Up close

The word prompt from Bren: Macro

You may have noticed I like to get up close to so many subjects it will be hard to pick a few for Bren’s Photo for the Week challenge.

Getting up close with a Sacred Ibis
170913_blog challenge_texture_bandw_ibis

The Ibis feathers are lovely
180812_patterns_ibis feathers

This is the flower
flower_named_binna burra_june 2017

Here is inside
flower_centre_named_binna burra_june 2017

The Eastern Water Dragon enjoying the sun
water dragon_side_binna burra_named_feb 2015

Isn’t the red on the underside skin wonderful
water dragon_red skin_binna burra_named_feb 2015

Water Dragons have a serious side
water dragon_eye_binna burra_named_feb 2015

 

Water Dragons – Free and Easy

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Free and Easy

What could be more free and easy than a Water Dragon.

Being young and free
to climb a tree
180418_blog challenge_free and easy_water dragon5

Feeling relaxed in your bones
laying on the warm stones
180418_blog challenge_free and easy_water dragon1

Showing your colours and funk
just hanging on a tree trunk
180418_blog challenge_free and easy_water dragon3

Free and easy – need proof?
sunning yourself on the roof
180418_blog challenge_free and easy_water dragon2

Here I am easy and free
the laughs are on me
180418_blog challenge_free and easy_water dragon4

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

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.

Birds, bugs and things in April

As you know I love to get about when I can, discovering new things or rediscovering stuff. I love living in a bio-diverse region where the trip to the mountains or to the coast always sends a surprise encounter. Over the month so far I have seen so many wonderful things this world has, sometimes it may just be something that I saw that I found to be wonderous whereas others have just walked by probably thinking what the hell is that bloke doing with that camera.

So…..this wander through my days I hope fills you with a bit of love for our nature and environment in which we inhabit as it does for me.

I do find butterflies amazing creatures, as you probably have noticed as a lot of my blogs seem to have a butterfly or two. This small butterfly, about 17mm in size, has been whizzing around my besties garden and mine as well –  a Small Green-banded Blue butterfly.

small green-banded blue butterfly_named_binna burra_april 2015

I was wading through the water at Taylor Lagoon when all bout there were dragonflies zipping here, zipping there on their mission to do…..waht do dragonflies do when they zip about like that. Well after a while some settled on the sticks poking out of the water. Their irridecence was amazing to see. Unfortunately the dragonfly isn’t quite in focus but I love the effect of the water, don’t you?

dragonfly_blue_named_broken head_april 2015

This dragonfly has a great grip on the stick.

dragonfly_yellow_named_broken head_april 2015

While wading in the shallows I looked at the water and the reflections of the over-hanging bottlebrush and sedges around the edge. I think it was facinating the way the image always changed as the water rippled and moved with the wind. This photo was my favourite of the couple I took.

water patterns_named_broken head_april 2015

The shadow of the tree looked like it was walking across the rock face. What do you see?

shadow on rock_named_broken head_april 2015

I love the contrast of colours, the shadows and where the rock landed (or was put by my bestie lol)

rock colours_named_broken head_april 2015

Shells. I love seeing the shells and stuff that is on the beach. The light shining through the shell caught my eye form a distance.

shell_named_broken head_april 2015

I wonder how the small creatures can survive when the tide is out or is it how do they survive when the tide is in? This one found a nice little niche in the rocks. Aren’t the colours subtle but striking at the same time?

snail shell_named_broken head_april 2015

The number of tiny sand balls that were spread all along the shore was incredible. Some of the patterns made were so artistic.

sand ball_crab_named_broken head_april 2015

And here is the little bloke who spend a large amount of its life making those tiny sand balls.

sand crab_named_broken head_april 2015

“OK fella…..how about a bit of privacy. I didn’t come down to the beach to sit in the shade of my lovely green umbrella just to have you come along taking your photos….”

umbrella_seagull_named_broken head_april 2015

“If you are going to hang around with that camera, I’m off….”

seagull going_named_broken head_april 2015

As I was walking along the shore, all of a sudden there was a whoosh and a couple of Pelicans came flying along looking for a place to land. They are so big up close.

