Walking Square #3 – Rocks, flowers and butterflies

Becky’s #WalkingSquares

Todays walk was in the Gibraltar Ranges. My mine aim was to get some photos of Waratahs and not have to do housework.

Here at my place it was a bit chilly, so I knew that going into the mountains it was going to be cooler. I wore jeans, T-shirt and a light jumper and had a jacket in the car just in case. Yes I know it’s Summer but no one told the weather. It snowed a way down the range but I knew there was snow somewhere as last night was rather cold. Yeah I know. A big baby when I say cold at 9c

This is a long walk as when I got to the gates to Washpool National Park they were locked. The Parkies were getting trees off the track that had fallen from the huge windstorm we had a week ago. The bush is still recovering from the fires and it doesn’t take much for a burnt tree to come crashing down. This walk to Granite Rock Lookout was about 2km there and back.

Well lets get started walking in the great southern land

Heading down the track with lots of flowers in the bush everywhere

Sometimes the White Paper Daisys Tall Everlasting attracted butterflies. Just like yesterday another Caper White Butterfly.

They enjoyed purple flowers as well

Didn’t find the name for this purple Australian Native Flower

Another type of Butterfly I looked and maybe a Pearl White of some sort

A lot of insects likes these flowers

Almost there. You can see why it’s called Granite Rock Lookout. A great walk through the Aussie bush. Maybe the second favourite spot I go to.

We may as well have a look at the view. This is where square has limitations. Even using 4:3 it would take three or four shots. Even panorama is a two photo to get the almost 280 degree view.

But we are here for the Waratahs. They are a Proteaceae so relative is South African Proteas. The first one I saw was just starting to open its buds

As I looked around I saw around twenty just near where I was. One had three flower heads and the buds of another one.
Aren’t they fabulous flowers. They are the New South Wales State Flower Emblem

You know I couldn’t go all the way up there without dropping in on my favourite spot, Raspberry Lookout. So it was take in the view. Out with my thermos and a Teabag and I even took a biscuit from home for afternoon tea.

Over the past few months I have been getting the blues. But I get up here and the blues get me.

Cee’s FOTD

Pick a Word October 2022

Lost in Translation’s Thursday’s Special: Pick a Word – October 2022

Paula’s words are always great to match my photos to. That’s why I love this photo challenge so much.

DRAMATIC

FICTIONAL

MIGRATING

SERENE

CARTOONED

Looking at mountains

The Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #222: Mountains are Calling

I did wonder if I had many mountain landscape photos. I did a quick look around and found a few.

Maybe have a listen to my favourite mountain song

I love this view of Mt Vesuvius from Pompeii

Sometimes when heading home the mountains are tinged with blue and shrouded in fog

Cradle Mountain in Tasmania still with snow in October

Mount Wollumbin in the distance

It is a place of myths and legends. The mountain has always been a place of cultural and traditional significance to the Bundjalung people, a is the site for many ceremonies and initiation rites. In Aboriginal legend, Wollumbin was a giant bird, speared by a warrior. That fatal spear is still visible as a point on the summit. Another legend is that fighting warriors cause the lightning and thunder which is often observed in the area around Wollumbin.

My favourite place to rest and recharge. This was taken after the fires of 2019 showing the Gibraltar Ranges bald spots from Raspberry Lookout

Some days at Raspberry Lookout, the blue and an air of mystery makes me gasp

Of course there is always a sun setting on a mountain as the mountains are west from my place

This is September 2022

What a mixed bag September was. There were warm days, days of lots of rain, some nights were cool, cool enough to light the fire. I decided to put flannie sheets on again when I changed the sheets. This proved to be a good choice as although the days were in the low to mid 20’s, the nights went down to single figures or low teens.

I am sorry that there is a lot of photos this month but the start of Spring here is brim full of life. I guess you’ll need a song to get through this long post. How about this one? It’s a new one for me.

Where to start this massive post? I guess with some of the foggy mornings. Some mornings the fog just seemed to rise up from the gullies and engulf the bush.

The many spider webs throughout the garden really stood out with a hint of moisture hanging on the threads

Some of the garden spiders have really amazing colours

Another tiny spiders web but this time I found a horizontal web shaped like a dish

At first I thought this was a bee buzzing around me. Then I thought fly with a bit of a stinger. I have tried to find out but sorry can’t tell you what it could be

This is a Common Leaf Walker I think. Sort of has a wasp like body but no stinger.

I found a Jewel Beetle at my daughters place which is near mine.

The Sweet Orange Pittosporum flowered so well this month sending drifts of sweet scents into the house. The Stingless Native Bees also loved the blossoms.

A cute view of a bees bum as it heads into a Bottlebrush to get more pollen. Look at how full the pollen sacs on its legs are already.

The Grevilleas around the garden burst into bloom as well. I have lost the tags to a lot of the Grevillea bushes so I cannot tell you this one. It was a rescue plant that has done quite well.

Firesticks Grevillea is a favourite with a lot of the smaller honeyeaters.

