Warning – photograph heavy.

These are Barbary Doves
Australian Wattle Bush

Today Benji and I went wandering  to the Wetlands, the Foreshore and the Ada Ryan Gardens.  I have not been to the gardens in the evening to see the pathways with the new lighting, but it’s on my list. I  have visited the gardens a few times in the last week and  it has been quiet, despite it being school holidays. I did take a few photographs especially of the birds, but trying to get a good photograph through small one inch square holes is not the best. Still I did try. I also look at one of the plants – not really sure what it is but I did like the butterfly. The other yellow bush

I liked the butterfly
Cockatoo

is an Australian Wattle Bush at the Wetlands.  The birds were difficult but not impossible, so I was able to put the camera hard against the cage and photograph through the bars. Not all were successful.

I am pleased to say that the  Kiosk at the Wetlands is going well and most days it is very busy. It  still has only limited seating due to the social distancing,  but there ample seats and benches close at hand and there are seats at the barbecue area which is fairly close.. The council have made an extra entrance into the area so it’s much easy to access now. I have not been round the back of the Wetlands for a little while  which means that I have not been feeding the geese and ducks. The  reason for this is Benji. The back area  is all gravel paths and Benji does not do too well in gravel. Some of the area is a “softer”gravel but where where we have to go is down through the hard stuff, I generally have to carry him. On bitumen, concrete, dirt and grass he’s fine, but not gravel. I did notice that the Black Swans are gone and I have not seen the Pelican for a while so perhaps he/she  has also gone home – wherever that is.  After our walk around the Wetlands we drove down to the Foreshore, but it’s still school holidays and I felt

Some more birds. Not great quality, but ok through steel bars.
Not sure what this is.

there were too many dogs there so I  took him into the Ada Ryan Gardens instead. Same flowers but no butterfly this time. It’s interesting that we are in the middle of winter but the temperature is starting to warm up just a little. For example, yesterday  was a nice 22c – still a bit on the cool side but not bad. Cold once the sun goes down.

In South Australia we have only had 1 case of COVID 19 in the last month. However our borders are closed as the State of Victoria has recorded some 300 new cases, a figure that has been increasing over the last week. New South Wales is not quite as bad but our border there still remains closed. It is now fairly certain that the second wave of cases in Victoria are linked to the two protests and the rally that followed.. I mean Victorians  could not go fishing or play golf as individuals, but the government allowed two major BLM  protests and a rally to take place. In New South Wales, the  police want the BLM protest banned and are going to the Supreme Court to get the authority to stop the protest but they expect that the  Greens and other left radicals will turn up anyway. There will be fines of $2000 for those who do and the police chief has said they could set back the New South Wales economy by 10 years. Our borders remain closed with  a two year prison term for anyone breaking the border restrictions. The reason for the prison is that the fines ($2000)  just don’t seem to deter them.

I did go up to the Gardens later when the lights had come on. I was pleased with the time, but I don’t think I had the settings on the camera quite right and was not very happy with the final outcome. Out of the photographs I took I  was only really happy with one – possibly two.  Still, I suppose it’s better than not being happy with any. The last few mornings have been cold and foggy, so not walking weather.

Gives “up the Garden Path’ a whole new meaning.

 

Toward the Final Curtain S

Time Trials

I have tried to join the Photography Club and although I have been on two outings with them, things seemed to have conspired against me and I have not – as yet – managed to

Splash & Bounce

attend a meeting and make everything official. I enjoy photography although I will be the first to admit that I am not all that good at it – but I would like to be. The two outings I have been were at the Ada Ryan Gardens and Foreshore – looking at contrasts and shapes, and the Cyclist Time Trials for which I had to get a new SD Card- a 64GB Extreme Pro for  action photographs. I was shown on the day how to adjust the camera settings for movement. I’m getting there.. Probably not be a John Marsh or a Samantha Grant, but getting better – slowly. Hopefully, provided nothing goes awry, I should be able to make the next meeting, pay the fee and be a member.

