Sunday, November 8, 2015

Fortnight Ending 8 November 2015

It's been a pretty hectic couple of weeks around here with several highlights.

* Mr 17 and Miss 20 survived their university final exams. He had his first ever the same week she had her final ever final - well unless she decides to return for a PhD and/or postgraduate diploma that is.

To celebrate her sister finishing her degree Miss 14 made an absolutely delicious chocolate tart.
The only person not pleased that university finals are over is Dh - he now has a pile of marking to keep him busy!

* Miss 14 and I had a weekend out of town with a few birding friends. One of them is involved in a conservation group that does a lot of predator control work in a mountainous patch of bush. They wanted to begin conducting bird surveys so they can see what impact their trapping work is having on the bird population. We were pleased to be invited to help out since we haven't been into the bush a lot this year at all and would be sure to see some new species. It was hard work at times - lots of steep areas to climb, frequently without trails which meant we did in fact get lost for a time. Luckily it wasn't for too long.

Can you spot the tree in the distance with the white ribbon? We were constantly searching for them as we attempted to navigate our way through the bush.

This was our "trail". Lots of "bushwhacking"to be done for sure.

The reward was picking up six new birds for the year - including one that I'd never seen in the wild before. Plus I just love getting away from the city - fresh bush air is so invigorating. On the downside there were a lot of sandflies and Miss 14 suffered terribly for several days from all the bites she received.

* There was plenty of other birding related activity over the past couple of weeks as well. Miss 14 put out the year's final edition of our birding group's newsletter and started work on the regional column that she writes for the national birding magazine. We attended an all day workshop on braided river birds - who they are, what threats they face and what can be done to help them. It was a little depressing at times since the amount of work required seemed fairly overwhelming. Plus, we attended a talk on new pest control techniques and how they are likely to improve bird numbers. And we had a couple of successful local birding trips, adding another two or three species to our list for the year. One of the species is proving very hard to definitively identify so we're hoping some more experienced birders can lend a hand. And Miss 14 is following up on a couple of opportunities that have come her way. One she is keen on but may not come to anything; the other she is not so sure about but is still considering.

*  Miss 14's other big interest is trampolining and she had the final competition of the year. She was performing a new routine and wasn't sure if she could pull it off since results in training had been a little variable. Thankfully for her the routine came good when it counted. She actually smiled when she finished which is rare. She's pretty hard on herself and usually finds something to criticise in her performance. All in all it has been a good season for her. Not that trampolining is over for the year. Training continues until just before Christmas. Then they get a couple of weeks off before resuming with a two-week long intensive training camp featuring  eight hour days.

Linking up with Kris's Weekly Wrap-Up.


  1. That chocolate tart looks amazing! Of course I've been sitting here mentally reviewing the contents of the cupboard trying to think of something deliciously sweet to make for dessert.

  2. It tasted as good as it looks. The recipe advised not to even try and count calories with it - healthy eating is is not! Still, delicious for special occasions. Thanks for stopping by.