The afternoon sun really lit up this Grevillea, another rescue plant. Rescue plants from nurseries are ones that look like they are on their last legs and are at almost giveaway prices. I can manage to get nearly all them back to life and flourish. There has been a couple of exceptions but two or three dollars for a twenty dollar plant isn’t much if they don’t make it.

The Coconut Ice Grevillea flourished as well

I had almost forgotten about the Star Jasmin in a garden. This year it has reappeared trailing over an old Lemon Bush giving a lovely scent in that part of the garden and occasionally wafts into the sun room.

Another surprise plant in the garden. I was give some cutting of what was called a Giant Salvia. No idea of its real name. It really is a giant. The plant is over three metres with big sprays of flowers at the top.

The flowers are quite complex and beautiful.

The Gerberas I planted last year have popped up again.

I thought the Daisy bush was finished but it has come back covered in flowers

The new growth on many Australian shrubs and trees start of with a reddish hue

This mossy rock has been in the garden for years and now the moss has totally covered the rock

The succulents in my shade house are also flowering. It is lovely to be greeted with a burst of yellow

All of the Begonias are in flower. I have just included one.

I thought I had lost the Hares Foot Fern but it has come back to life.

On my place the native flowers have come to life as well. I think this is a Hairy Bush Pea. There are so many Pea plants that look quite similar.

I have always called this plant Egg and Bacon Plant which is a common name for so many same coloured flowers. My one has sharp points on the end of the leaves (you can just see) so it may be a Prickly Shaggy Pea but I am just outside of the known species zone. But prickly it is.

On my trip to Toowoomba to see my daughter for her birthday and to see the Festival of Flowers, along the highway there were some fabulous wattles flowering.

At one place I stopped at I found these little flowers in patches or purple scattered on the roadside

I posted a Sundew from my daughters place that was green. As the age they turn this lovely red colour

I went down to the Central Coast to my sisters funeral service at Avoca. While there on a walk I found this lovely Banksia flower.

September saw the Blue-faced Honeyeaters return for Summer to enjoy the Honey Gem Grevilleas

The Rainbow Lorikeets also like the Honey Gems

Near the end of the month the Spangled Drongos turned up as well

Eastern Spinebills are very acrobatic when getting a Bottlebrush snack

The Scarlet Honeyeaters like to feed on the red flowers of the Bottlebrush. This female Scarlet Honeyeater is making her selection

This male Scarlet Honeyeater contemplates his next flower as well

The resident Laughing Kookaburra is always on the lookout for a snack

A Sulpher-crested Cockatoo with a sunset shining through its wings at Avoca.

An Osprey was also cruising the shoreline at Avoca

On Alumy Creek near Grafton, I noticed there was some Black Swans when I drove past a while ago. One morning when I went to town I decided to see if they were still there. They were, around forty Black Swans, but also there was a large flock of Pacific Black Ducks.

As most of the Black Swans were on the far side of the river and behind some of the riverbank vegetation, I though just a photo of these two who happened to paddle past was a good photo

On the road from Toowoomba I stopped to get a few photos for Monday Portrait. Yes you’ll have to wait for those. As I approached the fence, there was a flurry of wings and a flock of small birds flew off in front of me. Luckily they only went a short way up the paddock. I managed to get one photo of these Plum-headed Finches, the first time I have seen them.

Looks like a Rainbow Bee Eater found a good snack

I love finding little Superb Fairy Wrens. A wonderful splash of blue among the foliage

“OK what are you doing. I’m just checking in.”

Enjoying the sunshine at my place this Bearded Dragon soaked up the sun on the warm gravel driveway

Another permanent resident is a Brown Bandicoot. I know they are around the garden and yard is the number of holes dug in the soil as they look for grubs or worms. As it was raining I spoilt the King Parrots and other birds with a small dish of seed on the verandah. The Bandicoot discovered this dish as well and cleaned up what was left in the evenings. Look at those digging claws!

I just loved this seascape again from Avoca

Remember that small purple flower above a few photos ago. Well this is the reason I stopped as. I just love rust as well as old vehicles. I hope someone had some great holidays in this bus

Ages ago I posted a photo of this bridge. As it was on the way to Toowoomba, I just had to see if it was still standing. It is, but only just.

Another bridge. This one is in the Japanese Gardens in Toowoomba. I waited for ages to get a photo when no one was on the bridge. There were a lot of people in the gardens that day.

It is not often I get a photo of my favourite place, the Raspberry Lookout, in the afternoon. The rains came two days later in the early morning and lasted for three days

I hope you enjoyed a long read through my September and thanks for getting to the end. Did you have a favourite photo?

About The Changing Seasons

The Changing Seasons is a monthly project where bloggers around the world share their thoughts and feelings about the month just gone. We all approach this slightly differently, though generally with an emphasis on the photos we’ve taken during the month.

For many of us, looking back over these photos provides the structure and narrative of our post, so each month is different. Some focus on documenting the changes in a particular project — such as a garden, an art or craft project, or a photographic diary of a familiar landscape.

