Geoffs Garden

My last post, can be viewed here, I mentioned my elderly neighbour Geoff had died. He was a good friend who often came for a cuppa on the verandah on a Sunday to tell of his latest addition to his chooks or what was happening in his garden or have a whinge about his “situation” (I am not going into that as it is too personal and also makes me too angry). He often told of his life, which was very often repeated, where he worked and of his family. One of the amazing coincidences was that we both went to the same High School, although he was there around 21 years before me. He was a great friend to me. Geoff was a Boilermaker by trade and his skills in doing things that i had no idea about, helped my development as a “man of the land”. I helped him in showing him the ways of nature and how the place we live in was very special, possibly developing him as a “bushboy”

There are many a story from the old days but in this I am relating the story of Geoff the gardener whose plants I have in my garden. When Geoff was to go into aged care as he really needed to have the caring he needed, he said to me “come and get as many plants and cuttings as you want” although his family (a cousin and niece as he never married or had any female relationships) did frown upon my doing so.

One of the things he said was that if he died he was leaving me his chooks in his will. Just before he left he asked me to come and get his chooks. A couple are still here, see this link, and are another reminder of Geoff.

Some of the plants I did go to Geoffs’ place and get are flowering and others are well and healthy.

This is his garden. I never took my camera to his place but I did a couple of times. So please enjoy Geoffs Garden.

This is the way into Geoffs place. The power lines to the left are a clearing and the main garden is on the right
geoffs garden_driveway_named_oct 2017
The sign at the front. Geoff said it meant the Gates of Heaven but if my Italian is correct it means Sky Harbour. I didn’t have the heart to tell him it should have been Porte del Cielogeoffs garden_property name_named_oct 2017
This is the only small piece of his garden that I have. The Hippeastrums that year were splendid.geoffs garden_view_named_oct 2017

Geoff  had some Australian native plants in his garden. The Candle Banksia was one my favourites
geoffs garden_candle banksia_named_oct 2017

There were some Grevilleas but not as many as I have.
geoffs garden_grevillea_named_oct 2017

He had a lot of birds at his place as well. Brown Honeyeaters enjoyed his Grevilleas.
geoffs garden_grevillea_brown honeyeater_named_oct 2017

One thing he enjoyed was a huge dish he filled with Sunflower seed, much to my displeasure. I bought him a wild bird mix as it was healthier for the birds but he persisted with his sunflower seeds. His verandah was always overflowing with sunflower seed husks that the Rainbow Lorikeets, King Parrots and other birds came to his place and feed. The King Parrots still hang around my place but the number of Rainbow Lorikeets has dropped. I don’t have any photos of his big bowl bird feeder.

OK. Back to his garden. These are a selection of his day Lilies. He loved the Port Wine Lily best. I hope I have one of these to remember him by.
geoffs garden_day lily01_named_oct 2017

If you look in the background, you can see some of his chooks as well.
geoffs garden_day lily03_named_oct 2017

It was a bit of pot luck in getting some of the day lilies as he wasn’t very well and couldn’t remember which plant was which until it flowered. The Yellow Day Lily was a lovely splash of yellow in his garden.
geoffs garden_day lily02_named_oct 2017

The pink variety was stunning to come across wandering about Geoffs Garden.
geoffs garden_day lily04_named_oct 2017

I have had a number of the Leopard Lilies in my garden. One of the first plants he gave me.
geoffs garden_leopard lily_named_oct 2017

At the back of his house he built a garden complete with rocks he made from concrete. After a few years you couldn’t tell that they weren’t real bush rocks. Among these “rocks” Geoff planted Golden Lycras. When they flowered the back garden was a blaze with yellow. I have so many around my garden as he was always lifting the bulbs and giving them away.
geoffs garden_golden lycras_named_oct 2017

Here is the Iris which has been on a number of my posts but not from this angle.
geoffs garden_iris_top_named_oct 2017

The Iris with bonus Stingless Native Bees who loved the Iris
geoffs garden_iris_bees_named_oct 2017

Geoff had a nice selection of Gerberas. This one was a rare Gerbera he had.
geoffs garden_gerbera apricot_named_oct 2017

The pink Gerbera really stood out in the garden.
geoffs garden_gerbera pink_named_oct 2017

