Smoking: a thing of the past

Debbies Six Word Saturday

The fire and smoking log are no more

tree_log_water_named_home_jackadgery_jan 2020

For those who haven’t been following my Six Word Saturday saga, here is a recap

One day I will stop smoking

Fifteen days later I’m still smoking

The fire’s smoke darken the sky



Beckys square photo challenge: Light

20200112_blog challenge_light_fire

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


Pic and Word Challenge #214 – Inferno

The helicopters
give warning
The inferno
is about
helicopters_two_durranbah_blog_fire_post_dec 2019
thick smoke
pack and gosmoke_house_close_durranbah_blog_fire_post_dec 2019
The inferno
swept by winds
escapesmoke_lilydale_durranbah_blog_fire_post_dec 2019
Orange sunsets
tell a tale
fear running
the inferno191023_blog_challenge_sunset_tree_fire_orange

Also Ragtag Daily Prompt Saturday: Hope

This afternoons rain solved this problem (or I have finally stopped smoking)

Debbies Six Word Saturday


log_burning_ironbark_burnt_fire_home_jackadgery_jan 2020

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


The Recovery of Durranbah – New life part one

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.
new_growth_grass_burnt_fire_home_jackadgery_jan 2020

A Eucalypts lignotuber sends new growth from the ground. I love the red colour.
new_growth_ground_burnt_fire_home_jackadgery_jan 2020
A burnt tree sprouts new growth from its trunk.
new_growth_tree_burnt_fire_home_jackadgery_jan 2020
Early signs are often red gradually turning green.tree_new_growth_burnt_fire_home_jackadgery_jan 2020
This gold bummed ant was very protective of its tree. After a while it actually leapt onto the camera lensant_tree_burnt_fire_home_jackadgery_jan 2020
Other ants were carrying treasures back to the nestant_ground_burnt_fire_home_jackadgery_jan 2020
I did find the Bower Birds burnt bower which was near to my house. the bower_bower bird_blue_burnt_fire_home_jackadgery_jan 2020
His blue treasures to impress the females a bit charred and molten.bower_bower bird_blue_burnt_fire_home_jackadgery_jan 2020
Some people have asked how did the waterhole fare. The Lomandras in the water course have all started to sprout.new_growth_lomandra_waterhole_burnt_fire_home_jackadgery_jan 2020
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.waterhole_trees_water_burnt_fire_home_jackadgery_jan 2020
This is what the water hole looked like
waterhole_named_home_oct 2018
Dragonflies were flitting around one of the dams near the house.
dragonfly_dam_home_jackadgery_jan 2020
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.white-winged choughs_bush_walking_home_jackadgery_jan 2020
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.log_burning_ironbark_burnt_fire_home_jackadgery_jan 2020

