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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Echidnas, and an Entomological Enigma, Etc.

Eeeeek! - I seem to have missed a few letters for ABC Wednesday ... Actually this post got saved as a draft and missed a couple of rounds! ... I started writing a post for B ... but then I got Busy! ... but just Before I got too Busy, I found the perfect C post half done and saved as a draft on the same blog I did the A post on ( ) although I was also planning on doing a C post on here (Covering some stuff about Crochet, and Cairo ... and maybe even Canberra and a few other C things) ... and I was too Disorganised to catch up in time for D (I did think about Doing a late D post about a Deluge, but I think I prefer to call it a Flood anyway so it can be part/all of my F post, if I don't get too busy again) ... so now we are up to the letter E
but I didn't post this when I wrote it almost a year ago ... I must have run out of Evening, or "Eventually" didn't happen yet, or something ... can't remember if I did an E post last round ... this is the one after! ... this time around I did do posts for A, B and C ... but they were all a bit late ... and I missed D (pity - I had 2 ideas for that and Didn't get to Do Either of them ... but they can get Done later/Eventually ;-)

I was thinking of what to post about, like a lot of my ABC Wednesday posts, this one is probably rather Ecclectic - but someone has already called their post that - lol
I did think of calling it "Emu, Etc" seeing the Emu is one of the creatures on Australia's coat of arms ... but I am not sure if I have a photo of an Emu that is Easy to find ... but I should be able to find at least one of my photos of the last couple of Echidnas I have seen ...

Except that I have probably already put them on my blog  ... in fact there is a close up of one in this post -  yes - my F post for a previous round of ABC Wednesday - lol - and my E post just before that (  ... er ... I nearly called this post "Eek!" - but luckily I did have a vague memory that I may have already used that title, and thought of something Else - LOL) has more photos of the same Echidna. But ... I think I have taken a photo or 2 of another one since then and I have a sneaking suspicion that I have probably already blogged about that one too ... hmmm ... there was another round in between those Echidna posts and now (but my E post didn't have any photos ... and it was Extremely weird ... )
I guess I should open up my image Editing software and have a look for it (I could just look for it on the computer without using the program I am just opening - but if I want to crop the photo or fiddle with it Etc then I already have the program open, and the photo there ready to play with - lol)

Found it - and it looks like I probably didn't get around to posting it anywhere because I don't have a cropped or otherwise fiddled with version saved (which I probably would have done - because I just did that now - lol) ... so here is the Echidan I saw about 1km from here, in July last year:
(er - make that July the year before last ;-)

hmmm - I didn't notice that broken top of a toy car next to it when I took the photo!

I possibly could have Done a Dodgy and used this photo in a D post if I had Done one - I took the photo while I was out walking the Dog, here in Dunlop - we were walking along the Dirt path next to the Dunlop grasslands and I heard a noise beside me - so I looked over the fence and there was the Echidna - Digging Down into the Dirt ...

Er ... I am now running out of Evening ... actually I did run out of Evening - hopefully I will remember to come back and finish this E post ... hopefully tomorrow ... or if not - then Eventually ... Er ... I guess it is now "Eventually"?

had a few other things I was thinking of including jotted down here


I will be nice and spare you from that one now (mainly because I don't know where those photos are and don't have time to look right now)

Energy ... what engergy? (my get up and go got up and went)

... and I am still looking for it I think.

E is also for Event ... like the Four Wheel Drive show that I was involved in on the weekend (Er ... about this time a year ago actually - LOL) ... but that may be the topic of my F post ... (which I did mention might be about Floods ... which it still will be if I post about the 4WD show - because it kind of rained ... rather a lot ... lol) ... although I might change my mind and post about Fungi ... (although I could leave them for next time around, or include them in G for greeblies or something ...)

oops - don't think I did any of those ...
(the Fungi idea should happen Eventually ... I have an Excess of funghi photos - I seem to keep taking them - lol - so they can be either F for fungi or maybe M for mushrooms and mould or something - lol)

I was also thinking of doing my E post about Extreme weather (and using the stuff I was going to put in my half typed D post I forgot I had started Doing) but I decided that seeing I still had a pile of photos and stuff to go in there I might just do that some other time ;-)

hmmm ... if I post this now, it might even be Early!!!!!

Except tea is cooked, and I was going to see if I could find an Extra photo or 2 to Extend this post a bit ... lol

[Andrea goes and eats tea ... and ...? comes back Eventually?]

ok ... it is now about 3 hours later - I have Eaten my tea, Entertained myself in front of the TV for a couple of Episodes of TV shows we had recorded, and Excercised the dog ... and as the Evening is almost over DH has gone to bed, and I should do likewise, seeing I also have to get up for work in the morning ...

but first ...

one more E thing, that is both recent and old (well that seemed like a good Excuse to make it fit in with the rest of this Eccentric post ;-)

I recently found the answer to an Entomological Enigma ... Entomology being the study of insects, and the Enigma being something that was puzzling me ...

