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From My Armchair: 4 August 2012


At the BookShelf

I am into my last days of annual leave, so it is doubtful I’ll be able to read anywhere near as much as I have this last week. I’ll probably have the Kindle out at lunch for a bit, so I’ll still be getting some reading in even while I’m at work. The Kindle has certainly made it a lot easier to have good reading material available no matter where I am. Loving the Kindle.

 

Social Networks, Web Applications & Other Tools

Not a lot has happened with the social networks in the book/reading niche over this last week, except that I have been updating Goodreads on a regular basis as to what I am reading, progress and cataloguing the books as I go.

I did do a quick addition to Quotista, which has a lot of potential but doesn’t appear to be being developed any further, which is…

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Native Wildlife of the Area


It’s another wet and windy day in paradise, so not much to do but sit it out. It also means I haven’t got a lot to type about (as opposed to write about, given I’m using the keyboard). So I’m going back a little and posting about some photos I’ve taken in recent months here. In fact, what I’m posting about today is one of the great things about living here in Tea Gardens, which differs a great deal from other places I have lived down Newcastle and Lake Macquarie way and that is the abundance of wildlife around here. Sadly we have managed to kill of most of the wildlife down around Newcastle, or at the very least drove it all away. Here it abounds and I love it being so.

Diamond PythonI’m not talking about just the smaller animal and bird species you might expect to find in a suburban area, but even the bigger examples of wildlife also. Kangaroos and Wallabies can be found all over the place in this area and it isn’t unusual to see them bounding down the main street in numbers. In fact, sadly, you often find them as road kill on the main road out to the highway. Where I work we have smaller wallabies and kangaroos actually living in and amongst the homes, with joeys in their pouches as well. The odd Dingo can also be seen from time to time. Koalas are known to live in healthy numbers around the area – not that I have spotted one here yet.

Reptiles abound here also, with large numbers of Red Belly Black Snakes, Diamond Pythons (pictured at above left) and Tree Snakes readily found in the warmer months, along with Blue-Tongued Lizards and Goannas. I have seen some Goannas that have been at least 1 metre long. Some of the Diamond Pythons have been closer to 2 metres in length.

It is the bird life that really thrives around here, especially the wetland varieties. The area is rich in bird life. At work you can see on a daily basis Wattle Birds, Blue Wrens, Finches, various Parrots and Rosellas, Black Cockatoos, Galahs, Water Fowl, Wood Ducks, Ibis, Egrets, Spoonbills, Herons, Black Swans and many, many more species of birds. There are the rarer sightings of birds also. A Tawny Frogmouth (pictured at below right) has made its home near where I live, trying its best to look like part of the tree in which it chooses to roost.Tawny Frogmouth

The area also abounds in sea life, of various types and sizes. It is not unusual to have Humpback Whales sighted of the coast here and Dolphins can be spotted almost every morning if you know where to look. The Sting Rays are also easy spot at the right time of the day.

You do get your not so welcome species of wildlife also, such as mosquitos and sand flies, but I guess these play their part in the general run of things, being food perhaps for the more welcome members of wildlife society.

One of the things I’m doing down here, tieing in my interest in web applications and social networks, is being involved with the Project Noah social network. This is a place to log wildlife spots with GPS markings using the iPhone application, along with the web application. I haven’t long been involved in it, but it is something I will be doing more and more. It will be good to build up a more complete picture of what species live in the area. Others can get involved in recording and mapping the wildlife of the area here by joining the ‘mission’ I have started at Project Noah.

The mission I have started for Tea Gardens can be found at:
http://www.projectnoah.org/missions/12346009

Goodreads


If you are into books and sharing your thoughts about them, whether that is by book reviews, lists, what you own, etc, then Goodreads may be a social network for you. I am on Goodreads and I am using it to catalogue my entire library (both hard copy and digital) – it will take me a while to complete the exercise. I use Goodreads and Shelfari – at the moment Goodreads is probably my preferred book sharing social network.

http://www.goodreads.com/

Shelfari


If you are into books and sharing your thoughts about them, whether that is by book reviews, lists, what you own, etc, then Shelfari may be a social network for you. I am on Shelfari and I am using it to catalogue my entire library (both hard copy and digital) – it will take me a while to complete the exercise. You can embed your bookshelf into your website, start a book group and share with others within the Shelfari community, plus much more. Well worth a look.

http://www.shelfari.com/

Gloucester River Falls: Gloucester Tops – Barrington Tops National Park


Gloucester River FallsThis photo was taken at Gloucester River Falls in the Gloucester Tops, which is part of Barrington Tops National Park in New South Wales, Australia. I visited here recently while on my ‘Waterfalls Tour 2010’ holiday.

The Gloucester River Falls walk takes about 30 minutes to complete and is a fairly easy circuit walk. The walk can take a lot longer if you explore the area surrounding the falls. On this trip I didn’t do that due to the rain, slippery conditions and swollen river.

The walk also passes the Andrew Laurie Lookout, which features great views over the Barrington Tops wilderness.

Scrapblog: Online Scrapbooking


Today’s post is to a site that allows you to scrapbook online. It takes the increasingly popular hobby of scrapbooking and brings it to the World Wide Web. With this site you can create online scrapbooks with ease and when a scrapbook is complete there is an option to have it printed as well.

http://www.scrapblog.com/

Gloucester Tops: Andrew Laurie Lookout


2007_0429_ 008 This shot is taken from the Andrew Laurie Lookout, which is on the short track to the Gloucester River Falls in the Gloucester Tops section of the Barrington Tops National Park in New South Wales, Australia.

The walk from the car park to the lookout is only about 5 to 10 minutes of easy walking, with a further 5 to 10 minutes until the Gloucester River Falls are reached. The circuit track back to the car park only takes about 30 minutes to complete in total and is an easy walk on a bush track, with some minor rises along the way.