Another in my series of “In the life of…..” This time it is the Orange Trumpet vine or Brazilian Flame Vine (Pyrostegia venusta) whose flowers are out in force at this time of the year around the North Coast of NSW.
This one is on my shed and it almost covers the roof and hangs down the walls so the display is seen from all angles.
When the flowers are just starting out they are a lovely lime green bud that gradually turns yellow before bursting forth into the brilliant orange flower. Even at this stage, tiny spiders set up home with delicate webs strung between the buds.
The flowers are in large groups which can range from a new bud, unopened flowers to some that are open and ready for visitors, giving a warming look to a winters garden.
Flame vine is the perfect name, because when it’s in bloom, the plant comes alive with a fiery hue of bright orange. Looking closer at the individual flowers, you’ll see the small yet bold orange trumpet-like blooms that smother the vine.
Once the flowers are open the insects gather to collect the nectar and pollen. When I went down the garden as the flowers started to open, there was a definite buzz happening.
One of the winter butterflies in the garden is the Meadow Argus who love flitting from one flower trumpet to another. I was waiting for the Meadow Argus to sit with its wings open, as it does frequently, but on this day they were too intent of getting nourishment. Their “eye spots” on the wings are a wonderful orange as well.
A tiny Stingless Native Bee makes a beeline for an open trumpet to add more to its pollen sacks.
The flowers last for a few weeks but there is always new buds appearing to take there place.
Even as they are in their final days, I love the texture.
I couldn’t not go without leaving a Meadow Argus showing its patterns and colours.
I hoped you enjoyed a look into the life of an Orange Trumpet Flower.
Also for Cee’s FOTD
What a month September was. A month of fear of fires, another month of not much rain, watching the dam level drop and not being able to water the garden with the last bit of water in case I needed the water in case a fire appeared. The fires were not close, over 40kms away from my place but the sky and atmosphere was choked with smoke. A few rainfalls during the month helped alleviate my concerns, topped up my water tanks so I have enough water for my household needs and I have been watering the pot plants around the verandahs and in the house with the tank water. I also use this water to put in the various bird baths around the house as well as other water containers for the animals that may pop in and need a drink.
The downside is I am watching a lot of my garden die. Some palms that provide lovely shade for my house have already lost their tops and the others are struggling. Most of the garden is Australian native plants and some, like the lilli pillis are not looking all that flash. The Wallabies and Possums are also eating some of the garden plants so I may have to put fences around gardens so the new shoots appearing now the weather is warming don’t get nibbled.
There are a few photos to get through, so maybe a cup of tea, coffee or glass of wine or beer, depending when you are reading, Sit back and I hope you enjoy a scroll through my September.
I have found a few photogenic animals on my travels. The horses have already had their post and some others have appeared already as well but I have to put this fluffy Donkey in again.
I love going past the dairy and seeing these beautiful cows.
It is never good to see one of these ants on the verandah. Their bite is quite painful for such a small insect.
I do enjoy finding a spiders web in the right light.
The start of Spring has a few butterflies appearing. The Caper White Butterflies are migratory and this one is one of the first to arrive.
Meadow Argus are enjoying the early Spring flowers on the Pittosporum.
The Stingless Native Bees certainly loved the Rocket flowers.
As did the honey bees.
Flies are pollinators as well. This one was in a nursery we went to in Byron Bay. There were lots of other insects on the flowers too.
Saw this amazing flower but forgot to write down the name, sorry.
The Cacti were in bloom as well.
Yes it is a bud, a very weird hairy bud. Can you guess what flower may appear from this in my besties garden?
The yellow Poppy enjoyed the sunshine.
Here is the hairy buds flower, a red Poppy.
Spring brings out the Begonia flowers
And the Bottlebrush are starting to look fabulous at my besties but mine are having a hard time and the bushes haven’t looked like flowering yet.
Her Roses are looking wonderful. This one is a Double Delight just opening.
