Wetlands and Dogs

These last few days Benji has been very reluctant to go out for out early morning walk. I can understand this – it  has been very cold. I thought that I would leave the walk to later in the morning – say 8am instead of 6am. I also thought it might be a good idea that we go to the Wetland instead of a local walk. It was a cold but lovely morning this morning and the  ponds at the wetlands were like glass – no breeze at all – not a ripple.

Wetlands this morning

However I  decided it was not such a good idea. There were a good number of people about and all of them had a dog, or dogs/. Benji does not get on well with strange dogs so the walk really wasn’t much fun for him. I think we will just stick to the local area in the morning and go to the wetlands in the afternoon when it seems to be a lot quieter. The interesting thing was that all the people with dogs this morning were males.  If I want to go to the foreshore I have to remember to take bags with me as the council has not yet replaced the dog waste bags that it removed for the upgrade.

Benji is a rescue dog and we have not known what his true age was.  In October of this year it will be

Hello peeple..

four years since we adopted him. At the time I was told he was three years, so plus the four we have had  him, that would make seven. I always felt he was older and it turns out I was right – he was born in November 2010, which means he will be nine years, not seven, this year. All of this is academic because in the end I don’t care what age he is, he’s my boy and I love him dearly. However, it may go a ways to explaining why he is so reluctant to get out of bed and get out of the house at 6am on a winter morning – and – I shall have to take the pace at which I walk into consideration and slow down a tad. Of course the reluctance to get out of  bed and get out of the house on a cold winter morning could simply be a kind of human trait, since sometimes we are pretty reluctant to do similar ourselves. I had out longer than usual last night and he actually did slow down and he seemed to me to be a bit tired, so I lifted him up on my shoulder and carried him for a while. One of the neighbours asked  “who was taking who for the walk?” After a little while I put him back down and he seemed to have a lot more energy

This coming weekend is the weekend of the Whyalla  Show (Fair). The RFDS will be on display again this year but  I will not be attending this year as I will be in Adelaide for a Presbytery Meeting. We have Yogi here! Jim took what is believed to be a slight stroke and was taken to hospital. Fay is spending much of the day there so she asked if we would look after Yogi for a few hours. I said I would and went down and collected him at 8am this morning (Wednesday) I  said before that he has not been a well dog and he has certainly lost a fair bit of weight and he is crying a lot, but that could be because this was all so sudden and he is anxious  and does know what is happening. At the moment he is a sad little dog, but Benji and me will look after him for a bit.. Yogi was only here for a few hours and he “cried”much of that time. I held him up on my lap but I had to be careful and not put Benji offside.

As it turned out, Jim did not have a stroke – not even a minor one.  He underwent a brain scan an ECG and various other tests and when they proved negative he was allowed home. When I took Yogi back home Jim was

Benji at the Long Beach

sleeping.  He will check in with the hospital every few days for a little while to make certain everything is ok. However they really don’t know what caused the turn he had. Fay was chastised by the doctor because she drove him to the hospital instead of  calling an Ambulance. Her comment was that  the ambulance can take too long to arrive and is was  quicker to drive him to hospital.  That’s a worry…


Bicycle, Ambulance and Fire Engine.

Tuesday Coffee Ladies.

Tuesday evening is Annabell’s Coffee evening with the ladies. I took her there and came back to do some work on my own. Just before 9pm. she telephoned and asked me to come and pick her up. At the far end of the street there seemed to be a lot of people, an Ambulance, a Police Car, a Fire Engine and a State Emergency Service (SES)Truck, so I had to slow down when passing. I collected Annabell and brought her home. All the emergency services were still there and from my slow passing I could see that there was a person in the stretcher .  All very interesting.  On Wednesday morning we found out the story, when one of the coffee ladies phoned Annabell.  There is this man called Greg. and on a Tuesday he meets up with his mates, play snooker  and have a chat. One of the  males is disabled and his wife collects him. It was a pretty wild night and the wife asked Greg, if he would like a lift home – they could get the bicycle into the SUV. He said no, he was fine and would ride home. He is a biker and goes everywhere on his bicycle.  Well he didn’t make it and came off the bike. Someone called an ambulance since Greg injured his back and could not move.  Now Greg is a very big and very heavy person and the

ambulance people could not lift him. By this time, the police showed up.  What to do??  Well, the police knew that the Fire Service had heavy lifting equipment, so they were called out. Now, if the fire truck goes out the SES goes with it.  Using the Fire Equipment they got Greg into the Ambulance and they were just leaving as we passed on the way home.  I understand from  Annabell’s source, that  poor Greg was highly embarrassed to say the least and the  crowd that I saw around the accident seemed to have had a good show.

