Summer has gone in Australia. Summers are hot in my part of the country.
Sometimes it feels like the sky is on fire
Now is time when the evenings are cool to have a fire outside
Summer has gone in Australia. Summers are hot in my part of the country.
Sometimes it feels like the sky is on fire
Now is time when the evenings are cool to have a fire outside
August. The final days of winter and the early spring flowers begin to emerge. The weather has been so nice, typical north coast days of mid twenties with cool nights. The nights are cool at my place especially as the cold breezes blow down the Gibraltar Ranges bringing quite chilly evenings and mornings. Didn’t get below zero degrees at the house this winter but there were frosts in the lower part of my property.
As usual, we have been driving around just checking out our world, discovering new things and rediscovering stuff. On one such drive-about, we came across some little Brown Quails warming in the afternoon sun by the side of a back road near Billen Cliffs
Quail are such funny looking birds but have a certain amount of cuteness that makes you smile when you find them bustling about.
The sun was almost set when a cacophony started heading toward us as we stopped at my besties house. The Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos had come from the pine forest and up to the gums around the house to roost for the night. There were around twenty to thirty birds squawking in the trees. It was getting dark and I was surprised that I managed to get a photo.
At my place, there has been activity among the trees as some of the eucalypts, Tallowwoods and Bloodwoods, are flowering. Most of the birds are here nearly all year round. The Yellow-faced Honeyeaters can be heard chip chip chipping away during the day.
It seems like I have a photo of an Eastern Yellow Robin in most of my blogs but they are such a lovely little bird. This time here is a rear view for a change.
The Grey Fantails are so busy swooping around the garden.
I was sitting in the study when a bird flew up and down the verandah. It didn’t sit still for very long (I have another entrant in “this is where the bird was a second ago” photos). The Spotted Pardalote sat still long enough for a photo through the glass door.
The King Parrots always drop by and have a look through the door to see what I am doing!!!
My besties bird bath has been the source of so many bird photos. The little Striated Thornbill looks like it saw me as it landed on the bird bath.
One drive took us to Ballina where a late lunch of fish and chips by the estuary near where we have a swim in summer. The tide was out and there were a number of waders way out sifting the sand for their lunch. This Masked Lapwing patrolled the area of sand in front of us, wandering up and down. It was funny to see it on the sand and not walking around the grass in the park.
The White-faced Heron was always finding something to eat as it wandered with purpose on the sands.
In a nearby tree, a Little Cormorant gave me a suspicious look, but still sat looking over the estuary.
The butterflies are just starting to be a regular sight in the garden. Don’t you think that the Orange Streaked Ringlet looks rather angry? I liked the colours as it sat on one of the garden ornaments.
One morning the sun filtered through the trees and highlighted some spider webs in the garden. I just had to stop washing up and grab my camera.
I don’t normally have such luck with spider web photos but these two really made my day.
One afternoon driving home along the Gwydir Highway, I spotted something out of the corner of my eye as I went over the Tindal Bridge. I was sure it was Wedged-tailed Eagles but they were sitting on the ground not far from the edge of the road. See my last blog on the Wedged-tailed Eagles if you haven’t already seen it. When they took to the sky it was a magnificent sight.
At my place, the Red-necked Wallabies are always hanging around. This morning, the young Joey was being brave, until they sensed I was watching from the kitchen window. Some days they Joeys have a great time hopping about. A while ago this Joey was having a great time.
“Is he still there Mum?”
“Oh dear. I better hide so he won’t see me!”
The Joey finally decided to sit in the warming morning sun to contemplate the day ahead.
The Bottlebrush had so many flowers this year, it was a magnet for the birds. The Friarbirds had taken over the garden and spent a lot of time chasing the other birds from the Grevilleas and this Bottlebrush. The bees in the Bottlebrush made the garden buzz
Guess who came in for a snack?
The Rainbow Lorikeets certainly add a splash of colour to the garden.
The Friarbirds look so prehistoric don’t they?
The little Yellow-faced Honeyeaters were also chased about by the Friarbirds.
The Blue-faced Honeyeaters didn’t care either way when the Friarbirds carried on. At the Honey Gem Grevillea, their don’t care attitude was evident in The Battle for the Grevillea
Well the sun is going down……….
