Black and White Sunday: After and Before Y1-04

The after and before photos of a little Scarlet Honeyeater, the smallest of Australias honeyeaters, in an Australian native tree, a Pink Euodia. Scarlet Honeyeaters whizz around my garden like red jewels flashing in the sun.

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These are Fungi 2017

The rain came.
The sun came out.
The earth warmed.
Life emerged from the earth.
These are Fungi

The first signs as the fungus pushes its way from the earth

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The yellow hue of this fungus didn’t translate to the photo as it nestled among the leaves of the Honey Gem.

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All manner of shapes and colours appear among the grass and sticks.

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Sometimes emerging from the mulch can be difficult.

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When your neighbour emerges after you have and tilts you

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Even in decay the fungus emits a golden sheen

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Flipped onto its back the delicate frills no longer are there

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The texture of the fungus is rough to the touch but has a softness also

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The underside frills make a lovely fan

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A certain translucency when the sun falls upon the frills

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Fungi come in groups. These tiny fungi are everywhere dotting the grass with their orange brown spots. See how big the blades of grass are compared to the tiny fungi.

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Or group together and dwarf the blades of grass

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The brown fungi like to hang closely together.

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The Finger Fungi are never alone as the stand tall. Well as tall as a Finger Fungi can.

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Is this one of the ball shaped fungi above starting to grow old.

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This next few photos are of fungi that I have never seen here before.

The tiny red fungi are easy to spot as they grow among the Norfolk Island Pine needles. Seemingly solitary with other red fungi nearby.

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The pink fungi are coming out from between cracks in an old sleeper.

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This type of small fungi are a jet black and only a few appeared next to the verandah and in a day or two, were gone. The photo  doesn’t show the true colour

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These are the fungi at my place. There are more as some others are in my first fungi blog from years ago.

These are Dragonflies

Ever since I managed to get a photo of a flying dragonfly with one of my first cameras, a Canon Tlb, I have loved seeing dragonflies flitting about. I am lucky to have an assortment of dragonflies on my property. Many an hour has been spent at the dam or chasing a dragonfly about the garden trying to get that great dragonfly photo.

Unfortunately I don’t know the names of many of the dragonflies I have captured but once I have published this post, I am sure there are people who will let me know their names.

I love the different shapes and colours of dragonflies. This is a slender dragonfly not the usual bigger ones I see.

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I found this one sitting on the flower in the dam. I love the reflection in the water.

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The yellow dragonflies like to sit on the ground

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“Don’t touch my stick”

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They do like to hang onto the reeds in the dam too

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I don’t see the orange (ish) dragonflies much

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They like to stay out of the rain

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But the red and blue dragonflies are always around

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Dragonflies look very interesting up close

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Dragonflies can also be interesting from afar. I was taking some photos of the Honey Gem Grevillia and didn’t notice that I had been photo-bombed by a dragonfly

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Some dragonflies sit with their tails a bit bent

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Others like their tails up especially the ones with spotted wings

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There is always a chance encounter with a couple of dragonflies who like to “enjoy” each others company

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I was chasing a dragonfly around my besties garden when I sat down on the deck when suddenly the dragonfly appeared. I think he was checking me out.

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Did you enjoy my dragonflies?

 

Flower of the Day – Teeny Tiny Wildflower

I have many teeny tiny native plants at my place. I don’t know their names sorry. Most of these flowers are around 10 to 20mm in diameter. Cee’s  Flower of the Day challenge

A lovely purple flower

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A similar flower only yellow and reddish orange

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Lovely little yellow puff ball flowers

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A lovely white flower. An unusual shape don’t you think?

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A delicate blue flower

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and my favourite flower I have only recently discovered in the bush at my place, a Hyacinth Orchid

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Cee’s Black and White Photo Challenge – Letters C or D

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.

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The top down view of a Cicada

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The Dragonfly was sitting quite high in the tree

 

Art at the Beach

Many days have been spent at the wonderful beaches on the North Coast of New South Wales. There have been photos of sea birds, the coast line, waves, rock formations or the fabulous sunrises that we get when the sun rises from the sea. I am sure you have seen lots of this type of photo in many of my previous blogs or other peoples publications.

I am hoping that what I have seen is something that you may have not seen before with photos of the beach or seaside. I often just see something that catches my eye that I find is quite wondrous or perhaps has shape, form or texture that I find interesting.

Want to come to the seaside with me? You won’t need sunscreen, a hat or other sun protective wear but maybe get a cool drink, settle back and let’s go….

Perhaps I should start with the obvious which you probably seen in many photos. Many of Australias beaches the sand is the shoreline but occasionally the beach is rocks. To me the endless rocks are fascinating and to see the colours, forms and textures is unusual. So let’s begin with the rocks, some rough but mostly worn smooth by the sand and water.

