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 April 2021

Here I am sitting wondering what happened in April. It rained enough to keep the garden watered without me having to do much. That reminds me, I have to start the House Dam pump to pump up to the garden water header tank, as last time I used a hose the water pressure wasn’t that great.

A song to scroll with. Not your average Deep Purple music. A mix of classical and soft rock using classical instrumentation. It is quiet and brilliant. I had never hear it before and was transfixed as I write

Did a couple of day trips. Went up the range to have a look about. It was a warm 24C when we left and I had shorts and T-shirt on. At the last minute I raced back inside and grabbed a long sleeved shirt. When we arrived at our favourite spot, The Raspberry Lookout, it was cold 14C and I was shivering.

As it was school holidays, the lookout had people there!! People in our what we thought was our secret spot. We still commandeered the picnic table and had a chilly but lovely picnic. I have been asked why it is called Raspberry Lookout and here’s a photo of the information board.

So now you know. The huge rain in March still had the gullies flowing with water from further up the mountains. The remains of the fire is still evident. The Grass Trees lining the gullies are flourishing with their blackened trunks and green skirts.

Wandering about the Lookout, going down below the viewing area (probably a bit naughty as no one else ventures down there but there isn’t any signs not allowing us to do so) to see how the recovery from the fires of December 2019 is going. The lovely red of the new growth of Eucalypts is stunning.

The overnight rain was still evident.

We continued to the top of the range, stopping off at another favourite place, The Granite, at the top of Washpool National Park. It has great views opposite to Raspberry. Here the Beaked Hakeas seed pods had already opened.

Then it was onto a great little spot, still recovering from fire, the Mitchell Park Reserve, where we had a walk around and rest before driving home. Again the place was full of people camping and some picnickers so it wasn’t as peaceful as the last time I was there. This is towards the start of the Mann River, which flows near my place, which was flowing and there were birds and dragonflies…..

….like this Brown Gerygone

I went for a photo walk around Grafton to look for things and some pinks for Jude’s Life in Colour for April. Here is a bit around town. The Post Office clock and palms

My favourite tree, A White Fig

A bit of artiness of shadows on the steps leading to the river.

I spotted a couple of large birds flying overhead. At first I thought they were Eagles as they were riding the air currents gaining altitude. I manged to get a less than good full telephoto image of what I found out was of a Great Cormorant.

While we are on birds, let’s have a quick look at some of the birds for April. This Australian Raven has taken to have a walk about the garden every morning looking for something to eat. It is quite casual as it strolls about.

A Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike keeps a lookout for food but from on high.

The ever present King Parrots in the my garden

A Kookaburra in the garden on a rainy morning waiting for some unsuspecting insect to move. Some of the trees in the background still have blackened trunks.

My bestie’s bird bath and two Rainbow Lorikeets discussing if the water is too cold to have a bath.

The waterhole on my place is slowly recovering and when I went to have a look, it had lots of birds hanging around like this Red-browed Firetail Finch.

The Wrens at my besties are so cute as they hop about her garden. The females are called Jenny Wrens

If not hopping about, they like to enjoy the morning sun.

We went to Rocky Creek Dam for the day. I had things falling on me and looking up there was a Sulpher-crested Cockatoo chewing on a stick.

White-headed pigeons are usually rainforest dwellers so this one must have been changing locations when I spotted it in my besties garden.

Other places we went to was a small town, Kyogle, to see what their Saturday market was like. We had lunch in our favourite cafe The Roxy which has some eclectic art.

And at The Channon Market the bubbles were in full swing

And an Elk Horn Fern, yes it is a fern – Platycerium bifurcatum is an epiphytic fern – growing on a Camphor Laurel tree in the market grounds.

I found lots of flowers and insects too although this is just a leaf

This year was a good year for Cats Whiskers in my garden.

My besties Crimson Bottlebrush is striking and the bees thought so too.

The Blue-banded Bees love Salvia flowers.

The Small Green-banded Line Blue Butterfly has quite plain but colourful inner wings

The almost iridescent outer wings attracted my attention to this tiny butterfly with a 32mm wingspan

I like finding interesting reflections. Late afternoon walk past Pelican Creek and the Casuarina cunninghamiana, commonly known as river oak or river she-oak tree, hanging over the water

The sun was setting while on the walk. The sun reflecting on one of the puddles along the road.

A flock of Cattle Egrets heading to their roost at sunset

Some had something to say as they flew overhead.

Meanwhile the Ibis flew in the opposite direction to their roost with the sunset glowing on their white wings.

It was a month for a Full Moon, called a Super Moon also a Pink Moon but wasn’t all that pink here. The closest to pink I posted in Becky’s Bright Square Challenge

Not quite pink but wonderful never-the-less. I love Our Moon.

