Debbies Six Word Saturday
The fire and smoking log are no more
For those who haven’t been following my Six Word Saturday saga, here is a recap
Beckys square photo challenge: Light
Come on over to Becky’s and join in the fun
Here’s the rule:
All you really need remember about this photographic challenge is that a square is a rectangle with four equal sides!
Yes the photo format is Square. Look on your camera setting before you get totally inspired and set it to 1:1 There you have it Square Format. If you forget crop your image to Square
Debbies Six Word Saturday
Yes, for those who have been playing along since early December, a what I would have called a tropical storm happened this afternoon (11th Jan for those elsewhere in the world) I am wet and happy
It has been six weeks since the fire devastated my place. Today was the first time I have been able to get about my property and see the extent of the damage the fire has done. I went mainly to check the fences as they are the things that have been severely impacted by fire.
The best thing was that I didn’t find any large animals that had died from the fire. I didn’t go poking around in burnt logs and under things so smaller animals and reptiles may have not survived.
I did find the recovery of plants starting to commence.
A Eucalypts lignotuber sends new growth from the ground. I love the red colour.
A burnt tree sprouts new growth from its trunk.
Early signs are often red gradually turning green.
This gold bummed ant was very protective of its tree. After a while it actually leapt onto the camera lens
Other ants were carrying treasures back to the nest
I did find the Bower Birds burnt bower which was near to my house.
His blue treasures to impress the females a bit charred and molten.
Some people have asked how did the waterhole fare. The Lomandras in the water course have all started to sprout.
The rain on Christmas Day filled the waterhole and it still has a good amount of water. I am not too sure about the quality of the water. On the left under the fallen Brush Box tree is the rock I sit on to watch and photograph the birds. On the right hand side that tree has fallen across the track I use to get down to the waterhole. The rocky gully where the water comes into the waterhole has lots of trees over it but the small water hole up there a bit has water as well. The Powerful Owls weren’t around much to my disappointment.
This is what the water hole looked like
Dragonflies were flitting around one of the dams near the house.
I was pleased to see the White-winged Chough family patrolling through the bush. It looks like they have had a good year as there was around three chicks. I counted eleven birds. Last year when I saw a flock there were seven. Choughs are quite good at enticing other Choughs from other family groups into their family.
I was dismayed to see the big Ironbark tree still on fire. It will be a while until this tree stops burning. It is surrounded by a big burnt area so I am not concerned about it getting out of control. Unfortunately my tracks through the bush have so many trees over them I am unable to get anywhere near it and if I did I have no idea how I would be able to cut through the log to separate the burning bit from the rest of the tree. The tree is at least one meter in diameter.
So when I am next able to get about the property, I’ll write again about the recovery of Durranbah. I probably shouldn’t have walked as far as I did. I hurt my back a few weeks ago and am starting to feel better. I did come back to the house, have a shower, a bit of lunch and then went to bed for a few hours. Still am a bit sore still but the constant showers for the last three hours has been lovely. Not much rain I think but steady soaking rain has made me feel a lot better.
For Cee’s On the Hunt for Joy Challenge – Get Outside
LPM – Photo Adventure – Rural Life
December 2019. A month and a year to remember. As this decade draws to a close I shall always remember the past couple of years. The drought has all but decimated my garden. The bush has been blackened but being Australian bush, the fire will bring about a renewal and the trees will flourish. A lot of the smaller shrubs and bushes will disappear as will the pioneer rainforest species that were starting to grow in the gullies.
I shall endeavour not to dwell on the fire but I have to include a bit as since the sixth of December my place has changed. I was lucky to get a good amount of rain on Christmas Day which has given my garden a temporary reprieve. I have some water to last for a month or so but the run-off has come over ash laden ground which may not be the best. I heard some frogs at the dam for the first time in months so the water may be OK.
You may need a cuppa or glass of something, depending when you are reading this. I would include a snack to keep you going as it is rather long. I know I have already done a birds edition but there are some more bird images in here as well. OK Let’s go………..
After the first decent rain, the Crocus sprouted from various places in the drought ravaged garden adding more hope for the future.
Even in decay the Crocus looked lovely.
Although the dam was almost dry the Cape Water Lillies did their best to put on a show
The hanging Geraniums always have flowers in the three pots hanging from the verandah
The Hydrangea struggled in the dry and heat but managed a flower or two
I was surprised the Frangipannis flowered. There weren’t as many flowers but some flowers made the garden a bit better
All the different colours came out
The Duranta flowers attracted a Caper White Butterfly
A Mud Dauber wasp poked around the pots of Pentas looking for small spiders to place in the clay nest for the hatching grub to feed on.