A few years back, Er ... it would have to be about 7 or 8 years ago considering where this started - at the school I used to work at before the one I am at now (and I have been there for at least 6 years) we had a glasshouse, with some tree seedings being propogated in there - and I found some weird looking caterpillars on the seedlings ... also found a few around here (at home)... and a couple of members of the Landcare group I am in also noticed them Eating a few of the plants around the area ... I just happened to have an old leaky fish tank handy at work, so I decided to "adopt" a few as pets ... turned out to be Easy to look after because I found that they wouild Eat all sorts of weeds/etc that I put in there for them to munch on ... and they Even pupated, turned into really weird moths, which bred with Each other and laid Eggs ... which hatched into more fuzzy caterpillars!

hmmm ... just realised I can work out when I had those caterpillars - from the dates I took the photos I am just about to put here - LOL - back in 2002 ... (found them the other day when I was looking at puppy photos - we got Diesel (our dog) in 2002 ;-)

Talking about Diesel - here he is on Christmas morning - sound asleep with his head hanging over the table leg!

I guess he was Exhausted after all the Excitement of the unwrapping of presents and stuff ...
(btw,  I moved the dog's head OFF the table leg just after I took the photo ;-)

Now for the caterpillar/moth/etc photos:

A couple of caterpillars - one on my finger and one on a box:

 This is when I had them in the old fish tank at work.
(at the end of the school year I brought the fish tank of caterpillars/etc home, so I could keep looking after them)

This is looking down into the fish tank - a caterpillar on the right, and the weird lumpy looking thing in the corner of the tank on the left is actually a female moth.

Here are some eggs, laid on the remains of the cocoon the femal emerged from - they don't go far away to lay the eggs because the females don't have wings to fly:
(the males are attracted to the females and come to them to mate)

Here is a female moth, some eggs on a cocoon (that might be a pupa in there still, or it might just be the skin the female crawled out of) and a sligty scruffy looking caterpillar:

and here is the male moth, who can fly:

and here are some more caterpillars ... on the thing I was using for a lid in the fish tank (glass over most of it and this wooden frame with fly screen mesh on it so the air could get in)

At the time I didn't have a clue what they were, and I wasn't sure where to go/look to find out ... I might have done some searching on the www, but there might not have been so many good insect/etc websites out there at the time ... that or I didn't find them ...

But the other day someone in the landcare group found a caterpillar (different sort than these) and e-mailed a photo ... and it looked like something I had seen before so I got curious, and did a bit of "googling" and found a really good insect website or 2, and found out what that other caterpillar was ... then I remembered I had been looking at dog photos and found these ones, and wondered if I could find out what they were as well - and yes - I did ;-)

- They are a species of Tussock moths  ... probably Painted Apple Moths

The website I found that info on is here - 

For those not in Australia (and those who are but want to know about the rest of the world ;-) these 2 websites are also quite interesting: (that link goes to the info about Tussock moths, but you can click on the title or a link to look around at other stuff ;-)

and now it is Extremely late (well not as late as I was staying up a couple weeks back ;-) 
... I spent an Excessive amount of Extra time looking at a whole pile of Entomological stuff ... and now I must Exit the room and Exhibit some sleeping behaviour before I again have to Emerge into the cold hard world of getting up and going to work in the morning ... sigh ...

btw ... it might be a point to Excercise some caution if you are as mad as me and like picking up fuzzy caterpillars, or their hairy cocoons (or even poking your fingers around where they have been and left hairs) - some species have hairs that can be irritating (or in some cases even poisonous) and they can cause irritation/itching (in some cases to anyone who touches them, in others it might only be those who are sensitive to them)

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Crochet stuff and a few other things that start with C

I have been meaning to post some photos of some stuff I have Crocheted for ages ... so ... needing something for a C post for ABC Wednesday seems like a good excuse to actually to do it ;-)

... now I just have to find the photos I have taken ... and see what I don't have photos of, and actually FIND the items I don't yet have photos of so I can take some ... no wonder I drive myself Crazy!

ok ... I found some crochet photos, and some other C stuff ... now I just have to put them in here ... hopefully it won't take long - I spent too long finding and editing photos (some needed cropping and stuff) ... and I WAS going to be in bed by this time of night ... morning ... because I have to get up for work in a few hours ...

I will start with the crochet ones ...
... and first - some shawls I actually made a couple of years ago, but didn't take photos of until late last year:

A green (wool) and black (who knows what sort of yarn it was) one:

with a rather cluttered background ... must take a better photo sometime ... or (even better but harder to organise) get someone to take a photo of me wearing the thing ...

