Wednesday, 10 December 2014

School's out for Summer and l'm giving myself a blog vacation



Hello lovely people of blog land.
Well today is Bella's last day of school before heading on a mammoth seven week summer vacation.
Throw in the upcoming festive season, and life's full. Wonderfully so.
To celebrate the summer holidays and with a nod to taking things easy, l'm giving myself a self declared blog vacation.  In particular l'll take a break from the Reconnect with Nature blog link up, which has been running for a full year now. 
There's a saying l've seen around on the internet about 'choosing your own herd', connecting with people with similar interests, ideals and passions through the internet.  This space has allowed me to do that, and l love that.  You, my friends, are indeed my herd.  How wonderful to meet so many likeminded people from right across the world.
Thanks for your support, friendship and inspiration. 
I'll probably pop in from time to time over the coming weeks, but hope the break freshens things up on the blog  and look forward to coming back in 2015 bigger and better.
Merry Christmas xx

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Reconnect with Nature - one photograph at a time

{reconnect with nature}

A community of like minded people who see the value in understanding and appreciating the natural world.  Each week we step outside, find some nature, photograph it and learn something about it to share with others.  Just a few sentences about the tree you’ve photographed, or the bird you've seen, or how you’re noticing the seasons change is all you need and together we'll reconnect with nature, one photograph at time.
 Read more about the Reconnect with Nature - one photograph at a time idea here.
 
 
 
Contrails over Perth
 
This week l've travelled right across the length of the country, from our home on the east coast to Perth on the west coast for work.  So far my week has been mostly spent sitting inside a hotel conference room or in one of the many planes l needed to catch in order to travel here. So time reconnecting with nature has been minimal.
Yesterday we got to spend a few hours out at a suburban park, on a field trip to look at the local soils.  So whilst everyone was busily examining what was been brought up from underneath us, l had my head skywards. 
 

 
Whilst we were there, a really large contrail or vapur tail appeared right across the sky.  Contrails (short for condensation trails) are man-made clouds that can form behind aircraft. Their formation is mostly triggered by the water vapor in the exhaust of aircraft engines, but can also be triggered by changes in the air pressure as the aircraft travels through the air.  Like all clouds, they are made of water. 
 
 
What l've since learnt is that spotting a contrail in Perth is quite rare!
For contrails to form, the aircraft needs to be flying very high up in the sky, like they do on a long haul flight.  Perth claims the title for the most isolated continental capital city in the world, and because its located at such a southern latitude there are very few aircraft flying over the city at high altitude.  Mostly everyone is landing or taking off.  
Would you believe that contrails are so rare over Perth, that there are dedicated contrail 'spotters' and websites available to help you work out the best time to see them over the city.  And there l was none the wiser yesterday admiring a rare sight!
 

Hope you've all had a chance to get outside this week and reconnect with nature.  Looking forward to seeing all your photographs.  

Note to readers participating in the link up.

Please use the following points as a guide:
  • Share with us something you've noticed in nature. 
  • Only share one post per week, and link to that post rather than your general blog address.
  • If you can, please include something about your find that allows us all to learn more about the world around us. Just a few sentences about the tree you’ve photographed, or the bird you've seen, or how you’re noticing the seasons change is all you need.
  • Visit as many links as you can, amazing things are shared every week.  
  • And finally, please include a link back to Living a Good North Coast Life in your post.

Friday, 28 November 2014

this moment - end of school disco

{this moment}
 
A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week.
A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savour and remember. Linking up with Amanda from Soule Mama






Don't forget my blog link up Reconnect with Nature will occur again on Wednesday 3 December at 9pm Australian Eastern Daylight Savings Time (Sydney time). See here for more details.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Reconnect with Nature - one photograph at a time

{reconnect with nature}

A community of like minded people who see the value in understanding and appreciating the natural world.  Each week we step outside, find some nature, photograph it and learn something about it to share with others.  Just a few sentences about the tree you’ve photographed, or the bird you've seen, or how you’re noticing the seasons change is all you need and together we'll reconnect with nature, one photograph at time.
 Read more about the Reconnect with Nature - one photograph at a time idea here.
 
