This was my March

March was a month of contrasts, a couple of hot days followed by a bit of rain and then Cyclone Debbie came along. I was fortunate not to be in the path of Debbie but on the edge of the system. I missed the strong winds and abundant rainfall. I still managed to have 476mls of rain for March. This rainfall ended the long dry period over Summer when usually the rains come. The total rainfall for March exceeded the total rainfall for the 6 months prior.

The few dry day did allow for some wandering about and finding some interesting stuff. The weather also bought out a good variety of fungi which have their own blog.

So onward to the stuff of March.

Isn’t this little boat the cutest?

boat_named_grafton_march 2017

The flood waters made the creeks run and the creek at Emerald Beach broke through the sand and flowed to the sea. The strong tannin coloured water gave the rocks an interesting hue.

rocks_tannin water_named_emerald beach_march 2017

Rust. As you know I love rust, the colours and textures rust gives to metal.

rust01_named_grafton_march 2017

More rust on the fence around the riverbank park in Grafton.

rust02_named_grafton_march 2017

In Lismore, wandering the back lanes I came across this furnace door that is still in operation at the rear of a cafe.

furnace door_named_lismore_march 2017

One of the treasures of Lismore is the street art in the back lanes. The recent flooding of Lismore didn’t damage most of the art works although some may need a bit of a clean and touch up. The following selection is from just one lane way.

The art on the door is perhaps a portend.

graffiti_doorway_lismore_named_march 2017

The fish managed to swim out the flood waters I am told.

graffiti_fish_lismore_named_march 2017

I love this ghostly face.

graffiti_face_lismore_named_march 2017

How clever.

graffiti_shoes_lismore_named_march 2017

The butterflies in the rainforest.

graffiti_butterflies_lismore_named_march 2017

Speaking of butterflies, I just love photographing butterflies. Of course many a while is spent chasing them around trying to get THAT capture. The Common Yellow butterfly seemed to enjoy time on the ground.

yellow meadow butterfly_named_home_march 2017

The Small Green-banded Blue butterfly kept trying to hide from me.

small green banded blue butterfly_named_home_march 2017

I haven’t had such a variety of flies at my place or perhaps I haven’t really taken a close look at them. The yellow face and bottle green body look great.

fly_yellow face_named_home_march 2017

The green eyes are striking. The long proboscis also lets this fly give you a very sharp sting.

fly_named_home_march 2017

This beautiful Huntsman spider lived in my house for around two months. She has now gone outside I think as I haven’t seen her for a couple of days. Her leg span from front to back or side to side is 16cm. Her body length is 5cm. How big is your hand?

huntsman_named_home_march 2017

The Fire-wheel trees are flowering.

fire wheel tree flower_named_grafton_march 2017

I have a number of Golden Lycras that my aged neighbour loved. He gave me lots of corms and this year they flowered the best ever. They gave me lovely memories of him. The view from the top.

golden lycras_above_named_home_march 2017

They looked so lovely in the morning sun.

golden lycras_named_binna burra_march 2017

This Hibiscus was in my parents place and the cutting has lived on at my place filled with abundant flowers this Autumn.

 

hybiscus_red_named_home_march 2017

The miniature Hibiscus adds small red spots in the garden

hybiscus_miniture red_named_home_march 2017

One of the original Hibiscus. This one is in my besties garden. Such a delicate flower. The petals almost look transparent.

white flower_named_binna burra_march 2017

Another tiny native flower that I have found around my property.  The flower is about 12mm across so imagine the size of the insect that was getting some nectar or pollen.

purple flower_named_home_march 2017

The Bromiliads had a good flowering this March. They gathered enough water that’s for sure.

bromilliad flower_named_home_march 2017

I hadn’t seen white Crocus before. Stunning flowers aren’t they?

white crocus_named_emerald beach_march 2017

I have loved the colours of Coleus since I first saw them in my grandfathers garden.

coleus_named_binna burra_march 2017

 

The rain has revived the Lichen.

lichen_named_home_march 2017

Wandering around the garden looking for snacks, the Bar-shouldered Dove and Emerald Dove shared the space.

emerald dove_peaceful dove_named_binna burra_march 2017

A little Jacky Winter enjoying the morning sun.

jackie winter_named_home_march 2017

The Brown Pigeon sat in the Poinsettia striking a lovely pose.

brown pigeon_named_binna burra_march 2017

Not the best angle for a Blue-faced Honeyeater though.

blue faced honeyeater_named_home_march 2017

The little Forest Kingfisher sat in the tree looking about then suddenly plunged to the ground. When he resumed his perch, he did the bash bash on the branch to tenderise his snack. It looks like he managed to find a frog in the garden.

forest kingfisher_frog_named_home_march 2017

The Forest Kingfisher has beautiful colours don’t you think?

forest kingfisher_close_named_home_march 2017

Thanks for taking the time to have a look at my March.

Februarys Finds

FEBRUARY has been quite busy. A new thing for me this month has been submitting some photos in photo challenges, which I have found to be quite interesting. The photo challenges make me think about my photography and that my photos elicit comments from other bloggers and in turn, I comment on their photos or the words used to enhance the photos in their blogs. So if you would like to see what I have submitted, have a look at my last few blogs in February. Maybe you would like to comment too.

In this blog I would like to take you on an adventure with me.

Lets set off, do you have a cuppa or something to sustain you while we explore my world?

I like to find something unusual to capture. The frangipannis shadow on the fence post caught my besties eye so this photo is inspired by her. I also took the photo in black and white but it didn’t have the same effect as a splash of colour in the background.

shadow-post_binna-burrra_named_feb-2017

We like to get away in February for a couple of days (we call our mini-holiday) to Ballina Beach Resort. Among the gardens there is always a Water Dragon or two sunning themselves. Looking down from the balcony you get a different perspective of the Water Dragon.

water-dragon_rocks_named_ballina_feb-2017

But he is always watchful and spied me looking over the edge.

water-dragon_head_named_ballina_feb-2017

Back at my besties famous bird bath, where many a bird photo has been taken, the Striated Thornbill liked to show off his little reddish leg, almost taking a bow.

striated-thornbill_named_binna-burra_feb-2017

Now we are going for a bit of a walk around my place. For once I just took my camera to get some of the stuff around here. Most walks get disturbed by the habit of pulling out weeds as I walk around. This time I concentrated on getting some of the life around here. OK, I may have pulled a few weeds here and there!

One of the weird and wonderful are the air ferns. They look rather alien at times don’t you think? This one is growing on a fence post.

air-fern_named_home_feb-2017

As I walked around, every now and then, I smelt the heady scent of honeycomb. The Bloodwoods are in flower. I love the creamy colour of the flowers and green of the leaves against the blue sky.

bloodwood-blossoms_named_home_feb-2017

OK back to ground level. The native flowers that abound the bush come in a number of colours, blues, purples, yellows and occasionally red. Most of the flowers are quite small, ranging from about 5mm to 15mm. I have to find something to take with me to show the size of the flowers.  I also need an identification guide to let you know what the flowers are so if anyone knows a good publication on native flowers of north-east NSW please let me know

This blue flower is one of the bigger ones.

blue-flower_named_home_feb-2017

It was hard to capture the lovely mauve of this little pea like flower. The flower is around 5mm.

orchid_named_home_feb-2017

The star shape is common. Previous blogs have had the yellow and blue star shaped flower. This walk I found a pale purple star shaped flower. This flower is about 10mm in size.

purple-flowers_named_home_feb-2017

More purple flowers. A bit bigger in size and a bit hairier. Grows closer to the ground than the other flower which are on stalks.

purple-hairy-flower_named_home_feb-2017

A small yellow pea type of flower similar to the mauve flower a few flowers back, a about the same size. I  love the red stripes. This one comes with a bonus water droplet.

yellow-pea-flower_named_home_feb-2017

More yellow flowers. A lovely bunch of tiny yellow puff balls. The whole bunch would be no more than 12mms.

yellow-puff-balls_named_home_feb-2017

A bit of rain saw the mosses come back to life after seemingly disappearing during the dry spell. The smaller star moss and the feathery moss that cascades over the log.

moss_named_home_feb-2017

A wonderful discovery was the Hyacinth Orchid just standing tall in the bush. No leaves or anything else, just a lovely flower spike about 20cms tall. It was the only one in the surrounding area. I haven’t been back for a week or so, so I wonder if it is still there?

