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Aug 6, NR: Weather has stabilized - 10 days of sunshine (20-24C) - enough to get car down to back paddock to cut firewood. Only problem is when i get it back and it comes time to burn it, i often think, 'Mmm, maybe i could make something out of that piece!' then put it aside. No frosts - last night barely needed heater on, though expected to get down to 4C in coming week. Have seen a python, a goana, and an echidna in last week - all of these are meant to hibernate during winter. Echidna is especially welcome as their favorite food is termites. Light rain yesterday but outlook is good. Have used 'dry window' to spread 3 trailer loads of cracker-dust/road-base around the house. Finally finished back porch. Purple swamp-hen (a kind of rail) is sticking around - getting quite used to me. Still got buff banded rails galore. They are quite independent - often see them chasing off other rails that are in their personal space. It's pretty funny - they flatten their bodies out, neck straight out like an arrow, then charge any other rail they perceive to be too close. They don't have a problem with other birds - often foraging alongside the chooks. Peach tree has started to blossom.

Aug 10, Kanagawa: August has been hot. Full stop. Highs 34-35 most days. We did get a couple days of respite with some rain, but that's it. First tropical depression of the season that has any chance of hitting us is forming east of Okinawa. The track has it hitting us dead on in 3-4 days so it most likely will go somewhere completely different. Fast moving and so far unnamed.

Aug 12, NR: Excellent weather continues, though 10mm rain forecast for tomorrow. Have unloaded 4 trailer-loads cracker-dust & road-base around house, so interested to see how it goes. A swamp-hen appears to have taken up residence around the house. Hangs around all day, not afraid of me, kinda mingles with the chooks, though he seems to like them better than they like him. Noticed a few other swamphens here this morning - the original guy was trying to chase them off - the impression is that this is his set-up - piss off and find your own. Saw one of the biggest goanas i've ever seen a couple of days ago (2m long). Magpies were making a ruckus so i went to take a look - sure enough a huge goana. When it saw me, he went straight up to the top of a leafless tree - looked weird - this big, fat lizard climbing up thin branches. This guy could easily take out a chicken, so need to keep an eye out. The baby goana (60cm) that seems to be living in the roof, often pops out from the same corner of the roof to sun itself. Yesterday it was attached to the vertical post going up to the roof - asleep - which is pretty good-going. They must have a very good method for sticking onto vertical surfaces. It's surprising how much goana activity there has been considering they're meant to hibernate in winter. Wouldn't have thought it was an especially warm winter - pretty normal. Farmer Dan commented last week that several tree species were re-leafing much earlier than normal, incl the bush btw house & shed. Can't see obvious re-leafing on pecans yet. Bok choi did well, though it's getting attacked by small insects now.

Aug 13, Kanagawa: Torrential rain with typhoon Meari. Reports of tornadoes in our immediate area. Winds not too high (35 kt sustained, 50 gusts), but storm slow moving so rainfall will be high and destructive.

Aug 18, NR: Good weather continues. A small lightning storm came through two nights ago with about 5mm, but apart from that it's perfect - low 20's, sunny, nights down to about 7-8C. Interesting development with ravens. Seems the parents have driven last year's youngster off. Kind of a pity coz the young one was getting quite tame & we'd built up a relationship whereby he would 'talk' to me. But then one day the parents decided it was his time to move on and began aggressively swooping down on him whenever he was around. He really didn't want to go - it was a bit sad. Curiously, the parents have also stopped coming for breakfast. I suspect ravens' societal interactions are quite complex - although they've kicked the young one out they may be off helping him adjust to his new life - setting him up with a mate & his own territory - as well as not coming here for scraps to set an example. Paddocks are now dry enough to drive down and cut firewood. Starting to understand the role of the termite in Australia's eco-system. Cutting up the hollowed out fallen branches, I've come across two hibernating snakes, and several frogs/toads. Apart from that, every Australian parrot, and there are a lot of them, nests in hollowed out tree branches - all of this hollowing is done by termites (sfaik). Re the firewood, it's important not to import termites into your home, so i've observed that if you cut the wood up, then let it sit in the paddock a few days, the termites will all crawl out - coz they hate sunlight exposure & also need large bits of wood to set up their colony. La Nina is forecast to reform - a rare triple La Nina. Let's hope the focus is somewhere the fuck else this time. Interestingly, Taiwan has gone 3 years without a typhoon making landfall, though it's not as simple as La Nina, as typhoon Nari struck in a multiple La Nina event. Haven't seen the wallabies much lately. The young one made a few appearances but seems more spooked than before. Could be to do with the pecan trees being bare - so less cover for them. Also some idiot is walking their dogs in that area, which would also scare them off. May also be the lack of grass growth in winter.

Aug 23, NR: Got to see the damage the cows have done to the paddocks whilst repairing yet another boundary fence. Now that it's dried out, the hoof indentations have (a) pockmarked the entire paddock, making it difficult to even walk on, and (b) killed a lot of grass. So difficult dealing with the farmers here - their only thought process is 'how can i selfishly exploit this situation for short-term gain?' The swamphens have stuck around- one in particular is quite tame. Saw two mating yesterday - guess it's the season. Courtship involves the male puffing up the patch of white feathers on his bottom. They like the grain i put out for the parrots in the mornings but get bullied by the corellas. No galahs coming currently - could be the correlas supremacy but wonder if it's to do with the flu i noticed several had caught. Nights are still cool - need heater every nights - but no frosts. One wallaby back but seems spooked.

Aug 28, NR: Spell of good weather has been broken with a week of moderate rain forecast. Has messed up my plan to paint the new porch - good example of how a simple mistake can throw everything out of whack. Was all set to paint, having prepped everything, washed down the deck with deck cleaner - then noticed i'd bought the wrong stain due to poor eyesight. It's a 1.5 hr round drive to exchange it so put it off until the next day - but when i got home and was ready to paint, the rain started. Hoping it will dry out enough this morning before forecast showers so i can get at least one coat on coz next stop is a week away, which would involve cleaning the whole deck again with the deck cleaning chemicals. Three swamp hens are hanging around. Small goana appears every day in same spot to sun himself. Wild tomatoes have sprouted.

Aug 30, Kanagawa: We finally got a cool day yesterday. Today was pleasant as well with overcast skies and a high in the mid 20's with rain in the late afternoon. Low tonight should be in the low 20's then it will start warming back up the rest of the week with highs near 30. Still, it appears the summer heat is over.

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Page last modified on August 30, 2022, at 04:22 AM