More comments, fewer posts

As the blog has matured, I have gradually adopted the practice of adding new information on a topic as a comment on an older post rather than as a new post on the same topic. It keeps everything together and should help everyone (including myself!) find things more quickly.

When the comments on a single post become difficult to navigate, I will sometimes combine half a dozen of them in a new post.

These are trivial problems, of course, and in fact I’m pleased that the blog has lasted long enough for them to arise. I had no idea, ten years ago, how long the project might continue – 840 posts so far according to the site software.

Peaceful Dove and Feral Pigeon

Feral Pigeons and Peaceful Doves feeding together
Feral Pigeons and Peaceful Doves feeding together in parkland

Birds are so much smaller than ourselves that we might be tempted to think of them as all being roughly the same size.

That would be a mistake, even when it comes to species in the same family. When we see them together like this, it’s obvious that Feral Pigeons (Columba livia) are much bigger than Peaceful Doves (Geopelia placida or G. striata, depending on your source). Birds In Backyards gives us the numbers, 34 cm vs 22 cm long, and weighing 300 gm vs 54 gm respectively.

Both species are members of the Columbidae family, doves and pigeons. The Peaceful Dove is one of our two smallest Columbidae (the Diamond Dove, much less common in coastal areas, is the other). The Feral Pigeon is by no means the largest; the Torresian Imperial-Pigeon is 39 – 44 cm, and and there’s a fruit dove in Arnhem Land which reaches 50 cm.

Most of us know that the Feral Pigeon, more politely referred to as the Rock Dove, is an introduced species. It’s unlike most introduced birds, however, in that it arrived as a domesticated species and escaped into the wild, making it more like our feral pigs and cats than (e.g.) sparrows. If you want to know more – and it’s a species with a long and varied human history – Wikipedia’s article is excellent and this Cornell Lab page has some “Cool Facts” which make it worth a visit.

Many Peaks trail and Mount Marlow

Town Common from the Many Peaks track
Town Common from the Many Peaks track: Freshwater bird hide at centre left, Mt Stuart on the horizon and Bald Rock at far right

I hiked up Mount Marlow via the Many Peaks Trail on the Common (see map) four years ago and noted in my post about it that I was glad I had chosen not to rush it. Last Tuesday I started an hour later, at about 9.20, but finished at the same time, and wished I had allowed more time for it.

Pallarenda to the top of the hill, 4.5 km according to the sign, took a little over two hours of fairly steady walking on the very rough track so I stopped for a snack and the views on top of Mt Marlow. Continue reading “Many Peaks trail and Mount Marlow”

Sheds and why they matter

Click on the image, as usual, to read the small text

The meme at left turned up on my social media some time ago and I’ve been planning to share it here ever since.


Firstly because it is (a little) amusing and we all need a joke in stressful times like these.

Secondly because I have been cleaning up my own shed in the free time gifted to us by lockdown. It never quite made it to the top of my “To Do” list before that because other things were more fun – and then I suddenly couldn’t do the other things. In the end it was a satisfying job to do, so that’s a win.

Thirdly, and most importantly, because the shed is so central to the Three (or more) Green R’s – Reduce, Re-use, Recycle and the rest.

Continue reading “Sheds and why they matter”

Black Weir to Ross Dam

My ongoing exploration of the Ross River bikeways has ameliorated the lockdown for me to some extent, and bike shops report booming sales as others enjoy the same outlet.

I completed the Riverway circuit (introduced here) by riding on the Riverside Gardens side of the river from Black Weir to the motorway bridge and returning past the Riverway Arts Centre (closed since the 2019 floods), sports fields and playgrounds. That side was more interesting and enjoyable than the other, which just runs through a narrow strip of parkland between houses and the river like the rest of the Riverside Gardens section.

motorway bridge
The motorway bridge, with the footbridge slung beneath it

Continue reading “Black Weir to Ross Dam”