Wandering on the Weekend

Most weekends I can be found roaming around with my camera whether around my property or somewhere on the north coast of New South Wales. There is nearly always something that I see that needs to be photographed as I wander around the bush or in my besties garden. Her garden has so many interesting things happening. The huge variety of birds and insects plus the flowers has me out there whenever I get the chance. There is sometimes a chance to happen upon a bit of sex as well…..

On the way, I cross a causeway which on the occasion has a bird or something that makes me stop and, hopefully, I am able to get a photo. Last time there was a Long Necked Tortoise on a rock that is known locally as Turtle Rock. You will see why…

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The hipeastrums are in flower at the moment, the orange ones are quite lovely

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The variety of flowers and colours are fantastic…some are in the garden…

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Some are in pots…..

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But the colours sometimes just burst out…

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While we were sitting outside, doing a bit of chook watching, two of her chooks disappeared recently – I suspect an eagle as the Wedgetailed Eagles often ride the currents in the valley, I spied so many things around the yard. Anyway everyone should do a bit of chook watching in their life as chooks are quite comical as the go about their busy lives with their fluffy pants…

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She spotted Mr Tawny Frogmouth keeping a close eye on us from a shrub close to where we were sitting

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Looking around, I found Mrs Tawny Frogmouth sitting on the nest. Nest is an exaggeration of the word as it is just a pile of twigs stacked in its precarious location

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And as for the Magpies nest….a rather ramshackle affair. Notice the embarrassed lift off…didn’t want her face on the internet…

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Something was fluttering about us so I decided to see what it was. Of course as soon as I got close off it went again so I had to make do with the Lacewing hidden among the greenery of the garden

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The ant was doing everything it could to not get photographed but walking into the wall soon stopped him

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Luckily the butterfly, a Common Ringlet, was quite content to sit around

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Did I say there was a possibility of a bit of outdoor sex…..

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Some weird bug was walking around flicking its orange antenna

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Inside of a pretty yellow flower, I found someone looking back at me

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The bird bath has its usual Scrub Wren splashing about or just sitting to cool down its little butt

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I heard a knocking in the trees above. Looking up I saw a Fig Bird

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But he wasn’t doing the knocking….it was his mate with something in her beak

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We wondered what she had. A bit of a walk over the other side of the hill the answer was quite obvious why the Fig Birds were hanging around

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The best way to finish of a great day of discovery

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I hope everyone’s weekends are as fabulous as mine….wandering about making great discoveries with my  bestie

The Art of Nature

Nature gives us shapes and forms that aren’t in shapes we can categorise. Occasionally something will become a familiar shape and we are quick to name it so we can file it in out memory. Nature builds things that can come in the most amazing forms, shapes and colours. I like to see the same thing that everyone sees but when the camera is to my face, my eyes see that special bit of a bit wood or the way the light changes the everyday items into something I find wonderous.

Here are some of the things I see.

It is just a part of large leaves which look quite red but up close they are many stripey colours.

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Ever since I was a kid I have loved Scribbly Gums. They were in the playground in Primary School and I spent time tracing the patterns to see where they went.

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The forces of nature certainly cause shapes and lines to appear in the hard surfaces like rocks.

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Sometimes wood can do a similar pattern

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It is just a Fan Palm leaf

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A palm frond stands tall before it opens to lay flat

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I have so many photos of water. The movement of water and the reflections of what is nearby combined with sunlight can make a bit of water seem quite special. This one is the water at the Port of Marseillaise

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Sunset can change a bit of the sea at Brighton into a dance of reds, oranges and blues

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The folds, lines and colours of the cliffs at Evans Head have always fascinated me

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The Norfolk Island Pines are very spiky. They twist and turn with the fruit looking very alien

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The wind can cause ripples on the water’s surface which makes the water plants dip and form lines and spots with a myriad of colours that contrast of the Juncus standing tall in the foreground

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A leaf blown onto the verandah is just a dead leaf on well-worn verandah boards. Would you have paid any attention to it or just swept it off

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Water drops on a red Hibiscus flowers petal took my eye. I think I was rather contorted as I found the drops I wanted with the sun behind the petal

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I love natures shapes and forms. How about you?