…….and the Moon is on the rise. Thanks for reading
I love this time of year. The warmth starts everything growing, flowers bloom in the garden, many birds arrive to spend the end of the year and life just abounds. It also gives me a chance to find things at my place, at my besties, in town and everywhere I am wandering.
This year, the Hippeastrums were spectacular. The red ones were full of life and colour. Remember the native bees? The other colours bloomed after the reds and I found this little grasshopper while I was admiring the flowers. The grasshopper was inside the flowers trumpet but tended to be camera shy and started to get away from the lens.
I have no idea what this bug is! Maybe a grasshopper? I was standing in the garden when it decided to walk onto my foot. This bloke wasn’t camera shy at all and kept walking towards me. Just after I took this photo, he jumped onto the camera.
On my besties place, a farm for more than one hundred years, I came across this concrete pier from a building long since gone. This is the only pier I have found, covered in moss, laying in what is now a young rainforest.
Also down among the leaf litter are the fungi. This one looks like it has been tied up by the grass.
There is lots of this type of fungi. It seems to grow on rotting wood especially bits of the fig trees which have tumbled from the big old trees, the remnants of the original Big Scrub rainforest.
Now back to my place. I have found a couple of this grass species throughout the bush. The stem has a lot of purple fruit which really catch the eye when walking in the bush. This plant is growing beside the track to the house.
I love Gerberas, don’t you? They come in so many colours adding a splash of colour to the garden.
Enough of bugs and plants. The Bar-shouldered Doves have taken to walking around the garden in the mornings, examining the bits of bark and grass to find their breakfast.
We went to Ballina and came across these fluffy plover chicks who were in constant movement as the walked across the field, closely followed by the parents. Yes I was a chicken and stayed on the other side of the road as the parents didn’t like me getting too close.
My besties birdbath is a constant source of photo opportunities. The Little Wattlebirds have become a fixture in the garden over the past 3 years. This one looks like it saw me hiding on the verandah.
This year the Jacarandas in Grafton were amazing. The large tree near the building where I work had an extra surprise this year. A Figbird pair decided to make their nest close to the building. Here is mum coming back to the nest to feed the young one. I think she saw me at the window don’t you?
But she soon settled down the sit on the nest among the Jacaranda blooms.
A few days later, the wind was blowing when dad turned up to give the little feller a snack, blowing the blossoms away allowing a sneak peak at the young one.
Then he took over the nest sitting duties.
Late in the evening at my besties, the Green Catbirds start making their strange calls from high among the trees.
Yes it is getting dark. The flowers in the garden still shine in the encroaching darkness.
Well the sun is setting, so I must say goodnight and a goodnight from the Kookaburra too.
See you next time. What did you enjoy the most, the bugs, the fungi, the flowers or the birds?
What a busy February has been. I haven’t seemed to be able to stop, travelling to Orange in the central west of NSW where I saw the roses, and around the north coast as usual. I have seen so many new things as well as some birds and insects to photograph. Here is a batch of birds and insects plus a flower and some clouds found in early February. I am still going through the last lot of photos to find some pretty things for you.
I found this little wattle bird sitting on some broken branch of a eucalypt gazing into some loose bark.
In a flash he jumped over to the bark and started digging around.
Nearby, a young Blue-faced Honeyeater was looking rather intense don’t you think?
The Red-browed Finch was happy to have a bath.
High up in the trees this crazy bird was just sitting there like this for ages. Some Twitter folk have suggested “bird yoga” or just chilling and “catching some rays”. Either way it was funny to see.
I love clouds when you’re above them. They can look surreal.
This is the only flower photo, a day lily, as some of the others weren’t very good but the next blog may have more as you seem to love flowers as much as I do.
This part of Summer is when there are heaps of butterflies around. I have spent quite a bit of my days chasing butterflies lol. I think that this is an Orchard Butterfly. The photo was taken in the twilight in Orange. It was high in the pine when it finally stopped.
Another butterfly from Orange is this Australian Painted Lady which perched on the ground and only moved a short distance when I came too close.
I chased this Albatross around for ages as it kept disappearing into the foliage at home. I saw a white butterfly flying around one afternoon and when I finally found where it was perched it was so different to the white butterfly I was chasing. You can just see the white on the edge at the rear of the wings.
My garden has been full of Lemon Migrants flitting about the Cassia and on the Pentas.
