City Sonnet’s Photo Challenge: Looking Up
Maria posted Swallows on an electricity cable with a sky blue background which prompted me to post my Welcome Swallows on an electricity cable at sunset
Which is probably better than bird butts
City Sonnet’s Photo Challenge: Looking Up
Maria posted Swallows on an electricity cable with a sky blue background which prompted me to post my Welcome Swallows on an electricity cable at sunset
Which is probably better than bird butts
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.
I love going past the dairy and seeing these beautiful cows.
It is never good to see one of these ants on the verandah. Their bite is quite painful for such a small insect.
I do enjoy finding a spiders web in the right light.
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.
Meadow Argus are enjoying the early Spring flowers on the Pittosporum.
The Stingless Native Bees certainly loved the Rocket flowers.
As did the honey bees.
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.
Saw this amazing flower but forgot to write down the name, sorry.
The Cacti were in bloom as well.
Yes it is a bud, a very weird hairy bud. Can you guess what flower may appear from this in my besties garden?
The yellow Poppy enjoyed the sunshine.
Here is the hairy buds flower, a red Poppy.
Spring brings out the Begonia flowers
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.
Her Roses are looking wonderful. This one is a Double Delight just opening.
This Double Delight is open showing lovely delicate colours.
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.
It also likes to show its true Aussie colours of Green and Gold
There are lots of birds around at the moment too. The Red-browed Firetails are cruising the grass eating the seeds
The Straw-necked Ibis are also wandering about looking for grubs in the paddocks.
I have a few Australian Ravens who have a walk about the garden looking for snacks.
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.
The King Parrots are enjoying the last of the seeds in the Leopard Tree.
The Mistletoe Bird has wonderful red colours.
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.
The Welcome Swallows have four chicks in two nests at my besties under the verandah. They are always hungry.
Some years, Welcome Swallows have two nestings. Here comes another feather to line the nest for the next lot of babies.
The Restless Flycatchers like to patrol the fence lines in the morning.
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.
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.
The little Striated Honeyeater just jumped straight into the bird bath.
Whereas the White-throated Honeyeater just dived straight in.
This is the first time I have seen a Little Friarbird and a Noisy Friarbird together.
A female Olive-backed Oriel came to the bird bath for the first time at my besties.
The Male shows why they are Olive-backed Oriels.
He doesn’t look to pleased to see me with my camera does he?
Everyone like the Australian Raven skipping down the hill last month. How about a Silver Gull dancing?
AS I said, the sky was been choked with smoke from the fires. I couldn’t quite capture the red sun at sunset one afternoon
Other sunsets were quite orange.
or a blaze of yellow!
The smoke mixed with cloud made for some interesting shapes and spooky atmosphere.
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.
Thanks for stopping by. I hope you enjoyed my September.
Also a contribution to Su’s The Changing Seasons
I am not really in the mood to write. The dry continued for all of August so my mood wasn’t all that enthusiastic to gather images around my place. I posted quite a number of images from here and for the photo challenges over the month and I haven’t, as usual, added them to this months wrap.
I am heartened by the caring responses from my “blog family” to my posts. Thank you for being there.
August was my first month of being the Thursday Ragtag prompter sharing with Tracy. I was surprised at the number of people who responded with some great photos, writing and poetry.
OK lets go. I think you may need to go to the dunny and come back with a cup of tea/coffee or drink of choice, perhaps a snack or two depending on the time of day you are here.
I might start with some of the things I found at an auction which I didn’t know was happening. I was going to the farmers market for breakfast and a bit of food shopping.
One of the things I like to find and collect are boxes. Pity these were already sold or if they weren’t the auctioneer was a long way from this lot
A rather random group of items
Anyone have one of these at home?
Up the road a ways is the town of Kyogle. We go there at least once a year in case something may be happening. On this day it was just us and the tumble weeds lol There is some nice gates though.
I was surprised by the number and variety of flowers in peoples garden as we walked about the back streets
The bees were about too
I think this Salvia is called Hot Lips
I love this salvia
More flowers for you to enjoy
The grevilleas are quite outstanding this year, except at my place
A lovely window box of daisies
These flowers were further north near a town called Murwillumbah where we went following the Mud Trail which was along the North Cost highlighting the pottery skills of the potters around here.
My begonias are flowering but not as profusely as in previous years
I was down at the waterhole digging out the silt to make the waterhole back to what it was years ago. While I was there I walked about and found this native plant about to flower despite the lack of rain and soil moisture
A black and white view of Kyogle from the Art Gallery
The lovely layers of blue you get from the vapours of Eucalypt trees
The bees are out collecting pollen and nectar from the flowers
Look how full the pollen sacks are on the tiny Native Stingless Bee
While we were away for a few days we came across the flower gardens that had just been watered in Nelson Bay
I love finding cats in windows. This one was just moving on just as I saw it.
