The word prompt from Sue: Anticipation
So many bananas so little time
The Satin Bowerbirds display hoping to attract a female
The anticipation of some yummy nectar
Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: View From the Side
A couple of photos of Black-necked Storks from around the Clarence Valley
What a month of differences. I had some good rainfalls in February but March became quite dry. The dam I use for watering the garden and use outside didn’t receive any run-off and is very low. I am in water conservation mode and back to watering the garden plants sparingly. The pot plants on the verandahs are getting the precious tank water. I have lost a number of my Begonias sadly. I have a number of plants of the same species and nothing has been lost altogether.
The coming of Autumn is usually a time to plant but as the same as last year, there isn’t the promise of rain and soil moisture. I have a number of plants that are now going to re-potted into bigger pots. The best thing is the sunsets this Autumn so this post has a number of sunsets as I couldn’t decide which ones to use.
I haven’t included the photos I have used in posts over the past few weeks, such as the Wedged-tailed Eagle having lunch on the side of the road. I have also put some in reserve for posts to be written later on.
There is a a good selection so maybe a cup of your favourite beverage, a snack and get comfortable to see some of the stuff I found in my world in March.
I was very privileged to be part of a smoking ceremony. A traditional Aboriginal welcome to their part of country. The leaves that were on the fire, Lemon Scented Gum, Cinnamon Gum and another type of eucalypt leaf I can’t remember.
We stood or sat around the circular fire pit. One of the most amazing part was we were told that the smoke would touch us all. They began playing a welcome tune and the smoke went in a spiral around the circle of people, the smoke touching everyone. Yes the hairs on my arms and neck stood, it was a magical moment.
The leaves had to be put on regularly to infuse the people and the moment which gave us a sense of being part of country.
One of the murals inside of the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence where the NSW Landcare Forum was held
The city sunset
One afternoon, the sun was so yellow bathing the countryside giving an eerie glow to the Grass Tree sentinels that watch over my besties place.
I wish I had more time to explore Redfern its streets, houses and gardens. I love this ornate piece on a gate.
Back at my part of the world, I found a bit of rust.
One of the jardinieres in the front of a house
Meanwhile at the beach, the shadows on the sand caught my attention.
The colours of a Small Common Yellow Butterfly seemed to change as it sat on the lomandra.
My nighttime visitor who dropped in and commenced doing her laundry.
The early morning rain at my besties on a spiders web.
The water drops
While on the hunt for spiky things for Beckys March Square Photo Challenge, a purple Spider Orchid said pick me.
Some Eucalypt flowers look spiky but are so soft
Purple flowers in the morning sun.
Another orchid found at the Lismore Farmers Market where we go most Saturdays for breakfast and get some produce from the growers.
The Desert Rose is also for sale at the Market
After not doing much, the rain came to my besties in March (but not my place) and the bean plants started to grow and flower.
This is the very first time I have seem coconuts growing on a tree.
Time for a few bird photos. The cute little Striated Thornbill enjoys dropping into to use the bird bath
OK….now we are back at the beach. The Crested Terns flew in and sat on the beach with us.
On Macleay Island, the Bush-stone Curlews had a young one.
Having a drive around we came across a family of Grey-crowned Babblers having a feed along the side of the road.
One afternoon the sky was filled with a cacophony of squawking Little Corellas, the most Little Corellas I have ever seen in one huge flock. There were hundreds.
The flock stretched across the sky in the afternoon sun.
I love the graceful Ibis as the soar overhead.
The Black Kites are always hovering and swooping at the waste facility.
A look at the steering mechanism on a Black Kite.
I am so happy that the Scarlet Honeyeaters are still around the garden at home.
It is always a treat to come across Eastern Rosellas
The rain at my besties has bought out the happy looking Green Tree Frogs.
On the drive around we came across an Eastern Grey Kangaroo and her Joey.
The morning sun on the pampas grass seed heads
The car ferry on the way to Macleay Island was soon overtaken by the catamaran ferry
It was a treat when the yacht owner put up the red sails
The sunset over the bay made the end of a busy day worthwhile.
The sunset on the water
The farmer next door ploughed and planted a paddock next to my besties place. When it was ready, he let the cows into the paddock. This cow certainly seemed to enjoy having a snack.
The calf kept a wary eye on me.
The calf at sunset.
Another fabulous sunset.
