Novembers discoveries

I love this time of year. The warmth starts everything growing, flowers bloom in the garden, many birds arrive to spend the end of the year and life just abounds. It also gives me a chance to find things at my place, at my besties, in town and everywhere I am wandering.

This year, the Hippeastrums were spectacular. The red ones were full of life and colour. Remember the native bees? The other colours bloomed after the reds and I found this little grasshopper while I was admiring the flowers. The grasshopper was inside the flowers trumpet but tended to be camera shy and started to get away from the lens.

grasshopper_home_named_nov 2015

I have no idea what this bug is! Maybe a grasshopper?  I was standing in the garden when it decided to walk onto my foot. This bloke wasn’t camera shy at all and kept walking towards me. Just after I took this photo, he jumped onto the camera.

bug_binna burra_named_nov 2015

On my besties place, a farm for more than one hundred years, I came across this concrete pier from a building long since gone. This is the only pier I have found, covered in moss, laying in what is now a young rainforest.

moss_binna burra_named_nov 2015

Also down among the leaf litter are the fungi. This one looks like it has been tied up by the grass.

red fungi_binna burra_named_nov 2015

There is lots of this type of fungi. It seems to grow on rotting wood especially bits of the fig trees which have tumbled from the big old trees, the remnants of the original Big Scrub rainforest.

fungi_binna burra_named_nov 2015

Now back to my place. I have found a couple of this grass species throughout the bush. The stem has a lot of purple fruit which really catch the eye when walking in the bush. This plant is growing beside the track to the house.

purple fruit_home_named_nov 2015

I love Gerberas, don’t you? They come in so many colours adding a splash of colour to the garden.

gerbera_binna burra_named_nov 2015

Enough of bugs and plants. The Bar-shouldered Doves have taken to walking around the garden in the mornings, examining the bits of bark and grass to find their breakfast.

bar shouldered dove_binna burra_named_nov 2015

We went to Ballina and came across these fluffy plover chicks who were in constant movement as the walked across the field, closely followed by the parents. Yes I was a chicken and stayed on the other side of the road as the parents didn’t like me getting too close.

plover chicks_ballina_named_nov 2015

My besties birdbath is a constant source of photo opportunities. The Little Wattlebirds have become a fixture in the garden over the past 3 years. This one looks like it saw me hiding on the verandah.

little wattlebird02_binna burra_named_nov 2015

This year the Jacarandas in Grafton were amazing. The large tree near the building where I work had an extra surprise this year. A Figbird pair decided to make their nest close to the building. Here is mum coming back to the nest to feed the young one. I think she saw me at the window don’t you?

fig bird_nest_grafton_named_nov 2015

But she soon settled down the sit on the nest among the Jacaranda blooms.

fig bird01_nest_grafton_named_nov 2015

A few days later, the wind was blowing when dad turned up to give the little feller a snack, blowing the blossoms away allowing a sneak peak at the young one.

fig bird_feeding_nest_grafton_named_nov 2015

Then he took over the nest sitting duties.

fig bird_male_nest_grafton_named_nov 2015

Late in the evening at my besties, the Green Catbirds start making their strange calls from high among the trees.

cat bird_binna burra_named_nov 2015

Yes it is getting dark. The flowers in the garden still shine in the encroaching darkness.

night garden_binna burra_named_nov 2015

Well the sun is setting, so I must say goodnight and a goodnight from the Kookaburra too.

sunset_grafton_named_nov 2015

See you next time. What did you enjoy the most, the bugs, the fungi, the flowers or the birds?

Not your usual holiday photos

When I travel, I am always looking for something that has some sort of appeal to me. Whether it is concrete or abstract there nearly is always a photo in something that I see and perhaps, others do too. I often find I am drawn to many the same theme. Those themes have been the subject in the past and of other blogs as time goes on. This time I would like to let you into my world of the everyday stuff that I see. Often I will take a photograph, to the quizzical looks of people who wonder what the hell is he photographing!!! This is true especially on holidays where there is a lot of people wandering about the same cities or towns as me. So off we go, starting at the top.

