Friday, 26 September 2008

Baby Animal Rescue - and a new challenge

This morning I noticed a dead animal lying on the road outside our place, on closer inspection it was to see a baby wallaby struggling to get out of the pouch. The dog was quickly restrained and we went in for a closer inspection. Mum was long gone and cold, and the wee fellow, while he had his eyes open was completely hairless, this is not a good sign. Still, we weren't going to give up on him and a few phone calls later we'd found someone living 10km away that we could take him too. First we had to get a knife and cut him out of the pouch and straight into Caleb's fur lined hat, then a dash off in the warm car with Caleb cradling him in the backseat. We had the chance for a long discussion around the amount of dead wildlife we see on the road in Tasmania. Since we've been in Tassie we've taken two wallabies, one with a broken leg and this little guy, plus an injured parrot and the bandicoot that got caught in chook wire through to animal hospitals, parks and wildlife and carers. We know that people around here see anything on the road as fair game ... a game of seeing if you can run it over... whether you're a fair shot with your front wheels. It's infuriating to hear about, to see and to be able to do nothing. So when we dropped this fellow off we decided that we're going to become wildlife carers, all three of us. Caleb's wanted to do something like this for a while but thought he'd have to wait till he was an adult. But I don't see any reason we can't start now. So we'll be contacting Parks and Wildlife to see how we go about getting some training and a permit.

Here's the Tassie link - if anyone has any others they know of for Australia or elsewhere, please share. Looking after wildlife is one way to protect biodiversity and to try to alleviate, to some extend the wholesale massacre of native animals on our roads and highways. Tassie wildlife caring information

About 34,000 native animals are killed on Australian roads every day.15 Multiply this by 365 days of the year – and you get a very large number in the millions! Their pouch young often die slowly from the cold or starvation if they survive the initial collision.

Dr Daniel Ramp, Road Ecology Research Group, University of New South Wales, personal comment.

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Fellow frooglers and freecyclers!

Hi all,

Could you please help me flesh out my list of groups forming with environmental goals which require pledges to do without or do better by recycling stuff etc in their own home/workplace etc.

Here's my beginning list.

Zero Waste
100 mile club

I know there are heaps more I've read about, but dredging them up from my murky memory is proving an issue!



Saturday, 20 September 2008

The White Stuff!

Oh poo! I went and had another one of those ideas, the ones requiring the voluntary renouncement of pleasures, large amounts of self discipline and a dead line.
This one has been floating around for a while, but this weekend after long bouts of chocolate eating I finally got around to making it a little more tangible. Like setting out guidelines and a date. I've been generous enough not to include Trev and Cal, thought Trev has opted in. I doubt Caleb will follow suit.
We're going to do something that didn't happen during our six months, we're going to go without salt, sugar and flour. This is a serious resolution for a sugar addicted, salt encrusted, bread binging bit that I am. Trev will have a hard time with salt and flour, but he'll forego the sugar without too much struggle. Sugar should be that white little snowcapped pinnacle on the food pyramid, but in my case the snow is right down to the foothills. I drink alcohol on the very rare occasion, and I don't smoke, but my virtuousness ends there. I think this month will be harder than the whole six in Queensland, but I think a good step in the right direction.

My reasons:

Trev has always been 25 kilos heavier than I am - at the moment I'm closing that gap, and the one between my thighs at a rate not destined to make me a happy or a healthy girl.

I have a strong propensity towards diabetes in my family - and I was gestationally diabetic, so it's almost assured that I will one day top the blood sugar charts.

I don't like being a slave to anything, and I am a slave to sugar and I'm a bit too keen on salt (my blood pressure is up again), and all those carbohydrates make me a dull and bloated girl. (I keep referring to myself as girl as my recent departure from the 30's and arrival in the 40's is also a stirring a case of denial).

So, as of tomorrow, no salt, no sugar, no flour. Wonder what the hell we will eat and what kind of a mood I'm in by Friday?