Oh well a cats tail is still OK
I just love this cows hair cut
Down at the waterhole, the place where there has always been water on my place. This year it was the lowest I have ever seen it but the birds know where it is and flock there to get a drink or a bath. Time to get in……….
…..and out again
The Fuscous Honeyeaters seem to stay down this part of my place and don’t venture up near the house.
A Red-browed Firetail gets a drink
The whole flock of Fuscous Honeyeaters suddenly turned up much to the astonishment of a White-throated Honeyeater
Remember last month I told the story of the Willie Wagtails nest that was destroyed by something. Well they found a spot on the car port to rebuild their nest
The Willie Wagtails really can’t stand the Magpie getting close to their nest. Incoming!!!
They really give the Magpie a hard time until it goes away
The Welcome Swallows are also nesting at my besties
Here is three of the four chicks in the nest. Aren’t their fluffy heads adorable?
The Little Friarbirds have found the grevilleas
An Olive-backed Oriel dropped into the birdbath for a while
I found these Pelicans at the Lismore Waste Facility – a fancy name for the rubbish dump
I felt for the birds and have put up a feeder which I put seed in every now and then. The King Parrots drop in for a snack when there is seed in there.
The Brown Honeyeater has to stretch a bit
The Double-barred Finches are enjoying the grass seed
While we were travelling around we dropped into a small wetland that is surrounded by farm land. I was surprised to see a Black Swan paddling about.
At the wast facility the Black Kites are always wheeling about.
I love seeing the flocks of Ibis as they fly over my besties place every afternoon on their way to their roost.
These Corellas loved it up a bit in Nelson Bay
Is there anything a happy as an Australian Raven skipping down the hill
Our Moon and the clouds
Almost time for sunset
At this time of year the sun sets just on the hill
OK then, thanks for visiting and I hope you enjoyed your look at my This is August 2019
Also for Su’s Changing Seasons
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
The Ragtag Daily Prompt Tuesday: Hungry
Baby birds are always hungry. The Featured Photo is some hungry Spangled Drongo chicks
Welcome Swallow chicks really get in there
The Brown Honeyeaters beak is long and sharp but the chick doesn’t care
The Currawong chick always called out when a parent was coming with food
The Fig Bird chick seemed to always have the beak at the ready for a food drop
The Grey Fantail chicks argue who is getting the food first
Couldn’t decide on the music so here is two. One you will know and maybe something new for you to listen to
The word prompt for Nancy’s Photo a Week Challenge: New
Here is new life. The featured photo is a Red-necked Wallaby joey hanging around at the front of my place.
The three Welcome Swallow chicks crammed into their nest of grass and mud.
Grey Fantail chicks snoozing in the Spring sun.
The Brown Honeyeater chicks waiting for an adult to appear with food.
Fairy Wren chicks huddled together taking in the afternoon sun on a chilly day
Sometimes it always seems that someone’s hungry. A never ending trip out into the paddocks among the cows trying to find a suitable meal for the young ones.
Now out of the nest, learning to fly, they wait on the roof beams of the deck for an adult to bring a snack.
“It seems like ages since they were here with food,” they sat patiently waiting.
“Look”. “Here comes Dad with some food”
“Blimey dad, how far down my neck to you have to go!”
“Hey, I’m here too you know”
“I guess I’ll get a bit to eat next time.”
“Hey, it’s Mum this time. Just play it cool and I’ll get my food”
“Oh dear, I missed out again”
Look at that face of disappointment.Do you think that is was fair that someone missed out on food?
Again, Paula had me thinking of some photos to match her words for Pick a Word
I delved into my holiday folders for most of photos except one where I had some lovely triplets.
Well I have had a big September. So much is happening probably because it is Spring, although the temperatures haven’t changed much as Winter was warm. There are the birds that come here, flowers are blooming and the tadpoles are hatching. I have written some posts this month and have included some of those photos but not all as this is a large post.
Yes, get a cuppa, wine, beer and some snacks and off we go
There has been a bit of teasing by the clouds. Promising rain but either not delivering or just a few drops. I have had some good falls but no run-off to put water into the dams. The water tanks are full which is good. 59mls has kept the garden happy as well as supplementary watering from the dwindling dam.
I have put the flowers in early this post. Walking among the Mangroves stalking a White-faced Heron, I came across some Hibiscus flowers. There wasn’t a Hibiscus bush nearby so maybe had left a trail to find their way out.
My besties Gymea Lily has flowered. This flower is about two meters plus in the air.
Here is the whole photo. The plant is the strappy leaved one.
