An assortment of things I found around here

This is a quick look at some things I have discovered in January. I have a lot of photos from last weekend but I haven’t had time to sort through them yet, so the final “Things of January” will have to wait for a while. It is amazing what you can find when you stop on the way home, mainly to check out the clouds and mist that was hovering over the Ranges after the storms. I have seen these flowers growing on the side of the road and in the bush around home but have never looked at them closely as they were just purple flowers on a long stalk that seemed to grow everywhere.

This is what the flower by the side of the road looks like close up.

flower_roadside_jackadgery_named_jan 2015

At the back door an industrious wasp set about building a mud tube. I waited for a couple of hours but it never came back to finish the construction.

mud tube_named_home_jan 2015

I am always looking for interesting shapes and patterns in nature. This moth is rather incredible even though it is a bit damaged.

moth_named_home_jan 2015

On a drive down to the Clarence River, I came across this Bearded Dragon hanging onto the fence post. I am sure it wanted to run off but sat very still while I took some photos. The left hand side back leg was just hanging free. When I got back into the car, I looked around and he was gone lol.

bearded dragon_named_jackadgery_jan 2015

The Fig Birds have been hanging around for longer than they have in past years. The fig tree in the garden had lots of figs this year but they had already gone when I took this photo. The Euodia hadn’t flowered yet let alone have berries.

fig bird_named_home_jan 2015

This year the Little Friarbirds have been around when the bigger Friarbirds have not been in the garden as often.

little friarbird_named_home_jan 2015

While doing a bit of bush regeneration at my besties place we came upon a bush under a large pine tree after we cleared away an abundance of Lantana. Thanks to Dr Dave Watson (@DOCTOR_Dave) who let me know it is a Caper Berry flower. The seed was probably dropped by a bird as there aren’t any other large or flowering bushes nearby. There are some surrounding properties that have planted rainforest plants as well as the thousands planted on my besties property.  Beautiful flower isn’t it?

caper berry flower_named_binna burra_jan 2015

When I went down to feed the chooks, I came across this Cicada emerging from its shell. They are rather prehistoric looking aren’t they?

cicada_named_home_jan 2015

That’s all for this blog of January’s “item of interest”. Stand by or actually have a seat until the next blog of January’s photos and stuff.


A day at the beach

When the day looks like being a bit warm….ok bloody hot at home, it’s great to head to the coast and enjoy the coolness of the ocean. There is an opportunity to wander around the rocky headlands, peering into tidal pools and generally seeing who is also hanging at the beach. This day was spent at Brooms Head. A quiet coastal town usually but over the Summer holidays, the caravan park is packed to capacity, swelling Brooms Head to almost double it’s population.

This day bought about some lucky encounters as we waded through the tidal pool. The bird life was quite varied and we had the opportunity to see some birds we had not seen before as well as the usual large groups of gulls squawking about nothing in particular.

The Sooty Oystercatchers scurried among the rocks.

sooty oystercatcher_named_brooms head_jan 2015

Some of the Terns were having a bad hair day.

terns01_named_brooms head_jan 2015

But their landing skills were quite good.

tern_named_brooms head_jan 2015

Can you pick the odd one out?

sea eagle_gulls_named_brooms head_jan 2015

Easy wasn’t it! The Sea Eagle was scouting along where the waves were breaking but still the birds on the rocks kept an eye out just in case.

sea eagle01_named_brooms head_jan 2015

It did make the Sharp-tailed Sandpipers nervous and every now and then the small group took to the skies.

sharp-tailed sandpipers02_named_brooms head_jan 2015

When they were foraging among the rocks, they were hard to see.

sharp-tailed sandpipers01_named_brooms head_jan 2015

Occasionally another shore bird appeared. The Grey-tailed Tattler seemed to be playing chasings with the Sandpiper.

sharp-tailed sandpiper_grey-tailed tattler_named_brooms head_jan 2015

But the Pelican kept an eye on what was going on in and around the rocks at Brooms Head.

pelican_named_brooms head_jan 2015

I love being at the beach, don’t you?


