2014 – The year in review

I was thinking of doing a bit of a recap of what’s been happening this year in my blog and Hey Presto, WordPress has done it for me.

Have a walk through 2014 and see if your favourite blog is mentioned. If not hit the like button and let’s see if the stats change for 2015!!!

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,300 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Decembers last bits

December has almost gone as is 2014. It has been a year of new discoveries through the camera’s lens. One of finding new people reading the words and looking at the photos as well as friends who send words of encouragement and love. This blog is one of looking at a series of photos in small snap shots of my world, some of it fascinating, some of it amazing as well as a bit of new life that has been happening around my place over the past month. How about we start off with one of my favourite subjects – fungi.

As the weather has turned from ever so dry to one of good rains, so the fungi have started to emerge in the forest floor. This little one was doing what fungi like to do, live in the darkness.

fungi01_binna burra_named_dec 2014

The wood fungus looked ever so coloured as the rain was falling as I found this stick with the two fungi and an air fern.

fungi02_binna burra_named_dec 2014

The birds have been enjoying the bananas at my besties place. The cows snuck into the house yard and decided to have a munch on some banana leaves which also resulted in the bunch being pushed over and needing rescuing. Some of the birds thought it was a good idea to hang the bunch up too. The Lewins Honeyeaters licked their beaks at the thought of bananas for breakfast.

lewins honeyeater01_binna burra_named_dec 2014

The Catbirds also enjoyed their snack too

catbird02_binna burra_named_dec2014

Really getting into the mood for eating

catbird01_binna burra_named_dec2014

The sound of the Spangled Drongos calling caught my attention. When I got to their nest tree I saw a battle of epic proportions. The goanna was going to get up there no matter what, licking his lips all the way. Can you spot the Drongo?

spangled drongos01 v goanna_named_dec 2104

The Drongos were having none of it though.

spangled drongos03 v goanna_named_dec 2104

They swooped and dived clicking their beaks near the goannas head.

spangled drongos02 v goanna_named_dec 2104

After a while the goanna was a bit sick of all the attention and decided that it was more fun to be somewhere else.

goanna_named_home_dec 2014

Then it was back to business, with the young ones and their demanding ways.

spangled drongo young_named_crop_dec 2104

Another trip back from the “bush supermarket”.

spangled drongo_young_named_dec 2104

While watching the Drongos, nearby was this young Bar-shouldered Dove sitting very still.

bar-shouldered dove01_young_home_named_dec 2014

Every sunset is so different. One afternoon the setting sun was just glorious

sunset03_binna burra_named_dec 2014

The colours deepened the reds and oranges just burst through the sky

sunset02_binna burra_named_dec 2014

Looking a bit closer, the sky looked like the embers of a raging fire.

sunset01_binna burra_named_dec 2014

I love our moon and even when it’s only half, it still shine its light upon us.

half moon_home_named_dec 2014

That’s all for 2014, see you next year with hopefully many more discoveries and wonders that our world has for all of us to share. Have a great 2015.

PS When I got home yesterday, I went to see the Drongos and it looks like the goanna had finally won. The nest was empty and a bit dishevelled and the Spangled Drongos have gone…a sad end to my year 😦

December discoveries

It’s been a while since I have shared some of my discoveries. The last was in Spring so here are the December discoveries. There has been an abundance of flowers since the rain started. Only a few mls here and there with one big storm that put water into the dam. Actually at the moment the sky has darkened and thunder is rumbling so maybe some rain for a Christmas present. Wouldn’t that be nice? Decembers discoveries are a mixed bag of flowers, birds and all sorts of things that have caught my eye. I hope you enjoy this bit of my December.

Lets start with some flowers. I love it when the garden just bursts into bloom after the first summer rain. The Agapanthus look a treat scattered throughout the garden. I have white ones

white agapanthus_named_home_dec 2014

and blue Agapanthus.

blue agapanthus_named_home_dec 2014

The Bauhinia is a bit rambling but when the flowers are out it provides a splash of colour.

bohinia_named_home_dec 2014

The Dietes border some gardens and are in clumps here and there. Only downside is the are taking over almost weed like.

diedes_named_home_dec 2014

The yellow Dietes is a favourite of the Satin Bowerbirds. They harvest the flowers as quick as they appear. This one has a bonus small grasshopper!

yellow diedes_home_named_dec 2014

Native flowers are always around. This little yellow flower is about 5mms across.

yellow flower small_home_named_crop_dec 2014

The Black Bean flowers come in a range of yellows and oranges and reds.

black bean tree flowers_home_named_dec 2014

The Grevillea flowers are yet to come back. The dry weather certainly decreased the flowers so the Friar birds make do with the Hibiscus flowers, even if you have to be upside-down to get a snack.

friar bird_hybiscus_named_home_dec 2014

The fig tree had an abundance of fruit this year and the Fig Birds have been hanging around the garden since the start of winter. I love their calls which ring out around my place early in the morning and late in the afternoon.

figbird01_named_home_dec 2014

The Kookaburra was hiding in the garden waiting for an unsuspecting insect or lizard.

kookburra01_named_home_dec 2014

This year, the Spangled Drongo stayed a bit longer than usual and I found their nest. It is well tied on to the branch.

spangled drongo_nest_named_home_dec 2014

One hot day, 40 degrees plus, many of the birds were quite thirsty and hot. I have a number of water points around the garden for the birds. You have seen the new bird bath but this is an old wheelbarrow that get drips off the roof where some birds like to drop in for a bit of a splash and drink. This poor Drongo was very hot.