Flowers are so wonderful

When I first got the bug to take photos, I loved to take photos of flowers. The colours, the textures, the shapes and the huge variety and sizes. One day (don’t we all say that) I will scan some of my old photos but at the moment I have so many I’ve taken since I have had a digital camera that it was hard to select a some to have here for now. I have another folder of the native flowers I have here and decided that they would be another blog as they are special. Many of the woodland flowers are quite small so it combines another love of mine – Macro photos….getting in close to the tiny world we live in. So off we go…..

Some flowers are individuals and look good by themselves. But others grow on a spike and have many many flowers that the whole spike that they look great as a whole.

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I love Begonias and have heaps of different types. They are more spectacular for their leaves…colours and shapes. Their flowers are quite small and are mostly the same shape, just different colours. Again, they look good as a group.

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Crinums also look good as a group as they have many flowers all close together. Their shape and colours are great.

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The shapes that flowers have is so many and varied and many flowers are purple(ish). Here are a couple of ones that are quite weird and wonderful don’t you think.

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I found this flower at Evans Head……the fringe is so different.

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The orchid is one that my Mother gave me….she loved her orchids

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I like to look deep into some flowers…..the different shades and shapes are those that you never see from a casual glance.

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Sometimes nature supplies special effects as well.

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A crocus bud with added magic

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Or you get photo-bombed by a Lady Beetle

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Even just a small part of a flower can look special. The Ginger flower is huge and one part can look good, the colour is so 1960’s with the orange and yellow.

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I wonder why they called it a Butterfly Bush….

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Same with the spotted lily

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Some flowers are almost see through

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While others come in a range of striking colours….even the humble daisy.

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Or the colours ands shape of a waterlily…..photo-bombed by a native bee.

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The richness of colour and form in a dahlia. My Grandfather grew dahlias. The side of the house down the driveway in Orange was a riot of colour and huge plants. The memory of a four-year old.

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The sun can also help make a flower look spectacular.

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Thanks for coming with me on a journey through many gardens that I have wandered taking photos, some are mine, others are public gardens and of course the wonderful garden of my bestie.

Koalas

The Koalas that live around here are rather nomadic and only occasionally do they venture into the bush at my place. I haven’t seen any but have heard them at night singing their wonderful songs or as my daughter said one night that it sounds like we have pigs in the bush.

These photos are from my besties place where the Koala sit in the tree just near the house and some photos are from Victoria.

Some days it is just so bright that it is hard to keep your eyes open…..oh that’s right I sleep a hell of a lot

ImageKOALA FACT#1 Koalas sleep for around 19 hours a day

Maybe if I hide they won’t see me

ImageKOALA FACT #2 The koala’s latin name Phascolarctos cinereus means ash-coloured pouched bear

Oh….you’re still there

ImageKOALA FACT #3 Koalas are one of the few animals, along with ringtail possums and greater gliders, that feed exclusively on eucalyptus leaves

Well, I guess I’d better do a better job of being invisible

ImageKOALA FACT #4  Koalas don’t normally drink water as they get sufficient water by licking the dew from leaves

Every now and then, the feet just dangle

ImageKOALA FACT #5 Koalas fur different around Australia. In the southern parts of Australia it is longer and shaggier than in the north

I love the light spot under the chin

ImageKOALA FACT #6 Koalas generally give birth to one young a year therefore their populations cannot increase rapidly

The claws don’t really send the cute and cuddly message do they

ImageKOALA FACT #7 Koalas are generally solitary, although they do have a social structure based on a dominant male

But for me, it’s the ears that I love

ImageKOALA FACT #8 The koala is not a bear but a marsupial whose closest relative is the wombat

I do dislike the way people call Koalas “Koala Bears” but that’s just me I guess.

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Reference – http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/animals/thekoala.htm

I Have A Lot Of Small And Cute

I had many comments on my blog photos of animals around my place and some people wanted to see more of the joeys. Well I am happy to oblige…..here is a selection of the little blokes I have although some of these are mothers and fathers themselves by now.

