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.
I’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.
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:
It seems to be raining all the time here. It isn’t of course, but it does sometimes feel that way. This coming week is supposed to be dry and above average temperatures for winter. So far this winter it has been quite cold (for here) – easily the coldest winter in the five years I’ve been living around here. So it will be great to have warmer weather. It has also been wet – very wet. But it has been that way for the last two years – very wet! It hasn’t actually flooded on a wide scale around here, unlike almost every other place in eastern Australia. Many places have flooded on several occasions in recent times – some almost a dozen times. But not here, thankfully.
Today has been a nice day given the weather in recent weeks, months and even years. There has been no rain. Sure, it’s quite windy, but there’s no rain so the wind is fine. Rather pleasant considering the recent past. This week sounds like it will be a very good week, weather wise anyway.
So where is this place? It is Tea Gardens – the place where I live on the east coast of Australia. It’s about an hour’s drive north of Newcastle in the state of New South Wales. I have developed a Google Map showing the location of Tea Gardens and of the Lions Lookout just out of town. Sadly I can’t embed the map in wordpress, which is a bit disappointing. Click on the link below and it will take you to the map, which you can zoom in and out on, etc. Over time I’ll add a few other icons and things to the map to show other places that will come up in my posts about the area in which I live.
To view the map click below:
Tea Gardens Map
I was going to go for a bit of a bushwalk up to Yaccaba Headland, but given the wind I decided to put it off until next weekend – maybe. Soon anyway. There will be a post about that whenever I get to doing it anyway. Hopefully soon. I’ve plotted Yaccaba Headland on the map linked to above as well.
So instead of the bushwalk, on a day like today, I thought I’d spend a little while out in the Great Outdoors anyway. So up I went to the Lions Lookout just out of Tea Gardens, on the hill overlooking town and snapped a few photos of the view and the park at the lookout.
ABOVE: The view from Lions Lookout
Today’s link is to EveryTrail, which is a very useful social network and web application for bushwalkers. It is a network that makes it very easy to share with like-minded people the activities you experience, whether those activities include bushwalking and camping, or road trips, sight seeing trips, boating, cycling, etc. With EveryTrail you are able to map (geo-tagging) just where you went and then share it with others. You can also share photos of your trip and embed your maps in your website and Blog.
Fore more, visit:
Today’s link is for those who love history and in particular military history. This site is a timeline of conflicts around the world. It is a very well done site and I recommend it to history buffs. There is an interactive type map that is part of the site.
Fore more, visit:
Today’s link is to a site that provides a visual report of earthquakes around the world. There is a map on the front page that shows where earthquakes have occurred around the world, with colour codes providing an insight into the severity of the quakes and also information is provided on the quakes themselves.
Fore more, visit:
Today’s link is to a site called ‘placebook.’ Sounds similar to another site called Facebook doesn’t it? Placebook is a place where all of your friends on facebook are plotted on a map of the world, along with various statistics about Facebook and your usage of it. Simply log in to placebook with your Facebook log in details and the site goes to work plotting your friends on the map. You could say the site is ‘cool,’ but I’m probably getting a little too old for such descriptions these days.
Fore more, visit:
Mylifelisted.com is a social network where members can list, count and share their life experiences. It seems a little odd perhaps to make lists of your experiences – what you’ve done, when you’ve done it, where you’ve been and what you’ve achieved – but it may be a useful way to remember your life to some degree. When you add locations on a map, add photos and comments, add the names of people who shared your experiences, the lists you form begin to take on even more meaning. So perhaps mylifelisted.com could be a helpful and useful way to remember your life.
Mylifelisted.com has only just begun and I have only just signed up, so time will tell as to how useful a site it is. I’ll give it a try anyhow.
Letterboxing is a bit like a scavenger hunt and may involve bushwalking, map reading and puzzle solving. It is an activity the whole family can enjoy or perhaps a few friends can get together and get involved in this fun activity.
Want to find out more? Visit the site below:
It won’t be long and I’ll be heading off on my latest holiday – the first for several years actually. I’ll be off on a road trip around New South Wales, Australia. In total, I’ll be covering around 4000km in nine days of driving.
I’ll be covering the road trip on my kevinswilderness.com website, where you will be able to follow my progress on a Google Map that has my planned itinerary on it. There will be plenty of updates on the website – including Blog entries, photos, maybe a video or two, travel journal, etc.
Visit the website at: