Sunshine’s Macro Monday #32
Sunshine’s Macro Monday #32
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 Dragonflies and Damselflies
and this bloke
The word prompt for the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #15: Changing and/or Changeable
From a hard shell, a Cicada changing into the sounds of Summer in the Australian bush
A Cicada pull and twists
To start a new life above ground
Now a winged wonder
Leaving behind an empty shell
A bit of Aussie music from the 80’s
Oh dear, another month of photos that is too big. I think I should do a week at a time. I haven’t included the photos from the other posts, just a couple I think. It was a weird month. The days were the usual February hot to very hot days with the rain finally appearing at the end of February.
Perhaps, as usual, a cup of tea or a drink of choice, get comfy and I hope you get to the end without nodding off.
This time I am starting off with insects so those who have an aversion to spiders, moths or flies get your scrolling finger ready to zip past some fantastic photos lol
I found a tiny hairy caterpillar who looked so unusual. Yes I did get a bit close with the lens and the centre section did get a bit squashed by the lens
I surprised a small spider. She ran out to defend her egg nest
Even a hornet has to have a drink on a hot day
One of the more unusual grasshoppers I have at my place
These flies like to bite. The bit of the proboscis that is hanging down has a spike sheathed inside. The other dagger like thing is the antennae. The angle makes them look fierce.
You can see why the fly is angry all the time and wants to bite. A bit of baldness can make anyone cross.
With all the places in the garden to hatch out, these cicadas chose the same leaf
The Line Blue Butterflies had a monopoly in some parts of the garden. This tiny one found a quiet place to sit for a while
A moth, we call a tiger moth, really loved the scent of the Murraya flowers
Looking at a Crow Eggfly Butterfly who was looking at me
This Dragonfly has been in a mud puddle I think
Such a dainty tiny Dragonfly
The fig tree has so many figs which the birds love
Isn’t this Wood Fungus lovely
An old fashioned Hibiscus flower. This is one of the smallest Hibiscus flowers in the garden.
The Leopard Lillies liked the hot weather
So did the Ginger flowers
The Lilli Pilli bush doesn’t flower that much but when it does isn’t it spectacular?
Onto Animals which includes a couple of Python photos so snake phobes get ready to whizz past some really beautiful photos
As it was hot, the Carpet Python came out from the roof space and stretched along the rafter. It must have been quite warm so close to the corrugated iron
When the weather was a bit cooler, the Python managed to knot up into a smallish ball. This is about 2 meters of snake all rolled up
When it was a too hot, the Python decided that Charlies little pond was a cool place to be. Charlie didn’t care and swam about the snake while the snake ignored Charlie thankfully.
Charlie also had another unwelcome visitor. How ugly are Cane Toads?
Enough of ugly, here is some cute. Early one morning, a couple of Yellow-footed Antechinus were hopping around the verandah
When I went into the shed, I disturbed some Lesser Long-eared Bats. Aren’t their little feet lovely?
We are now in the bird zone so those who have been rushing past the previous photos can relax now
A great way to spend part of a hot day is in one of the many bird baths scattered around the place. A Grey Fantail contemplating a plunge
A Variegated Fairy Wren checking out the mosaic bird bath
The little Thornbill jumped straight in, splashing about
A Red-browed Firetail Finch just dunked under to cool off
A Jenny Wren looked on from the safety of the bushes
A Spangled Drongo was looking for some grubs in the Poinciana tree after his dip in the bird bath
The Eastern Yellow Robin took his usual lookout on the garden chair to scan the garden for dinner
We wondered who was making a mess on the car doors early in the morning. I finally was able to catch the culprit – a Green Catbird
This White-headed Pigeon was on lookout at the bird bath while its young one had a drink of water
One morning there was a terrible sound in the garden. There were Ravens calling and flying about. I finally spotted a Channel-billed Cuckoo young who was being raised by the Ravens
The birds were all calling out, making a real noise in the garden. I finally spotted the culprit who set them off. A Pacific Baza was sitting in a tree. Nearby another two were calling as well. They bought their young one to check out the garden.
When I go outside I always look up as often a Wedged-tailed Eagle or two will be wheeling about looking for an unsuspecting snack
I think I was lucky to have everything just right to capture this spiders web. The Primrose flowers add a splash of colour
The door latch from the Cathedral in Grafton. It doesn’t look very worn so I don’t think it is the original but looked quite good enough to photograph
I loved the lighting in the loungeroom one night
Thanks for your staying power. Enjoy a sunset
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.
