Sunday, 25 December 2011

Grant brings great skies

So the tropical low is now a category 2 cyclone, called Grant, and so far the only effect it has had on Darwin is some pretty awesome clouds.

I think the Aboriginal communities to the north and east of us aren't faring so well though :(

Awesome photos were taken by Peter.

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Emma's Christmas Special

Well, this has nothing to do with Christmas, actually, reflecting how I feel about the day.

We're waiting to see what Cyclone Grant does with our plans for a lazy couple of days. For some reason this "waiting for potential disaster" tone of the day inspired me to post these photos that I've been meaning to do something with for weeks. Perhaps in case our awesome camera gets blown away and we lose them?!

I started an "Animals in the night" photo project a while ago, but some  of the critters I wanted to capture I could only find during the day.

So. Here they are.

I used to call these  two the love birds, but I think in fact they are Bar Shouldered Doves, having  bought myself a bird book. They were camping on a branch over our  toilet, so I had lots of viewing opportunities.  For a little while there was  only one of them, but then the other one came back (or a new partner was found).

Since the wet  season set in, they've found somewhere else - hopefully somewhere drier- to sleep.

The ubiquitous green tree/toilet frog. 

These two orange-footed scrubfowl are very territorial birds. They live in our yard, mainly on the ground, but they have been known to fly when we accidentally startle them. 

They're very flighty, incredibly hard to get close enough to to photograph (in fact Pete recently spotted what he thinks must be their chick, but only for a second, and we've not seen it since). They are a very entertaining couple- we often wake up at night to the sound of them cackling away to each other. Hence we've taken to calling them "the cackle heads".

I think they sleep among the leave litter under a big tree in our yard, but my night-time sneaking about hasn't yet resulted in me finding their nest, though they taunt me with their cackling.

I'll keep trying to get a photo of their chick.

Saluting the sun:

And here is our nightly indoor companion, entertaining us with its moth-hunting, as it takes advantage of the time we have the light on and attract all the insects:

The other night it caught a moth that was perhaps heavier than anticipated, and it fell onto the piano with half its catch still protruding from its jaw. Luckily it landed on its feet and continued its feast as  though nothing happened.

I took these photos with zoom and flash, and got that  weird effect as though the gecko were hovering in light, or under a microscope or something.

So there is my Christmas special for ya'll.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Gainfully employed: Day 3 wherein I damage company property

Okay, so I'm now working at [redacted] and today I was sent out to do "site maintenance". Site maintenance is deadly dull and time consuming and sends me out to all the industrial estates of Darwin to do the minor stuff that the more senior members of my company fond too boring and time consuming to do.

(I always assumed growing up would suck, now I have evidence.)

Anyway, there's a company car. It's a little front-wheel drive automatic Toyota Corolla. I drive a big beefy manual Nissan Patrol. What follows is a result of that inexperience.

I reverse out of the driveway and into the street. I instinctively apply a little more gas to stop me from rolling down the hill and move to put it in drive.


It turns out that a Corolla is quite a lot lighter than a Patrol and doesn't need help on the gas to stop it from rolling down a hill. Also, automatics aren't really meant for the quick gear change I'm used to. The car shot back and scraped along a hinge on a ute behind me. This left a nasty scratch on the Corolla and nothing at all on the ute.

I meet the ute guy walking from the take-away shop and after careful perusal of his vehicle he could see that it was remotely possible that I left some powdered paint on his car and then laughed his arse off at the nasty scratch on the work Corolla.

I check the car for damage that actually impairs the function of the vehicle and there appears to be none. I figure I should go earn some money for [redacted] before I get fired so drive into town and perform a site maintenance before coming back and telling the boss.

Boss is understanding and says that's what insurance is for but grows a little more peeved when he sees the extent of the damage.

I go and do more site maintenance jobs (I can't actually express how dull these things are but they do make one feel virtuous, like taking out the garbage or clearing out your email). I get back at 4.30 and take a call from the boss as I get to the office. He says someone called to tell him that one of our cars was driving around with a flat tire - my car.

Apparently front-wheel drive vehicles have very little weight in the back so you can drive for HOURS without noticing that a tire is flat.

Front-wheel drives - how do they work?

Day three, people, day three.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Things I love about where we live

* Lying in bed watching the geckos frolic on the ceiling

* Waking up in the night when everything is quiet and  the tide is high, hearing the waves crash on the beach

*Seeing the hint of a glorious sunset glow through the trees, and thirty seconds later being out on the beach, watching it

*Spying on the hilarious but very shy orange-footed scrub fowl that live in our garden

* The pair of doves that snuggle together at night on the branch over our  toilet

*Taking photos of places in our garden in different seasons

*Cooling off in the pool just before bed: floating on my back looking up at  the tropical garden flickering in the reflected pool light

*Waking up to dramatic thunderstorms (when I'm not having a PTSD relapse.  Then I don't like  the  thunder so much)

*So much more!