pelican_named_broken head_april 2015

As we walked along the beach, we were discussing how we hadn’t seen any White-bellied Sea Eagles or Brahminy Kites, which are nearly always here. All of a sudden, at the other end of the beach, there was a commotion with Seagulls wheeling about and then appeared the Sea Eagle with a fish. Even with the lens at full stretch they were still a long way a way.

sea eagle02_named_broken head_april 2015

Here is a close up as best as I could manage. The image is heavily cropped just to show the size of the fish.

sea eagle_fish_named_broken head_april 2015

There was also another White-bellied Sea Eagle just soaring around the sky looking for it’s own fish.

sea eagle01_named_broken head_april 2015

Meanwhile at the waters edge, a group of Crested Terns were having a bath and preening themselves trying to get their “hair” in order.

terns01_named_broken head_april 2015

I have no idea what this plant is but the spots of white among the rocks certainly stood out.

white flowers_named_broken head_april 2015

Even the Eastern Spinebill was too heavy for the Pentas making hanging on a bit of a chore.

eastern spine bill_named_binna burra_june 2014

The Whipbirds are always pocking around in the garden, flicking over leaves and bits of bark to try and find some insects and bugs to snack on.

whipbird_named_binna burra_june 2014

Over the past few weeks the Eastern Yellow Robins have seemed to appear in numbers in the garden. This one was sitting out front on the warm gravel early one morning. They are such sweet little birds.

yellow robin_named_home_april 2015

Heading into town early one misty morning, I spotted this Black-necked Stork (I really prefer Jabiru) stalking about the small pond where the “Tyre Turtle” lives. It was one of a pair. The other one was further back in the paddock in the ffog.

black-necked stork02_named_grafton_april 2015

Aren’t the colours great. I never noticed their red cap before either.

black-necked stork03_named_grafton_april 2015

The Water Dragon has set up home in my besties garden. Such a lovely prehistoric looking creature.

water dragon02_named_binna burra_april 2014

But they still enjoy a good laugh. Not really. He really enjoys a few bits of apple. The inside of his mouth is so pink.

water dragon01_named_binna burra_april 2015

That’s the end of what I have found in April so far. Hope you enjoyed seeing what I have seen.

The Water Dragon

A while ago, when my bestie and I came home from a day out, just sitting on the deck was a Water Dragon just catching some sun. He didn’t mind me snapping away and as @Manic_Henry says …..”They crave to be immortalised in photographs.”…..

Here is the Water Dragon, unaware he is about to be the subject of a photographic expose…..

water dragon_binna burra_named_feb 2015

He turned to make sure I wasn’t up to no good.

water dragon_side_binna burra_named_feb 2015

It was then that I noticed the bright red of his belly

water dragon_red skin_binna burra_named_feb 2015

The rear feet seem almost useless with those long toes, but when in the water they can propel him along quite fast.

water dragon_foot_binna burra_named_feb 2015

The Water Dragons skin is rather bumpy and spiny

water dragon_skin_binna burra_named_feb 2015

The back of his head has interesting shapes.

water dragon_head_binna burra_named_feb 2015

I am sure he wanted me to get his good side when he turned again, although doesn’t really have a smile does he? The front claws look formidable.

water dragon_front_binna burra_named_feb 2015

“Maybe this is my best side.”

water dragon_face side_binna burra_named_feb 2015

Maybe it’s time for a close-up.

water dragon_face close_binna burra_named_feb 2015

“I said close up!!!”

water dragon_eye_binna burra_named_feb 2015

The next morning we saw him where we least expected to see a Water Dragon

water dragon_roof_binna burra_named_feb 2015

I love this photo the best

water dragon_face_binna burra_named_feb 2015

Thanks Water Dragon for letting me into your world.

Stuff I saw last weekend

So much happened last weekend. Most of the things I found were during a drive to Murwillumbah plus bits and pieces around my besties place. There were things made of plastic, flowers, big things, small things and of course some birds.

