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Film Diary / 09.07.2020

Seeing is believing. This morning I photographed a lichen growing on a pvc reflective guide post next to a culvert. Lichens seem to flourish as readily on man-made as on natural surfaces. They are grouped in growth forms which describe their appearance. The most common, fruticose (shrubby), foliose (leafy) and crustose (flake-like) account for the majority of lichens that people are likely to see. It is estimated that 6% of the earth’s land surface is covered by some 20,000 known species of lichen. There are more than 3,000 Australian lichens around 15% of which are endemic.

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Book / 09.07.2020

I delivered another 3 books to Canungra Books & Art at a time when retail sales have been few and far between. At the end of June, the main bookshop on the mountain also received an order from the local Federal MP. Meanwhile, around the same time, I received an order out of the blue from a library supplier. Early this month I contacted Libraries ACT, who ordered a copy via the same supplier, which I dispatched yesterday.

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Film Diary / 11.06.2020

The last thing I would have expected to see this morning was a frog, and at the garage where I find most of my moths. I had to cut my walk short to return home and fetch my camera. This encounter was a wonderful instance of the natural world functioning as gloriously as ever regardless of the pandemic afflicting homo sapiens.  The frog is nocturnal and hides beneath fallen leaves, or burrows into loose soil during the day. This one may have been disturbed from its Winter quarters. Over the years I have encountered dozens on my night filming walks in rainforest, a preferred habitat of the species. This was the only one I have seen in daylight. The frog ranges from mid-coastal Queensland to mid-coastal New South Wales, with isolated populations in northern Queensland and Victoria. Length is 6.5 – 10 cm.

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Book / 31.05.2020

I received an order for three books from my latest outlet. They are destined to be presented as gifts by the local Federal MP, Scott Buchholz,  in support of local authors.  I have not been in touch with any library since the end of March.

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Book / 13.05.2020

After a false start due to amended hours caused by the pandemic, I visited Canungra Books and Art, having left a message on the owner’s phone about my book in pre-covid days. The shop bought two books.

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Film Diary / 26.04.2020

Although the Australia-wide corona virus lock-down is highly effective, it appears to be particularly so in Queensland. I am allowed my morning walk and visits to shops and even nearby friends. I don’t recall a more glorious or warmer Autumn in my 33 years in the country, with day after day of bright sunshine and deep blue skies. My walks continue to prove most productive at the garage. Today, and four days ago, I found moths which are new to my album. This morning’s  was among only a handful present, which always enhances the thrill of discovery. Both were very small, yet their marking caught my attention and made me wonder whether I had seen them before. Both belong to the family Nolidae and are similarly coloured, but differently patterned. Were it not for the pandemic, the marvellous expert on whom I rely for species identification, would be on an extensive overseas trip and I would have had to wait until his return to write up an already extensive haul. He and his wife got no further than Perth, where they languished for a week or so before finding a flight back to Brisbane.

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Film Diary / 12.04.2020

For several years I have regretted a decline in moth numbers at the garage, though last Winter this did not result in a decline in the number of new species I photographed. If anything, their number increased, which is fortunate indeed. This year, after two months of good rain since Christmas, the moths returned with a vengeance and subsequent good rain kept them coming. Even when that petered out and dry, sunny weather set in, the numbers have still been impressive – as good as they have ever been. Today I photographed an Australian moth which is the most widely distributed of any in my album. It occurs throughout the country, with populations in the centre, the outback, the ranges and the coast, because it feeds on over 100 plants and is regarded as a pest species on a number of crops. It has also invaded New Zealand. On April 7, I photographed a plume moth. The species is distributed in Africa, including Madagascar, and in east and south-east Asia, including Japan and New Guinea. In Australia it is found in Queensland. The moth seems to be a rarity.

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Book / 08.04.2020

Today, I posted another book to James Bennett, exactly a week after I fulfilled their previous order. Libraries are now closed because of the pandemic, but for James Bennett it seems like business as usual. True, an order takes time to work its way from the library to the library supplier. I am aware of a number of orders pending, but the suppliers never specify which library placed the order with them. Not only do I appreciate the sale of yet another book, I welcome the opportunity to exit the house and buy the packaging from the post office and return with the parcel for them to post.

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Other / 02.04.2020

Today I picked up my new glasses, after only having had my eyes tested on the Monday. Presumably the lens maker isn’t as busy as usual because of the pandemic. Talking of which, I was fortunate to have the cataract operations before elective surgery was halted, so that hospitals could focus on the pandemic. My eyes were tested exactly  four weeks after the second operation. The first was performed two weeks before the second. By the time of the test, my vision had recovered to how it had been before the operations. I had not felt colour-deprived with the cataracts, but after they were removed, the world was brighter and more vibrant. The main benefit post op, was that reading and writing without glasses were restored to how they had been before the cataracts took hold. However, my new distance lenses had the greatest impact of all because of the clarity of detail, which I had not known for years. It was revelatory.

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Other / 30.03.2020

During the weekend I completed a questionnaire about, inter alia, my project, why I came to Australia and a day in the life of Peter Kuttner, for a local filmmaker who contacted me via mutual friends. She graduated from film school a few years ago and is putting in a submission to a funding body charged with commissioning a short documentary about inspirational older Australians (not that I consider myself to be one). Is my age catching up with me? We will see what happens.