January….some excitement so far…

Yes. There has been some excitement around my place so far this month. Just sitting on the verandah having a cuppa one morning, the usual bird song od Spangled Drongos, Friarbirds, Fig Birds, Kookaburras and Ravens, just to name a few, changed. There were a few small birds whizzing around the bush near the house as well as a couple of birds who were a bit bigger. But more of the birds later.

The flowers in the garden have had a bit of a lift with some rain at the start of the month. Prior to that I was feeling like the bad parent, having not much water in the dam to do a full garden watering, so I was having to select which plants I think could survive the dry a bit better than others. My best bird attractor, the Honey Gem Grevillea, hasn’t the flowers it normally has but still has bought a few birds in to the garden.

Other plants have stepped up and have made sure the butterflies have somewhere to visit. The Speckled Line-blue enjoyed a rest on the Hibiscus

butterfly_crop_named_home_jan 2015

While the Lemon Migrant seemed to prefer the red flowers

lemon migrant_named_home_jan 2015

The Cassia has been quite spectacular this year with its drooping bunches of flowers seemingly cascading from the branches attracting bees. The buzzing of the bees made it sound like the Cassia was covered with bees but there was only a handful of big fat bees.

bee native_crop_named_home_jan 2015

In the bush and around the garden, a little native plant has appeared. I have seen a few before but the dry then the rain seemed to make them grow in many spots in the garden as well as in the bush. The little yellow flower is about 5 to 8mms.

yellow native flower_named_home_jan 2015

The Duranta has bunches of flowers which are followed by small orange berries. The variegated leaves are a favourite of the Satin Bowerbirds. Some small birds like to drink from the small purple flowers as well.

purple flower_crop_named_home_jan 2105

The Mistletoe Bird was hopping around the Duranta looking for bits of nesting materials as well as examining the flowers.

mistletoe bird_female_named_home_jan 2015

When it got a bit too hot, we went down to the river for a soak. On the way back home we came across a Black Faced Cuckoo Shrike peeking out from behind a Bottlebrush

black-faced cuckoo shrike_named_crop_eatonsville_jan 2014

On the road a group of birds scattered as the car approached. The group of Rainbow Bee-eaters flew about the trees, occasionally resting long enough to get a few quick photos in the fading light.

rainbow bee eater02_named_jackadgery_jan 2015

You can see why the are Rainbow Bee-eaters!

rainbow bee eater01_named_jackadgery_jan 2015

Meanwhile, back at home, the Scarlet Honeyeater was hanging on as best she could to get a snack.

scarlett honeyeater_named_home_jan 2015

The Yellow-faced Honeyeaters have been here for a while now since I first saw one a couple of years ago. I love their yellow faces.

yellow faced honeyeater_named_home_jan 2015

The Restless Flycatchers also have made a home here in Summer. They were one of the first birds that came here when I first started to live in the bush.

satin flycatcher_named_crop_home_jan 2015

The Rufous Whistler is singing in the bush, but on this day also dropped in to the garden for a visit.

rufous whistler01_young_named_home_jan 2015

OK. Remember at the start I said I had some exciting things happening. One of the new birds I have seen this year has been the Fuscous Honeyeater. I always get excited when a new bird appears. Of course the found the Honey Gem.

fuscous honeyeater01_named_home_jan 2015

The Brown Honeyeater discovered another Grevillea in another part of the garden. This is also a favourite of the Scarlet Honeyeaters as the bigger birds don’t drop in for some nectar here very often. This is the first time the Brown Honeyeater has been seen at my place as well.

fuscous honeyeater_crop_named_home_jan 2015

Well I have to fly…

fuscous honeyeater02_named_crop_home_jan 2015

….but not before the most exciting news of all. One quite rare visitor to my place has been a Regent Honeyeater. When something like this happens a lot of people like to know so it is always good to let the folk at Birdlife Aust know when you come across something special.

regent honeyeater03_named_crop_home_jan 2015

Many thanks to Twitter mates @DOCTOR_Dave and @caroproberts for their help in identifying the birds and butterflies I had trouble identifying as well as everyone else who also helped.

I hope I get some more new birds at my place in 2015 to add to the 88 I have already discovered.