As I said the other day Autumn arrived with a 35c day but the weather has gone downhill since then and today it’s raining and quite cool. Not a day for going out and about although it did stay dry when I was out with the dogs this morning.  I have been organising a Fundraising event for the RFDS on this coming Saturday (7th) I have one team whilst another team is  at a Football Match at Bennett Oval . Generally I would be at the football but this was a last minute request from one of our Hardware Stores and we need to look after them. A big, main stream Football Match between two main stream football teams only comes once in a blue moon, but the hardware stores are here  all the time.. We have a good reputation with them and I don’t believe

One of the Bouncy Castles
The last rider

that we should risk that.

Have been back to hospital these last few days – not for Annabell. Thank you for your concerns, Annabell is well. No, one of our “older” congregation members had a serious fall. Generally when one mentions  a fall in relation to age the next words  refer to hips, or spine, but not this time. This time it seems she has  broken her collar bone and her arm. We are waiting for a bed to be available at the Royal Adelaide Hospital and the RFDS will be called in to transport her to Adelaide. The only surgeon we have here is not able to do anything so she needs specialist care and surgery in Adelaide.

Dougal and Benji

On 19th March I head off to Adelaide for two days and part of the visit will be to the RFDS Central

Benji at the back gate

Operations HQ. I have to meet with some people and collect some things and bring them up here. Nothing special, really, I just happened to be going to Adelaide anyway, so I said I would drop over to the Airport and pick the things up. I will be taking my camera with me so it will give me ample time to play with it over the two days.  Someone put a photograph  of the lighthouse on line, , only they went out late at night and took a terrific photograph of the lighthouse in the dark with the top of the lighthouse lit up. I took some photographs of the dogs, which I thought came out quite well. The reason for the closed gate is that Benji pays no attention to the dogs on the other side of the fence, but Dougal does and that starts a barking match,  When Dougal comes I close the gate and restrict movement from the different areas.

I took the dogs to the wetlands today with the  intention of feeding the geese. Took  a fair amount of birdseed with me but to no avail, the geese were gone. I looked at different areas but no sign of them, which was a bit sad. I hope they come back next season. If the Council are so concerned with tourists visiting the town, they should spend some money to upgrade the wetlands – particularly the toilets, which are not very nice. Anyway, here we are in Autumn (Fall) but although it is ( as Monica suggested )” Dark o’Clock ” even now our clocks do not go back until 5th April so we are in morning darkness for the next  few months.

 

Towards the Final Curtain O

Came across this young fellow.

Growing up in Scotland there were – and probably still are – a number of popular brands of paints. One of the most popular was Dulux. This, as far as  we children were concerned, was a British Company using a very recognisable Old English Sheepdog as its company mascot. As children we stopped thinking of the dog as an Old English Sheepdog and it became – and I expect in the UK at any rate, still is – known as the Dulux Dog.  I liked

Dulux, not really as much for the dog but more for the fact that this was the paint my dad used. That’s all there was to it, the Corporate Identity, the fact that the company traded in India, Pakistan, Australia, New Zealand, Canada – and other countries, was unknown to us and as children – what did we care anyway. For us it was just  Paint.  It has been almost 40 years since we left Scotland so we  brought with us the memories of all these early days. I have no idea what has changed or how much has changed. For example, I can say this –  I worked  for a Government Department and the place where I was stationed, the Distillery and all the Bonded Warehouses, have been demolished; everything has been flattened.  I mean some of these warehouses were built by Prisoners of War — From Napoleon’s Army !   So if I annoyed anyone by saying “It’s a British thing” then I apologise but that’s what I knew and understood and when I wrote it I was thinking of my childhood, nothing else.

Some of the “kites”

The Australia Day celebration ( at least here) ended up being cold and very windy. In the afternoon it was a nice breeze, not too cold at all, but as the sun went down, the wind

Bouncy Castles deflated because of the wind.
The wind was too much

increased and the South Wind off the Spencer Gulf was  strong and cold. So much so that the  Bouncy Castles were taken down and two of the major kite units broke their moorings and came  down. The RFDS Site was fully exposed to the wind and the ladies were just about frozen, so they closed fairly early as did a number of other sites.  The fireworks still went ahead. In previous years we have been at Ada Ryan Gardens for Australia Day but this time the  City Council was making a great play about  Australia Day returning to the Foreshore. I don’t think it was the success they had been counting on. The coolness of the day would have been fine, but the wind put a bit of as dampener on things. Personally I would liked to have had Benji with me – it was cool enough to have him, but the thought of fireworks close up was the decider to leave him at home – to look after mummy!

