This is September 2019

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.
donky_furry_named_lismore_sept 2019
I love going past the dairy and seeing these beautiful cows.cow_dairy_named_kyogle_sept 2019
It is never good to see one of these ants on the verandah. Their bite is quite painful for such a small insect.ant_verandah_named_caniaba_sept 2019
I do enjoy finding a spiders web in the right light.spider_web_small_named_caniaba_sept 2019
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.butterfly_caper_white_named_caniaba_sept 2019
Meadow Argus are enjoying the early Spring flowers on the Pittosporum. butterfly_meadow_argus_named_home_jackadgery_sept 2019
The Stingless Native Bees certainly loved the Rocket flowers.bee_stingless_native_flower_rocket_named_caniaba_sept_2019
As did the honey bees.bee_flower_rocket_named_caniaba_sept_2019
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.fly_insect_flower_nursery_named_byron_bay_sept 2019
Saw this amazing flower but forgot to write down the name, sorry.flower_petals_nursery_named_byron_bay_sept 2019
The Cacti were in bloom as well.flower_pink_cacti_nursery_named_byron_bay_sept 2019
Yes it is a bud, a very weird hairy bud. Can you guess what flower may appear from this in my besties garden?poppy_flower_bud_named_caniaba_sept 2019
The yellow Poppy enjoyed the sunshine.flower_poppy_yellow_named_caniaba_sept 2019
Here is the hairy buds flower, a red Poppy.flower_poppy_red_named_caniaba_sept 2019
Spring brings out the Begonia flowersflower_begonia_verandah_named_caniaba_sept 2019
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.bottlebrush_flower_named_caniaba_sept 2019
Her Roses are looking wonderful. This one is a Double Delight just opening.flower_rose_double_delight1_named_caniaba_sept 2019
This Double Delight is open showing lovely delicate colours.flower_rose_double_delight2_named_caniaba_sept 2019
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.leaves_white_fig_colours_named_home_jackadgery_sept 2019
It also likes to show its true Aussie colours of Green and Goldleaves_white_fig_named_home_jackadgery_sept 2019

There are lots of birds around at the moment too. The Red-browed Firetails are cruising the grass eating the seeds
red_browed_firetail_finch_named_caniaba_sept 2019
The Straw-necked Ibis are also wandering about looking for grubs in the paddocks.straw-necked ibis_ named_caniaba_sept 2019
I have a few Australian Ravens who have a walk about the garden looking for snacks.australian_raven_named_home_jackadgery_sept 2019

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.
chestnut_brewasted_mannikins_fence_named_caniaba_sept_2019
The King Parrots are enjoying the last of the seeds in the Leopard Tree.king_parrot_garden_named_home_jackadgery_sept 2019

The Mistletoe Bird has wonderful red colours.
mistletoe_bird_named_caniaba_sept 2019
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.willie_wagtail_chick_nest_named_caniaba_sept 2019
The Welcome Swallows have four chicks in two nests at my besties under the verandah. They are always hungry.welcome_swallows_chicks_feeding_named_caniaba_sept_2019
Some years, Welcome Swallows have two nestings. Here comes another feather to line the nest for the next lot of babies.welcome swallow_feather_nest_named_caniaba_sept 2019

 

The Restless Flycatchers like to patrol the fence lines in the morning.satin_flycatcher_fence_named_caniaba_sept 2019
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.satin_bowerbirds_verandah_named_home_jackadgery_sept 2019
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.waterhole_drinking_yellow_faced_honeyeater_white_throated_honeyeater_named_home_jackadgery_sept 2019
The little Striated Honeyeater just jumped straight into the bird bath.striated_thornbill_bird_bath_diving_named_caniaba_sept 2019
Whereas the White-throated Honeyeater just dived straight in.white-throated honeyeater_bird_bath_diving_named_caniaba_sept 2019
This is the first time I have seen a Little Friarbird and a Noisy Friarbird together.friarbirds_noisy_little_bird_bath_named_caniaba_sept 2019
A female Olive-backed Oriel came to the bird bath for the first time at my besties.olive-backed oriel_female_bird_bath_named_caniaba_sept 2019
The Male shows why they are Olive-backed Oriels.olive-backed oriel_back_bird_bath_named_caniaba_sept 2019
He doesn’t look to pleased to see me with my camera does he?olive-backed oriel_looking_bird_bath_named_caniaba_sept 2019
Everyone like the Australian Raven skipping down the hill last month. How about a Silver Gull dancing? gull_dance_named_brunswick_heads_sept 2019
AS I said, the sky was been choked with smoke from the fires. I couldn’t quite capture the red sun at sunset one afternoonsun_red_named_jackadgery_sept 2019
Other sunsets were quite orange.sunset_red_named_caniaba_sept 2019
or a blaze of yellow!sunset_fires_named_caniaba_sept 2019
The smoke mixed with cloud made for some interesting shapes and spooky atmosphere.sunset_fires_orange_named_caniaba_sept 2019
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.sunsegrass_seeds_insect_named_caniaba_sept 2019

