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Old November 7, 2019   #271
Whwoz
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Default Rainfall

We are sitting on or maybe slightly above average for our rainfall this year so far, which for most of Australia is unthinkable as a lot of the country will be lucky to get half its average. On Wednesday evening, 3 balls into my sons under 12 cricket game, the heavens opened up and we got 9.5 main about 15 mm, it has stopped for short periods only since and as of 9 am Friday morning we have had around 50 mm/2 inches in 40 hours and still raining as I type. This has the surface drains of this old swamp well and truly running and left plenty of water lying around.

Attached photo shows the vegetable garden with water from Wednesday's thunderstorm in the track, on the left are some Purple podded snow peas and to the right are the tomatoes. Later in summer proper, I will aim to replicate this when I water with the water lying on the local silt and plants growing on imported sandy loam allowing the plants to draw from the extra for a day or so. Will only do so when the humidity is naturally low.
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Old November 8, 2019   #272
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That's awesome Whwoz! I guess it's the geography that makes the difference - lucky you to be on the right side of the hills? We really notice the effects of microclimate here. It can be really different in gardens just a few km apart.
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Old November 9, 2019   #273
Whwoz
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Yes Bower, we are fortunate to be in one of the most reliable rainfall areas in Oz. We have the Great Dividing Range about 50km to the north of us and the Strezleckis start lifting up about 500m to the south of us. While the Great Dividing Range is just over 5000 feet at its highest near us, and the Strezleckis barely top 1000, we are near a narrowing, which helps our rainfall. This also creates a rain-shadow effect that starts about 50 km to the east and covers the area that Mcsee now lives in.

Living between the two lots of hills has other advantages as often the really bad southerly busters that blow up are deflected over the top of us by the Strezleckis on there way north - they can hit Queensland
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Old November 10, 2019   #274
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Default The Stick Insects have returned

Bingo and Joe (was JoJo) returned for an unexpected visit from the school when the family they were due to go to for the weekend was away and the replacement kid took off out the door to quick for the teacher to catch. Both have moulted since they were last at home, with Bingo probably between 6 and 7 inches long and Joe (was JoJo) about 4 to 5 inches long. I say was JoJo as moult has revealed Joe to be a boy not a girl as was originally thought. Males can fly, females cannot but are much larger than males. Joe definitely has wings. One of Bingo curled up in leaves asleep, two of Joe on wifes arm and old skeleton is from Joe's last moult. Joes wings are half under his curled up tail
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Last edited by Whwoz; November 10, 2019 at 04:36 AM. Reason: extra info added
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Old November 10, 2019   #275
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Real cuties!
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Old November 10, 2019   #276
Whwoz
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Cuties and very easy to care for, just need to be careful handling them as leg joints can be a bit weak.
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Old November 10, 2019   #277
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How interesting! I enjoy this thread
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Old November 10, 2019   #278
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Your stick insects are so much more beautiful than ours. Yours are more like leafs where ours are just plain straight sticks.

I too enjoy this thread. I learn a lot.
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Old November 14, 2019   #279
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MissS, Down south here our stick insects are more like sticks as well. The species in above photo, Extatosoma tiaratum, has it origins in coastal NSW about 2 hours drive south of Sydney to northern Queensland, with the odd record from New Guinea further north still.
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Old November 15, 2019   #280
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Whwoz,


I've been reading about "firehawks", lately. Have you ever seen them?




And, I finally found my supply of Brokenbar's Costoluto Genovese. After searching through nearly everything in my collection, it was about the 4,998th out of about 5,000 packs of seeds that I looked at. I can now send it, and all of the other pastes, down under.


Gary
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Old November 15, 2019   #281
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Gary,

If by "Firehawks"" you mean hawks hunting for insects or small rodents around scrub fires, no I have not seen them personally. Have not been in a suitable area. While there have been some fires around us they are in big gum tree country and we keep well clear of them to give the firefighters clear access and it is just to dangerous to be around them without the correct gear and equipment. have seen footage on TV.

Thanks for the efforts re seed.
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Old November 16, 2019   #282
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The short newsfeeds, here, say that the firehawks pick up burning pieces of wood, and fly off with them, which can further spread the wildfires. They go on to say the aboriginal people have observed this for thousands of years. That's about it. No mention of any speculation about why the birds behave that way, such as looking for food.
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Old November 16, 2019   #283
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Those birds are using fire as a food-gathering tool!
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Old November 16, 2019   #284
Whwoz
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Black kites are probably the species of bird that they are referring to. I have just checked a couple of my bird books and while they both refer to the hunting at the fire front behaviour, neither mention that they pick up burning sticks, so I cannot confirm it for you.
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Old December 12, 2019   #285
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Thanks to all of you who have expressed your interest and support for my efforts on here. I have started a new thread on Rajun's new tomatvillians.com site and can also be reached on email at Wozsimo@Gmail.com
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