My Street

This is what happens in my street…..or road actually. I liked the prompt from Dutch Goes The Photo as my street isn’t like anyone elses street, OK perhaps a few.

This is what can happen in my street. Occasionally some of the farmers in my area need to move cattle from one place to another. This time it was a rural event called a Camp Draft where riders try to move cattle in a set pattern.

Here is My Street

170526_streets04As I came out of my driveway, this is what I saw down the road.

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Sending the cattle through the gate.
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The horse wondered what I was doing also making sure I got its best side.
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The dog was working hard.

 

Out and about

Last weekend was a great weekend for wandering about. We did a bit of walking around my street and found lots of things that caught my attention. A drive to Grafton and out to Lawrence yielded many an experience that I love to share with everyone. And of course there was plenty going on around my place as well. Some photos have been already seen by those who like to interact on Twitter as they were too good not to share straight away…..I can be impatient sometimes. So let’s be off…..the sky looked ominous on Saturday morning as we set off on a morning stroll.

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There were birds flying around and chatting from the bush. Usually I seem to get photos of thin air but this time I got the swoop from the tree.

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The spider webs were still out, all shimmery in the morning sun.

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I found lots just walking down the gravel road, just like the little horse from next door who always gallops along the fence as we walk down the street. He is so cute, always wants a rub but you have to keep an eye out as he does like to have a bit of a nip.

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I love wood and the shapes, patterns, colours and things that grow on it. This post just caught my eye.

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The lichen growing on the post at the front gate together with the cracks  looked a treat.

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Further along the road, a tree had fallen in a storm many years ago, throwing the root ball into the air which looked like a modern art sculpture.

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Just out the front of my place there has been a bit of a flush of spring plus the recent rains have bout all sorts of things alive. These little fungi were about the size of a 10 cent piece.

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While this little yellow flower was a bit smaller.

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At this time of year, following the swathes of yellow from the Fringe Wattles, the Dogwoods start to appear. Still in bud, but their little white flowers are getting ready to burst open.

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In the park in Grafton, this white climbing rose had Fairy Wrens, yes those ones from this page, as well as Scarlet Honeyeaters, flitting in and out among the blooms.

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On the drive to Lawrence, we had to stop at a flood shoot of the Clarence River where last year we saw a Black-necked Stork patrolling the water’s edge. This time there wasn’t a stork but a group of ducks paddling along. A mix of Pacific Black Ducks and Hardheads.

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A couple of ducks decided to take off while I was taking the photo. Again for one I was lucky to get them taking off.

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Just up the road there is an Ospreys nest. I have taken photos of it before but this time they have a baby. Here is the adult keeping a lookout while baby looks about constantly squawking. You can just see the small bump in the nest.

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Here is a better look at the young one.

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Back home it was all go in the garden. The Blue-faced Honeyeaters are the bosses of the Honey Gem Grevillea.

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Chasing away everyone who comes for a bit of a snack. The Friarbirds think they own the Grevillea too.

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The Scarlet Honeyeaters dash in for a quick drink of nectar while the bigger birds are busy. The female seemed to be much braver.

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As usual, the Eastern Yellow Robin was always around somewhere making sure the garden was in order.

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There are lots of Red-necked Wallabies cruising around the house and garden. This little bloke is last years Joey still hanging around Mum.

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Meanwhile, Mum was also sampling the delights of the Honey Gem with this years young one keeping a look out from the warmth of the pouch.

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That was last weekend….I wonder what I’ll see this weekend?

More wandering on the weekend

The weekend always brings new discoveries, sights and other things that have been seen before but still can evoke a bit of wonder. There are always birds, insects and animals that I happen upon and yes, as someone asked recently, I do often chase bugs and butterflies to get a photo. This weekend was no exception but I am lucky with the birds as they come to me. Well not to me actually but my besties most wonderful bird bath. We were chatting in the morning with a cuppa where we worked out what birds that drop in have been seen in the bird bath and which ones haven’t had their photo taken. The main ones were, not surprisingly, the raptors – Wedgetailed Eagles, Pacific Baza and the other kites and falcons that whizz through too quickly to identify.

