Discoveries in June and July

I have been doing my usual wandering about, looking for things that are interesting, stunning or just plain great to photograph. This is what I have found over the past two months which have made a quick stroll or a drive into a lot of stop and look.

The early morning fog sitting in the Clarence Valley looked quite amazing as I came over the hill on the way to town.

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Some of the morning skies had so much colour

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The Pelicans were paddling on the Clarence River looking for their breakfast. Everyone knows that Pelicans are great fishers and know exactly where the fish are.

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The Little Corellas played on the light towers, swinging on the wires and generally creating havoc.

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There were many storm clouds around but I haven’t had much rain at my place in the past few months and the Summer storms just didn’t appear this season. These were looming while I was travelling around the Richmond Valley.

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The next few photos are stuff I found in Lismore. I will have to go back and see if I can get the shot I saw in my mind with this spiral stair case.

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I love puddles

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I also love rust – the textures and colours rust brings to metal.

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This is what it’s like looking down the barrel of a gun.

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The footpath also got my attention. The moss is such a striking green.

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The early Winter flowers were appearing in the gardens around Lismore. A splash of white caught my attention. I have no idea what it is though.

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One tree had ants massing all over as they were preparing to launch the winged ones.

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But the tree looked nonplussed.

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On the way back to my besties, we stopped at the outdoor cathedral in Bexhill. The Grevillea flowers (I think) were almost over but still looked amazing.

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The flowers at her place were also blooming. I was hoping to get a bee or two but they were too fast.

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The birds that are there are nothing like the birds at my place, although there are a couple that I find at mine as well as at hers. The cheekiest is the White-browed Scrub Wren who likes to hang around the back door.

“Is anyone home!!”

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“I know you’re in there!!”

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The Catbirds were around in the afternoon making their weird sounds.

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I also came across this butterfly. Its colours made for a great camouflage until I came blundering along.

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I guess the sun is setting so drop by soon and let me know if you enjoyed my some of my Discoveries in June and July.

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The Seeker Part 8

What was that trickling sound I thought I heard……perhaps my thirst was giving to dreams of desire……but I am sure that the trickling sound was real!!

In the lower part of the slope the ground was still stony but many of the rocks were rounded….like rocks that have been rolled about by water. I knelt on the ground on the soft grass and dug my hand between the tufts where it was cooler. Gripping onto a tuft, I gave a hard tug ….nothing!!….it didn’t budge at all.

The ground under the grass was hard and rocky not soft as I had hoped. If I do dig down to see if there is some moisture…..what can I use to dig…the sticks were too crumbly and brittle to be of any use in digging through the hard ground.

I started to try and scrape the ground away from the base of a grass tuft…..it didn’t take long before the skin on my fingers to become sore with small cuts and I had hardly gotten anywhere…..I lay down on the soft grass……the frustration and weariness was getting too much….what do I have to do….why am I on this world…..the sun beat down on my back but the grass was cool on my body and face ….as I drifted off to sleep I was sure that I heard water again.

Water…….I awoke with a thirst…..rolling over, the cool relief on my back was welcomed………looking around I wanted to find some sort of a digging tool….maybe a rock from further up the slope might be suitable as the stones here were too small.

Walking back towards the ridge I hoped I would be lucky and be able to find water….allusive water…..something I desperately need to survive. but what will survival do if I am just to wander this domed world.

I hoped the greenness of the mound would lead to there being water…..water that would sustain me for some time.

I am sure I again heard the sounds of water but not being visible on actually running over the rocks and stony ground must mean that it is somehow flowing underground. How can I get below this hard baked ground to get to the water that keeps this small patch green in a desert landscape alive.

Near the top of the ridge, which is only a few meters high, there is some larger rocks which I could use to dig…..scrambling over the rocks of the scree slope once again to the base of the ridge I found a good sized and appropriately shaped rock that I could use to get below the surface.

I wonder where I was when I heard that trickling sound…….down the slope slipping and sliding as the rocks gave no solid purchase…looking left….looking right….everything looked the same…….down on the edgewhere the tufted grasses came up to meet the bare rocky ground.

I stood….straining to listen to the slightest sound other than the occasional rocks tumble…..nothing….perhaps I should move down to where the grass evens out before abruptly ending to meet the desert once again.

Lifting my stone age implement, I struck the ground between the tufts sending smaller pebbles out of the way…..again…..again….again I hit the ground making a small divot.