Another day, another sunset. This is the eastern sky
I think this was my favourite sunset of March
Probably my favourite sunset photo. Well the suns gone down…..
…..and our Moon is in the sky, so it’s time to go.
I hope you have a had a good time wandering about, sometimes a bit chaotic, in my world. The featured photo is one from Beckys photo challenge which a lot of people liked. Maybe you have a favourite photo too?
The Ragtag Tuesday prompt: Serendipity
I have been in the right place at the right time with my camera a couple of times.
This instance, it was late afternoon and I was looking for a good place to watch the sunset at my besties old place. I looked up and there was a Regent Bowerbird unmistakable with its vivid colours. A managed a couple of quick photos before it flew off back into the rainforest. Disappointed with the quality of the photo but elated never-the-less.
This bit of serendipity was one of extreme joy. The right place and right time was sitting on my verandah having a cup of coffee. There in the Tea Tree sat a bird that is Critically Endangered, a Regent Honeyeater. The estimated know population is between 800 and 2000 birds. I was so happy to see this young male at my place for a few minutes
I have not kept up to date with my blog. It is already half way through September and the start of Spring has gone. I too so many photos in August that I have to have a second go at putting my photos and things into writing.
Lately I have been walking along my road and as usual, my camera has been to hand. Some of the photos have been from around the neighbourhood whilst other photos have been at home. This first lot are typical of the bush in and around my place. The Fringe Wattles looked lovely this year and the spur my house is on is surrounded by the yellow of the wattles.
The small puffs of yellow encompass the whole wattle tree.
The Native Sarsparilla also bloom at this time of year.
They both look lovely as the Sarsparilla entwines around the Fringe Wattle
The Paperbarks certainly flowered well this season. The air was full of the scent from the flowers which attracted all sorts of insects. How many can you see?
Here are more insects in the flowers of the Paperbark. Mostly the insects get right down into the flower stem so only their bums are visible.
The Coastal Rosemary flowers are quite pretty don’t you think?
I am not sure what this little hairy leafed bush is. I called it Egg and Bacon plant but I am not sure. Can anyone help out with what this flower is please?
I love the colours of Spring. Even the leaves can have such great shades of colour. Plus there is a bonus insect!!!
The Double-barred Finches have been feasting on the grass seed. This one looks particularly portly at it sat high on the powerline.
They have lovely markings. I like their blue beak.
The Red-browed Finches were having fabulous snacks in the tall native grasses along the side of the road.
A late comer to the last of the Bottlebrush flowers, (see the previous blog), was the Brown Honeyeater.
The Friarbirds loved having a bath in the neighbours dam. They were diving in from a great height.
Away in the distance I could hear the “chwit-chwit-chwit-peter-peter-peter” call of a Jacky Winter. Perched high on the dead tree, it was quite happy wagging its tail back and forth chittering away.
Further down the road, a Little Friarbird was enjoying the last rays of the day.
Often when I am sitting in my study, I have eyes that peer in through the door or window. This day the Female Satin Bowerbird was looking in.
Quite often White-throated Treecreepers are spotted jumping up the trunks of trees. This is the first time I have been able to get a photo of one who took its time on its hunt for food.
On the walk up the road I was very excited to see a couple of Grey-headed Babblers forage for insects among the dead wood and leaf litter on the property next door. I have seen them in the forest on my place but I was lucky enough to see them in the cleared land next door. I love their fluffy pants.
The Rainbow Bee Eaters were having a splendid time zooming about the cleared paddock up the road. The many dead trees offered a great vantage point to watch for unsuspecting insects flying about.
Every now and then, a group would gather to tell about the day and to keep a look out for flying insects. Their heads were always swivelling about as they say and chatted in the trees.
So that’s the end of my start to Spring. I hope you have enjoyed my walk up the road.
August. The final days of winter and the early spring flowers begin to emerge. The weather has been so nice, typical north coast days of mid twenties with cool nights. The nights are cool at my place especially as the cold breezes blow down the Gibraltar Ranges bringing quite chilly evenings and mornings. Didn’t get below zero degrees at the house this winter but there were frosts in the lower part of my property.
As usual, we have been driving around just checking out our world, discovering new things and rediscovering stuff. On one such drive-about, we came across some little Brown Quails warming in the afternoon sun by the side of a back road near Billen Cliffs
Quail are such funny looking birds but have a certain amount of cuteness that makes you smile when you find them bustling about.
