Saturday, September 26, 2009

It's back

Today's dust storm is mostly clear now. The sky's a sort of weak blue round the edges but otherwise clear. It was pretty mild today compared to Wednesday's red dawn, just a white-grey haze at six, like a slightly dirty fog. Made me sneeze and itch though when I took the garbage out and it didn't smell great.

Brizzie copped it again too and New Zealand copped Wednesday's dust on Friday.

Red dust storm 23rd Sept 2009443px-Dust_storm_over_eastern_Australia_-_MODIS_Terra_250m_-_23_Sept_2009
Embiggen satellite image

Wednesday's dust made world headlines and the bastard could be seen on satellite stretching from Cape York to Sydney. Cape York is the pointy bit at top of Australia. NASA put it at 3,500 kays (2,170 miles) and it grounded water-bomber choppers fighting Queensland bushfires. The air quality was clocked at 15,000+ grotty bits per something or other. A normal day is 20 grotty bits and a bushfire makes 500 grotty bits. Fark.

Pop over to the Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water for air quality updates. Or just stay home and have the phone sex.

Sex Degrees of Separation

Everybody's doing it. Calculating how many people they've indirectly shagged. I got 13 million. Hope they were all hot.

Sex calculator


Going back to the sofa with a pillow and the remote. Buggered after a month of half-sick half-not crapulence. Normal services will resume shortly.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Red dawn

(Dust storm over NSW)

Red dawn, dust storm 23rd September 2009

The view out my window at 6am this morning.

The dust was covering the coast from Woollongong to Newcastle (includes Sydney) at six. Few hours later it had reached Brisbane.

The airport was shut down and international flights were diverted to Melbourne. The ferries on Sydney Harbour were stopped. They move heaps of communters every morning but they couldn't see far enough not to prang into each other.

The local ferries were stopped due to the visibility plus the big winds. Sydney traffic was on a go-slow and traffic here was quieter than usual.

It was bloody spooky. Not to mention, bloody dusty.

Dust storm from Ettalong, 23rd September 2009

Taken from Ettalong Beach at lunchtime. Note the invisibility of Lion Island and Barrenjoey Head.

Dust storm from Ettalong, 23rd September 2009Messing about in boats at Ettalong Beach

Same view today (left) and any other day (right).

Dust storm photos from Sydney (Flickr)

From the Sydney Morning Herald:

"The fiery haze was the result of the sun hitting the blanket of dust, Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster Jane Golding said.

"The reason for the dust is we had some really strong winds in the inland areas of NSW and in South Australia for a sustained period yesterday," she said.

"That's lifted a whole lot of dust off the ground because it's quite dry out there, many of those areas are still drought affected."

The lifted dust had been carried by the winds into Sydney.

"I've not seen anything like this before," Ms Golding said.

The reddish haze was expected to fade as the sun got higher in the sky, Ms Golding said. The haze had turned from a crimson red to orange by about 7am, and then faded to yellow by about 7.30am.

But it was not known what would happen to the dust."

Dust turns Sydney sky red (links to video & photos, including a really fabulous one of The Coathanger)

Central Coast Ferries (Woy Woy etc. ferries) said:

"Ferries cancelled until further notice due to low visibilty and poor conditions as a result of the gale force winds and dust storm. Call skippers on 0418631313 for info on resumption of services predicted for this arvo."

It's clear now so they might be back on but it's still bloody blowy.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Spring flowers

Flowering gum

The flowering of the gums sends the lorikeets berserk.

Bloody lorikeets in a feeding frenzy outside my window. Low res but the noisy bastards are coming across loud and clear.

Bottlebrush flower

These are coming out.

Golden hakea

And these.

Venice Road Pretty Beach

These are a garden favourite.

Wee pink flowers on native bush

So are these. Waist-high bush covered in tiny wee pink flowers.

Golden Wattle at Ettalong Beach

Local wattle species growing at Ettalong Beach last year.

Silver wattle

And, of course, Australia's favourite golden wattle, the silver wattle. It's called that after the silvery grey of the leaves.

Golden wattle in the wind. Taken at the old Gosford quarry a while back. You don't often get to hear the wattle.

Lazy bastard

What with feeling crook and generally just being an unorganised bastard, I'm a month behind on my email. I'll get to yer.

Six degrees of Flickration

Got added to some new feature at Flickr. Gallery of sailboats.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Fire and boats

Bushfire to the West of Woy Woy, 11th August 2009

Bushfire to the West of Woy Woy. Taken yesterday, the 11th August 2009.

Can't find out where exactly the fire was but it looks like it could have been in Ku-ring-gai or around Mooney Mooney up on the F3. (The F3 is an intercity highway with a fearsome reputation for prangs.)

We got a new thingy added to our fire safety signs: Catastrophic AKA Code Red. That's because of the Victorian bushfires.

The signs used to say: "Low / Moderate / Very High / Extreme". Catastrophic is obviously higher than Extreme. Catastrophic means get the kids and go now.

NSW Rural Fire Service (Woy Woy falls under the RFS)

Current Fire Danger Map (NSW RFS)

Bushfire report: Stay or go policy on the line (It's your ABC)

Ferry news

"The SS Baragoola (as she was originally named) was built in 1922 for the Port Jackson and Manly Steamship Company Ltd. ...
Her name (in a local Aboriginal dialect) means "Flood Tide". ... In the 1970's and early 1980's, along with North Head, Baragoola was the backbone of the Manly ferry service. Baragoola was withdrawn from service and passed into private ownership in 1983.

Following a failed attempt to use her as a floating university, she was sold again in 1988." (Baragoola website)

Floating university? The mind boggles.

Baragoola in 1922

Putt Putt Regatta 2009

It's on again for putt putts and people young and old. Sunday 1st of November down at the Davistown waterfront.

Putt Putt Regatta website

Local boating news linkage:


I am going back to bed. Feeling rather crook again. Stupid health.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

The lion in winter

(Random blogging urge)

Lion Island fron Umina Beach
18th of June 2007, after a big wind

I've been walking and photographing for 4 years now. I've got about 2,000 walkies photos on my Flickr thingy.

Only just realised I've got a year round record of Lion Island. It's one of my favourite views. Won't bombard you with the whole year's worth of photos in one go. There's 26 of them.

So let's be looking at just one season at a time. It's spring here now, officially and in fact but I like the title 'The lion in winter' so much I'm ignoring inconvenient real-world facts.

Lion Island
30th of June 2005, from Umina Beach

Wagstaffe, Ettalong & Barrenjoey Head from Blackwall Mountain
7th of July 2006

Pittwater From Ettalong Beach
23rd of July 2005

Lion Island & Pittwater from Umina Beach
26th of July 2005

Lion Island & Ettalong Beach foreshore
5th of August 2008, from Ettalong Beach just near Bustling Downtown Ettalong

Australia really doesn't have a noticable winter in terms of bare trees and stuff. Not unless yer in Tassie and it's snowing. Pretty sure you'd notice winter then, even without the bare trees.

Excuses excuses

Did not go walkies this week. Had the annual flu. Not swine flu, thank fuck, and not even man flu just yer bog standard 3 days in bed crap.

Right now I'm off to seek sustenance in the form of a barbie and a steak sanger. Doubt if I'm up to a bonk today.