Today was a Parks and radio day. In the morning my wife Jenny and I went for a walk in the Scott Creek Conservation Park. This was my first walk in the Park for some months due to health issues. It was great. The day was warm and sunny, the kangaroos were out and about watching us and the birds were singing. I was living for the day! Jenny was identifying a weed for the authorities: an Ivy plant that grows on the indigenous eucalypts, the brown stringy bark trees. She found at least three examples. We also saw a mob of dorper sheep. When they spotted us they ran towards SA water land which adjoins the conservation park. They owe their freedom to private gates nearby which were left undone during the motor car rally held in November. The Ranger will be advised.
When we concluded our activities at Scott Creek Conservation Park we drove to Mylor Conservation Park which is also nearby in the Adelaide Hills. (I measured the distance in the car last evening when leaving Mylor Conservation Park and driving home the most direct way at 7.1 kilometres: thus I am in the fortunate position of having three parks within ten kilometres of my house). The purpose of the visit to Mylor was to check out possible operating locations. In the end I finished up going to the main gate off Whithead Road. This is not far from houses and a Buddhist Monastery and the noise was about S7. It was hard to tell how much of the background noise was simply that and how much was power-line noise. But at the end of the activation the noise had dropped to about S3. We also explored Hooper Road which runs along the Park boundary. We drove to the end of the road and the beginning of the fire trail. At this point the road branches into two private driveways. There is a Park gate about half way along this road but a glance over head showed bundled power lines. I did not even bother to try from that location! I decided I would return to the location of my first activation near the main gate off Whitehead Road.
This photo shows my operating position with the FT897 on the left hand side of the table and 8.4 amp hour LiFePO4 battery. Even after 30 contacts the battery voltage was 12.9 volts.
This photo shows a ten metre squid pole attached to my tripod. For this activation I did not guy the squid pole or use ten pegs to hold the tripod legs in place on the ground. There was only a light breeze.
Mylor Conservation Park is a small park in the Adelaide Hills. It conserves remnant bushland in an area largely cleared for agriculture and residential development on small holdings (four hectares mostly) except in townships. There is a Friends Group and flora and fauna lists are available on the State Government parks web site.
I began on 40 metres and after 17 contacts I decided to try 20 metres. I made five contacts on 20 including three DX qsos before moving back to 40 metres where a further ten contacts were made. Thanks to all who gave me a call, who posted my activation on Parks and Peaks as well as the DX cluster. I decided to end the activation because of the impact of my trespassing. While I gave my operating position a pretty good check for local inhabitants I decided to end the affair when I was bitten twice, simultaneously on the right hand pointer finger and left arm just above the wrist. The attackers were ants. I am not sure what species they were but they surely packed a punch. My arm is still swollen as I write this blog entry on Saturday morning. While ants have been attackers in the past on many occasions, these guys had the most impact on me. When I return to the park to try and secure 44 contacts I will set up in another location. The ants that can cause the most problems are hopper ants.
THIS is the angry little ant that’s putting up to two South Australians a week into hospital emergency rooms, some with potentially fatal anaphylactic shock.
The native hopper ant (Myrmecia pilosula), also known as the jack jumper, packs a painful sting from its tail — but for a significant proportion of people the consequences can be much greater.
Last Sunday a 71-year-old Stirling man was taken to hospital by ambulance after being stung, a situation that has become common during summer, according to Professor Bob Heddle, SA Pathology’s chief pathologist and head of Clinical Immunology at the Royal Adelaide Hospital.
Prof Heddle said the aggressive ant, which moves with a distinctive hopping motion, has been responsible — along with its cousin, the inch ant — for a least six deaths in Tasmania and Victoria in recent years, although he believes deaths caused by the insects are probably under-reported.
Sunday Mail, January 14th 2015
So I cannot tell what bit me, except that the impact of bites from hopper ants are cumulative. So I will be careful in the future.
I was on the air at 0552 after checking that 7.105 was clear:
VK5PAS 58 58 Paul
VK3FORD 55 55 Matt
VK3PF 58 55 Peter
VK3PMG 58 44 Mick
VK2HAJ 59 57 Dennis
VK3FLCS 56 57 Brett
VK3DBP 57 57 Paul
VK3FQSO 57 56 Amanda
VK3MCK 59 55 Don
VK3NBL/P 57 55 Ray
VK3TKK/M 57 55 Peter
VK2YK 57 56 Adam
VK3PAT 59 59 Cliff
VK5FRCP 58 59 Rex at Piccadilly. There had been no propagation locally through the afternoon until VK5FRCP called. Rex is located in the Adelaide Hills, a kilometre or two from Mylor Conservation Park.
VK3EMI/P 56 55 Gerry
VK3ZPF 59 55 Peter
VK2NEO 59 59 Peter
I decided to try 20 metres, but not before trying to contact VK5FANA, Adrian on the Yorke Peninsular. I called VK5PAS after he worked VK5FANA at 0552. I also listened for VK5FANA, operating just higher in frequency that me a few times while I was having a quiet moment between calls. I could not contact him.
At 0700 I checked 14.310. It was clear and I spotted myself.
9A3NM 57 55 Sasa in Croatia
VK4RF 59 59 Rick
VK4HA 59 59 Rick
I5FLN 57 55 Luciano
IW2NXI 57 58
Twenty metres then went quiet so I migrated back to 40 metres:
VK5PAS/P 56 55 Paul at VKFF-077
VK4RF 59 59 Rick
VK4HA 59 59 Rick
VK4GFS 59 57 George
VK3KRH 59 59 Roscoe
VK5NRG 55 43 Roy
VK5KC 56 45 David
VK2NP Cliff 57 53
I then listened for VK5FANA, who briefly popped up out of the noise and was not heard again by me. I could hear stations contacting Adrian and giving him great reports. Sorry Adrian, may be next time!
VK7LTD 55 43 Tony
VK3ALA 59 59 Ken
Then the ants struck!