Come Summer and the Dragonflies are flitting about the garden.
I couldn’t find this Dragonfly at first when it disappeared into the garden.
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.
Brown Ringlets have wonderful “eyes” on their wings.
I was visited by an Assassin Bug who did a bit of fluff cleaning for me.
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.
I have been watching this one build a cone shape on the architrave of the office door.
Some mornings the chicken wire fence has lots of spider webs in the mesh.
What a fabulous green the grasshopper has which contrasts with the yellow of the Deities flower.
I love the Line Blue Butterflys antennae
The Bromiliad flower with a bonus spider shell.
The Stingless Native Bees loved the Day Lily flower.
After the rain, the Crocus flowered much to the delight of the Stingless Native Bees
They certainly have a laconic way of flying don’y they?
The red Dahlia is one of my favourite flowers.
The Tree Begonias supplied a splash of red in the garden too.
It was a great year for the Agapanthus flowers.
A tiny native flower with a fluffy centre.
Another lovely flower I was given from my friend Geoff.
A very pretty Rose in a friends garden.
I think this flower is an Egg and Bacon plant flower.
The Hibiscus flowers welcomed the rain in December.
A field of Daisys on the side of the road.
The Curry Bush had a great flowering last year as well
The storm season arrived a bit late last year but when it came, it was spectacular.
This sky was incredible
I love capturing the suns rays.
The palm leaf had shiny spots of water which glistened in the sunlight.
People must have thought I was mad walking around trying to get the sun in the right spot.
This sunset was amazing. The colours changed every minute.
It’s hard getting a sunrise photo when you live in a forest.
The Spangled Drongo was wondering what I was doing interrupting bath time.
It isn’t often I see a Peaceful Dove at the bird bath.
When White Ibis flocks glide overhead it is just magnificent.
A female Figbird or a young Figbird just getting his red mask.
One day he will look like his dad.
Check out the pants on the Channel-bill Cuckoo
They have a very serious looking bill don’t they?
Rainbow Lorikeets are quite raucous as they nibble about on the Lemon Scented Tea Tree.
I am so glad the Forest Kingfisher has returned this Summer to forage around the house.
An activities box outside of a Cafe in Toowoomba.
The Moon was just wonderful with the coloured rings on a cloudy night.
If pupils were white it could look like an eye.
Some people have said this photo has a Japanese feel about it. What do you think?
Thanks for dropping by
The Tuesday photo challenge from Dutch goes the Photo is Bugs. I have so many bug photos I just had to stop or it would take me for ages to complete the photo challenge!!!
Here is a selection of my bugs. I don’t know the names of all of these so I will leave it up to you to identify the ones you know.
The Centipede who walked through my house.
The Plant Hopper who wouldn’t sit still for a photo in the kitchen
The Praying Mantis on the kitchen window
The Fly with a yellow face
The Fly with the green eyes and biting proboscis
The “birth” of a Cicada on the chook yard fence
The Tiger Cicada on a tree
The Bullants coming to defend the nest
A Beetle on a leaf
An insect marching with purpose across a leaf
A bright red insect on my car
A Mayfly on the wall
An insect stopping for a photo op
Have a search around my blog for lots more insect photos if you want
For this photo challenge I have dug around for some insects. The difference in a black and white photo from the colour insects can have can be quite remarkable. These two photos aren’t that remarkable in colour. They have translated well into black and white I feel.
The top down view of a Cicada
The Dragonfly was sitting quite high in the tree
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.
The hanging pot is the best place to get a drink. The female Scarlet Honeyeaters are regular visitors.
The male Scarlet Honeyeaters seem to get on when there’s a drink involved.
This young one waited until everyone else had gone before venturing in for a drink.
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.
In early December the lovely Satin Flycatchers drop in for a few days.
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.
But eventually the Kite wheeled around and headed off on its mission.
Soon it was circling around getting higher and higher showing its wonderful wing feathers.
Meanwhile, back at my besties bird bath the normally sleek looking Red-browed Finch was looking rather ruffled.
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.
The Dragonflies are constantly zipping about the garden. This dragonfly seemed to really like the stick and sat there for quite a while.
Everyday there is the buzz of the Blue-banded Bees as the source out the meager flower offerings in the garden.
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.
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.
In this close-up, you can almost see the scales on the wings.
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.
Even butterflies have to do it. These little Lineblue Butterflies even flew about the garden locked together.