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The Sand Crabs like to create their own art with shapes, textures and placement of the small balls of sand they excavate from their sandy holes where they wait for a snack to stroll past.

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The water has it’s own way of creating art with the way the water flows back to the ocean leaving patterns on the sand. Can you see a fish or maybe a bird in the patterns? What do you see that perhaps I don’t?

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Sometimes these patterns include shells to create parallel lines as they look as if they are zooming across the sand.

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Shell are another source of wonder at the beach. How many shells have you picked up just to look at their colours and feel their textures?

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Even a broken shell can seemingly form its own mini sand dune.

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Part of beach life are the things that get washed onto the beach. Sometimes these can be the result of a storm where seaweed has been torn from its anchorage ending up on the beach with its branches resisting the sands intrusion.

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Bits and pieces on the sand.that show the life that is on the beach. From the terrestrial to the marine. The leaf from a mangrove, an excavation spread from a hole in the sand and other bits and pieces of marine vegetation. Each has it’s own place on the beach decorating the sand with artistic expression until the incoming tide changes the art installation.

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The orange leaf contrasts with the sand and other items that are washed in by the incoming waves.

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I love the way the colour of the sea-grass falls away leading to the blackness of the rock.

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The interaction of colours and textures between the sea-grass and jellyfish with some bubbles added for more interest.

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The entanglement of grasses and other bits of seaweed almost look like a bit of calligraphy. The imprint of some toes add a human element into the abstract art that nature has constructed.

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Sometimes the art that can be of natural construct includes the intrusion of humans or in this case, a child whose toy jet ski washed upon the sand. The impact of human detritus cannot be understated on marine life.

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Sometimes a simple stick can seem like a stick. Look at the textures and the added colour of the coastal plants makes the stick more than a stick.

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Speaking of making a stick more than a stick, it’s time we moved onto the imagination of two people who see possibilities of making life at the beach different. The things we do we leave behind and perhaps someone may smile as they come across the ideas that we enjoy to make together. When we find something on the coast as we walk about the beaches, dunes or the littoral rainforests and vegetated parts of the the hind dunes. The following is the combined effort of the imagination of two people who can see the ridiculous in nature that just needs a bit of enhancement to make the natural world a bit of fun.

We found some driftwood on the sand. The artist said “Look at the little man I found” and placed the stick on the sand. The photographer took a couple of photos and thought there needs to be more. Then the “footprints” were added.

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When you walk along the sand and find some pumice that you would like to take home to use, well don’t you make a small basket to carry it in?

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We both saw the vegetation beside the track and saw a shape. Add a few other things that were found nearby and a bit of modification, a bit of art was made. Do you see what the artist and the photographer saw?

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A grass tree that had died provided a lot of amusement. I hope someone walking the track in the hind dunes had a laugh as much as we did making our hairy friend.

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A Pandanus seed, a bit of red seaweed and gales of mirth led to this little bloke being placed in a paperbark tree beside the track.

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Did you enjoy having a stroll along the Australian coastline with me?

 

 

Februarys Finds

FEBRUARY has been quite busy. A new thing for me this month has been submitting some photos in photo challenges, which I have found to be quite interesting. The photo challenges make me think about my photography and that my photos elicit comments from other bloggers and in turn, I comment on their photos or the words used to enhance the photos in their blogs. So if you would like to see what I have submitted, have a look at my last few blogs in February. Maybe you would like to comment too.

In this blog I would like to take you on an adventure with me.

Lets set off, do you have a cuppa or something to sustain you while we explore my world?

I like to find something unusual to capture. The frangipannis shadow on the fence post caught my besties eye so this photo is inspired by her. I also took the photo in black and white but it didn’t have the same effect as a splash of colour in the background.

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We like to get away in February for a couple of days (we call our mini-holiday) to Ballina Beach Resort. Among the gardens there is always a Water Dragon or two sunning themselves. Looking down from the balcony you get a different perspective of the Water Dragon.

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But he is always watchful and spied me looking over the edge.

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Back at my besties famous bird bath, where many a bird photo has been taken, the Striated Thornbill liked to show off his little reddish leg, almost taking a bow.

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Now we are going for a bit of a walk around my place. For once I just took my camera to get some of the stuff around here. Most walks get disturbed by the habit of pulling out weeds as I walk around. This time I concentrated on getting some of the life around here. OK, I may have pulled a few weeds here and there!

One of the weird and wonderful are the air ferns. They look rather alien at times don’t you think? This one is growing on a fence post.

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As I walked around, every now and then, I smelt the heady scent of honeycomb. The Bloodwoods are in flower. I love the creamy colour of the flowers and green of the leaves against the blue sky.

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OK back to ground level. The native flowers that abound the bush come in a number of colours, blues, purples, yellows and occasionally red. Most of the flowers are quite small, ranging from about 5mm to 15mm. I have to find something to take with me to show the size of the flowers.  I also need an identification guide to let you know what the flowers are so if anyone knows a good publication on native flowers of north-east NSW please let me know

This blue flower is one of the bigger ones.

