This is June 2021

Here we are at the half way point of the year. June has been one of rain and dry, Winter arriving and the night temperatures dropping into single figures but the days here were 20 – 24C Just lovely when it wasn’t raining, well that was more like drizzle which was annoying but the garden loved it.

The worse part of June was the number of mice I had at my place. I probably caught between at least two to five mice every night. It was no where near the plague that was west of the mountains but I needed a mouse trap that would get more than one at a time as conventional mouse traps do. I made a couple of traps. One was using a small kitchen tidy bin with a ramp and peanut butter on the lid. The mice just dropped into water in the bottom and drowned. The first trap I made took several variations before success. It is a bottle and a bucket. I had to also make it possum proof as they licked all the peanut butter off the bottle. The mice walk on the bottle to get the peanut butter, the bottle spins and in they go. Here is a result after the first night of model number three. Look away if you may be a bit aghast at viewing dead mice.

I did manage to get out and about a bit. I went to a State Landcare meeting in Dubbo which meant an eight hour drive with the Clarence Landcare Coordinator Debbie driving us in her seven seater van. Debbie and I stayed in an Airbnb with two other women coordinators from up in the Border Ranges. I managed to get out and walk about while the women did a bit of work. The benefit of being a Committee member. Enough of me walking around. Later on I’ll show a few photo I took.

Here is your song to scroll to while you have a look at what I found in June.

One of our favourite places to get to is the Mallanganee Lookout situated on the peak of the Richmond Range. Over the mountains in front is Queensland and to the right looks towards the coast. It was a sometimes rough drive on the Hogarth Range Road, an unsealed road, to get there.

The railway line that goes through Dubbo has interesting infrastructure. It is in a grain growing region and flour mills are right beside the railway tracks.

I loved this iron bridge over the Macquarie River. The grain trains wagons must bump a bit as the train goes over this part of the track as the Sulpher-crested Cockatoos, Pigeons and Sparrows enjoyed a meal

This is one of the iconic Australian trains I saw at Casino on my way to my besties, the Southern Aurora. I used to watch this train as a kid go through the station where I grew up. The rear carriage used to have a neon sign, a copy from thnsw.cpm.au is below

I love the lettering on the carriage

I really liked this door hinge on a church in Dubbo

Here are a few flowers I found. This is a Forest Boronia which grows quite well on my youngest daughters property. I will have to get a cutting and see if I can grow it here in my garden.

Not sure what this quite small flower is, also on my youngest daughters property. It has such an interesting shape.

She also has lots of Banksia trees on her property. I love the flowers, Another one I will get from her for my garden.

On the way home, I go on the back roads as it is much shorter, I often stop in at the Ospreys nest to check to see what’s happening. I am always pleased to see the tree is still standing and the nest is OK. Don’t they have a great spot? The Osprey in the background is on a tree overlooking the Clarence River hoping for a fish to swim past.

A Grey Butcherbird surveys my besties garden for a snack…..

……or perhaps it is watching what the Scaly-breasted Lorikeet is up to in the Bottlebrush.

One morning, in my garden, several Crimson Rosellas paid a visit to the Yamba Sunshine Grevillea.

The Gum Nuts from a Eucalypt tree in my besties garden

Her Cumquat tree only planted less than three years ago is laden with fruit. Yesterday she made some Cumquat Marmalade which I hope to taste this weekend.

A young Variegated Fairy Wren regarded me with suspicion before flying off to join the others in the safety of the bushes nearby.

At Mallanganee Lookout we could hear birds and this female Golden Whistler came to see what we were doing.

On a drive round the Clarence Valley, when I saw the Wren, I also came across an Intermediate Egret stalking the shallows.

It has been good to see that the White-winged Choughs have returned to my place. Most afternoons the big troop of twelve wander through my garden bickering over tasty morsels they find. They are interesting birds. They have a tendency to steal other members of family groups to enhance their own. They are one of only two surviving members of the Australian mud-nest builders family, Corcoracidae, and is the only member of the genus Corcorax.

The noisy squawks of Sulpher-crested Cockatoos are unmistakable as they fly overhead.

I love the look and smell of the Lavender flowers in my besties garden.

These are the last of the Roses which had a great flowering this year The red….

