My April: Full of Flowers Birds and Insects

April. An Autumn month where the hot days give way to warm days, a hint of rain and cool nights. Migratory birds stop off, some plants flower and the weather is great for getting into the garden.

My garden helpers. Well maybe not all the time but they can help out with the insect control. They are constantly digging somewhere.

chooks_named_home_april 2017

The end of March saw floods around the region and as a result, the floodwaters that entered the ocean caused the beaches to become foamy wonders. Here is a selection of the water at Sharpes Beach near Ballina.

sharpes beach_foam01_named_april 2017foam_sharpes beach_named_april 2017foamy waves_sharpes beach_named_april 2017sharpes beach_foam_named_april 2017foamy rocks_sharpes beach_named_april 2017

I love the structural shapes in cacti

cactus_named_binna burra_april 2017

Some cacti were flowering

cactus_flower_named_binna burra_april 2017

Other flowers bloomed in their own showy way. The camellias were beautiful this year.

camillia_named_binna burra_april 2017camillia_ants_named_binna burra_april 2017

Other flowers were just as spectacular

flower_named_binna burra_april 2017flower_bug_named_binna burra_april 2017

The Hibiscus is one of my favourites

hibiscus_named_binna burra_april 2017

The deep red of the Dahlia is stunning

dahlia_named_binna burra_april 2017

The bees are loving the Pentas.

bee_pentas_named_home_april 2017

The fungi were everywhere in March but now just the few last fungi are popping up here and there. This is a wonderful pink fungi.

fungi_named_home_april 2017

It looks almost planetary from the top don’t you think?

fungi_top_named_home_april 2017

On a young eucalypt I found this amazing growth which I was informed is called Witches Broom. The ants seem to enjoy scurrying over it.

witches broom_ant_named_home_april 2017

I have had a visitor in my house since early this year. She has been moving from room to room but has moved into the laundry. She is the biggest Huntsman Spider I have ever seen. When she stretches her legs she has a 16cm span. How big is your hand?

huntsman_named_home_april 2017huntsman_front_named_home_april 2017

One day out in the garden, I dug out some old plants and also dug out a spider. At first I thought it was a Funnel Web Spider but it was a Mouse Spider. Both species of spider are quite venomous. It was too fussed about being disturbed.

mouse spider_named_home_april 2017mouse spider_front_named_home_april 2017

The Line Blue Butterfly stopped for a rest on the hanging pot support.

line blue butterfly_named_binna burra_april 2017

The Eastern Yellow Robins have been zooming around the garden chasing one another. The female Robin sat on the bush just outside of the window. I think she was looking in the window.

eastern yellow robin_female_named_home_april 2017

The Yellow-faced Honeyeaters have returned for the winter.

yellow faced honeyeater_named_home_april 2017

The Plumed Whistling-Ducks have also come to rest for a while. I found a large flock in Waterview Heights, a outer suburb of Grafton. They were walking up and down the edge of a dam, chatting among themselves.

plumed whistling ducks_named_waterview heights_april 2017plumed whistling duck_named_waterview heights_april 2017

The ever present Kookaburra is not far away when I am digging in the garden, either sitting in a tree or like this bloke, on a fence post.

kookaburra_post_named_home_april 2017

That was a bit of Bushboys World in April. Hope you liked stopping by.

This was my March

March was a month of contrasts, a couple of hot days followed by a bit of rain and then Cyclone Debbie came along. I was fortunate not to be in the path of Debbie but on the edge of the system. I missed the strong winds and abundant rainfall. I still managed to have 476mls of rain for March. This rainfall ended the long dry period over Summer when usually the rains come. The total rainfall for March exceeded the total rainfall for the 6 months prior.

The few dry day did allow for some wandering about and finding some interesting stuff. The weather also bought out a good variety of fungi which have their own blog.

So onward to the stuff of March.