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you enjoyed my September.

Also a contribution to Su’s The Changing Seasons

 

This is August

I do seem to have a lot of favourite photos from August. I have done quite a hard cull. I hope you are able to get through all of this blog. It was a busier than usual month. The rain hasn’t come and the place is dry now. It is a pity the dam I use for around the garden leaked as it was full in Autumn and that would normally have seen me through Winter until the Spring storms arrive.  Being so dry the number of birds are reduced but I have maintained the water points around the garden for the birds and animals. I almost feel like a bad parent, selecting the plants to water and hoping the others will hang in there until I start the pump and give the garden a good soaking.

Enough of the sob story and let’s get started with the things I found in August.

I just love the colour of this leaf.
leaf_named_home_august 2017

Late one afternoon while I was searching for a new log to cut firewood, I went down to the water hole. This water hole has never dried even in some of the severe droughts in the 1990’s and 2000’s. Camera settings 1/320 F6.5 ISO 800
pool_afternoon_named_home_august 2017

Driving about the property, mainly gathering firewood and pulling lantana out, I often come across a family of White-winged Choughs as they patrol the bush, walking about looking under leaves and bark for insects. It was good to see that this family group has grown from five to seven.
white winged chough_named_home_august 2017

The wily Currawong was sitting in the Bottlebrush waiting for an unsuspecting small Honeyeater to drop in for a meal.
currawong_named_home_august 2017

At the small paddock dam, in reality a wetland now, the Peaceful Dove was walking down the slope heading for a drink.
peaceful dove_named_home_august 2017

In one of the water points I have placed a stick so if a bird falls into the old drum, they have something to grab onto and get out. The Yellow-faced Honeyeaters like sitting on the stick after having a drink or plopping in the water for a bath.
yellow faced honeyeaters_named_home_august 2017

The main sounds that were echoing through the bush in August were the calls of the Yellow-faced Honeyeaters. They loved feasting on the Bottlebrushes.
brown honeyeater_named_home_august 2017

The Black-faced Cuckoo Shrike was surveying the scene at Modenville.
black faced cuckoo shrike_named_modanville_august 2017

One morning the Bowerbird was eating the grass for breakfast. It had quite a number of beak-fulls before it flew off.
satin bower bird female_named_home_august 2017

The Bowerbird looked stunning in the afternoon light.
satin bower bird_female_named_home_august 2017

I love having King Parrots around. Their whistle resounds through the bush.
king parrot01_named_home_august 2017

A Restless Flycatcher dropped in for an afternoon.
restless flycatcher_named_home_august 2017

The Superb Fairy Wrens were bustling about the garden at Modenville hardly sitting long enough for a photo.
superb fairy wren_named_modanville_august 2017

The little Variegated Fairy Wren was very busy with his flock of females as they explored the garden at Binna Burra.
variegated fairy wren_named_binna burra_august 2017

I wondered what had happened to my beautiful blooms on my Cyclamen and then I saw the culprit. It is almost like the caterpillar has a straw in its mouth.
caterpillar_cyclamen_named_home_august 2017

I found this tiny “house” that an insect has constructed on the bark of a block of firewood I had cut. I have bought it home and hope to see what come out of this beautifully constructed nest.
insect nest_named_home_august 2017