hyacinth-orchid_named_home_feb-2017

Rain has put a bit of water into the dam, freshening up the water and the water plants are flowering. The Water Snowflake’s flower is a lovely flower. A wonderful fringe form and so white against the dark green leaves and water.

water-snowflake-flower_namedl_home_feb-2017

The Cape Waterlily is also flowering and the reeds are starting to set seed. Among the reeds is a number of frogs whose song at night is quite loud. Also flitting about the dam are a variety of Dragonflies.

house-dam_named_feb-2017

The little iridescent blue dragonfly doesn’t sit still as long as the larger dragonflies. They are different to the other Dragonflies as they  have their wings folded along their body.

dragonfly-small-blue01_namedl_home_feb-2017

The many blue dragonflies fly off, swoop and then land to catch their breath on any small piece of reed they can find.

dragonfly01_blue_named_home_feb-2017

There is as many red dragonflies as blues. They seem to land on the dead reeds on the ground although some never seem to land. The red and blues also fly around the house almost like a patrol flying back and forth along the front verandah, occasionally flying under the verandah roof.

dragonfly01_red_named_home_feb-2017

Now this little bloke is so different from the others, not only in colour and patterns, but seems to prefer to land on the end of seed heads of the water plants and then stick it’s rear end up in the air. It doesn’t seem to mind how it has it’s wings either.

dragonfly01_spots_namedl_home_feb-2017

I found this orange dragonfly at my besties but they are also at my place but not as common as the others.

dragonfly_named_binna-burra_feb-2017

The Blue Gingers have the most delightful flowers. The flower spikes have so many tiny flowers and buds that there is always a number of flowers open so the bees have a chance to get inside. As I have said before, the bees have to scrunch to get at the pollen of the Blue Ginger flowers.

bee_ginger_named_binna-burra_feb-2017

The native Blue-banded Bees certainly love the Blue Ginger flowers and have a good scrunching technique as well.

blue-banded-bee_ginger_named_binna-burra_feb-2017

This Summer, my verandahs have been taken over by night spiders. Unfortunately they have become very lazy and leave their webs up during the day. Luckily they have been catching lots of insects so the web is easy to see but there may have been a time or two where I have walked into a web.

 

night-spider_named_home_feb-2017

There are quite a number of Bull Ant nests in the bush. When I try to get a photo, I make sure I look all around to see if there are any outside the nest on patrol or bring back food to the nest. When they bite you know you have been bitten!

bullant_named_home_feb-2017

I was surprised to find the Satin Bower Birds bower was still in operation and chock-a-block with a variety of blue bits and pieces in the collection. The only things that come from my place are the blue pegs. I know when a Bower Bird has come calling when I find the peg basket up ended. The Satin Bower Birds have made my place home. Years ago they only came here when it was too cold in the Gibraltar Ranges and leaving when it got too hot here.

the-bower_named_home_feb-2017

On our mini-holiday, we managed to get to the beach at sunrise one morning. The sunrise over the sea is fantastic.

sunrise_gold_named_ballina_feb-2017

The Seagull was patient and seemed to like getting its picture taken early in the morning.

seagull_sunrise_named_ballina_feb-2017

There was a line-up of Seagulls checking out the surf.

seagull_lineup_named_ballina_feb-2017

One of my favourite photos of February. Just a branch on the beach. I was tempted to put the photo in the blog upside down.

beach-reflection_named_ballina_feb-2017

Well it’s getting dark so I must head off to bed. I hope you have enjoyed this little bit of my world in February.

I leave you with the Paperbark tree and the street light.

tree_night_named_ballina_feb-2017

Birds and Flowers

I have not kept up to date with my blog. It is already half way through September and the start of Spring has gone. I too so many photos in August that I have to have a second go at putting my photos and things into writing.

Lately I have been walking along my road and as usual, my camera has been to hand. Some of the photos have been from around the neighbourhood whilst other photos have been at home. This first lot are typical of the bush in and around my place. The Fringe Wattles looked lovely this year and the spur my house is on is surrounded by the yellow of the wattles.