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

This is December 2019

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.
crocus_flower_garden_named_home_jackadgery_dec 2019
Even in decay the Crocus looked lovely.crocus_flower_wilted_garden_named_home_jackadgery_dec 2019
Although the dam was almost dry the Cape Water Lillies did their best to put on a showcape water lily_dam_named_home_jackadgery_dec 2019
The hanging Geraniums always have flowers in the three pots hanging from the verandahflower_geranium_pink_pot_garden_named_home_jackadgery_dec 2019
The Hydrangea struggled in the dry and heat but managed a flower or twohydrangea_red_garden_named_home_jackadgery_dec 2019
I was surprised the Frangipannis flowered. There weren’t as many flowers but some flowers made the garden a bit betterfrangipanni_yellow_garden_named_home_jackadgery_dec 2019
All the different colours came outfrangipanni_pink_flowers_named_home_jackadgery_dec 2019
The Duranta flowers attracted a Caper White Butterflycaper white butterfly_purple flower_named_home_jackadgery_dec 2019
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. wasp_mud dauber_flower_pentas_verandah_named_home_jackadgery_dec 2019
Some insects tried to get in out of the smoke and heatinsect_bug_screen_named_home_jackadgery_dec 2019
The Dragonflies seemed to like the heat and there were quite a number around even though the dam was almost emptydragonfly_red_garden_named_home_jackadgery_dec 2019
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 weevil_kitchen_named_home_jackadgery_dec 2019
Looks like the heat of the fire got this beetle I found the next day as I was doing my inspection of the destructionbeetle_green_named_home_jackadgery_dec 2019
The Bullants survived the fire and were quite belligerent bullants_nest_named_home_jackadgery_dec 2019
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 placegrass trees_burnt_fire_named_home_jackadgery_dec 2019
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!!stump_hole_fire_named_home_jackadgery_dec 2019
Even the rocks were burntrock_burnt_fire_named_home_jackadgery_dec 2019
I often found blackened leaves around my place weeks prior to the fire hereleaf_burnt_named_home_jackadgery_dec 2019
This tall tree, possibly a dead tree, crashed down and burned completelytree_ashes_fire_named_home_jackadgery_dec 2019
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 fungi_fire_named_home_jackadgery_dec 2019
The fire has left not much for the Goannas to forage in. I have a couple who walk through my garden regularlygoanna_tongue_named_home_jackadgery_dec 2019
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 spotgoanna_named_home_jackadgery_dec 2019
The lovely Velvet Geckos who live behind the pictures on the wallsgecko_satin_wall_house_named_home_jackadgery_dec 2019
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 Skinkgarden skink_soft-shelled snail_garden_named_caniaba_dec 2019
Nom Nom Nom garden skink_eating_garden_named_caniaba_dec 2019
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.brown falcon_farmland_named_caniaba_dec 2019
A pair of Sacred Kingfishers are often in the tress at my besties. In the background, a Jacaranda tree has had a second floweringsacred kingfisher_tree_named_caniaba_dec 2019
A Striated Thornbill watches the Brown Honeyeater have a quick bathstriated thornbill_brown honeyeater_bird bath_caniaba_dec 2019
I love the little Thornbillsstriated thornbill_bird bath_caniaba_dec 2019
Sometimes after a bath Rainbow Lorikeets look a bit disheveled rainbow lorikeet_wet_bird bath_named_home_jackadgery_dec 2019
There was quite a queue for a drink when a flock of Crimson Rosellas came to my placecrimson rosellas_bird bath_water_garden_named_home_jackadgery_dec 2019
This Magpie Lark or commonly called Pee Wee just yells at everybodymagpie lark_pee wee_garden_named_home_jackadgery_dec 2019
King Parrots can be such clowns and acrobats king parrot_acrobat_fun_named_home_jackadgery_dec 2019
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.common koel cuckoo_named_home_jackadgery_dec 2019
The messy nest of an Australian Raven among a Mistletoe australian raven_nest_named_home_jackadgery_dec 2019
The Square-tailed Kite is still soaring the skies above my placesquare-tailed kite_named_home_jackadgery_dec 2019
Waiting for the shop to openred necked wallaby_waiting_shed_named_home_jackadgery_dec 2019
While Mum found a cool spot under the shed to spend the dayred necked wallaby_shed_shade_named_home_jackadgery_dec 2019
When munching Grevilleas in the garden, a Red-necked Wallaby had to watch out for that poke in the eyered necked wallaby_grevillea_eating_eye_named_home_jackadgery_dec 2019
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 gardenred-necked wallaby_laying_garden_named_home_jackadgery_dec 2019
As the pellets are dry, I leave water containers near where I put the walabies_joey_bucket_water_named_home_jackadgery_dec 2019
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 Markettoy_car_markets_named_lismore_dec 2019

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
standing tall.
Proud warriors
oft with
spears aloft.
To them
brings renewal.
A symbol
of hope
of strength.
my friends
they say.
Let us
these lands.
among the
blacken soil.
the ashes
goodness within.
We shall
once more
be homes.
We shall
once more
be nurturers.
Standing tall
on this land

In August 2018 (the Grass Tree on the left – you can just see the spear rising to the sky180828_blog challenge_water_grass trees_home_august 2018
A few days agograss trees_burnt_fire_named_home_jackadgery_dec 2019
In 2014 The Spotted Gum tree trunk is the same as the one in the previous photograss trees01_home_named_june 2014

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.

