I thought I’d post a quick update on what is currently happening with me and posts to my Blog. It is a short story really. I live in a town which is a massive tourist destination during the holiday season – especially at this time of year. What this means for me – being reliant on wireless access to the Internet – is real difficulty gaining Internet access. There are so many people in the area, using so many gadgets and the like, that the Internet is locked into a constant traffic jam. It is practically impossible to get Internet access most of the time. You do get the odd time where you can get access, but it is so slow that it is pointless to try and use it. For example – it takes minutes and minutes just for one page of the Blog to load.
I’ll keep trying to access the Net every so often, but it is likely I’ll be unable to post much for the next couple of weeks. There is good news – the number of tourists in the shopping centre here have diminished, which probably means we are heading back to some form of normality.
And I’m back (again – I know). For the next couple of days I’ll be posting links to various browser games that I’ve been indulging in (or perhaps, wasting time in). I’m not so much into the shoot-em up type games and/or the SciFi/Fantasy type games that are so popular these days. For some reason I’m not big on all of the Facebook games either – probably because my news feed is full of them (which I block by the way). Anyhow, there will be a few games that I have started to play a bit over the next couple of days.
Land of Destiny is a Massive Multiplayer Online (MMO) browser game. It is a Real Time Strategy (RTS) game in which you are up against thousands of other players building online villages at various levels of development. The game is set in Roman Times and your objective is to quickly build a village and then participate in defensive/offensive strategy/battles. Not only is it necessary to be aware of potential attackers, you also need to contend with the weather (the season changes on a weekly basis and each day the weather can be different). Of course there is a lot more detail to the game than that.
The current online world is coming to an end in early July 2011, so a fresh start is just around the corner. I am using the remaining time to learn the game and develop my strategies for the new gaming world when it arrives.
It was the official first day of Spring here in Australia. However, Spring has really been with us here for quite some weeks now, given the very warm days and bushfires we have already experienced. In fact August 2009 was the hottest on record.
Given that it is Spring it is time for a new season of new growth in the gardens and of new birth in the surrounding wildlife here in Tea Gardens (though it isn’t that clear cut obviously) and there is plenty of wildlife here.
On the way home from work today I was swooped by a Magpie – several times. The Magpie does this in its breeding season to drive off potential threats to its nest and young. Recently I have also been savagely swooped by the local plovers, which attack with even more ferocity than the Magpie.
The plovers had been defending their nest for some weeks prior to their eggs hatching. Their nest was beside the artificial lake in the centre of the village where I work at Tea Gardens Grange. The nest is just a small spot on the ground on which the eggs are laid. In this case their were four. They seemed to sit on the eggs for between 4 and 6 weeks before the young were hatched – swooping the entire time if you ventured too close, as well as making plenty of noise. One of the adults sometimes seemed to pretend to have a bad leg as it hobbled away from the nest in an attempt to get any threats to follow it.
At the moment there are two remaining chicks that are growing fairly rapidly now. The parents are still defending their young with menace.
On Friday I was visiting the Bulahdelah Cemetery in order to photograph headstones for my family history research. I decided to go up to Bulahdelah after work, it being only a short journey from Tea Gardens.
What I had noticed over the last week or so was that as the temperature had begun to rise so the number of bushfires and controlled burns had increased around the area dramatically. In fact, there have been quite a lot of bushfires burning around the area. Though this photo was taken on Friday, bushfires are continuing to burn around the place, driven by the very strong winds and dry conditions that currently exist. There is a massive fire burning over toward Nelson Bay by the look of it, as there are huge plumes of smoke in that direction.
This photo was taken from the Bulahdelah Cemetery toward Alum Mountain, where the fire was burning. The air throughout the area, from Tea Gardens to Bulahdelah, was full of smoke and there was a thick smoke haze. I wouldn’t say the air was choking, but every breath certainly had the taste of summer upon it.