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It was hard to capture the lovely mauve of this little pea like flower. The flower is around 5mm.

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The star shape is common. Previous blogs have had the yellow and blue star shaped flower. This walk I found a pale purple star shaped flower. This flower is about 10mm in size.

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More purple flowers. A bit bigger in size and a bit hairier. Grows closer to the ground than the other flower which are on stalks.

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A small yellow pea type of flower similar to the mauve flower a few flowers back, a about the same size. I  love the red stripes. This one comes with a bonus water droplet.

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More yellow flowers. A lovely bunch of tiny yellow puff balls. The whole bunch would be no more than 12mms.

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A bit of rain saw the mosses come back to life after seemingly disappearing during the dry spell. The smaller star moss and the feathery moss that cascades over the log.

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A wonderful discovery was the Hyacinth Orchid just standing tall in the bush. No leaves or anything else, just a lovely flower spike about 20cms tall. It was the only one in the surrounding area. I haven’t been back for a week or so, so I wonder if it is still there?

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Rain has put a bit of water into the dam, freshening up the water and the water plants are flowering. The Water Snowflake’s flower is a lovely flower. A wonderful fringe form and so white against the dark green leaves and water.

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The Cape Waterlily is also flowering and the reeds are starting to set seed. Among the reeds is a number of frogs whose song at night is quite loud. Also flitting about the dam are a variety of Dragonflies.

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The little iridescent blue dragonfly doesn’t sit still as long as the larger dragonflies. They are different to the other Dragonflies as they  have their wings folded along their body.

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The many blue dragonflies fly off, swoop and then land to catch their breath on any small piece of reed they can find.

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There is as many red dragonflies as blues. They seem to land on the dead reeds on the ground although some never seem to land. The red and blues also fly around the house almost like a patrol flying back and forth along the front verandah, occasionally flying under the verandah roof.

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Now this little bloke is so different from the others, not only in colour and patterns, but seems to prefer to land on the end of seed heads of the water plants and then stick it’s rear end up in the air. It doesn’t seem to mind how it has it’s wings either.

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I found this orange dragonfly at my besties but they are also at my place but not as common as the others.

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The Blue Gingers have the most delightful flowers. The flower spikes have so many tiny flowers and buds that there is always a number of flowers open so the bees have a chance to get inside. As I have said before, the bees have to scrunch to get at the pollen of the Blue Ginger flowers.

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The native Blue-banded Bees certainly love the Blue Ginger flowers and have a good scrunching technique as well.

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This Summer, my verandahs have been taken over by night spiders. Unfortunately they have become very lazy and leave their webs up during the day. Luckily they have been catching lots of insects so the web is easy to see but there may have been a time or two where I have walked into a web.

 

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There are quite a number of Bull Ant nests in the bush. When I try to get a photo, I make sure I look all around to see if there are any outside the nest on patrol or bring back food to the nest. When they bite you know you have been bitten!

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I was surprised to find the Satin Bower Birds bower was still in operation and chock-a-block with a variety of blue bits and pieces in the collection. The only things that come from my place are the blue pegs. I know when a Bower Bird has come calling when I find the peg basket up ended. The Satin Bower Birds have made my place home. Years ago they only came here when it was too cold in the Gibraltar Ranges and leaving when it got too hot here.

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On our mini-holiday, we managed to get to the beach at sunrise one morning. The sunrise over the sea is fantastic.

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The Seagull was patient and seemed to like getting its picture taken early in the morning.

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There was a line-up of Seagulls checking out the surf.

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One of my favourite photos of February. Just a branch on the beach. I was tempted to put the photo in the blog upside down.

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Well it’s getting dark so I must head off to bed. I hope you have enjoyed this little bit of my world in February.

I leave you with the Paperbark tree and the street light.

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The Things of January

THE HOT SUMMERS DAYS are here and the lack of consistent rainfall has sapped my energy causing me to be indoors more often than out in the biting rays of the Sun.

However I did get out and about and went to the Bangalow Markets hoping for some photographic inspiration. There was a bit of action but on the whole my mojo wasn’t there.

The colours did grab my attention.

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In some part of my besties garden, the flowers are always around. There is more rainfall and cooler weather there. I was taken by the red flower buds getting ready to burst forth.

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Back in my garden the storms gave relief to the plants with a Murraya sending out its perfumed blossoms.

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I love the Hibiscus schizopetalus. The flowers hang down from the long stems and dance in the breeze.

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The small amounts of rain and a bit of hot weather has made a fungi or two pop out of the soil. This one was the biggest I have seen for a long while. I didn’t know what to use to show its size but a brick came in handy

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It looked just as amazing from beneath as well.

