Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Enlarged Cotter Dam January update



As the new Cotter Dam upgrade comes to an end it comes time to pack up the infrastructure used to construct the project. It is also a period for the leaving workers to contemplate their achievement. This is a the latest video from the construction series created by Canberra film maker Richard Snashall...

Published on 29 Jan 2013 - "Works continue onsite at the Cotter Dam enlargement. See the log boom prior to it's installation and hear updates from a few of our people at the site."



MAP

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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Sunfoil Project


I have had to make some alterations to some pages I put up promoting a mate of mine's ‘Sunfoil project’. Every time the inventor mentions the Sunfoil on ABC radio one of my previous posts about it is inundated. It just shows to me the multitude of radio listeners who google after programs. I’m not going to try and explain the concept here and my efforts are aimed at pointing people to the inventor’s site.

I also try and help promote Chris’s work not only because he is a mate but also because he is not on the ‘internet’. No computer, no email, twitter or Facebook. He promotes his project through a prolific YouTube account via his old non android phone. He is swift in conversing through the YouTube message and comment system.

Basically Chris Wharton has developed a DIY solar accessory for vehicles that by reducing load off the alternator, can save up to 33% of fuel bills. There is of course also a direct reduction of carbon emissions.


Currently Glen Innes NSW holds the known record for Sunfoil installation numbering I believe 6 and the local auto electrician installs them but hey, this is free, and is available worldwide so who knows how many there actually are. I've built one. A 20Watt minimalist version. My Ford Explorer went from just over 5 km/ltr fuel consumption to over 7 km/ltr in a 2 month period…

Chris has an extensive playlist of design, construction and technical videos supported by data from 5 prototypes. Chris’s Sunfoil Playlist

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Monday, January 28, 2013

Namadgi stalker revisited


This 10 second video capture has been on my mind lately. I'm planning on setting a camera back in the area. I targeted the area last year for a brief period but was put off returning after an experience that befell me that I didn't discover even happened until two weeks after.

I set a camera on the 3rd of May 2012 scoping a well used animal trail in what I thought a fairly unused area. The only nearby public access track separates the area and extends for 10 km or so. People as a rule do not leave the track unless experienced with map and compass and prepared to battle thick new growth every step of the way.

It was getting late, I was alone and knowing the spot well arrived, set the camera, turned and left. I was there literally minutes. I must emphasis I turned and left. I did not return until nearly two weeks later. Upon reviewing the camera's captures in the first video as I turned and left appeared a head. In fact is was lucky I even saw the video capture as it was late in the video and I usually delete the first few that capture me after setting.

Anyway this is the capture I was left with played, slowed and enlarged. Pig hunter, AFP black ops, Yowie or Axe murder he/she was only meters away from me without me knowing, which I would have thought impossible. Make of it what you will...


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Saturday, January 19, 2013

Smoky Mouse?


I have had time recently to go through a few of the thousands of photographs my trail cameras take over the weeks I leave them out there. I could be wrong of course, as I'm no expert, but I think I may have captured two images of a rare rodent near the upper Gibralter Creek, Corin Forest ACT.

The Smoky mouse is a vulnerable native species of rodent that hasn't had a reported sighting in the Brindabella Ranges since 1987. If it is one it would be encouraging. There are apparently only 2500 individuals left in the wild and these seem to be in decline. The same old, same old story is repeated. Feral cats and dogs are decimating them.

I have put the images captured on this short video including a loop off the animals movement across the fallen branch it was captured on...


Anyway I'll make some enquiries. I really don't think where I found it that it is a common rat. Its the description of

It is a grey-furred mouse, darker grey above and paler smoky grey below. Mice from the Grampians are larger and a darker more slate-grey above. It has a black eye-ring and dark grey muzzle. The feet are light pink, and the ears a grey-pink. The tail is longer than the mouse's body, and is pink with a brownish stripe along the top.

The size of between 107 & 122 mm adds up... about 5 inches.

The department of the environment have an excellent page - Pseudomys fumeus — Konoom, Smoky Mouse here

The daytime shot...


The images with the subject highlighted...



The original images...



