Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Planet Earth: Bin Chicken

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Corals added to my marine tank

This week I decided to add a couple of relatively easy to care for corals to my reef aquarium. After a little reading I decided to go for a hammer and a frogspawn, two types of large polyp stony coral. They have a rocky base from which the soft tentacles emerge. They're relatively small but will hopefully grow in time.

Hammer coral

Frogspawn coral

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

All your ducks in a row

A South African vineyard was having trouble with snails, so they decided to get some ducks to eat them. This is the scene when they are released to go to work.

I have no idea why I find this so amusing.

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Hitchhiker in disguise

One of the enjoyable parts of owning a reef aquarium is seeing what species sneak into your system in live rock. Small crabs are fairly common and here's an example. It's a small specimen that hides from predators by affixing bits of debris to its carapace as disguise.


The photo below the fold shows the crab and disguise a bit more obviously.

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Leafy sea dragon

Another highlight of my trip to Melbourne's aquarium was seeing leafy sea dragons, though I was a little disappointed by the tank decor. The plastic kelp was a bit odd to see though I guess the real thing might be hard to keep in an aquarium. But why the fake wharf pylons and the brickwork background? A more natural background for these gorgeous fish would be much more pleasing to the eye.

Leafy sea dragon

Monday, 6 March 2017

Dreaming of a bigger aquarium

When visiting professional aquariums I sometimes think it would be nice to have the same species in a tank at home. A past visit to Townsville's aquarium had me thinking once again about getting a mantis shrimp. A visit to the Melbourne aquarium this past weekend has me thinking impractically and unrealistically bigger:

King penguins at front, and a gentoo behind

Monday, 26 December 2016

I wish I was sober

No, not a personal plea, rather a wonderful piece of music by Frightened Rabbit from the Painting of a Panic Attack album.

Friday, 9 December 2016

Sheraton Mirage Country Club - The Thirteenth

Another candidate for best par three in the Far North, Sheraton Mirage Country Club's thirteenth
The thirteenth at the Sheraton Mirage Country Club is another contender for the best par three in the Far North. It's a long fly over water to an island green. From the tee you don't see how much space there is around the green, so you can miss by a bit and still be dry. If you do find yourself on the edge of the water keep in mind that the pond is home to estuarine crocodiles.

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Half Moon Bay Golf Club - The Ninth

A contender for best par three in the Far North, the ninth at Half Moon Bay Golf Club
Cairns's best par three was once an easy call. The seventh at Paradise Palms was a gem with an elevated tee looking down to a pond-side green. But the owners decided that their iconic hole should be replaced by a housing development, and the the hole disappeared earlier this year.

So, what's our best par three now? One of my favourites is the ninth at Half Moon Bay, a 149 metre hole to a raised green jutting out into a lily filled pond. Water protects the front left, the left and the rear of the green. There's a nice bail out area to the right for the gutless to try for a chip and putt par.

There are other contenders, and they'll appear in coming posts.


Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Burns at Babinda Golf Club

The approach shot to the par four seventh hole at Babinda Golf Club
Babinda's golf course has burns crossing the first, third, sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth holes giving a bit of a tropical links feel despite the lack of dunes.

Crossing the one of the third hole's burns.
The burns aren't very deep and in many places you could try to play out of them, I imagine that after rains there could be quite a flow.

The closing par five ninth.

Sheraton Mirage Country Club - The Eighteenth

The par three closing hole at the Sheraton Mirage Country Club
The Sheraton Mirage Country Club is unusual in ending with a par three. The tee shot is over a pond that really shouldn't be in play to a green protected by bunkers on the front right and a marshy pond short right - which I think I ended up in both times I've played.

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

The hidden side of Fitzroy Island


The eastern side of Fitzroy Island isn't really accessible to tourists other than on one of the tours that Raging Thunder run. There are no beaches to laze on, unless the tide is very, very low when a square meter or two can appear briefly. It's rocky coast all the way around, and most of the forest is fairly low due to the winds that blow in off the sea.

Little Fitzroy Island

Saturday, 26 November 2016

One Nation has a tax payer funded Reef holiday

Last summer the Great Barrier Reef was hit by a massive bleaching event. It could have been far worse than it was, but fortunately a cyclone blew in to the southern parts of the Reef and cooled the water enough to reduce the amount of bleaching experienced in the Southern and Central sectors. The Northern Sector was very hard hit as the below map shows:


Apparently wanting a tax payer funded holiday and to downplay the extent of damage to the Reef, Pauline Hanson and two of her dim-witted clown senators decided to head to the Great Barrier Reef for a photo opportunity. After a snorkel with a media pack watching, the One Nation dipsticks announced the Reef was "alive and well", that climate change is a hoax, and the bleaching wasn't a big deal.

Where do you suppose they went? Lizard Island, north of Cooktown would have been a sensible choice. It's in the worst hit area and has an excellent scientific facility on the island studying the Reef. Recent surveys of the area are heart breaking. There are many other spots in the red Northern Sector they could have selected.

So where did they choose? They chose Great Keppel Island - almost as far away as possible while still being on the Reef. It's an area with very little severe bleaching, and that was expected to recover reasonably well.


I'm sure it's a lovely spot for a holiday, particularly if you don't have to pay for it. But to choose it for any discussion of the 2016 bleaching event is ludicrous. It's willfully, deliberately misleading. It's like pronouncing a hospital unnecessary after wandering in and highlighting one person in the waiting room with a minor laceration that should have gone to a GP.

Your tax dollars at work.