This is December

This is just the one big photo blog. I hope you have time to scroll through. It started rather small at the start of December and just seemed to grow as stuff happened. I have included some of the skies that may have been in Beckys Square Sky photo challenge or missed out. I really enjoyed Beckys #SquareSky challenge. Perhaps you may need a pot of tea to get to the end!

Lets go. I love skinks and how they just move about on brick walls.
skink_named_toowoomba_dec 2017

Come Summer and the Dragonflies are flitting about the garden.
dragonfly01_named_binna burra_dec 2017

I couldn’t find this Dragonfly at first when it disappeared into the garden.
dragonfly_named_binna burra_dec 2017

Summer in Australia with the deafening cacophony of cicadas. When the tree you were in many years ago has gone, make do with anything to get out of your shell.
cicada shell_steel post_named_home_dec 2017

Brown Ringlets have wonderful “eyes” on their wings.
brown ringlet_named_binna burra_dec 2017

I was visited by an Assassin Bug who did a bit of fluff cleaning for me.
assassin bug_named_home_dec 2017

Mud Daubers make wonderful clay pots to raise their young. They lay an egg in the clay pot, they go about gathering spiders which they comatose for the grub to eat when it hatches.
mud dauber_named_home_dec 2017

I have been watching this one build a cone shape on the architrave of the office door.
wasp_nest_named_home_dec 2017

Some mornings the chicken wire fence has lots of spider webs in the mesh.
spiders web_wire fence_named_home_dec 2017

What a fabulous green the grasshopper has which contrasts with the yellow of the Deities flower.
grasshopper_yellow dirtis_named_home_dec 2017

I love the Line Blue Butterflys antennae
line blue butterfly_named_binna burra_dec 2017

The Bromiliad flower with a bonus spider shell.
bromiliad flower_named_home_dec 2017

The Stingless Native Bees loved the Day Lily flower.
stingless native bees_day lily_named_home_dec 2017

After the rain, the Crocus flowered much to the delight of the Stingless Native Bees
crocus_stingless native bee_named_home_dec 2017

They certainly have a laconic way of flying don’y they?
crocus_stingless native bee_close_named_home_dec 2017
The red Dahlia is one of my favourite flowers.
dahlia_red_named_binna burra_dec 2017

The Tree Begonias supplied a splash of red in the garden too.
begonia flower_named_home_dec 2017

It was a great year for the Agapanthus flowers.
agapantus_blue_named_home_dec 2017

A tiny native flower with a fluffy centre.
yellow star flower_named_home_dec 2017

Another lovely flower I was given from my friend Geoff.
yellow flower_named_home_dec 2017

A very pretty Rose in a friends garden.
rose_pink_named_jiggi_dec 2017

I think this flower is an Egg and Bacon plant flower.
race horse tree_flower_named_home_dec 2017

The Hibiscus flowers welcomed the rain  in December.
hibiscus_flower_red_named_home_dec 2017

A field of Daisys on the side of the road.
daisys_named_washpool_dec 2017

The Curry Bush had a great flowering last year as well
curry tree_flowers_named_home_dec 2017

The storm season arrived a bit late last year but when it came, it was spectacular.
171220_storm on way_named_home_dec 2017 - Copy

This sky was incredible
storm02_named_home_dec 2017

And again
storm01_named_home_dec 2017

I love capturing the suns rays.
storm clouds_named_home_dec 2017

The palm leaf had shiny spots of water which glistened in the sunlight.
water drops_palm_named_home_dec 2017

People must have thought I was mad walking around trying to get the sun in the right spot.
windmill_named_toowoomba_dec 2017
This sunset was amazing. The colours changed every minute.
sunset_named_binna burra_dec 2017

It’s hard getting a sunrise photo when you live in a forest.
sunrise_named_home_dec 2017

The Spangled Drongo was wondering what I was doing interrupting bath time.
spangled drongo_bird bath_named_home_dec 2017

It isn’t often I see a Peaceful Dove at the bird bath.
peaceful dove_named_home_dec 2017

When White Ibis flocks glide overhead it is just magnificent.
ibis_flying_named_toowoomba_dec 2017 - Copy

A female Figbird or a young Figbird just getting his red mask.
fig bird_young_named_home_dec 2017 - Copy

One day he will look like his dad.
fig bird_male_named_home_dec 2017 - Copy

Check out the pants on the Channel-bill Cuckoo
channel billed cuckoo02_named_jiggi_dec 2017 - Copy

