Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Wild Bird Wednesday - White-naped Honeyeater and kamikaze pilot

Had no luck birding at Wirrialpa station,
plenty of birds hidden in the foliage
and it was already too hot to be out much.

A youngster begging from mum
White-naped Honeyeater

free of the little beggar!

I have no idea how this Honeyeater managed to fly upside down
as he seemed to make a Victory roll.

Linking with 

Monday, October 20, 2014

OUR WORLD - Going far North to the dry country . . .

The further North you go in South Australia
the drier it gets and the  the more the landscape 
changes from what one is used to 

we occasionally stopped to stretch our legs,
with views like this, who wouldn't?

in the Flinders Ranges Salvation Jane painted the
ground a blue-purple
where emus wandered at will

from the hills to the creek
fun watching them amble by . . .

threatening skies

that brought just a few drops to wet
the leaves of this parched landscape

we snaked our way to Stokes Lookout
with a 360 degree view

another quick photo op
for this crazy track straight up the hill

If I can manage, I'll put up a few birds tomorrow 
and the sky for our arrival for SkyWatch

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Sunday, October 5, 2014

Off wandering again . . .

In the morning I am leaving all this behind

the peacock's new tail

my lilac bush flowering for the first time since it
almost died  due to drought 
nigh on ten years ago

and the splendour of apple blossom everywhere.

I am not sure how I can leave my garden in full spring finery
but the chance to go up north to the desert country
does not come my way often 
and when it does, I jump at it.

So dear friends, I will be out of phone and internet reach
for the next 12+ days
wish me luck . . .

Friday, October 3, 2014

FLORAL FRIDAY, TODAY'S FLOWERS & I Heart Macro - Wild Orchids

Some orchids from my birthday picnic at Jenkins Scrub.

It looks like nothing at all,
just a piece of ground left 
to it's own devices

luckily it has retained it's native vegetation
with the help of volunteers who 
weed out any imported species that suppress 
the valiant native flora that
survives by itself 
given half a chance

though we normally do not leave the path except for yanking
out the occasional weed,
grand-daughter was enthralled with the
many varieties of tiny flora
and looked before putting down an unsuspecting foot

today I am just concentrating on the few 
native orchids we saw,
the rest will follow in a few other posts

in a slightly moister spot,
this Donkey Orchid 
looked very healthy and larger than in 
more arid terrain

in dryer spots they still flowers but the
blooms were much smaller

my DD*, the Botanical Alchemist, who knows her plants
and those that are prone to share the same conditions
pointed out that orchids are mainly found where 
this pea-flowered plant, so like Dilwinia, grows

True to form, wherever we saw even a single little shrub of it,
there were also orchids hiding in the grass

this yellow orchid is actually pretty true to size

lucky last, this little bright beauty
unfortunately we did not encounter any spider orchids
but one must leave something for next spring as well.

Linking with


* DD - read darling daughter

Thursday, October 2, 2014

SkyWatch Friday - The heavens helped me celebrate

Last week around this time it was my birthday,
as the cricket score would say 78 not out.
Contrary to doctors' expectations,
I have outlived their predictions 
by eleven years and counting . . .

even the heavens seemed to celebrate 

a late  afternoon rainbow
spanning the farmyard

what better birthday present is there?

Actually there was, DD* took me for a picnic morning tea
at Jenkins Scrub where the wild orchids were in bloom
and while we wandered there
suddenly, our of the bushes came my son and his 
elder daughter who had flown over from Sydney
to surprise me.

I felt I was the luckiest of mortals to have 
so many dear ones around me.

Linking with

* DD = darling daughter

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Wild Bird Wednesday - The thrill of another lifer . . .

More birds from the Port Augusta
Arid Lands Botanical Garden

If you take the trouble to hike out in the blazing sun 
to the bird hide on the hill
you will be rewarded by a nice breeze cooling you down
through the viewing slit
as well as sightings of some uncommon birds

female Zebra Finch

Zebra Finches are a common enough sight 
near inland waterholes

here a female is playing leap-frog
over a male

for me however, this was the big thrill,
a tiny White-winged Fairy Wren

the female, above is much like that of the 
Superb Blue Fairy-wren except for the lack of the red eye ring

but the male is a superior being of iridescent blue
with startling white wings

difficult to photograph with all the grasses hiding him
as both he and his little hen bathed 
in a palm sized puddle

I was lucky enough to also capture an immature male,
obviously their offspring.

The fairy wrens are on my bucket list, 
I have three colourful ones to my credit 
with this lifer

but time is running short . . .

Linking with Stewart's

Monday, September 29, 2014

OUR WORLD TUESDAY - On the road to . . .

Leaving Port Augusta heading West
you go for miles and miles 
through nothing but miles and miles . . .
of desert country

occasionally to the South
there is a hump
a saline soak

scraggly sheoaks eek out a tenuous existence

in the over 300 miles, there are changes in the terrain
here we are coming into red dune country

low vegetation covers some of the elevated ground

while on the roadside we found a shaggy mane 
of all things, shrivelled but miracle of miracles
here none the less in this inhospitable environment.

after a number of hours of driving
we arrived at, you asked for it,
the town of Andamooka
renowned for it's black opals

and a campfire at the observatory.

But that is another tale . . .

If I can make it next week,
we will finally be in Andamooka.

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