The small puffs of yellow encompass the whole wattle tree.

fringe-wattle_named_home_aug-2016

The Native Sarsparilla also bloom at this time of year.

wisteria-native_named_home_aug-2016

They both look lovely as the Sarsparilla entwines around the Fringe Wattle

wisteria-native_wattle_named_home_aug-2016

The Paperbarks certainly flowered well this season. The air was full of the scent from the flowers which attracted all sorts of insects. How many can you see?

paperbark-flower01_named_home_aug-2016

Here are more insects in the flowers of the Paperbark. Mostly the insects get right down into the flower stem so only their bums are visible.

paperbark-flower02_named_home_aug-2016

The Coastal Rosemary flowers are quite pretty don’t you think?

coastal-rosemary_named_home_aug-2016

I am not sure what this little hairy leafed bush is. I called it Egg and Bacon plant but I am not sure. Can anyone help out with what this flower is please?

egg-and-bacon-plant_named_home_aug-2016

I love the colours of Spring. Even the leaves can have such great shades of colour. Plus there is a bonus insect!!!

new-leaf_named_home_aug-2016

The Double-barred Finches have been feasting on the grass seed. This one looks particularly portly at it sat high on the powerline.

double-barred-finch_named_home_aug-2016

They have lovely markings. I like their blue beak.

double-barred-finch_named_home_aug-2016-2

The Red-browed Finches were having fabulous snacks in the tall native grasses along the side of the road.

red-browed-firetail-finch_named_home_aug-2016

A late comer to the last of the Bottlebrush flowers, (see the previous blog), was the Brown Honeyeater.

brown-honeyeater_named_home_aug-2016

The Friarbirds loved having a bath in the neighbours dam. They were diving in from a great height.

blue-faced-honeyeater_bath_named_home_aug-2016

Away in the distance I could hear the “chwit-chwit-chwit-peter-peter-peter” call of a Jacky Winter. Perched high on the dead tree, it was quite happy wagging its tail back and forth chittering away.

jacky-winter_named_home_aug-2016

Further down the road, a Little Friarbird was enjoying the last rays of the day.

little-friarbird_named_home_aug-2016

Often when I am sitting in my study, I have eyes that peer in through the door or window. This day the Female Satin Bowerbird was looking in.

satin-bowerbird_female_named_home_aug-2016

Quite often White-throated Treecreepers are spotted jumping up the trunks of trees. This is the first time I have been able to get a photo of one who took its time on its hunt for food.

white-throated-tree-creeper_named_home_aug-2016

On the walk up the road I was very excited to see a couple of Grey-headed Babblers forage for insects among the dead wood and leaf litter on the property next door. I have seen them in the forest on my place but I was lucky enough to see them in the cleared land next door. I love their fluffy pants.

grey-crowned-babbler_named_home_aug-2016

The Rainbow Bee Eaters were having a splendid time zooming about the cleared paddock up the road. The many dead trees offered a great vantage point to watch for unsuspecting insects flying about.

rainbow-bee-eater_fluffed_named_home_aug-2016

Every now and then, a group would gather to tell about the day and to keep a look out for flying insects. Their heads were always swivelling about as they say and chatted in the trees.

rainbow-bee-eaters01_named_home_aug-2016

So that’s the end of my start to Spring. I hope you have enjoyed my walk up the road.

Wanderings in early 2016

I have been so slack in getting things together of late. Many bits of life have been taking my time plus a bit of laziness on my behalf have put my photos way back in the order of life. The photos here are from last month and are just a quick selection of all sorts of things. Also, I have been a slack on identifying some of the insects mainly that I have come across, so if you have the skills that can help, let me know what I have found please.

One thing that I find fascinating is finding other objects in inanimate stuff that I discover. Let’s start with some tree roots that were on the side of the road at Buccarumbi which was a “lets see what’s down this road” destination on a wandering drive around the Clarence Valley.