Thanks for getting to the end. I hope you enjoyed my April. Did you have a favourite photo? I also like to link my monthly round ups to Su’s Changing Seasons

Some “E’s” are here

Cee’s Mid-Week madness Challenge: April Letter E at the beginning or ending of a word

Looking for bees

Cee’s Midweek Madness Challenge: April Close-up or Macro

“I wonder how much pollen I can get into my pollen sacs”

“Hey bee, what are you doing?”

“I love a strawberry flower”

“I wonder what’s in here?”

“I am not fat….the flower is small”

“Hey Billy, I can see our hive from up here”

“Look you blokes, one at a time OK”

“I love the smell of Cats Whiskers”

“Just cruising through”

“Wow this breeze is stronger than I thought”

International World Bee Day

I do have a few bees around here so lets celebrate #WorldBeeDay together.

Without bees our world would be so different. Bees are the life blood of our plants, all plants even those that some consider weeds.

This gallery of bees are all photos from over the years. Please enjoy
One of the first bee photos I posted way back in 2013. A Blue-banded Bee zooming around my gardenblue bum bee_binna burra_crop_feb 2012
I have lots of Australian Native Stingless Bees. They are quite small, about 5mm. This one is harvesting pollen from a Bangalow Palm flower that had fallen. Aren’t the pollen sacks full!!bangalow palm flowers8_native bee_crop_home_april 2012
Carpenter Bees love coming around my garden when the Cassia trees are in flower.bee_casia_home_named_jan 2014
Considered a weed, Singapore Daisies are food for bees.bee_named_crop_binna burra_feb 2015
As are Fireweed flowersbee_yellow flower_binna burra_named__april 2016
One of a lot of peoples favourite photos of a Stingless Native Bee with a Lilli Pilli flowerstinglessw native bee_named_brunswick heads
A Carpenter Bee foraging in a pink Lilli Pilli flowerbeetle__named_grafton_nov 2017
Stingless native Bees love Crosus flowers too.171220_blog challenge_letter r_crocus_bees
Blue-banded Bees and Blue Ginger flowers go together.180327_before and after_blue banded bee_blue ginger
Another weed flower that bees lovebee_flower_named_caniaba_oct 2018
The herb Basil should always be left when it goes to flower as bees love the flowers.blue-banded_bee_basil_garden_named_caniaba_dec 2018
Zinnia flowers are bee favourites as wellbee_pink_flowers_named_caniaba_jan 2019
Day Lilliesare great calling cards for bees191125_blog_challenge_macro_monday_flower_day lily_ant_stingless native bees
When the Pentas are flowering they are irresistible to Teddy Bear Bees 2020424_blog challenge_top_teddy bear bee_flower_pentas_jackadgery
Salvia flowers are always on the bees shopping listbee_blue banded_salvia_garden_named_caniaba_april 2020
Getting up close with a bee and a Zinnia flowerbee_zinnia_named_caniaba_april 2020
I love Teddy Bear Beesbee_teddy bear_pentas_flower_garden_named_home_jackadgery_april 2020

Raspberry Lookout 1 March 2020

Raspberry Lookout. One of my favourite places to go and have a picnic and chill for a while. I have featured the lookout in past posts but never in a whole post.

We went from my place up the Gibraltar Range to see what had happened there since October 2019. The fires had burnt through there and eventually came down the mountains to my place. As it is a wonderful place to see, I could not bring myself to drive along the highway to Raspberry as the memories of such a special place for me would have had me in tears I reckon. Couldn’t go there anyway as the highway was closed until late January. The amount of very big trees that had burnt down and fallen across the road was amazing. They are still removing trees and fixing protective road barriers.

It has taken me until now to be able to write and show you the photos from the lookout. This is just Raspberry Lookout not the drive up or down the mountain. As they were working there wasn’t the opportunity to stop. I was very heartened by the recovery that had taken place so come on, lets have a look around Raspberry Lookout.