I found this beetle marching with purpose along a log.beetle_orange black_named_home_august 2017

The Common Jezebals have been flying about the bush and garden for a few weeks. When they fly they have an intense stroboscopic pattern flashing of black and white. When the wings are flat you can see the predominately white side of the wings.
common jezabel_close_named_home_august 2017

I love it when there is an unexpected spider on a flower or seed head as well as small grasshoppers and ants. The seed head is about the size of a 20 cent piece.
grass flower spike_spider_named_home_august 2017

This is the rest of the spike
grass flower spike_named_home_august 2017

There is a lot of native flowers popping up this August. It was unseasonably very warm. A lovely circle of yellow flowers about the size of a 10 cent piece.
native flower_yellow_named_home_august 2017

I called this flower a Buttercup but it’s probably not. The leaves are similar to Oxalis.
native flower_yellow_buttercup_named_home_august 2017

Look how hairy the leaves are and the flower has a lovely reddish brown centre.
native flower_yellow hairy leaves_named_home_august 2017

The Egg and Bacon plant is growing on the top of the dam wall. The flowers are beautiful and yes the leaves are spiky. A great place for small birds to escape into.
egg and bacon flower_named_home_august 2017

I call this vine a Native Wisteria. It is also called False Sarsaparilla and a few other names. It looks lovely when the vine entwines with a wattle threading purple among the wattle flowers.
native wisteria01_named_home_august 2017

Scattered throughout the bush these little star shaped flowers are easy to miss as they are about ten millimeters across.
native flower_purple_named_home_august 2017

The Bottlebrush flower is photo-bombed by a Stingless Native Bee.
grevillea_red_bee_named_home_august 2017

This Grevillea flower is called Lemon Daze.
grevillea_yellow daze_named_home_august 2017

Isn’t the inside of this flower interesting?
flower_pink_named_binna burra_august 2017

Love the colour of these flowers.
pink flower_named_binna burra_august 2017

Pansys. Who doesn’t love smiling Pansy faces. The colours are spectacular.
pansey_yellow_named_binna burra_august 2017

The camera can’t catch the deep purple of these Pansys
pansey purple_named_binna burra_august 2017

One August afternoon the sunset was spectacular.
sunset01_named_binna burra_august 2017

I love the effect of the hills and trees on the horizon.
sunset_close_named_binna burra_august 2017

One of my Canon Powershot camera setting is called “Creative”. It takes a number of photos with different setting. This one made the sun look explosive.
sunset_changed_named_binna burra_august 2017

Looks like the sun has set so goodbye and thanks for stopping by.

A surprise visitor to the garden

The lack of rain has taken its toll on the garden. Plants are struggling and the dam is down to the last quarter. Last weekend I had to push the float out further into the middle of the dam before I could water the garden. Starting to decide which plants I am going to save and the ones who will have to do the best they can.

See the comparison from last year to this.

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But I digress. The reason for mentioning the dry was that, in my garden, is a most wonderful little visitor who hasn’t been around for quite some time. When I first moved here there weren’t many birds, just a raven or two cawking around and the occasional flock of Rainbow Lorikeets flying over head. But one day I heard this sound, I thought sounded like someone rolling a handful of marbles around in the their hand, which turned out to be a Restless Flycatcher. Have a look and hear the sound on the link. I wondered whether they like being around when it’s a bit drier as it was during the early years living here.

I first saw the female but didn’t have a clue what sort of bird she was and couldn’t get a clear photo as she was busy eating a bug.

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But then, nearby, I heard him call. So then for the rest of the afternoon and the next day I spent watching his hopping about the garden, singing and being ever so cute. Yes I did take quite a number of photos. Here is a selection of this delightful little visitor to my sad garden.

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He just seemed to pose for a while then change around so I saw his many colours and bright eyes

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A sneaky rear photo

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He looked so indignant that I dare to photograph whilst he was rather ruffled when having a bit of a preen.

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But soon set about posing for the camera once again

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He loved his close-ups. A front-on

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The a bit of this way.

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And then this way

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What a pretty bloke to have flitting about the garden with his erratic flying chasing unsuspecting insects don’t you think?

brian