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Jan 13, Northern Rivers: Two hot dry weeks to start the year, but respite came yesterday with some rain (10mm) and a run of days under 30 - maybe the first time we've had that since Oct. Summer tomato took off after a sluggish start (planted in mid Sep) moving it from a pot to the ground was the key moment. Rest of vegie garden has run it's course - just been too hot to maintain. Apricots coming through but suffering from disease of some kind. The heat makes it virtually impossible to tend all the outside stuff so fruit is literally rotting on the tree. Will plant vegie patch again towards end of month, depending on how the rain looks. Grass is starting to grow but still haven't cut it since last year. Drove back from down south on Jan 4-5. 2200km trip - 500km of that was through a pea-soup smoke haze, with lighter smoke haze the rest of the way. Fire season has finished here, despite what the media hysteria will tell you. Similar to the advance of the monsoon action, the fire zone has moved on down south where it will play out for another two months.

Jan 16, Aomori: No significant snowfall so far this month. We did have two days of near constant rain a week ago. Had it been snow, it would have been a couple feet at least. Temperatures are slowly edging lower, with highs between 1 to 3 C and lows 0 to -6.

Jan 18,NR: Big rain event overnight - in excess of 300mm in areas just north of here - about 130mm here so far. New tank was overflowing this morning. Guess 100mm is a 'tank-filler'. Finally identified this big, noisy, but strangely elusive bird that's been around for weeks - it's a channel-billed cuckoo. A distant sighting through binoculars helped my find a likely suspect in the book then goggled it's call which was full confirmation as it's loud and distinctive. Signs of mushrooms springing up - should be a lot more after the big rain. Grass threatening to go crazy.

Jan 18, Aomori: Nice day with sun in the morning, low wind, and temps in the 2-5C range. So far, this winter has been milder than last. Remnants of snow on the ground, otherwise dry sidewalks with patchy ice.

Jan 24, Aomori: It's been a mild winter so far, with almost no snow. Daily highs are 2-8C and lows 2 to -3, so the temps have been consistent and steady.

Jan 28, Aomori: There's a system coming up from the south and it looks like it's going to dump a lot of rain turning to snow on us. Winds have been out of the east all morning and are starting to shift to the SE. Very unusual. Right not it's 3C to drop to -2 or so, then hover around freezing for the next couple of days but with highs around 2-3, so it's going to be messy and eventually very slippery if we get rain, then snow, that melts... then freezes, repeat.

Jan 30, Aomori: Nasty mix of rain and snow. Highs around 4, lows at freezing. Wind has shifted to the NW. Not a good day to be outside.

Jan 31, NR: January was one long heatwave. Haven't seen the data but for sure it was up there as hottest ever Jan (record set the previous year). Have experienced some hot summers living in Taitung but this is the worst. Mid to high 30's almost every day. Started a system of getting up at dawn - working through to 9.30-10.00am (by which time it's brain-fryingly hot) then hang indoors until 6.00-7.00pm when i can sneak in a couple more hours. Sadly, there was a major fish-kill in my creek - basically all the fish died due to the extreme conditions compounded by cows shitting in the creek. Farmer neighbour who has been here for generations said it's the first time he's seen it. Since the rain in mid-Jan the creek has started to flow again but god knows how long it will take to recover. Observed channel-billed cuckoo trying to raid a raven's nest - quite a game of cat and mouse. The cuckoos had spotted the nest and were looking to toss out the crow's eggs and lay their own. Ravens knew what was up - were harassing the cuckoos, which are large birds, bigger than the raven, but i wonder if the cuckoos can manage to lay their eggs in there if the raven then has the brains/memory to recognize that 'these are not our eggs' - suspect they don't as it's a tried and true system for the cuckoos. After laying their eggs, they migrate off then come back around Nov-Feb to collect their kids.

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Page last modified on January 31, 2020, at 09:02 PM