Raspberry Lookout 1 March 2020

Raspberry Lookout. One of my favourite places to go and have a picnic and chill for a while. I have featured the lookout in past posts but never in a whole post.

We went from my place up the Gibraltar Range to see what had happened there since October 2019. The fires had burnt through there and eventually came down the mountains to my place. As it is a wonderful place to see, I could not bring myself to drive along the highway to Raspberry as the memories of such a special place for me would have had me in tears I reckon. Couldn’t go there anyway as the highway was closed until late January. The amount of very big trees that had burnt down and fallen across the road was amazing. They are still removing trees and fixing protective road barriers.

It has taken me until now to be able to write and show you the photos from the lookout. This is just Raspberry Lookout not the drive up or down the mountain. As they were working there wasn’t the opportunity to stop. I was very heartened by the recovery that had taken place so come on, lets have a look around Raspberry Lookout.

This is the view from Raspberry Lookout. You can see where the fires had been. Some parts of the countryside were patches of rainforestview_named_raspberry lookout_march 2020
In case you were uncertain what to look for, here’s a bit of a close up. Usually this is lush forest and you cannot see the bare ground. Some of the gully lines contained species of rainforest plants. There weren’t many birds to be seen or hear. It was eerily silent.forest_burnt_named_raspberry lookout_march 2020
This ridge line is showing signs of recovery. The ridge behind is what it will look like again.fire_scarred_trees_named_raspberry lookout_march 2020
One of the first to appear after a fire are the fungi. There were a number of these tiny orange fungi dotted through the bush.fungi_small_orange_named_raspberry lookout_march 2020
This fungus was sending a message of love and hopefungi_heart_named_raspberry lookout_march 2020
The colours of the new foliage is amazing. From a burnt stump life springs forth.bush_leaves_new_fire_named_raspberry lookout_march 2020
Everywhere flowers appeared. I must confess we did go over the fence and scramble about the gravelly soil looking around at the wonderful flowers and whatever else we found. Most of the flowers are quite small up to 15mm or half an inch.flower_yellow_small_native_named_raspberry lookout_march 2020
This was the first flower I found as it was right beside the car when I opened the door.flower_pink_named_raspberry lookout_march 2020
So many varieties of Pea Plants that seemed to grow out of the rocks.pea flower_named_raspberry lookout_march 2020
Along with flowers come the insects. Not only bees pollinate flowers, wasps do as well.flower_purple_wasp_named_raspberry lookout_march 2020
A Blue-banded Bee really enjoyed getting right into the flowerflower_purple_blue banded bee_named_raspberry lookout_march 2020
A Teddy Bear Bee was moving from flower to flower quickly.bee_flying_named_raspberry lookout_march 2020
Another wasp on a Billy Buttons flower. It was lovely to see small clumps of Billy Button flowers scattered throughout the lookout.flower_billy buttons_yellow_named_raspberry lookout_march 2020
A wonderful find was a Nobbi sunning on a rock. This male has his breeding colours on. They are distantly related to Bearded Dragons. Not long after I took this shot he was off a great speed. When I looked in book to try and identify who he is, the book said that Nobbi’s run fast. Well they certainly do!nobbi_lizard_named_raspberry lookout_march 2020
As there was a good amount of rainfall in February, the sound of water rushing was an unusual sound at the lookout. Normally you can’t see this waterfall cascading down the mountain and plunging into the stream below.waterfall_named_raspberry lookout_march 2020
I was so glad that this old tree stump survived the fire with a little bit of scorching. The “mouth” is the notch they cut with an axe to slot a board in and cut higher up the tree. It would take four or five people holding hands around the tree to gauge the size of this old beauty.  I would miss his spooky face when I head up the mountain from my place to Raspberry Lookout.tree_old_axe cut_named_raspberry lookout_march 2020

Thanks for coming with me and having a picnic at Raspberry Lookout.
The featured photo is from 2017

Spiky Squares # 30

Becky’s photo challenge for March #SpikySquare is almost over. You still have two days to add a spiky.
Drop into Beckys Spiky Square site for some details and other peoples spiky photos.

The rules are simple:
Have fun interpreting the spikiness but don’t forget there is ONE absolute rule for this daily photo challenge – your main photograph must be square.

190330_spiky_square_bearded_dragon

June had something new as well as old

The rain finally came in June. The big dam, which leaks, almost filled which is lovely to see even though it only lasts a few weeks before it’s a puddle again. The frogs certainly liked the water and there were a number of different types of frogs calling.

dam_home_named_june 2016

The frogs were also on this little dam which is more of a wetland than a functioning dam. The animals drink from here as well as some birds. Dragonflies were flitting about on both dams.

dam_reeds_home_named_june 2016

As usual, we do our drives around the north coast and one day, as we were heading west out of Casino we came across this Long-necked Tortoise in the middle of the road with cars and trucks speeding by. A quick rescue mission unfolded and it was taken to the dam up a side road not far from where we picked it up.

long-necked tortoise_casino_named_june 2016

At my besties one of the old farm sheds, this one was a piggery, we have created a studio space for art exhibitions and rent the Lady Shed for workshops by all manner of people. We love rearranging and decorating the Lady Shed with all sorts of things found or created

lady shed shelf_binna burra_named_june 2016

I love this owl!!!