Now I could scrape the hole into something bigger as I tired of hitting the hard stony surface…….sweat glistened on my now brown baked skin. I managed to struggle to a point where the small rocks and pebbles changed colour….a deeper colour.


Meet the Whipbirds

G’day. My name is William Whipbird. I like to hang about in the garden, looking for food and having a bath. You may remember me in this story.

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Anyway I would like to show you my partner and great mate Wilma Whipbird.

I’ll just give her a call and see if she wants to come and meet people. She’s a bit shy.

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Hey William!! Here I am

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As you see, she is a bit shy. I’ll ask her to pop out so you can meet her. Wilma can you come out from behind those vines please.

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OK. Here I am. I’ll just move over a bit closer so you can stop calling. I’m right behind you.

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Thats great Wilma. Can you see if there is anything to eat up here among the wisteria vines?

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You look over there and I’ll see what I can find over here.

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I think I can see something scurrying away. I’ll have look under the arbor support..

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I think I can see something under there.

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Yes. There’s what look like a bug of some sort. I don’t think I can get it. Bugger it has gotten away.

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I hope enjoyed meeting us. Next time you are around, I’ll give you a shout out OK?

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I appreciate any comments you may have or just a like would be great

Thanks

brian


The Seeker Part 7

I was sure the change in colour would indicate that not only the soils changed with some moisture.

The digging was difficult….the ground was so hard but still shards of the hard surface would splinter off sending small pieces flying, occasionally hitting my skin causing small blood spots to appear…..my fingers also were raw and stung with each blow.

The hard surface I have been striking was seemingly becoming softer, also altering in texture and colour.

I wondered what if I was doing was going to lead to my continued existence on the strange domed world.

Once I had a water supply I was sure I could find some level of comfort that would sustain me while I attempted to understand why I find myself on this world.

Who made this dome and why?

Does the dome protect the world or does it exist to contain the world and its strange environment….occasionally the clouds would speed across the sky as if they had an important mission……they must drop moisture somewhere or does it not behave like the weather I was used to or that is within my mind or memory….a memory from where?

My mind wandered trying to remember my past life….thoughts jumbled with nothing rising to the surface that I could hold onto as a definitive memory…..this process was going nowhere, which just added to my frustration.

I continued digging at the bottom of the mound which was becoming much easier…..instead of pounding the ground my rock tool is now being used to scrape the material from the small hole I have made.

The coolness of the ground below the surface was welcomed by my raw fingers….the depression has deepened with the flinty stones giving way to a soil like structure which is quite easy to dig.

Deeper and deeper I scraped and now have a good sized hole but still no water…….the soil felt damp but I am unable to determine if it was moisture….squeezing the soil didn’t change the composition or yield anything, it didn’t form together to make a ball…it just remained as it was when I dug it from the ground.

The level was now quite deep but I have nothing but a pile of stones and dirt….I was sure I heard water moving below the surface before….

 


An assortment found while travelling around

I have ben slack I will admit. Here is a collage of life that I have found. Some have no meaning and just are stuff that the world leaves lying around, or sitting or just being.

I went to the Bentley Blockade had a chat or two with the folk who were only too happy to chat, buts another story another time. Of course I have to go exploring, so Bentley is a good start and who knows where we will end up

This wonderful farm-house, just sitting there, neglected.

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While overhead, the clouds were just blowing up and drifting apart, ever-changing.

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On the way back to Lismore, the clouds in the east had a soft blush of colour which turned to storm clouds.

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The pansies were blooming bright colours making spots of joy in the usually, almost colourless autumn gardens.

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Everyone was enjoying the camellias, Lewins Honeyeaters were darting in and out and even the ants were traipsing all over the bush.

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The stamen look like they are wearing boxing gloves…no wonder the ant scarpered

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Of course someone had to shine. The Gerbera was the star of the garden.

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The Emerald Dove can’t seem to stop still for a second. I think it scooped stuff up while strutting around the courtyard.

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The little Eastern Yellow Robin was always darting about the foliage of the tree begonias.

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While overhead the Eastern Rosellas just chatted away, mostly to no-one in particular.

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The White Headed Pigeon took advantage of the last afternoon to have a last dip at the bird bath.

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Up the flag pole!! The  Butcher Bird thought the flag pole was a great place to scan the neighbourhood. As long as he looked up as well.

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The Brahminy Kite was on the prowl making birds scatter everywhere.

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Cormorants look very pretty with their wings folded. All that drip-drying seems to pay off.

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The Pelican didn’t seem to give a rats about anything.