They have a very serious looking bill don’t they?
channel billed cuckoo01_named_jiggi_dec 2017 - Copy

Rainbow Lorikeets are quite raucous as they nibble about on the Lemon Scented Tea Tree.
rainbow lorikeets_tea tree_named_home_dec 2017

I am so glad the Forest Kingfisher has returned this Summer to forage around the house.
foredt kingfisher_named_home_dec 2017 - Copy

An activities box outside of a Cafe in Toowoomba.
box_named_toowoomba_dec 2017 - Copy

The Moon was just wonderful with the coloured rings on a cloudy night.
moon01_named_binna burra_dec 2017 - Copy

If pupils were white it could look like an eye.
moon02_named_binna burra_dec 2017 - Copy

Some people have said this photo has a Japanese feel about it. What do you think?
moon03_named_binna burra_dec 2017

Thanks for dropping by

Birds, Bugs, Butterflies and Flowers

Another hot day has made me think it will be better being inside rather than the baking sun out there. At the moment there is thunder rumbling about. But that happened last night and didn’t result in rain. I hope this lot will as it is dry as anything here.

This is the third year of lower than average rainfall. There has been enough to keep the water tanks topped up but the dams are either empty or very low. The main dam I use for watering the house gardens is about one third full so it is rationing the water to the plants in pots first and then the new plantings (planted in the hope of rain).

From there I feel like the bad parent and water the plants that look like they need water more and the others are left to fend for themselves. Most are OK and I have only lost one or two plants although they may surprise and send out shoots when the rains come.

I am always putting water into the bird baths which is appreciated by the birds who come to my garden for a drink. The hanging pot is usually a favourite for the small birds. Once when I was watering the plants, a White-throated Honeyeater sat in a branch near the hanging pot and almost seemed to say “How about you top up the hanging pot so we can get a drink.” After putting some water into the pot, about 4 or 5 of its mates went to the pot for a drink.

Sometimes a bigger bird will also like to have a drink like this Little Friarbird.

little-friarbird_named_home_dec-2016

The hanging pot is the best place to get a drink. The female Scarlet Honeyeaters are regular visitors.

scarlet-honeyeater_female02_named_home_dec-2016

The male Scarlet Honeyeaters seem to get on when there’s a drink involved.

scarlet-honeyeater_males02_named_home_dec-2016

This young one waited until everyone else had gone before venturing in for a drink.

scarlet-honeyeater_female_named_home_nov-2016

Another place to get a drink is an old wheelbarrow which collects water from the car port roof when it rains. Some of the birds love it as it is in shade in the afternoon. You may have seen previous photos of the Spangled Drongos and Friarbirds over there.  This time the Lewins Honyeater and the White-throated Honeyeater had a bit of a squabble about who should drink and bathe in the wheelbarrow bird bath.

yellow-faced-white-throated-honeyeaters_barrow-bath_named_home_dec-2016

In early December the lovely Satin Flycatchers drop in for a few days.

satin-flycatcher_named_home_dec-2016

The Square-tailed Kites are often harassed by the nearby nesting Friarbirds when they take off from their nest to go and get food for the young ones. I haven’t been able to see the young ones yet but both parents have been busting getting food and coming back to the nest. This Friarbird got very up close and personal.

square-tailed-kite_friarbird01_named_home_nov-2016

But eventually the Kite wheeled around and headed off on its mission.

square-tailed-kite_friarbird_named_home_nov-2016

Soon it was circling around getting higher and higher showing its wonderful wing feathers.

square-tailed-kite01_named_home_nov-2016

Meanwhile, back at my besties bird bath the normally sleek looking Red-browed Finch was looking rather ruffled.

red-browed-finch_birdbath_named_binna-burra_dec-2016

The sounds of Summer in Australia are the Cicadas. There are Cicada shells on most tree trunks or posts and like this one, under the leaf of a Frangipanni.

cicada_named_home_dec-2016

The Dragonflies are constantly  zipping about the garden. This dragonfly seemed to really like the stick and sat there for quite a while.

dragonfly_named_home_oct-2016

Everyday there is the buzz of the Blue-banded Bees as the source out the meager flower offerings in the garden.

blue-banded-bee_named_home_dec-2016

A new visitor to the garden at the end of November was the Common Albatross Butterfly. There was only 1 or 2, nowhere as many as the Caper Whites.