On Wednesday afternoon I was unhappy with Annabell’s health and I questioned her several times to find out how she was. She assured me that she was ok. I had my doubts. I may not be a physician but I have a sense of smell. I asked her again how she was and she assured me she was ok, so I went out with Benji.  When I returned,  just about an hour later,  she was sitting in her chair, bag on her lap and shoes on and all she said, was “I need to go to the hospital”. I got Benji sorted out, got my  driving glasses and off we went. Yes, she has another infection and is being treated with antibiotics. It was nearly midnight before we got home so I did not go walking this  morning. However, I did go to the pharmacy when it opened and got her script filled.

Today, as you can probably imagine has been a day to relax. I left her sleeping and later, after breakfast,  I took her to the shopping centre. The remainder of the day has been fairly quiet. It has not rained at all today, but the wind, which started in the early morning and  now – at 10pm. is still going.  We had a call from Flinders this afternoon to let us know that the scripts have been faxed to our local pharmacy. I will get them dispensed here and take the units with us to Adelaide. Thus we should not have a repeat performance at the Hospital Pharmacy.

In a recent visit to the lighthouse with Benji I noticed that the council were doing some upgrade work to the base. I thought that was an interesting view. Probably not but it appealed to me.

Another week -More Rain.

Get the sun whilst you can.

Monday and the start of a new week. Last week it rained almost  every day sometimes for hours on end.  Parts of  the state were flooded and some parts still are a week later. The upper parts of the state took a drenching and one family of four were trapped in a caravan as they were crossing the state. A satellite phone and food supplied were dropped to them by air, but considering the conditions it could be some time before a rescue operation is organised.  However, they are in no immediate danger. The last of  the present rain was Sunday Afternoon. Today being Monday,  there has been no rain

This morning on our walk between rain bands.

at all. In fact it has been a pleasant sunny  day. Tuesday was  warm and sunny and we were able to get out and about. Wednesday,  sunny and blowing a gale -wind never stopped the whole day. Wednesday night the rain started back again.  It’s now Friday afternoon and still raining. This morning we could not see the hills and the rain  started just before  we finished our walk but it was not too bad since we were almost at the house.

Woo MacHoo. There’s a bit of blue..

On Tuesday, since it was a good morning and Annabell was OK, I took Benji back to the Wetlands. It was an  interesting walk. Try to picture this —- Walk, walk ,walk –Hello John, How’s Annabell? discussion: Walk, walk ,walk –Hello John, How’s Annabell? discussion: Walk, walk ,walk–Hello John, How’s Annabell?  discussion. I did two tours of the ponds and the first tour was taken up with people asking me how Annabell  was. It’s really quite humbling to realise how well thought of she is.  Tuesday, as I said, was warm and sunny and it was on Tuesday that the photograph of Benji was snapped. Wednesday  the wind  fluctuated between strong and gale-force. I removed the canopy from the garden swing in case it was damaged, again.  It was damaged a month or so ago when the wind blew it against the garage wall and broke

Wetlands – Tuesday.

the units that hold the canopy on to the frame.  I had two new units made and I would prefer that they don’t get damaged or broken. The wind died away and Benji and I took advantage of that and went out for a walk. Just got in and the rain started.

The family -mum, dad and two children –  bogged down in the Simpson Desert, were rescued and brought out  by Helicopter. The Camper Van remains where it was bogged. It was quite a complicated rescue, requiring organising fuel stops, there and back.

Annabell has been fairly well but she does get tired and tends to sleep a lot. This is another reason why I don’t go to the Wetlands in the mornings – it would take me too long to get back in the event that she takes unwell and a visit to the A & E is required.  Locally, I could be back in five or six minutes. I really need to keep a watch on things before our visit to Flinders in a few weeks. Her Day Surgery is on Friday 10th December, conference is on the 11th – her rest day.  We are staying in Kent Town, which is only about seven or so minutes away from Norwood, where the conference is  held,  so provided everything is ok, I can nip along the road to the conference.