The tiles on rooves have patterns, shapes and colours and sometimes perhaps a plants or two.

roof tiles_baume_named_oct 2015

And in this case moss or lichens. It could almost be vegetation on a terraced hillside.

roof moss_baume_named_oct 2015

I love the ceramic chimney pots. They contrast with the new looking tiles in the background.

chimney pots_paris_named_oct 2015

These chimney pots seemed like rather severe looking totem poles.

chimney pots01_paris_named_oct 2015

This was on a roof near our Paris apartment. We thought it was our own Ned Kelly or medieval warrior looking after us, spear in hand.

chimney pot knight01_paris_named_oct 2015

Some places have the most amazing ceilings, quite often in churches but this one was in a large shopping center in Milan

rooof_milan_named_oct 2015

Some walls in the old churches have the most amazing construction. Imagine looking upwards to see these bricks jutting out in a higgledy-piggledy fashion.

brick wall_bologna_named_oct 2015

In contrast, this wall was in the cafe at the Venice Biennale showcasing modern art. Yes it is a flat wall.

spotted walll_venice_named_oct 2015

Whereas this sloping wall was in the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Korea.

wall_korea_named_oct 2015

Again, the modern art world showed geometry on the walls of the Confluence Museum of Art in Lyon.

museum_lyon_named_oct 2015

The Koreans really embraced the world of modern art with this window between the bedroom and bathroom in our room in the Grand Hyatt.

glass wall_korea_named_oct 2015

This sign on the wall in Venice seemed poignant as everywhere we went in Italy people smoked cigarettes regardless of where they were.

sign_venice_named_oct 2015

There were many different floors with patterns or geometrical designs. This was hard to walk on while looking down as it made walking in a straight line difficult.

floor_korea_named_oct 2015

I don’t know how many cobblestone roads we walked down. This one in Stirling, Scotland, wet and late in the afternoon drew me into its seemingly wavy pattern.

cobbles_edinburgh_named_oct 2015

Lights have always been a source of inspiration whether they are candles in a church.

church candles_bologna_named_oct 2015

Or modern sculpture like this one of cascading balls from the third floor to the ground in Korea.

lights_korea_named_oct 2015

Or beautiful old Murano glass light in the entrance of the hotel in Genoa.

light_genoa_named_oct 2015

I guess I have a certain fascination for water. The Autumn leaves floating in the water feature in Dijon summed up the first cool wet day.

leaves_dijon_named_oct 2015

Reflections in water always look so abstract. A bit of blue sky and the sides of a boat rippling on the water in the canal caught my eye in Burano.

water reflections_burano_named_oct 2015

Further down the canal the colours changed to green and “gold” to make me feel at home.

water reflections01_burano_named_oct 2015

To get water often you need a tap. I don’t think much water has flowed from this tap in quite a while. The tap was in a rather large old building in Arsenale, Venice which had an art installation. I saw a few people wander over to the tap after I walked away, probably wondering what I was photographing.

tap_venice_named_oct 2015

Just walking down the road, exploring the neighbourhood when we got to Bologna, the blue bottle on the graffitied concrete column of the building just seemed like an art installation.

blue bottle_bologna_named_oct 2015

If you have water, you quite often need a teapot, even if it is part of an art installation from China.

tea pot_venice_named_oct 2015

Teapot always needs some tea cups.

tea cups_korea_named_oct 2015

There were lots of chairs in the church. This is just a part of all of the chairs. There was so many.

chairs_dijon_named_oct 2015

Sometimes looking into a sculpture changes the perception of how the work makes you feel.

sculpture_korea_named_oct 2015

This was the Canadian Exhibit in the Venice Biennale. It was a shop with so much “for sale” as well as a lot of used items to ponder.

art work_venice_named_oct 2015

The posters on the walls of so many places had me perplexed but I appreciated the work especially combined with the everyday life.

bike_poster_bologna_named_oct 2015

Road signs sometimes get altered. I have no words.

sign_paris_named_oct 2015

Did you enjoy my holiday snaps? Leave me a comment to let me know what you likes most. Stay tuned for the next installment of my holiday photos – better than a slide night.

The Hippeastrums, The Bees and The Spider

The Hippeastrums flowering this year has been spectacular. Perhaps the lack of rain over winter has been just the thing the bulbs needed. Doing a garden inspection after I arrived home from my holiday, seeing who survived and who thrived, the splashes of red of the Hippeastrums dominated the garden.