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It may be Summer but the Teak Tree has decided that it is time to lose its leaves making the garden have a temporary Autumn feel.

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Summer time and the wasps are constructing their nests from chewed wood giving them a papery look, hence the name Paper Wasps. Unfortunately these are under the gutter at my besties and will have to go. When I had a bloke doing some building work at my place, he managed to disturb a nest and was stung on his ear and back. They chased him as he ran away from the nest. Paper Wasps in the bush are OK but around the house they have to move on.

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Even though it is hot, early morning and late in the day, the butterflies are about. I think this is a Skipper whose wings have seen better days.

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The Caper Whites are still around but no where near the numbers of late Spring.

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Here is a large horse fly Triclista singularis’ These fly slowly with a loud buzzing and we gave them the nickname of B52s. When they do land and bite you really know it. This is the biggest fly around my place, around 25mm. It is rather pretty for a fly.

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I noticed movement in the kitchen on a potted begonia  I found a Praying Mantis. He hung around the kitchen for a few days before going outside. Fearsome looking but quite friendly.

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The Yellow-faced Honeyeater looked pleased with itself as it puffed out its chest.

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The constant calls of the Bar-shouldered Dove ring around the garden as they sit high among the trees.

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They have a pink ring around their eyes which I hadn’t noticed before.

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I love the feather patterns on the Little Wattlebird

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There is a queue at the bird bath waiting for their turn.

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A return visitor to the garden is a lovely little Forest Kingfisher. The orange spots stand out as does the wonderful white chest.

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He was so obliging to turn around to show the striking blue feathers. When flying about the garden the flashes of blue catch the eye.

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I hope the hot weather soon abates and February brings more things for me to share with you.

Dinner Time

It was late in the afternoon when I heard a Kookaburra ruckus. The usual cackling but also the sound of a young Kookaburra trying to make the adult sounds. It became a raspy sound of a young bird making demands of its parents. Here is a short photo story of the Kookaburras at dinner time.

“Hey Mum, What’s Dad doing down there?”

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Just then Dad flew up into the tree with a stick. No its not, it is a Stick Insect.

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A bit of adjusting to make sure  the Stick Insect didn’t fall again as it did once before.

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“Here you go young one……catch”

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“Thanks Dad. This looks like a good dinner.”

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“I’m not sure if I should let go. What should I do?”

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“OK. Here goes. Down the hatch!”

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Dad basks in the glow of the afternoon sun, another lesson and dinner over for the evening.

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PS I did feel sorry for the Stick Insect as there aren’t as many around as there were years ago. This series of photos were taken from my veranda. Do you see birds feeding around your place?

Silhouettes

A few years ago I looked at some of my photos and thought they would be good as silhouettes. I remade some of the best ones that I thought would be good to frame and sell at hand-made markets or other markets that abound here on the north coast of NSW. I only managed to get a stall at a couple of markets, no where near as many as I would have liked to attend, over the past year or two.

There has been some good sales and some where not one photo sold. Perhaps this year I may get to more markets as a stallholder and see if anyone enjoys my photos.

I don’t just convert from colour to black and white, in some cases I have taken the photo in monochrome, I actually trace around the photo to get a bit of a better definition. This takes time and sometimes I think I have spent more time than necessary but I enjoy doing the work.

This first silhouette is the photo that I took that started the process. I came home late in the afternoon and as I drove down the driveway, I disturbed the White-faced Heron on the dam who flew onto a branch near the house. I was just getting excited in capturing birds with my new digital camera, this was an ideal opportunity. The original photo late in the afternoon was almost in black and white with the sky blue and the Heron without any detail, just a dark image. The bark of the Yellow Stringybark was a challenge!!!

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I have always like to outline of birds against the sky. An Osprey wheeling above the water looking for a fish provided a nice silhouette.

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The Cormorant sitting on a branch on the edge of the dam also looking for a fish or yabbie obliged by sitting still for quite some time.

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The Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos with their almost slow-motion flying as they flew overhead to their roost for the night were a delight to watch and photograph. The wing tips were hard to get right.

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The New Holland Honeyeater sitting atop of a Banksia isn’t really a silhouette but the conversion into black and white was so striking that I decided to leave it as a monochrome. I included this one in my silhouette series as it is a popular photo at the markets.

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Some birds are so distinctive in their shape, they are just right for silhouettes. Even a brightly coloured Rainbow Bee Eater is recognisable in black and white.

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As is a Spangled Drongo.

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The Golden Whistler photo has taken me the most time to convert into a silhouette. I didn’t realise that when there are branches in the background that they are ever so slightly out of focus and need a lot of attention. I even left a small patch of the bright yellow colour on the neck as neither black or white to add a bit of definition of this wonderful small bird.

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I have posted lots of brightly coloured birds on my blogs over the years. I hope you have enjoyed something different.