Monday, January 30, 2012

Slowly Yet Surely

3 days ago, river height:  5.5m (above normal)

Thank you to all who have been thinking of us as our river rose with recent rains. Here's the latest photo update.

Today 3m and still falling

Slowly yet surely our river is falling. As the sodden grass and river mud are being revealed, the accompanying smell is decided unpleasant, drifting as far as our house when the breeze blows from the river's direction. However we are not flooded!

Just for comparison, below is a photo taken in last year's near-miss flood as it peaked at 7.7m, about 10cm short of over-topping the wall's low points.

January 12th LAST YEAR:  7.7m

All the land is saturated and our yard is a little like a soaked sponge under foot. Light showers have continued and no sunshine has been seen for days. We are very relieved to see the river falling but in this condition the whole region is vulnerable to a another bigger flood if heavy rain were to fall (which is elsewhere in our state at this stage).

Even this frog was seeking dryer vantage point this afternoon, sheltering in our letter box.

I spotted this spotted beauty in our yard, yet another variety of ladybug to add to the surprisingly long list.

Saturday, January 28, 2012


When I saw these in the garden one evening recently I didn't know what they were. They have a resemblance to ladybugs but they certainly don't look like lady bugs. Then I had a lightbulb moment - maybe they are ladybug larvae!
A google search confirmed my suspicion.

I had never thought about lady bug larva before. The larvae hatch from tiny yellow eggs and shed their skin four times, changing appearance each time. I think these larvae are near the end of their changes, almost ready to pupate.

Late yesterday Little Miss E showed me "something strange" she had found low on a tree. It's a brand new adult ladybug just hatched from its pupa case!

When the adults first emerge their spots aren't visible, they apparently become visible over a few hours as their exoskeleton hardens.

The pupal stage lasts one to two weeks, which accounts for the spider web.

Early this morning I went looking for the ladybug but it had flown to a safer spot, leaving the empty pupa shell behind.

No spotty ladybugs today but I did find another spotty Oleander Butterfly feeding on our Duranta shrub.

As you may have guessed, I love butterflies!

Sharing at Saturday Sareenity.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Bugs, Boats, Birds and Brown Water

Like the ladybugs, beetles and butterflies, we are drying out and feeling rather relieved to have a rain-free day.
This ladybug is by far the largest kind we have seen in our yard.

All is very sodden underfoot but the river peaked this morning at a "safe" height and is now very slowly receding.
We're trying not to think about the additional rains forecast for the coming thing at a time for now.

This Purple Swamphen was enjoying some additional territory to check out for food sources.

Standing on the levy wall, looking over what is usually grassy riverfront gardens.

Another ladybug coming out of hiding this afternoon. I wonder where they all go when it's raining?

Sharing at SkyWatch Friday.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Wetter and Wetter

Our river is a BIG river, she rises slowly and falls slowly. Here are some photos from late this afternoon. You can see the rise in water clearly compared to the photos in yesterday's post, taken 23 hours earlier.

The river is still steadily rising but the rain has eased and the smaller rivers feeding into this one have steadied. We are all somewhat relieved at the most recent forecast update of an expected peaking about one metre/yard higher than these photos show. The river and bridge are more beautiful under "normal" circumstances.

There is also much local "ponding" in the area. Just one block further down our street runs a natural waterway which is usually dry ground. In continual wet weather like this week, it begins to fill and move into some of the nearby house yards. Lovely weather for ducks! I took this photo while standing on the street looking to one side, the photo below is the view looking in the opposite direction. A couple hours after these photos the water had crossed the road which is now closed to traffic.

I found this little beauty on my walk too, looking all the brighter for the dreary weather.

We are safe and dry inside and looks as though things will stay that way, thankfully.

Sharing at SkyWatch Friday.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Wet, Warm and Well Fed

The rain continues, thankfully it's mostly light rain today as everywhere is very wet.

Miss E (19) made some delicious Apple And Cinnamon Spiced Danish Pastries for dessert tonight. The pastry contains yeast and is very similar to croissants, filled with fresh apple, sultanas (raisins) and cinnamon.

They were quite sweet enough without icing on top.

After dessert I tried out one of our new umbrellas and took a quick walk while the rain was lightest. There won't be any fishing at this jetty for the next few days.

The river is at minor flood levels at the moment. All boats in the sailing club were removed early this morning. It's built below the levy wall and designed to withstand floods (after the previous building collapsed under the weight of silt following a flood a few years ago). The view is quite different from  "normal" yet the river height is far from a serious concern for the town at this point. Although still rising, the rain has eased in most catchment areas.

 Something pretty to finish with - I saw these flowers on my walk. They look rather much like hibiscus flowers but the leaves don't resemble hibiscus.

Does anyone know what shrub this would be?

Update: I have since met the gardener and she says this shrub is a Rose of Sharon. The bud opens white in the morning, turns to pink during the day and then drops off the tree. It sure is pretty.

Sharing at This or That Thursday.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Lush and Wet

Summer showers and rain are keeping the garden very green and wet. This morning I bought some decent sized umbrellas to help keep us dry. Miss E thought they were wonderful!

Our folding umbrella snapped at the handle yesterday. Master T had fun making an umbrella hat from it today.

Love this fern frond in a corner of the garden. It will soon look like the beauty below.

This native Blue Wren was taking advantage of a break in the showers this morning and so was my little butterfly friend.

I don't know the name of this plant but suspect it's poisonous. The flowers close each night and reopen in the morning. Here it is in some sunshine last Friday and below, one of the last bell flowers this morning.

I love the colour and beautiful shape of the buds.

Hoping we won't need to give the new umbrellas too much of a work out just yet. Some areas in our state and the next have have much more rain than us and are carefully watching rising rivers.....

Sharing at Foto Friday.
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