Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Kangaroos can be clumsy.

The other day we went for our Sunday bushwalk (or bush stalk, depending how energetic we are). A little way along a track we found a dead kangaroo. There was no sign of blood or damage to it, and it didn't even have any flies or ants on or near it, so it must have died quite recently before we arrived. I suspected its neck was broken from the angle of it.
Upon further looking and thinking, we suspect that it must have come bounding down the hill along the track and messed up its footing as it tried to jump over a log, as it's bottom jaw was all exposed and the bush it was in was squashed down a bit. It was pretty skinny and old looking so I think it just got unlucky and bashed its head on the big long next to the track and broke its neck.
It was quite bizarre. P dragged it over to the other side of the big log so it could be a meal for the many little beasties that do that job in the bush. It was really odd to see a whole 'roo, no blood or obvious damage. Poor thing.

Letter to Aus government about the need to set a proper target to reduce emissions.

I am sending this to Rudd, Gillard, Garrett and Wong.

I am a student in Environmental Restoration (BSc) at Murdoch University.
While being a Labour and Greens supporter I am disturbed by the lack of action on this governments behalf in terms of climate change.

The recently set ‘goals’ for emissions restrictions were quite pathetic. To have any impact at all these targets need to be closer to 50% reduction by 2020 to try and mitigate the worst of what’s to come for the human race and all living creatures.

It is already too late to prevent a lot of the catastrophic events, according to the IPCC, but if we carry on using coal powered electricity we will have done nothing to reduce the CO2 and methane that this country produces.

There are many green jobs that can be created to replace blue collar jobs that will be lost in the transition to a cleaner future. Manufacturing and installation of renewable energy are just two areas that promise increased employment prospects.

I understand that the cost of electricity will rise through some of the emission reducing measures but I have noticed there is little talk of individuals reducing their consumption through more efficient use of products. Public education could be used to make people more aware of the simple measures we can take to reduce household consumption. Retrofitting homes to be more thermally efficient and solar panels being made cheaply available to rental homes would be two ways to reduce electricity use in lower income families. These two concepts could also create more jobs.

Please listen to the concerned citizens of this great country Australia. The public can try all we might to reduce our personal carbon footprints but unless the government and industry takes action to reduce emission through using less coal and becoming more energy efficient there will be little reduction in dangerous greenhouse gas emissions.
There isn’t time to wait for other countries to act. We need to show the rest of the planet that we are serious about being the change we want to see in the world.


Monday, January 19, 2009

War on the pests in my garden and kitchen.

I've had enough of sharing my kitchen with yucky creatures..cockroaches, ants and even the odd mouse.
Two mice have been caught recently, quite a few cockroaches have been committing suicide into the dishwater overnight in the kitchen sink tubs, but the rats have been doing the tango in the roof and the coastal brown ants are constantly roaming about.
Last night we put some rat poison in the roof. The only type I ever use is Racumin which doesn't cause secondary death if the dying rat is consumed by another creature. Once their at numbers are reduced I will actually be able to grow a bit of food. With summer in full swing and rats eating anything tasty I am at the point where I am really totally unispired by doing anything to the garden.
Even getting some lettuce and leafy herbs going would be great. Anything. The parsley and rocket even seems to have been hammered this season so there are very little edibles apart from the good old tough Mediterranean herbs.
The late rain and cooler temperatures have allowed a lot more insect activity and more successful breeding of pest populations.
I have had a lot of white fly this year, which I've not seen before, and lots of green leaf hoppers. So most leafy greens have been speckled by the piercing mouthparts of those little pests.
I found a couple of long window box shaped pots the other day. I like to grow lettuce in them as they are narrow and can easily be replanted without disturbing nearby plants too much.
Hopefully soon I will get some greens from the garden. February is a very hot month usually so there may not be much going on until after then. The fig tree and the grapes are coming along well, so we should get plenty off of those, especially if we control the filthy rats.

Inspiration from other women bloggers.

I have lately been checking out some female bloggers in the sciences. They are mostly post-doctorate or doing some other academic job or even out working in the field. I will add my favourites to my blog list.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Summer all of a sudden.

Today has been hot. I used it as an excuse to go see a film I'd been waiting to see. Vicki Cristina Barcelona. Good film. Lots of laughs and some thinking moments, too.

Anyway, it was a diversion for a couple of hours. I am looking forward to getting back to uni. I'm not very good at using up spare time and am well aware that I should do anything I want while I have the chance coz when i get back to studying it will be flat out and I'll have no time for anything except reading those two hefty readers I picked up earlier this week and learning what the squiggly bits mean for statistics.
The subject matter looks interesting - lots about geology and soils, and the second half, hydrogeology looks quite hefty, with a fair bit of maths. But after having passed intro to chem, I'm feeling much confident that I can learn hard content if I try hard enough.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Happy New Year.

Erm, has anyone noticed..?
I guess some people, if anyone else actually reads this that is, may have noticed there is actually very little talk here about growing veges in Fremantle.
A large reason for this is that rats eat any attempts at growing food here. We get a few strawberries and blueberries, so far undiscovered by the rodent pests.
Our simple basil hydroponic bucket continues to produce plenty of that leafy herb for us. Paul made his best batch of basil pesto last week and we ate some of it on the road to Cambray and Pemberton where we went last week.
Some of our shady trees have spread further than we thought and at this point of the year, summer, we prefer the shade to the bright drying sun. Too much water is needed to get a garden producing at this point, unless you have shadecloth over it during the peak sun hours of the day.
I do have quite a bit of silverbeet growing out there, but am not sure what to do with so much of it apart from spanakopita type things. Though, admittedly, I do not eat enough of those delicious spanakopita type things.

Trampoline rabbit hutch.
My cousin Jayne in Pemberton came up with a clever way to give her daughter's pet rabbit a shady, secure day hutch where it has plenty of room to run around. She simply wound chicken wire out and tied the wire to the legs of the round trampoline, placing bricks at the gaps at the base of each tramp' leg to prevent the rabbit squeezing out. We told her she'd accidentally invented a bunny tractor and that she can use it to mow some of the lawn for her.

So anyway, I shall continue to ramble on a little here and there about issues that are important to me. Some of those things happen in the garden, many need to happen on a global scale.