About “Surly Bond”

mugshotMy name is Garry Speight. I am a retired geomorphologist interested in weather and climate. I have taken temperature and humidity readings at my house since 1999. Having been a flyer for sixty years, I use the name “Surly Bond” – a play on words from the sonnet “High Flight” by John Gillespie Magee, Jr. (1941)

“Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth

And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings”

This blog uses my own observations of the climate and weather of the town of Manilla near Tamworth on the North-West Slopes in the State of New South Wales, Australia, using a home-made Gill-type thermometer screen. Although my record from April 1999 is short, some kinds of climate change show up. I refer to rainfall records at Manilla Post Office that go back to 1883.

I write articles of several kinds:

  • Monthly Weather Report. After each month, a report on that month’s weather at Manilla, including notable events. One graph is a daily weather log; a second graph compares average values for that month through recent years.
  • Season Weather Report. After each 3-month season, a similar report for that season.
  • Annual Weather Report. A brief review of each year’s weather is added to its December weather report.
  • Climate Trends. A monthly update of climate trends in the last 36 months. I compare smoothed monthly anomalies of temperatures (max, min, range, and subsoil), rainfall, cloud, and dew point.
  • Rainfall Analysis. Trends in rainfall at Manilla, including moments of 12-monthly data. Documentation of rainfall shortages causing drought.
  • Analyses. Topical analyses of climate trends for Manilla, Australia, and the world.
  • Indoor Climate. The performance of my unheated and uncooled high-mass, solar-passive house.

I link to, and re-present, material that I have posted on forums of “weatherzone” (closed November 2019) and (posting as “Catopsilia”) the Alternative Technology Association.

Dating of Posts Before April 2014

I began writing posts to this blog on 28 March 2014, but I am posting a lot of material that I wrote earlier. From April 2014 the dates on posts are authentic. Dates on earlier posts have been assigned according to when they were first written and when the data became available. I have edited these earlier posts, but I have not included statements based on hindsight. Nor have I added material that would not have been available at the assigned date without clearly indicating (usually by an indigo-coloured font) that this is new material. As an exception, graphs for months before April 2009 (like those for later months)  have dashed lines showing the normal temperature for the time of year, despite the fact that these “normals” were based on averages for the decade from April 1999 to  March 2009.

Research on Landforms

As a research scientist at CSIRO from 1961 to 1989, I published (as J G Speight) mainly on the explicit description of landforms. I contributed to inter-disciplinary teams in photo-interpretive surveys for land evaluation, and finally to Handbooks for Soil and Land Survey. Other interests were: ice-age moraines, spectral analysis of river meanders, slope-frequency analysis, numerical taxonomy of landforms, landform-soil relations, and the Australian seasonal patterns of erosive winds.

Contact Me.

One thought on “About “Surly Bond”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s