This year has been a fabulous year for Grevilleas. The first flowering of this Grevillea in my garden.
So many succulents are flowering too. This succulent is in a hanging pot on my verandah.
I have these flowers in my garden but not in mass like a garden in Grafton.
My Begonias are flowering well this year too.
The Iris that is a reminder of my mate who passed on last September. This was one of his plants.
The hanging Pelagoniums are a constant flower on my verandah.
I love this flower display on a stall at the Farmers Market in Lismore.
Flame Trees are spectacular when they flower. My poor struggling tree has started to flower even though it hasn’t had enough water.
I have garden borders of Dietes. They look great when they are in flower but they are spreading to places I don’t want them to go. Pity the Wallabies don’t eat them.
Bromiliads are flowering too. Some flowers are so wonderful aren’t they?
Banksias are a sight when they flower
Back to the Farmers Market. I spotted this bloke carrying a large dog. I have no idea why as the dog has a lead.
The Beetroot looked lovely
The old truck of the vegetable farmer is a great vantage point to see when people drop food.
Ah…look, an unattended fishers bucket.
Damn……I was spotted
I love Gulls as they fly along the shore
The wooden walk bridge over the estuary so you can walk to the beach.
The White-faced Heron stalking crabs in the Mangroves
Out to sea I spotted something breaking the water. I was hoping for a Whale and got a Dolphin.
In the mist a ghost ship appeared
The power company has been inspecting the power poles by helicopter. I think the pole at the front of my place will get replaced as they circled around for a while looking at the pole.
I guess the party is over. Found this on the track to the beach.,
The butterflies are starting to appear as well. The Line-blue Butterfly was rather shy.
The old swimming pool is a great place for the dragonflies. A bit of action is going on watched by a Bleating Tree Frog Tadpole.
There is quite a number of tadpoles who like to snack on the algae.
Thee are calves in a lot of the paddocks. Who could resist a little white calf?
The property next door is a miniature goat farm. On a walk a while ago I saw they had some little kids so next walk I took my camera. When I was at the fence I couldn’t see all of the little goats. And then I saw these two.
Another young animal. This foal was camera shy but I managed to get one photo.
Why fly when you can get a lift.
The Yellow-faced Honeyeaters have found an easy way of getting nesting material. When I have been walking on my place, I often come across nests that have fallen from the trees. Not only has the Yellow-faced Honeyeater been gathering material but the White-throated Treecreeper from last months post is also getting in on the act.
They were quite quick to get some nesting material and get back again. I found this lovely little nest in a Paperbark just outside of the sun room. They used some air fern to help bind the nest.
Remember the post about the Welcome Swallows. Well the babies are starting to learn to fly but still like to get back in the nest for a feeding.
Spring also heralds Magpie swooping season. Not many people don’t get a swoop or two. Even a Wedge-tailed Eagle was getting the Magpie treatment.
A farm near my besties has Sulpher-crested Cockatoos. I hope they don’t come to her place. They are quite destructive and squawk quite loudly when they get into a bunch.
Little Friarbirds are timid but enjoy the nectar of the Honey Gem Grevillea in my garden.
King Parrots have set up their breeding pairs. This couple have taken up residence in the garden.
I had to include the Satin Bowerbird. Such a spectacular bird to have in the garden.
Here is the Great Cormorant who caught a fish from the Clarence River in Grafton. Scroll back a few posts and see the story if you like.
The Intermediate Egret has to have the longest neck I have ever seen.
I think the horse may be in for a surprise!
A small flock of Galahs are hanging around the farms near my besties. They sometimes come to her place to get a drink of water.
The Figbird didn’t know I was under the tree.
Spring brings the Blue-faced Honeyeaters back to my place.
My arty Pelican photo
The best arrival has been the Grey Shrike Thrush. Their lovely song fills the garden in the morning and afternoon. They too are nesting. I have them “knocking” on the windows in search for spiders webs and any insect who happens to be around the windows. It’s a constant tap tap tap most of the day.
Thanks for taking the time to wade through my rather large This is September post. If you would like to know more or have a comment, please leave me a note in the comments.
The word prompt from the Lens-Artists: Small is Beautiful
Yesterday, while sitting on the verandah at my besties, we heard those unmistakable sounds. The Welcome Swallows chit chatting away. The male Welcome Swallow keeping a look out from the rafters.
The female Welcome Swallow keeping an eye on me as she flew onto the nest made of mud.
Yes, she did have something in her mouth.
Seconds later, a pink head and yellow beak appeared asking for food.
Just like humans, trying to settle an always hungry baby Welcome Swallow can test your patience.
Meanwhile on the nest next door, this little bloke was content waiting for a parent to return.
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