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Friday, January 18, 2013

Canberra Yowies. An historical perspective

Woodcut - Sydney Cove 1790

Simply because the whole emerging Yowie phenomena interests me. I started collecting local reports of 'Gorilla' and 'Hairy Man' and 'Yahoo' sightings in the bowels of Trove. I have published all these local clippings over the past three years in one form or another but they have recently spiked my interest after a recent screening of the American Finding Bigfoot show Australian Yowie episode...


Recently there has been a large spike in visits to prior posts I have made involving a Yowie like report. I thought I would gather them all here for the Google search engine and for anyone locally interested. They are all S/E area specific...

Anyway it seems a surge in interest in the American bigfoot has spawned popular interest in the centuries old reports and current sightings of what people describe as an unknown hominid primate living on several continents and going by the name of Yeti, Bigfoot, Sasquatch and our own local version the Yowie.

So here is the collection of Canberra, Monaro, Snowy and South Coast mentions of a Yowie like creature I have found over time. Going on the increasing amount of modern day sightings, like its international counterparts, a Yowie is described as being a large man-like creature which is completely covered in hair. It is apparently elusive, shy and intelligent and lives in the wild ranges of the New South Wales Great Divide.

In chronological order

1880
Queanbeyan Age - Wednesday 7 April 1880


(it was a long town meeting type article) This is the snippet of the closing comments.



1886

Queanbeyan Age - Tuesday 24 August 1886


1887

Queanbeyan Age - Saturday 1 October 1887



1891

The Sydney Morning Herald - Friday 20 February 1891


Again for brevity a snippet of the full article



1903 

* George Webb was an early and very respected pioneer an grazier from the Canberra area

Queanbeyan Age - Friday 7 August 1903


National Library of Australia

*The endnote on the last clipping, enlarged here, reports the apparent killing of a Yowie on the Murrumbidgee near Yass...



.1912

The Sydney Morning Herald - Wednesday 16 October 1912




Zeehan and Dundas Herald (Hobart), Friday 22 November 1912



1935

The Sydney Morning Herald - Saturday 8 June 1935


So 55 years of reports from the area from a variety of sources suggesting that we share the landscape with a hairy hominid hitherto unknown to modern science. Your probably not going to get eaten in Glebe Park but its something to talk over around the camp-fire next time your out in the bush.

 
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The Tuggeranong boundary wall.

I was asked in a tweet for a recommendation of something to do with the kids this coming school holidays. People seemed to be scratching their heads as if there is nothing active to do in Tuggeranong....


The first thing that sprung to mind, among others,  was the 19th century dry stone boundary wall that marked the border of the Tuggeranong and Yarralumla stations. The remnant of this wall hides between the Tuggeranong Town Centre and the Murrumbidgee River. I took some amateur video in August 2011.


There are 3 ways of viewing it 1) the walk down the beautiful Murrumbidgee River from Pine Island (north) which will meander down a track to the re-construction end near the river, or 2) The walk down from the Tuggeranong Lake dam wall, or for a quick peek... park at the Tuggeranong swimming pool, cross at the lights, near the Athlon drive road markers, and view the original section over the fence.

That's just one educational and cultural Canberra thing you can do with children in Tuggeranong...
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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Ingledene Forest

A fresh trip this morning to Ingledene Forest (360 hectares). A forest no more in the true sense of the word since the 2003 bushfires though. I believe it is earmarked as the future site for the ACT's proposed solar farm. I was however more captivated with the view back towards Canberra at this stage.

Dominating the skyline is Mount Tennent it's scar formed by a huge mudslide prominent.


From a position on the hill before Ingledene on Smith's Road with the Gudgenby River flowing on the left...


And the Murrumbidgee River flowing on the right.


The Eastern Grey Kangaroos were lounging around in the Gigerline Nature Reserve's morning sun.



I was on the motorbike so didn't progress far along the dirt section of Smith's Road but after these past few days of extreme heat the cool morning breeze and the absence of traffic on the route was enjoyable..


Ingledene forest appears to be being reclaimed by the bush. If this solar farm goes ahead I imagine the view down to the rolling land of the forest will become a very well known site and sight. This appears to be a perfect vantage point above the junction of two rivers... 