Some insects tried to get in out of the smoke and heat
The Dragonflies seemed to like the heat and there were quite a number around even though the dam was almost empty
I found this Weevil in the kitchen sink. So I helped it out, put it on the bench, took a photo or two and threw it back outside. Amazing looking insect
Looks like the heat of the fire got this beetle I found the next day as I was doing my inspection of the destruction
The Bullants survived the fire and were quite belligerent
You may have seen these before but had to include the Grass Trees again as they are my favourite plants in the bush around my place
This was a tree stump that was tall and hollow. I found an Owlet Nightjar in there many years ago. See the holes where the roots were. There is heat coming from the holes so the fire was still burning underground!!
Even the rocks were burnt
I often found blackened leaves around my place weeks prior to the fire here
This tall tree, possibly a dead tree, crashed down and burned completely
The day after the fire life emerged. There were quite a number of this species of Fungi dotted through the landscape. Some even had munch marks
The fire has left not much for the Goannas to forage in. I have a couple who walk through my garden regularly
This bloke is about two meters long. That light patch on his tail shows signs of shedding skin so maybe he may have had the fire go over his hiding spot
The lovely Velvet Geckos who live behind the pictures on the walls
These Eastern Water Skinks live at my besties place are quite big for a skink. It looks like a Soft-shelled Snail is going to be breakfast for an Eastern Water Skink
Nom Nom Nom
I spotted a Brown Falcon on a fence post when we were driving down a back road. It flew onto a power pole and kept watching a spot on the ground. I guess it may have swooped down for its meal after we drove off.
A pair of Sacred Kingfishers are often in the tress at my besties. In the background, a Jacaranda tree has had a second flowering
A Striated Thornbill watches the Brown Honeyeater have a quick bath
I love the little Thornbills
Sometimes after a bath Rainbow Lorikeets look a bit disheveled
There was quite a queue for a drink when a flock of Crimson Rosellas came to my place
This Magpie Lark or commonly called Pee Wee just yells at everybody
King Parrots can be such clowns and acrobats
The sounds of the Common Koel ring through the bush sometimes all night. They are migratory birds and lay their eggs in the nests of other birds. This male Koel was sitting quite still as he had already been dive-bombed by a Black-faced Cuckoo Shrike trying to get the Koel to move away from his nest.
The messy nest of an Australian Raven among a Mistletoe
The Square-tailed Kite is still soaring the skies above my place
Waiting for the shop to open
While Mum found a cool spot under the shed to spend the day
When munching Grevilleas in the garden, a Red-necked Wallaby had to watch out for that poke in the eye
After a hearty breakfast of Macropod Pellets, supplied by me for the Red-necked Wallabies, it is lovely to stretch out in the morning sun in the garden
As the pellets are dry, I leave water containers near where I put the pellets.
One Saturday we went to the Tip Shop, where things that people throw out in the garbage service get recycled and sold at the Water Management Facility, we saw this tin car head out on the back of a ute. The next day here was the same little car at the Lismore Car Boot Market
I hope you enjoyed a scroll through My December. Did you have a favourite image? Hopefully next decades, next months “This is” will be more cheerful.
Also part of Su’s Changing Seasons
on this land
on this land
In August 2018 (the Grass Tree on the left – you can just see the spear rising to the sky
A few days ago
In 2014 The Spotted Gum tree trunk is the same as the one in the previous photo
Xanthorrhoea or Grass Trees
They are ancient hardy plants that survive poor soils and respond to bushfires by flowering!!
Grass Trees are slow growing. They increase in height around 25mm or one inch and in some cases, in better soils, can grow 80mm or around three inches a year!! The Grass Tree in the foreground of the burnt ones is over 2 meters or about eight feet tall.
They survive fire as the growing point is under the ground. They have a root system, where microbes called mycorrhiza surround the roots in a symbiotic relationship bring nutrients to support growth.
The trunk is a mixture of the old leaves and a resin that they exude. The length of the skirt can indicate the last time a fire went through this gully. Compare the top and bottom photos.
I have been concerned about the birds who live at my place since the fires have engulfed my property. There isn’t much left for them in the way of food, especially the honeyeaters and those who rely on the blossoms of the Eucalypts. I have been putting some food out for the parrots and other seed eaters but not every day so they don’t become reliant on me as a food source.
The birds who don’t have their photo but have been seen when I didn’t have my camera when I have been doing stuff around the place – Laughing Kookaburra, Willie Wagtail, Fig Bird, Magpie, Striated Thornbill and some other small birds who are very fast.
Let’s start with the Eastern Yellow Robins who are always around the garden. I have seen around three or four hunting about the trees and shrubs.
