Crab Art

Everyone who goes to the beach will have seen the small balls laid out on the sand. I find them a wonderful expression of nature. None are the same although some are more elaborate than others. When we went for a walk along Emerald Beach on the Mid-north Coast of NSW, with all the other people who take advantage of a leash free area on the beach where the dogs can run free, I noticed that the small balls on the beach didn’t have any footprints in them. Perhaps there is a bit of respect for the creators of what I like to call Crab Art.

First of all have a close look at the sand balls. They do look rather random don’t they?

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They are a seemingly bunch of sand balls scattered on the beach

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But some have a shape and form

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Can you see the little roads?

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This one has a certain cartoon effect I feel. Can you see the face?

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This is one of my favourites. Almost a butterfly?

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From another angle you can see the little hole where the crabs “home” is.

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You really should meet one of the Crab Artists. They are about the size of a finger tip. What fabulous blue eyes.

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Do you think the crabs create art on the beach?

Birds, bugs and things in April

As you know I love to get about when I can, discovering new things or rediscovering stuff. I love living in a bio-diverse region where the trip to the mountains or to the coast always sends a surprise encounter. Over the month so far I have seen so many wonderful things this world has, sometimes it may just be something that I saw that I found to be wonderous whereas others have just walked by probably thinking what the hell is that bloke doing with that camera.

So…..this wander through my days I hope fills you with a bit of love for our nature and environment in which we inhabit as it does for me.

I do find butterflies amazing creatures, as you probably have noticed as a lot of my blogs seem to have a butterfly or two. This small butterfly, about 17mm in size, has been whizzing around my besties garden and mine as well –  a Small Green-banded Blue butterfly.

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I was wading through the water at Taylor Lagoon when all bout there were dragonflies zipping here, zipping there on their mission to do…..waht do dragonflies do when they zip about like that. Well after a while some settled on the sticks poking out of the water. Their irridecence was amazing to see. Unfortunately the dragonfly isn’t quite in focus but I love the effect of the water, don’t you?

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This dragonfly has a great grip on the stick.

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While wading in the shallows I looked at the water and the reflections of the over-hanging bottlebrush and sedges around the edge. I think it was facinating the way the image always changed as the water rippled and moved with the wind. This photo was my favourite of the couple I took.

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The shadow of the tree looked like it was walking across the rock face. What do you see?

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I love the contrast of colours, the shadows and where the rock landed (or was put by my bestie lol)

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Shells. I love seeing the shells and stuff that is on the beach. The light shining through the shell caught my eye form a distance.

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I wonder how the small creatures can survive when the tide is out or is it how do they survive when the tide is in? This one found a nice little niche in the rocks. Aren’t the colours subtle but striking at the same time?

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The number of tiny sand balls that were spread all along the shore was incredible. Some of the patterns made were so artistic.

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And here is the little bloke who spend a large amount of its life making those tiny sand balls.

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“OK fella…..how about a bit of privacy. I didn’t come down to the beach to sit in the shade of my lovely green umbrella just to have you come along taking your photos….”

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“If you are going to hang around with that camera, I’m off….”

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As I was walking along the shore, all of a sudden there was a whoosh and a couple of Pelicans came flying along looking for a place to land. They are so big up close.

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As we walked along the beach, we were discussing how we hadn’t seen any White-bellied Sea Eagles or Brahminy Kites, which are nearly always here. All of a sudden, at the other end of the beach, there was a commotion with Seagulls wheeling about and then appeared the Sea Eagle with a fish. Even with the lens at full stretch they were still a long way a way.

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Here is a close up as best as I could manage. The image is heavily cropped just to show the size of the fish.

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There was also another White-bellied Sea Eagle just soaring around the sky looking for it’s own fish.

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Meanwhile at the waters edge, a group of Crested Terns were having a bath and preening themselves trying to get their “hair” in order.

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I have no idea what this plant is but the spots of white among the rocks certainly stood out.

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Even the Eastern Spinebill was too heavy for the Pentas making hanging on a bit of a chore.

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The Whipbirds are always pocking around in the garden, flicking over leaves and bits of bark to try and find some insects and bugs to snack on.

whipbird_named_binna burra_june 2014

Over the past few weeks the Eastern Yellow Robins have seemed to appear in numbers in the garden. This one was sitting out front on the warm gravel early one morning. They are such sweet little birds.

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Heading into town early one misty morning, I spotted this Black-necked Stork (I really prefer Jabiru) stalking about the small pond where the “Tyre Turtle” lives. It was one of a pair. The other one was further back in the paddock in the ffog.

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Aren’t the colours great. I never noticed their red cap before either.

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The Water Dragon has set up home in my besties garden. Such a lovely prehistoric looking creature.

water dragon02_named_binna burra_april 2014

But they still enjoy a good laugh. Not really. He really enjoys a few bits of apple. The inside of his mouth is so pink.

water dragon01_named_binna burra_april 2015

That’s the end of what I have found in April so far. Hope you enjoyed seeing what I have seen.

At the beach

I really enjoy going to the beach. There is always so much to see and do.  From swimming or riding the waves to walking along the shore, exploring the rock pools or just sitting on the headland watching the world go by.

Early morning is so good. Sometimes you have the beach to yourself to watch the sunrise and take in the beauty of the morning

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If there are some good waves, there will always be someone carrying a board heading out to where the waves are best.

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At other times, you have to share the sand with someone else

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or there are crabs scuttling about

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making their own patterns on the sand with perfectly round sand balls

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I love the patterns that the water makes as the waves sweep up the beach and recede leaving tiny rivulets in the sand

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When my girls were small we always had to have a shell collection, making sure that every different shell was represented. I still walk along the beach but instead of picking them up to make an arrangement of some sort, I just grab a picture as the shape, forms and textures are so different from shell to shell. Here is a few of my favourites.

A deeply furrowed purple shell….almost like a claw.

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An almost black shell

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The ridges and valleys sweep forward

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The creams and reds caught my eye with this shell

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The darker bands running around makes this shell a distinctive

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This shell was like finding gold

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Concentric rings that have a wave and a deeper yellow section made this one stand out

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OK…it’s time to look out to sea again. Enough of looking at the sand and the wonders it holds.

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Storms at the beach are always spectacular

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The storm makes the sea surge and swell and crash upon the rocks…

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which washes up interesting bits of wood…..

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or other ocean-going craft…..

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It doesn’t take much to put the gulls and terns to flight

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When the wind blows, I like to get back up the beach and into the dunes to explore, discover and to have a bit of fun with my fabulous artist bestie……

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until it’s almost time to head off after an enjoyable day after watching the sunset

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How do you spend your day at the beach?