Next weekend is the first meeting of the year so I will be heading off to Adelaide for a few days. Mount Gambier wont happen until the May meeting. I have plants in pots and they are dying. Those that are not dying are severely wilted. They may come back but based on past results it is unlikely. Yes I  pick heat tolerant plants but 46c is pushing it just a tad. At 06;40 this morning they were all watered and those that could be moved were moved into the shade, but the extreme heat was just too much and even the shaded ones suffered. Even now in the early evening it is still too humid to take Benji out for a walk. The present temperature at 7:45 pm is 32c and not expected to fall below 28 overnight with heavy rainstorms and possibly flooding

From the beach

forecast for tomorrow and Saturday-  what joy!  From the sublime to the ridiculous.

Towards the final curtain C

Overlooking the foreshore this afternoon

After the medical alert and the dust storms, we had two days of rain. Still, at least it washed the dust away. The pit at the end of the street is completely full. Benji and I took a walk down there a short while ago when it stopped raining for a bit. More rain is forecast for tomorrow. We were lucky in that our fundraising event was  rain free but it started just as we were starting to pack up. In that respect we were pretty lucky.  It rained today (Sunday) but the fundraising team that were out managed to avoid the showers and stayed a bit longer. It rained for much of the afternoon so we didn’t get out for our walk until later than usual.

One of the common problems I have is the buffering of this machine. I try to watch YouTube or a movie on Netflix and  what I am watching stops and I get to watch the pretty blue circle going round and round until  the program catches up and it all comes back again. As far as I understand this means that the computer does not have sufficient RAM to cope. Well, during the week I put the computer in for an upgrade and 4 more gigabits of RAM giving me a total of 8 gigabits. Surely that should be enough to stop the buffrering – or whatever it’s called.  No. 2 son suggested that we should get a repeater which would boost the WiFi signal from the Modem. I am not the one who watches the television but there you are  I got the repeater from Harvey Norman and set it up for her.

Today much of what I have seen are reminders that the clocks go forward next Sunday (6th Oct.) That’s ok and  probably necessary,  howeffer—- Christmas Decorations are not and I am seeing these in shops already – I mean by-pass Halloween, Thanksgiving and whatever else and go directly to Christmas. This is just money-grabbing silliness.  It’s the same at the pump, the second after  it was announced that the oil production facilities had been damaged in an attack – Australian  fuel prices shot up. It is now announced that  there has been major repairs and production is back to what it was before the attack, but the prices are not coming down.

I went down to the Wetlands with Benji about 10am this morning (Saturday) and I have to say that the kiosk was R.J.F.  (Ram Jam Full)  The new roof has gone up giving shelter from  any rain and shade from the sun. There were also a lot of people walking around. The Wetlands is becoming very popular and it would be nice if the council spent as much time looking after the Wetlands and presenting it better,  than is does with their  $6 Million + Jetty that they rave about. I don’t like the jetty – or at least the plans for the new jetty, one little bit. I feel that close to seven million dollars  could be much better spent.  However it being Monday, the Kiosk is closed. They are open six days so they do need a bit of a break to catch up on upgrades and  cleaning.

After the Wetlands we went for a quiet wander in the shade around the Ada Ryan Gardens –  The gardens are looking fairly good but they tend to highlight a problem – why dog owners

Flowers at the pathway

get a bad reputation- dog poo. Well not enough to be a major concern but enough to be a noticeable concern. Difficult to miss on the  brick walking paths. When we came here Ada Ryan Gardens was the main place for  outings. We used to take all the  Sunday School children – and parents – to a picnic in the gardens several times a year. We could have a barbecue or just a simple picnic with sandwiches,  biscuits and cold  drinks from several Eskies. We played games and fed the ducks in the duck pond. But then the vandals came and began throwing stones at the ducks, killing several. The council installed  higher fencing, but that didn’t deter them and after  two more ducks were killed, the council removed the ducks, drained the duck pond and filled it in. We also had an enclosure where  several injured kangaroos were kept and looked after, but the vandals attacked them too and they were removed and the enclosure dismantled. In the 1980s we had a lot of trouble with vandals, which all the experts blamed on living in the country and isolated from the facilities and opportunities that are enjoyed by the good people of
Adelaide. Like all things,  that passed but I wonder what the new reason is these days for all the vandalism and youth crime ( as young as 13/15) currently taking place in Adelaide.  Hhmmm…

