Black and White Photo Challenge – Letters K and L

The Autumn breezes are just right for kites

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An Australian Landscape – looking towards the Comboyne Plateau

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A Lion from London

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The iconic Australian bird the Kookaburra

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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.

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Of course it attracted the native stingless bees

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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……

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

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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.

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

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

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Another tiny native that has the most hairy leaves.

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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.

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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?

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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!!!

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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.

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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?

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

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

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

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

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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.

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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.

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

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

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

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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?

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

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

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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.

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

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

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The Musk Lorikeets returned to feast on the Euodias bounty.

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

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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

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

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

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

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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.

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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

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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

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and blue Agapanthus.

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

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

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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!

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

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

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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.

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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.

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

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

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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.

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

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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.

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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?

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This small dragonfly was almost invisible on the ground.

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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.

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

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This one comes with a bonus grasshopper too.

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

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

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

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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.

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

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

A few thing about April

A couple of time over the past week I have been at the beach. It was very overcast and not all that inviting but usually there is something on the beach that gets my attention. I would have loved to photograph the kangaroos on the beach but high on the headland would have to do.

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There’s something about the water, sand and light that I see but can’t quite get what I want on a photo.

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A rock full of molluscs always attracts attention.

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While eating lunch, a Kookaburra came over to closely check us out.

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The Emerald Dove is so funny. Just walks up the garden path to discover what’s in and around things, sometimes to get a drink out of a saucer under a pot plant.

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The Black-chinned Honeyeaters were ever so cute when they had a washing session.

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The Satin Bowerbird was very vocal while perched above the dam.

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THe rain has been a blessing, bushes started to flower. The Chinaman’s Hat is a bit rude….I think I have been flipped off by a flower

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I love finding insects and spiders in flowers especially when they are so small that you often miss seeing them as you walk by.

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The rain also bought out some interesting fungi. Everyone knows how much I love fungi. This fungi blog is full of them. I have never seen a cup-shaped fungi before.

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And it was so white.

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See you next time.

 

brian

A Birds Eye View

I have always believed the eyes are the windows to the soul. But with birds and animals it appears to be different, sometimes I wonder if anyone is in there and at other times I can see the intent or what I perceive to be intent. What do you feel when looking into the eyes of a bird?

Some of these photos are small but the difference in the eye and the eye ring is quite distinctive.

I guess I’ll start with a Silver Eye –  a bird whose name is its feature.

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Galahs seem to have old eyes

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There are some birds who have a mask like appearance like this finch

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and this duck

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the Fig Bird’s red mask really stands out

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The Noisy Miner only has a small bit of eye decoration

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whereas the Blue Faced Honeyeater’s covers a lot of their head

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A Kookaburras eye is just among its feathers

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A King Parrots eye with a yellow ring stands out in its bright red head

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which is much the same for a Rainbow Lorikeet with a red circle in a sea of blue

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The Black Necked Stork is a spot of yellow in black

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The osprey has an alertness about it

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Many birds eyes have different colours like the Koel

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and White Headed Pigeon

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and Satin Bower Bird

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The Peaceful Dove has blue as well but it’s around the eye

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but sometimes they can look a bit sceptical

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Tawny Frogmouths eyes aren’t open much during the day and are quite squinty

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But the bird with a huge eye is the Pelican….a bit vacant but rather big nevertheless!!

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Thats the journey through the eyes of birds