Ref –

After the rain, the crocus appear

Debbie’s Six Word Saturday
Ragtag Daily Prompt Friday: Aftermath

There was fire
There was rain
There are flowers

A Crocus flower is almost ended, another ready to bloom
In some places is the garden there are many191228_blog_challenge_six_word_saturday_crocus_three_rain
Sometimes an individual flower greets the day191228_blog_challenge_six_word_saturday_crocus_one_rain

This is December 2019 – The Birds Edition

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.
eastern yellow robin_close_garden_named_home_jackadgery_dec 2019
The Eastern Spinebill found the poor Hydrangea flower that have suffered from the heateastern spinebill_hydrangea_garden_fire_durranbah_dec 2019

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.
fuscous honeyeater_garden_fire_durranbah_dec 2019
The Grey Shrike Thrush have always hung about the gardengrey shrike thrush_tree_garden_fire_durranbah_dec 2019
Black-faced Cuckoo Shrikes don’t come around the house all that often but can been seen in the bushblack-faced cuckoo shrike_tree_fire_durranbah_dec 2019
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.bowerbird_female_bird bath_garden_named_home_jackadgery_dec 2019
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. satin bowerbird_male_garden_named_home_jackadgery_dec 2019
The Little Friarbirds are a constant in the gardenlittle wattlebird_tree_garden_named_home_jackadgery_dec 2019
There doesn’t seem as many Pied Currawongs but they may have moved across the road which hasn’t been totally burnt.pied currawong_bird bath_garden_named_home_jackadgery_dec 2019
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.peaceful dove_tree_garden_fire_durranbah_dec 2019
This Noisy Friarbird found a Cicada. The usual background drone of Cicadas is missing so far this December.noisy friarbird_catch_fire_durranbah_dec 2019
An Australian Raven looking about the blackened bush. Luckily their nest tree is near the house so that tree wasn’t affected by fireaustralian raven_log_bush_fire_durranbah_dec 2019
Noisy Miners seem to hang out across the road rather than here. This one was found in the bush when I went for a walknoisy miner_tree_bush_fire_durranbah_dec 2019
There has been a family of Olive-backed Oriels around since late Springolive-backed oriel_bird bath_garden_fire_durranbah_dec 2019
Spangled Drongos are regular visitors and quite a few of them have been here for a while now.spangled drongo_bird bath_hanging pot_fire_durranbah_dec 2019
Rainbow Lorikeets come and go. This large flock needed a water refuel before they headed off again.rainbow lorikeets_bird bath_fire_durranbah_dec 2019
King Parrots are always around the garden, more so now I have been putting a bit of food out.king parrot_drinking_hanging pot_garden_fire_durranbah_dec 2019
The Square-tailed Kite is seen regularly in the sky above my place. I know it is around as the birds go quiet.square-tailed kite_named_durranbah_dec 2019
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.white-throated treecreeper_tree_rain_garden_fire_durranbah_dec 2019
Always around the garden White-throated Honeyeaters love drinking and bathing in the little hanging pot bird bath.white-throated honeyeater_garden_fire_durranbah_dec 2019
The latest additions have been Leaden Flycatchers. The little female is very quick as she moves through the garden.leaden flycather_garden_fire_durranbah_dec 2019
The Leaden Flycatcher male seen here contemplating the small puddle of water left in the old swimming pool.
leaden flycatcher_male_garden_fire_durranbah_dec 2019
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
kookaburra_wet_pool_named_home_jackadgery_dec 2019
This Magpie Lark (or Pee Wee) was tapping on the window. I opened the curtain just a bit and saw thismagpie lark_pee wee_looking_window_garden_fire_durranbah_dec 2019
The ever present Blue-faced Honeyeaterblue-faced honeyeater_garden_fire_durranbah_dec 2019
Crimson Rosellas don’t often come around the garden. This male came with his partner yesterday.crimson rosella_tree_garden_fire_durranbah_dec 2019
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.eastern rosella_tree_garden_fire_durranbah_dec 2019
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.white-winged chough_garden_fire_durranbah_dec 2019
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.grey-crowned babblers_tree_bush_fire_durranbah_dec 2019
The beautiful Scarlet Honeyeater came to let me know they were OK.scarlet honeyeater_garden_fire_durranbah_dec 2019
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 firetail finch_garden_fire_durranbah_dec 2019
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 fairy wren_female_garden_fire_durranbah_dec 2019
The male Red-backed Fairy Wren is a sight to see in the garden as he hops about looking for fairy wren_male_garden_fire_durranbah_dec 2019
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.spotted quail thrush_garden__fire_durranbah_dec 2019
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.powerful owl_bush_waterhole_fire_durranbah_dec 2019

I hope you have enjoyed this bird edition of This is December 2019.

The Tree

The Weekly Prompts Photo Challenge: The Tree
The Ragtag Daily Prompt Saturday: Joy
Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Item with two M’s

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.