Day seventeen of Becky’s Square Top Photo Challenge
So at ease
watching in awe
watching with love
sometimes in threes
freed from the ground
freed from the trees
Large in the sky
spreading of wings
this one not sings
Large is impressive
filling the sky
but small is too
Welcome to This is July 2019.
What a month it has been. Over the month the lack of rain has started to bite again. There was 10mls of rain at the start of the month and since then it has been quite warm during the day. Some days have been in the low 20’s while the nights have been in single figures. The warm days are not that unusual for my winter but the constant sunny days are. There has been rain on the coast, yesterday (1 August) there was 20mls of rain while some sporadic rain clouds drifted overhead here. My dam I use to water the garden around the house is very low. I have to decide what part of the garden I’ll give water to to try and keep plants alive. I am loathe to use the dam’s water because it is so dry and I may need that water in case a bush fire springs up nearby. There has been a few fires but they have been a fair way from here. I am glad I don’t have any animals or crops to look after as it is depressing enough as it is.
July was Becky’s #JulySquares so all of those plus others I have used in other photo challenges aren’t in here but I thought I would use the photo that had the most comments and likes as the header.
Enough of that. This has been a bit of a cropper month for photos though so I do suggest that you get a drink, perhaps a snack, settle back and scroll along.
Hey ho let’s go……………
I spent a few days down the coast visiting my mate whose wife is quite unwell. It is a lovely place and the ferry that goes across the bay is so cute. The size of the other boats docked at the marina make the ferry look so small.
We found a secondhand shop on the way home. We didn’t buy as their prices were a bit over the top. The glassware was well displayed.
Don’t look at this too long as you will probably see it move.
In Lismore, a nearby town, they have a train in a park that the kids love, OK I have been on it once or twice. I was getting photos of the park and I really liked the tunnel photo.
My bestie found a Wanderer Butterfly caught in a spiders web in the garden. After removing the web, the butterfly sat on her hand for ages before flying off.
I wonder if this is the same Wanderer Butterfly?
While away down the coast, we did a bit of exploring the surrounding area. I found these flowers on a most unusual plant in the sand dunes.
Isn’t this flower and it’s hairy plant lovely? I think it is called Herb Robert.
My Billbergia Nutans are flowering
I found this flowering native shrub while out on my place cutting firewood.
The Magpies found a warm place in the sun. They were warbling away as we walked down the street to where we were staying.
Pied Currawongs are a sign of Winter as they come down from the mountains when the weather get cold up there. This one seems to be taken with the house and the verandah.
The Willie Wagtails at my besties like riding around on the cows next door. I think they may be collecting nesting materials from the cows.
The Cattle Egrets love riding around on the cows too.
Back at home, the King Parrots are still hanging around despite the dry conditions.
The females are quite different compared to the males.
Among the garden bushes, a little Striated Thornbill was hunting for insects.
The Scarlet Honeyeaters are always around the garden. It is lucky I have some Eucalypts flowering so there is a food source for these wonderful little birds.
There seems to be lots of small birds around at the moment. The Double-barred Finches were happy to hop around the grass eating grass seeds.
A new bird for me, a Black-faced Woodswallow at my besties place
Some of my grevilleas are bravely trying to flower despite the lack of water. The wonderful bird attracting Honey Gem which usually has an abundance of flowers has a few straggly flowers that the Lewins Honeyeaters have found.
Yes, I am looking at you Satin Bower Bird. Taken while sitting in my office through the door. The camera is always on the desk.
The female Satin Bower Bird was also curious to see what I was going.
While down in the lower part of my place there is a wide grassed gully which I drive along to find suitable fallen timber for firewood. Often when I arrive there is a flurry of activity from White-winged Choughs or these birds, Grey-crowned Babblers. A small group walk along the gully flicking over leaves, bark and small rocks to find insects to eat. They have a constant chatter as they do and there is one bird who is the lookout who will let everyone know that danger lurks. As I approached, they flew into the trees so I just sat and waited until they resumed normal business.
Here you can see their grey crown
If the piece of wood is too hard to kick over, you have to get down and get your beak in to get your snack.
Back at home, the White-throated Honeyeaters love this little hanging pot which I fill with water for the birds. If I am outside and the pot is empty, one of these birds will sit near me and let me know.
I love the olive colour on their back and wings.
The Yellow-faced Honeyeaters also come to drink and bathe here.
After a bust day at the grevilleas, a Lewins Honeyeater enjoys a drink and a dunk.
“Hello….is anyone using this bird bath?”
A White-throated Treecreeper looks over the edge of the bowl. This is a replacement for my wonderful terracotta bird bath which doesn’t attract as many visitors as the terracotta one.
The Welcome Swallows are starting to nest at my besties under the verandah as they have for years.
Busy collecting nesting material, it’s time to line the mud nest with feathers, probably from the Cattle Egrets on the farm next door.
The Willie Wagtails are nesting too. Unfortunately the next day after I took this photo the whole nest was gone. We looked around the garden, under and nearby, but there wasn’t even a sign of the nest. The Wagtails were distraught in the morning.
Time to look up and see who has been flying over head. This is a collection of the Raptors. A White-bellied Sea Eagle was cruising around Harbour Beach at Port Stephens.
The Black Kite is a regular at the Lismore Waste Facility. We go there usually on a Saturday as their Revolve Shop has some great bargains from items recovered from the waste collections.
A very brave Magpie was making sure the Wedged-tailed Eagle wasn’t hanging around near their nests. It harassed the Eagle until it flew higher than the magpie could.
I love seeing the Wedged-tailed Eagles soar overhead.
No I wasn’t in the Sahara. At Harbour Beach the sand dunes are enormous and there is a Camel ride operator. We were there late in the afternoon and this was the last tour of the day coming back in.