This Double Delight is open showing lovely delicate colours.
My White Fig tree is struggling a bit in the dry weather. The figs often drop their leaves at this time of year. The ground is covered in the yellow and orange leaves.
It also likes to show its true Aussie colours of Green and Gold
There are lots of birds around at the moment too. The Red-browed Firetails are cruising the grass eating the seeds
The Straw-necked Ibis are also wandering about looking for grubs in the paddocks.
I have a few Australian Ravens who have a walk about the garden looking for snacks.
We saw some Chestnut-breasted Mannikins down the road. They must have followed us home as later on I saw around 20 to 30 sitting in the fence.
The King Parrots are enjoying the last of the seeds in the Leopard Tree.
The Mistletoe Bird has wonderful red colours.
Remember the Willie Wagtails nest that was destroyed by something a month or so ago? Well they found a safe place and have raised three chicks. Only a mother could love a baby like this.
The Welcome Swallows have four chicks in two nests at my besties under the verandah. They are always hungry.
Some years, Welcome Swallows have two nestings. Here comes another feather to line the nest for the next lot of babies.
The Restless Flycatchers like to patrol the fence lines in the morning.
As the season was so bad I felt sorry for the birds and put a container of food out every now and then. The Currawongs tended to dominate but one morning a small flock of Satin Bowerbirds turned up. I have never seen so many bower birds together. These are females and juveniles. The male sat by and kept watch from a nearby branch.
A lot of the birds at my place are not hanging around the house as there isn’t much food in the garden. Normally the grevilleas are full of flowers but a lack of rain has seen a reduced number of grevillea flowers. There are a lot of birds down the lower part of my property at the waterhole. A Yellow-faced Honeyeater and a White-throated Honeyeater enjoy a drink together.
The little Striated Honeyeater just jumped straight into the bird bath.
Whereas the White-throated Honeyeater just dived straight in.
This is the first time I have seen a Little Friarbird and a Noisy Friarbird together.
A female Olive-backed Oriel came to the bird bath for the first time at my besties.
The Male shows why they are Olive-backed Oriels.
He doesn’t look to pleased to see me with my camera does he?
Everyone like the Australian Raven skipping down the hill last month. How about a Silver Gull dancing?
AS I said, the sky was been choked with smoke from the fires. I couldn’t quite capture the red sun at sunset one afternoon
Other sunsets were quite orange.
or a blaze of yellow!
The smoke mixed with cloud made for some interesting shapes and spooky atmosphere.
Well here we are at the end. The grass seed heads made a lovely part of the afternoons walk. When I looked at the photo on the computer screen, there was, I think, a Grasshopper winging away for the night.
Thanks for stopping by. I hope you enjoyed my September.
Also a contribution to Su’s The Changing Seasons
January. A month of hardly any rain, only 6mm over 2 days at my place, whereas the average is around 120mm and it rains most days. It was also freakingly hot. Days in succession of over 38C to a top of 42C here. There were some magic moments, a bit of travelling and the return of the butterflies. I spent a lot of my time watering my garden and plants in shade house. The dam became low so I was thinking of water rations to the plants. I became the bad parent having to decide which plants would get water and those who I hoped would survive.
Among all of this I did manage to get out and about and take quite a number of photos. Looking through the folders, I decided that I would have to do special posts that encompassed some of my days out and about, as I have a lot of things I want to show you this month. It has taken me a long time to decide on what I want to put into this post.
Yep……it’s another huge lot of photos. So once again, get a cup of tea or coffee (I have a coffee while writing this) perhaps a snack (I have already eaten my biscuits). For those reading in the evening, a glass of wine will help sustain while scrolling through this mammoth month. I shall try to keep the captions short.
Ready. All sitting comfy. Lets go
I best start off with a bit of morning and sunrise through the trees. I don’t get to see the full splendor of sunrise living in the bush or in a forest for those non-Australians
I liked this morning photo as it has a sliver of our Moon. Can you see it?