For those who are hoping for a riveting story of immense proportions, I am sorry to disappoint. This is a very small story of the very small that live in my garden and a bit of their day.

The tiny native bees were buzzing around the flowers, sometimes there was a line up of bees to get to the flowers seemingly abundant pollen. This little fellers collection sacs were so full, he wobbled about as he landed on the anthers to gather the pollen.

the hippeastrum_the bee_the spider_named_home_oct 2015

Nearly all the bees had gathered so much pollen but still went from trumpet to trumpet.

the hippeastrum_the bee_the spider_named_home04_oct 2015

The bees seemed unperturbed by the small jumping spider lurking at the back of the Hippeastrums trumpet.

the hippeastrum_the bee_the spider_named_home02_oct 2015

All the while I was wasting time ummm watching to see if anything was going to happen, the spider sat there watching me too I suspect.

the hippeastrum_the bee_the spider_named_home05_oct 2015

Suddenly there was a small black dot that appeared on the underside of the trumpet. Another jumping spider had changed flowers, perhaps to join the other one inside the flower.

the hippeastrum_the bee_the spider_named_home03_oct 2015

I love our small world…..don’t you?

As I wander about

It’s been ages since I have had time to get things sorted, to take time for things and actually sit down to set out to write a bit. I have been taking photos of all manner of stuff – as you will see. It is difficult to have a clear pathway of thoughts, to put ideas down and try to make sense so that you can follow where I have been and what I have seen. Many a time I just take off to see what I can discover and see something that I find interesting, colourful or part of our world that some people would just walk by everyday and not think of the beauty. Perhaps I look at the world in a different way, to imagine in my head what I see, grab my camera and let the lens take me where I think it should go. Enough of a jumble of thoughts – as The Beatles sang

“Thoughts meander like a restless wind
Inside a letter box
They tumble blindly as they make their way
Across the universe”

So lets go across the universe or through a small part of my world. Starting at the beginning. Early one misty morning, some rogue cattle were walking along the road when we was taking a walk.

cattle_duroux rd_named_august 2015

Further down the road, the spiders webs were all through patches of grass. Small cup shaped webs dotted the side of the road in their hundreds.

spider webs_purgatory ck rd_named_august 2015

As it is still rather cool here I am still out in the bush every couple of weeks to cut some firewood. One morning I noticed the White-winged Choughs doing their daily march along the clearing with their incessent chatter as they kicked over sticks and rocks looking for their breakfast. They had an almost straight line as they marched up the hill.

white winged choughs_named_home_sept 2015

Sometimes you can look up and see a Spangled Drongo fly past the moon, even in the late afternoon.

spangled drongo_moon_binna burra_july 2015

I though the Bellwood Cormorant Hotel was rather fab but the double decker Osprey nest near Chinderah has a far better vantage point.

osprey nest_named_chindara_august 2015

While we were having lunch in the Tweed Heads industrial/shopping complex, we watched as a bird swooped across the car park, grab what we think was a lizard and go back to the roof top and eat away. After I took the photo (OK I took heaps of photos), I discovered it was an Australian or Nankeen Kestral. What a pretty bird don’t you think?

nankeen kesral_named_tweed heads_august 2015

Speaking of pretty, the Emerald Doves are out and about in numbers at the moment. This bird was not all that content having me stalk it to try and get a good photo.

emerald dove_named_binna burra_august 2015

It stuck its bum in the air as if to say “Go on….take a photo of my best side!!!”

emerald dove_rear_named_binna burra_august 2015

This little bird was sitting in the tree singing its little lungs out.

honeyeater_banora_named_august 2015

Having a cuppa on the verandah one morning, one of the local King Parrots decided to pop over and see if we had any snacks.

king parrot_named_home_august 2015

The Bar-shouldered Dove didn’t seem to mind the Brush Turkeys leaf raking exercise. The turkey was flicking leaves so high into the air! The turkey’s litter mound is about 5 meters away from where it was methodically raking leaves.