Well the sun is on the way down so I better say see ya.
On the road from my place to the river the setting sun gave the road a redder hue than the normal red gravel on the roads surface.
I had to get a close up as the sun started to disappear behind the mountains
Well that’s all from me for July. I hate to end on a sad note but Chicken, the last of my chooks, died last month. Chicken came to me from my friend who lived down the road, the same one who gave my the beautiful Iris. When he had to go into care, he asked me to look after his chooks and Chicken is the last one. She was quite old and had been ill for a while and I used to take her with me when I went to my besties and also to my daughters. Since the start of the cold weather at night, I would pop her into her travelling crate and she would sit inside with me near the fire.
Also linked with Su’s Changing Seasons
About time I hear you say. Yes I am a bit late with last months wrap up. I didn’t take as many photos early on and then I seemed to find lots to photograph. This months photos have a couple I have used in other photo challenges but I decided to keep this post a bit shorter by not including the those photos.
So sit back and have a scroll through my June
Let’s start in Inverell, a town about 200kms from my place. We decided to have a mini holiday and ventured west. My goodness the drought has really hit hard out there. Didn’t see the usual paddocks with sheep and cattle in them. Many farmers have de-stocked and just holding onto their core breeding stock for when the drought breaks.
We stayed at a fabulous B’n’B, Blair Athol a Manor house from the early 1900’s. It is a great place to stay
We did venture around the countryside. It was quite sad. I think this granite outcrop says it all.
I found a Pied Cormorant just after a bit of a dip in the water. I love how Cormorants do this. Makes me smile every time.
Back home I was surprised to see ducks on my house dam as the water level is quite low. Three Pacific Black Ducks cruise the dam.
Sometimes when I am about in the garden doing a bit of bird spotting I get a feeling I am being watched as well. This Grey-shrike Thrush was making sure I was being good.
Another Winter visitor to the garden are Golden Whistlers
Of course a monthly wrap wouldn’t be the same without the resident Eastern Yellow Robin who found a post to sit on while surveying the garden for a snack.
Little Striated Thornbills are flying about the garden in the afternoons
The Rose Robins are still around as well
The Agave looked lovely in the afternoon light
This is called Witches Broom it is on a small Eucalypt.
The variety of plants that are growing on a palm in the garden is wonderful. At the front is an Elk Horn, behind it on the right is a Birds nest Fern. They are surrounded by Hares Foot Fern and to the left rear is Fishbone Fern. All of these plants have decided to grow among the palm’s trunk.
Nearby, a Jacaranda has a lovely growth of moss that cascades to the ground.
My mate Geoffs Iris has flowered. Always will bring back a memory.
All around the place Lichen has sprung up as there has been showers of rain over the last part of the month enough to keep the garden happy and for some plants to emerge.
I love finding water drops. My besties place has had much more rain than here.
These are the seed pods from an Eucalypt tree I found in Inverell.
I haven’t taken many photos of the Red-necked Wallabies that hang around my place. I caught this bloke with a mouth full of grass.
Late one afternoon at my besties, she called out to come over to where she was in the garden. She found a little Bandi Bandi going across a log heading for a safe place to spend the night.
There appears to be lots of Wanderer Butterflies about at the moment. Found this one flying around the lane-ways of Lismore.
Meanwhile there are Wanderers in my besties garden feeding on Echinacea flowers.
One day we decided to head to the coast for lunch at the Ballina Beach Surf Club. Afterwards, after watching whales from the window while eating, we wandered up to the headland and watched the Humpback Whales cruising past. I bit of blow usually let me know where they were.
I love it when they gave a wave.
Managed to get some tail shots.
but could never be focused on the right place when a Humpback breached
Now for a bit of weird. Walking down a lane in Lismore we always look to see if this window has changed. I think the hand and flag on the right have been added.
A stack of chairs in a window.
One morning, the mist was settled in the valleys. I used to tell the kids that the mountains have captured the clouds.
A bit of my playing around with photos. A Magpie on a steel post
OK the sun is down so time for me to go.
I hope you have enjoyed a bit of a look at my June. The feature photo is a butterfly among the Zinnias in my besties garden.
The photo challenge for July from Becky: Blue
The theme for July is ‘blue‘, and as always it is totally up to you how you interpret the square theme but here are my suggestions for how we might stay connected on our square adventures this month.
- be a ‘Bolt from the Blue’ – something unexpected or surprising
- explore ‘Into the wide blue yonder‘ – sky, sea or maybe a location that is appealingly unknown and mysterious
- simply be ‘Blue‘ – whether that’s azure, cobalt, sapphire, cerulean, navy, ultramarine, indigo, or turquoise
- and there is an extra challenge for those of you up for it – can you manage to combine two of these, or maybe even all three?
Whatever you decide to do, please remember there is a rule if you want to part of the Square Gang and be sure your squares make into the gallery.
The word prompt from Debbie at Travel with Intent: Purple
Check out Debbies Purple – click on the above link – It is stunning and I was thinking what do I have that’s purple to be able to contribute to this photo challenge. There is no way I can do wonderful lights like Debbies post. But I do live in a city which just had it’s Jacaranda Festival and has Jacaranda trees. But I wanted more so it’s floral all the way.
Here’s my bit of Purple
Better start with a Jacaranda tree
Purple berries from a native vine
Looking into a Torenia flower
Another Native flower from my place. Haven’t identified it as yet.
The Native Wisteria or Wild Sarsparilla that grows all over my place
and a regular Wisteria with bonus Wanderer Butterfly
Another purple flower I found somewhere
Wonderful Water Lilies
Another Australian Native flower found on the coast, Purple Fringe Lily
My old mates Iris
Back to the streets of Grafton
Thought about a song. Here is the original from 1958