had a grand vision for the new Canberra and as this article references and adding to his designs he also had a vision for a Pantheon in the capital of the calibre of Rome.

King O'Mally as I have discovered often expounded his visions for Canberra as if he truly was the 'king'...

The Register - Monday 10 July 1916

National Library of AustraliaImage - wikipedia
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MURRUMBIDGEE RIVER WOMBATS

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This was an experiment in capturing wombats on camera. Finding wombat burrows on the Murrumbidgee is pretty easy but finding one with something to position a camera on is quite a different matter. I finally found a wombat burrow with a tree located just in front of a burrow entrance.
I also discovered the limitations of a set of batteries which I hadn't replaced in over 3 weeks continuous use. As the batteries drained (and cold nights contributed to the battery drain) the camera started taking very short clips (1 second) which made many of the 50 collected video clips useless.
I also learned that wombats can easily move a camera from the position you set it when you place a camera so close to the ground. As such many clips showed only the curve of a wombats back or a passing set of whiskers. Out of a corresponding 50 photos though I was surprised at the number of foxes.

I'm not actually sure with the limited evidence shown whether the foxes use the burrow as a den or if the hasty…

THE SUNFOIL PROJECT - NEW PAGE

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I have added a new permanent link to this blog called 'The Sunfoil Project.' It's actually the project of Chris.J Wharton who offers his idea to the Australian community for free. I think it is so worthy I'd like to try and help him promote his idea to my community. The fuel savings achieved with this device equate to massive reductions in green house gases.

Chris has adapted solar technology as a D.I.Y.  aftermarket adition to your motor vehicle which in turn will dramatically reduce your fuel usage and increase available tourque to your car's wheels. It's a project anyone can undertake and materials cost about $350 delivered to your door off Ebay.

This is a link to Chris's WarblesOnALot Youtube Channel where there are many videos relating to the design, construction and science of a DIY Sunfoil.
The SunFoil Project
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LONG GULLY ROAD - WODEN VALLEY

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I met an amazing bloke who has rediscovered a forgotten road...

Research & contributing article by Neville Bleakley...
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Long Gully Road
Long Gully Road was one of the main roads through Woden Valley before its development into the suburbs of today. It went in an easterly direction from the Cooma Road, across the Valley, then across Weston, where it turned north until it finished at the Cotter Road.

Using present-day landmarks, it left the Valley through Section 43 of Chifley (that contains the only section of the original gravel road in existence today). It then went up Waldock St Chifley, across the Parkway, and follows the route of the walkway from Badimara St Waramanga, through Stirling (through the pine trees at the front of the Weston Labor Club) to the corner of Streeton Drive and Darwinia Terrace.  

At that point it had an intersection with the old Kambah Road, whi…

A walk in the Buckenbowra Wilderness

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A trip down to the South Coast mountains today at the invite of friends. I have always wanted to poke around the area because of its proximity to Reidsdale which was originally a family holding. Today was all about Lilly Pillis. My friend studies native bush foods and I never miss the opportunity to go bush walking with him when I can.

The Lilli Pilli are a tree which produce a small, round, fleshy edible fruit which contains two small seeds. There are a few different types. It's bush tucker, an Aboriginal food but was used from the earliest European contact predominantly as a fruit for jam.

Joseph Banks first recorded the tree at Botany Bay. I tried a few and found them very astringent. For want of a better word I would call them 'tart'.


(update 11 pm Email from my knowledgeable friend...)
"The only Lilly Pilly that I can find endemic to the area that has white fruit and the shiny leaves is Acmena hemilampra. Good indoor plant grown from seed."

The tree can grow t…

CANBERRA - ROMANCE AND PANORAMA

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One of the early reports on the proposal for Canberra as the Nation's Capital. Titled Canberra "an ideal site" it paints a glowing picture of Canberra. The article begins with a description of the official viewing of the Canberra area from first sight as they crossed over the top of 'Big Hill as the locals called it...

I thought it an interesting read and another to the collection. A section titled 'Mountain Romance' relates the tale of John Tennant, Canberra's first bushranger, a section 'City of Stone' discusses building materials and compares a future Canberra to Rome and finally a section called 'Automatic water' talking up the Cotter system.

The Mercury - Friday 9 October 1908

National Library of Australia
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MACROPODS OF THE ACT

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Just a quick post...

Since I have started publishing wildlife videos on this blog I have received the odd question about the difference between a kangaroo and a wallaby (easy, size, colour, shape and habits) but by far more questions on what kangaroos and wallabies we have here in the ACT. I suppose I just take them all for granted but I’ll answer here as a reference I can point future questions to.

Before European settlement there were roughly 53 species of macropods (kangaroos, wallabies, tree-kangaroos, pademelons and several others) in Australia. Since then six species have become extinct and a further eleven species are in a dire circumstance.

The ACT is not much different to a lot of Australia. In the ACT we had a number of those species which are now locally extinct with the most recent being the rock wallaby which was hunted relentlessly and last seen in the late 1950’s. So in answer to the question we are left with the Eastern grey kangaroo, red-necked wallaby, swamp wallaby

NAMADGI TRAIL CAMERA

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I had set the camera out at Shanahan's Mountain on Wednesday 30th and collected it today so eleven days out. It always amazes me the consistency of red necked wallaby activity there and this is helping me learn the best heights and angles to place the camera. Its been a hit and miss affair so far.

This time around though seems to be getting close even though when I set the camera this time I thought the angle downward was too severe plus there is a play-off in capturing pictures first, then followed by video in the delay in-between each action. This time was set for 2 photos and 20 seconds of video.

Regardless the area is very rich in wallaby life and conspicuously absent of feral activity. Even the animal trails in the area show the obvious absence of pigs and I have not captured one fox or dog on camera.

I'm calling these little videos from Shanahan's the secret life of wallabies...


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EXTINCT BETTONG RETURNED TO THE CANBERRA BUSH

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Update 4/6/12
From the ACT Government:
The ACT Government has today called for information from the public after at least 30 sections of the predator-proof fence at Mulligans Flat Sanctuary were cut open last night. An inspection is currently taking place to determine the full extent of damage and repair works are under way...
Full Media Release

Really exciting environmental work is happening at Mulligan's Flat enclosed nature reserve in Canberra's north. The ACT Government is reintroducing the Eastern bettong to the territory where it has been locally extinct for over a century.

Last year a number of bettongs were re-introduced into an enclosure in Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve to form a breeding colony and etablish a backup colony for the next stage of the project. In recent days 24 more bettongs were brought from Tasmania (The animals last wild refuge) with some going to Tidbinbilla and the rest taken to the Mulligan's Flat box-gum woodlands sanctuary in what is described as …