Another great book! Came across this one by chance, and was intrigued by the concept of someone trying to read the entire Encyclopedia Britannica (to try and out do his dad who only managed to get to B). Mind you, getting to B would be a big brain blow out anyway, there are 33,000 pages, with 44 million words on 10 billions years of history, as the title goes, he's one obsessed man.

For fans of Bill Bryson, he's as good if not better on the wit and manages to illuminate a number of interesting topics on his way through the small font and ultra thin pages of his gold embossed EB. He's a humble person with a self depreciating wit that has me giggling. He also has some very disturbing Woody Allen characteristics, like being a Jewish Ectomorph with a propensity for long bouts of paranoia inspired handwashing. I fight off the urge to share some of the quips with Trev, he'll be reading it soon enough. For the inveterate fact finding fan it's a lark!

You can try before you buy and read the A's at A.J Jacobs (the authors) website here.

Sunday, 7 September 2008

The World Without Us

I'm reading a fantastic book at the moment, Alan Weisman's The World Without Us is a treatise on what would happen if we disappeared today and weren't seen back again and how nature will reclaim and recover our various marks on the world and eventually rub us out. It makes for riveting reading, so nice to see the world from such a fresh perspective! I must have some vital gene missing because I've always secretly like the idea of an emancipated world! (as long as we all disappear with a minimum of pain and distress).

Caleb and I discuss the ludicrous hypothetical question 'If a tree fell in the forest and there was no one there to hear it would it still make a sound?' and the anthropocentric weirdness that humans have put on our own importance, this wonderful book puts us firmly in our place. Though the chapter on plastics still bothers me :-(

The World without us
The site has an interesting multimedia 'quick flick' through the resulting decay of human related remains. I was amazed to learn that New York is built on rivers and without constant pumping it would soon flood. 1/2 an hour without pumps and the trains in the subway would grind to a halt.

Saturday, 6 September 2008

Bruny Island Trip

I recently turned 40 and my birthday present was a trip to Bruny Island for a couple of days, I think we all appreciated being away from small sheds, building sites and computer screens. It's A beautiful spot only accessible by a ferry that takes 10-15 minutes to travel across from Kettering. We found a small house to rent where we could take Nuju with us. It was fantastic. The beaches were so pristine, and the place remarkably undeveloped. No shopping malls! This shot was taken in Adventure Bay, and the other at Allonah. There were lots of beachcombing done for the gorgeous array of shells. I'm still pulling periwinkles out of pockets and cleaning sand out of the car - but well worth it.

Spring has Sprung, the grass is ris!

Moorepark Apricot blossom

Every spring Trevor and I can be heard reciting this gorgeous little poem from Arlene Dahlgren. Think of a strong Bronx accent when reading. Caleb thinks us a little odd but indulges us as we remark on all the blossom, the daffodil and snowdrop laden paddocks where they grow wild.

Spring has sprung, the grass is ris,
I wonder where the boidies is
The boids is on the wing,
Don't be absoid
The wings is on the bird!

Arlene Dahlgren

Flavourtop Nectarine Blossom

Would you trust this man?

Trev's been hard at work on the sunroom - he's placed all the structure, joists etc, and he's been given a thicknesser for Father's Day which should make putting the deck down an easier job. Half of this length is the sunroom, the far end will be plain decking, though Trev's done a great job of putting the last double joist on an angle to try and obfuscate the too many right angles feel. I'm about to embark on my first mud experience by putting up a mud wall about 1.2 metres high. It's school holidays here, and I've figured the kids will love to get in and get muddy with me.

We're going to have a dark slate, stone flooring in the sunroom to create a thermal bank of heat - while it will help warm things in winter I'll be planting wisterias, or grapes or something that will provide shade in summer and hopefully reduce it's abilities to turn into a heat trap. I bought these gorgeous pieces of diachroic glass to use as a feature on the otherwise dark floor. I'm hoping they will glow when the light falls on them.