Geoffs favourite flower probably was Hippeastrums. His garden was filled with all colours of Hippeastrums. It is a pity I don’t have a full record of these wonderful flowers.
geoffs garden_hippeastrum03_named_oct 2017

This Hippeastrum is currently blooming in the pot that I collected from Geoffs Garden
geoffs garden_hippeastrum01_named_oct 2017

The orange Hippeastrum was unusual.
geoffs garden_hippeastrum05_named_oct 2017

Another stunning colour
geoffs garden_hippeastrum06_named_oct 2017

This is one of my favourites.
geoffs garden_hippeastrum04_named_oct 2017

The almost white Hippeastrum is another rare one. Geoff also had a green Hippeastrum but I couldn’t remember which part of his garden the flower was in.
geoffs garden_hippeastrum02_named_oct 2017

Geoff loved the fragrance of Frangipannis.
geoffs garden_frangipani_white_named_oct 2017

This Frangipanni greeted you as you came up the driveway to the house.
geoffs garden_frangipani_apricot_named_oct 2017
Finally, here is Geoff just a short while before he had to go into care. He was a crusty old coot but a good friend.

Good bye mate

geoff_named_oct 2017

This is September: the other bits

Well here is the second installment of This is September. Here is an assortment of stuff but mainly nature.

First off I’d like to let you know my sad news. My elderly neighbour and good friend Geoff, the bloke who gave me this beautiful Iris, died earlier this week. I have so many plants from his wonderful garden, perhaps a future blog, that I will always have good memories especially when the plants flower and spread sunshine to my garden.
iris_geoffs_named_home_sept 2017

I might as well stay on the flowers that managed to bloom despite the lack of rain. Orange Trumpet flowers hang from the shed.
orange trumpet flower_named_home_sept 2017

The Bromiliad flowers are most unusual
bromiliad flower_named_home_sept 2017

The Pansys battled on with a watering every now and then.
pansy_yellow_named_binna burra_sept 2017

I like the lion face in this Pansy
pansy_orange_named_binna burra_sept 2017

The Rose Geraniums flowered looking so spectacular dotted through the garden
rose geranium_named_home_sept 2017

Most of the flowers also had other things happening too. Can you find the insect on the Westringia? Hint it’s a bee
westringia_named_home-sept 2017

The butterflies liked resting on the Westringia. Not sure if this is a Grass Dart or a Skipper
grass dart or skipper_named_home_sept 2017

Stingless Native Bees were a buzz about the Orange Trumpet flowers.
orange trumpet flower_stingless native bees_named_home_sept 2017

Other bees likes to get among the Grevilleas
bee_honey gem_named_home_sept 2017

The Wisteria came out to bloom for a few weeks. Wanderer Butterflies were attracted to the flowers perfume.
wanderer butterfly_wisteria_named_binna burra_sept 2017

Another sign of Spring is Orchard Swallowtails in the garden.
orchard swallowtail butterfly01_named_binna burra_sept 2017

One of the biggest butterflies that come around the garden.
orchard swallowtail butterfly02_side_named_binna burra_sept 2017

Some moths are hard to find when they sit on the ground
moth hidden_named_home_august 2017

Other butterflies are rather small like this Barred Skipper who didn’t mind resting on a leaf
barred skipper_named_home_sept 2017

Do you remember the Assassin Bug photo? Here is the full photo
assasin bug_bananas_named_home_sept 2017

Come warmer weather, spider webs appear. The St Andrews Cross Spider didn’t quite get the “this is what a cross looks like” memo
st andrews cross spider_web_named_home_sept 2017

I din’t think he cares very much
st andrews cross spider_named_home_sept 2017

Insects are everywhere. Some like to see what you are doing on the computer
insect on screen_named_home_sept 2017

Just a fly sitting on a leaf
fly_named_binna burra_sept 2017

An ant scurried away when it saw the camera
ant_pentas_named_home_sept 2017

A Common Yellow Butterfly shows the birds how to hide among the leaves
common yellow butterfly_named_home_sept 2017

Some leaves look  wonderful. The colours the White Fig leaves turn merge so well
leaf_fig_named_home_sept 2017

The sunlight on the Bottlebrush leaf drew my attention. This is without the photo bombing bee
bottlebrush_leaf_colour_named_home_sept 2017

The Bloodwood Tree nuts litter the forest floor
bloodwood nuts_named_home_sept 2017