My garden always has Line Blues flying about. They are so funny when the come across another Line Blue as the get into a spiralling and suddenly break away and continue their flitting about. This is one of only photos I have of one with its wings open.
I love it when the Dragonflies come buzzing about. They have been zipping alone then hover for a bit and suddenly take off in a direction that I never can pick. This dragonfly kept setting down on the ground making it easy to photograph.
I also have spent some time chasing bees. They do make it easy to photograph when they stop to collect a bit of pollen but always seem to have a wary eye open for me.
Another part of Summer has been some spectacular sunsets.
That’s all for February so far. Back to sorting the photos for the next blog. Hope you enjoyed seeing some of my February finds.
December has almost gone as is 2014. It has been a year of new discoveries through the camera’s lens. One of finding new people reading the words and looking at the photos as well as friends who send words of encouragement and love. This blog is one of looking at a series of photos in small snap shots of my world, some of it fascinating, some of it amazing as well as a bit of new life that has been happening around my place over the past month. How about we start off with one of my favourite subjects – fungi.
As the weather has turned from ever so dry to one of good rains, so the fungi have started to emerge in the forest floor. This little one was doing what fungi like to do, live in the darkness.
The wood fungus looked ever so coloured as the rain was falling as I found this stick with the two fungi and an air fern.
The birds have been enjoying the bananas at my besties place. The cows snuck into the house yard and decided to have a munch on some banana leaves which also resulted in the bunch being pushed over and needing rescuing. Some of the birds thought it was a good idea to hang the bunch up too. The Lewins Honeyeaters licked their beaks at the thought of bananas for breakfast.
The Catbirds also enjoyed their snack too
Really getting into the mood for eating
The sound of the Spangled Drongos calling caught my attention. When I got to their nest tree I saw a battle of epic proportions. The goanna was going to get up there no matter what, licking his lips all the way. Can you spot the Drongo?
The Drongos were having none of it though.
They swooped and dived clicking their beaks near the goannas head.
After a while the goanna was a bit sick of all the attention and decided that it was more fun to be somewhere else.
Then it was back to business, with the young ones and their demanding ways.
Another trip back from the “bush supermarket”.
While watching the Drongos, nearby was this young Bar-shouldered Dove sitting very still.
Every sunset is so different. One afternoon the setting sun was just glorious
The colours deepened the reds and oranges just burst through the sky
Looking a bit closer, the sky looked like the embers of a raging fire.
I love our moon and even when it’s only half, it still shine its light upon us.
That’s all for 2014, see you next year with hopefully many more discoveries and wonders that our world has for all of us to share. Have a great 2015.
PS When I got home yesterday, I went to see the Drongos and it looks like the goanna had finally won. The nest was empty and a bit dishevelled and the Spangled Drongos have gone…a sad end to my year 😦
It’s been a while since I have shared some of my discoveries. The last was in Spring so here are the December discoveries. There has been an abundance of flowers since the rain started. Only a few mls here and there with one big storm that put water into the dam. Actually at the moment the sky has darkened and thunder is rumbling so maybe some rain for a Christmas present. Wouldn’t that be nice? Decembers discoveries are a mixed bag of flowers, birds and all sorts of things that have caught my eye. I hope you enjoy this bit of my December.
Lets start with some flowers. I love it when the garden just bursts into bloom after the first summer rain. The Agapanthus look a treat scattered throughout the garden. I have white ones
and blue Agapanthus.
The Bauhinia is a bit rambling but when the flowers are out it provides a splash of colour.
The Dietes border some gardens and are in clumps here and there. Only downside is the are taking over almost weed like.
The yellow Dietes is a favourite of the Satin Bowerbirds. They harvest the flowers as quick as they appear. This one has a bonus small grasshopper!
Native flowers are always around. This little yellow flower is about 5mms across.
The Black Bean flowers come in a range of yellows and oranges and reds.
The Grevillea flowers are yet to come back. The dry weather certainly decreased the flowers so the Friar birds make do with the Hibiscus flowers, even if you have to be upside-down to get a snack.
The fig tree had an abundance of fruit this year and the Fig Birds have been hanging around the garden since the start of winter. I love their calls which ring out around my place early in the morning and late in the afternoon.
The Kookaburra was hiding in the garden waiting for an unsuspecting insect or lizard.