common-albatross_named_home_-nov-2016

I have fallen in love with photographing the Caper White Butterflies as they feed on the Pentas. Knowing they will soon be gone, I have been getting some nice photographs while I can.

caper-white-butterfly01_named_home_nov-2016

In this close-up, you can almost see the scales on the wings.

caper-white-butterfly02_named_home_nov-2016

I saw a Painted lady on the road as I walked down the drive to the house and suddenly she flew up and disappeared. It took a while to find where she had taken refuge in the rough bark of the Red Ironbark.

painted-lady-butterfly_tree_named_home_nov-2016

Even butterflies have to do it. These little Lineblue Butterflies even flew about the garden locked together.

lineblue-butterflies_mating_named_home_dec-2016

Perhaps because it has been so dry, the Agapanthus bloomed so well this year. Spots of blues and whites are dotting the garden.

agapanthus_named_home_dec-2016

The Frangipannis are just starting to bloom so  this year I am going to take notice of the colours I have planted in the garden.

frangipani-flower_named_home_dec-2016

The shed down the back has these frosted glass casement window I bought when I first moved onto the bush block. They were used in the first shed/house I built and now are in another shed that is underway. As I walked about the garden, it seemed as though someone was watching me. I saw this “face” in the window.

looking-out-of-the-window_named_home_nov-2016

Remember the last blog. I said I was going to try and get a photo of the verandah skinks face. Well he sat long enough in the morning sunshine for me to get a photo. Always try to deliver lol.

garden-skink_named_home_nov-2016

 

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.

Around here at Christmas

I have had some new visitors to my garden over the past week or so. First of all, a Black-faced Cuckoo Shrike sat in the tree near me

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and a while later, way over there, collecting small twigs for a nest I guess. It has been quite a while since I last saw a Black-faced Cuckoo Shrike around here.

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The other new one arrived a few days ago….meet the White Cheeked Honeyeater

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They are quite athletic when getting into the blossoms

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No blossom is safe

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The Little Friarbird arrived about the same time

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The everyday things wanted to be discovered or rediscovered. The birds and flowers that are nearly always here at the same time most years seemed to attract my attention, perhaps it was the light or as with the Leaden Flycatcher, seemed to sit and pose for a while which is unusual for a bird who just loves to flit about the bushes and trees singing at every stop.

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As usual the Noisy Friarbirds dominated this part of the yard as well. They have a never-ending flight between the Honey Gem out the front, and the Callistemon out the back, trying to stop all the other birds having a snack. They certainly love to swoop at the bushes to scare the other smaller birds. Or they will sit there trying to give the death stare to anyone who is anywhere within eye shot.

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The poor little Scarlet Honeyeater is always on the look out when it grabs a quick snack before the bullies come back from their other bush protection flight.

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But always get a good feed

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Willie Wagtail managed to get a cicada and was banging it about the tree branch

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Elsewhere around the place, things are looking good with just the right amount of rain to keep everything growing and flowering. I looked down the back and saw a lot of yellow flowers. I thought I had the Fireweed beaten and was a bit dismayed at seeing the many spots of yellow everywhere!!! Having a good look up close I was relieved to see it was a little native star-shaped yellow flower.

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Sitting among the star-shaped flowers was this little one as well. Many of the native flowers here are very small, around 10 – 15 millimetres in diameter.

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Some of the white flowers are just waiting to burst out.

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While some are out enjoying the sunshine already

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There are a few little yellow fluffy flowers that are more like Fireweed.

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In the trees, the Spangled Drongos enjoy having their weird sounding conversations.

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Which didn’t bother the King Parrots very much as they were more intent on seed hunting.

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The Figbird was looking rather splendid as it hopped about the lower branches

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Just looking about

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I don’t think I have ever looked at one of the many blooms of the Agapanthus flower before

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The little pink Grevillea flower is quite small and I don’t think any of the honeyeaters visit as most of the flowers are intact.

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All over there has been a certain busyness which has even effected the insects. Some ants were marching up and down the wall

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While a grasshopper thought that some of the indoor plants were worthy of investigation to ascertain their edibility

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I guess anytime around here there is always a young Red-necked Wallaby. As I haven’t included at Joey shot for a while, here you go as I know a lot of you like these fluffy little blokes.

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There’s been a bit happening around here hasn’t there…..

brian