A bird or two and some small stuff

The world seems to be travelling at a fast pace and I have not been able to keep up!!! I looked back and see that I have put some photos on my blog in May and now it’s the end of June almost. I have so many photos to sort that I need to have a holiday just to get on top of everything.

It’s not that I haven’t done any travel over the past months as I have been to the Central Coast of NSW where the weather wasn’t all that condusive to taking photos or just roaming about.

This pigeon I have been calling a Top Knot Pigeon I now have discovered is a Crested Pigeon. It was wandering about in a park and just waddled over to where we were sitting and hunted under the table and seat for snacks.

crested pigeon01_named_gosford_june 2015

The marking on it’s feathers are rather striking and that red eye makes it look like it has had a hard night.

crested pigeon_close_named_gosford_june 2015

On the way home we stopped at Bellwood, between Nambucca Heads and Macksville, for a hot chocolate at a well know fast food chain who we discovered make one of the best hot chocolates. On the way back to the car, we looked across the Pacific Highway toward the river and there was a Cormorant “high-rise hotel” with around fifteen nests.

cormorant hotel_bellwood_named_june 2015

Judging by the open bills, it was hot work nest sitting.

cormorant01_bellwood_named_june 2015

Back home and it’s time to gather firewood. I enjoy this time of year when I can get into the bush, do a bit of bushcare and wander about my place looking for suitable logs for firewood. It is always fantastic to discover the plants, birds and insects that live with me.

The forest has a lot of these yellow flowers scattered about most of the year. They grow close to the ground sometimes I find a number of flowers close together.

yellow flower_named_home_june 2015

The Autumn flowers are spent but leave behind their little hairy holders where, I hope, the seeds have spread onto the forest floor.

flower stalk_named_home_june 2015

I love this vine. I was at the same location last weekend and this fruit has turned orange. I knew I should have taken a photo of it in its orange form. I don’t think it is edible.

fruit_vine_crop_named_home_june 2015

There are a few butterflies still fliting about the forest floor. I chased this one for a few minutes before it tired and sat on the log. I was grateful for the rest as well.

butterfly_crop_named_home_june 2015

There has been some small falls of rain through the month – .5 of a ml to 2.5mls, recorded in the rain gauge at the house which is on the ridge line. The seems to rain more down at the bottom of the property as all around the forest are fungi. This one was one of a few who were pushing their shiney gold caps through the leaf litter.

fungi01_named_home_june 2015

I love the wood orange fungus as it seems to be melted onto the bark of the fallen tree, tiny toes gripping onto the bark.

fungi_wood_named_home_june 2015

The strangest of all are this fungi which sends crooked fingers reaching from the ground.

fungi01_fingers_named_home_june 2015

I hope to have the photos sorted and ready for another blog soon. Thanks everyone for the feedback as well as letting me know what I have found. So if you know the names of anything in theis or any other of my blogs, please let me know ‘cos I love learning about our wonderful planet and it’s life.


The end of May

I cannot believe how the months are whizzing by!! I have been meaning to bung a bit about what’s been happening for ages. Life gets in the way of good intentions. There have been some interesting things I have found in my blog stats, especially in what people have been searching for, and ending up at my blog, sometimes in one of the blogs way back in the archive. This has sent me looking at the earlier stuff I have posted. I was thinking of doing a “best  of” blog with your favourite photos that you have told me you have liked…..but then again I need a bit of time and motivation to do that don’t I?

This small lot of photos have been sitting here waiting for me to write a few words about them. I love this tiny stem of flowers from a Spider Aloe. I didn’t get back in time to see them open so maybe next year?

aloe flower01_named_binna burra_may 2015

The weather in May was a few showers here and there, plus some very warm days, so the fungi has been popping up all over. I love the orange wood fungus. It can always be seen adding a splash of colour in the bush or even on a bit of wood near the chooks yard.

fungi_wood_named_binna burra_may 2015

Some of the larger fungus are much easier to spot. I love the frills under the cap.

fungi_named_binna burra_may 2015

One of the latest birds to appear in the garden are the Rose Robins. This little one was always on the look out for a snack.

bird_named_home_may 2015

Down by the Clarence River in Grafton, we were having lunch when one by one the seagulls appeared.

seagulls_named_grafton_may 2015

Later in the afternoon, having a wander about town, a tree suddenly became the place to be if you are a Rainbow Lorikeet looking for a roost for the night.

rainbow lorikeets_grafton_named_may 2015

I can’t resist putting a Golden Whistler in as they are the bird of the month and are everywhere in the garden.

golden whistler01_named_home_may 2015

The only bird who has taken to being in the garden are the lovely Eastern Yellow Robins. I love seeing them hop about the garden.

eastern yellow robin01_named_home_may 2015

Here is a close up of that young Rose Robin. What a cutie to have around.

bird_named_small_home_may 2015

The days in May have seen the Moon setting during the day. I love the blue sky behind the Moon instead of the usual inky blackness don’t you?

moon_named_may 2015

Now to get started on the photos and stuff for June.

Thanks for stopping by and if you have a favourite photo from the past please let me know so I can include your favourite photo in the favourites blog.


May marches on

May has certainly flown by. There has been much to do as the season marches on. So far this month there has been a change in the weather, from warm to cool to some cold nights. The rain came with a huge deluge bringing about some minor flooding around the place. The Autumn seems to herald new birds and a change in the guard of who owns what tree or bush. Soon the cold weather in the mountains will send the Currawongs down to my place and also the Satin Bowerbirds will arrive to chatter among the branches, building bowers, decorating with all sorts of bits of blue and to dance for their females.

The change in the colour of the leaves always lets us know that the cooler weather is on its way.

autumn colours_named_home-may 2015

I drove over to Newbold Crossing to see how much the Clarence River had risen. This is what around 130,000 megalitres looks like at 6 meters. The next day the river had risen to 10.4 meters!!

lilydale_grafton flood_named_may 2015

Some paddocks had water on them for days after but the ducks didn’t seem to mind.

pacific black duck_south grafton_grafton flood_may 2015

In some parts of the valley it was standing room only. Every fence post was occupied.

egrets_south grafton_grafton flood_named_may 2015

One morning I saw a hornet buzzing around the garden and just land on the leaf and walk about for a bit. I wondered what it was doing.

hornet01_named_home_may 2015

Then it went around the leaf.

hornet02_named_home_may 2015

It was then I found out what it was doing…just getting a drink!

hornet03_named_home_may 2015

The dragonfly was rather shy.

dragonfly_named_home_april 2015

I am going to have to rename my bird bath by the looks of it. Even butterflies like to get a drink every now and then.

small green-banded blue_named_home_april 2015

There has been some flowers showing their colours this May as well. I found this flower growing on the side of the road.

lilydale_weed yellow  flower_named_may 2015

Whereas this little flower, a murrdannia-graminea, was growing in the bush at my place

murrdannia graminea_named_home_april 2015

While on the road to Newbold Crossing to see how high the water had risen in the Clarence, I came across all these little birds, Black-fronted Plovers, running along the road and then flying off only to land on the road behind my car. They were so fast I couldn’t get a good photo. Plus it was late in the afternoon.

black-fronted plover_lilydale_named_may 2015

The branches had many birds coming to find their last snacks for the day or find a roost for the night. The Crested Pigeon just flew in and sat.

lilydale_top knot pigeon_named_may 2015

The magpies were having a great time swooping around chasing each other and then stopping to survey the scene before whizzing off again.

lilydale_magpies_named_may 2015

In the garden, the Yellow-faced Honeyeaters have taken ownership of the Honey Gem.

yellow-faced honeyeater_named_home_may 2015

They do have to share at times with the Brown Honeyeaters.