See ya


Fireworks on New Year 2014

I have never taken photos of fireworks before. This year we were at my good mates place in Grafton and when we heard the first boom of the fireworks, we raced upstairs to the deck to get a good view we hoped. It didn’t disappoint. The first few photos weren’t as good as I hoped but I hopefully did get a bit better.

Here are Grafton’s New Year fireworks starting with the early efforts….

IMG_0866

They seemed so far away at times

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The timing was getting a bit better

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We thought that this photo looked like a dragon

IMG_0878

Perhaps a tree?

IMG_0893

This one seemed rather “spidery” to me

IMG_0896

I loved the blue trails

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Some of the explosions were intense

IMG_0910

Getting right inside the fireworks explosion

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The green and gold….very Aussie

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And then there was a close up

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I’ll guess I’ll have to wait until next year to get some more photos, unless I am around some other firework event.


2014 – The year in review

I was thinking of doing a bit of a recap of what’s been happening this year in my blog and Hey Presto, WordPress has done it for me.

Have a walk through 2014 and see if your favourite blog is mentioned. If not hit the like button and let’s see if the stats change for 2015!!!

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,300 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.


Decembers last bits

December has almost gone as is 2014. It has been a year of new discoveries through the camera’s lens. One of finding new people reading the words and looking at the photos as well as friends who send words of encouragement and love. This blog is one of looking at a series of photos in small snap shots of my world, some of it fascinating, some of it amazing as well as a bit of new life that has been happening around my place over the past month. How about we start off with one of my favourite subjects – fungi.

As the weather has turned from ever so dry to one of good rains, so the fungi have started to emerge in the forest floor. This little one was doing what fungi like to do, live in the darkness.

fungi01_binna burra_named_dec 2014

The wood fungus looked ever so coloured as the rain was falling as I found this stick with the two fungi and an air fern.

fungi02_binna burra_named_dec 2014

The birds have been enjoying the bananas at my besties place. The cows snuck into the house yard and decided to have a munch on some banana leaves which also resulted in the bunch being pushed over and needing rescuing. Some of the birds thought it was a good idea to hang the bunch up too. The Lewins Honeyeaters licked their beaks at the thought of bananas for breakfast.

lewins honeyeater01_binna burra_named_dec 2014

The Catbirds also enjoyed their snack too

catbird02_binna burra_named_dec2014

Really getting into the mood for eating

catbird01_binna burra_named_dec2014

The sound of the Spangled Drongos calling caught my attention. When I got to their nest tree I saw a battle of epic proportions. The goanna was going to get up there no matter what, licking his lips all the way. Can you spot the Drongo?

spangled drongos01 v goanna_named_dec 2104

The Drongos were having none of it though.

spangled drongos03 v goanna_named_dec 2104

They swooped and dived clicking their beaks near the goannas head.

spangled drongos02 v goanna_named_dec 2104

After a while the goanna was a bit sick of all the attention and decided that it was more fun to be somewhere else.

goanna_named_home_dec 2014

Then it was back to business, with the young ones and their demanding ways.

spangled drongo young_named_crop_dec 2104

Another trip back from the “bush supermarket”.

spangled drongo_young_named_dec 2104

While watching the Drongos, nearby was this young Bar-shouldered Dove sitting very still.

bar-shouldered dove01_young_home_named_dec 2014

Every sunset is so different. One afternoon the setting sun was just glorious

sunset03_binna burra_named_dec 2014

The colours deepened the reds and oranges just burst through the sky

sunset02_binna burra_named_dec 2014

Looking a bit closer, the sky looked like the embers of a raging fire.

sunset01_binna burra_named_dec 2014

I love our moon and even when it’s only half, it still shine its light upon us.

half moon_home_named_dec 2014

That’s all for 2014, see you next year with hopefully many more discoveries and wonders that our world has for all of us to share. Have a great 2015.

PS When I got home yesterday, I went to see the Drongos and it looks like the goanna had finally won. The nest was empty and a bit dishevelled and the Spangled Drongos have gone…a sad end to my year :(


December discoveries

It’s been a while since I have shared some of my discoveries. The last was in Spring so here are the December discoveries. There has been an abundance of flowers since the rain started. Only a few mls here and there with one big storm that put water into the dam. Actually at the moment the sky has darkened and thunder is rumbling so maybe some rain for a Christmas present. Wouldn’t that be nice? Decembers discoveries are a mixed bag of flowers, birds and all sorts of things that have caught my eye. I hope you enjoy this bit of my December.

