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Website / 22.11.2018

It took me a few days to restore a semblance of order to the albums after the November 10 debacle, during which time I realised that much of the curating was years old and tired. The re-launched site provided a unique opportunity to curate the contents of the albums. At the very least I hope to fill in gaps about species distribution and provide some facts and figures, although in many instances there is scant online information on a particular species. As important is grouping images to show variations within a species or provide greater detail. The work is demanding, trying to keep the writing fresh and positioning new and old images in the right place among several hundred in a given album.

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Website / 16.11.2018

I trust you are enjoying the site. There have been a few niggles which annoyingly, at times prevented me from uploading new images. On October 15, I emailed Jess that some of the thumbnails on the Moths album weren’t loading, which is not a good look. Also, the thumbnail for the Fungi album didn’t load, but one could still access the album. The matter was only rectified on November 10. However, in so doing, Jess’s wordpress guy somehow got rid of the ‘Sort gallery’ button. Even when it reappeared, it didn’t work properly and the newest images were on the last page. I had an ominous feeling that I had yet again entered a website world of pain. Fortunately, after some false starts, Jess seems to have restored order and banished chaos. Today, I have successfully uploaded new images and updated the sort order. Fingers crossed that this will continue unabated.

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Film Diary / 14.11.2018

Our walk in Palm Grove, nearly proved fruitless for me. By the time I had set up to film a black-spotted semi-slug on the shell of a giant panda snail, the semi-slug had vanished. However, Lumart had shone his uv torch on lichens on a rough-hewn stone wall on either side of steps leading to the picnic area portending spectacular images. There are many rocks in the park, so I anticipated achieving good things filming lichens on them. But the results were poor. The lichens on the wall had been exposed to sunlight, those in the park were shielded by the understory and canopy.

On one side of the steps some of the lichens resembled larva flows and magma, others emitted a brilliant yellow light. On the other side of the steps, the lichens looked like rock paintings of a kind never achieved on earth, one with three bright white/green circles forming a triangle on a crimson ground. PS I went back to the wall next day and filmed the lichens in daylight. They looked very dull in comparison.

 

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Film Diary / 09.11.2018

There have been some hot days, plenty of rain in October, but overall, Spring has been cool. I have photographed on 18 days with my PANCAM since July 1, (mostly moths, but also birds, a lacewing, a spider and the smallest stick insect nymph I have seen), compared with 11 days for the entire second half of 2017. Today, I filmed European honey bees drinking at a birdbath in a friend’s garden. I had never seen this activity and hadn’t given the matter any thought, but I was entranced by what I saw. The bees spent plenty of time drinking and relaxing. The plants which attract blue-banded bees aren’t in flower. I can’t wait to find out if I will be able to film them drinking.

 

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Film Diary / 24.10.2018

Tonight, at The Knoll, we completed the first night filming walk of the new season, which started late because of unusually cold weather and recent rain. It was great to see Robyn again, after a long absence while she waited for a hip replacement operation, from which she has thankfully made a good recovery. Mark, Jaap Lumart and Karen completed the crew.

We saw plenty of creatures including a metre long brown tree snake, plenty of spiders, a couple of snails, a small and emaciated leaf-tail gecko, two great-barred frogs, black-spotted semi-slugs, a crane fly, caterpillars, millipedes, glow worms, and male and female harvestman. I filmed a new, smallish beetle. I also got a few okay seconds of the eel which lives in Sandy Creek, now full after a week of heavy rain. On the way back from dropping off Jaap, I swerved to avoid a large carpet python about to cross the road.

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Film Diary / 17.10.2018

Apparently, they have been there for a few days, but I only noticed them when I drove past at lunch time today – an adult tawny frogmouth and chick, perched on a wood chip pile in the park opposite my apartment block. The pile is all that remains of the tree which contained the nest, from which they had been summarily evicted, because council workers cut the tree down last week. In an attempt to make amends, the council has surrounded the pile with ‘do not disturb’ signs. They are due to remain in place until the chick is able to fly, which is reckoned to be in about two weeks’ time.

Although they resemble owls, tawny frogmouths are not raptors, lacking talons, and a beak capable of ripping flesh apart. They catch their insect prey on the wing. The birds occur throughout mainland Australia and Tasmania. Use the images and videos search to see what they look like.

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Other / 16.10.2018

I have just uploaded the first gallery page since April this year. Jess has up-sized the enlargements for new and newly created images, which makes a tremendous difference. Steve and I did a number of fresh frame captures from old footage, some of which I have uploaded, and the enlargements all benefit from the up-sizing.

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Website / 06.10.2018

Pardon me for crowing, but the redeveloped website went live overnight. Thanks to the brilliance of its young developer, Jess Murphy of BeITsafe, here on the Gold Coast, the site now has more of a contemporary look with crucial concomitant features, such as being smart phone and tablet friendly.

The pages are wider which improves their look and makes the blog easier to read by allowing the use of a larger font. The videos are paginated and the total shown is automatically updated as new videos are added. Best of all is the long overdue species search function for images and videos, with which I am having a lot of fun.

The previous upgrade went live in August 2013, when the site was given its albums and blog categories. It also enabled me to upload posts and images for the first time. But its overall look remained true to its original appearance.

It’s three months since I last uploaded material to the site. This is the first cab off the rank, with quite a backlog of posts and images for me to work through. Can’t wait.

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My Travels / 27.09.2018

Simon was in Brisbane for a week to spend time with his mum and celebrate her birthday with her. The idea of a whale watching jaunt to Hervey Bay, a 3 ½ drive from Brisbane, was proposed and I was eager to join in. Simon has been whale watching there five times. The first close to thirty years ago with me. The most recent with his wife Nicole, two years ago. I’m not sure if this was Kathy’s first trip. It was my second.

Humpback whales occur in the northern and southern hemispheres. There is even an isolated population in the Arabian Sea. When the Australian whaling  industry ended in 1963, it was thought that the east coast population of humpbacks had been reduced to a little over 100 individuals. Now it is reckoned that 20,000 or more migrate from their feeding grounds in Antarctic waters, so that the females can give birth in the tropical and subtropical waters of Queensland’s coast.

Hervey Bay is a whale watching hot spot. It is the home of a flourishing and valuable industry during a season which extends from late July to November. It is sheltered by Fraser Island, the world’s… Read Complete Text

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Website / 19.09.2018

The website work has taken longer than intended, but Jess had to take a period of medical leave. Her office is in an up-to-the-minute mixed-use building occupied by health businesses, IT experts, solicitors, accountants and the like. There is a café and a receptionist to whom visitors report. Fittingly, the building is in the wider Bond University precinct. We had a most productive 2 hour meeting dealing with design issues and anticipating the action needed for going live.