joining

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

skinnyo


As I try to get back into Blogging on a regular basis again (yeah, I seem to be struggling with that at the moment), I thought I might use my daily posts on this Blog to offer up some links to some more web applications and social networking sites. I generally think that most of these are applications of some type or another, even though some of them will have a social aspect to them.

The first is skinnyo. Skinnyo, as the name probably suggests, is about getting ‘skinnier.’ It is an application to assist the user in loosing weight. Skinnyo gives you a personal weight loss diary that includes embeddable graphs and a photo history for tracking weight loss – which also includes a target goal that you can set and aim at.

If however you are unable to find the motivation to stay on track by being a private user of the application, you can also pull in friends and other users to assist in your weight loss efforts. This is done by setting challenges and/or joining other challenges set by others. This is where the social side of the application and community comes in. Of course there is also a status and news feed of others within your circle of skinnyo friends, so you can keep track of your friends weight loss efforts and share your own with them – setting up something of a support network.

As for showing others your weight – that doesn’t happen. Skinnyo will only show your differences in weight (that which has been lost – or perhaps gained). So no need to be too embarrassed by it all.

There is interaction available with both Facebook and Twitter accounts as well – should you wish to do so.

There is also a widget that is available allowing you to embed your weight loss efforts in a website or Blog (only showing the weight loss – not your weight).

Did I mention it is free to use?

Me? Well, I’m on my way loosing weight and to reaching my goal.

Check out the site at:
http://www.skinnyo.com/