brown honeyeater_named_home_may 2015

The Bottlebrush around the back is also a favourite spot.

brown honeyeater01_named_home_may 2015

And make a show of fancy eating techniques.

brown honeyeater02_named_home_may 2015

The Eastern Spinebills have also set up home in the garden this Autumn.

eastern spinebill_named_home_may 2015

They too don’t mind how they get a snack

eastern spinebill01_named_home_may 2015

The Golden Whistlers have introduced new sounds into the garden.

golden whistler01_named_home_may 2015

They also add a splash of colour to the garden.

golden whistler02_named_home_may 2015

But best of all was the sighting of a new bird into the garden. Another flash of yellow was the give-a-way as the Yellow-tufted Honeyeater dropped into the Honey Gem for a quick snack before going on its way again.

yellow-tufted honeyeater_named_home_may 2015

That’s a good start for May but there has been lots more going on. Hope you can stop by for the next “installment” of May.


Birds, bugs and things in April

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.

small green-banded blue butterfly_named_binna burra_april 2015

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?

dragonfly_blue_named_broken head_april 2015

This dragonfly has a great grip on the stick.

dragonfly_yellow_named_broken head_april 2015

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.

water patterns_named_broken head_april 2015

The shadow of the tree looked like it was walking across the rock face. What do you see?

shadow on rock_named_broken head_april 2015

I love the contrast of colours, the shadows and where the rock landed (or was put by my bestie lol)

rock colours_named_broken head_april 2015

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.

shell_named_broken head_april 2015

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?

snail shell_named_broken head_april 2015

The number of tiny sand balls that were spread all along the shore was incredible. Some of the patterns made were so artistic.

sand ball_crab_named_broken head_april 2015

And here is the little bloke who spend a large amount of its life making those tiny sand balls.

sand crab_named_broken head_april 2015

“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….”

umbrella_seagull_named_broken head_april 2015

“If you are going to hang around with that camera, I’m off….”

seagull going_named_broken head_april 2015

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.

pelican_named_broken head_april 2015

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.

sea eagle02_named_broken head_april 2015

Here is a close up as best as I could manage. The image is heavily cropped just to show the size of the fish.

sea eagle_fish_named_broken head_april 2015

There was also another White-bellied Sea Eagle just soaring around the sky looking for it’s own fish.

sea eagle01_named_broken head_april 2015

Meanwhile at the waters edge, a group of Crested Terns were having a bath and preening themselves trying to get their “hair” in order.

terns01_named_broken head_april 2015

I have no idea what this plant is but the spots of white among the rocks certainly stood out.

white flowers_named_broken head_april 2015

Even the Eastern Spinebill was too heavy for the Pentas making hanging on a bit of a chore.

eastern spine bill_named_binna burra_june 2014

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.

whipbird_named_binna burra_june 2014

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.

yellow robin_named_home_april 2015

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.

black-necked stork02_named_grafton_april 2015

Aren’t the colours great. I never noticed their red cap before either.

black-necked stork03_named_grafton_april 2015

The Water Dragon has set up home in my besties garden. Such a lovely prehistoric looking creature.

water dragon02_named_binna burra_april 2014

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.

water dragon01_named_binna burra_april 2015

That’s the end of what I have found in April so far. Hope you enjoyed seeing what I have seen.


Lots of things to discover

It’s been a while since I have put a bit about what I have discovered in my travels around the north coast. A lot of these photos are from my place and my besties plus some from places in between. There has been many a thing to find, some accidental, some that made me go wow and of course an assortment of themes.

