A bit of France

I am so glad that you enjoyed my little bit of Italy. Here is some bits and pieces I found in France – Marseilles and Avignon. Paris may come later.

I loved this carousel in Marseilles. It was in a square with people just milling around. The sound of the carousel certainly attracted us down that street.

merrygoround_marseilles_may 2012

In the square where we had lunch was this sign on the wall. I like this type of art, almost pop art?

sign_marseilles_may 2012

Another blog I should write is one on the doors of Europe. I had this obsession to photograph doors of all sizes, materials and colours. Of course many of these doors have a door knocker. This lion looks a bit fierce.

door knocker_avignon_mat 2012

In Avignon there seemed to be stones on the streets especially in the back streets of the old town. I wonder what building these came from?

stone carved_avignon_may 2012

In the Palaise de Papas, in Avignon, these tiles were in a section where the tiles were just on tables and some other rooms the tiles were still on the floor. I wonder why I photographed these tiles…..

tiles_palace de papa_avignon_may 2012

In many of the churches were frescos. It amazed me to think that these were painted centuries ago. I loved the colours of this castle fresco.

fresco_church_avignon_may 2012

I had to include another stained glass. This time a close up of the intricate fire stained glass with such a stunning blue background.

stained glass_fire_avignon_may 2012

The Palaise de Papas had many many gargoyles but not many had a pigeon. I think it had  a nest behind there.

gargoyle_pigeon_avignon_may 2012

We found this fabulous cafe in Avignon,a libraire cafe L’Ami Voyage en Compagnie which had the most wonderful food with fantastic features.The tables were quite readable, the chairs wrapped in paper and string.

table_cafe_avignon_may 2012

The table light is great don’t you think?

table lamp_avignon_april 2014

Guarding the stairs was this little bloke. Upstairs was a little library. The best cafe in Avignon.

robot_avignon_may 2012


A bit of Italy

I was looking for a photo a while ago and saw my last holiday photos folder. I have always wanted to do something with them otherwise they just sit there and no one ever sees them. I thought I would start with some of the Italy photos. Not the usual tourist ones but just interesting stuff I photographed. I hope you find them interesting too.

I took a lot of photos from the train as it rocketed through the countryside at up to 300kph. I like this one of a Tuscan villa as it almost looks like a painting. This is unchanged, the raw photo.

countryside from train_rome_named_april 2012

I found this colonnade of wisteria in a garden in Florence, the Gardenia Boldini. The light coming through the flowers looked very surreal.

wisteria_florence_named_april 2012

I like the look of courtyards that are hidden away from the street. To get to this courtyard was a walk down a tunnel under the buildings. I am sure I have a number of “down the tunnel into a courtyard” photos.

courtyard_rome_named_april 2012

Just walking down the side streets of Verona often yields something different. This cart was just there beside that wonderful coloured wall.

cart_verona_named_april 2012

Everywhere are shutters. These shutters were on the Ponte Veicchio in Florence.

shutters_florence_named_april 2012

Yes, this was in the window of a hairdressers in Verona. No need to say more!!!

hairdressers_verona_named_april 2012

There are tons of photos of stained glass windows. I was going to do a blog of just stained glass window so here is a taste.

stained glass_rome_named_april 2012

Some sculptures were quite different to others. I have no idea about this just that it was on a marble table like that. It was in a Basilica in Rome.

statue face_rome_named_april 2012

This is my favourite stained glass photo which was in the ceiling in a church in Rome.

glass ceiling_rome_named_april 2012

Well thats a taste of Italy of things I found. I am so looking forward to going again.


Last day of Spring

It’s the last day of Spring. It has been a Spring of change. Days of hot and dry. Days where some rain has fallen, just a few drops and others where there has been a bit of run-off to add a bit of water to the dams. The early Spring blogs have been full of new life. A lot of things have happened and I have seen lots of new things around here and when out and about. Here is my last day of Spring. Hope you had a great Spring too.