A pinky purple/black/silver one:

done in a couple different fancy yarns.
And another one I actually made even earlier ... this thing is HUGE:

That is the top edge of the shawl stretched out down the passage - the but under the cat's tummy is the bit that goes on the back of my neck ... the bit that hangs down the back is actually draped over the dog's paws and he has his head on it - LOL
btw - the last few rows on this ended up so long that not only did it drive me mad, but each row took TWO balls of yarn!
(and it still drags on the ground after I wrap it around myself ... but it is nice and warm so I could probably use it as a snuggle rug or something ... or as my costume next time I am invited to a fancy dress party and want to go as a wookie ;-)

This is my "rainbow shawl" that I finised a year or 2 ago:

It is made from some fine wool I was given, and when I finished crocheting it this is what it looked like:

and yes that is asphalt under it - I spread it out beside my car, in the mostly empty car park at wiork, to take the photo.
This is what it looked like after I soaked it in some vinegar for a few minutes and then arranged it in the bottom of a large ice cream tub, attacked it with various colours of food dye, and zapped it in the microwave for a few minutes (until it was hot, so the dye would set):

hmmm - if you click on this to see it bigger you might see how clean the kitchen floor probably isn't - lol

This is something weird I crocheted last year:

it was for the Summer challenge for the textile art group I am in - we had to do a hand of some sort, on a stick - they were then displayed at the exhibition later last year. I crocheted a hand with long pointy fingers ... then I was mucking around and tied knots in the fingers ... and decided I liked it that way.

Some crochet vines I made for the textile art exhibition last year:

The light green one is some weird green wool I had in my yarn stash, and could be worn as a scarf if I want to. The darker one is some even stranger fuzzy yarn I got from the op shop, with flowers made from some fuzzy yarn (same sort as in that huge shawl) and the pods are made from felted dog hair - so maybe it is a dogwood vine? (hmmm I wonder what dogwood actually IS ... something I have seen mentioned in books I have read, but it isn't native to Australia ... I might have to "google" it sometime ;-)

This is a green cotton shawl I made last year ... in September/October - mostly in the car on the way to/from Queensland (and some of it in front of the tv/etc at Mum and Dad's place, and the last bit at a friend's place here in Canberra just after the trip to Qld.) ... so I call it my "travel shawl"

the danby bits were fun to make ;-)
this is the back of the same shawl:

I also made another (smaller) one in cream coloured cotton, but I have not taken a photo of it yet (I think i took these photos while I was still crocheting that one) I started the second one while i was part way through the green one, because I wanted something smaller (without such long rows as I was up to with the green one) to test out if the pattern I had in mind for the last few rows would work ok, and to work out how many stitches I needed to have in the row when I started the pattern bit ... so once I worked out the pattern and how many stitches in each repeat/etc - I had a miniature shawl - so I kept adding to it until I ran out of that particular yarn (in fact I did run out of yarn part of the way around the edging but I had something else that was similar enough to use for the last bit of the edging and not show up as different ;-)

These are some quilted fabric Coffee Cup Coasters I made in December:

I used 6 of them as part of the Christmas gifts I gave to the science teachers I work with (we seem to have a tradition where everyone puts a little something on each other's desks at the end of the school year ;-)
The other 3 are on our coffee table, but I am not sure they get used ... or even noticed ... lol
This is a beetle ... it wasn't in the B post, and it IS in this C post, because I took the photo during the Canberra Quilters meeting last week - I found it on the floor near my feet during the raffle draw (after which everyone gets up and stomps around packing the Chairs up) so I picked it up to save it from getting Crushed underfoot - and it Crawled around on my fingers and on my lap, making Chirping noises!

...  much to the amusement of the few people sitting Closest to me ...
(not a very Clear photo - it wouldn't stay still! ... so I Clicked about 8 photos then Chucked it out the door)

I found some Cloud photos too:

I often take photos of Clouds .. I think these are Cumulus, probably in the process of becoming Cumulo nimbus (those big tall thunderstorm clouds) Because we had a Crashing big thunderstorm not long after I took this photo last week.
This one was taken from very Close to the same place as the other one (a Couple of metres away probably)
but it was a Couple of days later ... and there was an even bigger storm even sooner afterwards ... with Crazy purple streaks of lightning and rain so heavy it was hard to see where I was driving ...

During the storm I just happened to be picking a friend up from work and driving us both to her place ... I live thunderstorms and she ... doesn't  ... so every big flash of purple lighting I would say "wow" and she would say "s..t" (or worse ;-)
And last (beCause I have well and truly enough photos in here already) 3 videos of a spider - Argiope sp. (not sure which one - but this is the genus the Saint Andrew's Cross spider is in) ... although it could be a Nephila sp. (which is another genus in the same family - the Golden Orb Weaver is in this genus) .
btw - yes I guess it is a long stretch for a C thing - but it was Creeping and Crawling around it's web, next to my Compost heap:

I know - too Creepy? lol

... and too late ... to make the Cut off for adding to the linky thingy, for the letter C posts, before it Closed ... oh well - I will just have to put the link in a Comment ...

hmmm - a C post and only one photo with the Cat in it (and she had to share that one with the dog!) but I am sure she will Cope ok with that.