The weather is starting to warm up a bit – 33c today 30c tomorrow and 37 on Friday. Fires are still burning in New South Wales and Queensland but in some places there is an added concern in that several towns are running out of water. There are no water restrictions in South Australia since we have had enough rain to fill the reservoirs and they are fairly healthy. One town in NSW is spending 14 Million to run a pipeline from that town to another town to access their dam. Problem is that the dam is now reduced to 50% capacity so by the time the pipe is complete there might not be enough water to go around both towns .  The long range weather forecast is not  very encouraging..

 

Benji and Walking and WaWa Panic

Part of Ada Ryan Gardens on Monday Afternoon
Part of Ada Ryan Gardens on Monday Afternoon

Tuesday am:  Got up, dressed and out with the Benji at 6am this morning. We have not gone back to the old route and are in the process of planning  a new one. The reason I didn’t do this before was simply that with the old route I had become a slave to the fitbit and was more concerned with steps than enjoying a walk with  my dog. I am not going to let that happen again – so a new start and a new route and an acceptance that the 10 klms a day was forced and sometimes I was  taking the dog out at 10:30 at night because I needed to make up  distance and I knew where to go and what part of the route to take that would allow me the steps needed to achieve the goal. A thoughtful gift from my younger son had a sting in the tail. But the thing is that there are not so many different places to go walking here and generally  if I am not going to the beach, wetlands or the gardens I go walking in the dark around the area. The dark because it’s quiet and because there are no flies. I hate flies  and living in outback South Australia is not much of a help in that regard  :o)  With all this rain and flooding I think it’s going to be a bad season. The only recent change was the drive out to the Wild Dog Hill Conservation Park. Not something I want to do on a regular basis because the  track is so appallingly  bad in places.

I had to smile!! A lady from Chattanooga – on another site- was complaining  about a high electricity bill. It was $300. There are people here in South Australia who dream of a $300 electricity bill – almost salivate really!  The highest electricity costs in Australia and among the highest in the developed world. Some of the largest companies in the State considered closing down for a while to try and combat the soaring electricity costs in South Australia. Only last week one of the Electricity Providers wanted to  increase costs and the application was turned down by the regulator. The provider is now appealing against the regulator’s decision.

There are, as far as we are aware, three  interests in Arrium – one from Japan, one from Korea and and a British company and as far as we can make out, the British company is the front runner. The Administrator  is hoping that the company will have a new owner by Christmas. My one concern – and the concern of many – is that the unions don’t screw  things up by doing

Arrium Steelworks ( not my photograph)
Arrium Steelworks ( not my photograph)

something silly. For this to succeed we need everyone working together. I don’t know if it’s just me ( probably is) but I get the impression that we are being sidelined. In the past when the media wanted a quote from a Mayor in the region it was to Mayor Jim Pollock they came for a comment. These days  they look to the Mayor of Port Augusta for a comment. I stated in a post some time ago that I didn’t want the current Mayor to be elected. I felt we needed a strong, independent voice, not a party hack who will fall into line with whatever North Terrace decrees. Jim Pollock looked like a Mayor and inspired confidence  – this one does neither.  The sideline is subtle, but I think it’s there.

Amazing how quickly things change. In the news last night the British Steel Company was the “Front Runner”  for buying Arrium, now, today less than 24 hours later the South Korean Steel Company is being “courted” and an Arrium Delegation is in South Korea.

The WaWa
The WaWa

Had a serious panic this morning. I was working on the front door installing a new security  door and left to go fetch another tool. And yes, I did leave the door open. A short while later I happened to notice that there was no WaWa. I searched the house for her and could not find her. I searched all around the grounds – nope.  Locked up and went wandering around the area looking for the lost WaWa. Came back to get the car and go further. Decided to search the house again – nothing in my room – nothing in the other rooms – went into Annabell’s room – nothing…….wait, was that a movement?? Lifted the cover and there halfway under the bed was the WaWa. You have no idea how relieved I was to see her. I complain about her but I never want any harm to come to her. I was just so glad she was safe and well – little pipsqueak bully that she is!!