Thursday, May 16, 2013

STRIDERS ALMANAC The Express Edition Vol 1 Part 7

STRIDERS ALMANAC – The Express Edition
Volume 1, Part 7. 21 January to 10 February 2013.
The springs stopped flowing and the soil dried out. (21 days)
Monday 21 January 2013.
It was a sunny and very windy morning with lots of trough cumulus clouds about. The wind was on its way to the low in the Gulf of Carpentaria. There was 19 mm of rain in the gauge at Starshine at 0900 hrs. At 1240 hrs the sky was clearing, and at 1350 hrs ( under a cloud shadow ) there were cooling downdrafts from the N.W.. It was very windy and fairly dim. At 1405 hrs it began to rain. It was only a little shower. It was all over in about 5 minutes.
The spring-line on the floodplain had fallen so that it was 15 steps away to the N from the line of trees (on a crack) that crosses the footpath from Starshine to White Gum. The spring-line would normally be right on that crack at this time of year. Evidently the water-table under the floodplain was quite low for this time of the year.
There was a fairly general flowering of the Bush Potato ( Eriosema chinense ) at Jimol on this day.
Tuesday 22 January 2013.
It was a sunny and windy morning with big clouds. There was 1 mm of rain in the gauge at 0900 hrs. There were some overcast periods and a few monsoon showers about. Some thunder was heard. The wind was very strong at some times. It probably was the fastest sustained wind here since 21 January 2012.
I noticed that Golden Beard Grass ( Chrysopogon fallax ) was in flower throughout the district. This is the first of the “Speargrass” type grasses to flower here, and it goes on flowering for a long time too.
Wednesday 23 January 2013.
It was overcast at dawn and the temperature in the room at Starshine was 25.5 degrees C. There was 12 mm of rain in the gauge at 0900 hrs. At 1000 hrs the sun was shining and it was breezy with low cumulus cloud.
Thursday 24 January 2013.
There was no rain in the gauge at 0900 hrs. It was a breezy and cloudy day.
Friday 25 January 2013.
The wind was gone and the day was calm. It was overcast and a bit dim. There was no rain in the gauge. It did not rain on this day. I noticed flowers on the Colour Tree ( Pogonolobus reticulatus ) and two Burdekin Ducks swimming in the creek by the Pandanus Bridge.
The Full Moon occurred at 0209 hrs on Sunday 27 January. I was at Wrigley Creek at the time.
Wednesday 30 January 2013.
I returned to Humpty Doo from Wrigley Creek on this day. It was a very hot and humid day. A mid-afternoon thunderstorm provided very welcome cooling downdrafts. I got home to Starshine just
Before dark and just before it began to rain again. There was 20 mm of rain in the gauge when I got home. It drizzled on for half the night after the second storm and I slept very well.
Thursday 31 January 2013.
It was sunny in the morning. I noticed that the Opilia fruiting was over and that the Nutmeg Pigeons were gone. It was all still happening when I left for Wrigley Creek on the 27th ( the day of the Full Moon ).
Red Collared Lorrikeets were calling to the S.W. of Starshine. They were feeding on the flowers of the Xanothostemon Trees. There was a gathering of the birds to this food source. The flowering of these trees ( Xanthostemon paradoxus ) began on this day, I think.
In the afternoon there was an unusual big thunderstorm with a tightly focussed radial structure. I first saw it from Leanyer and I photographed it from there to Strangways Road as I drove home. It was a late afternoon thunderstorm from the S.E. and it was fast moving. It rained at Starshine from 1857 to 1931 hrs and 34 mm of rain fell from it there in that brief time span. There was a delicious cooling downdraft from that storm.
The details escape me but I noticed a big change in the line up of flowering herbs in the parking lot at night. One newcomer being a Heliotropium.
Friday 1 February 2013.
In the late afternoon I was at Green Drinks at Noonamah Tavern, for the first Friday of the month gathering of the workers in the environmental revolution/transformation/cultural evolution movement. Just after darkness fell there was a thunderstorm with particularly violent South winds. The squalls brought down a rain of kindling wood, and firewood, and some small trees were blown over. They must have been the strongest winds for quite some time. It was a ‘mortality wind’ for trees 2-3 metres tall that had been piped by termites. The cooling downdrafts gave me a good night.