 
Seeking refuge in the river
 
Heat wave conditions have continued here, with temperatures again hovering above 35 degrees Celsius.  On the weekend there really wasn't much else to do but to seek refuge in the river at our back door.
 
How amazing that we now live on the banks of the Wilsons River and can, whenever we like take a dip to cool off.  Although not everyone shares our enthusiasm for swimming in the river. 
 
Local stories abound of Bull Sharks in the river, seemingly just waiting for an unsuspecting person to enter the water.  While Bull Sharks can penetrate into freshwater systems, usually the females only come into the river mouths to breed.  The young can remain in freshwater areas until they are grown, but really these small sharks would be more interested in chasing fish than taking a nibble of a human being. 
 
People who live along the river swim in it all the time, and in almost a hundred years there has only been one attack in the Wilsons.  But still people show an illogical fear of the water.  Truly you are more likely to be bitten by a snake walking to the river, than you are of getting bitten by a shark in the water.
 
Jaws certainly has a lot to answer for.
 
I like to think of it like anything else in nature.  Inform yourself of the facts and take the necessary precautions. We don't swim in the river after rain or after flooding, we don't swim alone and we don't swim with our dogs.
 
Do you get the impression that nothing is keeping me out of the water?


 
Hope you've all had an opportunity to reconnect with nature.  Looking forward to seeing all your photographs.  

Note to readers participating in the link up.

Please use the following points as a guide:
  • Share with us something you've noticed in nature. 
  • Only share one post per week, and link to that post rather than your general blog address.
  • If you can, please include something about your find that allows us all to learn more about the world around us. Just a few sentences about the tree you’ve photographed, or the bird you've seen, or how you’re noticing the seasons change is all you need.
  • Visit as many links as you can, amazing things are shared every week.  
  • And finally, please include a link back to Living a Good North Coast Life in your post.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Reconnect with Nature - one photograph at a time

{reconnect with nature}

A community of like minded people who see the value in understanding and appreciating the natural world.  Each week we step outside, find some nature, photograph it and learn something about it to share with others.  Just a few sentences about the tree you’ve photographed, or the bird you've seen, or how you’re noticing the seasons change is all you need and together we'll reconnect with nature, one photograph at time.
 Read more about the Reconnect with Nature - one photograph at a time idea here.
 
 
Weekend heat waves kills thousands of Flying Foxes

This past weekend our region experienced its first heat wave of the season.

Many locations on the North Coast experienced days of 40*c plus, including a town called Casino which is just to the west of us. 

On Friday Casino reached 36.5*c, Saturday was a scorching 44.1*c followed by Sunday which reached 40.6*c. 

Temperatures towards the coast were cooler, tempered by their proximately to the ocean. 
 
But, the heat impacts upon us all.  The Health Department issues warnings and identify that children, the elderly and people with compromised health are at risk.  Of course so are all the animals, domestic and wild.

As mentioned a couple of weeks ago here, our local Flying Foxes are particularly vulnerable during heat waves. 
 
Our local Flying Foxes are simply not equipped to deal with such high temperatures.  They’re a sub-tropical or tropical animal, so they are used to sustained high temperatures but accompanied with high humidity – which generally restricts temperatures from going over 35 degrees Celsius.

I grew up locally, and to be honest l can’t remember experiencing these sorts of heat waves as a kid.  Sure we had hot days, but these more frequent and prolonged events of temperatures sitting around the 40 degree Celsius mark for days on end is (in my opinion) not normal for here.

Experts have been advising that climate change will lead to an increase in the frequency, intensity and duration of temperature extremes.  Are these heat waves the start of such extremes?

Our worst fears were realised on the weekend, when the temperature soared on Saturday Flying Foxes started to die from exposure.  At the Casino colony, they started to drop from the trees in their hundreds.  By Sunday, the estimation is that around 5,000 adults died from the heat.

You can see local media coverage of the event here

At this time of year, most of the females are either pregnant or are carrying small young.  As their mothers die, they are shielded from the heat wrapped in her wings, and continue to suckle on her milk even after she dies.  For these reasons many of the young survived.

In total 450 baby Flying Foxes were rescued from Casino on the weekend.
 

I wasn’t involved with the rescue effort, but some of my friends and wildlife caring volunteer colleagues were.  I’m so proud of their efforts, of their selflessness and resilience.