The sun was almost set when a cacophony started heading toward us as we stopped at my besties house. The Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos had come from the pine forest and up to the gums around the house to roost for the night. There were around twenty to thirty birds squawking in the trees. It was getting dark and I was surprised that I managed to get a photo.
At my place, there has been activity among the trees as some of the eucalypts, Tallowwoods and Bloodwoods, are flowering. Most of the birds are here nearly all year round. The Yellow-faced Honeyeaters can be heard chip chip chipping away during the day.
It seems like I have a photo of an Eastern Yellow Robin in most of my blogs but they are such a lovely little bird. This time here is a rear view for a change.
The Grey Fantails are so busy swooping around the garden.
I was sitting in the study when a bird flew up and down the verandah. It didn’t sit still for very long (I have another entrant in “this is where the bird was a second ago” photos). The Spotted Pardalote sat still long enough for a photo through the glass door.
The King Parrots always drop by and have a look through the door to see what I am doing!!!
My besties bird bath has been the source of so many bird photos. The little Striated Thornbill looks like it saw me as it landed on the bird bath.
One drive took us to Ballina where a late lunch of fish and chips by the estuary near where we have a swim in summer. The tide was out and there were a number of waders way out sifting the sand for their lunch. This Masked Lapwing patrolled the area of sand in front of us, wandering up and down. It was funny to see it on the sand and not walking around the grass in the park.
The White-faced Heron was always finding something to eat as it wandered with purpose on the sands.
In a nearby tree, a Little Cormorant gave me a suspicious look, but still sat looking over the estuary.
The butterflies are just starting to be a regular sight in the garden. Don’t you think that the Orange Streaked Ringlet looks rather angry? I liked the colours as it sat on one of the garden ornaments.
One morning the sun filtered through the trees and highlighted some spider webs in the garden. I just had to stop washing up and grab my camera.
I don’t normally have such luck with spider web photos but these two really made my day.
One afternoon driving home along the Gwydir Highway, I spotted something out of the corner of my eye as I went over the Tindal Bridge. I was sure it was Wedged-tailed Eagles but they were sitting on the ground not far from the edge of the road. See my last blog on the Wedged-tailed Eagles if you haven’t already seen it. When they took to the sky it was a magnificent sight.
At my place, the Red-necked Wallabies are always hanging around. This morning, the young Joey was being brave, until they sensed I was watching from the kitchen window. Some days they Joeys have a great time hopping about. A while ago this Joey was having a great time.
“Is he still there Mum?”
“Oh dear. I better hide so he won’t see me!”
The Joey finally decided to sit in the warming morning sun to contemplate the day ahead.
The Bottlebrush had so many flowers this year, it was a magnet for the birds. The Friarbirds had taken over the garden and spent a lot of time chasing the other birds from the Grevilleas and this Bottlebrush. The bees in the Bottlebrush made the garden buzz
Guess who came in for a snack?
The Rainbow Lorikeets certainly add a splash of colour to the garden.
The Friarbirds look so prehistoric don’t they?
The little Yellow-faced Honeyeaters were also chased about by the Friarbirds.
The Blue-faced Honeyeaters didn’t care either way when the Friarbirds carried on. At the Honey Gem Grevillea, their don’t care attitude was evident in The Battle for the Grevillea
Well the sun is going down……….
…….and the Moon is on the rise. Thanks for reading
The rain finally came in June. The big dam, which leaks, almost filled which is lovely to see even though it only lasts a few weeks before it’s a puddle again. The frogs certainly liked the water and there were a number of different types of frogs calling.
The frogs were also on this little dam which is more of a wetland than a functioning dam. The animals drink from here as well as some birds. Dragonflies were flitting about on both dams.
As usual, we do our drives around the north coast and one day, as we were heading west out of Casino we came across this Long-necked Tortoise in the middle of the road with cars and trucks speeding by. A quick rescue mission unfolded and it was taken to the dam up a side road not far from where we picked it up.
At my besties one of the old farm sheds, this one was a piggery, we have created a studio space for art exhibitions and rent the Lady Shed for workshops by all manner of people. We love rearranging and decorating the Lady Shed with all sorts of things found or created
I love this owl!!!
Quite often when pillows or things are moved there are skinks that scurry away. This day it was a bit cold and some of the skinks were a bit too cold to move too fast.