Synchronised eating or breakfast in bed

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Some of the littles ones can be shy and just peek out of the pouch every now and then

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While other are quite relaxed and appear rather casual

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But can just disappear in the blink of an eye

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But still can’t resist to see if I am still there

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On a winters day, a pouch looks like a warm and snug place to be

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It is especially important to stay warm when you don’t have any fur

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This is how you get into a pouch

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Every now and then you get an itch and just have to scratch

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On occasion, Mum looks like she need a bit of a scratch

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Or maybe a bit of a kiss

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If you aren’t sure what’s around, just stand still and check it out

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Even when you are eating

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But there is always something that makes you laugh

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Here is my video of one little bloke just hopping around the front yard – http://youtu.be/WMmwyO4BhVE

A Birds Eye View

I have always believed the eyes are the windows to the soul. But with birds and animals it appears to be different, sometimes I wonder if anyone is in there and at other times I can see the intent or what I perceive to be intent. What do you feel when looking into the eyes of a bird?

Some of these photos are small but the difference in the eye and the eye ring is quite distinctive.

I guess I’ll start with a Silver Eye –  a bird whose name is its feature.

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Galahs seem to have old eyes

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There are some birds who have a mask like appearance like this finch

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and this duck

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the Fig Bird’s red mask really stands out

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The Noisy Miner only has a small bit of eye decoration

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whereas the Blue Faced Honeyeater’s covers a lot of their head

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A Kookaburras eye is just among its feathers

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A King Parrots eye with a yellow ring stands out in its bright red head

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which is much the same for a Rainbow Lorikeet with a red circle in a sea of blue

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The Black Necked Stork is a spot of yellow in black

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The osprey has an alertness about it

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Many birds eyes have different colours like the Koel

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and White Headed Pigeon

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and Satin Bower Bird

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The Peaceful Dove has blue as well but it’s around the eye

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but sometimes they can look a bit sceptical

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Tawny Frogmouths eyes aren’t open much during the day and are quite squinty

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But the bird with a huge eye is the Pelican….a bit vacant but rather big nevertheless!!

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Thats the journey through the eyes of birds

Animals…Yes I said it….Animals

There are animals everywhere, especially around my place. Some are small, some are large but most don’t mind having their picture taken, as long as I am quick. It is certainly a privilege to have them around, not only in the bush but sometimes close to the house. The garden always has a wallaby eating or resting, there is always lizards of course, or should I say skinks and sometimes a snake or two will rustle through the undergrowth. I have heard Koalas at night but not seen them but possums are always somewhere around even in the chook house.

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Other possums, that aren’t here but at my besties place, are the Ringtailed Possums. This bloke was high in the tree and it takes balls to climb high.

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At her place at least I can see the Koala!!! This bloke was in the front garden about 10 meters from the house.

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There are small bats somewhere around, in hollows and sometimes they stop inside for the night. Summertime, the windows and doors are open to catch the breezes and the little micro bats often whizz around sweeping up moths and other bugs attracted to the lights. This Lesser Eared Bat found a box to rest in.

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Geckos have many a spot around the house. Most of the pictures on the walls have a gecko or two behind them, When they get frisky, the pictures jump and bump on the walls. This Velvet Gecko was stalking a moth and didn’t really want my attention.

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Outside the skinks have the run of the verandas, garden and basically everywhere, all through the bush.

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I have a recycling and garbage area, as I don’t have a garbage service, where I store all my garbage and recycling until I get a good sized load to take to the transfer station in town. I open the bale flaps very slowly each time as there is usually a frog or spider under there. This day as I opened the bale up, there was a small Red Naped Snake warming under the flap.

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One of the hard parts of bush living is life and death. I love my chooks but so do a lot of others who mainly love them as dinner. Over the years I have lost a few to Spotted Tail Quolls. One time, after around 6 chooks were killed, I took a carcass and put it into a trap hoping to get the bugger and take him for a ride up the mountain to the National Park.

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But mostly it’s the wallabies that get attention as they are quite calm around me and they come closer to the house than most other animals. Here is the “Whole lot of Wallabies” part. I couldn’t decide which one to use so I just included a selection of different wallabies, their young and places they hang out.

Sometimes they come in groups. The Red Necked Wallabies are everywhere.

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They don’t mind hanging out with the chooks. The Whiptail Wallabies, or Pretty-faced, seem to hang out in the back.

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The Red Necked Males are quite large and in breeding season, the red really stands out.

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I was lucky enough to get a photo of a very young joey before it grew any hair.

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The Joeys are so adorable.

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Sometimes the come to the front door…..

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….and sometimes to the back door.

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I love the animals that are around my place.

Do you have many at your place?