Saturday and no walk this morning. The rain started started back last night and it’s still going and by the look of things, will be going for some time.  I’m really over this wet weather and even when it stops raining there is not much you can do because everything is wet and damp and there

The Garden Swing Canopy pretending to be a sail

seems little point in bringing out chairs and cushions, just to put them away when the rain restarts.  In all the years I have been here, I have never seen it rain so much as it has recently. It’s quite depressing.   Interesting though – most of the people who a week or so ago, were cheerfully saying “oh we need this rain” are quite silent.  I agree that we need the rain, but really, this is overkill  :o)

Mother Nature’s Hissy Fit.

I think they are some kind of lily

The rain in Spain, falls mainly on the plain;

The rain in Australia falls anywhere it pleases

Here we are – the second week of November and it’s still raining. The first week saw my driveway under three inches of water, it’s a bit more now and the back garden is not much better. Between the thunderstorms and the constant rain I think my brain is waterlogged. Benji and I have not been out much and it’s now been three days since we had our last morning walk. As I said before, the real problem with this weather is that it can make a person feel homesick. Anyway, it’s been like this all night and by the look of things , it will go on most of today as well. To be honest I have never it rain as much as it has done these last few weeks-

I really like the Jacaranda Trees

at least not up here – the Lower Eyre Peninsula yes, but not up here. My main rainwater tank is overflowing and the 100 litre. bin I  put under the overflow pipe to catch the water for use in  the garden, is also overflowing.  I have not been down to the wetlands and  I should imagine that the ponds are at capacity but I have seen the water pit  and that is  overflowing.  If this weather keeps up  then something will have to be done  about the water pit. All  that has been done thus far is to dig a channel from the top of  the pit out to the bush so the water clears – well, some of it anyway.

Annabell has been unwell this last week and I have had her  at the hospital, the doctor and for  tests. We are still waiting on the results of the tests. We have also been for  our second Vaccination and we have our Vaccination Certificates. I should have been heading off to Adelaide for the quarterly conference.       This, however, has been   postponed until next month. The son of   the Moderator died suddenly (aged 26) and given the  circumstances it was decided to hold things over until December.  At the moment  there is no indication of the date in December, I hope it does not clash with Annabell’s visit to Flinders. If that happens,  there will be no conference because I am not

Still my Happy Boy!

changing Annabell’s hospital date. Wow.. After raining all night and much of the morning it is 10:50  and the rain has stopped.  Perhaps she is having a “Breather”  before the next round.   It is now  11:39 and  “round 2”  begins .

As I suspected, the pit is overflowing. Benji and I went out for a quick drive to see what was happening around the place. After the pit I drove to the Wetlands and I must say that I saw the highest water level I have ever seen there. There is also flooding on the roads and one has to watch where one is driving  so that we don’t splash up and soak someone standing close.  It’s not illegal but it’s not very friendly either.

It is wet and it really is quite cold. The forecaster suggested that it is very much colder than it should be for this time of the month. When we were out in the car I saw that Benji was shivering a bit so I  got a blanket from the back seat and wrapped it around him. When we got back home I put on his jacket ( the one in the photograph) so he should be a tad warmer. Well, he is 11 YO now.

I”m not, but I will be shortly..

Email from Adelaide tells me that the Conference clashes with  Annabell’s visit to the Flinders Clinic, but it may be that it is on her “Rest Day” before we head for home, so, provided everything goes to plan I might just make the conference -which is ten minutes away from the Flinders Lodge an the Parade in Norwood.

Stormy Weather.

Weather News – Severe thunderstorms hit South Australia …

18 hours ago · Lightning, giant hail and heavy rains have hit parts of South Australia, causing flash flooding and damage across the state, forcing the closure of a number of schools. A severe thunderstorm warning for the Adelaide region has been cancelled, but a severe weather warning for damaging winds remains in place for most of the state.


It was a tad wet!

This was the result of the thunderstorms that battered the state  all day Thursday and well into this morning (Friday) I  had a generally sleepless night during the gale force winds worrying about the two trees outside. As it happens they – thankfully – survived. I say thankfully because if they came down they would cause considerable damage. I am desperate to have them removed but I can’t find anyone willing to do this or that have the necessary equipment to do this. Early morning it was reported that  schools had damage to roofs and had to be closed and currently there are some 30,000 houses without power.

