After so long without decent rain, the seemingly perpetual heatwave and the horrific bushfires across Australia, the weekend rain was very welcome. I’m not sure how much we got here, but it was great and made a huge difference to the grounds at work (I’m the Head Gardener). More of course is needed, but it was a most welcome start to ending the drought – which hopefully will be the case.
That dreadful noise at 5.30am is the alarm signally a number of things:
1. It is time to get up.
2. Yes, it really is time to get up – it is not a joke and not a dream.
3. GET UP – NOW!!!
4. It is back to work day. Annual leave is now over and it is back to work day.
5. GET UP!!! GET UP!!!!
Here in Australia it is now officially Spring. In reality I think Spring sprang a couple of weeks ago, when the temperature reached a balmy 26 degrees celsius. However, it is the real thing now according to the calendar. Having said that, the nights are still quite cold and the temperature is expected to get close to zero tonight. The days have been fantastic though and it is a great time of the year. It is very pleasant to be outside at the moment (during the day I mean) and working in the gardens where I work is quite enjoyable also.
The usual external activities continue – hedging (we have lots and lots of hedges), weed control, mowing, etc. I am currently getting the lawns ready for fertilising, with lawn weed spraying being a major part of my work at the moment. I’ll be on annual leave for two weeks at the end of this week, so when I return the lawns will get fertilised – I don’t want the lads having too much work to do in my absence.
Work and sessions. Sessions are the periods of work in a given day. There are three. Start to morning tea, morning tea to lunch and lunch to knock-off. That’s three sessions a day.
It is now the weekend, which means I now have 60 sessions to go before I am on holidays again. I give the lads at work a daily reminder and often a session by session reminder of how many more sessions I have to go.
I have 60 sessions to go.
Well, the holidays are over and I’m back at work. It was a fairly busy day, but I always feels a bit out of sorts for the first day or two. Just really tired now, so off to bed I go.
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 isn’t quite euphoria, given that I still have one day to go, but still it is only one day to go before I’m on holidays from work. Two weeks away from work and really looking forward to the break. I need the rest – exhausted. I’m nodding off as I try to post Blog articles and the like here tonight. One more day and annual leave – it’s a good feeling.
What do I plan to do with the two weeks? A good question that there isn’t really an answer for. I usually like to travel somewhere in Australia, but this time round it is likely to be just a rest period punctuated by a day trip here and there along the way.
I do hope to continue Blogging through my annual leave, so some interesting posts to come I hope.
I don’t know what it is about work and I, but I always seem to find some way to injure myself – pretty much on a daily basis. I don’t believe it is about being careless, as I generally attempt to do things carefully and with awareness of occupational health and safety. However, I seem to always find a way of injurying myself.
At the moment I find myself in a fair amount of pain from a knee injury. How did I do it? I was getting into a golf buggy (we use these to get around the work site) and managed to collect my knee on a section of the buggy that juts into the passenger/driver space. It’s a very pointed section of the vehicle (extremely poorly designed actually and I’m not the only one who keeps hitting this spot) and I hit it fair in the middle of my knee with some force. The immediate pain was terrible and the the bruising appeared immediately. I couldn’t walk straight away (and being a fella I attempted to walk it out as we do), but eventually was able to do without pain – though the knee area was quite painful to touch.
Now being home from work, it’s getting late into the night and also quite cold (winter here) the pain has returned, its stiffened up quite a bit and walking has become an issue. I can’t wait for tomorrow morning when I try to get out of bed. Two days until holidays – keep telling myself that and I may be able to drag myself to work.
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:
I have been away from this Blog for the last several weeks because of the work I have been doing on one of my sites. I have been transferring, reviewing and updating my genealogy website and the work is now more-or-less completed. There are several pages that still require a bit of work, but the majority of the site is now functioning correctly. The site has been moved to a new domain and host, and has also had a major overhaul.
Visit ‘Tracing our History’ at: