One day at the lookout

HI. My name is Ashighasa. I’m a kite. No not that sort of kite like the ones we saw in the Flying Working Dog, but a kite, you know, like the bird kite. Well, anyway, I found this fantastic spot to sit and watch the world go by, and while I’m at it, to maybe spot dinner.

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It’s a great lookout. I get up here all by myself, no competition for finding something to eat. Just me and all I can see. Such a good life.

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Hey!! Where did you come from? Turn you head for just a minute and look what happens!

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OK buddy, you can stay but just sit there and don’t copy what I do or I’ll get upset. OK Bird!
Sure thing pal.

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You got that bird!!
OK mate, I’ll just look over here. I’m sure there is something happening over here.

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Hey!! You!! What do you think you are doing? What did I say!!
Me? What did I do? I’ve been looking over here for ages.

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I told you before. Don’t copy me.

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Look bird. I am serious about you being up here on my lookout. You have to do whatever I say!!

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He he he

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A few thing about April

A couple of time over the past week I have been at the beach. It was very overcast and not all that inviting but usually there is something on the beach that gets my attention. I would have loved to photograph the kangaroos on the beach but high on the headland would have to do.

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There’s something about the water, sand and light that I see but can’t quite get what I want on a photo.

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A rock full of molluscs always attracts attention.

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While eating lunch, a Kookaburra came over to closely check us out.

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The Emerald Dove is so funny. Just walks up the garden path to discover what’s in and around things, sometimes to get a drink out of a saucer under a pot plant.

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The Black-chinned Honeyeaters were ever so cute when they had a washing session.

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The Satin Bowerbird was very vocal while perched above the dam.

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THe rain has been a blessing, bushes started to flower. The Chinaman’s Hat is a bit rude….I think I have been flipped off by a flower

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I love finding insects and spiders in flowers especially when they are so small that you often miss seeing them as you walk by.

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The rain also bought out some interesting fungi. Everyone knows how much I love fungi. This fungi blog is full of them. I have never seen a cup-shaped fungi before.

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And it was so white.

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See you next time.

 

brian


What’s been happening in March

THIS month has been a frustrating month for my writing and photographs. My computer hasn’t been performing to “manufacturers specifications” which took me many a night of working out what was happening but finally the solution happened. For the geeks out there, the C: drive space was disappearing, just filling up, despite my making room to have that space disappear overnight. The solution was in the back-ups that was happening daily or sometimes twice a day to the C: drive was stopped and back-ups deleted freeing 880GBs!!!! That’s enough of that….onto March and what discoveries I have found for the month.

Took another drive around the back roads and on the road between Uki and Tyalgum there was a huge tree, a Camphor Laurel, which was laden with Birds Nest Ferns and Stags. The photos I took  just don’t give the wonder that is this tree. Can you count them all?

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Trees are important as they can provide so much for everyone. Even a dead tree has its uses. They make great lookouts.

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From such a great spot, the Black Shouldered Kite was able to survey the surrounds of Cowans Pond Wetland and nearby farmlands. I think he saw me don’t you?

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While spending a warm day sitting in the Clarence River at Lilydale, a White_bellied Sea Eagle soared over the water looking for a snack.

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The Osprey was so high up as it wheeled across the sky I didn’t think I would get any photos. Getting two different bird of prey photos made my day!

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While back on the ground, a lovely song was being sung in my besties garden. It took a while to find the tuneful bird but persistence found the Varied Triller singing away high in the branches of a coastal pine.

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Everyone likes the bird bath photos. This time one of the small birds was having a lovely time. A Brown Thornbill was looking particularly fluffy during his bath time. He even was concerned about how clean his feet were just like the Whipbird

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Afterwards, among the branches of the wisteria looked like a safe place to dry off.

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Around the garden, even though there hadn’t been much rain, some plants put on their end of summer show. Everyone knows how much I love to photograph flowers  The colours are amazing, so onward with a small flower show, starting with a stunning red flower.

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The bromeliads were full of flowers. The white inside with red spires and the twisty ends of a purple/mauve colour.

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The little Chinamans Hat flower looked stunning covering the bush with its little yellow curled up stamen.

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The cream colouring on the Zinnia made it stand out among the others.

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Passionfruit flowers can look rather messy.

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The Camelias showed plenty of welcome for the insects to gather pollen.

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The Blue Banded Bees loved these purple flowers

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While way up in the eucalypt, the blossoms made a spectacular sight. Even the insects were enjoying what the gum blossoms had to offer. Can you see the little bug searching among the blossoms?

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Travelling around the north coast it’s not hard to find a beach somewhere. Even the beach has its insects. There were a few flies just chillin’ on the sand.

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The garden was also full of butterflies, many who were too fast for me, but there were a few who I managed to get while they were resting or sampling what the flowers had to offer. The Wanderers are always accommodating when the camera is near.

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And the Jezabels are always dressed in their brightest colours with a fluffy coat.

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The Common Grass Yellow certainly stands out among the darker green foliage as it feeds on a Farmers Friend flower.

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See more butterflies here

So the usual suspects were around in March plus a few new discoveries. I hope you have enjoyed some of my March wanderings. See you next time for more adventures through the lens of my camera.

brian


A surprise visitor to the garden

The lack of rain has taken its toll on the garden. Plants are struggling and the dam is down to the last quarter. Last weekend I had to push the float out further into the middle of the dam before I could water the garden. Starting to decide which plants I am going to save and the ones who will have to do the best they can.

See the comparison from last year to this.

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But I digress. The reason for mentioning the dry was that, in my garden, is a most wonderful little visitor who hasn’t been around for quite some time. When I first moved here there weren’t many birds, just a raven or two cawking around and the occasional flock of Rainbow Lorikeets flying over head. But one day I heard this sound, I thought sounded like someone rolling a handful of marbles around in the their hand, which turned out to be a Restless Flycatcher. Have a look and hear the sound on the link. I wondered whether they like being around when it’s a bit drier as it was during the early years living here.

I first saw the female but didn’t have a clue what sort of bird she was and couldn’t get a clear photo as she was busy eating a bug.

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But then, nearby, I heard him call. So then for the rest of the afternoon and the next day I spent watching his hopping about the garden, singing and being ever so cute. Yes I did take quite a number of photos. Here is a selection of this delightful little visitor to my sad garden.

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He just seemed to pose for a while then change around so I saw his many colours and bright eyes

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A sneaky rear photo

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He looked so indignant that I dare to photograph whilst he was rather ruffled when having a bit of a preen.

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But soon set about posing for the camera once again

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He loved his close-ups. A front-on

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The a bit of this way.

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And then this way

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What a pretty bloke to have flitting about the garden with his erratic flying chasing unsuspecting insects don’t you think?

brian


Back roads and the beach

I enjoy travelling on the back roads where you can discover all sorts of things, plus it’s a great way to find where “that road” goes, which often is a surprise. Some roads are dead ends, some are gravel and some lead to the beach, so lets see what I found recently. The last time I went to the beach everyone enjoyed that day. Seat belts on and off we go.

One of the main things you have to do is take notice of the road safety signs, even if it does mean you have to be aware of Koalas on bikes.

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One photo I wanted to take was one of cattle and Cattle Egrets. Luckily it was a rainy day so there were some cattle just resting with egrets hanging around. Just love the one which poked its head up.

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At one stop, a cow decided to come over and check out what I was doing, mooing very loudly, until I pointed the camera at her.

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There are always flowers. These are quite spectacular.

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A lone Zinnia looking quite beautiful.

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On the track through the dunes where a Dunecare group planted a lot of plants, which have stabilised the dunes, was a Marengo which have the most fantastic leaves, The wind was blowing so the full leaf was hard to capture so a close-up was just as good.

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Once down on the sand, trying to stay out of the sand blasting, I noticed that there was a Pelican floating around on the current.

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The Pelican was soon joined by lots of seagulls

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And then there were Terns speeding along the breakwall, flying up high and then dropping out of the sky into the water as well.

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The Terns seemed to go ever so high into the sky

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Before plunging into the water. I just couldn’t time it right to get the entry but have lots of photos of splashes.

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Next a flock of Cormorants arrived to help to herd the fish into the shallow water.

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And everyone took advantage of the Cormorants fishing skills.

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In this photo, I think the Tern is a Little Tern in the bottom right.

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So after a while the Pelican wasn’t alone.

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On the drive home, the Moon looked very surreal.

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Thanks for taking the drive with me along the back roads in the rain and down to the beach.


February has been interesting

As usual I have been out and about finding stuff and having stuff find me. There has been some nice moments as well as some that were a bit on the reptilian side. The world still is an amazing place with wonders that has colour from the sky above to the little creatures who live among us. If you love being alive to experience stuff then come with me to the things I find that sometimes take my breath away or make me sit and watch with amazement.

Let’s begin with a wonderous morning sky. Not a barrage of colour, just light bright sky with the most amazing clouds.

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This time I am going to get the photos that could frighten some people out-of-the-way early. So if you are scared of reptile have a quick scroll now. I love Goannas, except when the eat my chooks eggs!!  When I can I catch them and move them up the road to eat someone elses eggs ha ha ha. This one was a bit big – around 2 meters and the cat treed him.

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You can see how they manage to climb a tree so quickly.

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But they have interesting faces.

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OK You can stop scrolling here if that was too much for you delicate constitutions.

The dam at the top of the road often has some interesting visitors. The other day two different species of Heron were stalking the edges, a White Faced Heron…

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And a Pacific Heron

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While a Pacific Baza watched from a nearby tree, probably eyeing off the chooks

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The large bits of the world are always easy to see and find but it’s often the small that take my eye. Some bugs just wander into my world, wander about for a while then off they go on important bug business. Remember that Shield Bug

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This time the dragonfly flitting about was a brilliant red not like the last one who was more a yellow colour

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While the Cassia are in flower the bees buzz about. This bloke was given a pat on the back for a flower visit.

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And as always there are butterflies…The Speckled Line Blue was playing catch with another. It was fun to watch one hide until discovered by the other and then they just spiralled into the air until one zipped away and hid.

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And the Northern Ringlet – I think – has great spot “eyes” to keep predators at bay.

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As butterflies enjoy flowers, so do I, the colours and shapes are a source of great photos.

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And again this time a yellow explosion from the ground

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Have you ever looked closely at a Hydrangea flower

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Silk Tree flowers have great colour and form but do look a bit messy as they don’t last long.

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Well the sun is going down once again, February has had a bit of variety hasn’t it?

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Thanks for the visit….see you next time

brian


Feet washing is such a chore

We all wash ourselves differently and some take more care with other “bits and pieces” than other body parts. I found it seems that some birds also have a bit of a fetish in making sure that they are rather clean all over……..and that includes the feet. Some people may wash standing on one leg, foot hooked over the other leg and scrub clean and other balance precariously on one leg balancing as the other foot get a good clean. But do you examine your feet to ensure that they are really clean.

You may remember the after bird bath routine the Wattlebird took. In case you can’t have a look here.

One of the Eastern Whipbirds best efforts in the bird bath was splashing about which probably doesn’t help to make sure your feet are clean.

Following is a look at how an Eastern Whipbird enjoys a bird bath. One day, a Whipbird flew down from the trees to take a bath. This is his story……

Today looks like a great day to take a bath. The other birds seem to have gone so it’s my turn.

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Hmmm, the water looks good and refreshing and no one is watching.

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I really think my feet need a good wash.

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I better get in the bird bath again and have a good wash, especially my feet.

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Blimey, they still look a bit off.

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Maybe this time they’ll be OK. A good shake before I get in the bird bath again.

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Well that was good but I think there is still a bit of someones’ left overs between my toes.

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Strewth!!  Look at that.  This feet washing is so hard.

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I dont care any more.

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I am going to ignore the fact the you have been watching the whole painful episode of how hard it is to wash your feet!.

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So….How do you wash your feet?


More wandering on the weekend

The weekend always brings new discoveries, sights and other things that have been seen before but still can evoke a bit of wonder. There are always birds, insects and animals that I happen upon and yes, as someone asked recently, I do often chase bugs and butterflies to get a photo. This weekend was no exception but I am lucky with the birds as they come to me. Well not to me actually but my besties most wonderful bird bath. We were chatting in the morning with a cuppa where we worked out what birds that drop in have been seen in the bird bath and which ones haven’t had their photo taken. The main ones were, not surprisingly, the raptors – Wedgetailed Eagles, Pacific Baza and the other kites and falcons that whizz through too quickly to identify.

So onto the things that managed to wander into my gaze and camera lens. The start was on Friday evening with a wonderful sunset that was filled with different colours.

I first saw a small piece of red that was one of the reddest reds I have seen.

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The yellows were quite lovely too.

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Saturday morning was filled with many butterflies flitting around the garden. Orchard Butterflies and Azures (possibly) were too fast as were some Awls and Skippers but the Lemon Migrant, I think, stopped for a bit of nectar.

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I didn’t manage to get the wings down to identify properly so a guess at Lemon Migrant will have to do, until someone lets me know what species of butterfly it is.

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As well as butterflies there was a wasp buzzing about so a quick photo was in order, then run ha ha ha

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Of course the dragonfly was just waiting to get its photo taken.

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With all this going on,  a couple of folk were dropping into the bird bath.

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I can’t help but post a couple of more Eastern Yellow Robins as they are so cute and very bright as they chitter chatter around the garden.

This one is “You keep a look out….I’m going in!”

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Even when a bit damp, the Eastern Yellow Robin manages to look resplendent.

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This is the first time that the Noisy Friarbird has dropped in for a quick dip.

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What do you look like when you shake the water from your head?

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The Eastern Rosella was waiting in the trees nearby.

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But finally had its turn which didn’t last long as a Noisy Minor decided that it was his bath time.

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On the way to give PJ his breakfast, a Grey Fantail was doing some post hopping, a quick dart into the air to catch a flying insect or two and back down.

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This time without that serious looking face

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And one more because it is such a happy little bird that always brings a smile at its acrobatics. Ready for take off…

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In another part of the garden, a Green Tree Snake was checking out the garden mulch for any tiny bug that happened upon its path.

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They certainly have big eyes.

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OH, thats right I mentioned PJ didn’t I. PJ is a horse and we finally found out why Mini was putting on weight. At feed time, Mini trots down after everyone is gone to see if there are any gumnuts that PJ has dropped and not yet found. Say hi to Mini and PJ.

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Well that’s about all I discovered last weekend although I am keeping a few photos of the Eastern Whipbird for later. Here’s another look at that fabulous sunset.

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brian


Watering

Arrive home
no rain
garden dry as…
start pump to water
sky darkens….

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Still watering
sprinkles of rain
I say
“bring it on”
still watering….

Dark clouds
how you taunt
small droplets tumble
splash the dust
plants beg
we wait
still watering….

Clouds persist
the dust persists
the garden begs
the dam empties
finished watering….

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Flowers Birds Bugs and Snakes

This month has been quite a month of contrasts. I have been sitting here wondering where my rain has gone when all around rain has fallen. I am away and have rain and a diversity of stuff, whereas at home, the dryness has seen quite a few birds desert the property for better pickings. But still there are the ones who stick around for most of the year with an occasional drop in by a stranger.

This is a look back at the month and some of the discoveries that I have made as I wander about. Hope you enjoy this adventure walk around with me.

I have been peeking into flowers again. I love hippeastrums colours

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A vine that trails over a fence has flowered this year the first time for quite a while. I don’t know what it is but it has an interesting shape inside.

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The Crocus flowers have attracted the attention of the native bees who arrive in numbers. I like the one at the top of the photo, throwing a shadow on the petal, who is buzzing in at speed as though it was a bit late.

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As it seems we have moved onto the bees and bugs, we better continue. The Blue Banded Bees have been quite busy at my place and my besties. This bloke was very intent on the flowers.

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The Cassia flowers have been quite spectacular this year with the pendants of yellow dripping from the tree. The big bee who dropped in to do a bit of gathering would have been surprised with the thank you pat on the back from the flower.

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No matter the weather, there is always dragonfly flitting about or stopping to eye-ball what ever I am doing.

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One night, there was a constant high-pitched chirping from a cicada inside. After a bit of searching I found it hiding behind the curtain.

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While outside, a caterpillar was changing location to set up a better snoozing spot in its cocoon.

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This moth is always watching or so it hopes in order that’s what predators will think so it won’t end up as dinner.

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There has been some birds around. The Peaceful Doves are always around as they know in the afternoons I give the chooks some grains.

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The new comer to my garden was a Bar Shouldered Dove who was cooing from the bush for a few days before I saw him.

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It has been quite hot and the Spangled Drongo just sat in the shade of the tree hoping to catch a breeze.

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But in my besties garden, the Red Browed Finches has a great place to meet have a chat, a  bath and a drink.

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The Cormorant found a good perch above the dam to keep an eye out for fish and to dry off in the sun.

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At night the Flying Foxes came for the flowers of the Pink Bloodwood. Can you count the eyes peering out from the dark as they hang from the palm tree?

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It has been a year for snakes big and small. At my besties I saw a carpet snake high up in the mango tree. A knot of snake on a small branch.

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Whereas at my place late one night I had to rescue a chook from the deadly coils. A bit of a drive up the road in the morning to a safe place, I let it out of the bag. It looked bigger in the night.

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But it gave a cheeky grin and slithered off.

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The little Green Tree Snake was quite happy to scurry away at speed.

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We all enjoy a walk along the beach. Even an Osprey has to do it every now and then.

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Well like the tired old dog in Murwillumbah, it’s time to start the truck and head on home.

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Did you like a walk through my January?

brian


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