…and the pretty pink

This is a wonderful Bottlebrush, Champagne Pink.

The basil flowers are amazing and the bees love them.

Just like Lions Tails, the bees just are in most of the flowers.

On the way to Dubbo, we had to stop in at the Raspberry Lookout so could show Debbie my favourite place. The mist in the valley looked so good.

The yellow Common or Variable Billy Button flowers were everywhere at Raspberry Lookout. Isn’t Billy Buttons a great name? They are between 10 and 25mm in diameter.

I found a Dwarf Eastern Tree Frog asleep under the eaves

The cows on a dairy, not far from the one I usually photograph next door to my besties place, were heading to the milking shed in an orderly line.

It is getting late. An Ibis is heading to its roost to the west as the sunset is in an orange phase.

Later on the sunset turned a lovely red reflected in the Egrets wings as it headed to the East to its roost.

It was a magnificent sunset. So that’s all for June I hope you enjoyed you wander through my June. Did you have a favourite photo?

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is sunset_red_tree_named_cabiaba_june-2021.jpg

Also for Changing Seasons
Changing Season is now co-hosted by Ju-Lyn from Touring My Backyard and myself, who will be your Changing Seasons host for July. Thanks to Su at Zimmerbitch for doing an outstanding job and letting us take over.

This is May 2021

I wonder where May went. I seem to have spent a bit of time at home doing a bit of gardening, trying to get on with shed projects and doing things at my besties place. We went for drives every weekend to various places enjoying the wonderful Autumn weather we have here on the North Coast. Every day was in the low to mid 20’sC and mostly sunny.

Your May song to listen to as you scroll having a look at what my May was like in photos. There is another song break further along as well.

It’s Autumn and some trees are starting to colour, mainly exotic trees such as this Maple in the sunset

Nature likes to reclaim its place. A fig making itself at home among the brick work.

One day the little fig might grow to be like this wonderful specimen growing in Grafton, Aren’t the roots shapes wonderful?

The Fig tree had a face

Speaking of shapes, this fence and hedge in Grafton have always made me wonder about the skill of the hedger.

While on the walkabout in Grafton I went around the back of a church and found the old bell which used to be in the bell tower on the ground. I love the mossy green and patina.

The moss on another church in Grafton gave the bricks a bit of character.

As did the moss and lichen on the church roof

I love the green colour on this old trunk

A bit of fun I found in a town called Mallanganee on the way to Tenterfield

A bit about the following photos in song

The old building is a museum to George Woolnough and the world of a saddler. Unfortunately it was shut when I was there.

Peter Allens shoes and maracas in the window

You may have read about the mouse plague in Australia. I don’t have a lot but catch between one and seven a night. I made this one to put in the pantry when I am away as I don’t want to come home to mice in the other traps. It works OK and have caught a few. This was the test run photo.

I managed to catch one in the shed. they go up the “ramp” to the peanut butter, the swing top tidy flips them into the water in the bottom.

Enough of the gruesome. The Lilli Pilli trees have flowered and the fruits are setting.

Some flowering Eucalypts are having their last go before Winter

The Nodding Violets have been flowering non stop all year.

This is the Grevillea that is a rescue plant which flowered for the first time this year. I posted a close up of the flower for Cee’s FOTD a week or so ago.

One day trip was to Shannon Creek Dam. There is a short, 1.5km, walk where the senses were suddenly assailed by a sweet honey smell. A few small trees covered in tiny white flowers were amazing to see.

I did a bit of a drive around the lower Clarence Valley mainly to find a few birds and other things for the various photo challenges. In a town, Maclean, I came across some gardens with some lovely Autumn flowers like this Tibouchina Perhaps it is purple enough for Judes Life in Colour

I was going to put this one in as well but I didn’t think it purple enough

The Banksias have almost finished flowering for the year. Here is the one on the right almost gone and the one under the yellow flower has opened its little mouth like seed pods.

There are many Australian flowers that are tubular with long protruding styles arranged in cylindrical spikes like the Banksia above and this Bottlebrush which the Eastern Spinebills find quite delicious. (Photographed from my verandah)

One morning, the Bar-shouldered Doves had a meeting at the water bowl to discuss what to do for the day.

The pigeons practiced social distancing on the church roof in Grafton.

I was quite pleased to discover that the Magpie Geese hadn’t left the small wetland in Grafton to migrate north for the Winter

Just off the Highway near Grafton I saw a Black Swan. I stopped the car and walked back only to be given the stink-eye. He wasn’t pleased to see me as I was to see him.

The Brown Honeyeater was looking about for a snack

In Tenterfield about five Eastern Rosellas landed in the pine trees in the afternoon. Perhaps they roost there at night. I was being ignored by this one.

The Yellow-faced Honeyeaters were the dominant birds in the garden chasing the other Honeyeaters out until the Blue-faced Honeyeaters turned up a few days ago.

I went to a Landcare site in Tyndale. I was at the official opening of the site with the other organisations who sponsored or supplied labour about twelve years ago and wanted to see how the work had progressed. Unfortunately the ground was quite boggy so I didn’t get to walk around but did hear a White-headed Pigeon in the tree above me.

At Lawrence I stopped at a wetland where there were a few birds resting except the White-faced Heron who was wandering about looking for dinner.

One afternoon on my way home, I made a detour through Waterview Heights and was surprised to see the small dam still had a large flock of Plumed Whistling Ducks, many of whom were sleeping but a few were on guard duty

Most of the month the songs of the Golden Whistlers could be heard. A curious female Golden Whistler watched as I was in the garden.

Another installment of “Why I can’t have nice things” The King Parrots don’t mind coming onto the verandah and having a snack on the plants in the hanging pots.

Nearly every morning an Eastern Yellow Robin lands in the tree in the garden and inspects the garden for something to eat. This photograph is from my office while sitting in the chair at the computer.

Usually in May lovely little Rose Robins visit my garden. This year I could hear them but didn’t see them except this young one or a female who sat long enough for me to grab a quick photo.

I guess you are a bit weary, so lets head off into the sunset.

This photo was taken about thirty minutes after the one above. Another Purple for Jude?

I almost forgot about the Blood Moon. Managed to get a few OK photos though.

Thanks for getting to the end. Did you have a favourite photo? See you next month.

Also for Su’s The Changing Seasons May 2021
Cee’s FOTD
Life in Colour May: Purple

A favourite bit purple

Life in Colour May: Purple

Jude want’s to know “What’s your favourite purple Picture?” Perhaps this one? A Blue-banded Bee in a Blue Ginger flower. Blue Ginger flowers vary in colour from a blue to a deep purple depending on the amount of sunlight, soils etc.

Purple around my place #1

Life in Colour May: Purple

Jude has asked “What purples can you find in Nature?” I have a few native plants and flowers around my place that are purple. It is hard to capture the purple of the flowers in some of the flowers. Most of these flowers are between 10 and 18mm in diameter. Unfortunately I don’t know the names of some of these.

I am saving a lot of purples for later in the month so come back every now and then and see what else I can find.

A bit of colour is always good

Sunday Stills Monthly Colour Challenge: Views in #Violet
Cee’s FOTD

The tiny Native Violet in the garden

A Nodding Violet with a few water drops

A native flower that grows on my place. Possibly a Blue Howittia.

Another Nodding Violet from the rear

Water Lillies always make a statement

Another native flower on my place – ready for the name Leafy Purple Flag Wild Iris, with a bonus Hover Fly

Beautiful Bearded Iris

Native Wisteria Wild Sarsparilla ramble everywhere

Common Wisteria with a bonus Grass Dart Butterfly

The Wisteria colonnade at the Boboli Gardens Florence

This is March 2021

March seemed to whizz by but not before dumping a lot of rain on the East Coast of Australia. I have well over 300mls at my place, the gullies were rushing, the water tanks and dams filled to overflowing. Probably the best part of March I was given the all clear to drive again. What a difference that has made to my life. Independence to get about and even do simple things like shopping.

With all the rain and occasional sunshine the grass and vegetation in the bush has grown. The grass is so thick it is almost waist high and impenetrable. I have been waiting for things to dry out a bit so I can use my new lawnmower and other tools. Yes I did have to buy a new mower as the old one died and a second hand replacement was not very good. The new lawnmower, and I use the term lawn loosely, had one session around the house but in a week it’s hard to see where I mowed.