Last week at work, I looked out of the window and there was a rainbow’s end in the park. But I looked again and saw the second rainbow so I thought that is rather special to share. Yes folks, that is the view from my desk. Looking across the mighty Clarence River to Susan Island and beyond to South Grafton.

rainbow_office window_named_grafton_april 2015

I think these tiny plants are a moss growing along a small north facing bank. They look like little stars but are tiny erect plants when the macro lens gets into the structure.

star moss_named_binna burra_april 2015

These yellow flowers of the Beach Primrose are helping to hold the dunes together on Cabarita Beach.

beach plant_named_cabarita beach_march 2015

There is so much debris on the beaches most of it natural. I love the shapes and random patterns it makes interspersed with a splash of colour, a bit of green here, a bit of pink there.

beach debris_named_cabarita beach_march 2015

The coastline has some interesting geology as well as all the other stuff we see at the beach. The vertical strata caught my eye at Cabarita.

rocks_named_cabarita beach_march 2015

The day was getting stormy and the gulls were gliding in the wind.

seagul flying_named_cabarita beach_march 2015

Away from the beach the Wonga Pigeons were calling in the trees. This pigeon was just walking along the branches.

wonga pigeon_named_binna burra_march 2015

The Black-faced Cuckoo Shrike had a fine place to spot any potential food source at Lismore Lake.

black faced cuckoo shrike_named_lismore lake_april 2015

There were a lot of Egrets wading on the edge of the Lake when all of a sudden they all took to the skies, wheeled about for a while then just settled back to their preening and looking for a snack or two to come along. There were plenty of frogs calling.

egrets01_named_lismore lake_april 2015

Also watching from a vantage point was the Azure Kingfisher. They look quite regal as they survey their realm.

azure kingfisher_named_lismore lake_april 2015

Back at home, a stunning blue shape was flying around the garden. The Leaden Flycatcher found time to sit for a while.

leaden flycatcher_named_home_mar 2015

Of course my blog wouldn’t be right if I didn’t have a Spangled Drongo doing something different. This bloke seemed to have his head on backwards.

spangled drongo_named_binna burra_march 2015

I reckon the Wattlebird said to its mate “Show him your best side”

wattle birds_named_binna burra_march 2015

I caused a bit of a Twitter conversation with this photo of a Praying Mantis egg casing. Thanks to all the people who let me know what it was as I have seen them before but had no idea what it was.

praying mantis egg sack_named_small_home_march 2015

There has been lots of butterflies around. I think this one may be a Ringlet.

skipper_butterfly_named_binna burra_april 2015

The Orchard Butterflies certainly liked getting a feed from the red Pentas.

butterfly_name_home_march 2015

The Meadow Argus put on a bit of a show.

meadow argus_named_home_march 2015

The bees weren’t getting left out either. The Blue-banded Bee zipped about the garden gathering pollen from the flowers.

bee_red pentas_named_binna burra_april 2015

The mauve Pentas look a treat. Did you spot the ant as it was exploring the flowers?

pink pentas_ant_named_grafton_march 2015

The white Pentas certainly put on a show with a touch of pink highlights.

white pink pentas_named_binna burra_april 2015

I have never seen a galangal flower before.

galangal flower_named_binna burra_april 2015

The red Hibiscus flowers seem to burst out with their petals cascading from the centre.

hibiscus red_named_home_march 2015

My bestie planted the seeds of the Gaillardia and only one flower emerged but hopefully more will appear later.

flower_named_binna burra_april 2015

The rain drops were hanging from the Pink Trumpet Flowers. The drops on the top of the flower can be seen through the petals.

pink bell flowers_named_binna burra_april 2015

The Blue Gingers are stunning this year. A bit of a dry start to summer and the rains have made the bloom explode.

blue ginger flower_named_binna burra_april 2015

The rain on the fungi gave it a shiny coating

fungi_wet_named_binna burra_april 2015

These two little fungi looked like a fungi with a mini-me.

fungi_two_named_binna burra_april 2015

The wet ground has allowed the wood fungus to appear all through the bush. This one is one of my favourites.

fungi_named_binna burra_april 2015

The huge fig tree at my besties has possible reached the end of its life and has been dropping its huge branches so only two remain. The recent rain has seen a lot of the dead wood covered in this fungi.

fungi_white01_named_binna burra_april 2015

It is so white and fans out from the branch.

fungi_white02_named_binna burra_april 2015

All through the fungi are all sorts of insects. The Ear Wigs were scurrying under and over the fungi so not a clear photo but I was surprised that I actually got it.

fungi_earwig_named_binna burra_april 2015

On the way home from work, I drive past a small pond which has had a tyre in it as long as I can remember. On this day I had to do a quick U-turn as the tyre had two Long-necked Tortoises enjoying the sun. I have called them the Tyre Turtles as it sounds better than the Tyre Tortoises.

turtles_tyre_named_grafton_march 2015

Well as she catches the last rays of sunshine, I better get going as well. Did you enjoy this small peek into my world?

tyre turtle_named_grafton_april 2015


Some birds, some insects and some flowers

It seems like ages since I had time to sit down  and look through the photos I have taken over the past few weeks. Some of these are from the end of February as I decided to just do the butterflies. I took a lot of butterfly photos in February and since then, have even taken more. I was asked about taking butterfly photos and had to say that out of twenty or so photos, there is usually only a couple that are ok.

This blog hasn’t any butterflies but has some other insects that I came across when walking around the garden or other people’s gardens. I was getting buzzed by this black insect. It wouldn’t go away but finally tuckered itself out and sat on a leaf.

insect_named_home_feb 2015

I also spend a bit of time chasing bees around gardens. Coming in for a landing with rear legs full of pollen.

bee_binna burra_named_feb 2015

It took a bit of wrangling to get the caterpillar a bit angry to expose his red antennae while holding the camera in one hand and keeping the spikes on the bush lemon at bay as well.

caterpillar_named_home_march 2015

Always have a close look inside of flowers. You never know who you may find!

spider_alamanda_named_home_mar 2015

I love these little orchid flowers. They grow on long stalks and this year have been flowering all the time.

orchid_named_home_feb 2015

The tiny Native Wisteria flowers are so perfect as they gradually open along the stem giving a blush of colour throughout the garden.

native wisteria_named_home_feb 2015

One of the old cottage style Hibiscus flowers. One of the original plants over thirty years old in my besties garden.

hibiscus flower_binna burra_named_feb 2015

I found hundreds of small flowers growing on the breakwall at Ballina.

beach plant flower_ballina_named_few 2014

The Pink Bloodwoods were covered in blossoms, with bees buzzing about making a bit of a racket.

pink bloodwood flowers_named_home_feb 2015

I was walking through the bush at my place when I came across a small shrub covered in white flowers. I haven’t seen this plant in flower before. It is quite pretty isn’t it?

white flower01_named_home_feb 2015

Here are the flowers up close. Can anyone tell me the name of the shrub please?

white flower_named_home_feb 2015

I love the Tiger Lillies when they bloom, adding a splash of colour through the garden.

tiger lily_named_home_feb 2015

While we endured six months of no rain towards the end of last year, my favourite Honey Gem Grevillea suffered with the lack of water and still hasn’t flowered as strongly as it has in the past. Luckily the Pink Euodia has stepped up for the birds with bunches of flowers covering it, attracting so many birds. The Rainbow Lorikeets did their usual antics, hanging upside down to get a snack.

rainbow lorikeet01_named_home_feb 2015

The Little Friarbirds kept an eye on the lorikeets when they popped in for lunch.

little friarbird_named_home_feb 2015

This is the first time I have seen the Scaly-breasted Lorikeets at my place. They only stayed for a couple of days.

scaly-breasted lorikeet_named_home_feb 2015

The Musk Lorikeets returned to feast on the Euodias bounty.

musk lorikeet01_named_home_feb 2015

They are so striking with their red heads, cheeks and beak

musk lorikeet02_named_home_feb 2015

I really love the smallest of Australia’s Honeyeaters, the Scarlett Honeyeater. They can sit on top of the blossoms and not even bend the boughs at all.

scarlett honeyeater01_named_home_feb 2015

They look so lovely among the pink flowersscarlett honeyeater02_named_home_feb 2015

They really are like “tiny red jewels” among the foliage around the garden.

scarlet honeyeater_named_home_feb 2015

One rainy day, I heard some disgruntled squawks and found some less that appreciative Rainbow Lorikeets sitting in the rain.

rainbow lorikeet02_close_named_home_feb 2015

As always, the Kookaburra kept an eye out for any small creature or insect to wander across the grass. I was going to say lawn but that would be stretching the truth a long way.

kookaburra_named_home_feb 2015

The Galahs in the reserve behind the beach at Ballina found the Casuarina nuts irresistible.

galah_ballina_named_feb 2015

Down at the water’s edge, a Seagull looked wistfully out to sea.

seagull02_ballina_named_feb 2014

The Seagull kept an eye on us in case we had some chips.

seagull01_close_ballina_named_feb 2014

Some birds have shown their funny side. I wonder if this is why this one is called a Drongo.

spangled drongo_named_binna burra_feb 2015

The Wedged-tailed Eagle is the biggest bird. I spotted one down by the side of the road ripping into a Wallaby road kill while it’s mate and the young one sat in a nearby tree. I didn’t notice them until one glided off the branch and into the forest leaving the young one. It sat there for a while until it too flew off. Such magnificent birds.

wedged tailed eagle01_named_home_feb 2015

Well it’s time to kick back and relax. If anyone knows the names of any of the flowers or insects in this blog, please let me know. Thanks

red-necked wallaby_named_home_feb 2015


Februarys butterflies

There has been so much happening this month it is impossible to put into one blog. February is when everything has come alive and this year, the rains have come bringing life to my place. There has been a lot of new birds and insects being spotted which gladdens my heart. I must be doing something right with my own small piece of this world.

The main thing that I have found is there are more butterflies than ever before. Actually some more varieties of butterflies. As I have written in previous blogs, I have spotted quite a few butterflies but they have been around the north coast of NSW, at my besties place, as well as other places I found when we have been wandering around. I haven’t included some of the ones I have put in my other February blogs so this is just the others I have managed to photograph. One of these days I am going to get a photo of the Blue Triangles which fly so fast and don’t seem to rest when I am around.

So let’s get going, I hope I have named them correctly.

I’ll start with the Blue Tiger, a butterfly I found in Ballina. There were quite a number flying around the coastal vegetation and as it was late in the afternoon, quite happy to sit for ages.

blue tiger butterfly01_named_ballina_feb 2015

The names of the butterflies around my garden are bird related. There has been quite a number of Common Albatrosses which seemed to disappear as they look white when flying but at rest they are a yellow colour. The inside of the wings are white.

common albatross_named_home_feb 2015

The other bird named butterfly is the Australian Gull. I have a number of photos and they look different in each one. This poor old one looks a bit ragged doesn’t it?

australian gull01_named_home_feb 2015

This one looks a bit healthier.

australian gull butterfly_named_home_feb 2015

This photo shows the inside of the wings a bit better.

australian gull butterfly_named_home_feb 2015

The Common Jezabel has been around the garden for a while and tends to rest with its wings open.

common jezabel_named_home_feb 2015

Of course there has been Wanderers floating about. I rescued one from a Night Spiders very very sticky web one afternoon.

wanderer butterfly_named_binna burra_feb 2015

My favourite is the Northern Jezabel as I saw a flash of red as it settled on the Pink Euodia.

northern jezabel butterfly_named_home_feb 2015

I hope I get to find some more butterflies this weekend.


Elephants

Todays social outrage about Glenn McGrath and his hunting made me think about elephants. Yes elephants. I have a liking for elephants, some may say is bordering on obsession.