This year, the Spangled Drongo stayed a bit longer than usual and I found their nest. It is well tied on to the branch.
One hot day, 40 degrees plus, many of the birds were quite thirsty and hot. I have a number of water points around the garden for the birds. You have seen the new bird bath but this is an old wheelbarrow that get drips off the roof where some birds like to drop in for a bit of a splash and drink. This poor Drongo was very hot.
He was joined by a Friarbird and they had a bit of a discussion who was allowed to drink here.
Once the rain started, all around fungi seemed to sprout up anywhere. This little puff-ball was in the middle of a small grassed area.
Whereas this fungi grew out from the exposed root of a tree.
I love dragonflies. They are always zooming around the garden, either here or at my besties. This one was high in a tree watching us remove some weeds in the paddock. Their wings are amazing don’t you think?
This small dragonfly was almost invisible on the ground.
On a hot day a Green Tree Snake went for a dip in the pool, which is a frog pond now. It had a hard time trying to get out and did panic a bit when we came outside. It found a place to hide in the skimmer box. I put some palm branches around it so the poor little bloke could get out easily.
On a walk to Killen Falls we came across the Sandpaper figs fruiting. They are rather fuzzy.
This one comes with a bonus grasshopper too.
The sunsets have been amazing. Here is a selection of just one sunset.
This one has a bit of blue as the sun set.
I love the sunset when it looks like the sky is on fire.
Well, it’s almost Christmas. I found this nativity scene in a market. It’s made of wood and is from Thailand. I am not particularly religious but I love things that are well made and interesting. The elephant is missing as he is under the Christmas tree.
My Christmas tree. This years theme is elephants. As you may have guessed, I collect elephants.
Unless I get inspired to write before the end of the year, have a great 2015 and I’ll “see” you next year.
The many wanderings around the north coast of NSW has taken me to many places, seen many things and of course taken many photos. The last wandering took in the warm days of Spring. The flowers are blooming and many of the birds are coming back to the gardens.
The Calendulas are looking great in the garden.
The Gerberas just stand out in the sunshine.
Lemon trees are full of buds. It’s hard to imagine that this little flower will turn into a lemon.
All through the garden the nasturtiums are a riot of colour, brilliant reds and oranges.
I thought it would be good to look deep inside to see what they look like. The patterns and shapes are quite different.
The wisteria trailing over the arbour with the hanging blooms added a splash of mauve to the garden.
Lots of native flowers are looking good this year as well. The Egg and Bacon plants tiny flowers, only about 5 to 8mm across, are very showy.
With the onset of warm weather the insects are always present around the house and garden. This Crane Fly was hovering around and finally resting on a leaf.
The baby geckos are also on the move at night. This little bloke lives in the laundry.
The King Parrots send waves of reds and greens through the garden as the fly about the trees and bushes.
Whereas the Rainbow Lorikeets provide a constant chatter.
The old broken pot has made a great birdbath. The Wattlebird is a bit shy when bathing.
But doesn’t seem to mind sharing with the Spangled Drongo.
At Lismore Lake the birds are busy. The late afternoon has birds flying and singing everywhere. The Egrets stalk around the water plants, probably looking for an unsuspecting frog or fish.
The Superb Fairy Wrens were flitting about the shrubs.
I wondered why that little bloke was so intent of capturing my attention. A bit of an investigation found these two.
Back at home, the Scarlet Honeyeater kept a wary eye on me as he had a feed on the Bottlebrush flower.
A convenient post let the Eastern Whipbird call his mate.
The sunsets are quite spectacular this time of year, it must be time to go.
The candles are lit so time to settle down for a bit relaxing after a busy day wandering about. Good night.
I have been doing my usual wandering about, looking for things that are interesting, stunning or just plain great to photograph. This is what I have found over the past two months which have made a quick stroll or a drive into a lot of stop and look.
The early morning fog sitting in the Clarence Valley looked quite amazing as I came over the hill on the way to town.
Some of the morning skies had so much colour
The Pelicans were paddling on the Clarence River looking for their breakfast. Everyone knows that Pelicans are great fishers and know exactly where the fish are.
The Little Corellas played on the light towers, swinging on the wires and generally creating havoc.