This is the view from Raspberry Lookout. You can see where the fires had been. Some parts of the countryside were patches of rainforestview_named_raspberry lookout_march 2020
In case you were uncertain what to look for, here’s a bit of a close up. Usually this is lush forest and you cannot see the bare ground. Some of the gully lines contained species of rainforest plants. There weren’t many birds to be seen or hear. It was eerily silent.forest_burnt_named_raspberry lookout_march 2020
This ridge line is showing signs of recovery. The ridge behind is what it will look like again.fire_scarred_trees_named_raspberry lookout_march 2020
One of the first to appear after a fire are the fungi. There were a number of these tiny orange fungi dotted through the bush.fungi_small_orange_named_raspberry lookout_march 2020
This fungus was sending a message of love and hopefungi_heart_named_raspberry lookout_march 2020
The colours of the new foliage is amazing. From a burnt stump life springs forth.bush_leaves_new_fire_named_raspberry lookout_march 2020
Everywhere flowers appeared. I must confess we did go over the fence and scramble about the gravelly soil looking around at the wonderful flowers and whatever else we found. Most of the flowers are quite small up to 15mm or half an inch.flower_yellow_small_native_named_raspberry lookout_march 2020
This was the first flower I found as it was right beside the car when I opened the door.flower_pink_named_raspberry lookout_march 2020
So many varieties of Pea Plants that seemed to grow out of the rocks.pea flower_named_raspberry lookout_march 2020
Along with flowers come the insects. Not only bees pollinate flowers, wasps do as well.flower_purple_wasp_named_raspberry lookout_march 2020
A Blue-banded Bee really enjoyed getting right into the flowerflower_purple_blue banded bee_named_raspberry lookout_march 2020
A Teddy Bear Bee was moving from flower to flower quickly.bee_flying_named_raspberry lookout_march 2020
Another wasp on a Billy Buttons flower. It was lovely to see small clumps of Billy Button flowers scattered throughout the lookout.flower_billy buttons_yellow_named_raspberry lookout_march 2020
A wonderful find was a Nobbi sunning on a rock. This male has his breeding colours on. They are distantly related to Bearded Dragons. Not long after I took this shot he was off a great speed. When I looked in book to try and identify who he is, the book said that Nobbi’s run fast. Well they certainly do!nobbi_lizard_named_raspberry lookout_march 2020
As there was a good amount of rainfall in February, the sound of water rushing was an unusual sound at the lookout. Normally you can’t see this waterfall cascading down the mountain and plunging into the stream below.waterfall_named_raspberry lookout_march 2020
I was so glad that this old tree stump survived the fire with a little bit of scorching. The “mouth” is the notch they cut with an axe to slot a board in and cut higher up the tree. It would take four or five people holding hands around the tree to gauge the size of this old beauty.  I would miss his spooky face when I head up the mountain from my place to Raspberry Lookout.tree_old_axe cut_named_raspberry lookout_march 2020

Thanks for coming with me and having a picnic at Raspberry Lookout.
The featured photo is from 2017

Meet the bees

Ragtag Daily Prompt Friday: Macro
Stingless Native Bee just cruisin’native bee_flying_hybiscus_close_home_jan2012
Finding pollen in the Bangalow Palm flowerbangalow palm flowers8_native bee_crop_home_april 2012
Looking for the next flowerbee03_flying_banora point_crop_august 2014
Enjoying a Singapore Daisybee_singapore daisy_named_binna burra_april 2018
Oh but I love this flowerbee_pink_flowers_named_caniaba_jan 2019
Sometimes a Blue-banded Bee has to scrunch to fit in a Blue Ginger flowerblue-banded-bee_ginger_named_binna-burra_feb-2017

Hmmmm…..pollen is my favourite
bee_zinnia_named_caniaba_may 2019
A Blue-banded Bee just buzzing byblue bum bee_binna burra_crop_feb 2012

Getting close with bees

Another double photo challenge with photos of bees taken on the weekend.

First we have the Weekly Prompts Photo Challenge: Close
and  there is Sunshine’s Macro Monday

I must start of mentioning Sue from Nan’s farm who I have had a conversation or two about macro photography. Sue is also one of the hosts of the Weekly Prompts. Sue gave me a mention in her post on Close which did inspire me to get a couple of bee photos. Have a look what Sue said on her Nan’s Farm Close post.

OK, lets get a bit close with some Bees which also follows my theme so far for Sunshine’s Macro Monday.

The Rocket flowers at my besties has been a magnet for the bees over the past few weeks
190902_blog_challenge_close_honey_bee_close
Not only honey bees but the tiny Stingless Native Bees as well190902_blog_challenge_close_stingless_native_bee
It is always a challenge to get some bee flying action. Patience and a steady gaze on the bees and the flowers and shoot.
190902_blog_challenge_close_honey_bee_flying

All of the photos were taken sitting in the chair having morning tea in the garden. I used the telephoto function of my Canon PowerShot SX70HS set on Auto. A bit of cropping using Corel PaintShop Pro 2019

It’s all about wings

This week on Sunday Stills, Terri has prompted with Creatures and Critters with #Wings

What a theme. I did stop eventually so here is my selection
The Beesbee03_flying_banora point_crop_august 2014

 

bee01_cats whiskers flower_named_binna burra_nov 2017

 

stingless native bee_flying_day lily_flower_orange_garden_named_home_nov 2018
The Birdscommon tern_flying_named_ballina_june 2018

 

ibis_flying_named_lismore_july 2018

 

190508_wordless_wednesday_ibis_flying_sunset
The Dragonflies and Damselfliesdragonflies_mating_named_home_oct 2017

 

170315_dragonfly blog_spotted wings
The Butterfliesblue triangle butterfly_wings open_named_binna burra_jan 2018

 

ringed xenica_wings closed_named_home_oct 2017

The Flies
fly_head_named_binna burra_feb 2018fly_named_binna burra_oct 2017
A Cicadacicada01_home_nov 2013

and this bloke
190322_spiky_square_statue_caniaba