Enough of this lets get going. Another rather large post with lots of photos. I haven’t included more as there has been some used in my addiction – photo challenges. So get a cup or glass of your favourite drink, perhaps a snack and I hope you can spend a bit of time having a look at my March.

Your March song to scroll to while picking a favourite.

I am starting at the beach. During a Regional Landcare Gathering we went to Arrawarra Beach where one of the First Nation Elders showed the fish traps which have been there for thousands of years and modified over time to take advantage of changing tides. I found a few things including this wonderfully coloured rock. We’ll come back to the beach a bit later.

When nature reclaims. A building in Grafton, my nearest town has this tree and along the facade ferns are growing as well.

The flowers have almost finished leaving the nuts behind ready to drop seeds on this Eucalypt tree at my besties.

The flowers were quite stunning all over the tree at my besties place for the birds and insects to feast upon. Now the seed eaters will have a go at the nuts.

A delicate pea type flower of the Lance-leaved Rattlepod. Can you spot the tiny native bee?

My besties garden is fabulous. I love this Hibiscus.

Not to be out done, the Golden Lycras in my garden were a treat this year.

OK, now back to the beach for a look at the stunning red fern like seaweed which could be an algae.

The water patterns and sand caught my eye.

While heading over the rocks with a group of people, we startled a flock of Ruddy Turnstones who flew off in a second and I only had one chance for a quick photo.

Somehow I don’t think the Pied Cormorant and Sooty Oystercatcher are talking.

The White-faced Heron ignored them both and was intent on hunting among the rocks.

Back at the bird bath a Grey Fantail showed why he is called a fantail

The little Striated Thornbills really enjoyed their bath

Two female Superb Fairy Wrens waited their turn for the bird bath in the morning sun.

A female Rufous Whistler spent some time in my garden looking for insects.

A new bird in my garden!! A Fantailed Cuckoo stopped in for a visit.

An Eastern Rosella enjoys the morning sun.

I wondered why a dead tree was loosing the branches. Then I found out. An Australian Raven was building a nest. It’s hard to see the branch in its beak. The flying off photo was just a glimpse of tail unfortunately.

High above, most days, Wedged-tailed Eagles patrol the skies.

Can you count the Straw-necked Ibis in the tree?

It was a wet day and Tiny, the King Parrot, came to see if I had any seeds for him.

Water drops on the Elephant Ears leaf.

More water drops. This time on a spiders web that really looked like diamonds sparkling in the grass.

One day I’ll work out how to capture the beating wings of a Blue-banded Bee as he seeks nectar among the Salvia flowers. I think this Salvia is called Summer Jewel. It flowers non stop from Spring to Autumn and spreads into empty spaces easily. The bees love it.

An unfortunately named Dingy Ring Butterfly among the grass seeds.

A small Line Blue Butterfly and a Stingless Native Bee competing for a snack on the Leopard Lily flower. The Leopard Lily flowers were spectacular this year.

A Meadow Argus Butterfly found the Zinnias in my besties garden.

The number and variety of butterflies in my garden was amazing in March. The Black Jezebels are so beautiful. The inside of their wings is white so when they fly it is like a strobe in order to fool any predators. I love their furry yellow bodies.

Another Jezebel butterfly, this one, a Scarlet Jezebel loved the Bottlebrush flowers.

The Yellow-tufted Honeyeaters also loved the Bottlebrush flowers.

The Honey Gem Grevillea didn’t escape their attention either.

I had to show the whole bird as they are quite stunning.

A Yellow-faced Honeyeater paused from consuming nectar to contemplate whether to chase a Small Green-banded Blue Butterfly for dessert……

….instead had some nourishment from a Yellow Daisy

This Autumn saw a mouse plague in Australia. The grain growing areas had literally thousands of mice everywhere. I didn’t have many but caught a couple nearly every night for a few weeks. One morning I went into the bathroom and here was this little fellow in the bath. Judging by the mess he made, he’d been there since the evening before. I had to take a photo to make sure I identified him correctly. I have Native Mice here so didn’t want to “dispose of” an endangered native mouse called Antechinus.

One day coming home from my besties place I saw the tallest mushroom ever. It stood almost 30cm tall and was a resplendent white.

