This is my August

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

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Quail are such funny looking birds but have a certain amount of cuteness that makes you smile when you find them bustling about.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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The Grey Fantails are so busy swooping around the garden.

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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.

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The King Parrots always drop by and have a look through the door to see what I am doing!!!

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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.

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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.

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The White-faced Heron was always finding something to eat as it wandered with purpose on the sands.

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In a nearby tree, a Little Cormorant gave me a suspicious look, but still sat looking over the estuary.

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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.

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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.

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I don’t normally have such luck with spider web photos but these two really made my day.

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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.

wedged tailed eagle_named_ramornie_aug 2016

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.

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“Is he still there Mum?”

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“Oh dear. I better hide so he won’t see me!”

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The Joey finally decided to sit in the warming morning sun to contemplate the day ahead.

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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

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Guess who came in for a snack?

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The Rainbow Lorikeets certainly add a splash of colour to the garden.

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The Friarbirds look so prehistoric don’t they?

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The little Yellow-faced Honeyeaters were also chased about by the Friarbirds.

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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

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Well the sun is going down……….

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…….and the Moon is on the rise. Thanks for reading

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An assortment found while travelling around

I have ben slack I will admit. Here is a collage of life that I have found. Some have no meaning and just are stuff that the world leaves lying around, or sitting or just being.

I went to the Bentley Blockade had a chat or two with the folk who were only too happy to chat, buts another story another time. Of course I have to go exploring, so Bentley is a good start and who knows where we will end up

This wonderful farm-house, just sitting there, neglected.

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While overhead, the clouds were just blowing up and drifting apart, ever-changing.

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On the way back to Lismore, the clouds in the east had a soft blush of colour which turned to storm clouds.

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The pansies were blooming bright colours making spots of joy in the usually, almost colourless autumn gardens.

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Everyone was enjoying the camellias, Lewins Honeyeaters were darting in and out and even the ants were traipsing all over the bush.

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The stamen look like they are wearing boxing gloves…no wonder the ant scarpered

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Of course someone had to shine. The Gerbera was the star of the garden.

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The Emerald Dove can’t seem to stop still for a second. I think it scooped stuff up while strutting around the courtyard.

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The little Eastern Yellow Robin was always darting about the foliage of the tree begonias.

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While overhead the Eastern Rosellas just chatted away, mostly to no-one in particular.

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The White Headed Pigeon took advantage of the last afternoon to have a last dip at the bird bath.

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Up the flag pole!! The  Butcher Bird thought the flag pole was a great place to scan the neighbourhood. As long as he looked up as well.

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The Brahminy Kite was on the prowl making birds scatter everywhere.

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Cormorants look very pretty with their wings folded. All that drip-drying seems to pay off.

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The Pelican didn’t seem to give a rats about anything.

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The Pied Oyster Catchers seemed unfazed by the Soldier Crabs who have just taken over whole of the little beach in a small bay.

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The Soldier Crabs were everywhere….always seemed to be on a mission to somewhere and back again, a bit of over there and a “Hey it’s Norm again” as business is done as a cluster ever moving, occaisionally stopping for a quick drink or to stuff a claw into their mouths possibly with a snack of some sort..

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They were so hard to get a good photo as they just scuttled away when you got close to them or they got close to me. Below is an artist’s impression of the Soldier Crabs

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The crabs knew someone was looking on at their antics. No one was fooled by the shades.

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The end of the day. The sun setting like an explosion of fire and colour.
The evil eyes are looking….beguiling you into the mouth of fire.

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After the sun has set, it is sometimes just as beautiful. The purples, deep blues and almost a russet flow down into yellow with a lone house light in the distance.

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When darkness sets in, the little Pademelons come scrounging around the chook yard, hoping to snuffle up some grain the chooks left behind. That’s why this bloke has a smudge on his nose.

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I love our Moon. Sometimes the Moon just shines when full. Goodnight.

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At the beach and in the garden

This time of year plants get a boost on before the cold sets in around here. March is the best time to plant. This year summer was extremely dry but when the rains came flowers appeared showing their fantastic colours, shapes and scents attracting pollinating insects. The days are quite warm and quite often a trip to the beach is taken and sometimes, if the water isn’t too cold, a swim but usually I sit around camera in hand hoping something interesting will come into view.

Here is a few things I found, the good the bad and the ugly. Ready to go? I think I might start with a couple of photos at the beach and see where we go from there. I like to find a nice pandanus to sit under out of the sun.

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Always there are seagulls whizzing around, perhaps looking for that chip tossed by someone.

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But this day the bonus was the Osprey wheeling about the sky.

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And occasionally hovering over the water.

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As I said, it was wonderful when the rain came, clouds full of promise and delivery. I liked the way the clouds and trees matched shapes.

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The insects are busy buzzing around before the cold sets in. They are everywhere looking for nectar or whatever will sustain them for the coming months. The honey bees and little native bees were all over the Hibiscus zipping from flower to flower.

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This year, the cicadas were in full song, at time deafening. The garden is full of their shells.

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I found this tiny tiny moth on the door. It is about 10mm in length and very hairy.

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Among the flowers in the garden, the Pink Euodia was the pick of many insects and birds.

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The Lewins Honeyeater was very protective of “his” tree giving anyone who dared try to sample the blossoms a quick seeing off.

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The Butterfly Bush was full of flowers as well. They just look superb as the flowers seem ready to fly.

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This year the Cats Whiskers seemed to have more purple on the tips.

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I was disappointed that the bees didn’t seem to want to be around the White Crocus as much as they were around the pink one.

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This so white flower with its lovely red centre was the only one in the garden.

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I love the shadow of the stamens shadow on the petals of the flower.

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Early morning and the buds were almost ready to burst.

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On the ground, the Grey Shrike-thrush hopped about the garden looking here and there for a bit of lunch.

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While one of my favourite bird, the Eastern Yellow Robin sat on the post watching for movement in the garden.

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During the long hot summer days I go down to the chook house to gather the eggs. Sometimes I come back empty-handed. This bloke is one of the reasons for that. I went into the chook house and he scarpered out, too fast for me to catch and sat up in the tree.

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Well the Moon has risen so it must be time for bed. I hope you have had a good time at the beach and in the garden with me.

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brian