Isn’t this little boat the cutest?

boat_named_grafton_march 2017

The flood waters made the creeks run and the creek at Emerald Beach broke through the sand and flowed to the sea. The strong tannin coloured water gave the rocks an interesting hue.

rocks_tannin water_named_emerald beach_march 2017

Rust. As you know I love rust, the colours and textures rust gives to metal.

rust01_named_grafton_march 2017

More rust on the fence around the riverbank park in Grafton.

rust02_named_grafton_march 2017

In Lismore, wandering the back lanes I came across this furnace door that is still in operation at the rear of a cafe.

furnace door_named_lismore_march 2017

One of the treasures of Lismore is the street art in the back lanes. The recent flooding of Lismore didn’t damage most of the art works although some may need a bit of a clean and touch up. The following selection is from just one lane way.

The art on the door is perhaps a portend.

graffiti_doorway_lismore_named_march 2017

The fish managed to swim out the flood waters I am told.

graffiti_fish_lismore_named_march 2017

I love this ghostly face.

graffiti_face_lismore_named_march 2017

How clever.

graffiti_shoes_lismore_named_march 2017

The butterflies in the rainforest.

graffiti_butterflies_lismore_named_march 2017

Speaking of butterflies, I just love photographing butterflies. Of course many a while is spent chasing them around trying to get THAT capture. The Common Yellow butterfly seemed to enjoy time on the ground.

yellow meadow butterfly_named_home_march 2017

The Small Green-banded Blue butterfly kept trying to hide from me.

small green banded blue butterfly_named_home_march 2017

I haven’t had such a variety of flies at my place or perhaps I haven’t really taken a close look at them. The yellow face and bottle green body look great.

fly_yellow face_named_home_march 2017

The green eyes are striking. The long proboscis also lets this fly give you a very sharp sting.

fly_named_home_march 2017

This beautiful Huntsman spider lived in my house for around two months. She has now gone outside I think as I haven’t seen her for a couple of days. Her leg span from front to back or side to side is 16cm. Her body length is 5cm. How big is your hand?

huntsman_named_home_march 2017

The Fire-wheel trees are flowering.

fire wheel tree flower_named_grafton_march 2017

I have a number of Golden Lycras that my aged neighbour loved. He gave me lots of corms and this year they flowered the best ever. They gave me lovely memories of him. The view from the top.

golden lycras_above_named_home_march 2017

They looked so lovely in the morning sun.

golden lycras_named_binna burra_march 2017

This Hibiscus was in my parents place and the cutting has lived on at my place filled with abundant flowers this Autumn.

 

hybiscus_red_named_home_march 2017

The miniature Hibiscus adds small red spots in the garden

hybiscus_miniture red_named_home_march 2017

One of the original Hibiscus. This one is in my besties garden. Such a delicate flower. The petals almost look transparent.

white flower_named_binna burra_march 2017

Another tiny native flower that I have found around my property.  The flower is about 12mm across so imagine the size of the insect that was getting some nectar or pollen.

purple flower_named_home_march 2017

The Bromiliads had a good flowering this March. They gathered enough water that’s for sure.

bromilliad flower_named_home_march 2017

I hadn’t seen white Crocus before. Stunning flowers aren’t they?

white crocus_named_emerald beach_march 2017

I have loved the colours of Coleus since I first saw them in my grandfathers garden.

coleus_named_binna burra_march 2017

 

The rain has revived the Lichen.

lichen_named_home_march 2017

Wandering around the garden looking for snacks, the Bar-shouldered Dove and Emerald Dove shared the space.

emerald dove_peaceful dove_named_binna burra_march 2017

A little Jacky Winter enjoying the morning sun.

jackie winter_named_home_march 2017

The Brown Pigeon sat in the Poinsettia striking a lovely pose.

brown pigeon_named_binna burra_march 2017

Not the best angle for a Blue-faced Honeyeater though.

blue faced honeyeater_named_home_march 2017

The little Forest Kingfisher sat in the tree looking about then suddenly plunged to the ground. When he resumed his perch, he did the bash bash on the branch to tenderise his snack. It looks like he managed to find a frog in the garden.

forest kingfisher_frog_named_home_march 2017

The Forest Kingfisher has beautiful colours don’t you think?

forest kingfisher_close_named_home_march 2017

Thanks for taking the time to have a look at my March.