bar shouldered dove_brush turkey_named_binna burra_august 2015

One morning I found a Rainbow Lorikeet sitting on the ladder in the old swimming pool looking rather grumpy.

rainbow lorikeet_named_home_july 2015

OK….now this is where things take a different direction for a while. One day we decided to walk across the Clarence River on the walkway under the Grafton Bridge. The structure has been graffitied over the years and the layers of paint with a bit of rust made lovely colours and patterns.

rust01_grafton bridge_named_august 2015

I like the rust colours.

rust02_grafton bridge_named_august 2015

This green almost looked like moss.

rust03_grafton bridge_named_august 2015

One of the hundred of thousand rivets holding te bridge together. Small but significent.

rust04_grafton bridge_named_august 2015

The walkway along the bridge also had two tunnels at either end which have always been “decorated”. Sometimes some of the graffiti has to be added to doesn’t it?

graffiti_grafton_named_august 2015

Othertimes the message is what everyone needs to hear.

graffiti_named_grafton_august 2015

One of my favourite cafes in Grafton is the Tilted Teaspoon. Skye has a wonderful sense of decoration with ever changing bits and pieces gleaned from Op-Shops and garage sales.

old case_named_grafton_august 2015

The water below the bridge has shapes that change as the water ripples from passing water craft. This one is rather spooky.

ghost face_named_grafton_august 2015

Speaking of spooky, what is the blue flash that appeared in my besties loungeroom?

ghost room_named_august 2015

I love the “eye lashes” on the bullet hole in the road sign.

bullet hole sign_purgatory ck rd_named_august 2015

Enough of the different stuff and back to colour and nature. The red flower of the eucalypt just seems to burst in a riot of colour.

red flower_named_grafton_august 2015

One of the first flowers that I started to photograph many years ago were the Azalias of the next door neighbours. They had so many varieties that cascaded over the front suburban fence. The colours were superb. My besties Azalias have been a wonderful splash of colour around her garden. The deep pink flowers are lovely. One of the surprises when taking photos is the unexpected bits that are in and around the flowers.

azalia_dark pink_named_binna burra_august 2015

This flower was hidden inside the same bush as the pink one above.

azalia_pink_named_binna burra_august 2015

The red Azalias are such a stand out in the garden.

azalia_red_named_binna burra_august 2015

The Irises are dotted through the garden not being showy but adding a bit to the shape and form in the garden. It also is the home for a small spider.

iris_named_binna burra_august 2015

The lillies come in a range of colours. I love these ones.

flower_named_binna burra_august 2015

The yellow Day Lilies bring that end of the spectrum to the garden as they stand tall in the sunshine.

day lily_named_binna burra_august 2015

The undersides are just as impressive.

day lily01_named_binna burra_august 2015

The Nastursiums are just starting to appear. I love their colours and shapes as the sit low in the garden trailing over rocks, logs and borders.

nastursium_named_binna burra_august 2015

The Pentas are wonderful as so many little flowers gather together in a ball of colour.

pentas_pink_named_binna burra_august 2015

These flowers like to look at what is going on at ground level. The little bells cluster together.

flower02_named_binna burra_august 2015

This is such a tight ball of very small flowers that have such a lovely scent as you brush past.

flower01_named_binna burra_august 2015

The orchids are out now as well. Again, this flower is so small as it spikes out from the plant with it’s almost see through petals.

orchid_named_binna burra_august 2015

Walking about, it is always good to look up. The shapes colours and forms of the Foam Bark leaves are great.

foam bark leaves_named_binna burra_august 2015

A good discovery walk wouldn’t be complete without a fungi find. I have never seen a pink fungi before, have you?

fungus_pink_named_binna burra_august 2015

The fire has been lit, giving its colours that always surprise.

fire03_named_binna burra_august 2015

Or the swirling shapes where you can see so many different things. What can you see?

fire02_named_binna burra_august 2015

Looking deep inside the fire.

fire01_named_binna burra_august 2015

The Moon was smiling that night. A glowing grin in the sky.

moon_named_august 2015

Well it’s time to sweep and tidy up before I get going. See you next time OK

works done_named_grafton_august 2015

“Limitless undying love
Which shines around me like a million suns
It calls me on and on across the universe”

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… 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


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