There are a couple of elephants around my home. No they aren’t real elephants or you would have seen had regular Twitter updates about elephants and all the fun or problems of having elephants in your backyard may bring. My backyard may be quite a number of hectares but I feel would be totally unsuitable for keeping elephants.

Think of the fencing for starters. Sometimes its hard enough to keep others livestock out of my place let alone trying to wrangle a herd of elephants when they go trampling the neighbours front garden or eat their prize geraniums or are they pelargoniums. Never mind, it’s the keeping of such a huge animal that would warrant some strict examination of ones sanity wouldn’t it?

But this is not what I wanted to get on about. Back to the elephants at my place.

The news of today did make me reflect on why I love elephants. I do suspect it may have come from a visit to Taronga Park Zoo when I was quite small, possibly around 5 or 6. It was lucky I was small as my brother, who was quite a number of years older than I, spent much of the trudging around the zoo with me on his shoulders. I remember seeing the elephants come out of the enclosure and lumber down the pathway to the area where they were saddled up and it was there that you could climb aboard and have a slow-moving swaying journey around part of the zoo. This to me was one of the most exhilarating things that I experienced. So high up and rocking from side to side with the creaking of leather and smell of the closeness to such a wonderful animal.

My next memory of an elephant in my life was when we did papier-mache in Primary School. My fabulous construction was a fantastic elephant. Made of wire and paper painted grey over a number of weeks and then proudly taken home and presented to my Mum, who undoubtedly gushed about how clever I was and what a great thing to grace our home. I never knew whatever happened to my fantastic elephant but I am sure it was pride of place somewhere in the house for a while.

I have been told on a few occasions that I have to stop buying elephants and I have been compliant to a degree. But it seems that every occasion that arises, birthdays, fathers day, Christmas etc, others always find an elephant that I would love.

Recently after a discussion about the purchasing of elephants, my bestie and I were at The Channon Markets and she found an elephant on a stall and said how could I not buy such an adorable elephant. So you see people find elephants and think that I would just love to have it. In all cases yes I would and do.

I have all manner of elephants and no I haven’t counted them as knowing a number would make me seem obsessive wouldn’t it? So following is a small number that I have in my collection.

You may remember my Christmas tree and decorations from last year which I had as an elephant theme. The tree has been put back outside but I have left the remainder of the decorations on the fireplace, probably until the first cold night when a fire will be needed. The yellow tin one on the left is the only one I have bought.

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There are boxes (other items I love to collect) with elephants on them. I call this efficiency in collecting.

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Elephants that can hold candles (this is one of three that I purchased for a reasonable ten dollars) and more boxes also with elephants on them.

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I have art works of elephants. This one was given to me by my daughter who found it in an op-shop.

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Salvador Dali is one of my favourite artists and after I saw the original in the Dali Museum in Barcelona, I decided I must have a print.

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The stone elephant on the left came from Split in Croatia, the little blue and white ones I found in an antique shop in Lismore and the glass one was a gift. The white one in the background is another of the elephant candle holders.

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This little group are all presents showing differing styles and materials and methods.

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This is a striking fellow given to me by my bestie. It has a bit of age around 60’s to early 70’s.

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A wooden table centrepiece given to me by my daughter with three elephants holding the carved and decorated top.

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Great elephant bookends.

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Another gift from my daughter made of stone who I like to have indoors.

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A practical elephant with a clock. Another discovery by my daughter in an op-shop.

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Here is the cute little elephant found at The Channon Market for $2.50

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Another lot of different styles and materials from the nic-nak shelves as are the next few photos.

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More from the shelves

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The elephant on the left I purchased in Barcelona. These are the most decorated elephants in my collection.

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I couldn’t leave out the Christmas elephant and the pillow elephant, again given to me by my bestie.

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This exquisite glass elephant is one of my all time favourites.

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Yes I do love elephants and reading all the stuff today did make me a bit sad.

PS I have three daughters so they all weren’t from the one daughter.