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.

bangalow-market_named_bangalow_jan-2017

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.

red-flower_changed

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

murraya-flower_named_home_jan-2017

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

hibiscus-schizopetalus_named_binna-burra_jan-2017

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

mushroom_named_home_jan-2017

It looked just as amazing from beneath as well.

mushroom-under_named_home_jan-2017

 

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.

teak-leaves-ground_named_home_jan-2017

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.

wasps_named_binna-burra_jan-2017

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.

butterfly_named_binna-burra_jan-2017

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

caper-white_named_home_jan-2017

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.

triclista-singularis-horse-fly06_named_home_jan-2017

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.

praying-mantis01_named_home_jan-2017

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

yellow-faced-honeyeater_named_home_jan-2017

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

bar-shouldered-dove01_named_binna-burra_jan-2017

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

bar-shouldered-dove02_close_named_binna-burra_jan-2017

I love the feather patterns on the Little Wattlebird

little-wattlebird_named_binna-burra_jan-2017

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

rainbow-lorikeets-waiting_named_home_jan-2017

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

forest-kingfisher_front_named_home_jan-2017

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.

forest-kingfisher_named_home_jan-2017

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

December’s Discoveries

So much to do in the next few days. I wanted to get a little bit of my world out there for you to enjoy. I looked at some of the photos and there are some that are recurring from years gone by. I guess that’s what happens in nature. The cycles just keep rolling on. I wonder if you can spot the photos subjects that have appeared before. All of the flower and insect photos are from my besties fantastic garden. I love wandering around her garden discovering flowers and insects.

I took many photos of this tree as the textures and lines are so good. It was so hard to settle on one photo.

tree bark textures_binna burra_named_ dec 2015

The air ferns are increasing in the bush and around the garden. They are so primitive looking don’t you think?

air fern01_home_named_dec 2015

The way the moss just cascades over the old tree trunk, filling crevices giving life to the dead wood of a large tree from the past.

moss_binna burra_named_dec 2015

The water vine grew in the fork of the tree long ago and now it looks like the tree has an appendage. The vine is still alive reaching up into the canopy.

tree_vine_binna burra_named_dec 2015

The flowers of the Silk Tree aren’t around for long. The birds sure make a mess of the flowers when they come to gather the bit of pollen or nectar the flowers supply.

silk flower_binna burra_named_dec 2015

This hibiscus flower grows high in the tree and sends the occasional flower to hang down adding a splash of red to the garden.

hybiscus02_binna burra_named_dec 2015

The little balls laden with pollen usually have native bees buzzing around except when I was taking photos.

hybiscus01_binna burra_named_dec 2015

The delicate blue centres of the white hydrangea are quite stunning when you get close to the large white flower ball.

white hydrangea01_binna burra_named_dec 2015

These tiny daisies are popping up all through the garden. They are about 10mm in diameter.

daisy_binna burra_named_dec 2015

I love the Cats Whiskers with their purple tips.

cats whiskers01_binna burra_dec 2015

I am not sure what this orange flower is called but it makes a bold statement in the garden’s borders.

yellow flower_binna burra_named_dec 2015

Flowers aren’t just to be seen in the garden, they are also a source of joy in the house or even in the lady shed.

flower arrangement_binna burra_named_dec 2015

I can’t find my spider book so I can’t let you know the names of these spiders. This little one is quite small but very fast.

spider01_binna burra_named_dec 2015

Another tiny spider who sat still for a photo or two then decided that enough was enough and jumped onto the camera.

spider01_home_named_dec 2015

When we were fixing up the studio I came across a few insects, mainly black ants by the thousands, but this long skinny spider was staying where he was, pretending to be a stick I guess.

spider_binna burra_named_dec 2015

There have been lots of dragonflies flitting around my besties garden and mine as well. There have been blue and large red dragonflies at my place, whereas there appears to be a lot of these orange/yellow ones at her place. This one was happily flying around the rainforest near the creek.

dragonfly01_binna burra_named_dec 2015

This dragonfly is one of the bigger dragonflies in the rainforest.

dragonfly02_binna burra_named_dec 2015

Back at my place I have been keeping an eye on the Friarbirds nest.