I saw a duck…what about you?

tree root_duck_buccarumbi_named_feb 2016

Can you see the elephant?

tree root_elephant_buccarumbi_named_feb 2016

This building was the General Store or Post Office many many years ago. I haven’t found out exactly But I am sure I’ll let you know one day. A blog I have been wanting to do, after I have taken more photos, is the old building around where I live…..one day, one day.

old store_buccarumbi_named_feb 2016

Sometimes a joey doesn’t really want to grow up. This young Red-necked Wallaby is too big to want “pouch time” but the mother was quite patient and stood there for quite some time.

red-necked wallaby_young_home_named

Speaking of patient mothers, the Butcher Bird had come down to the bird bath to show the young one where to get a drink on a hot day. Young Butcher Birds are all “mum….mum…..mum….where are you…..mum…..mum!!! Quite incessant!!

butcher bird_young_home_named_feb 2016

We spent a weekend at the Ballina Beach Resort which was just a mini holiday away from all the life that surrounded us at the time. Just outside of our room was this little Water Dragon. One day it will grow into its tail.

water dragon_young01_ballina_named_feb 2016

The little one certainly kept an eye on me.

water dragon_young_ballina_named_feb 2016

The thing about living in an organic house is getting used to whoever decides to pop in for a while. Sometimes they even like a bit of screen time.

huntsman02_screen _named_home_feb 2016

Once outside there are always butterflies flitting around the garden, either mine or my besties. This Common Pencilled Blue butterfly was at her place. Thanks to @joylibbylib for letting me know 🙂

butterfly01_binna burra_named_feb 2016

There are aways Common Ringlets in the garden somewhere. They sit still long enough to be photographed.

butterfly_binna burra_named_feb 2016

The bees have been busy as the late Summer and Autumn flowers are bursting forth adding brilliant colour to the gardens.

bee_binna burra_crop_named_feb 2016

The dragonflies are quite content to zoom around the garden, occasionally stopping for a bit to survey the scene or catch their breath. I am never sure which!

dragonfly01_binna burra_named_feb 2016

Ever wondered what Dragonflies do when it rains?

dragonfly_rain_binna burra_named_feb 2016

We went to Emerald Beach for another mini holiday. Walking to the headland I spied a small spot of purple. There it was a Purple Fringed Lily. So small but so perfect.

fringe lily_emerald beach_named_feb 2016

Thanks for taking the time to have a look at some of my discoveries in February. Now to start on March.

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”

A bird or two and some small stuff

The world seems to be travelling at a fast pace and I have not been able to keep up!!! I looked back and see that I have put some photos on my blog in May and now it’s the end of June almost. I have so many photos to sort that I need to have a holiday just to get on top of everything.

It’s not that I haven’t done any travel over the past months as I have been to the Central Coast of NSW where the weather wasn’t all that condusive to taking photos or just roaming about.

This pigeon I have been calling a Top Knot Pigeon I now have discovered is a Crested Pigeon. It was wandering about in a park and just waddled over to where we were sitting and hunted under the table and seat for snacks.

crested pigeon01_named_gosford_june 2015

The marking on it’s feathers are rather striking and that red eye makes it look like it has had a hard night.

crested pigeon_close_named_gosford_june 2015

On the way home we stopped at Bellwood, between Nambucca Heads and Macksville, for a hot chocolate at a well know fast food chain who we discovered make one of the best hot chocolates. On the way back to the car, we looked across the Pacific Highway toward the river and there was a Cormorant “high-rise hotel” with around fifteen nests.

cormorant hotel_bellwood_named_june 2015

Judging by the open bills, it was hot work nest sitting.

cormorant01_bellwood_named_june 2015

Back home and it’s time to gather firewood. I enjoy this time of year when I can get into the bush, do a bit of bushcare and wander about my place looking for suitable logs for firewood. It is always fantastic to discover the plants, birds and insects that live with me.

The forest has a lot of these yellow flowers scattered about most of the year. They grow close to the ground sometimes I find a number of flowers close together.

yellow flower_named_home_june 2015

The Autumn flowers are spent but leave behind their little hairy holders where, I hope, the seeds have spread onto the forest floor.

flower stalk_named_home_june 2015

I love this vine. I was at the same location last weekend and this fruit has turned orange. I knew I should have taken a photo of it in its orange form. I don’t think it is edible.

fruit_vine_crop_named_home_june 2015

There are a few butterflies still fliting about the forest floor. I chased this one for a few minutes before it tired and sat on the log. I was grateful for the rest as well.

butterfly_crop_named_home_june 2015

There has been some small falls of rain through the month – .5 of a ml to 2.5mls, recorded in the rain gauge at the house which is on the ridge line. The seems to rain more down at the bottom of the property as all around the forest are fungi. This one was one of a few who were pushing their shiney gold caps through the leaf litter.