Some days it was great just to lie down and relax.

pig01_nymboida_named_nov 2014

I just love it when I find something new, like this butterfly, an Australian Gull I think.

butterfly_nymboida_named_nov 2014

Another view of the butterfly that had me captivated as it flitted about the flowers on the dam,

butterfly01_nymboida_named_nov 2014

The drink container made the perfect background for a spider photo. I took me about three goes to get the photo as it kept jumping onto the camera. It is so tiny.

jumping spider_nymboida_named_nov 2014

Another new bug to get my attention was this Bee Fly.

bee fly_home_named_cropped_nov 2014

Even in the heat of the day, dragonflies were buzzing around the garden, occasionally taking time for a breather, even if it is right on top of a Grevillea.

dragonfly_home_named_nov 2014

I couldn’t go past this waterlily with its subtle shade of pink.

water lily_nymboida_named_nov 2014

There has been a couple of Spangled Drongo’s hanging around at the moment. This bloke had just dropped in for a splash in the bird bath.

spangled  drongo01_named_home_nov 2014

He always waited for the Rainbow Lorikeets to finish so he wouldn’t be nagged by them.

spangled drongo_home_named_nov 2014

“I wonder what those lorikeets have been doing in here?”

spangled  drongo_named_home_nov 2014

They have a nest in a rather open part of a Spotted Gum near the house. They certainly know how to tie a nest onto a branch even if the nest is a bit scrappy looking.

spangled drongo01_home_named_nov 2014

Remember the photos of the Fantail nest and the young. Here is the surviving baby following the parents around the place.

fantail_binna burra_named_nov 2014

It has been a good year for the wallabies. Many of the females have a joey in the pouch. This one was just outside the kitchen this morning.

wallaby_joey_home_named_nov 2014

Well Spring has gone and now to have my Summer adventures.


Little birds and flowers

What have I found over the past couple of weeks? The rooster has been doing what roosters do and the hen has been doing what hens do – sometimes. Yes, the Big Red Rooster (remember him) and the hens have produced a small but cute batch of chicks. The Fantail eggs (from the last blog) have hatched and two little chicks are doing well. But first, I have found some beautiful flowers.

This flower I have since found out can be rather weedy in its habit. The red and green together really caught my eye.

weed flower_binna burra_named_nov 2014

The Pelargoniums are flowering with their unusual petals and lovely colours.

pelagonium_binna burra_named_nov 2014

Orange flowers stand out and this one was trying to attract insects.

orange flower_binna burra_named_nov 2014

The yellow colours around the garden add a splash among the greenery.

yellow flower_binna burra_named_nov 2014

But the reds are very striking and this flower is most unusual.

red flower_binna burra_named_nov 2014

The Lewins Honeyeaters are always zooming around the garden making sure that everyone behaves or sitting and watching.

lewins honeyeater_binna burra_named_nov 2014

The White-browed Scrub Wrens are always foraging among the leaf litter in the garden. They look quite small when they pop up onto the deck.

scrub wren_named_binna burra_nov 2014

The chickens hatched out a week ago. I came home to the sounds of a very proud hen cluck clucking ready to show me how clever she was hatching out these little fluff balls.

chickens01_hen_named_home_nov 2014

The little red chick was always in or around the food bowl.

chickens1_home_nov 2014

I hope it is a hen as I haven’t had any red hens for ages.

chickens02_home_nov 2014

One of the yellow chicks seemed to be very interested in what I was doing.

chickens03_named_home_nov 2014

The Fantails nest has been all go with both eggs hatching and two hungry mouths to feed.

fantail young06_nest_binna burra_named_nov 2014

Every now and then, they would curl up together and have a nap.

fantail07_young_nest_named_binna burra_nov 2014

They always seem to know when one of the parents is around with food.

fantail young01_nest_binna burra_named_small_nov 2014

There is always something to catch around the garden.

fantail01_food_binna burra_named_nov 2014

Which is delivered quickly to the babies.