The Eastern Spinebill found the poor Hydrangea flower that have suffered from the heat
It’s not often Fuscous Honeyeaters come around the house. Mostly they are found down at the waterhole. When I finally was able to get to that part of the property I found the waterhole has dried up. This is the first time that this has happened in over the thirty plus years I have lived here.
The Grey Shrike Thrush have always hung about the garden
Black-faced Cuckoo Shrikes don’t come around the house all that often but can been seen in the bush
I am glad that Satin Bowerbirds survived. The female found an old saucepan I have put in the garden so birds and animals can get a drink.
The male Satin Bowerbird is still around too but the Bower with all it’s blue treasures has gone. I wonder if he will make another Bower in the garden.
The Little Friarbirds are a constant in the garden
There doesn’t seem as many Pied Currawongs but they may have moved across the road which hasn’t been totally burnt.
Always Peaceful Doves in the garden. They are getting the bonus seed that falls to the ground from the feeding station. Yesterday there was about ten Peaceful Doves foraging in the garden.
This Noisy Friarbird found a Cicada. The usual background drone of Cicadas is missing so far this December.
An Australian Raven looking about the blackened bush. Luckily their nest tree is near the house so that tree wasn’t affected by fire
Noisy Miners seem to hang out across the road rather than here. This one was found in the bush when I went for a walk
There has been a family of Olive-backed Oriels around since late Spring
Spangled Drongos are regular visitors and quite a few of them have been here for a while now.
Rainbow Lorikeets come and go. This large flock needed a water refuel before they headed off again.
King Parrots are always around the garden, more so now I have been putting a bit of food out.
The Square-tailed Kite is seen regularly in the sky above my place. I know it is around as the birds go quiet.
The ever present White-throated Treecreeper. There was a few days where there was the promise of rain but less than 1ml fell. The Treecreeper was rubbing itself among the leaves of the Grevillea getting a lovely bath.
Always around the garden White-throated Honeyeaters love drinking and bathing in the little hanging pot bird bath.
The latest additions have been Leaden Flycatchers. The little female is very quick as she moves through the garden.
The Leaden Flycatcher male seen here contemplating the small puddle of water left in the old swimming pool.
This Kookaburra was seen often looking soaking wet after diving in the old pool. I thought I would have to rescue him but there he was again and again sitting on the ladder looking like this
This Magpie Lark (or Pee Wee) was tapping on the window. I opened the curtain just a bit and saw this
The ever present Blue-faced Honeyeater
Crimson Rosellas don’t often come around the garden. This male came with his partner yesterday.
A flash of blue flying through the tress caught my attention. An Eastern Rosella came for a couple of days. I haven’t seen them around the garden for years.
I was most concerned about the welfare of the family group of White-winged Choughs. They are always on the forest floor kicking over leaves, rocks and branches on the ground looking for insects and small lizards. This is the first time they have been seen foraging around the garden.
When I went for a walk a couple of days ago I was quite happy to see the group of Grey-crowned Babblers. They too forage on the forest floor.
The beautiful Scarlet Honeyeater came to let me know they were OK.
Red-browed Firetail Finchs are around the garden more now. I have put a water station tucked away in the garden where they love to have a drink and a bath.
I haven’t seen Red-backed Fairy Wrens around the garden for quite a few years now. I wasn’t sure if they had gone but a small group have started to get about the garden. The females are quite shy.
The male Red-backed Fairy Wren is a sight to see in the garden as he hops about looking for food.
OK, now for some first time sightings
I was sitting in the office at the computer on a hot day when a bird landed on the verandah. It was a Spotted Quail-thrush. Normally a shy bird they too forage on the forest floor. I was too scared to move lest I scared it away before I could get a photo hence the less than good image. When I was out the other day I actually saw one in the bush and it flew away before I could even think about my camera.
I have heard Powerful Owls in the lower part of my property over the years but have never seen them. I wasn’t sure if they would be still around as I haven’t been down there at night for a few years. When I went to see the state of the waterhole, suddenly from the tree that had fallen in the fire, a couple of large birds flew out and landed nearby. I was delighted to see the Powerful Owls for the first time. I left quickly as not to disturb them. I wonder if the tree that had come down was where their nest was? I will go down again one day and have another look around.
I hope you have enjoyed this bird edition of This is December 2019.
I was in a dilemma. Should I go down to the bottom part of my property and see what had happened there with the fire. I am glad I did as I found somethings that had survived and gave my joy, one of which was the big Tallowwood tree. You would need three or four people encircling the tree, arms outstretched and hands touching to gauge it’s size. The tree is about forty meters tall.
I know it’s not strictly black and white but the burnt forest has a bit of a sepia tone about it.
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