Fox Baiting


Spent last night at the farm so we could do a job that requires working in both the evening and the morning.

Baiting feral predators with 1080 is not pleasant work. Boring, smelly and ultimately rather sad as it is not a pleasant way to kill. It involves driving along slowly dragging a scent trail using a very fragrant carcass and stopping every two hundred hundred metres or so to bury a bait in the trail. In the morning we collected the untouched baits, about half of the total laid out were undisturbed. The bait we were using is engineered to be particularly attractive to foxes. By the spoor found this morning we think foxes took quite a few though it’s always possible one fox ate a few in a row, it looked like a pig maybe took a couple and a goanna made off with another. The lizard should be fine, the pigs and foxes not so much.  

In the process we did witness one one of our target species, a fox, harrying a flock of sheep and lambs. Still not comfortable with it.

This morning I also helped to butcher a lamb. Well mostly I held the trays and scrubbed the equipment down afterwards. The body had been skinned and quartered and was semi frozen so cutting was done with the butchers band saw. It was quite fascinating, like a 3D MRI revealing the connections between the lumps of meat we buy. Our freezer is now full to bursting of family raised lamb and it is kind of curious to think we will be eating that one animal for weeks to come.

The HDD hasn’t saved my computer. Freezing and bluescreens have become common. I’ve finally reached a decision and have opted to use a small inheritance to replace my laptop. The hunt is now on to find a suitable replacement in budget. The tyranny of choice applies here, I know from experience I need to narrow selection down to two or three options at maximum so that I can be happy with my purchase.


Still looking for a suitable premade contract. Hesitant about putting to much effort into painting on this computer at the moment as it is locking up pretty often.







Lots of Links & Love for Software

Discovered the joy of face dancer Luciano Rosso care of Blue Art Xinja.

See also Viva La Papa Co-starring his, I assume, daughter.

A rather cool 360º Dali video

Be sure to full screen and let it buffer so you can pan around in style.

Striking portraits of murdered Soviet civilians from the Stalinist era. The ‘Rehabilitated’ beneath some images indicates that they were posthumously pardoned in that year.

The extraordinary game “Thomas Was Alone” Starring Danny Wallace’s voice talent, which I mentioned just the other day, is only 20 cents on the Play store at the moment. I bought it again because why not own it on another platform for twenty cents!

 Thomas Was Alone- screenshot


I am seriously in love with Manga Studio best drawing software I’ve used in a long time. I’ve been making Photoshop work and it is incredibly powerful but it is not designed from the ground up for drawing. I’ve been playing all day working on pages for a children’s book, planning on trying to port some card progress over from Ps to MS tonight.

Some wiring on the chook tractor, a swimming lesson for L and cooking experiments took up the rest of the day.

A few beasties from the last day or two:


Large dead and 15mm. #insect #ant #hymenoptera #macro

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Giant mud dauber close to 50mm dead at the pool. #insect #wasp #macro #hymenoptera

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Garden Beds and the Font of Absurdity

Garden progress, Finally filled the raised garden bed tanks to the brim today, though we are expecting some subsidence, they will be ready to be planted into very soon. Each is filled with a nice wet lasagne of sheep poo, soil, potash, cardboard, hay and compost, some layers mixed more thoroughly than others. Shade cloth for the poly covers is still required. The chook tractor build is stalled waiting on suitable plywood for the roost walls. N made significant progress on the orchard bike path digging and paving should commence there tomorrow.



Spending this evening preparing a go bag for my first tutoring session tomorrow. In the process I have discovered that the only way to legally acquire the official handwriting font for NSW and the ACT ‘Foundation Handwriting’ is to pay this dubious and outdated Northern Territory based site $30. More hilarious and baffling still, judging by the pricelist they also charge schools $60 a licence as well. So despite no doubt having been paid to create the fonts in the first place, they now have the gall to charge the education departments, parents, teachers, tutors and schools for the privilege of using the mandated font for NSW school students. All free hosts back to page 5+ of the search have received takedown notices or are obvious scams.


Anyway ‘Foundation Handwriting’ appears nearly indistinguishable from the frightfully ugly QLD QCursive handwriting font and in yet another discovered policy win for QLD v. NSW they at least give their font away for free.


Lots of interesting biology around yesterday and today.


More baby mantids, so many more. #macro

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A lizard

Tiny bearded dragon on my pinkie.

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Didn’t have my lens with me today unfortunately.

Yabbies caught on the farm.

#yabby says “I will cut you!”. >200mm

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#yabby s are really rather alien looking creatures up close.

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Hot & Wheeled

Mantid live approx. 120mm #macro

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Fought with a wheel barrow tire.


The one I ordered to match the specs on the wheelbarrow, doesn’t fit. Axle size is wrong and although the wheel itself looks identical, has all the same markings it is bigger. Fortunately the space can accommodate it. The axle is a pain, the new wheel is supposedly 20mm but a 20mm rod won’t fit. The wheel is instead more like 19.5mm, infuriating. Will try for a return on Monday whe the store reopens anyway.

No creative work accomplished. The heat has been barbaric today. Accomplished some yard work and continued to plow through ‘Seven Eves’, which is gripping.


More of the mantid. #macro

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Macro plus

We’ve spent the last two days at the farm for a family gathering. The six boy cousins (3 infants, and another 3 aged 3 to 12) had an amazing time.
There were epic meals, dangerous fireworks, late nights chatting and more drinking than is strictly healthy.

I’ve squeezed in a bit of drawing each day, first pass at card thumbnail roughs are ready for review.

This afternoon I finished the first piece of paving under the hill’s hoist. Some work remains securing the edges, and locking the gaps on the curve with gravel.

Brought my laptop back from the dead again today, it overheated the night before we left for the farm and had been refusing to get past the windows loading screen. dusting and checking connections worked for it. I also brought N’s computer back to life, it had been dead on arrival as there was a loose cable inside. Her comp is still frequently randomly restarting with no error message. The work of a friend at attempting to reolve the issue prior to departing Brisbane doesn’t seem to have been a complete success unfortunately.

I’ve taken time to have a play with my $3 macro lens .
I have been stabbed, pricked, scratched, gouged and shockingly surprised by these things since arrival:

Unknown local Gecko. Approx. 10cm #macro

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Living specimen black ant locally called a ‘meat ant’ 15mm

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Petrified blue wasp 15mm

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20mm mantid

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So sticky. Approx 15cm long phasmid

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Mummified mud dauber wasp. Approx. 45mm in total length

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