friarbird nest01_home_named_dec 2015

I think the female or juvenile Satin Bowerbird spotted me as I was staking out the bird bath.

bower bird_home_named_dec 2015

The tiny Thornbill didn’t seem to care as it contemplated taking a plunge into the water.

thornbill_home_named_dec 2015

As usual the garden has its resident Easter Yellow Robin. I love the way they seem to enjoy landing on vertical things.

yellow robin_banana_home_named_dec 2015

We went to Broken Head for the afternoon. There are always White-bellied Sea Eagles soaring on the currents around the headland.

white bellied sea eagle_broken head_named_dec 2015

It was a surprise to see the Sooty Oystercatcher strolling around the beach. It looked a bit tired so maybe it was the first landing on its migration?

sooty oystercatcher_broken head_named_dec 2015

The little bit of rain I have had has certainly sent the frogs into a cacophony of a night. I think these tadpoles may be Bleating Tree Frogs as I hear them around the pool.

tadpole_home_named_dec 2015

I think the one on the right may enjoy getting its pictue taken.

tadpole01_home_named_dec 2015

That’s all for the time being so if I don’t get to post another blog soon, have a great Christmas. Remember to look after our nature because it’s the only one we have.

Lots of things to discover

It’s been a while since I have put a bit about what I have discovered in my travels around the north coast. A lot of these photos are from my place and my besties plus some from places in between. There has been many a thing to find, some accidental, some that made me go wow and of course an assortment of themes.

Last week at work, I looked out of the window and there was a rainbow’s end in the park. But I looked again and saw the second rainbow so I thought that is rather special to share. Yes folks, that is the view from my desk. Looking across the mighty Clarence River to Susan Island and beyond to South Grafton.

rainbow_office window_named_grafton_april 2015

I think these tiny plants are a moss growing along a small north facing bank. They look like little stars but are tiny erect plants when the macro lens gets into the structure.

star moss_named_binna burra_april 2015

These yellow flowers of the Beach Primrose are helping to hold the dunes together on Cabarita Beach.

beach plant_named_cabarita beach_march 2015

There is so much debris on the beaches most of it natural. I love the shapes and random patterns it makes interspersed with a splash of colour, a bit of green here, a bit of pink there.

beach debris_named_cabarita beach_march 2015

The coastline has some interesting geology as well as all the other stuff we see at the beach. The vertical strata caught my eye at Cabarita.

rocks_named_cabarita beach_march 2015

The day was getting stormy and the gulls were gliding in the wind.

seagul flying_named_cabarita beach_march 2015

Away from the beach the Wonga Pigeons were calling in the trees. This pigeon was just walking along the branches.

wonga pigeon_named_binna burra_march 2015

The Black-faced Cuckoo Shrike had a fine place to spot any potential food source at Lismore Lake.

black faced cuckoo shrike_named_lismore lake_april 2015

There were a lot of Egrets wading on the edge of the Lake when all of a sudden they all took to the skies, wheeled about for a while then just settled back to their preening and looking for a snack or two to come along. There were plenty of frogs calling.

egrets01_named_lismore lake_april 2015

Also watching from a vantage point was the Azure Kingfisher. They look quite regal as they survey their realm.

azure kingfisher_named_lismore lake_april 2015

Back at home, a stunning blue shape was flying around the garden. The Leaden Flycatcher found time to sit for a while.

leaden flycatcher_named_home_mar 2015

Of course my blog wouldn’t be right if I didn’t have a Spangled Drongo doing something different. This bloke seemed to have his head on backwards.

spangled drongo_named_binna burra_march 2015

I reckon the Wattlebird said to its mate “Show him your best side”

wattle birds_named_binna burra_march 2015

I caused a bit of a Twitter conversation with this photo of a Praying Mantis egg casing. Thanks to all the people who let me know what it was as I have seen them before but had no idea what it was.

praying mantis egg sack_named_small_home_march 2015

There has been lots of butterflies around. I think this one may be a Ringlet.

skipper_butterfly_named_binna burra_april 2015

The Orchard Butterflies certainly liked getting a feed from the red Pentas.

butterfly_name_home_march 2015

The Meadow Argus put on a bit of a show.

