The Flower and the Bees

The challenge is shallow depth of field52 Weeks Photo Challenge: Week 32

The Hippeastrum is a fabulous flower to photo. Its large bell shaped flowers and striking colours give many an opportunity for some great photos. Throw in some Stingless Native Bees and you look into a busy tiny world.

The flowers are male and female. This is a female flower with the stigma ready for some pollen.

hippiastrum_native bees_sdof04

This is a male with the anthers full of pollen

hippiastrum_native bees_sdof03

All we need are some bees. Look how full the bees pollen baskets are.

hippiastrum_native bees_sdof01

Once a flower is found the tiny bees come to collect the pollen.

hippiastrum_native bees_sdof05

I wonder if they know there’s a spider in there.

hippiastrum_native bees_sdof02

 

These are Dragonflies

Ever since I managed to get a photo of a flying dragonfly with one of my first cameras, a Canon Tlb, I have loved seeing dragonflies flitting about. I am lucky to have an assortment of dragonflies on my property. Many an hour has been spent at the dam or chasing a dragonfly about the garden trying to get that great dragonfly photo.

Unfortunately I don’t know the names of many of the dragonflies I have captured but once I have published this post, I am sure there are people who will let me know their names.

I love the different shapes and colours of dragonflies. This is a slender dragonfly not the usual bigger ones I see.

170315_dragonfly blog_slender on plant

I found this one sitting on the flower in the dam. I love the reflection in the water.

170315_dragonfly blog_on water_reflection

The yellow dragonflies like to sit on the ground

170315_dragonfly blog_yelllow black on ground

“Don’t touch my stick”

170315_dragonfly blog_yelllow black on stick

They do like to hang onto the reeds in the dam too

170315_dragonfly blog_yelllow black on reed

I don’t see the orange (ish) dragonflies much

170315_dragonfly blog_yellow on stick

They like to stay out of the rain

170315_dragonfly blog_in the rain

But the red and blue dragonflies are always around

170315_dragonfly blog_blue on stick

170315_dragonfly blog_red on stick01

Dragonflies look very interesting up close

170315_dragonfly blog_red on stick

Dragonflies can also be interesting from afar. I was taking some photos of the Honey Gem Grevillia and didn’t notice that I had been photo-bombed by a dragonfly

170315_dragonfly blog_flying

Some dragonflies sit with their tails a bit bent

170315_dragonfly blog_orange wing on stick

Others like their tails up especially the ones with spotted wings

170315_dragonfly blog_spotted wings

There is always a chance encounter with a couple of dragonflies who like to “enjoy” each others company

170315_dragonfly blog_sex

I was chasing a dragonfly around my besties garden when I sat down on the deck when suddenly the dragonfly appeared. I think he was checking me out.

170315_dragonfly blog_peekaboo

Did you enjoy my dragonflies?

 

Cee’s Black and White Photo Challenge – Letters C or D

For this photo challenge I have dug around for some insects. The difference in a black and white photo from the colour insects can have can be quite remarkable. These two photos aren’t that remarkable in colour. They have translated well into black and white I feel.

170314_bandw challenge_cicada

The top down view of a Cicada

170314_bandw challenge_dragonfly

The Dragonfly was sitting quite high in the tree

 

Birds. Bugs, Flowers and Things

I love it when I have a mixed lot of photos I have taken. This blog does contain a lot of birds and things that have been previously in past blogs but they keep doing things that are different or I just like the photo and hope you do too. There is one photo that has something different from the usual photos, can you spot it?

The weather over winter and early spring has been dry with some hot days and some windy days. Since 1 August to end of October there only a couple of days where there was good rainfall, but only 14 days of rain over 3 months. Some of the flowering plants have enjoyed the dry. This year the bottlebrushes and paperbarks have had the best flowering ever.

One of the things I like to photograph is when I can see faces in things. These are a couple I have seen lately. Can you see the faces too? The first on was taken at the beach during a walk after a North Coast Landcare get together.

