The air is thick
vision a grey white haze
the fires smell
invades the house
sounds of helicopters
startle the birds
it flies overhead
water it cries
a blessed relief
Weekly word prompt: Giving thanks
I thought I should let you know that I am safe and all is OK at my place.
The fires in the Clarence Valley and the North Coast of New South Wales are unbelievable. The smoke is thick everyday and combined with the dust blown in from farmland to the west, it is almost unbearable.
I have friends who have lost their houses, the habitat for our wonderful birds and animals is decimated and the Rural Fire Service people are doing an amazing job trying to contain fires. Strong winds are pushing fires out of the containment lines and fires are linking up creating a massive fire front. Over one thousand trained fire people are here to help from all over Australia. They are a blessing.
Last night I didn’t sleep very much and am quite tired. The changing conditions are keeping me alert. The nearest fires are around 50lms away from here and so far the winds have been keeping the fires away.
This is what I see most days on my drive home from town.
This is what it looked like yesterday afternoon at around 2pm
I often stop at this spot to grab a sunset photo
I was fortunate to spend the last ten days away from home in Tasmania. Clean air, green fields, cool weather and even a bit of rain. I am home recharged but the current situation is wearing me down a bit. The smoke is descending again now this morning and the smell of smoke may take some time to dissipate from my house and clothes.
Thank you to everyone who has been in contact and made sure I am safe. I love my blog family
See a website https://sentinel.ga.gov.au/#/ On the location search put in Jackadgery which is near my property
One of my favourite Jimi Hendrix songs
I was driving along the Summerland Way heading to see my bestie, when I spotted a large shape ahead on the side of the road. I instantly knew what it was, slowed and parked the car. Turning the engine, music, lights off I wound down the window, grabbed my camera and hoped that I get some photos of the Wedged-tailed Eagle, the largest bird of prey in Australia, having lunch.
This is what I saw. WARNING It does contain some grisly photos.
The first quick photo just in case he flew off once he spotted me stopped. He did see me but I tried to be as still as I could and hoped he was very hungry and would continue eating the Red-necked Wallaby who was most probably road kill.
Then it was back to having his lunch – actually it was late afternoon
Another look up to see if I had moved
Ripping off a piece of meat from the Red-necked Wallaby, he just tossed it down. Now you can see the talons, about the size of your hand
More to eat while still keeping an eye on me
Now where to have a nibble. Aren’t those fluffy pants adorable?
Suddenly some small birds flew into a nearby tree. Probably seeing me, they started making their warning calls. This distracted him from the meal and he looked around at the bush behind just in case the threat came from that direction.
As the other birds kept their racket up, he decided it was time to go. As he unfurled the 2 meter plus wings he was gone. Unfortunately I was unable to get the lift-off as he flew into the bit of bush behind.
That was the end of my encounter. As I started the car and gave those small birds a glare, I noticed he had just flown a few meters into a tree but I was unable to stop again on the sometimes busy road.
My favourite photo challenge, Lost in Translations Pick a Word
This month Paula has supplied some words that had me thinking and trying to find just the right photo to match the word supplied.
circuitous and inversion
How did you think I went?
The word prompt from Nancy’s Photo a Week Challenge: Neglected
This month Paula has selected some difficult words for Pick a Word in December I hope I am up to the challenge.
If you need to know why I selected these photos, write in the comments and I’ll try to explain the workings of this brain.
Being from Australia, I guess it was about time I used the Sydney Opera House in a blog challenge juxtaposed with an old shed from near my place in the country.
The Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge on a stormy day.
The old shed and the cow
Have a look at the other photographers contributions to Cee’s Black and White Photo Challenge: Buildings
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