Lets start with some flowers. I love it when the garden just bursts into bloom after the first summer rain. The Agapanthus look a treat scattered throughout the garden. I have white ones

white agapanthus_named_home_dec 2014

and blue Agapanthus.

blue agapanthus_named_home_dec 2014

The Bauhinia is a bit rambling but when the flowers are out it provides a splash of colour.

bohinia_named_home_dec 2014

The Dietes border some gardens and are in clumps here and there. Only downside is the are taking over almost weed like.

diedes_named_home_dec 2014

The yellow Dietes is a favourite of the Satin Bowerbirds. They harvest the flowers as quick as they appear. This one has a bonus small grasshopper!

yellow diedes_home_named_dec 2014

Native flowers are always around. This little yellow flower is about 5mms across.

yellow flower small_home_named_crop_dec 2014

The Black Bean flowers come in a range of yellows and oranges and reds.

black bean tree flowers_home_named_dec 2014

The Grevillea flowers are yet to come back. The dry weather certainly decreased the flowers so the Friar birds make do with the Hibiscus flowers, even if you have to be upside-down to get a snack.

friar bird_hybiscus_named_home_dec 2014

The fig tree had an abundance of fruit this year and the Fig Birds have been hanging around the garden since the start of winter. I love their calls which ring out around my place early in the morning and late in the afternoon.

figbird01_named_home_dec 2014

The Kookaburra was hiding in the garden waiting for an unsuspecting insect or lizard.

kookburra01_named_home_dec 2014

This year, the Spangled Drongo stayed a bit longer than usual and I found their nest. It is well tied on to the branch.

spangled drongo_nest_named_home_dec 2014

One hot day, 40 degrees plus, many of the birds were quite thirsty and hot. I have a number of water points around the garden for the birds. You have seen the new bird bath but this is an old wheelbarrow that get drips off the roof where some birds like to drop in for a bit of a splash and drink. This poor Drongo was very hot.

spangled drongo01_hot_home_named_dec 2014

He was joined by a Friarbird and they had a bit of a discussion who was allowed to drink here.

spangled drongo_friarbird_hot_b&w_home_named_dec 2014

Once the rain started, all around fungi seemed to sprout up anywhere. This little puff-ball was in the middle of a small grassed area.

fungus_named_home_dec 2014

Whereas this fungi grew out from the exposed root of a tree.

fungus_brown_named_home_dec 2014

I love dragonflies. They are always zooming around the garden, either here or at my besties. This one was high in a tree watching us remove some weeds in the paddock. Their wings are amazing don’t you think?

dragonfly_binna burra_named_dec 2014

This small dragonfly was almost invisible on the ground.

dragonfly blue_crop_binna burra_named_dec 2014

On a hot day a Green Tree Snake went for a dip in the pool, which is a frog pond now. It had a hard time trying to get out and did panic a bit when we came outside. It found a place to hide in the skimmer box. I put some palm branches around it so the poor little bloke could get out easily.

green tree snake_crop_named_home_dec 2014

On a walk to Killen Falls we came across the Sandpaper figs fruiting. They are rather fuzzy.

sandpaper creek fig fruit01_named_killen falls_dec 2014

This one comes with a bonus grasshopper too.

sandpaper creek fig fruit_killen falls_dec 2014

The sunsets have been amazing. Here is a selection of just one sunset.

sunset01 binna burra_dec 2014

This one has a bit of blue as the sun set.

sunset02 binna burra_dec 2014

I love the sunset when it looks like the sky is on fire.

sunset03_binna burra_dec 2014

Well, it’s almost Christmas. I found this nativity scene in a market. It’s made of wood and is from Thailand. I am not particularly religious but I love things that are well made and interesting. The elephant is missing as he is under the Christmas tree.

nativity_dec 2014

My Christmas tree. This years theme is elephants. As you may have guessed, I collect elephants.

christmas tree_dec 2014

Unless I get inspired to write before the end of the year, have a great 2015 and I’ll “see” you next year.


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.


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