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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

Storybook


Today’s link is to a site for people who are interested in or are actually writing a book or books. Storybook is Open Source software and available for free. From what I’ve seen of the software and a tutorial that I found on using it, Storybook looks to be a very useful piece of software. For a change I have two links – one for the software itself and one for the tutorial I found on it.

For more, visit:
http://storybook.intertec.ch/joomla/

http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/organize-create-stories-novels-storybook/

 

Google Books


Google Books have often had a lot of bad press. The bad press has been largely over issues relating to copyright and similar issues. However, as a concept I find the Google Books project to be a tremendous idea, especially making available so many books that are no longer in publication. I have found Google Books to be a tremendously important resource.

See more at:

http://books.google.com/

Sermon Audio


Here is a great site for sermons. You are able to download both MP3s and videos of the sermons. For a number of sermons there are PDF transcripts available – if there aren’t any available you can pay a fee to have one done for you.

It is a great site, with not only sermons available, but other forms of teaching available also. The latest in Christian news can also be found via this site.

Visit at:

http://www.sermonaudio.com/

Penzu: Create a Private or Public Diary


Some people like to have a diary in which they pen their private thoughts – just for themselves. Penzu is the online equivalent of that idea. It will also allow you to share your diary or journal should you to choose to do so. However, one the best things about Penzu is that it is unlikely to be found by nosey people looking about your house – even your partner or other family members.

http://penzu.com/

Astronomers’ Monument – Lightning Ridge


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The ‘Astronomers’ Monument’ is located at Lightning Ridge in New South Wales, Australia. It is another of those strange sights to be found in that town. The monument is simply a local’s hobby, being built as a memorial to famous astronomers.

The Astronomers’ Monument can be found on the self-drive ‘Red Car Door Tour’ at Lightning Ridge. Visit the Visitor’s Centre at Lightning Ridge for a brochure.