This is what our Moon looked like up close
Seeing a full moon in the morning was fabulous. A great start to the day.
While visiting my daughter in Toowoomba, we spent time walking about the streets looking at street art (a post of those wonderful art works to come) and strolling though the many gardens and parks.
I was glad to see that Yarn Bombing was still happening and Council was leaving them in place.
I just had to get a photo of this carrot that was on top of the vege display at the local Farmers Market
The distant hills have sentinel like Grass Trees over looking the valley. Grass Trees grow at around 25mm (1 inch) a year. Some of these are probably 2+ meters tall so ancient wonders on the other side of the valley from my besties place.
Now for the flowers.
The many colours and shapes of (I think) a Gazania
Despite the heat, a red Frangipanni buds and flowers appeared.
The photo doesn’t capture the wonderful red colour.
The flower of a Eucalypt, not sure which one, with a bee. There was lots of bees around in January too.
Just a wonderful flower.
Bougainvilleas flowered well in the heat and dry.
I have many photos of Native Frangipannis but have never seen a seed pod before
The Dahlias in my daughters garden
I saw a flower and while I was looking, some kids came along and said “Look brain flowers”. Yep Brain Flowers or Cockscomb or a Celosia flower.
Also came in red.
More bees and flowers
This one was getting stuck into the pollen at my besties
A Wattle Line-blue Butterfly enjoying a Brain flower. Did you spot the butterfly earlier?
An Orange Ochre stopped to enjoy the afternoon sun
A Cabbage White Butterfly flitted about the garden
and stopped to have a snack
The Dragonflies are all flying around the garden and over the dam. These two stopped for some “relaxation” on a branch on the ground.
Should I have told my visitors that Dragonflies are having sex on their car aerial?
A golden moment with a smiling Dragonfly
The Lesser Wanderers came to feed on the flowers that popped up in the grass.
Wings open to get a bit of sun before take-off.
The Meadow Argus Butterfly seemed to stop anywhere. You can see how dry it has been. The grasses are dead.
With wings open it helps to know what butterfly I have photographed
On the flowers, the Meadow Argus looks lovely.
Another photo of the flowers and butterfly
A Native Australian Bee, a Carpenter Bee flying among the Ponytail Palm flowers with some beetles and ants. Carpenter Bees quite often make their nest in Grass Trees.
Among the dried grasses, the Dandelions still had time to flower (see This is December 2018) and set seed
The branches of a Bunya Pine – Art Direction, my daughter, Photo, me
High in the trees at my besties, late one afternoon, a flock of Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos came to roost for the night. Not the best photo as the light was failing and the birds kept moving.
The raucous sounds of the Sulpher-crested Cockatoos sounded all over the park as we strolled about.
As the weather was hot and dry, the bird bath had to be topped up regularly. The Lewins Honeyeater made enough noise to let us know that there wasn’t much water in the bird bath.
Once the bird bath was filled, the Noisy Miners queued up to get a drink and a bath.
The Silvereyes stopped by to get into the water while a Striated Thornbill waited his turn.
I was spied by an Eastern Rosella who dropped by for a drink
Getting a drink helped show the lovely back feathers pattern.
The Superb Fairy Wrens make a lovely couple.
“Hey babe, check this fancy bit of flying”
“Get out of the way, you’re in my shot”
Do you mind, I’m trying to take a bath here
The King Parrot having a look at what I am doing in my office
Just strolling through the park. Move along, there’s nothing to see here!
The Tortoises sunning on a rock while another is swimming over.
What a face
It has been so hot that I have left nearly all of the windows and doors open. That seemed to be an invitation for a Lesser Long-eared Micro-bat to take up residence in my pantry.
This is one of the reasons I keep some doors closed at night. Brush-tailed Possums like to range about the garden at night. Given half a chance they will wander inside creating chaos.