The Water Dragon

A while ago, when my bestie and I came home from a day out, just sitting on the deck was a Water Dragon just catching some sun. He didn’t mind me snapping away and as @Manic_Henry says …..”They crave to be immortalised in photographs.”…..

Here is the Water Dragon, unaware he is about to be the subject of a photographic expose…..

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He turned to make sure I wasn’t up to no good.

water dragon_side_binna burra_named_feb 2015

It was then that I noticed the bright red of his belly

water dragon_red skin_binna burra_named_feb 2015

The rear feet seem almost useless with those long toes, but when in the water they can propel him along quite fast.

water dragon_foot_binna burra_named_feb 2015

The Water Dragons skin is rather bumpy and spiny

water dragon_skin_binna burra_named_feb 2015

The back of his head has interesting shapes.

water dragon_head_binna burra_named_feb 2015

I am sure he wanted me to get his good side when he turned again, although doesn’t really have a smile does he? The front claws look formidable.

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“Maybe this is my best side.”

water dragon_face side_binna burra_named_feb 2015

Maybe it’s time for a close-up.

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“I said close up!!!”

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The next morning we saw him where we least expected to see a Water Dragon

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I love this photo the best

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Thanks Water Dragon for letting me into your world.


Februarys finds

What a busy February has been. I haven’t seemed to be able to stop, travelling to Orange in the central west of NSW where I saw the roses, and around the north coast as usual. I have seen so many new things as well as some birds and insects to photograph. Here is a batch of birds and insects plus a flower and some clouds found in early February. I am still going through the last lot of photos to find some pretty things for you.

I found this little wattle bird sitting on some broken branch of a eucalypt gazing into some loose bark.

little wattle bird_named_binna burra_feb 2015

In a flash he jumped over to the bark and started digging around.

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Nearby, a young Blue-faced Honeyeater was looking rather intense don’t you think?

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The Red-browed Finch was happy to have a bath.

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High up in the trees this crazy bird was just sitting there like this for ages. Some Twitter folk have suggested “bird yoga” or just chilling and “catching some rays”. Either way it was funny to see.

crazy bird_named_binna burra_feb 2015

I love clouds when you’re above them. They can look surreal.

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This is the only flower photo, a day lily, as some of the others weren’t very good but the next blog may have more as you seem to love flowers as much as I do.

day lily_named_binna burra_feb 2015

This part of Summer is when there are heaps of butterflies around. I have spent quite a bit of my days chasing butterflies lol. I think that this is an Orchard Butterfly. The photo was taken in the twilight in Orange. It was high in the pine when it finally stopped.

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Another butterfly from Orange is this Australian Painted Lady which perched on the ground and only moved a short distance when I came too close.

butterfly_named_orange_feb 2015

I chased this Albatross around for ages as it kept disappearing into the foliage at home. I saw a white butterfly flying around one afternoon and when I finally found where it was perched it was so different to the white butterfly I was chasing. You can just see the white on the edge at the rear of the wings.

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My garden has been full of Lemon Migrants flitting about the Cassia and on the Pentas.

lemon migrant butterfly_named_home_feb 2015

My garden always has Line Blues flying about. They are so funny when the come across another Line Blue as the get into a spiralling and suddenly break away and continue their flitting about. This is one of only photos I have of one with its wings open.

line blue butterfly_named_crop_binna burra_feb 2015

I love it when the Dragonflies come buzzing about. They have been zipping alone then hover for a bit and suddenly take off in a direction that I never can pick. This dragonfly kept setting down on the ground making it easy to photograph.

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I also have spent some time chasing bees. They do make it easy to photograph when they stop to collect a bit of pollen but always seem to have a wary eye open for me.

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Another part of Summer has been some spectacular sunsets.

sunset_named_binna burra_feb 2015

That’s all for February so far. Back to sorting the photos for the next blog. Hope you enjoyed seeing some of my February finds.


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