Striped Marsh Frog

Striped Marsh Frog

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The Currimundi Catchment Care Group in the Sunshine Coast of Queensland has posted a blog post on the Striped Marsh frog.

They are a grassroots organisation that is:

‘a very diverse and active group. We have removed weeds and planted thousands of plants in the parks and bushland bordering the waterways, collected tonnes of rubbish, stenciled litter awareness messages on hundreds of stormwater drains, delivered thousands of newsletters four times a year to a growing urban sprawl, distributed thousands of butt bins, addressed school groups on local environmental issues, conducted tours of an important rainforest stand and maintained a monthly water-monitoring roster at twenty sites along the waterways.’ (source: Currimundi Catchment Care Group website).

They asked permission to use a photo I took when we lived at Woodgate Beach in Hervey Bay.

They have also included a sound track of the unique croak of the Striped Marsh frog (a drip, drip, drip sound – I used to think it sounded like a game of ping pong (if you have a group of them).

So if you want to know more about the frog hop on 😉 over to their website

ribbit, ribbit, ribbit

The Crush

The Crush

The Crush

Sugar cane harvest
in full swing,
season of the Crush.

Syrup in a cane,
fields of candy sticks in green,
giant harvesting machines

collecting sweet payback,
bumper crop of lolly,
even sweeter now,

the bitter aftertaste
of last year’s flood
has been sugared.

Cane is stockpiled
on trains and trucks,
ready for mills.

Empty fields of mulch,
a working man’s stubble,
make a farmer smile.

These are the Sugarlands,

sturdy cane is crushed,
money flows again,
a win never tasted so good.

_____________________________________________

 

Coral Coast

Coral Coast

We’re back from a short trip to the Coral Coast. We stayed at Innes Park, 5 minutes south of Bargara beach.

This area is where the Great Barrier Reef begins.

It was rainy and very windy for the first couple of days. We had bad reception so there was no internet. The television aerial was on its last legs and actually fell off the house on our final night – we could only get a couple of channels now and then, and none on the last day.

The salt air had done some damage to the house (corroded windows etc.,).

Michael was not impressed (‘these people need to renovate’ he said 😉 ).

By the end of the holiday he said that it wasn’t such a bad thing to have no tv or internet (nb., easy for him to say as he had his Sony Android game playing tablet with him!).

They do say ‘disconnect to reconnect’.

Here is the house we stayed in:

Here is the view from the house:

The shoreline in this area is unique in that it is lined by black basalt rocks, formed by volcanic activity a million years ago.

Apparently the rocks continue underwater and are completely covered by corals in some parts. This means you can go snorkelling or diving right from the shoreline (if you are that way inclined).

The kids had a great time searching the shore and rock pools for coral, shells and little critters.

There is still some sand to be found:

We discovered what must be the prettiest toilet block in Queensland and were particularly impressed that a Gouldian Finch had been included in the mural 🙂 The mural was on every side of the block (I would show you all the pictures but am running out of room).

We visited Bargara for the shops and restaurants (5 minutes drive from where we were staying at Innes Park).

We were allowed to let our dogs Jazz and Sheba stay with us – yayayayay.

Jazz loves the water!

Sheba is less enthusiastic but loves to play tennis on the sand.

These rocks are a bit difficult to negotiate 😉

Got the ball!

This playing on the beach can wear a dog out!

I think this will be the holiday the kids will remember for years to come 🙂

Back from Bargara

Back from Bargara

Bargara Beach, Queensland

Just got back from a short family holiday at Bargara beach – about an hours drive North from us and the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef.

We had good weather and bad weather!

I haven’t actually seen the Great Barrier Reef but intend to one day soon before it disappears.

There is 100 percent agreement among climate scientists that human activity is contributing to global warming.

Climate scientists may disagree about specific effects (eg., will cyclones increase in number, will sea levels rise and by how much) but on that basic and fundamental principal they all agree – despite what you may have read on the internet and heard from shock jocks on the radio.

Global warming will have a catastrophic effect on the reef. An increase of a couple of degrees in temperature may not sound like a lot but it will effectively destroy this natural wonder of the world. It will result in severe mass coral bleaching and threaten the habitat of key reef species.

We all need to take action on climate change before it is too late. There is not much time left.

Enjoy your Easter everyone and may peace be with you 🙂

peace, shalom, chill,
Wallum Wonderland

Wallum Wonderland

Looks like this massive cyclone Yasi is heading towards Cairns. They are evacuating the Cairns Base Hospital as I write this!