fantail young03_nest_feeding_binna burra_named_nov 2014

Afterwards there is time to have a bit of a stretch.

fantail young05_nest_binna burra_named_nov 2014

When it gets a bit cooler in the evening, one of the parents comes for a sit to keep them warm.

fantail young04_nest_binna burra_named_small_nov 2014

It’s good just to sit and contemplate their future.

fantail young02_nest_binna burra_named_nov 2014

I think the time spent sitting on eggs and keeping chicks warm may have seemed a bit boring.

fantail_mouth open_named_binna burra_nov 2014

Aren’t the whiskers around the beak amazing. I didn’t know that they had those did you?

That’s all from flowers and baby birds. I hope you enjoyed seeing some of new lives in my life.


The last of Spring

There has been so much going on this Spring, especially since I put the bird bath up, that I haven’t had time to keep up with everything. I have been on an adventure nearly every weekend, plus spotting things around here, so there has been a lot of photos to sort. Here is the last few days of Spring, mainly things around the Clarence Valley.

The Gardenias have flowered despite not having much water and some quite hot days. Their scent drifts into the house every now and then.

gardenia_home_named_oct 2014

One drive took us to Brooms Head where it was such a lovely day, albeit quite windy but still warm. The Gazanias were out.

gazania01_brooms head_named_oct 2014

The difference in the petal colour of the plants was quite striking.

gazania02_brooms head_named_oct 2014

Pig Face covered the dunes in places. Wonder why it’s called Pig Face?

pig face_brooms head_named_oct 2014

The Hibiscus also flowered in the garden. The pink one was a bit later than the red Hibiscus.

hybiscus_home_named_oct 2014

All the Grevilleas flowered well this Spring. The colours on this one went from the yellow to pink whereas the other flowers were predominantly one colour, either the yellow or a russety pink.

grevillia_home_named_oct 2014

Almost all of the orange Hippiastrums flowered and look lovely as the pop up around the garden.

hippiastrum_orange_home_named_oct 2014

I love the red Hippiastrums. I love getting inside them and seeing their different “bits”

hippiastrum01_close_home_named_oct 2014

The other “bits” of the red Hippiastrum.

hippiastrum02_close_home_named_oct 2014

The red Hippiastrums seem to attract the little native bees.

hippiastrum2_native bees_home_named_oct 2014

And attract them they did! The flowers were almost too full of bees sometimes.

hippiastrum1_native bees_home_named_oct 2014

The Bottlebrushs had ants all through them.

bottlebrush_home_named_oct 2014

While this lily had bugs walking around. They were quite camera-shy.

bugs_lily_home_named_oct 2014

The first of the young birds to appear were the Blue-faced Honeyeaters

blue faced honeyeater_young_home_named_oct 2014

While the King Parrots followed me around the garden, whistling to get my attention it seemed.

king parrot01_named_home_oct 2014

Once they saw me looking, they liked to pose for photos and look quite cheeky.

king parrot_named_home_oct 2014

At Brooms Head, the Rainbow Bee Eaters were zooming around the streets, stopping occasionally on the power lines.

rainbow bee eater_brooms head_named_oct 2014

On the way home, just near Ulmarra, we saw the Black-necked Storks stalking around the Clarence River flood shutes. Getting out of the car, the heat of the day was terrible, especially after being cool at Brooms Head beach.

black necked stork_ulmarra_named_oct 2014

The pair just walked away from me. They are lovely big birds.

black necked storks_ulmarra_named_oct 2014

At home, after the Lorikeets had gone up into the eucalypts to feed, the Satin Bowerbird took advantage of the bird bath.

satin bowerbird_named_home_nov 2014

That’s the end of Spring, so now onto Summer. I wonder where this weekends adventure will take me.


One day at the bird bath – the new comers

The bird bath has been the domain of the Rainbow Lorikeets as you may have read in the last blog. Today the Rainbow Lorikeets were under siege by some new comers, Musk Lorikeets. This is the first time I have seen them here. The Rainbow Lorikeets didn’t take their presence at the bird bath very well this morning. This is how the morning went…..

