Australia’s Weeds, Ants and Solar: An Update.

Weeds.

Three months or so ago, the front of my house was part jungle, part driveway. I liked the driveway bit as it was, but I was keen to get rid of the jungle part.

It was a long story, one I told in my post called Gardening in Australia: A Tale of Two Gardeners.

Anyway, eventually on Good Friday, which would have been April 6, my jungle became an ex-jungle and I proudly showed you its new look with this photograph…

Gardening - All ClearOn that day, I vowed to never let it get so out of control again and yesterday I went out there for the first time to tackle any newly sprung up weeds.

There were plenty!

Unlike last time though, there was nothing I couldn’t handle, although I did find this in the exact spot shown in the picture above.

This weed is, at most, three months and three weeks old, yet it’s taller than me…

big weedTook me 18 years to get this tall! I sprayed him with weedkiller, he just laughed! That’s why I pulled him out.

Ants.

Whenever I see unusual looking ants in my garden, I always fear that they might possibly be the dreaded Fire Ant that I wrote about my post called Tiny Itsy-Bitsy Small Australian Bad Things

So when I saw these…

Golden-tailed Spiny Ants… I grabbed my “Wildlife of Greater Brisbane” book.

No need to panic though, I reckon these are Golden-tailed Spiny Ants, pretty harmless and they don’t even sting.

Not sure what these are though, living in my security light sensor…

More ants… but they are possibly Giant Bull Ants; now they are aggressive and do have a powerful sting.

So, that’s two Australian Bad Things, weeds and ants. Hopefully, this will turn out to be a good thing…

Solar.

North facing roof before….

1 north roof… and after…

North roof afterWest facing roof before…

West roof before… and after….

West roof afterYou may have read about the costs and the forecasts of my solar power installation in my post called Solar Power: Cutting the Cost of Electricity. I was impressed the company I selected installed my solar within three weeks of placing the order, especially as this is probably the busiest time ever in Queensland due to the recent changes to the incentives.

But will I recoup my outlay as quickly as suggested? Have I wiped out my electricity bills in total?

Time will tell, but I will certainly update you as soon as I have had a few electricity bills through the door.

The system, whilst in place, hasn’t yet been properly connected to the grid as that job is performed by Energex. As a result, and because I still have the old analogue electricity meters, the energy produced feeds directly back in to my existing boxes. That means I’m already saving money.

I’ve also had great fun watching my electric meters spinning backwards.

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{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Cristal August 1, 2012, 9:17 am | Link

    My uncle got solar panels installed on his house. He got more than his house needed and now the electricity companies pay him come bill time. I think it would be the best feeling to get an electricity bill claiming they owe you a few hundred!

    • BobinOz August 1, 2012, 8:18 pm | Link

      Wouldn’t I love that?

      Hey, maybe I could send the electricity company a bill?

  • Sean July 31, 2012, 4:21 am | Link

    I’d keep quiet about it then Bob and take a big chunk off your reading!

    • BobinOz July 31, 2012, 2:40 pm | Link

      Okay, I won’t tell anyone else if you don’t.

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