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

Orange – there may be butterflies

Cee’s Midweek Madness Challenge (CMMC).  The color topic is Color – Orange
Ragtag Daily Prompt Wednesday: Butterfly

OK I just had to!! A few more butterflies but this time in colour

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