lady shed shelf_owl_binna burra_named_june 2016

Quite often when pillows or things are moved there are skinks that scurry away. This day it was a bit cold and some of the skinks were a bit too cold to move too fast.

lady shed_skink_binna burra_named_june 2016

Spiders are also disturbed as we do a bit of a cleaning and moving stuff around when there is someone else going to use the Lady Shed Studio. I have lost my spider ID book so I can’t tell you what is this one.

lady shed_spider_binna burra_named_june 2016

There is a lovely cane light shade in the Lady Shed Studio. We always check to ensure that no one has decided that the light shade would make quite a nice house. Most times a spider or two is moved on or a mud daubers nest is removed. This time a little micro bat with only a face a mother could love had taken up residence. Luckily it had gone the next day before the workshop has started. I think it may be a Lesser Long-eared Bat.

lesser long eared bat_lady shed_binna burra_named_june 2016

In the insulation, just under the corrugated iron, lives a Carpet Snake. It is a lovely warm place for a snake to spend winter. This Carpet Snake has been living in the Lady Shed Studio for ages and sometimes can cause a bit of angst among the workshop participants.

lady shed_carpet snake_binna burra_named_june 2016

One afternoon I was driving home from work when I spied a Black-necked Stork patrolling after the rains had replenished a wetland. When he saw me he just casually walked away.

black necked stork_south grafton_named_june 2016

On the drive west of Casino in a place called Piora, we came across a little watercourse that had a couple of Spoonbills, some ducks and a Heron. The Spoonbill was the only one who didn’t move off when the car stopped.

spoonbill_piora_named_june 2016

As it has been very dry at my place with only occasional showers and 2 days of good rainfalls. The normally abundance of birds has deserted the garden and surrounding bush. The Lewins Honeyeater has stayed waiting for the blossoms to appear. The rain bought out the Honey Gem flowers.

lewins honeyeater_home_named_june 2016

The Satin Bowerbirds have also stayed around as they steal snacks from the chook yard. They also have a been stealing all manner of blue things from the surrounding properties.

satin bowerbird_male_home_named_june 2016

The number of Satin Bowerbirds usually increases when it gets a bit cold in the Gibraltar Ranges. This day when I took these photos the trees were full of the mad chattering of Satin Bowerbirds.

satin bowerbird_female_home_named_june 2016

I did a bit of a bush walk one day. Just near the dam in the first photo there has been a bower for a number of years. The blue objects were strewn in all directions from the bower up to 2 metres away.

satrin bower birds bower_home_named_june 2016

So many blue objects. I have no idea whose place they get the blue bottle tops from as I don’t have any and my recycling is always in a sealed wool bale sack. I do think the strips of blue are from a disintegrating tarp in my building materials area.

satrin bower birds_treasure_home_named_june 2016

The bird bath is always kept with water in it for the birds. Actually I have three places where the birds can get a drink and a wash. This one is one of the favourites. You can always hear the constant call of Eastern Yellow Robins in the bush and they come to the garden for an insect snack or head to the bird bath.

eastern yellow robin_home_named_june 2016

The little Striated Thornbills are regular bird bath regulars. They only stay for a quick wash and drink before they are off.

striated thornbills_home_named_june 2016

One day I heard a call I didn’t recognise at the bird bath. At first I didn’t see anyone but then a head popped up whilst the bird was clinging to the edge of the bird bath with its tail in the water. Just then, another bird flew in a sat on the edge. The big feet gave it away. This was the first time I had seen the White-throated Treecreepers in the bird bath.

white-throated treecreepers_home_named_june 2016

At my besties there are always Eastern Whipbirds calling and foraging in the garden. This one was muttering to itself while it turned over leaves and small rocks hoping for a bite to eat.

eastern whipbird_binna burra_named_june 2016

Of course there a the little Eastern Yellow Robins in her garden as well. They are such a cute little bird don’t you think?

eastern yellow robin_binna burra_named_june 2016

The Water Dragon

A while ago, when my bestie and I came home from a day out, just sitting on the deck was a Water Dragon just catching some sun. He didn’t mind me snapping away and as @Manic_Henry says …..”They crave to be immortalised in photographs.”…..

Here is the Water Dragon, unaware he is about to be the subject of a photographic expose…..

water dragon_binna burra_named_feb 2015

He turned to make sure I wasn’t up to no good.

water dragon_side_binna burra_named_feb 2015

It was then that I noticed the bright red of his belly

water dragon_red skin_binna burra_named_feb 2015

The rear feet seem almost useless with those long toes, but when in the water they can propel him along quite fast.

water dragon_foot_binna burra_named_feb 2015

The Water Dragons skin is rather bumpy and spiny

water dragon_skin_binna burra_named_feb 2015

The back of his head has interesting shapes.

water dragon_head_binna burra_named_feb 2015

I am sure he wanted me to get his good side when he turned again, although doesn’t really have a smile does he? The front claws look formidable.

water dragon_front_binna burra_named_feb 2015

“Maybe this is my best side.”

water dragon_face side_binna burra_named_feb 2015

Maybe it’s time for a close-up.

water dragon_face close_binna burra_named_feb 2015

“I said close up!!!”

water dragon_eye_binna burra_named_feb 2015

The next morning we saw him where we least expected to see a Water Dragon

water dragon_roof_binna burra_named_feb 2015

I love this photo the best

water dragon_face_binna burra_named_feb 2015

Thanks Water Dragon for letting me into your world.