But in the end, it is your changing season, and you should approach it however works for you.

There are no fixed rules around post length or photo number — just a request that you respect your readers’ time and engagement.

Tags and ping-backs

Tag your photos with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so that others can find them

Create a ping-back to Ju-Lyn at Touring My Backyard or this post, so that we can update it with links to all of yours.

Also for Cee’s FOTD

Just these ones

Lens-Artists Challenge: Picking Favourites

This was a difficult challenge. Most people would expect that I would choose a bird photo or perhaps flowers but this time I have gone into not what makes this a great photo but why.

Sarah provided a brief that was quite prescriptive wanting to know: – “Tell us a bit about each of your three photos please. Where you took it and when. Why you are pleased with it and have chosen it for this challenge. Does it evoke some special memories that influenced your choice of it as a favourite? Has it won a competition perhaps? Or is it simply a shot you love and are pleased to have taken. It doesn’t matter, by the way, if you’ve shared it before. The best images are worth seeing more than once, after all.”

Earlier today I was looking at the posts of people I follow and from Ann-Christine She wrote “…I can see that I photograph more with my heart than with camera and lens….” This resonated with me and I commented “I must agree that when you take a photo with your heart, it shines through the lens, captured forever. Looking back that sense of heart glows ever bright remembering the moment”

This first photo is a place of calm and is one of my favourite places to go. The peace and looking over the rest of the Gibraltar Range from Raspberry Lookout. I am lucky that it is not far from my place. This is a place where my heart does feel at peace and the photos I take shine through.

Coming back into the urban environment, I was sitting in the Byron Bay Bakery where the windows are almost floor to ceiling with seating waiting for my bestie. In front of the bakery the street plantings are Lilli Pilli bushes which at the time were flowering. The colour of the flowers against the grey of the street took my eye.

Always with camera at hand, I focused to get the photo I saw and then just then, what could be called a zen moment, a Stingless Native Bee cruised over to check out the flower. Stingless Native Bees are about 10mm in length. A macro photo using telephoto with the camera just set on auto.

I love sunset photos when the sky is special. This photo takes in another part of my life as I live in the bush or countryside and cattle are in nearly all of the farms around. A silhouette against a coloured sky makes a strong image. Sometimes cows tend to pose at the right time in the right place.

OK I am sneaking in just one more so I can break the “rules”

It is not often that a Moon Flower opens in the Full Moon as they are supposed to do but when they do they are spectacular. I cannot remember the camera settings, probably hand held night scene function on my camera. I had my bestie as my assistant and she held the torch so I might get that just right photo

Let’s go for a drive

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #203: Local Vistas

Everyone ready. Get comfortable. Put some music on

OK, turn left out of the gate and down the road

Turn left and head down to Lilydale

Go past the Ospreys nest

Yes someone has to open the gate

and here we are at Lilydale. Want to go for a quick swim?

Back in the car we rattle over the old wooden bridge and are soon at Cangi

It is rather peaceful and a good place to grab a bit to eat

Back onto the highway and head up the Gibraltar Range

First stop is always at the Raspberry Lookout

Where we will find native wildflowers like these Paper Daisies

or other native flowers with Blue-banded Bees

and perhaps a Nobbi Lizard sun baking on the rocks

among the yellow Paper Daisies

Just a bit further up the road is Washpool National Park where the first stop is Granite Rocks

and then further into the valley and into the rainforest where the giants live

Time to head for home back down the highway

and down the road to home

Through the gate

and time for a cup of tea

From small to tall

The Lens-Artists Challenge #192: Earth Story

My focus for this challenge is vegetation. From a tiny moss “forest”

to grasses that support life

with seeds and flowers

ferns providing shelter

Bottlebrush bush with flowers and food for everyone

Grevilleas giving shade and food for insects and birds

Tree Ferns who are older than dinosaurs, first plants to recover from fires – yes those fires in 2019 – as seen here. The stems of tree ferns are a miniature ecosystem, with epiphytic plants like mosses, small ferns and maybe lichens growing on them.

The first fronds that emerge are called Fiddleheads

Bigger flowering trees can be spectacular like Poinciana trees

Or Illawarra Flame Trees which stand out against the green of the bush when flowering

and then there are the towering giants in the rainforest that support all manner of life from the soil to the tree tops

Where would an Earth Story be without our wonderful plants – from the small to the tall. The featured photo is my favourite spot, Raspberry Lookout where you can sit among the trees as well as look over the valleys and the tree tops.

Pick a Word February 2022

Thursdays Special: Pick a Word – February 2022

Time to find some photos to match Paula’s words.

CONSERVEDOne of my favourite places, Raspberry Lookout in the Gibraltar National Park, conserved for everyone to enjoy

MEANDERINGThe road that leads to my place

SUBDUEDThe neighbours old shed among the trees next door to my besties place in the early morning

STRAIGHT A vineyard in Tasmania

SYSTEMATISEDI am sure the shop owner must have some sort of system

Did you think I did OK? Did you have a favourite?