Can you see a dog?

dog-rock_named_coffs-harbour_oct-2016

Sometimes the faces can seem rather scary. I had a feeling that someone was watching me.

tree-face_named_-sept-2016

The Red-necked Wallabies have had a bumper Joey season this year, so it may indicate that the grass in the paddocks will soon turn green and there will be a good summer. These two were eating beside the veranda where there are patches of feed. The Joey may be too big for the pouch but still likes to get a drink from Mum.

red-necked-wallabies_named_home_oct-2016

One plant that has had a fabulous flowering this year has been the Native Frangipanni. The birds and insects are always around the tree in the early morning and late evening.

native-frangapanni_named_home_oct-2016

My besties garden always has flowers as the rainfall there is much better than at my place. I love the way that this flower seems to explode towards you.

flower_named_binna-burra_oct-2016

The colours of this small flower are stunning adding a splash of colour throughout the garden.

flower02_named_binna-burra_oct-2016

My hanging pot of bromeliads have never had so many of these striking red flowers. I counted six flowers around the hanging pot. Yes that is a bird’s nest I found on the ground and was placed in the pot.

bromiliad-red-flowers_named_home_oct-2016

I wanted a few flowers around and planted some Alyssum seeds and they all came up giving cascades of white flowers from the many pots they were planted in. There were bees and this Hover Fly (I think) buzzing around. What a golden coloured fly!!!

hover-fly_named_home_oct-2106

Other visitors to the Alyssum flowers were small butterflies. I managed to get a photo of the Ochre Butterfly before is zoomed off to another flower in the garden.

ochre_named_home_oct-2016

You can see how dry the ground was when I took a photo of a Meadow Argus. They prefer to land on the ground. The underside of their wings seem fluffy and dull…..

meadow-argus02_named_home_oct-2016

….but the inside wings are very colourful.

meadow-argus03_named_home_oct-2016

In late October the Caper White Butterflies started to fly through my place on their migration to SE Queensland. They have been constantly been in the garden since then. The Pentas is a great butterfly attracting bush.

caper-white-butterfly05_named_home_oct-2016

While walking around Grafton we spied some bee activity around a large Camphor Laurel. I am glad they were too busy to notice me trying to get some photos. When we went back a couple of weeks later there weren’t many bees around at all. Sadly I suspect the Council may have sprayed the nest.

bee-hive_named_grafton_oct-2016

The coming of warm days brings out the insects. There are a good number of varieties of flys at the moment. This brown fly spent some time walking around the rim of the jug on the window sill.

fly_named_home_oct-2016

While this insect preferred the window to walk about.

insect_named_home_sept-2016

The garden also has its share of insects and bugs. I love the colours on this beetle, don’t you?.

insect_named_binna-burra_oct-2016

The Dragonflies are swooping around the garden and the dams. This is the blue variety. I  think will do a blog just on Dragonflies as I have some other varieties.

dragonfly_named_home_oct-2016

I just had to include another White-throated Honeyeater and the hanging watering come small bird birdbath pot. He looks to be saying “Ok mate, where’s my water!!!”

white-throated-honeyeater_named_home_oct-2016

On the walk along the beach I spotted some birds sitting on some rock off the shore. The Pied Cormorants were doing their washing.

cormorants_named_coffs-harbour_oct-2016

Here is bird number 91 I have identified on my place. (I say “I” but has been a team effort from lots of people in my network.) The Common Bronzewing was just strolling along but I managed to get a not very good photo.

common-bronzewing_named_home_oct-2016

Back at the beach walk, on the way down to the beach through the dune I saw a New Holland Honeyeater gathering material for the nest.I’m sure the spider didn’t mind a bit of web taken.

new-holland-honeyeater_named_coffs-harbour_oct-2016

Isn’t it funny how birds can have their heads looking back. The Brown Pigeon was certainly keeping an eye on me.

brown-oigeon_named_binna-burra_oct-2016

Amongst the vegetation, chit chatting away the Eastern Whipbird foraged for insects. Their distinctive whip crack call (from You Tube by Linda Hansbauer) many people know but when they are on the ground bustling about the have an insane cackle going on.

eastern-whip-bird_named_binna-burra_oct-2016

The most elusive bird at my besties is the Green Catbird and I am always excited when I find a Catbird amongst the foliage.

cat-bird_named_binna-burra_oct-2016

In Spring, the Figbirds arrive at my place. Late one afternoon I found this pair cosying up for the night among the branches of the fig tree.

figbirds_named_home_oct-2016

Of course you have seen lots of Blue-faced Honeyeaters on the Honey Gem Grevillea in my previous blogs but the way they can have a snack upside down always fascinates me.

blue-faced-honeyeater_named_home_oct-2016

The Yellow-faced Honeyeater is contemplating the first flower on a Grevillea I planted a few years ago. I will have to try to find out the name of this Grevillea.

yellow-faced-honeyeater_named_home_oct-2016

The Tawny Frogmouth (or it may be a Marbled Frogmouth) has the most basic of nests. Just a few twigs thrown onto a flattish spot in a tree. This bird hatched two babies.

tawny-frogmouth_named_binna-burra_oct-2016

Late in the evening, a walk along the shore at Ballina saw many pelicans coming in to roost. First stopping on the light post to make sure the fishermen weren’t cleaning their catch. It’s almost time to go….

pelican_named_ballina_sept-2016

…..the moon is up casting a glow so I must be off. See you next time.

moon_named_oct-2016

Spring brings life

Spring has begun and is almost over so I better get going and post some of my world in spring so far. There has been a lot happening, too many photos to sort through and making time to write, sort, edit and get it out!!!!