The hail storms were severe with some hail as big as gold balls, causing major damage. There is advantage in living in the arid lands – the weather gets ” grumpy” at times but is really nothing in comparison to what they get  down south. We don’t get the hail – which is something to be thankful for. Over in New South Wales and Victoria the storm front caused havoc with roofs collapsing under the weight of the water and the massive hailstones. The storm drains were unable to cope leaving the water no where to go but into houses and businesses. Over there they were talking 100,000 without power. Car repair people will be working for a long time to repair the damage caused to cars by the hailstones

Yesterday afternoon before the storms hit I removed everything I could from the back garden, including the removal of the canopy of the garden swing, which in  a good wind acts like a sail. I brought  Benji’s chair and stored it in the garage along with  all of the seat covers.  It is now 07:30 and as I look out of the window I can see that there is not even a breath of wind. A lot of damage across much of the state and I expect the clean-up will take some time. There was some wind when Benji and I went for our walk at 6am, but now – nothing.

Just shows you how the weather can make a liar out of people. Less than five minutes since I wrote the above sentence and it’s raining and a wee bit windy  LOL..  I have noticed that the rain is not falling down, well, yes, of course it is,  but it’s almost horizontal. If it gets any heavier I’ll have to go out and move things that I put under the carport for protection – I did!

The rain continued off and on for much of Friday but by the  mid afternoon it had cleared and Benji and I went for a drive then a  wander through the Ada Ryan Gardens. We didn’t stay too long since there was a  little bit of a wind – nothing much, but it was cold.  This  morning, no sunrise to speak of –  one minute it was quite light, next the sun was in the sky — no beating about the bush this morning.

The Benji.

Don’t think I ever mentioned that Thunder and Lightening doesn’t seem to bother Benji at all. I bought a Thunder Shirt for Chienna but it really didn’t help her all that much.  Thunder crashes and  Benji barely lifts his head. No idea what he would be like outside, but I’m not willing to find out  :o)

Sunrise, Spiders and Flowers.

Sunrise this morning

It’s  been a good few days – no medical emergencies, no hospital visits, peaceful and quiet. Wet and windy at times but that’s fairly normal here.  However, I have still managed to get Benji out and about. This morning, for example, Benji and I were out at 6am. Quiet and peaceful with hardly a breath of wind. An absolutely brilliant sunrise.  Seven am and we were back home and by 8am we were in the middle of a thunderstorm – the first of three that came and went throughout the day. More are forecast for the next few days  I had a look at my plants outside and found a

Golden Orb Spider

creature with a web. I had no idea what it was since it was like no spider I had ever seen. Turns out it was a Golden Orb Spider. To be honest I had never even heard of it before. I did check up on it and they are common in rural areas and I realised that this was one of the plants I bought at the Arid Lands Botanic Garden. However, it is fairly harmless and a bite can cause temporary localised pain but it is not  toxic.

Also  on my walk this morning I had an unusual sight – a mother feeding her young.  I carry a plain Oat Bar in my pocket. Sometimes when I am out a magpie will land beside me and I will crush part of the bar and  let the magpie have it for breakfast. This does not happen every day. It did happen this morning and after the magpie

Another pot plant

started feeding what looked like a second magpie landed close to it yelping its head off. The first Magpie lifted some food walked over to the second one and fed it. It kept doing that all the time I was watching. Magpies mate for life and I believe this was either a mother still feeding its young, or a male feeding its partner. I told Annabell and she thinks it was the former, a mother feeding its young. It really was interesting to watch and it’s something I will look out for.

During the week I spent some time with Benji at the Ada Ryan Gardens. I

Not sure – seems the same.

remembered seeing a plant on  a post recently and I think we established it was a South African plant. Anyway, as I was wandering through the gardens I  came across what I think is the same plant. There was no identification but I’m sure  it is the same plant- if not then it is something very similar.

I really must commend the council and the gardeners at the Ada Ryan Gardens for the great job they are doing. The gardens are well looked after and cared for and really are a credit to the  work that the people do there.

Annabell has been good this last week and long may that continue. We have no hospital appointments until December. We were given a choice of two dates for day surgery – 10th December or  20th December.  Since we didn’t want to take the risk of being  “out of action” – so to speak – so close to Christmas,  we opted for the 10th. Depending on what they want to do at  the clinic, we could be another four days away, which was another reason for not going with the 20th.  Any reasonable luck we should drive down on the 9th,  day surgery on the 10th and drive home on the 11th or 12th.  Well,  that’s Plan A  :o)   Haven’t got a Plan B yet…..