On a walk we came across a Spotted Gum with interesting bark patterns and lumps. What can you see?
tree bumps_named_home_sept 2017

The Ironbark looked like it had a claw emerging down its trunk.
tree claw_named_home_sept 2017

Can you see a cat?
tree cat_named_home_sept 2017

We saw a bear…can you?
tree bear_named_home_sept 2017

The Silk Tree pods are like orange velvet in the tree tops
silk tree pod_named_binna burra_sept 2017

Sometimes the pods drop with their seeds intact
silk tree pod_seeds_named_binna burra_sept 2017

The Agave looked lovely in the morning sun
agave_pot_named_home_sept 2017

The Skink hung on to the bricks as it surveyed the scene on the church in Grafton
skink_named_grafton_sept 2017

The Joeys are now too big to fit in the pouch any more
red necked wallaby_joey_named_home_sept 2017
The Spring sunsets have been amazingsunset01_named_binna burra_sept 2017

The sun is almost gone so it’s time to say see ya later.
sunset02_named_binna burra_sept 2017

Black and White Sunday: Before and After

It is interesting to see the same photo in black and white and in colour. What is your favourite?

In days gone by, I am sure someone has a black and white photo of the old horse  drawn trolley bus.
170718_bandw challenge_before and after_trolley

It has been lovingly restored and you can still take a short ride when it is available.
170718_bandw challenge_before and after_trolley1

I took these two photos this afternoon thinking of the Before and After photo challenge. The Iris is one of my favourites that I was given from my elderly neighbour before he went into care
170718_bandw challenge_before and after_iris1

The colours are stunning
170718_bandw challenge_before and after_iris

mergeyes_widget

Pick your favourite from other photographers contributions at Lost in Translation

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.

As I wander about

It’s been ages since I have had time to get things sorted, to take time for things and actually sit down to set out to write a bit. I have been taking photos of all manner of stuff – as you will see. It is difficult to have a clear pathway of thoughts, to put ideas down and try to make sense so that you can follow where I have been and what I have seen. Many a time I just take off to see what I can discover and see something that I find interesting, colourful or part of our world that some people would just walk by everyday and not think of the beauty. Perhaps I look at the world in a different way, to imagine in my head what I see, grab my camera and let the lens take me where I think it should go. Enough of a jumble of thoughts – as The Beatles sang

“Thoughts meander like a restless wind
Inside a letter box
They tumble blindly as they make their way
Across the universe”

So lets go across the universe or through a small part of my world. Starting at the beginning. Early one misty morning, some rogue cattle were walking along the road when we was taking a walk.

cattle_duroux rd_named_august 2015

Further down the road, the spiders webs were all through patches of grass. Small cup shaped webs dotted the side of the road in their hundreds.

spider webs_purgatory ck rd_named_august 2015

As it is still rather cool here I am still out in the bush every couple of weeks to cut some firewood. One morning I noticed the White-winged Choughs doing their daily march along the clearing with their incessent chatter as they kicked over sticks and rocks looking for their breakfast. They had an almost straight line as they marched up the hill.

white winged choughs_named_home_sept 2015

Sometimes you can look up and see a Spangled Drongo fly past the moon, even in the late afternoon.

spangled drongo_moon_binna burra_july 2015

I though the Bellwood Cormorant Hotel was rather fab but the double decker Osprey nest near Chinderah has a far better vantage point.

osprey nest_named_chindara_august 2015

While we were having lunch in the Tweed Heads industrial/shopping complex, we watched as a bird swooped across the car park, grab what we think was a lizard and go back to the roof top and eat away. After I took the photo (OK I took heaps of photos), I discovered it was an Australian or Nankeen Kestral. What a pretty bird don’t you think?

nankeen kesral_named_tweed heads_august 2015

Speaking of pretty, the Emerald Doves are out and about in numbers at the moment. This bird was not all that content having me stalk it to try and get a good photo.

emerald dove_named_binna burra_august 2015

It stuck its bum in the air as if to say “Go on….take a photo of my best side!!!”

emerald dove_rear_named_binna burra_august 2015

This little bird was sitting in the tree singing its little lungs out.

honeyeater_banora_named_august 2015

Having a cuppa on the verandah one morning, one of the local King Parrots decided to pop over and see if we had any snacks.

king parrot_named_home_august 2015

The Bar-shouldered Dove didn’t seem to mind the Brush Turkeys leaf raking exercise. The turkey was flicking leaves so high into the air! The turkey’s litter mound is about 5 meters away from where it was methodically raking leaves.