My old friend a few properties down the street is no longer able to care for himself and has gone into a care facility. His garden has been a source of inspiration and his help has made my garden a better place. He was always coming with bulbs, seeds or cuttings some of which have survived the dry periods and some just reappear much to my amazement.

This Iris was one of the first things I saw as I visited him before he left. A stunning splash of purple.

iris_geoffs_named_home_sept-2016

Of course it attracted the native stingless bees

bees_iris_geoffs_named_home_sept-2016

The Grevilleas begin to bud at the start of spring. They don’t look as spectacular as the flowers but have a certain furry interest……

grevillea-bud_named_home_sept-2016

….and then they bloom into the most fantastic flower displaying many hues and colours.

grevillea-flower_geoffs_named_home_sept-2016

The Honey Gem attracts so many birds to my garden but when you look closely you find some of the smaller creatures in my garden.

insect_honey-gem_named_home_sept-2016

Throughout the bush around my place, the yellows and oranges of the Jacksonias splash colour into the bush.

jacksonia_named_home_sept-2016

I love the tiny native flowers that appear throughout the bush. This tiny yellow flower is about 10mm in diameter.

flower_yellow_named_home_sept-2016

Another tiny native that has the most hairy leaves.

flower_yellow_orange_named_home_sept-2016

I am amazed that the lichen has regenerated from what looked like a dead blob in the grass. A small amount of rain bought it to life.

lichen_named_home_aug-2016

This is part of my “front lawn” I don’t have much grass and what is here is native grasses. I rarely cut the grass as there are so many tiny flowers that either grow at ground level or are on small stalks. This moss has gone to seed or is it the flowers?

moss_named_home_sept-2106

Come spring everyone wakes up. Some like to prowl around the garden and “back yard” looking for things to eat. This bloke was looking for my chooks eggs!!!

goanna_named_home_sept-2016

One day coming home from town, there was a raucous noise and the sky suddenly was dotted with a huge flock of Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos. This year there has seemed to be lots of them around. Sometimes in large flock or in just a few, screeching as they wheel about the sky.

yellow-tailed-black-cockatoo_group01_named_south-grafton_sept-2016

I spent ages by the side of the road watching the Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos argue of the best perch and change trees to find something to eat. Their aerobatics are superb don’t you think?

yellow-tailed-black-cockatoo01_named_south-grafton_sept-2016

I am the boss of this tree and can see for kilometers.

yellow-tailed-black-cockatoo_named_binna-burra_sept-2016

Ahh….there is nothing as good as a pine cone.

yellow-tailed-black-cockatoo02_named_home_sept-2016

Heralding in the morning, Kookaburras fill the air with their call. I love the bit of blue on their wings.

kookaburra_named_home_sept-2016

The beautiful call of the Grey Shrike Thrush is such a pleasant change from the usual suspects, Friarbirds, Blue-faced Honeyeaters and Ravens.

grey-shrike-thrush_named_home_sept-2016

At my besties, the Emerald doves pop in for a quick drink from the bird bath. THe shimmer of green is eye-catching as they move through the bush.

emerald-dove_named_binna-burra_sept-2016

A rare visitor to my road were these Crimson Rosellas. The bloke up the road put out feed for his horses and a flock of Rosellas dropped in for lunch.

crimson-rosellas_named_home_sept-2016

Their colours are very striking. The red can be seen from a distance s they jumped about among the horses.

crimson-rosella01_named_home_sept-2016

On a walk up the road, I found a Blue-faced Honeyeaters nest. As I was watching it became change over time.

blue-faced-honeyeaters_nest_named_home_sept-2016

A keen eye was kept on me before he settled onto the nest.

blue-faced-honeyeater_nest_named_home_sept-2016

The best part was the Rainbow Bee Eaters as they swooped around. I played around with my photo program to see if I could get a different effect.

rainbow-bee-eater_named_home_sept-2016

Thanks for hanging out with me for a while.