That is a long way north of us so we should be fine as long as it stays on the predicted track. This cyclone is posing a serious threat to Northern Queensland as it will probably be a category 4 when it crosses the coast in the next couple of days (category 5 is the highest intensity).

Melaleuca swamp

On a lighter note Tracey from blog Quiet Paws was recently discussing the delights of woodland creatures and woodland picnics. I said I would blog about the woodland near my home.

Boardwalk over the melaleuca swamp.

My little town on the shores of Hervey Bay is surrounded by the Burrum Coast National Park (sand-based coastal lowlands), which is a showcase of protected lowland vegetation types including paperbark swamps, mangroves and cabbage palms.

Sandy path further on from the swamp.
Burrum National Park

My family likes to go for walks in the forest to get up close and personal with the plants and wildlife. There is a lovely boardwalk across a melaleuca swamp, sandy tracks through the heathland and bird hides for the use of birdwatchers.

Burrum Coast National Park - melaleuca swamp

There is an abundance of wallum plants in the National Park and in spring there are displays of delicate wildflowers. Wallum is a Aboriginal name describing the banksias found in these areas, particularly Banksia aemula and Banksia serrata. Banksias are low plants with tough leaves which grow everywhere in the heathlands.

Butcherbird

This area is also home to a number of rare and threatened plant species including a paperbark tree Melaleuca cheelii. Thank goodness for the forward thinking people who fought to establish these sanctuaries.

Burrum National Park

On our last walk through the National Park I took these photos. The melaleuca are usually found knee-deep (so to speak) in swamp water. We spotted a goanna on the track (the track we had just walked on).

They dropped crumbs on the ground so they could find their way home!
Melaleuca swamp creature 🙂
Spot the goanna!

We had a picnic after our walk. The Butcherbirds hung around to see if they could scrounge anything. They have the most beautiful song.

Wishing everyone up north the best of luck.

Frog saved from jaws of snake!

Frog saved from jaws of snake!

This happened about a year ago.

Tessa was playing on the verandah.

‘Mum,  there’s a snake down there’, she said as she lay on the floorboards, peering through the cracks between the planks.

Snake under the verandah

The snake was eating a live frog (they taste better fresh). The snake had more than half of the frog in its mouth.

Mum (me) in a tizz gets Dad (Andrew).

Andy the Great (aka Super Shirl) comes to the rescue of frog (ps. don’t tell me we shouldn’t do this – we know 🙂 )

Andy the Great rescues frog from jaws of snake!

Snake scurries off under neighbours car (sorry Henry).

Pissed off and hungry snake departs for Henry's car

Tessa checks on the slightly squished frog

Are you OK?
I've had better days!

Tessa poured some water over the frog to make him feel better.

Wet frog contemplating the meaning of life!

The frog took a couple of minutes to get over the shock and proceeded to climb back up to his spot under the verandah.

Up the pole.
Back where he came from.

The end.

Flood

Flood

Flood

flood waters rise in fury
new bridge drowning
baptism gone awry

~

strong brown water swirling free
across the floodway
foolish driver perched in tree

~

teenagers out for a thrill
blow-up mattresses
no match for raging river

~

 

The weather is going crazy!

I live in a small seaside town in Central Queensland, Australia. Large parts of the State are experiencing the worst floods in living memory. My town is doing ok (except for some small areas of flood) but access roads have been cut-off by flood waters and the SES (State Emergency Services) has blocked entry and exit to the town.

It has been raining almost non-stop since Christmas and we are getting more in one day than you normally get in a whole month. Bundaberg, a large town about 45 minutes drive from us, got 165ml yesterday and it is likely that some of the towns people will be evacuated in the next 48 hours as flood waters rise.

My free-range silky chickens look like drowned rats, but are now safe and dry in their coop. I thought I might have to bring them in the house yesterday but the rain rapidly drains away through the sand around here and they are fine.

We’ve had to cancel a trip to a nearby town for a short holiday and relatives can’t visit as planned. But we are safe and have enough food and water to last the distance, and that is all that matters.

There are still a lot of idiots on the roads who drive though floodwaters when advised not to. These people place their own lives at risk and the lives of the SES workers who have to save them. Some people just can’t be told.

It’s not over yet!

http://www.news-mail.com.au/story/2010/12/28/bundabergs-drenching-continues/