meadow argus_named_home_march 2015

The bees weren’t getting left out either. The Blue-banded Bee zipped about the garden gathering pollen from the flowers.

bee_red pentas_named_binna burra_april 2015

The mauve Pentas look a treat. Did you spot the ant as it was exploring the flowers?

pink pentas_ant_named_grafton_march 2015

The white Pentas certainly put on a show with a touch of pink highlights.

white pink pentas_named_binna burra_april 2015

I have never seen a galangal flower before.

galangal flower_named_binna burra_april 2015

The red Hibiscus flowers seem to burst out with their petals cascading from the centre.

hibiscus red_named_home_march 2015

My bestie planted the seeds of the Gaillardia and only one flower emerged but hopefully more will appear later.

flower_named_binna burra_april 2015

The rain drops were hanging from the Pink Trumpet Flowers. The drops on the top of the flower can be seen through the petals.

pink bell flowers_named_binna burra_april 2015

The Blue Gingers are stunning this year. A bit of a dry start to summer and the rains have made the bloom explode.

blue ginger flower_named_binna burra_april 2015

The rain on the fungi gave it a shiny coating

fungi_wet_named_binna burra_april 2015

These two little fungi looked like a fungi with a mini-me.

fungi_two_named_binna burra_april 2015

The wet ground has allowed the wood fungus to appear all through the bush. This one is one of my favourites.

fungi_named_binna burra_april 2015

The huge fig tree at my besties has possible reached the end of its life and has been dropping its huge branches so only two remain. The recent rain has seen a lot of the dead wood covered in this fungi.

fungi_white01_named_binna burra_april 2015

It is so white and fans out from the branch.

fungi_white02_named_binna burra_april 2015

All through the fungi are all sorts of insects. The Ear Wigs were scurrying under and over the fungi so not a clear photo but I was surprised that I actually got it.

fungi_earwig_named_binna burra_april 2015

On the way home from work, I drive past a small pond which has had a tyre in it as long as I can remember. On this day I had to do a quick U-turn as the tyre had two Long-necked Tortoises enjoying the sun. I have called them the Tyre Turtles as it sounds better than the Tyre Tortoises.

turtles_tyre_named_grafton_march 2015

Well as she catches the last rays of sunshine, I better get going as well. Did you enjoy this small peek into my world?

tyre turtle_named_grafton_april 2015

Some birds, some insects and some flowers

It seems like ages since I had time to sit down  and look through the photos I have taken over the past few weeks. Some of these are from the end of February as I decided to just do the butterflies. I took a lot of butterfly photos in February and since then, have even taken more. I was asked about taking butterfly photos and had to say that out of twenty or so photos, there is usually only a couple that are ok.

This blog hasn’t any butterflies but has some other insects that I came across when walking around the garden or other people’s gardens. I was getting buzzed by this black insect. It wouldn’t go away but finally tuckered itself out and sat on a leaf.

insect_named_home_feb 2015

I also spend a bit of time chasing bees around gardens. Coming in for a landing with rear legs full of pollen.

bee_binna burra_named_feb 2015

It took a bit of wrangling to get the caterpillar a bit angry to expose his red antennae while holding the camera in one hand and keeping the spikes on the bush lemon at bay as well.

caterpillar_named_home_march 2015

Always have a close look inside of flowers. You never know who you may find!

spider_alamanda_named_home_mar 2015

I love these little orchid flowers. They grow on long stalks and this year have been flowering all the time.

orchid_named_home_feb 2015

The tiny Native Wisteria flowers are so perfect as they gradually open along the stem giving a blush of colour throughout the garden.

native wisteria_named_home_feb 2015

One of the old cottage style Hibiscus flowers. One of the original plants over thirty years old in my besties garden.

hibiscus flower_binna burra_named_feb 2015

I found hundreds of small flowers growing on the breakwall at Ballina.

beach plant flower_ballina_named_few 2014

The Pink Bloodwoods were covered in blossoms, with bees buzzing about making a bit of a racket.

pink bloodwood flowers_named_home_feb 2015

I was walking through the bush at my place when I came across a small shrub covered in white flowers. I haven’t seen this plant in flower before. It is quite pretty isn’t it?