There were many storm clouds around but I haven’t had much rain at my place in the past few months and the Summer storms just didn’t appear this season. These were looming while I was travelling around the Richmond Valley.
The next few photos are stuff I found in Lismore. I will have to go back and see if I can get the shot I saw in my mind with this spiral stair case.
I love puddles
I also love rust – the textures and colours rust brings to metal.
This is what it’s like looking down the barrel of a gun.
The footpath also got my attention. The moss is such a striking green.
The early Winter flowers were appearing in the gardens around Lismore. A splash of white caught my attention. I have no idea what it is though.
One tree had ants massing all over as they were preparing to launch the winged ones.
But the tree looked nonplussed.
On the way back to my besties, we stopped at the outdoor cathedral in Bexhill. The Grevillea flowers (I think) were almost over but still looked amazing.
The flowers at her place were also blooming. I was hoping to get a bee or two but they were too fast.
The birds that are there are nothing like the birds at my place, although there are a couple that I find at mine as well as at hers. The cheekiest is the White-browed Scrub Wren who likes to hang around the back door.
“Is anyone home!!”
“I know you’re in there!!”
The Catbirds were around in the afternoon making their weird sounds.
I also came across this butterfly. Its colours made for a great camouflage until I came blundering along.
I guess the sun is setting so drop by soon and let me know if you enjoyed my some of my Discoveries in June and July.
Tonight I was driving home and as I crossed the bridge, the sky was starting to see the benefits of sunset. I just had to find a spot just on the edge of Grafton, down a side street that is usually a quiet spot, just a cattle truck rattled by and as I was leaving some folks turned up for footy training.
This spot is great so tonight I indulged myself the time to watch the sunset. The clouds were looking quite different and the colours were just starting to highlight some of the shapes and forms that the clouds were starting to build.
Here’s what I saw……
Then the show started once the sun dripped the horizon.
I just love this one
It was time for the Ibis to head back to their roost
The yellows were giving way to the oranges
As the sun dripped lower, more clouds were revealed.
The clouds almost turned to fire.
Perhaps the break in the cloud formation was due to planes. See their trails. But it did contribute to the making of a great sunset.
The reds became stronger, deeper, the highlights showed more striations.
I decided that it would be good to see deep into the clouds. The woven effect was quite nice.
But the red….thats all…but the red
As usual I have been out and about finding stuff and having stuff find me. There has been some nice moments as well as some that were a bit on the reptilian side. The world still is an amazing place with wonders that has colour from the sky above to the little creatures who live among us. If you love being alive to experience stuff then come with me to the things I find that sometimes take my breath away or make me sit and watch with amazement.
Let’s begin with a wonderous morning sky. Not a barrage of colour, just light bright sky with the most amazing clouds.
This time I am going to get the photos that could frighten some people out-of-the-way early. So if you are scared of reptile have a quick scroll now. I love Goannas, except when the eat my chooks eggs!! When I can I catch them and move them up the road to eat someone elses eggs ha ha ha. This one was a bit big – around 2 meters and the cat treed him.
You can see how they manage to climb a tree so quickly.
But they have interesting faces.
OK You can stop scrolling here if that was too much for you delicate constitutions.
The dam at the top of the road often has some interesting visitors. The other day two different species of Heron were stalking the edges, a White Faced Heron…
And a Pacific Heron
While a Pacific Baza watched from a nearby tree, probably eyeing off the chooks
The large bits of the world are always easy to see and find but it’s often the small that take my eye. Some bugs just wander into my world, wander about for a while then off they go on important bug business. Remember that Shield Bug
This time the dragonfly flitting about was a brilliant red not like the last one who was more a yellow colour
While the Cassia are in flower the bees buzz about. This bloke was given a pat on the back for a flower visit.
And as always there are butterflies…The Speckled Line Blue was playing catch with another. It was fun to watch one hide until discovered by the other and then they just spiralled into the air until one zipped away and hid.
And the Northern Ringlet – I think – has great spot “eyes” to keep predators at bay.
As butterflies enjoy flowers, so do I, the colours and shapes are a source of great photos.
And again this time a yellow explosion from the ground
Have you ever looked closely at a Hydrangea flower
Silk Tree flowers have great colour and form but do look a bit messy as they don’t last long.
Well the sun is going down once again, February has had a bit of variety hasn’t it?
Thanks for the visit….see you next time
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