Sunday, February 28, 2010

Net Casting Spider

Deinopis Ravidus. Family Deinopidae.

Where we live is surrounded by the Blue Mountains National park. So it should come as no surprise that our home is host to a large variety of crawlies. Rather than get all worked up over a few spiders, sankes and lizards, its far easier to learn about them, their behviour and what to look out for.

One of the most facinating spiders in my garden is the net casting spider. In this case a male. They catch their prey just like a fisherman casting a net for fish!

Net at the ready, (not my photo).

The males legs grow up to 8cm in length and look rather like a stick insect. Harmless to us they make an intersting addition for keeping the bugs down. So, even on a weekend full of work, there is still time to discover something new.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Walking the Blue Mountains

Short video of the walks I like in the Blue Mountains, specifically the Kanangra-Boyd national park.

As well as our accommodation.

Friday, February 12, 2010

what I walk in

My boots in Weddin National Park. Australia
At the end of my foot is a boot, now you might find it strange, but I was reflecting on footwear. You see- I have very ordinary feet. I danced when young and ballet mangles feet ( as too does my blood disorder). So, what I wear has to work.
These are Scarpa Attacks. An Italian boot and are fantastic. In last weeks walk they were mostly in or on or under water. I have had them for almost 25 years!
My boots in the Lakes district of England (I am try to identify a bird)

Yep! They cost a mint when I bought them and even today a new pair will cost about $400.00.
These poor old boots are almost worn out. However in April I will be in England and will use them for walks there before I retire them and buy a new pair. I dont think I could throw them away as they are still very comfortable and the leather is like new.

Geez! The new pair may out last me! Even if you have good feet, good quality camping equipment is vital and could even save your life.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Dance Floor Cave

Dance floor cave.

Do you like Irish dance music? Do you like the feel of the stars, of fresh winds at night and the feeling of freedom? Do you think there is another way? Another way, instead of the city life you live? Then come with me!

Situated in the Kanangra Boyd National Park is a cave. A cave were the first settlers built a floor- a dance floor, protected from the elements by a great rock overhang. A cave, how cool is that?! In the late 1800's and early 1900's the farmers would walk their cattle across the divide. A cattle route. Carved from rock. Harsh, leading to their homes of bark, wattle and mud. Here, at the junction families would arrive, light a fire and dance.

The cave itself. All that remains.

I chose, on a wet, wild stormy day to walk this track. Magic as it was, to imagine how they lived. The music, the smoke, the laughter. Magic it was, as the rain pelted down. I remembered my grandfather, my uncle who cut great logs from this forest.

The track. Utterly water logged!

Today I could talk about the track, the plateau, or the fact that the vegetation is alpine. I could talk about the birds or the wallabies, or the sat nav. But today, yes today......

A wallaby

I remember the way they met, and danced amongst the smoke and the rock overhang. Will you?