bar shouldered dove_brush turkey_named_binna burra_august 2015

One morning I found a Rainbow Lorikeet sitting on the ladder in the old swimming pool looking rather grumpy.

rainbow lorikeet_named_home_july 2015

OK….now this is where things take a different direction for a while. One day we decided to walk across the Clarence River on the walkway under the Grafton Bridge. The structure has been graffitied over the years and the layers of paint with a bit of rust made lovely colours and patterns.

rust01_grafton bridge_named_august 2015

I like the rust colours.

rust02_grafton bridge_named_august 2015

This green almost looked like moss.

rust03_grafton bridge_named_august 2015

One of the hundred of thousand rivets holding te bridge together. Small but significent.

rust04_grafton bridge_named_august 2015

The walkway along the bridge also had two tunnels at either end which have always been “decorated”. Sometimes some of the graffiti has to be added to doesn’t it?

graffiti_grafton_named_august 2015

Othertimes the message is what everyone needs to hear.

graffiti_named_grafton_august 2015

One of my favourite cafes in Grafton is the Tilted Teaspoon. Skye has a wonderful sense of decoration with ever changing bits and pieces gleaned from Op-Shops and garage sales.

old case_named_grafton_august 2015

The water below the bridge has shapes that change as the water ripples from passing water craft. This one is rather spooky.

ghost face_named_grafton_august 2015

Speaking of spooky, what is the blue flash that appeared in my besties loungeroom?

ghost room_named_august 2015

I love the “eye lashes” on the bullet hole in the road sign.

bullet hole sign_purgatory ck rd_named_august 2015

Enough of the different stuff and back to colour and nature. The red flower of the eucalypt just seems to burst in a riot of colour.

red flower_named_grafton_august 2015

One of the first flowers that I started to photograph many years ago were the Azalias of the next door neighbours. They had so many varieties that cascaded over the front suburban fence. The colours were superb. My besties Azalias have been a wonderful splash of colour around her garden. The deep pink flowers are lovely. One of the surprises when taking photos is the unexpected bits that are in and around the flowers.

azalia_dark pink_named_binna burra_august 2015

This flower was hidden inside the same bush as the pink one above.

azalia_pink_named_binna burra_august 2015

The red Azalias are such a stand out in the garden.

azalia_red_named_binna burra_august 2015

The Irises are dotted through the garden not being showy but adding a bit to the shape and form in the garden. It also is the home for a small spider.

iris_named_binna burra_august 2015

The lillies come in a range of colours. I love these ones.

flower_named_binna burra_august 2015

The yellow Day Lilies bring that end of the spectrum to the garden as they stand tall in the sunshine.

day lily_named_binna burra_august 2015

The undersides are just as impressive.

day lily01_named_binna burra_august 2015

The Nastursiums are just starting to appear. I love their colours and shapes as the sit low in the garden trailing over rocks, logs and borders.

nastursium_named_binna burra_august 2015

The Pentas are wonderful as so many little flowers gather together in a ball of colour.

pentas_pink_named_binna burra_august 2015

These flowers like to look at what is going on at ground level. The little bells cluster together.

flower02_named_binna burra_august 2015

This is such a tight ball of very small flowers that have such a lovely scent as you brush past.

flower01_named_binna burra_august 2015

The orchids are out now as well. Again, this flower is so small as it spikes out from the plant with it’s almost see through petals.

orchid_named_binna burra_august 2015

Walking about, it is always good to look up. The shapes colours and forms of the Foam Bark leaves are great.

foam bark leaves_named_binna burra_august 2015

A good discovery walk wouldn’t be complete without a fungi find. I have never seen a pink fungi before, have you?

fungus_pink_named_binna burra_august 2015

The fire has been lit, giving its colours that always surprise.

fire03_named_binna burra_august 2015

Or the swirling shapes where you can see so many different things. What can you see?

fire02_named_binna burra_august 2015

Looking deep inside the fire.

fire01_named_binna burra_august 2015

The Moon was smiling that night. A glowing grin in the sky.

moon_named_august 2015

Well it’s time to sweep and tidy up before I get going. See you next time OK

works done_named_grafton_august 2015

“Limitless undying love
Which shines around me like a million suns
It calls me on and on across the universe”