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
Hello May. May has come and gone. We went back to Macleay Island again and I have another new bird that I have photographed. I do get excited when I find something new.
This collection of photos has some birds, mainly that I have put here before, that I have found in a comical situation. OK situations that I find comical and hope you do too.
There is also a photo of a moth just to warn those people who have a phobia about moths. I should have put that warning in the last blog too. There aren’t any spiders or snakes this time.
This poor old Blue Tiger Butterfly was sitting on a leaf catching a bit of sunshine, probably the last sunshine he had. See the hole in the right wing? And the rest of the wings are a bit shabby and colour bleached.
Here is the moth. An Emperor Gum Moth, one of the largest moths that are around here. Its wingspan is around 150mm. I thought it was a Micro Bat when it flew past me.
This year the Cordyline Rubras flowers were spectacular. I have never seen so many flower spikes. There were lots of bees buzzing around. Can you spot one?
Here is a close up of a flower spike.
On the ferry going to Macleay Island, one of the Morton Bay islands, the ferry was followed by a White-bellied Sea Eagle for a long part of the journey. At one stage it swooped off to the other side of the ferry but didn’t catch anything.
The Curlews are back. I am not sure what they were on but I have not seen such a wide eyed expression.
Here is the photograph first for me. The Pale-headed Rosella. They were having a lovely time in the Grevillea on the property next door to where we stayed on the island.
They have lovely markings don’t they? The red splosh under the tail is eye catching.
Back home, the Yellow-faced Honeyeaters have claimed the sparse flowered Honey Gem Grevillea. The dry weather has reduced the number of flowers of what is usually a shrub laden with flowers. This is what it looked like a while ago
The Yellow-faced Honeyeater are very bossy in the garden at the moment. Taking up vantage points around the garden to chase of anyone who thinks they might get at the flowers. The Eastern Spinebills are the one who seem to be picked on the most.
The Blue-faced Honeyeater has a black chin. I hadn’t noticed how extensive it was before. I have gone through the previous photos and none have shown the honeyeaters chin before.
Hi on the tree, the Eastern Rosella was just hanging out. It seemed to see me with the camera and just posed for quite a while.
Look at me, don’t I look splendid?
After a while it was a case of “See my butt!!” and away it flew.
I love getting photos of Eastern Whipbirds. They never sit still long enough to get good photos. I took this photo as it was just about to take off.
The bird bath is always a place to get some birds. The White-throated Honeyeaters swapped from the small hanging pot to the bigger bird bath.
Although it doesn’t look like the water was to this ones liking. Don’t honeyeaters have long tongues?
I love it at this time of year. There is always someone new in the garden. The little Rose Robins are so cute.
Driving home one afternoon, I spied a Wedged Tailed Eagle feasting on a bit of road kill. Despite getting into my best sneaky mode, the eagle flew into a nearby tree to wait for me to go so it could continue dinner.
Well it’s night time and the moon is beaming down. Goodnight.
So much to do in the next few days. I wanted to get a little bit of my world out there for you to enjoy. I looked at some of the photos and there are some that are recurring from years gone by. I guess that’s what happens in nature. The cycles just keep rolling on. I wonder if you can spot the photos subjects that have appeared before. All of the flower and insect photos are from my besties fantastic garden. I love wandering around her garden discovering flowers and insects.
I took many photos of this tree as the textures and lines are so good. It was so hard to settle on one photo.
The air ferns are increasing in the bush and around the garden. They are so primitive looking don’t you think?
The way the moss just cascades over the old tree trunk, filling crevices giving life to the dead wood of a large tree from the past.
The water vine grew in the fork of the tree long ago and now it looks like the tree has an appendage. The vine is still alive reaching up into the canopy.
The flowers of the Silk Tree aren’t around for long. The birds sure make a mess of the flowers when they come to gather the bit of pollen or nectar the flowers supply.
This hibiscus flower grows high in the tree and sends the occasional flower to hang down adding a splash of red to the garden.
The little balls laden with pollen usually have native bees buzzing around except when I was taking photos.
The delicate blue centres of the white hydrangea are quite stunning when you get close to the large white flower ball.
These tiny daisies are popping up all through the garden. They are about 10mm in diameter.
I love the Cats Whiskers with their purple tips.
I am not sure what this orange flower is called but it makes a bold statement in the garden’s borders.
Flowers aren’t just to be seen in the garden, they are also a source of joy in the house or even in the lady shed.
I can’t find my spider book so I can’t let you know the names of these spiders. This little one is quite small but very fast.
Another tiny spider who sat still for a photo or two then decided that enough was enough and jumped onto the camera.
When we were fixing up the studio I came across a few insects, mainly black ants by the thousands, but this long skinny spider was staying where he was, pretending to be a stick I guess.
There have been lots of dragonflies flitting around my besties garden and mine as well. There have been blue and large red dragonflies at my place, whereas there appears to be a lot of these orange/yellow ones at her place. This one was happily flying around the rainforest near the creek.
This dragonfly is one of the bigger dragonflies in the rainforest.
Back at my place I have been keeping an eye on the Friarbirds nest.
I think the female or juvenile Satin Bowerbird spotted me as I was staking out the bird bath.
The tiny Thornbill didn’t seem to care as it contemplated taking a plunge into the water.
As usual the garden has its resident Easter Yellow Robin. I love the way they seem to enjoy landing on vertical things.
We went to Broken Head for the afternoon. There are always White-bellied Sea Eagles soaring on the currents around the headland.
It was a surprise to see the Sooty Oystercatcher strolling around the beach. It looked a bit tired so maybe it was the first landing on its migration?
The little bit of rain I have had has certainly sent the frogs into a cacophony of a night. I think these tadpoles may be Bleating Tree Frogs as I hear them around the pool.
I think the one on the right may enjoy getting its pictue taken.
That’s all for the time being so if I don’t get to post another blog soon, have a great Christmas. Remember to look after our nature because it’s the only one we have.
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.
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?
This dragonfly has a great grip on the stick.
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.
The shadow of the tree looked like it was walking across the rock face. What do you see?
I love the contrast of colours, the shadows and where the rock landed (or was put by my bestie lol)
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.
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?
The number of tiny sand balls that were spread all along the shore was incredible. Some of the patterns made were so artistic.
And here is the little bloke who spend a large amount of its life making those tiny sand balls.
“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….”
“If you are going to hang around with that camera, I’m off….”
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.
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.
Here is a close up as best as I could manage. The image is heavily cropped just to show the size of the fish.
There was also another White-bellied Sea Eagle just soaring around the sky looking for it’s own fish.
Meanwhile at the waters edge, a group of Crested Terns were having a bath and preening themselves trying to get their “hair” in order.
I have no idea what this plant is but the spots of white among the rocks certainly stood out.
Even the Eastern Spinebill was too heavy for the Pentas making hanging on a bit of a chore.
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.
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.
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.
Aren’t the colours great. I never noticed their red cap before either.
The Water Dragon has set up home in my besties garden. Such a lovely prehistoric looking creature.
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.
That’s the end of what I have found in April so far. Hope you enjoyed seeing what I have seen.