So onto the things that managed to wander into my gaze and camera lens. The start was on Friday evening with a wonderful sunset that was filled with different colours.

I first saw a small piece of red that was one of the reddest reds I have seen.

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The yellows were quite lovely too.

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Saturday morning was filled with many butterflies flitting around the garden. Orchard Butterflies and Azures (possibly) were too fast as were some Awls and Skippers but the Lemon Migrant, I think, stopped for a bit of nectar.

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I didn’t manage to get the wings down to identify properly so a guess at Lemon Migrant will have to do, until someone lets me know what species of butterfly it is.

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As well as butterflies there was a wasp buzzing about so a quick photo was in order, then run ha ha ha

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Of course the dragonfly was just waiting to get its photo taken.

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With all this going on,  a couple of folk were dropping into the bird bath.

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I can’t help but post a couple of more Eastern Yellow Robins as they are so cute and very bright as they chitter chatter around the garden.

This one is “You keep a look out….I’m going in!”

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Even when a bit damp, the Eastern Yellow Robin manages to look resplendent.

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This is the first time that the Noisy Friarbird has dropped in for a quick dip.

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What do you look like when you shake the water from your head?

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The Eastern Rosella was waiting in the trees nearby.

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But finally had its turn which didn’t last long as a Noisy Minor decided that it was his bath time.

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On the way to give PJ his breakfast, a Grey Fantail was doing some post hopping, a quick dart into the air to catch a flying insect or two and back down.

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This time without that serious looking face

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And one more because it is such a happy little bird that always brings a smile at its acrobatics. Ready for take off…

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In another part of the garden, a Green Tree Snake was checking out the garden mulch for any tiny bug that happened upon its path.

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They certainly have big eyes.

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OH, thats right I mentioned PJ didn’t I. PJ is a horse and we finally found out why Mini was putting on weight. At feed time, Mini trots down after everyone is gone to see if there are any gumnuts that PJ has dropped and not yet found. Say hi to Mini and PJ.

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Well that’s about all I discovered last weekend although I am keeping a few photos of the Eastern Whipbird for later. Here’s another look at that fabulous sunset.

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brian

House Sitting, the Horse, the Cow and the Garden

It was a hot summer….almost too hot to be living in a caravan, which was thankfully under these huge Iron Barks which cast shade over a fair bit of the ground…. unfortunately the setting sun blazed onto the least protected side.

But that has nothing to do with what I was thinking about was it…..a downside of the caravan being under the Iron Barks was that the flying foxes loved the nectar from the flowers….interesting fact number 329:- flying foxes can shit whilst flying….seemingly, and especially on caravans in the bush.

Yes I know……the caravan was on a friend’s place while I was looking for somewhere to live and they had taken off for a holiday. While I was there, I started a vege garden, plus other gardens ‘cos thats what I did….always make a garden if I’m staying somewhere for a bit. Especially veges ‘cos its one thing you don’t have to spend money on….Nannas “lessons” in being thrifty somehow emerged from the weirdly assorted filing system my head seems to possess….plus hanging in the garden with Pop hearing all sorts of stories….like the dangers of worms….once they latch on….phew…..over the other side of the house yard, beyond the windrow, was some good soil to start the vege garden.

The soil was a bit sandy….with a bit of feeding and a good talking to, the vege garden started to come on quite well.

Now the vege garden was a bit vulnerable to the house cow…..a very hippy….at least dairy farmers will know what I mean and those from the 60’s and 70’s will have to think anatomy….hippy with a nice disposition, large eyed, huge lashes softly spoken Jersey. One of those cows where you just have to walk into the paddock with a bucket and stool, milk, give her a bit of a pat and walk back without so much of a fuss….can’t think of her name….oh yeah, that one was Jugs….interesting fact number 583:- don’t get a 16 year old boy to name any animal.

One day, I had to move Jugs into the paddock that had some good feed in it…..it was the paddock that adjoins the house yard close to the bit of space where I dug a vege patch. I know what you are thinking already, but I am smarter than a cow and had the fence in good order….in fact there was another small fence around the vege garden to keep out the smaller stuff like possums and rabbits. With that task done, a nice cuppa was in order.