The Koalas have been active as it’s mating season. I have heard their loud calls at my place. At my besties place we can see this male who has taken up residence occasionally in the trees. Usually asleep, around 18 hours a day, the big feller was not very happy at me walking around taking photos even if he was about 10 meters above me.
Well it’s almost time to say goodbye. A wave from one of the many Geckos who live behind the pictures on the walls.
The sun is setting. Aren’t the colours just wonderful?
The oranges made for a spectacular sunset
I was quite pleased to get a photo of our Moon with the coloured rings. It is a hand held photo. Most time I would use a tripod but didn’t have one handy.
Well it looks like it is getting late so goodnight.
Thanks for stopping by and I hope you have enjoyed a scroll through bushboys world for January 2019. Did you have a favourite photo?
January has been a month of hot weather a bit of rain but most of all the butterflies are around. The hot days have made the birds a bit scarce. Now the Summer flowers are out they’ll return. The rain over the past 5 days has seen a lot more smaller birds in the garden.
Ok lets get going. Another huge lot of photos so maybe your favourite drink you enjoy while looking at blogs may be in order again.
Perhaps some flowers and plants to get going. Isn’t the bark on this Australian Native Fig Tree wonderful
The Red Tower Ginger flowers are looking after the garden
More red flowers are emerging
The Blue Ginger buds are ready to burst
I did find a bit of wood fungi in the forest
I have never seem Macaranga flowers before. I am still not sure if they are flowers or buds
The flower buds are high in the canopy. When they open they are tubular white flowers which drop to the garden floor.
A mixture of weeds. A Camphor Laurel leaf on a Cobblers Peg plant
The Cunji are growing so well on the banks of the spring
The spring is a lovely place to be on a hot day.
I discovered this Australian Native plant when I was mowing the front of my place. It is almost two meters tall, covered in white flowers which ants love.
Some bits and pieces
Holding the cattle yards together
The trawler setting off in the afternoon to fish through the night
The rusty seat on the old tractor
Reptiles I have found
The Geckos live in my house. This is the Gecko who lives in the hallway.
You never know who is sleeping on the verandah rafters.
Such pretty markings
Time for some birds
I didn’t know this bird as it flew about me. I have taken photos of Jacky Winter birds before. This is a young bird
The Lewins Honeyeaters are always on the look out for the grubs in the Poinciana tree
Late afternoon and the Pelicans are ready to sleep
The Gulls are ready to annoy them.
The lovely Eastern Yellow Robin happy to be in the garden.
Found these native snails in the garden having a snooze.
The Cricket was happy to be taken outside
What would Summer be like without Dragonflies
I love their wing patterns
A grub in the Paperbark tree making track and holes all over the tree
There was a migration of moths. We called this one a Fox Moth
The outside wings of the Meadow Argus are quite muted
Inside is a different story
The Wanderers are slowly coming back
Common Crows are everywhere at the moment
A Common Ringlet about to take off
There are so many butterflies with the word Common in front of their name. The Common Eggfly is a name that doesn’t do this butterfly justice.
Remember The Quest to photograph a Blue Triangle Butterfly. Well now I have two Blue Triangles. Aren’t their faces great
The Moon is up and about in the clouds
The Sun is almost setting
So it is time for me to finish off. Hope you have enjoyed my January.
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?
Sometimes the faces can seem rather scary. I had a feeling that someone was watching me.
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.
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.
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.
The colours of this small flower are stunning adding a splash of colour throughout the garden.
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.
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!!!
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.
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…..
….but the inside wings are very colourful.
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.
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.
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.
While this insect preferred the window to walk about.
The garden also has its share of insects and bugs. I love the colours on this beetle, don’t you?.
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.
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!!!”
On the walk along the beach I spotted some birds sitting on some rock off the shore. The Pied Cormorants were doing their washing.
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.
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.
Isn’t it funny how birds can have their heads looking back. The Brown Pigeon was certainly keeping an eye on me.
