Category Archives: General

Just general stuff that doesn’t belong anywhere specific …

Busy Weekend

The last week has been pretty busy, not to mention the weekend.

Gangles, warmed up and hungry
Gangles, warmed up and hungry. The bright blue-white nodules at the sides of the beak are presumed to help the parents find the beaks of their youngsters when feeding them in darkened, enclosed grass lined nests.

Amidst the Saturday morning aviary cleaning chores this baby Gouldian was found evicted from the nest. He/she was “stuck” to a sibling that had been some days dead, and was possibly thrown out of the nest in error. Past experience in returning baby Gouldians to their nests has not turned out well. One poor baby was thrown out and returned four times before I took him inside, by which time he was too badly injured from the evictions and chills to survive. So this little fellow came straight inside into the incubator/brooder.

Once he/she warmed up enough I managed to get it to take a small feed. The first 48 hours is the biggest hurdle.

“Gangles” as I called it as it seems to be all legs, is now feeding well, 3 to 4 times a day. There is no guarantee of survival thou, sometimes the parents “know” something is wrong with a youngster when they evict them. Hopefully Gangles was tossed by accident and he/she will do well.

Checking the Illawarra Flame trees on Saturday I found a second baby Tailed Emperor caterpillar, an adult Tailed Emperor butterlfy with age damaged wings resting on a leaf, and I *think* some Tailed Emperor eggs! Later that afternoon I saw two beautiful adult butterflies sunning themselves in the White Cedar trees. Caterpillar and egg photos have been added to the Tailed Emperor page.

Sunday we managed to thoroughly ruin the plans for world domination of three stands of blackberry, including digging up the rest of the clump by the buddleia. The long leather gloves again resisted most of the thorns (thanks Jean).

Olives on the olive tree
Ripening olives

Also on Sunday I went to check on the first of the olive trees to set fruit and found they were colouring up! The olive trees were grown from cuttings taken during an Olive Enterprise Management course run by Wodonga TAFE. I decided to pick the fruit to give the tree a break – they’d been struggling through the drought and were only just starting to put a burst of growth on.

There was a nice sounding recipe in the course handbook, using up to a 30 day rinse, followed by 6 months immersion in red wine vinegar and salt, to which we might add some fresh bay leaves from our Bay tree, or Rosemary, or chilli …

This morning I downloaded a copy of the Gimp for OS X, something I’d been meaning to do for a long time. It’s even nicer that it was before. All the familiar old filters are still there, plus some new ones. It recognises my D70 camera RAW files (whoo-hoo!!) and seems to do a nicer job with colour balance and exposure tweaking than Photoshop. The new photos in this post and on the Tailed Emperor images page were all processed with the Gimp.

The Gimp, for those who haven’t heard of it, is an image manipulation program similar to Photoshop, but freely distributed. The Gimp is available for Unix, Linux, Mac OS X and windows.

I couldn’t resist trying out some of my old favorite filters, and some new ones, after the Photoshop/Gimp RAW file test. Here are a couple of the images:

Gimp Nova, supernova and multiple lens effects.
Gimp Nova, supernova and multiple lens effects, just for fun and old times. The Gimps filters really rock!
More Gimp filters - twirling fractal
More Gimp filters - twirling a warped fractal. Can't recall Fractal Explorer from my old Linux Gimp install.



It’s been ages since I had the time to post, but it’s raining outside so no after work weeding today. So what’s been happening?
I’ve finished the Red Faced Parrot Finch aviary rebuild and the Red Faced Parrot Finches have been moved into their new home. They love it! And they look so brilliant perched in the bushes when the sun catches them.
Another Gouldian Finch baby got evicted (or fell out) and had to be hand reared. We call him Geronimo after the 4ft fall he took from the nest. Fully feathered now and in with another completely independent hand reared youngster. Geronimo however still prefers hand feeding …
Planted more wind break Lilli Pillies yesterday to fill in the gaps. They’ll be loving the mild, wet weather!
Must try to find time to get some pages up on the Blue Faced Parrot Finches, as well as the Red Faced, and the Gouldians. But this will have to do for today. Geronimo needs his evening feed …

P.S. Dec 29th, 2010: Geronimo is a girl!! Looks like “she” is going to be a red headed normal purple breast.