Perhaps because it has been so dry, the Agapanthus bloomed so well this year. Spots of blues and whites are dotting the garden.
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.
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.
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.
This is a quick look at some things I have discovered in January. I have a lot of photos from last weekend but I haven’t had time to sort through them yet, so the final “Things of January” will have to wait for a while. It is amazing what you can find when you stop on the way home, mainly to check out the clouds and mist that was hovering over the Ranges after the storms. I have seen these flowers growing on the side of the road and in the bush around home but have never looked at them closely as they were just purple flowers on a long stalk that seemed to grow everywhere.
February 2017 – New information came in that the flower is a Veined Verbena from South America. Someone doing a search found my blog and the purple flower and let me know what it is, thanks Chris.
This is what the flower, Veined Verbena, by the side of the road looks like close up.
At the back door an industrious wasp set about building a mud tube. I waited for a couple of hours but it never came back to finish the construction.
I am always looking for interesting shapes and patterns in nature. This moth is rather incredible even though it is a bit damaged.
On a drive down to the Clarence River, I came across this Bearded Dragon hanging onto the fence post. I am sure it wanted to run off but sat very still while I took some photos. The left hand side back leg was just hanging free. When I got back into the car, I looked around and he was gone lol.
The Fig Birds have been hanging around for longer than they have in past years. The fig tree in the garden had lots of figs this year but they had already gone when I took this photo. The Euodia hadn’t flowered yet let alone have berries.
This year the Little Friarbirds have been around when the bigger Friarbirds have not been in the garden as often.
While doing a bit of bush regeneration at my besties place we came upon a bush under a large pine tree after we cleared away an abundance of Lantana. Thanks to Dr Dave Watson (@DOCTOR_Dave) who let me know it is a Caper Berry flower. The seed was probably dropped by a bird as there aren’t any other large or flowering bushes nearby. There are some surrounding properties that have planted rainforest plants as well as the thousands planted on my besties property. Beautiful flower isn’t it?
When I went down to feed the chooks, I came across this Cicada emerging from its shell. They are rather prehistoric looking aren’t they?
That’s all for this blog of January’s “item of interest”. Stand by or actually have a seat until the next blog of January’s photos and stuff.
This time of year plants get a boost on before the cold sets in around here. March is the best time to plant. This year summer was extremely dry but when the rains came flowers appeared showing their fantastic colours, shapes and scents attracting pollinating insects. The days are quite warm and quite often a trip to the beach is taken and sometimes, if the water isn’t too cold, a swim but usually I sit around camera in hand hoping something interesting will come into view.
Here is a few things I found, the good the bad and the ugly. Ready to go? I think I might start with a couple of photos at the beach and see where we go from there. I like to find a nice pandanus to sit under out of the sun.
Always there are seagulls whizzing around, perhaps looking for that chip tossed by someone.
But this day the bonus was the Osprey wheeling about the sky.
And occasionally hovering over the water.
As I said, it was wonderful when the rain came, clouds full of promise and delivery. I liked the way the clouds and trees matched shapes.
The insects are busy buzzing around before the cold sets in. They are everywhere looking for nectar or whatever will sustain them for the coming months. The honey bees and little native bees were all over the Hibiscus zipping from flower to flower.
This year, the cicadas were in full song, at time deafening. The garden is full of their shells.
I found this tiny tiny moth on the door. It is about 10mm in length and very hairy.
Among the flowers in the garden, the Pink Euodia was the pick of many insects and birds.
The Lewins Honeyeater was very protective of “his” tree giving anyone who dared try to sample the blossoms a quick seeing off.
The Butterfly Bush was full of flowers as well. They just look superb as the flowers seem ready to fly.
This year the Cats Whiskers seemed to have more purple on the tips.
I was disappointed that the bees didn’t seem to want to be around the White Crocus as much as they were around the pink one.
This so white flower with its lovely red centre was the only one in the garden.
I love the shadow of the stamens shadow on the petals of the flower.
Early morning and the buds were almost ready to burst.
On the ground, the Grey Shrike-thrush hopped about the garden looking here and there for a bit of lunch.
While one of my favourite bird, the Eastern Yellow Robin sat on the post watching for movement in the garden.
During the long hot summer days I go down to the chook house to gather the eggs. Sometimes I come back empty-handed. This bloke is one of the reasons for that. I went into the chook house and he scarpered out, too fast for me to catch and sat up in the tree.
Well the Moon has risen so it must be time for bed. I hope you have had a good time at the beach and in the garden with me.
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