Meanwhile in other parts of the garden among the mulch pile a brown fungi proliferated. This was one of many groups of fungi on the various piles.

I just had to have a sneak peek under the cap to see the frills.

Well that’s almost all for March. One evening the sunset was such colours I hadn’t seen before. As I don’t actually see Sunrise or Sunsets from my place, this photo is looking towards the South-West of the painted clouds.

One afternoon the sun was looking quite promising. At my besties place there is a spot we call Sunset Hill, a great place to see the sunsets. I went out and took a few photos. One ended up in Becky’s Bright Squares

A while later I was inside when I was called to see the sunset. I thought I had seen it over with but no, it had turned into this sunset. Isn’t that amazing?

This time Our Moon began to rise in the late afternoons so the hint of blue sky, I think, gave the Moon a subtle glow.

I hope you enjoyed a look at my world for March. Please let me know if you had a favourite photo.

Also for Su’s Changing Seasons March 2021

This is February 2021

Hi there, I found February to be a weird month. It rained for thirteen days with heavy rain at the end of the month filling dams and water tanks for the coming Winter. The rest of the time it was hot and humid so I have limited a lot of photos and might use as separate posts later.

The good news is at the end of the month the doctors looked at my latest EEG, this time I was tested for three hours. Well by tested I mean sleep for two and three-quarters of the three hours of the testing. So after almost eight months of not being allowed to drive, I have my drivers licence back with the only condition that I am not allowed to drive between sunset and sunrise. I better have a swag in the back of the ute just in case I’m heading home late from shopping!!!

Anyway, on with the bits and pieces I found in February. I found The Lumineers from a free CD that comes with a music magazine I get. Have a listen while you scroll

It’s morning already. Through the lifting fog, the morning sun kisses the tops of the eucalypts across the valley

High in the dead branches an Old Mans Beard, Tillandsia usneoides which is from Florida but it doesn’t grow meters long like the ones in the swamps, sway in the gentle morning breeze

The farm next door to my besties usually leave the paddock next to her fence as a last minute fattening paddock. They open the gate and the cattle run in to savour the sweet grass or like the bull does, make sue that everyone knows that this is his place.

Meanwhile atop the hillock, a cow wonders what all the fuss is down below while snacking on the long juicy grass.

Willie Wagtails use anything for a vantage spot; not even a sleeping cow is shown any dignity!

One of the downsides of growing grass for cattle to eat is that a lot of small seed eaters come in to feed in the mornings and afternoons. Wrens, Finches, Cisticolas and Chestnut-breasted Mannikins. It’s lucky that there is a lot of grasses along the road verges and fence lines so there is plenty to eat for everyone.
This Chestnut-breasted Mannikin contemplates whether the seed head over there will be tastier than the one he’s sitting on.

The Willie Wagtail chicks are out of the nest but still as demanding as ever.

The Scaly-breasted Lorikeets come in for a breakfast of Mistletoe flowers and seeds. I love how they land on the branch on walk down head first, sampling food along the way. These Mistletoe hang down almost two meters from the tree branch. You can see the difference in the leaves. The Eucalypt on the right and Mistletoe on left, both have sickle leaf shapes.

In the garden, A Lewins Honeyeater and a Yellow Grevillea.

When out on a drive before I was allowed to, there was a Black Swan pair are setting up on a dam not far from my place. Now I can drive, I can go and see how they are going and hope they hung around. The property doesn’t have much vegetation and cattle. You can see the edge of the dam in the background.

While out on the drive, at the Raspberry Lookout while I was taking photos, a Wedged-tailed Eagle was watching me

After finding a safe spot to stop on a narrow road, I took the photo of the White-bellied Sea Eagle through the open car window. He was on the far side of the Nymboida River so I was amazed that I managed to get a photo on full telephoto without a tripod.

We went down to Ballina with some friends and on the entrance to the North Wall, a break-wall where the Richmond River meets the sea, on the Marine Rescues radio tower, an Osprey was having his lunch of fish. The young Osprey was sitting nearby and must have been fed as it was asleep.

Late afternoon, low light I came across a juvenile Black-necked Stork doing it’s stretches in preparation for take off from the intermittent wetlands on a farm, again not vegetation in or around the wetland. The next time I had to go to town, the Storks were gone so practice pays off.