“Isn’t this bird bath great.” “Yeah we can just enjoy ourselves without being pestered by anyone else.”

musk lorikeets13_rainbow lorikeets_named_home_nov 2014

“Who was that?” “I am sure I heard someone…….I heard someone fluttering”

musk lorikeet_rainbow lorikeets01_home_named_nov 2014

“Ok buddy.” “Where are you?”

musk lorikeet_rainbow lorikeets13_home_named_nov 2014

“Here I come.” “Watch out below”

musk lorikeet_rainbow lorikeets09_home_named_nov 2014 - Copy

“Hey you!” “Feather head….Look out!”

musk lorikeet_rainbow lorikeets08_home_named_nov 2014 - Copy

“This is going to be a close one!”

musk lorikeet_rainbow lorikeets07_home_named_nov 2014 - Copy

“Whoo hoo” “Splash down”

musk lorikeet_rainbow lorikeets12_home_named_nov 2014

“Now everyone is going to want to be in the bird bath”

musk lorikeet_rainbow lorikeets02_home_named_nov 2014

“Hey you!” “Get out of here!”

musk lorikeet_rainbow lorikeets03_home_named_nov 2014

“You get him Karl”

musk lorikeet_rainbow lorikeets14_home_named_nov 2014

“Isn’t this good now those blokes have gone?”

musk lorikeet_rainbow lorikeets06_home_named_nov 2014

“It certainly is isn’t it?” “Hey fellas” “Fellas….” “Where is everyone?”

musk lorikeet_02_home_named_nov 2014


One day at the bird bath – The Rainbow Lorikeets

“I wonder where everyone is? I’m sure they said to meet here this afternoon”

rainbow lorikeets07_bird bath_home_named_oct 2014

“I’m glad you turned up. It’s much nicer in the bird bath with a mate.”

rainbow lorikeets_bird bath_home_named_oct 2014

“Hey! Watch out! You’re splashing a bit too much there mate. I’ve got water in my eye!”

rainbow lorikeets06_bird bath_home_named_oct 2014

“Now where did he go.”

rainbow lorikeets02_bird bath_home_named_oct 2014

“It’s getting a bit crowded up there. I think it might be safer to stay down here.”

rainbow lorikeets01_bird bath_home_named_oct 2014

“Watch what you’re doing! That’s my space on the bird bath fella. You want a piece of me do ya?”

rainbow lorikeets03_bird bath_home_named_oct 2014

“If you blokes are going to cause a ruckus, I’m off.”

rainbow lorikeets04_bird bath_home_named_oct 2014

“Ok everyone settle down and let’s have a bit of a relaxing time.”

rainbow lorikeets05_bird bath_home_named_oct 2014


Spring – more wonders discovered

Oh yeah, it is Spring. So much is happening, the weather is great for wandering around the north coast and there are so many things to see and do. One drive about took us to Clarrie Hall Dam at the Crams Farm end of the storage. Tweed Council have done a great job making it a great place to visit. Just the view as you drive in is spectacular.

clarrie hall dam01_view_named_oct 2014

The water is covered in water lilies and water birds are everywhere. The Cape Waterlilies make a stunning sight as they stand tall.

cape water lily01_clarrie hall dam_named_oct  2014

The Yellow Waterlilies are dotted here and there around the dam.

water lily_yellow_clarrie hall dam_named_oct 2014

It is so crowded that the leaves curl making it hard for the lilies to push their way skyward.

water lily02_yellow_clarrie hall dam_named_oct  2014

Unfortunately, under the water’s surface is a good amount of Cabomba, an introduced plant from America, usually a fish tank escapee. At the moment it is flowering which makes a good resting spot for dragonflies.

dragonfly_clarrie hall dam_named_oct  2014

This flower was partly submerged and made great patterns on the water.