white flower01_named_home_feb 2015

Here are the flowers up close. Can anyone tell me the name of the shrub please?

white flower_named_home_feb 2015

I love the Tiger Lillies when they bloom, adding a splash of colour through the garden.

tiger lily_named_home_feb 2015

While we endured six months of no rain towards the end of last year, my favourite Honey Gem Grevillea suffered with the lack of water and still hasn’t flowered as strongly as it has in the past. Luckily the Pink Euodia has stepped up for the birds with bunches of flowers covering it, attracting so many birds. The Rainbow Lorikeets did their usual antics, hanging upside down to get a snack.

rainbow lorikeet01_named_home_feb 2015

The Little Friarbirds kept an eye on the lorikeets when they popped in for lunch.

little friarbird_named_home_feb 2015

This is the first time I have seen the Scaly-breasted Lorikeets at my place. They only stayed for a couple of days.

scaly-breasted lorikeet_named_home_feb 2015

The Musk Lorikeets returned to feast on the Euodias bounty.

musk lorikeet01_named_home_feb 2015

They are so striking with their red heads, cheeks and beak

musk lorikeet02_named_home_feb 2015

I really love the smallest of Australia’s Honeyeaters, the Scarlett Honeyeater. They can sit on top of the blossoms and not even bend the boughs at all.

scarlett honeyeater01_named_home_feb 2015

They look so lovely among the pink flowersscarlett honeyeater02_named_home_feb 2015

They really are like “tiny red jewels” among the foliage around the garden.

scarlet honeyeater_named_home_feb 2015

One rainy day, I heard some disgruntled squawks and found some less that appreciative Rainbow Lorikeets sitting in the rain.

rainbow lorikeet02_close_named_home_feb 2015

As always, the Kookaburra kept an eye out for any small creature or insect to wander across the grass. I was going to say lawn but that would be stretching the truth a long way.

kookaburra_named_home_feb 2015

The Galahs in the reserve behind the beach at Ballina found the Casuarina nuts irresistible.

galah_ballina_named_feb 2015

Down at the water’s edge, a Seagull looked wistfully out to sea.

seagull02_ballina_named_feb 2014

The Seagull kept an eye on us in case we had some chips.

seagull01_close_ballina_named_feb 2014

Some birds have shown their funny side. I wonder if this is why this one is called a Drongo.

spangled drongo_named_binna burra_feb 2015

The Wedged-tailed Eagle is the biggest bird. I spotted one down by the side of the road ripping into a Wallaby road kill while it’s mate and the young one sat in a nearby tree. I didn’t notice them until one glided off the branch and into the forest leaving the young one. It sat there for a while until it too flew off. Such magnificent birds.

wedged tailed eagle01_named_home_feb 2015

Well it’s time to kick back and relax. If anyone knows the names of any of the flowers or insects in this blog, please let me know. Thanks

red-necked wallaby_named_home_feb 2015

December discoveries

It’s been a while since I have shared some of my discoveries. The last was in Spring so here are the December discoveries. There has been an abundance of flowers since the rain started. Only a few mls here and there with one big storm that put water into the dam. Actually at the moment the sky has darkened and thunder is rumbling so maybe some rain for a Christmas present. Wouldn’t that be nice? Decembers discoveries are a mixed bag of flowers, birds and all sorts of things that have caught my eye. I hope you enjoy this bit of my December.

Lets start with some flowers. I love it when the garden just bursts into bloom after the first summer rain. The Agapanthus look a treat scattered throughout the garden. I have white ones

white agapanthus_named_home_dec 2014

and blue Agapanthus.

blue agapanthus_named_home_dec 2014

The Bauhinia is a bit rambling but when the flowers are out it provides a splash of colour.

bohinia_named_home_dec 2014

The Dietes border some gardens and are in clumps here and there. Only downside is the are taking over almost weed like.

diedes_named_home_dec 2014

The yellow Dietes is a favourite of the Satin Bowerbirds. They harvest the flowers as quick as they appear. This one has a bonus small grasshopper!

yellow diedes_home_named_dec 2014

Native flowers are always around. This little yellow flower is about 5mms across.