spangled drongo01_hot_home_named_dec 2014

He was joined by a Friarbird and they had a bit of a discussion who was allowed to drink here.

spangled drongo_friarbird_hot_b&w_home_named_dec 2014

Once the rain started, all around fungi seemed to sprout up anywhere. This little puff-ball was in the middle of a small grassed area.

fungus_named_home_dec 2014

Whereas this fungi grew out from the exposed root of a tree.

fungus_brown_named_home_dec 2014

I love dragonflies. They are always zooming around the garden, either here or at my besties. This one was high in a tree watching us remove some weeds in the paddock. Their wings are amazing don’t you think?

dragonfly_binna burra_named_dec 2014

This small dragonfly was almost invisible on the ground.

dragonfly blue_crop_binna burra_named_dec 2014

On a hot day a Green Tree Snake went for a dip in the pool, which is a frog pond now. It had a hard time trying to get out and did panic a bit when we came outside. It found a place to hide in the skimmer box. I put some palm branches around it so the poor little bloke could get out easily.

green tree snake_crop_named_home_dec 2014

On a walk to Killen Falls we came across the Sandpaper figs fruiting. They are rather fuzzy.

sandpaper creek fig fruit01_named_killen falls_dec 2014

This one comes with a bonus grasshopper too.

sandpaper creek fig fruit_killen falls_dec 2014

The sunsets have been amazing. Here is a selection of just one sunset.

sunset01 binna burra_dec 2014

This one has a bit of blue as the sun set.

sunset02 binna burra_dec 2014

I love the sunset when it looks like the sky is on fire.

sunset03_binna burra_dec 2014

Well, it’s almost Christmas. I found this nativity scene in a market. It’s made of wood and is from Thailand. I am not particularly religious but I love things that are well made and interesting. The elephant is missing as he is under the Christmas tree.

nativity_dec 2014

My Christmas tree. This years theme is elephants. As you may have guessed, I collect elephants.

christmas tree_dec 2014

Unless I get inspired to write before the end of the year, have a great 2015 and I’ll “see” you next year.

A bit of France

I am so glad that you enjoyed my little bit of Italy. Here is some bits and pieces I found in France – Marseilles and Avignon. Paris may come later.

I loved this carousel in Marseilles. It was in a square with people just milling around. The sound of the carousel certainly attracted us down that street.

merrygoround_marseilles_may 2012

In the square where we had lunch was this sign on the wall. I like this type of art, almost pop art?

sign_marseilles_may 2012

Another blog I should write is one on the doors of Europe. I had this obsession to photograph doors of all sizes, materials and colours. Of course many of these doors have a door knocker. This lion looks a bit fierce.

door knocker_avignon_mat 2012

In Avignon there seemed to be stones on the streets especially in the back streets of the old town. I wonder what building these came from?

stone carved_avignon_may 2012

In the Palaise de Papas, in Avignon, these tiles were in a section where the tiles were just on tables and some other rooms the tiles were still on the floor. I wonder why I photographed these tiles…..

tiles_palace de papa_avignon_may 2012

In many of the churches were frescos. It amazed me to think that these were painted centuries ago. I loved the colours of this castle fresco.

fresco_church_avignon_may 2012

I had to include another stained glass. This time a close up of the intricate fire stained glass with such a stunning blue background.

stained glass_fire_avignon_may 2012

The Palaise de Papas had many many gargoyles but not many had a pigeon. I think it had  a nest behind there.

gargoyle_pigeon_avignon_may 2012

We found this fabulous cafe in Avignon,a libraire cafe L’Ami Voyage en Compagnie which had the most wonderful food with fantastic features.The tables were quite readable, the chairs wrapped in paper and string.

table_cafe_avignon_may 2012

The table light is great don’t you think?

table lamp_avignon_april 2014

Guarding the stairs was this little bloke. Upstairs was a little library. The best cafe in Avignon.

robot_avignon_may 2012

A bit of Italy

I was looking for a photo a while ago and saw my last holiday photos folder. I have always wanted to do something with them otherwise they just sit there and no one ever sees them. I thought I would start with some of the Italy photos. Not the usual tourist ones but just interesting stuff I photographed. I hope you find them interesting too.

I took a lot of photos from the train as it rocketed through the countryside at up to 300kph. I like this one of a Tuscan villa as it almost looks like a painting. This is unchanged, the raw photo.

countryside from train_rome_named_april 2012

I found this colonnade of wisteria in a garden in Florence, the Gardenia Boldini. The light coming through the flowers looked very surreal.

wisteria_florence_named_april 2012

I like the look of courtyards that are hidden away from the street. To get to this courtyard was a walk down a tunnel under the buildings. I am sure I have a number of “down the tunnel into a courtyard” photos.

courtyard_rome_named_april 2012

Just walking down the side streets of Verona often yields something different. This cart was just there beside that wonderful coloured wall.

cart_verona_named_april 2012

Everywhere are shutters. These shutters were on the Ponte Veicchio in Florence.

shutters_florence_named_april 2012

Yes, this was in the window of a hairdressers in Verona. No need to say more!!!

hairdressers_verona_named_april 2012

There are tons of photos of stained glass windows. I was going to do a blog of just stained glass window so here is a taste.

stained glass_rome_named_april 2012

Some sculptures were quite different to others. I have no idea about this just that it was on a marble table like that. It was in a Basilica in Rome.

statue face_rome_named_april 2012

This is my favourite stained glass photo which was in the ceiling in a church in Rome.

glass ceiling_rome_named_april 2012

Well thats a taste of Italy of things I found. I am so looking forward to going again.