fungi01_named_home_june 2015

I love the wood orange fungus as it seems to be melted onto the bark of the fallen tree, tiny toes gripping onto the bark.

fungi_wood_named_home_june 2015

The strangest of all are this fungi which sends crooked fingers reaching from the ground.

fungi01_fingers_named_home_june 2015

I hope to have the photos sorted and ready for another blog soon. Thanks everyone for the feedback as well as letting me know what I have found. So if you know the names of anything in theis or any other of my blogs, please let me know ‘cos I love learning about our wonderful planet and it’s life.

May marches on

May has certainly flown by. There has been much to do as the season marches on. So far this month there has been a change in the weather, from warm to cool to some cold nights. The rain came with a huge deluge bringing about some minor flooding around the place. The Autumn seems to herald new birds and a change in the guard of who owns what tree or bush. Soon the cold weather in the mountains will send the Currawongs down to my place and also the Satin Bowerbirds will arrive to chatter among the branches, building bowers, decorating with all sorts of bits of blue and to dance for their females.

The change in the colour of the leaves always lets us know that the cooler weather is on its way.

autumn colours_named_home-may 2015

I drove over to Newbold Crossing to see how much the Clarence River had risen. This is what around 130,000 megalitres looks like at 6 meters. The next day the river had risen to 10.4 meters!!

lilydale_grafton flood_named_may 2015

Some paddocks had water on them for days after but the ducks didn’t seem to mind.

pacific black duck_south grafton_grafton flood_may 2015

In some parts of the valley it was standing room only. Every fence post was occupied.

egrets_south grafton_grafton flood_named_may 2015

One morning I saw a hornet buzzing around the garden and just land on the leaf and walk about for a bit. I wondered what it was doing.

hornet01_named_home_may 2015

Then it went around the leaf.

hornet02_named_home_may 2015

It was then I found out what it was doing…just getting a drink!

hornet03_named_home_may 2015

The dragonfly was rather shy.

dragonfly_named_home_april 2015

I am going to have to rename my bird bath by the looks of it. Even butterflies like to get a drink every now and then.

small green-banded blue_named_home_april 2015

There has been some flowers showing their colours this May as well. I found this flower growing on the side of the road.

lilydale_weed yellow  flower_named_may 2015

Whereas this little flower, a murrdannia-graminea, was growing in the bush at my place

murrdannia graminea_named_home_april 2015

While on the road to Newbold Crossing to see how high the water had risen in the Clarence, I came across all these little birds, Black-fronted Plovers, running along the road and then flying off only to land on the road behind my car. They were so fast I couldn’t get a good photo. Plus it was late in the afternoon.

black-fronted plover_lilydale_named_may 2015

The branches had many birds coming to find their last snacks for the day or find a roost for the night. The Crested Pigeon just flew in and sat.

lilydale_top knot pigeon_named_may 2015

The magpies were having a great time swooping around chasing each other and then stopping to survey the scene before whizzing off again.

lilydale_magpies_named_may 2015

In the garden, the Yellow-faced Honeyeaters have taken ownership of the Honey Gem.

yellow-faced honeyeater_named_home_may 2015

They do have to share at times with the Brown Honeyeaters.

brown honeyeater_named_home_may 2015

The Bottlebrush around the back is also a favourite spot.

brown honeyeater01_named_home_may 2015

And make a show of fancy eating techniques.

brown honeyeater02_named_home_may 2015

The Eastern Spinebills have also set up home in the garden this Autumn.

eastern spinebill_named_home_may 2015

They too don’t mind how they get a snack

eastern spinebill01_named_home_may 2015

The Golden Whistlers have introduced new sounds into the garden.

golden whistler01_named_home_may 2015

They also add a splash of colour to the garden.

golden whistler02_named_home_may 2015

But best of all was the sighting of a new bird into the garden. Another flash of yellow was the give-a-way as the Yellow-tufted Honeyeater dropped into the Honey Gem for a quick snack before going on its way again.

yellow-tufted honeyeater_named_home_may 2015

That’s a good start for May but there has been lots more going on. Hope you can stop by for the next “installment” of May.