yellow flower small_home_named_crop_dec 2014

The Black Bean flowers come in a range of yellows and oranges and reds.

black bean tree flowers_home_named_dec 2014

The Grevillea flowers are yet to come back. The dry weather certainly decreased the flowers so the Friar birds make do with the Hibiscus flowers, even if you have to be upside-down to get a snack.

friar bird_hybiscus_named_home_dec 2014

The fig tree had an abundance of fruit this year and the Fig Birds have been hanging around the garden since the start of winter. I love their calls which ring out around my place early in the morning and late in the afternoon.

figbird01_named_home_dec 2014

The Kookaburra was hiding in the garden waiting for an unsuspecting insect or lizard.

kookburra01_named_home_dec 2014

This year, the Spangled Drongo stayed a bit longer than usual and I found their nest. It is well tied on to the branch.

spangled drongo_nest_named_home_dec 2014

One hot day, 40 degrees plus, many of the birds were quite thirsty and hot. I have a number of water points around the garden for the birds. You have seen the new bird bath but this is an old wheelbarrow that get drips off the roof where some birds like to drop in for a bit of a splash and drink. This poor Drongo was very hot.

spangled drongo01_hot_home_named_dec 2014

He was joined by a Friarbird and they had a bit of a discussion who was allowed to drink here.

spangled drongo_friarbird_hot_b&w_home_named_dec 2014

Once the rain started, all around fungi seemed to sprout up anywhere. This little puff-ball was in the middle of a small grassed area.

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Whereas this fungi grew out from the exposed root of a tree.

fungus_brown_named_home_dec 2014

I love dragonflies. They are always zooming around the garden, either here or at my besties. This one was high in a tree watching us remove some weeds in the paddock. Their wings are amazing don’t you think?

dragonfly_binna burra_named_dec 2014

This small dragonfly was almost invisible on the ground.

dragonfly blue_crop_binna burra_named_dec 2014

On a hot day a Green Tree Snake went for a dip in the pool, which is a frog pond now. It had a hard time trying to get out and did panic a bit when we came outside. It found a place to hide in the skimmer box. I put some palm branches around it so the poor little bloke could get out easily.

green tree snake_crop_named_home_dec 2014

On a walk to Killen Falls we came across the Sandpaper figs fruiting. They are rather fuzzy.

sandpaper creek fig fruit01_named_killen falls_dec 2014

This one comes with a bonus grasshopper too.

sandpaper creek fig fruit_killen falls_dec 2014

The sunsets have been amazing. Here is a selection of just one sunset.

sunset01 binna burra_dec 2014

This one has a bit of blue as the sun set.

sunset02 binna burra_dec 2014

I love the sunset when it looks like the sky is on fire.

sunset03_binna burra_dec 2014

Well, it’s almost Christmas. I found this nativity scene in a market. It’s made of wood and is from Thailand. I am not particularly religious but I love things that are well made and interesting. The elephant is missing as he is under the Christmas tree.

nativity_dec 2014

My Christmas tree. This years theme is elephants. As you may have guessed, I collect elephants.

christmas tree_dec 2014

Unless I get inspired to write before the end of the year, have a great 2015 and I’ll “see” you next year.

The last of Spring

There has been so much going on this Spring, especially since I put the bird bath up, that I haven’t had time to keep up with everything. I have been on an adventure nearly every weekend, plus spotting things around here, so there has been a lot of photos to sort. Here is the last few days of Spring, mainly things around the Clarence Valley.

The Gardenias have flowered despite not having much water and some quite hot days. Their scent drifts into the house every now and then.

gardenia_home_named_oct 2014

One drive took us to Brooms Head where it was such a lovely day, albeit quite windy but still warm. The Gazanias were out.

gazania01_brooms head_named_oct 2014

The difference in the petal colour of the plants was quite striking.

gazania02_brooms head_named_oct 2014

Pig Face covered the dunes in places. Wonder why it’s called Pig Face?

pig face_brooms head_named_oct 2014

The Hibiscus also flowered in the garden. The pink one was a bit later than the red Hibiscus.