water plant_flower_clarrie hall dam_named_oct  2014

In the trees, as well on the water, were many birds enjoying the late afternoon spring weather. The Brown pigeons were always wary of the bloke with the camera.

brown pigeon01_clarrie hall dam_named_oct  2014

The Darters took off when someone ventured into the water

darter01_flying_clarrie hall dam_named_oct  2014

While the Eurasian Coots just paddled around looking for something to eat before it was dark.

eurasian coot01_clarrie hall dam_named_oct  2014

The Purple Swamp Hens were always walking about, flicking their tails and squarking in general.

purple swamphen_clarrie hall dam_named_oct 2014

High in one tree the young Willie Wagtails were practising being big birds, flapping wings and generally making a racket.

willie wagtails01_clarrie hall dam_named_oct 2014

The adults were telling them to be quiet, I think.

willie wagtail01_calling_clarrie hall dam_named_oct 2014

Just sitting and looking at the water was very relaxing but it was time to head home.

water_clarrie hall dam_named_oct 2014

When we got home, there was Badger, who had found a shady spot to lay down on the warm spring day.

badger_binna burra_named_oct 2014

Going down to the creek there were birds staying cool among the trees and shrubs. The Emerald Dove kept moving around the tree, all the while watching where I was going.

emerald dove_binna burra_named_oct 2014

The Cunjivoi is flourishing.

cunjivoi01_binna burra_named_oct 2014

Scattered through the bush are little native gardenia plants with their amazing looking flowers.

flower_binna burra_named_oct  2014

I just had to see what was inside the purple flower growing on the fence around the house.

purple flower_binna burra_named_oct  2014

It wouldn’t be Spring if there weren’t birds nesting. The Fantails nest is held together with spider web.

fantail nest_binna burra_named_oct 2014

She sat there watching me as I watched her.

fantail02_nest_binna burra_named_oct 2014

I was waiting for the change over of the egg sitters so I could see how many eggs were in the nest. Two small lovely eggs.

fantail nest_eggs_binna burra_named_oct 2014

Looking up, the splashes of green and orange of the Silky Oak made wonderful abstract patterns.

silky oak_binna burra_named_oct 2014

The warmer weather also had a few blow flies whizzing about. This one seemed to like the pelargonium leaves more than me.

fly_binna burra_crop_named_oct 2014

Late in the afternoon, near dark, the Figbirds were singing their wonderful song.

figbird_named_home_oct 2014

In the front yard, the wallaby wondered if the joey was at home.

red necked wallaby02_joey_home_named_oct 2014

And there he was.

red necked wallaby01_joey_home_named_oct 2014

A bit of a long one but thanks for getting to the end. I have so much more, so I better get started on the next installment of my Spring.


Spring brings new life

I love Spring. Many of the birds who have left my place over winter come back to feed and to generally hang out. The past blogs have had photos of the new arrivals and perhaps the next one after this will have as well. The last adventure drive my bestie and I went on, was around the many roads in the lower Clarence River area, some which lead to dead ends and others to sights that were unexpected.

Many of the roads had old sheds and abandoned houses which supplied an idea for a future drive about, camera in hand to record some of the past buildings in the Clarence Valley. I did take a few photos on this adventure. When photographing this place, I had the interest of the local cattle as well as the residents.

old shed01_clarence valley_named_oct 2014

A small village, Tucabia, was one of the stop offs as a lady there has the most wonderous garden and plants (around $5 to $10) for sale. The proceeds of the weekends plant sales was donated to the Westpac Rescue Helicopter, a vital service here on the North Coast of NSW. So far on the Saturday, when we stopped by, she had raised $800!!! She apologised for the state of the garden as she has had breast cancer surgery but it was one of the best gardens I have visited in a long time. Here are a few of the flowers.

flower_purple_tucabia_named_oct 2014

One of my favourite flowers are gazanias as they remind me of growing up in my Mum’s garden. The Tucabia garden had a variety of colours. Yellow

gazania_yellow01_tucabia_named_oct 2014

Reds with yellow centres

flower_tucabia_named_oct 2014

Deep maroon with dark centres. The photo doesn’t really reflect the true colour.

