Bookshelf entomology 2

This is little more than a footnote to my January 2016 post about the insect life to be found in bookshelves in the tropics: I noticed a can of insect spray tucked discreetly in the corner of a bookshelf and moved it to reveal …

The nest-builder is one of our common mud-dauber wasps (potter wasps), probably a Sceliphron like this one.

mud dauber wasp cell
The cap of the highest cell is new enough to still be slightly damp

Aviary

My aviary is my garden, and a familiar bush block at Hervey’s Range, and anywhere else in the bush with birds. Who needs bars?

More seriously, this post is a collection of recent bird photos that I was pleased with but haven’t attached themselves to any particular story. The first shows a Drongo in my suburban garden and the rest were taken on two separate visits to Hervey’s Range.

Clicking on the images will, as usual bring them up full-size in a light-box and reveal extended captions.

Mundingburra

Spangled Drongo, Dicrurus bracteatus
Spangled Drongo

Hervey’s Range

Dry Town Common – with birds

Townsville’s Town Common Conservation Park is a world-famous (amongst birders, at least) wetland and bird refuge but it is not at its best now, six dry months after the second of two consecutive failed Wet seasons. My first three photos were all taken from the lookout above Tegoora Rock a week ago, looking towards the city, then turning right to look along the inland face of the Many Peaks Range, then (for completeness and variety) right again to look into the scrub on the ridge behind me.

town common dry season
View from the Tegoora Rock lookout towards the city – Castle Hill is just to the left of the picture

Continue reading “Dry Town Common – with birds”

Do the finer details of climate science matter any more?

RealClimate is a long-running blog publishing, as its tagline says, “Climate science from climate scientists.” Its regular contributors are academics at the top of the field, working for NASA and the IPCC, etc, and many of their peers join the online discussion.

A recent post there by Stefan Rahmstorf, Is there really still a chance for staying below 1.5 °C global warming?,  is so relevant to our own local efforts to avert the impending climate melt-down that I wanted to share it here. Continue reading “Do the finer details of climate science matter any more?”

Selected dystopias

As I’ve said before, SF is valuable for its freedom to conduct thought-experiments, which often illuminate our present by showing us futures which may arise from it. Utopias beckon us along a particular path, while dystopias hold up warning signs saying, “Wrong way – go back.”

In recent weeks I have read three new SF novels which offer such warnings. Continue reading “Selected dystopias”