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Last on the Card April 2021

Both photos were taken at sunset on 30 April in Ettalong, NSW. Thousands of rainbow lorikeets wheeled and swirled and chased each other in huge flocks above the town as the sun set. If you’ve never heard even one rainbow lorikeet at full voice, you’ll struggle to imagine just how ear-splitting and deafening the birds’ noise was!

Canon Powershot SX260: I use this camera when I can’t be bothered with the weight and bulk of my ‘real’ camera.

Huawei MYA-L02: my phone takes rubbish photos and I generally only use the camera for taking a photo to send to someone at the moment — but I like how here it caught a recognisable parrot shape.

I haven’t entered Bushboy’s Last on the Card challenge before, partly because I generally wipe the card — and partly because I never post unedited photos! But I like the symmetry of these two.

Also linking to Bird Weekly – Birds in Flight

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Keeping out the cold

Quite an interesting look, but alas, all the eye sees is a muzzy grey-blue smudge of shapes.

I hate being cold, especially indoors. I lived in Canada until I was 29: yes, winters are below 0degC there, but every house and apartment has central heating, so you’re warm — often too warm — inside. In London, heating in my various rented apartments was dodgy; it would come on at odd hours (when cheapest for the landlord!) and often was wholly inadequate even when on. I remember one especially miserly landlord who loudly insisted an extra sweater would be fine, and forbade electric heaters (I ignored that rule, and moved out asap). And in Australia (Sydney, at least) central heating just doesn’t exist, despite it sometimes getting down to 5degC at night in winter. The combination of plug-in electric heaters (and the associated eye-watering electricity bills) and gappy windows is not a happy one.

We’ve just come out of an unseasonably early winter spell. Nights of 10degC outside — and mornings of 15-17degC inside my 1936-built apartment with its ill-fitting, thin-paned sash windows. I’ve put weather-stripping everywhere I could and stuffed rolled-up towels along the tops of the bottom sashes, which helps with the drafts but not the slow, insidious seeping-in of the cold.

Here, though, is the latest weapon in my war to keep warm indoors during winter: bubble wrap on the windows! The air bubbles act like insulation. All you do is spray water on the window and press the wrap on, bubbles facing the window. Amazingly, it seems to stay in place. You can’t see anything, of course, which could be a drawback.

And I do think those bubbles look rather blobby!

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Sextets of pelicans

Six pelicans

It may be hard (impossible?) to tell, but the six Australian Pelicans above are not the same six as in the feature photo. I photographed these birds on 3 April at The Entrance, which is on the Central Coast north of Sydney.

One Word Sunday: Six

And, this fits very neatly into “Birds seen in the past two weeks

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Wine tasting in the time of covid

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A friend and I had planned a five-night roadtrip from 19-24 December, including three nights in the wine/cheese/olive producing area of King Valley in the state of Victoria. Well, the covid19 outbreak in Sydney’s north put an end to that! We shortened the trip to three nights in New South Wales only, and even managed to get in some wine tasting. Covid-safe guidelines mandate that everyone must now be seated, and the tables well spaced. One ingenious winery near Murrumbateman, called Dionysus, has a very clever solution: the first sample (sparkling) comes in the glass, and the other six 20ml samples come in very cute test tubes.

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