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

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.

January….some excitement so far…

Yes. There has been some excitement around my place so far this month. Just sitting on the verandah having a cuppa one morning, the usual bird song od Spangled Drongos, Friarbirds, Fig Birds, Kookaburras and Ravens, just to name a few, changed. There were a few small birds whizzing around the bush near the house as well as a couple of birds who were a bit bigger. But more of the birds later.

The flowers in the garden have had a bit of a lift with some rain at the start of the month. Prior to that I was feeling like the bad parent, having not much water in the dam to do a full garden watering, so I was having to select which plants I think could survive the dry a bit better than others. My best bird attractor, the Honey Gem Grevillea, hasn’t the flowers it normally has but still has bought a few birds in to the garden.

Other plants have stepped up and have made sure the butterflies have somewhere to visit. The Speckled Line-blue enjoyed a rest on the Hibiscus

butterfly_crop_named_home_jan 2015

While the Lemon Migrant seemed to prefer the red flowers

lemon migrant_named_home_jan 2015

The Cassia has been quite spectacular this year with its drooping bunches of flowers seemingly cascading from the branches attracting bees. The buzzing of the bees made it sound like the Cassia was covered with bees but there was only a handful of big fat bees.

bee native_crop_named_home_jan 2015

In the bush and around the garden, a little native plant has appeared. I have seen a few before but the dry then the rain seemed to make them grow in many spots in the garden as well as in the bush. The little yellow flower is about 5 to 8mms.

yellow native flower_named_home_jan 2015

The Duranta has bunches of flowers which are followed by small orange berries. The variegated leaves are a favourite of the Satin Bowerbirds. Some small birds like to drink from the small purple flowers as well.

purple flower_crop_named_home_jan 2105

The Mistletoe Bird was hopping around the Duranta looking for bits of nesting materials as well as examining the flowers.

mistletoe bird_female_named_home_jan 2015

When it got a bit too hot, we went down to the river for a soak. On the way back home we came across a Black Faced Cuckoo Shrike peeking out from behind a Bottlebrush

black-faced cuckoo shrike_named_crop_eatonsville_jan 2014

On the road a group of birds scattered as the car approached. The group of Rainbow Bee-eaters flew about the trees, occasionally resting long enough to get a few quick photos in the fading light.

rainbow bee eater02_named_jackadgery_jan 2015

You can see why the are Rainbow Bee-eaters!

rainbow bee eater01_named_jackadgery_jan 2015

Meanwhile, back at home, the Scarlet Honeyeater was hanging on as best she could to get a snack.

scarlett honeyeater_named_home_jan 2015

The Yellow-faced Honeyeaters have been here for a while now since I first saw one a couple of years ago. I love their yellow faces.

yellow faced honeyeater_named_home_jan 2015

The Restless Flycatchers also have made a home here in Summer. They were one of the first birds that came here when I first started to live in the bush.

satin flycatcher_named_crop_home_jan 2015

The Rufous Whistler is singing in the bush, but on this day also dropped in to the garden for a visit.

rufous whistler01_young_named_home_jan 2015

OK. Remember at the start I said I had some exciting things happening. One of the new birds I have seen this year has been the Fuscous Honeyeater. I always get excited when a new bird appears. Of course the found the Honey Gem.

fuscous honeyeater01_named_home_jan 2015

The Brown Honeyeater discovered another Grevillea in another part of the garden. This is also a favourite of the Scarlet Honeyeaters as the bigger birds don’t drop in for some nectar here very often. This is the first time the Brown Honeyeater has been seen at my place as well.

fuscous honeyeater_crop_named_home_jan 2015

Well I have to fly…

fuscous honeyeater02_named_crop_home_jan 2015

….but not before the most exciting news of all. One quite rare visitor to my place has been a Regent Honeyeater. When something like this happens a lot of people like to know so it is always good to let the folk at Birdlife Aust know when you come across something special.

regent honeyeater03_named_crop_home_jan 2015

Many thanks to Twitter mates @DOCTOR_Dave and @caroproberts for their help in identifying the birds and butterflies I had trouble identifying as well as everyone else who also helped.

I hope I get some more new birds at my place in 2015 to add to the 88 I have already discovered.

See ya