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The Pied Oyster Catchers seemed unfazed by the Soldier Crabs who have just taken over whole of the little beach in a small bay.

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The Soldier Crabs were everywhere….always seemed to be on a mission to somewhere and back again, a bit of over there and a “Hey it’s Norm again” as business is done as a cluster ever moving, occaisionally stopping for a quick drink or to stuff a claw into their mouths possibly with a snack of some sort..

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They were so hard to get a good photo as they just scuttled away when you got close to them or they got close to me. Below is an artist’s impression of the Soldier Crabs

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The crabs knew someone was looking on at their antics. No one was fooled by the shades.

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The end of the day. The sun setting like an explosion of fire and colour.
The evil eyes are looking….beguiling you into the mouth of fire.

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After the sun has set, it is sometimes just as beautiful. The purples, deep blues and almost a russet flow down into yellow with a lone house light in the distance.

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When darkness sets in, the little Pademelons come scrounging around the chook yard, hoping to snuffle up some grain the chooks left behind. That’s why this bloke has a smudge on his nose.

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I love our Moon. Sometimes the Moon just shines when full. Goodnight.

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The sky, the clouds, the sun

Tonight I was driving home and as I crossed the bridge, the sky was starting to see the benefits of sunset. I just had to find a spot just on the edge of Grafton, down a side street that is usually a quiet spot, just a cattle truck rattled by and as I was leaving some folks turned up for footy training.

This spot is great so tonight I indulged myself the time to watch the sunset. The clouds were looking quite different and the colours were just starting to highlight some of the shapes and forms that the clouds were starting to build.

Here’s what I saw……

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Then the show started once the sun dripped the horizon.

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I just love this one

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It was time for the Ibis to head back to their roost

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The yellows were giving way to the oranges

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As the sun dripped lower, more clouds were revealed.

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The clouds almost turned to fire.

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Perhaps the break in the cloud formation was due to planes. See their trails. But it did contribute to the making of a great sunset.

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The reds became stronger, deeper, the highlights showed more striations.

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I decided that it would be good to see deep into the clouds. The woven effect was quite nice.

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But the red….thats all…but the red

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At the beach and in the garden

This time of year plants get a boost on before the cold sets in around here. March is the best time to plant. This year summer was extremely dry but when the rains came flowers appeared showing their fantastic colours, shapes and scents attracting pollinating insects. The days are quite warm and quite often a trip to the beach is taken and sometimes, if the water isn’t too cold, a swim but usually I sit around camera in hand hoping something interesting will come into view.

Here is a few things I found, the good the bad and the ugly. Ready to go? I think I might start with a couple of photos at the beach and see where we go from there. I like to find a nice pandanus to sit under out of the sun.

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Always there are seagulls whizzing around, perhaps looking for that chip tossed by someone.

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But this day the bonus was the Osprey wheeling about the sky.

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And occasionally hovering over the water.

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As I said, it was wonderful when the rain came, clouds full of promise and delivery. I liked the way the clouds and trees matched shapes.

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The insects are busy buzzing around before the cold sets in. They are everywhere looking for nectar or whatever will sustain them for the coming months. The honey bees and little native bees were all over the Hibiscus zipping from flower to flower.

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This year, the cicadas were in full song, at time deafening. The garden is full of their shells.

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I found this tiny tiny moth on the door. It is about 10mm in length and very hairy.

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Among the flowers in the garden, the Pink Euodia was the pick of many insects and birds.

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The Lewins Honeyeater was very protective of “his” tree giving anyone who dared try to sample the blossoms a quick seeing off.

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The Butterfly Bush was full of flowers as well. They just look superb as the flowers seem ready to fly.

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This year the Cats Whiskers seemed to have more purple on the tips.

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I was disappointed that the bees didn’t seem to want to be around the White Crocus as much as they were around the pink one.

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This so white flower with its lovely red centre was the only one in the garden.

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I love the shadow of the stamens shadow on the petals of the flower.

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Early morning and the buds were almost ready to burst.

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On the ground, the Grey Shrike-thrush hopped about the garden looking here and there for a bit of lunch.

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While one of my favourite bird, the Eastern Yellow Robin sat on the post watching for movement in the garden.

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During the long hot summer days I go down to the chook house to gather the eggs. Sometimes I come back empty-handed. This bloke is one of the reasons for that. I went into the chook house and he scarpered out, too fast for me to catch and sat up in the tree.

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Well the Moon has risen so it must be time for bed. I hope you have had a good time at the beach and in the garden with me.

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brian


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


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