Tuesday, 1 October 2013

One more sleep

The Safari really doesn't like that juvenile expression but we'll take it today...the 'pot' comes off the arm at tea-time tomorrow then we'll be able to have a butcher's at the surgeons handywork - pun intended.
More importantly for safari-ing it'll be replaced by a much less restrictive bandage which we're sure will be much more conducive to using the camera...manipulating all those control dials and buttons is good physiotherapy, no? Tapping out this rubbish might be a quicker and easier too and give our bad hand a well earned rest..
Last night Frank took Wifey and us a stroll down to Patch 1 where the wind was giving the trees a good old shake. There wasn't much about save for a couple of Blackirds, Magpies and Woodpigeons, certainly no sight nor sound of anything Siberian.
A Shaggy Inkcap was the only find of any real note.
This morning we didn't do any vis migging, conditions weren't great anyway and the odd time we did step outside nothing was going over. First of the month is check the meters and thermometers day. All the more important given the latest IPCC assessment, unless your name is Owen Praterson of course. Checking your gas, electric and water usage regularly will help you keep those costs down and with them your emissions. Yes water has plenty of CO2 emissions associated with it, heating it at home, pumping, cleaning and all that methane from sewage although many treatment works now burn that to generate on-site electricity turning very climate dangerous methane into less but still climate dangerous CO2.
So how are we doing? Gas - not too bad so far this year a fraction under our target kilowatthourage - but it's hard to forecast as we don't know if the final quarter is going to cold or mild.

Gas - imperial units
  2006   470
2007  396
2008  443
2009  460
2010  480
2011  309
2012  360
Electric - we're doing well this year many due to emptying and turning off the old fridge in the garage - it was costing a fortune and rarely had much in it other than a couple of frozen loaves. And we've been at home for half of this month.
Elec kWh
Note that just one of the wind turbines offshore will produce as much electricity in an hour on a breezy day like today as Base Camp uses in a year and it's been blowing pretty breezy for about 100 hours now - a century's worth of juice from just one of the machines. A couple of weeks ago wind provided 17% of the UK's electricity demand. Just so long as they are sited in the right place they're great and less subsidy than fracked gas...oh that's not subsidised it's been given a 'tax-break'...totally different then.
Water - still using it at a rate of 6 tonnes a year too much  = 500 litres a month which to mix your measurements is 3 2/3 gallons a day too many, doesn't sound much but it soon mounts up to that small lorry-load a year. We ought be able to make a bit of a dint in that!

We used some electricity and water to do a load of washing and when hanging it out - far from easy one handed!!! - we found this fly which was worthy of closer inspection.
At first we thought is was a Tachinid, which indeed it was when we viewed the pics. we also thought it might be Sturmia bella, the recently colonising species implicated in the decline of Small Tortoiseshells in the last few years but probably not really responsible...we'll wait for those clever iSpottters to let us know its true identity.
But the white bands that led us into thinking Tachinid are actually a parasitic fungus Entomophthora and has done this parasitic fly in, what goes round comes round eh!
This evening the Shaggy Inkcap had gone over a bit
We were unable to get to the nature reserve today which wasn't good cos a Little Stint had dropped in, a pretty rare bird there and a Jack Snipe was there too but we should catch up with that one later in the autumn - we hope.
In the meantime let us know what's not looking to clever in your outback today.

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