A view North across Gigerline Reserve and Cuppacumbalong back towards Canberra and a view south across silent fields of solar panels to the Tinderry Mountains beyond. Imagining it, it will be a remarkable feature on the Canberra landscape.




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Monday, January 7, 2013

Secret men’s business 2



Above is my favourite picture I captured last year. It was taken mid winter on the banks of the Murrumbidgee River near Cuppacumbalong ACT. What I found interesting was the litl acorn trail camera the picture was taken with is electronic and soundless. The camera also had a one second delay from trigger to shutter capture.  Somehow the fox detected the PIR trigger and in the next second looked directly into the camouflaged camera’s lens.  What a wiley fox.

This post is a continuation of a post I wrote recently... I was very pleased today to learn that the tumours I had removed from my bowel recently have returned from the biopsy pre-cancerous but thankfully benign. This has been a weight off my mind as my Father had bowel cancer.  So, thankfully business as usual for me albeit now with regular check ups.

I now look forward to a project in Namadgi this winter. I noted near Tharwa in video snippets whilst staking out wombat burrows last year a lot of co-habitation of foxes with wombats in active burrow systems. This little capture below was the most exciting of many captures of interaction around burrows...


I expect something triggered the camera (one second delay) before this footage was captured. I ponder what went into the burrow, at speed, before the fox. Far too fast for a wombat. Anyway I think the interaction I have captured of foxes around wombat burrow networks, on many occasions, is interesting. I would have thought foxes would be a danger to wombat joeys. They probably are...

The end of the story is I do feel like I've dodged a bullet and my mind is free now to concentrate on a few bi-polar projects, live life and enjoy the Grandkids.

David

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Thursday, January 3, 2013

Wombats mating video



I love wombats I think they are terribly Canberran. Living peacefully and building homes and like Canberrans I am wary of wombats on mountain roads but by and large I find them a fascinating animal. Wombats are extremely common along the Murrumbidgee River and a short walk along any of its length will display the evidence of wombat burrowing. Fascinating marsupials.

I was staking out a few wombat burrows near Tharwa in relation to another matter and managed to capture a glimpse at romance in the Murrumbidgee corridor world. I have had the time recently to go through a little footage and I’m pretty sure I captured a pair mating mid last winter.

Its three minutes of what I’ll describe courtship and like a 70’s porn feature it leaves some to the imagination with inappropriate camera angles. Anyway I’m posting it here for the betterment of the Google search engine and for anyone actually researching or interested in footage of wombats mating in the wild.


Location: Murrumbidgee River... A little up river from the Tharwa Bridge reserve.


Onyong - Last of the wild Blacks

Theodore Aboriginal grinding grooves (post)

Just some research I did in 2010 on Onyong, a local Aboriginal historical figure. I put this video together for a follower on YouTube with limited internet access and thought I would share it for anyone who doesn't know about this important Canberra historical Identity. 

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The original article can be found here.

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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year and the Centenary of Canberra




Happy New Year!

2013 is a milestone year for Canberra and a milestone year for me. Canberra turns 100 years old this year and it has been 50 years since I was born in Old Canberra Hospital. This was also the year that Lake Burley Griffin filled.

Well here we are. The Old Canberra Hospital is gone today and a magnificent National Museum sits in its place, the lake needs drained and cleaned and 100 years has passed since Lady Denman declared the Nation’s National Capital ‘Canberra’.

The celebrations to be held in Canberra have been planned for years and this was the years kick-off announcement…

ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher said today that 2013 is going to be “one very big year” which starts tomorrow and will continue right throughout Canberra’s centenary year.

“The celebrations for the Centenary of Canberra have been years in the planning and include something for everyone—from arts projects, huge sporting events and the biggest birthday bash the city has ever seen,” the Chief Minister said. “It will be an unforgettable year in Canberra’s history that shows what a thriving and culturally diverse city we have developed into with our first 100 years.” Cont... 
Centenary of Canberra website 

It should be an exciting year. 

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Checking out a scarred tree on Isabella Drive

I know of probably 20 or so authentic Aboriginal scarred trees dotted around the landscape of suburban Canberra. I have posted a few time...