Saturday 2 February 2013.
Rain to 0900 hrs (at Jimol) was 15 mm. It was hot and sunny in the morning and the Babblers were calling nearby. It was overcast from about 1440 hrs. During the day I noticed that the flowering of the Green Flowering Paperbarks had become general throughout the district. On the swamp edges ‘the honey wind’ was blowing, gently. You could smell its intoxicating reality as you drove over creek crossings on the roads.
There were isolated late afternoon and evening thunderstorms, and there was a most amazing very big HECTOR storm. It was a hot night at Palmerston, which is where I was.
Sunday 3 February 2013.
Storms went up in the afternoon. I drove through a big storm with intense rain on my way from Darwin to Solar Village in the late afternoon. I got home to Jimol to find an empty rain gauge.
I saw one (isolated) Swamp Bloodwood Tree ( Corymbia polycarpa ) near the Berrimah Prison in full flower ( or something very like it). These were the first flowers that I had seen on this species for this season.
The Babblers were calling again near Starshine.
Monday 4 February 2013.
I woke at 0340 hrs feeling cold. There had been some cooling downdrafts the previous evening but it seemed as if a big area of air cooled by downdrafts had moved over Solar Village around 0300 hrs. The air temperature in the room was 24 degrees C and the air was probably much less humid than it had been. A hazy morning followed.
I was at Raki in the afternoon when a Rainbow Cloud developed (at 1636 hrs).
I noticed some Cocky Apple seedlings in the Paperbark swamp at Raki. This seems to be the one species that has produced a lot of seedlings in this (and the previous) year. The seedlings would not usually survive in this swamp, but this year they did.
Tuesday 5 February 2013.
The general flowering of the Green Flowered Paperbarks continued and the Black Flying Foxes continued to visit them at night at Solar Village.
There was some cloud during the day and a sort of a HECTOR storm to the North of us. AT 2230 hrs the temperature (in the room at Starshine) was 28 degrees C.
Wednesday 6 February 2013.
At 0300 hrs the air temperature was down to 26 degrees C. The sky was clear and there was radiative cooling. Another hot and mostly still day followed. Cloud developed early. To begin with it came from the N.W. but later in the day it came from the N.E. Once again there was a sort of a HECTOR to the North of us. In the late afternoon a thunderstorm swept by just to the N. of Solar Village but no rain fell at Jimol.
I took photographs to show the dry soil on this day.
Thursday 7 February 2013.
The soil surface was quite dry on the terrace and the spring line on the floodplain had fallen all the way back to the Yazoo stream. This was very unusual for this time of year. There was no local surface soil moisture source for night time evaporation or dewfall. It was another very quiet night. Quiet like a mid-winter night. I had noticed this unseasonal night time quietness in Darwin on the night 1-2 January.
I woke just before dawn. One distant Barking Owl was calling and I was feeling cold, due to the dry air I suppose. The air temperature in the room was 24 degrees C at that time.
Friday 8 February 2013.
I took photographs to show the dry swamp north of Horns Creek and West of the hut at White Gum.
Saturday 9 February 2013.
Chinese New Years Eve. I attended a celebration of the event at Raki.
Sunday 10 February 2013
The Dark Moon occurred at 0451 hrs. The general flowering of the Green Flowered Paperbark Trees continued.
I noticed that the introduced Indian Blue Grass ( Bothriochloa pertusa ) looked particularly shiny and silky on the un-slashed roadsides. It really is a very bad weed, and it is being spread very rapidly by roadside slashing. It was originally brought here as a lawn grass and it tolerates slashing and mowing very well. It was not so obvious on this day in the slashed areas, but it was very obvious where it had not been slashed. This might be a good time of year to conduct a survey of its current distribution.
Copyright Strider, Humpty Doo, 17 May 2013.
First published on the blog
All rights reserved.

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