Lets begin with the first thing we saw on the road to Murwillumbah. Cruising through Mooball we just had to stop at the Moo Moo Cafe as the biggest motorbike I have ever seen was “parked” outside. As a bloke who loves his MotoGP and road racing since the days of the Yamaha TZ750’s, this one was worth a quick stop.

big bike01_mooball_named_sept 2014

Of course, the first stop was for coffee. This time we went to a cafe I hadn’t been to before. The inside was rather funky and we sat up the back so we could people watch and take in the feel of the place. I liked the lights.

lights_cafe_named_murwillumbah_sept 2014

One wall had some wacky art works and the biggest paella pan I have ever seen.

wall_cafe_named_murwillumbah_sept 2014

Of course the Op-shops had to be explored. I found one of my favourites, an elephant. It was made of plastic but at $45 it stayed in the shop.

elephant toy_shop_named_murwillumbah_sept 2014

So did the rocker. I think it was a deer?

deer rocker_shop_named_murwillumbah_sept 2014

The Garden around the Civic Centre was bursting with flowers. The Lilli Pillis were lovely.

lilli pilli_pink_murwillumbah_named_sept 2014

I think this is a Lilli Pilli too but not sure.

lilli pilli_murwillumbah_named_sept 2014

Hanging around the garden was this little Water Dragon. He just ran every time I came near but stopped for a minute for me to get this shot before scurrying off again.

water dragon_murwillumbah_named_sept 2014

On the way to the Art Gallery is a Kapok tree whose seed pods were bursting open.

kapok tree_murwillumbah_named_sept 2014

The Tweed Art Gallery is always a stop off when there are new exhibits. Only one really took my imagination. The art of Philip Wolfhagen was the best and well worth a visit. I just love the Margaret Olley Art Centre as I always find something that I hadn’t seen before. This time I found a chook. Okay, it may not be a chook but I want to think it is.

birds_margaret olley centre_tweed gallery_named_sept 2014

Looking out of the window we saw a storm heading over the range and over Mt Warning. They are always spectacular and dramatic looking.

storm clouds01_murwillumbah_named_sept 2014

That night the Huntsman came out from behind the cupboard to check out what we were doing.

huntsman_binna burra_named_sept 2014

The next day the overnight rain had refreshed the garden and it seemed that there were flowers everywhere. The scent in the air was from the Jasmin growing on the old fence around the garden.

jasmin_binna burra_named_sept 2014

And from the Wisteria growing on the arbour.

wisteria_binna burra_named_sept 2014

A splash of yellow caught my eye. It was a Day Lily all by itself standing tall.

day lily_binna burra_named_sept 2014

The Azalias were full of blossoms.

azalia_binna burra_named_sept 2014

The red of these tiny flowers provided a contrast in the garden.

red flowers_binna burra_named_sept 2014

There are Pansy’s everywhere, but these small ones looked a treat as they spilled over the edge of the garden.

flowers01_binna burra_named_sept 2014

I disturbed a small spider who had folded the petals of a Gazania. He was gone in a flash, probably in case I thought he was a snack.

gazania_binna burra_named_sept 2014

High in the sky a couple of Kites wheeled about.

kite02_binna burra_named_sept 2014

They didn’t come down very close unfortunately.

kite01_binna burra_named_sept 2014

Walking around not caring about much, an Emerald Dove just walked down the track.

emerald dove_binna burra_named_sept 2014

While a Galah sat on the powerline looking rather fluffy.

galah_binna burra_named_sept 2014

Among the bushes, a Brush Wattlebird was calling.

brush wattlebird01_binna burra_named_sept 2014

The Wonga Pigeon didn’t seem to mind the rasping call and sat around watching what was going on.

wonga pigeon01_binna burra_named_sept 2014

Late in the afternoon, it looked as if the wattlebird had its pants on fire.

wattlebird_sunset_binna burra_named_sept 2014

The next morning back at home, the Satin Bowerbird was getting into the Honey Gem before the Blue-faced Honeyeaters or Friarbirds were awake. This bloke did look rather serious didn’t he?

satin bowerbird02_home_named_sept 2014

Well, like the Brush Turkey, I’d better run.

brush turkey_binna burra_named_sept 2014