Sunday, January 27, 2013

Ice Escape

Some of my personal Facebook friends call me Weather Girl, because I kinda like posting stuff about the weather - hot, cold, rain etc.

You thought it was hot the other week? So did I, until last Friday when we hit a new, all-time record for the highest temperature ever in our little seaside town:

That would be 114.8F!!!!!

Man, that was one hot day! No sign of a sea breeze on that one...

I was at work for most of that day, but at home we had a struggling air-con unit and the pool. Thank goodness!

It isn't always that hot (thank the stars), but it has been a long, hot summer. I promised Wombat Girl that I would take her up to our latest summer attraction: Ice Skating!!! They had turned the local entertainment centre into an ice-skating rink and as the end of January approached, so did the days available for going skating. We finally made it on the second-last session of the last day :-)

I have to say, Video Boy was not that keen, what with his powers of uncoordination, but he sportingly came along for the trip:

Neither of the kids had ever been ice-skating before (or roller-skating or roller-blading for that matter), but at least they have been skiing, with all that slippery snow. I have been ice-skating about twice in my life and at least 20 years ago. I've also roller-skated and roller-bladed and skied (the first two a really long time ago, when I bounced better).

So we all started out hanging onto that railing for dear life!!! (NB: no photos of my dear self because I was the one with the camera)

Wombat Girl and I got brave and let go for a bit - and can I say, there were a LOT of people in that rink, and dodging little kids and big kids (who should know better) who were out of control made for interesting times!


Video Boy was getting a bit better, but found it very tiring!

In an hour, Wombat Girl fell over 7 times (the last one winded her and hurt her tail bone - the higher you fly, the further you fall!), and Video Boy was proud to say he did not fall over once (and just quietly, neither did I). 

All in all, it was a fun afternoon (much more fun that I anticipated!) and nice way to cool down on a hot summer's day :-)

Friday, January 18, 2013

One day we'll fly away...

Such a beautiful day. I awoke my sleeping daughter to come to work with me. But I have such a nice office, I knew she'd love it! (let's not mention the sleeping teen son, shall we?).

Such lovely families who came to do the activity. Relaxed, cheerful, happy, involved (including the fathers - none of whom snuck off for a 11am beer like in previous activities). They'd make great homeschooling families (just sayin').

We had an interesting chat about gliders and bats and other forest flyers and then it was time to decorate the kites with said animals:

We then took those kites down to the beach, where a slight breeze was blowing, the sun was shining (but not too hotly) and the ocean glistened. And they paid me for it!!

And see that blue ocean? After we'd finished up our activity and left happy families with lovely holiday memories, my girl and I, we jumped in that blue-green ocean and washed any remaining worries away with the cleanest, clearest water you have ever seen. 

It was summer bliss!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Nature - the wonder and fury

January is an intense time here.

It's when I do a lot of work for National Parks - educating people about the wonders of nature. It's work I love and it usually involves dealing with people who care, plus I get to be in the best office in the world. So far, I've done Shorebirds...if you homeschoolers want some great resources about our birdlife, there is lots of good stuff on the Birds Australia website:

A threatened Little Tern nesting on the beach - can you spot him?

Looking after eggs

Baby seagull - ubiquitous, but cute!

Rare and endangered Hooded Plover - only about 50 left in Australia

Educating dog owners to share the beach with endangered shorebirds is a big part of what I do

...and did a great workshop with a bunch of kids, Patterns in Nature:

However, in summer it's usually pretty hot and apparently getting hotter - they had to add new colours to the forecast temperature map to cope with 50C+ temperatures (that sounds more like an oven temp, rather than air temp!):

Now if the winds blow the right way, it blows all that hot air our way - and our normally mild, coastal weather goes a bit nuts - for the first time ever, our region had a Catastrophic bushfire rating this week, which means, should a bushfire start, there would be no way to save property and you should just evacuate. Got a bit hot here:

41C - 105.8F
Hot temperatures, low humidity and high winds generally lead to bad bushfire conditions, and this year, with a lot of growth and recent dry weather, we have bushland primed and ready to catch fire. Currently there is a fire near to us (about 30 minutes north) which has closed the main highway to Sydney and is coming close to towns near us (but, thankfully, at the moment, not too close to us).

There is a lot of smoke around and things get eery at sunset:

I had to go into work at the Visitors Centre to deal with all the people who had left their camping spots and were stuck in our town, during peak summer tourist season, with nowhere to stay. I earned my money that afternoon! And they have cancelled my last couple of National Parks activities due to the threat of bushfires, which is a bummer.

But, we have air-conditioning and the pool, so don't feel too bad for us. So far, it looks safe in this part of the world, and I will be keeping my family as safe as can be - people are not replaceable!

Do you have hot summers? 
It is bizzare for you to be reading about bushfires in the middle of winter?
What is your favourite way to keep cool?

Sunday, January 06, 2013

A nice way to start the new year

Wombat Girl stayed up (unbeknownst to her mother) until 1:45am creating this and stuck it on the front door!

A walk to the beach

A dog followed us down (an escapee from the fireworks the night before, no doubt)

We also saw a dog being rescued by Fire and Rescue - it had fallen down a cliff (maybe escaping from the fireworks) and broken its leg. I think it will OK.


A swim for the people and more running for the dogs

A cannonball concretion and crinoid stem fossils...

Not a bad way to start the year! Planning to do a bit more that in between work appointments.

If it's summer where you live, how are you enjoying the warm weather?
They say whatever you do on the first day of the year, you will do for the rest of the year. What are you going to be doing in 2013??

Embroidery Project - Blue Butterfly

I downloaded this pattern as a PDF from Hoop Embroidery Co on Esty as my first attempt at the technique known as "thread painting"...