I went back to the caravan, which was heating up in the summer sun…..actually what I did was open up the whole of the canvas annex to try and catch a breeze or two. I built a low wall and frame and made the wall of the annex into a roof so the annex size was doubled and then insect screened the opening. Sitting at the table having a cuppa and doing the crossword puzzle in the Post…Mr Wisdoms Whopper….when I noticed that the horse….oh yeah the owners also had a horse. Seemed to have some fancy idea of saddling up and riding out to check the back 40 or down to the dam out the front and riding into the water after a warm day of riding around…..the horse, it appeared, had other ideas of what a nice day on the property meant. You know those horses…you walk towards the fence with a carrot and at once, the horse comes trotting toward you ready to have a snack, a bit of a rub down and the halter fitted.

Well…that wasn’t this horse…….this horse was just cantankerous, nasty and mean…if you ever got close to it, you got a case of “what the hell am I doings” as a bite or a kick was most likely the outcome of a close encounter. This horse was smart….almost too smart…..and no I can’t remember its name…..something like Prince.

Well I saw this horse walk down the fence line…..had another sip of my tea…..pen poised above 5 Down, when the mental picture of the horse became clearer and yes the fence wires were on the other side of the horse!!!

Interesting fact number 211:- a small rabbit fence is no match for a very large horse with a bad attitude……so there you go it wasn’t the cow who munched in the vege garden….the beans took the biggest hit before my “coaxing” had him galloping back down the track to where he managed to get in……an open gate……now I am sure I latched the gate…..OK I am exaggerating the term gate….it was a Queensland gate….loose wires and a stick with a loop on the post to fasten the stick, tightening the wires. The horse just stood there with its evil eye watching while I picked up the gate, refastened it, making sure the bottom of the stick was in the wire loop on the bottom of the post and top loop was tight……I headed back to the caravan and my cuppa.

It was all of five minutes before I saw the horse trotting back down the fence line…..but at least this time, I was still outside, near the clothesline…..have you ever built one of those old-fashioned clothes lines…the posts in the ground and a moveable cross-bar with a prop to hold the wires up when there is heavy stuff on the line…..I love building stuff…..that probably comes from my other grandfather who was a wheel wright….it’s in the genes I guess.

Well as you can imagine I was off in a flash to head off Steven or whatever its name was from getting back into the vege garden….this time he saw the error of his way and turned around and cantered down the track, through the open gate….wait….the open gate….hmmm something isn’t quite right. I refastened the gate and walked back down the track a little way, stopped and hid behind a tree…..don’t think that was an Iron Bark though…more likely to be a Spotted Gum…..well who should walk to the gate but Roger who proceeded to nudge the wire loop with his nose…..I just walked up to the gate and the horse, who didn’t seem to know I was approaching, such was his intent on opening the gate…..this is the only time I have punched a horse….no not a solid whack ‘cos a horses head is rather hard….just enough to release my frustration and to scare the bejesus out of the horse…..now the gate had an added bit of wire to keep it shut…..you have to be inventive don’t you?

A few days later, further into the hot summer, the corn was now looming large with ears that looked very yummy….the silks blowing in the afternoon breeze while I watered and picked off the bugs that were trying to get a free snack…..an ideal scene…..a very tempting scene you think?

During the night, I wandered out of the caravan and down to the dunny…….it was almost a classic out doors dunny….tin sides and an old real dunny door with a wooden seat on a tin….and in the moonlight could make out the shape…..something big down the house yard beyond the windrow and in the vege garden…….JUGS!! I shouted but her intention was obvious…..eat as much corn as possible.

The fence was no longer rabbit proof, other vegetables were either tasted or stomped as this lovely cow, raising her head with a stalk of my corn hanging from her mouth and huge soft brown eyes looking with as much innocence as she could muster, Jugs then went back to her task at hand.

Again, a bit of gentle coaxing….Jugs was a sucker for a bucket of hay and grain…..I had her on her way down the track and back into the front paddock with a now grumpier than ever horse.

Morning saw the extent of the damage……a tomato or two survived as did most of the autumn seedlings….and I had a meal or two of corn.

Interesting fact number 478:- Make a vege garden and they will come!!