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.
The most elusive bird at my besties is the Green Catbird and I am always excited when I find a Catbird amongst the foliage.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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….
…..the moon is up casting a glow so I must be off. See you next time.
It’s been a while since I have put a bit about what I have discovered in my travels around the north coast. A lot of these photos are from my place and my besties plus some from places in between. There has been many a thing to find, some accidental, some that made me go wow and of course an assortment of themes.
Last week at work, I looked out of the window and there was a rainbow’s end in the park. But I looked again and saw the second rainbow so I thought that is rather special to share. Yes folks, that is the view from my desk. Looking across the mighty Clarence River to Susan Island and beyond to South Grafton.
I think these tiny plants are a moss growing along a small north facing bank. They look like little stars but are tiny erect plants when the macro lens gets into the structure.
These yellow flowers of the Beach Primrose are helping to hold the dunes together on Cabarita Beach.
There is so much debris on the beaches most of it natural. I love the shapes and random patterns it makes interspersed with a splash of colour, a bit of green here, a bit of pink there.
The coastline has some interesting geology as well as all the other stuff we see at the beach. The vertical strata caught my eye at Cabarita.
The day was getting stormy and the gulls were gliding in the wind.
Away from the beach the Wonga Pigeons were calling in the trees. This pigeon was just walking along the branches.
The Black-faced Cuckoo Shrike had a fine place to spot any potential food source at Lismore Lake.
There were a lot of Egrets wading on the edge of the Lake when all of a sudden they all took to the skies, wheeled about for a while then just settled back to their preening and looking for a snack or two to come along. There were plenty of frogs calling.
Also watching from a vantage point was the Azure Kingfisher. They look quite regal as they survey their realm.
Back at home, a stunning blue shape was flying around the garden. The Leaden Flycatcher found time to sit for a while.
Of course my blog wouldn’t be right if I didn’t have a Spangled Drongo doing something different. This bloke seemed to have his head on backwards.
I reckon the Wattlebird said to its mate “Show him your best side”
I caused a bit of a Twitter conversation with this photo of a Praying Mantis egg casing. Thanks to all the people who let me know what it was as I have seen them before but had no idea what it was.
There has been lots of butterflies around. I think this one may be a Ringlet.
The Orchard Butterflies certainly liked getting a feed from the red Pentas.
The Meadow Argus put on a bit of a show.
The bees weren’t getting left out either. The Blue-banded Bee zipped about the garden gathering pollen from the flowers.
The mauve Pentas look a treat. Did you spot the ant as it was exploring the flowers?
The white Pentas certainly put on a show with a touch of pink highlights.
I have never seen a galangal flower before.
The red Hibiscus flowers seem to burst out with their petals cascading from the centre.
My bestie planted the seeds of the Gaillardia and only one flower emerged but hopefully more will appear later.
The rain drops were hanging from the Pink Trumpet Flowers. The drops on the top of the flower can be seen through the petals.
The Blue Gingers are stunning this year. A bit of a dry start to summer and the rains have made the bloom explode.
The rain on the fungi gave it a shiny coating
These two little fungi looked like a fungi with a mini-me.
The wet ground has allowed the wood fungus to appear all through the bush. This one is one of my favourites.
The huge fig tree at my besties has possible reached the end of its life and has been dropping its huge branches so only two remain. The recent rain has seen a lot of the dead wood covered in this fungi.
It is so white and fans out from the branch.
All through the fungi are all sorts of insects. The Ear Wigs were scurrying under and over the fungi so not a clear photo but I was surprised that I actually got it.
On the way home from work, I drive past a small pond which has had a tyre in it as long as I can remember. On this day I had to do a quick U-turn as the tyre had two Long-necked Tortoises enjoying the sun. I have called them the Tyre Turtles as it sounds better than the Tyre Tortoises.
Well as she catches the last rays of sunshine, I better get going as well. Did you enjoy this small peek into my world?