While the youngster was flapping about, not far away one of the Black-necked Stork parents was keeping watch.

OK we are heading into the bugs. Nothing to be concerned about in this lot I can assure you. See, first off is the egg casing for Praying Mantis. I must go and try and find it to see if it’s still there.

This Dragonfly almost looks like a helicopter. Such beautiful markings and colours no wonder it is called an Australian Tiger.

A Blue Skimmer found his favourite stick. I was watching for a minute and noticed he would always come back to this stick after a bit of a fly around the river bank. Made for getting a good photo of his wings.

The Lemon Migrants have hung around my place and some are still here.

I have some old chook watering and feed bits and pieces I use when I want to give the birds a snack. I went down that way and noticed a weevil deciding he’d had enough grain for the moment and was off.

Another butterfly that has been around is a Common Albatross Butterfly. They are quite quick and don’t land for long.

The Blue-banded Bees are still hard at gathering pollen. This Salvia is a favourite. Blue-banded Bees are solitary bees and make their nest on the ground.

This year, the lovely pink flowers of the Crepe Myrtle looked stunning

The Cassia flowers are the main attraction for the Lemon Migrant Butterflies. I tried to get butterflies and flowers but the butterflies seem to disappear when the shutter button is pushed. Perhaps there is a lot of Lemon Migrants in there somewhere.

This Native Plant grows grows throughout the place. This is the first time one has grown in a garden bed.

The rain had sparked up the Hibiscus. The Miniature Red looks a treat covered in small red flowers…..

…..and there are many more on the way.

The red Salvia has so many flowers

Last month, the Ivory Curl flowers were just in the almost open stage. Now the Ivory Curl Bush is full of scented flowers and full of all manner if insects. Here a bee burrows down inside to get his pollen while the plant “paints” the bee with pollen from each of the tiny paint brushes.

Foxgloves, old and new, with water drops.

One of the weirdness of some Callistemon trees is the flowers come straight from the old growth branch. Here is a three stage of flower development in the one photo.

The tangerine flowers are stunning

The Champagne Pink Callistemon with yellow tips is so lovely.

The Roses are looking so good

I love the explosive effect you can get photographing Eucalypt flowers

A Lomandra flower and seed spear live up to their common name Spiky Club Rush, a waters edge plant that happily lives in garden and makes great borders.

Speaking of spiky, when out driving there always someone who says slow down, I’m sun-baking here mate. I had to get out of the car and almost touch the Bearded Dragon to get him to move off the road and find a safer spot to catch some rays.

I thought I would save the Yellow Paper Daisies so you could have a rest. I found these at the Raspberry Lookout. I had to clamber down the slope to get the photos. This is what I was concentrating on when the Wedge-tailed Eagle was watching me.

The rain and hot days have bought out some fungi. These dome shaped ones were found in a few places.

Some little ones were pushing from the soil and bark.

Instead of the usual sunset photo to finish off, here is a Green Tree Frog just sitting on the glass door. I guess hanging on with your chin helps.

Thanks for hanging around with me for a while. Hope you can come back next month too.

This post is linked to – Su’s Changing Seasons February 2021
Cee’s CMMC: Close up or Macro
Weekly Prompts Wednesday Challenge: Beautiful

It’s all white now

Terri’s Sunday Stills: A #White Washed World

Puff Ball Fungi

White flower (can’t remember the name)

White Rose

Caper White Butterfly

White Native Hibiscus

White-headed Pigeon

Pelican

Dendrobium flowers

Pied Cormorant

Small white native flowers

White-throated Honeyeater

White Swans on Loch Lamond

White Hydrangea

White calf

A foggy morning

Come to Durranbah for a minute or two

Lens-Artist Challenge #135: Glimpse Into Your World

This will be a few images of my world, not much to say. I guess I should thank everyone for pushing me to do a post. The choices of photos is too large to contemplate so how about I just do a small selection of photos from around my place.

It is a beautiful world

The sealed section for those who dislike the “scary” nature I have here is following

Look away now

Yes you….do it or don’t tell me I didn’t warn you but you really can look at spiders and snakes and ants. I promise they won’t leap from the screen. Anyway they are in small size to make your viewing more comfortable.