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

Februarys butterflies

There has been so much happening this month it is impossible to put into one blog. February is when everything has come alive and this year, the rains have come bringing life to my place. There has been a lot of new birds and insects being spotted which gladdens my heart. I must be doing something right with my own small piece of this world.

The main thing that I have found is there are more butterflies than ever before. Actually some more varieties of butterflies. As I have written in previous blogs, I have spotted quite a few butterflies but they have been around the north coast of NSW, at my besties place, as well as other places I found when we have been wandering around. I haven’t included some of the ones I have put in my other February blogs so this is just the others I have managed to photograph. One of these days I am going to get a photo of the Blue Triangles which fly so fast and don’t seem to rest when I am around.

So let’s get going, I hope I have named them correctly.

I’ll start with the Blue Tiger, a butterfly I found in Ballina. There were quite a number flying around the coastal vegetation and as it was late in the afternoon, quite happy to sit for ages.

blue tiger butterfly01_named_ballina_feb 2015

The names of the butterflies around my garden are bird related. There has been quite a number of Common Albatrosses which seemed to disappear as they look white when flying but at rest they are a yellow colour. The inside of the wings are white.

common albatross_named_home_feb 2015

The other bird named butterfly is the Australian Gull. I have a number of photos and they look different in each one. This poor old one looks a bit ragged doesn’t it?

australian gull01_named_home_feb 2015

This one looks a bit healthier.

australian gull butterfly_named_home_feb 2015

This photo shows the inside of the wings a bit better.

australian gull butterfly_named_home_feb 2015

The Common Jezabel has been around the garden for a while and tends to rest with its wings open.

common jezabel_named_home_feb 2015

Of course there has been Wanderers floating about. I rescued one from a Night Spiders very very sticky web one afternoon.

wanderer butterfly_named_binna burra_feb 2015

My favourite is the Northern Jezabel as I saw a flash of red as it settled on the Pink Euodia.

northern jezabel butterfly_named_home_feb 2015

I hope I get to find some more butterflies this weekend.

An assortment of things I found around here

This is a quick look at some things I have discovered in January. I have a lot of photos from last weekend but I haven’t had time to sort through them yet, so the final “Things of January” will have to wait for a while. It is amazing what you can find when you stop on the way home, mainly to check out the clouds and mist that was hovering over the Ranges after the storms. I have seen these flowers growing on the side of the road and in the bush around home but have never looked at them closely as they were just purple flowers on a long stalk that seemed to grow everywhere.
February 2017 – New information came in that the flower is a Veined Verbena from South America. Someone doing a search found my blog and the purple flower and let me know what it is, thanks Chris.

This is what the flower, Veined Verbena, by the side of the road looks like close up.

flower_roadside_jackadgery_named_jan 2015

At the back door an industrious wasp set about building a mud tube. I waited for a couple of hours but it never came back to finish the construction.

mud tube_named_home_jan 2015

I am always looking for interesting shapes and patterns in nature. This moth is rather incredible even though it is a bit damaged.

moth_named_home_jan 2015

On a drive down to the Clarence River, I came across this Bearded Dragon hanging onto the fence post. I am sure it wanted to run off but sat very still while I took some photos. The left hand side back leg was just hanging free. When I got back into the car, I looked around and he was gone lol.

bearded dragon_named_jackadgery_jan 2015

The Fig Birds have been hanging around for longer than they have in past years. The fig tree in the garden had lots of figs this year but they had already gone when I took this photo. The Euodia hadn’t flowered yet let alone have berries.

fig bird_named_home_jan 2015

This year the Little Friarbirds have been around when the bigger Friarbirds have not been in the garden as often.

little friarbird_named_home_jan 2015

While doing a bit of bush regeneration at my besties place we came upon a bush under a large pine tree after we cleared away an abundance of Lantana. Thanks to Dr Dave Watson (@DOCTOR_Dave) who let me know it is a Caper Berry flower. The seed was probably dropped by a bird as there aren’t any other large or flowering bushes nearby. There are some surrounding properties that have planted rainforest plants as well as the thousands planted on my besties property.  Beautiful flower isn’t it?

caper berry flower_named_binna burra_jan 2015

When I went down to feed the chooks, I came across this Cicada emerging from its shell. They are rather prehistoric looking aren’t they?

cicada_named_home_jan 2015

That’s all for this blog of January’s “item of interest”. Stand by or actually have a seat until the next blog of January’s photos and stuff.