Spiders are also disturbed as we do a bit of a cleaning and moving stuff around when there is someone else going to use the Lady Shed Studio. I have lost my spider ID book so I can’t tell you what is this one.
There is a lovely cane light shade in the Lady Shed Studio. We always check to ensure that no one has decided that the light shade would make quite a nice house. Most times a spider or two is moved on or a mud daubers nest is removed. This time a little micro bat with only a face a mother could love had taken up residence. Luckily it had gone the next day before the workshop has started. I think it may be a Lesser Long-eared Bat.
In the insulation, just under the corrugated iron, lives a Carpet Snake. It is a lovely warm place for a snake to spend winter. This Carpet Snake has been living in the Lady Shed Studio for ages and sometimes can cause a bit of angst among the workshop participants.
One afternoon I was driving home from work when I spied a Black-necked Stork patrolling after the rains had replenished a wetland. When he saw me he just casually walked away.
On the drive west of Casino in a place called Piora, we came across a little watercourse that had a couple of Spoonbills, some ducks and a Heron. The Spoonbill was the only one who didn’t move off when the car stopped.
As it has been very dry at my place with only occasional showers and 2 days of good rainfalls. The normally abundance of birds has deserted the garden and surrounding bush. The Lewins Honeyeater has stayed waiting for the blossoms to appear. The rain bought out the Honey Gem flowers.
The Satin Bowerbirds have also stayed around as they steal snacks from the chook yard. They also have a been stealing all manner of blue things from the surrounding properties.
The number of Satin Bowerbirds usually increases when it gets a bit cold in the Gibraltar Ranges. This day when I took these photos the trees were full of the mad chattering of Satin Bowerbirds.
I did a bit of a bush walk one day. Just near the dam in the first photo there has been a bower for a number of years. The blue objects were strewn in all directions from the bower up to 2 metres away.
So many blue objects. I have no idea whose place they get the blue bottle tops from as I don’t have any and my recycling is always in a sealed wool bale sack. I do think the strips of blue are from a disintegrating tarp in my building materials area.
The bird bath is always kept with water in it for the birds. Actually I have three places where the birds can get a drink and a wash. This one is one of the favourites. You can always hear the constant call of Eastern Yellow Robins in the bush and they come to the garden for an insect snack or head to the bird bath.
The little Striated Thornbills are regular bird bath regulars. They only stay for a quick wash and drink before they are off.
One day I heard a call I didn’t recognise at the bird bath. At first I didn’t see anyone but then a head popped up whilst the bird was clinging to the edge of the bird bath with its tail in the water. Just then, another bird flew in a sat on the edge. The big feet gave it away. This was the first time I had seen the White-throated Treecreepers in the bird bath.
At my besties there are always Eastern Whipbirds calling and foraging in the garden. This one was muttering to itself while it turned over leaves and small rocks hoping for a bite to eat.
Of course there a the little Eastern Yellow Robins in her garden as well. They are such a cute little bird don’t you think?
Hello May. May has come and gone. We went back to Macleay Island again and I have another new bird that I have photographed. I do get excited when I find something new.
This collection of photos has some birds, mainly that I have put here before, that I have found in a comical situation. OK situations that I find comical and hope you do too.
There is also a photo of a moth just to warn those people who have a phobia about moths. I should have put that warning in the last blog too. There aren’t any spiders or snakes this time.
This poor old Blue Tiger Butterfly was sitting on a leaf catching a bit of sunshine, probably the last sunshine he had. See the hole in the right wing? And the rest of the wings are a bit shabby and colour bleached.
Here is the moth. An Emperor Gum Moth, one of the largest moths that are around here. Its wingspan is around 150mm. I thought it was a Micro Bat when it flew past me.
This year the Cordyline Rubras flowers were spectacular. I have never seen so many flower spikes. There were lots of bees buzzing around. Can you spot one?
Here is a close up of a flower spike.
On the ferry going to Macleay Island, one of the Morton Bay islands, the ferry was followed by a White-bellied Sea Eagle for a long part of the journey. At one stage it swooped off to the other side of the ferry but didn’t catch anything.
The Curlews are back. I am not sure what they were on but I have not seen such a wide eyed expression.
Here is the photograph first for me. The Pale-headed Rosella. They were having a lovely time in the Grevillea on the property next door to where we stayed on the island.
They have lovely markings don’t they? The red splosh under the tail is eye catching.