The orphans have been shipped out to wildlife carers across the state who have all answered the call to assist with the mammoth job of hand raising these babies.
 

But what is to come for these species? 

If these heat events continue, they’ll pose a significant threat to threat to the survival of this vulnerable species and the important ecosystem services they provide.  The species simply cannot reproduce at a rate high enough to compensate for the loss of thousands of individuals each summer.

Since 1994, over 30,000 flying-foxes have been killed during 19 heat exhaustion events. This past weekend, we added another 5,000 to the total.

Hope you've all had a more positive experience this week reconnecting with nature.  Looking forward to seeing all your photographs.  

Note to readers participating in the link up.

Please use the following points as a guide:
  • Share with us something you've noticed in nature. 
  • Only share one post per week, and link to that post rather than your general blog address.
  • If you can, please include something about your find that allows us all to learn more about the world around us. Just a few sentences about the tree you’ve photographed, or the bird you've seen, or how you’re noticing the seasons change is all you need.
  • Visit as many links as you can, amazing things are shared every week.  
  • And finally, please include a link back to Living a Good North Coast Life in your post.
  •  

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Reconnect with Nature - one photograph at a time

{reconnect with nature}

A community of like minded people who see the value in understanding and appreciating the natural world.  Each week we step outside, find some nature, photograph it and learn something about it to share with others.  Just a few sentences about the tree you’ve photographed, or the bird you've seen, or how you’re noticing the seasons change is all you need and together we'll reconnect with nature, one photograph at time.
 Read more about the Reconnect with Nature - one photograph at a time idea here.



Meet 'Tim Tam' the Masked Lapwing (Vanellus miles)

This week we've welcomed yet another animal into our home.  Meet Tim Tam the Masked Lapwing chick.

 

Masked Lapwings are commonly referred to as a 'plover' by most Australians.  In fact ask the average Australian what a Masked Lapwing is and you'd most likely be greeted with a "huh?". Even though there's some confusion over its name, they are one of Australia's most well known and feared birds.
Why? well because when adult plovers are nesting, they defend their eggs and young with real gusto.  If you're a regular reader of this blog, you might be noticing a trend here with our native birds!


Here's a typical scenario of where plovers nest.  They are ground-dwelling birds, so lay their eggs in a shallow depression on the ground.  But they are really predator aware, so choose to lay their eggs in places with large expanses of short grass so they can see anything coming.  Can you see the problem? So a plover comes across a school play ground, a sports field, oval or even a front yard and thinks this is a great place to nest.

Then if anything or anyone comes to close, they swoop the intruder like as shown in this You Tube video.


Not sure if you noticed in the video the spurs on the front of its wings?  Urban myths abound about those spurs, you'll hear they're poisonous or that they try to stab you with them when they swoop.  It's all untrue, in reality plovers are really just a lot of noise and bluff and rarely make contact...but they sure can get close.

If you're new to the blog, we're licensed wildlife carers and we rehabilitate and hand raised injured and orphaned wildlife at our home.  Tim Tam (named by Bella after her favourite type of chocolate biscuit) came to us after he was separated from its parents.  Attempts to reunite the little guy with his family failed, and so he'll now be handraised. He'll be with us for a while yet until he's old enough to be returned to the wild.

Hope you've all had a chance to get outside this week and reconnect with nature.  Looking forward to seeing all your photographs.  

Note to readers participating in the link up.

Please use the following points as a guide:
  • Share with us something you've noticed in nature. 
  • Only share one post per week, and link to that post rather than your general blog address.
  • If you can, please include something about your find that allows us all to learn more about the world around us. Just a few sentences about the tree you’ve photographed, or the bird you've seen, or how you’re noticing the seasons change is all you need.
  • Visit as many links as you can, amazing things are shared every week.  
  • And finally, please include a link back to Living a Good North Coast Life in your post.


Friday, 7 November 2014

this moment

{this moment}
 
A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week.
A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savour and remember. Linking up with Amanda from Soule Mama


"All l want for Christmas is my two front teeth........"

 Don't forget my blog link up Reconnect with Nature will occur again on Wednesday 12 November at 9pm Australian Eastern Daylight Savings Time (Sydney time). See here for more details.