gazania01_tucabia_named_oct 2014

And being Spring, some had tiny butterflies having a drink.

gazania_butterfly_tucabia_named_oct 2014

Spring also heralds the flies. This one has a tendency to have a bite or two when it can.

fly_close_home_named_oct 2014

The Blue-faced Honeyeaters are back in control of the garden. The constant “pweep” rings around the garden.

blue-faced honeyeater01_home_named_oct 2014

But the Friarbirds often sneak in for a quick snack.

friar bird_home_named_oct 2014

Often almost upside down!!

friar bird01_home_named_oct 2014

The Rainbow Lorikeets have come for the blossoms on the Ironbarks and Tallowwoods, but still find time to annoy the Blue-faced Honeyeaters.

rainbow lorikeet_home_named_oct 2014

Early in the morning, the Spangled Drongos have a bite to eat before the others are around.

spangled drongo_home_named_oct 2014

During the drive around I spotted a bunch of birds cruising along a small stream. The Swan was the slowest to escape my camera.

black swam_clarence valley_named_oct 2014

But the most exciting part of the drive was spotting a Brolga in a wetland near Tucabia. The first photos I have taken of a Brolga.

brolga_tucabia_named_oct 2014

He was way off in the distance and, of course, took off after a while of me stalking trying to get closer.

brolga01_flying_tucabia_oct 2014

I hope to go down to the wetlands again, perhaps this weekend. I hope there are Brolgas still around. I hope you liked this bit of my world.


Flowers bugs and birds

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.

calendula_binna burra_named_oct 2014

The Gerberas just stand out in the sunshine.

gazania_binna burra_named_oct 2014

Lemon trees are full of buds. It’s hard to imagine that this little flower will turn into a lemon.

lemon blossom_binna burra_named_oct 2014

All through the garden the nasturtiums are a riot of colour, brilliant reds and oranges.

nasturtium_orange _close_binna burra_named_oct 2014

I thought it would be good to look deep inside to see what they look like. The patterns and shapes are quite different.

nasturtium_red _close_binna burra_named_oct 2014

The wisteria trailing over the arbour with the hanging blooms added a splash of mauve to the garden.

wisteria_binna burra_named_oct 2014

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.

egg and bacon flower_home_named_oct 2014

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.

crane fly_binna burra_named_oct 2014

The baby geckos are also on the move at night. This little bloke lives in the laundry.

gecko_baby_home_named_oct 2014

The King Parrots send waves of reds and greens through the garden as the fly about the trees and bushes.

king parrot_home_named_oct 2014

Whereas the Rainbow Lorikeets provide a constant chatter.

rainbow lorikeet_home_named_oct 2014

The old broken pot has made a great birdbath. The Wattlebird is a bit shy when bathing.

brush wattlebird_binna burra_named_oct 2014

But doesn’t seem to mind sharing with the Spangled Drongo.

spangled drongo_wattlebird_binna burra_named_oct 2014

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.

egret_lismore lake_named_oct 2014

The Superb Fairy Wrens were flitting about the shrubs.

superb fairy wren_lismore lake_named_oct 2014

I wondered why that little bloke was so intent of capturing my attention. A bit of an investigation found these two.

superb fairy wren_chicks_lismore lake_named_oct 2014

Back at home, the Scarlet Honeyeater kept a wary eye on me as he had a feed on the Bottlebrush flower.

scarlet honeyeater_home_named_oct 2014

A convenient post let the Eastern Whipbird call his mate.

eastern whipbird_binna burra_named_oct 2014

The sunsets are quite spectacular this time of year, it must be time to go.

sunset_binna burra_named_oct 2014

The candles are lit so time to settle down for a bit relaxing after a busy day wandering about. Good night.

candles_binna burra_named_oct 2014


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