Back home, the Yellow-faced Honeyeaters have claimed the sparse flowered Honey Gem Grevillea. The dry weather has reduced the number of flowers of what is usually a shrub laden with flowers. This is what it looked like a while ago
The Yellow-faced Honeyeater are very bossy in the garden at the moment. Taking up vantage points around the garden to chase of anyone who thinks they might get at the flowers. The Eastern Spinebills are the one who seem to be picked on the most.
The Blue-faced Honeyeater has a black chin. I hadn’t noticed how extensive it was before. I have gone through the previous photos and none have shown the honeyeaters chin before.
Hi on the tree, the Eastern Rosella was just hanging out. It seemed to see me with the camera and just posed for quite a while.
Look at me, don’t I look splendid?
After a while it was a case of “See my butt!!” and away it flew.
I love getting photos of Eastern Whipbirds. They never sit still long enough to get good photos. I took this photo as it was just about to take off.
The bird bath is always a place to get some birds. The White-throated Honeyeaters swapped from the small hanging pot to the bigger bird bath.
Although it doesn’t look like the water was to this ones liking. Don’t honeyeaters have long tongues?
I love it at this time of year. There is always someone new in the garden. The little Rose Robins are so cute.
Driving home one afternoon, I spied a Wedged Tailed Eagle feasting on a bit of road kill. Despite getting into my best sneaky mode, the eagle flew into a nearby tree to wait for me to go so it could continue dinner.
Well it’s night time and the moon is beaming down. Goodnight.
So far this year I have found some allusive birds, some bees doing what bees do, lovely flowers, insects, a new bird that was very accommodating to be photographed and a photo or two that viewer discretion is advised.
Yes, this blog does contain images of sexual behaviour. Consenting sex I may add. The sexual activity did occur over quite a while although use of the word activity may be a stretch of the imagination. Most of the time both partners didn’t engage in much activity at all!!!
So it may be best if I start with “those” images. That way your titillation can be catered for straight away and you wont be scrolling through and perhaps missing other images that can perhaps be stimulating. The moths decided that near the back door, on the verandah was a good place to procreate.
How did I know that there was something mothy happening. Perhaps the next image is more explanatory.
They were indeed attached, chosing a cactus to add that extra bit of spice to the act perhaps.
I had a hard time trying to get a good photo of this insect. It was on a mission and kept marching along the leaf, which thankfully was a large leaf.
The bes were having a real buzzy time around the garden. There were plenty of flowers to choose.
The Blue-banded Bees love the Blue Ginger flowers even if you have to really scrunch up to get at the flowers goodness.
The Camelias were quite striking this year. As an added bonus, can you count the little Stingless Bees on the flower? One little bloke has even got a water drop drink!!!
I love this cacti flower. It is just a balloon like structure and when it opens there is nothing inside. The colour is lovely don’t you think?
The Blue Ginger flower. Now you can see why the bees love visiting.
The little Violet flowers love the cool and the shade. Plenty of water sees the plant send up lots of flower shoots to add small splashes of colour around the garden.
High up in the Bangalow Palm, the Lewins Honeyeater contemplated his vast bounty of seeds.
While the White-headed Pigeon observed hoping for some lunch after a quick dip and drink at the birdbath.
The Bar-shouldered Dove walked around looking for a tasty morsel amongst the leaf litter. He looks spectacular with those red legs.
The allusive Green Catbird. They can be heard throughout the forest in the mornings and late afternoons but here, they are quite shy and hop along the branches, never sitting still for long.
A drink and a bath at the little hanging birdbath is a family affair for the White-throated Honeyeaters
I love this photo. The antique wrought iron garden chair is a lovely resting place for the Eastern Yellow Robin, a constant visitor to the garden.
Now for something new. We went to Macleay Island in Moreton Bay. The island is home to lots of Beach Stone Curlews. These pair were having a sleep at the back of the house, opening an eye to see what I was doing. This is the first time I have seen Beach Stone Curlews so it was rather exciting.
After a while one decided to get up and walk a little way into the bush.
I don’t think that he was impressed at being woken. During the night, they were calling with their mournful call. Actually it seemed like all night they were calling. No wonder they didn’t like being disturbed.
Well, that’s what I have found, refound and photographed so far this year. I was excited photographing the Curlews and the Green Catbird. I hope you have enjoyed my images.