hybiscus_home_named_oct 2014

All the Grevilleas flowered well this Spring. The colours on this one went from the yellow to pink whereas the other flowers were predominantly one colour, either the yellow or a russety pink.

grevillia_home_named_oct 2014

Almost all of the orange Hippiastrums flowered and look lovely as the pop up around the garden.

hippiastrum_orange_home_named_oct 2014

I love the red Hippiastrums. I love getting inside them and seeing their different “bits”

hippiastrum01_close_home_named_oct 2014

The other “bits” of the red Hippiastrum.

hippiastrum02_close_home_named_oct 2014

The red Hippiastrums seem to attract the little native bees.

hippiastrum2_native bees_home_named_oct 2014

And attract them they did! The flowers were almost too full of bees sometimes.

hippiastrum1_native bees_home_named_oct 2014

The Bottlebrushs had ants all through them.

bottlebrush_home_named_oct 2014

While this lily had bugs walking around. They were quite camera-shy.

bugs_lily_home_named_oct 2014

The first of the young birds to appear were the Blue-faced Honeyeaters

blue faced honeyeater_young_home_named_oct 2014

While the King Parrots followed me around the garden, whistling to get my attention it seemed.

king parrot01_named_home_oct 2014

Once they saw me looking, they liked to pose for photos and look quite cheeky.

king parrot_named_home_oct 2014

At Brooms Head, the Rainbow Bee Eaters were zooming around the streets, stopping occasionally on the power lines.

rainbow bee eater_brooms head_named_oct 2014

On the way home, just near Ulmarra, we saw the Black-necked Storks stalking around the Clarence River flood shutes. Getting out of the car, the heat of the day was terrible, especially after being cool at Brooms Head beach.

black necked stork_ulmarra_named_oct 2014

The pair just walked away from me. They are lovely big birds.

black necked storks_ulmarra_named_oct 2014

At home, after the Lorikeets had gone up into the eucalypts to feed, the Satin Bowerbird took advantage of the bird bath.

satin bowerbird_named_home_nov 2014

That’s the end of Spring, so now onto Summer. I wonder where this weekends adventure will take me.

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

What happens on a weekend

Some weekends turn up the most amazing things. I like to wander about, discovering…finding that special thing that almost asks for my attention. Well, not all like the limelight….you know – their 15 minutes – in some cases thats probably a life span – so they make things difficult. While others are quite content to show their best sides….or some just pop up at the right moment.

So off we go….as usual if any one know the name for anything in any photo, please let me know.

First, I found this bug who was hard to convince that it was a star. The bug, I call a shield bug, who said “no way I am in too much of a hurry…

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The bug even thought that getting up somewhere high would be a good deterrent from all the attention….

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Did you notice the little photo bomber….that miniscule beetle had three yellow spots on the head area.

The the shield bug decided that if it sat on the lens, it wouldn’t get its photo taken….

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Thought, probably, that a bit of colour to splash around would just be the way to be seen….

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A final close up and it was off to see what was else where around the place….didn’t see it again all day.

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While we are looking at bugs, it is amazing what could be in a flower….a flower as weird-looking as a ginger plant harbours many an insect….remember that little spider in the ginger flower? I couldn’t find anyone in the flower but there has been a very small spider living in here who more than likely has been snatched by a wasp and taken off for “an adventure with the family”….

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There are plenty of insects about at the moment…..so there are quite a number of birds enjoying a morsel or two.

Some of the birds are quite obvious with a sweet melody like the Fig Bird…..

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Other remain in the background

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Others, like the Wonga Pigeon just strut about on their daily ritual

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A bug must have been struggling in the long grass and a Lewins Honeyeater came along, offering the bug a lift…..off he flew…helping the bug. The bug had a great view from the birds beak….the bird is just ready to pick the bug up…

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Amongst the grasses were some quaint little fungi….this mushroom is about the size of a 20c piece….

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I love how birds fluff themselves up…..thats all….

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One of the best things about this time of year, flowers are appearing for summer. You saw the shield bug on the frangipani earlier but I love this hibiscus…the colours and blend of shapes…the colours….

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Hope you enjoyed some of the things I see when I am out and about….