Thursday, June 30, 2011

SkyWatch & Nature Notes ~ 3rd. Blogaversary!

It is exactly three years since my darling daughter bullocked me
into starting a blog. Insecure and mainly computer illiterate, I made
my first tentative posts mainly to have somewhere to show some
photos of my way of looking at the world.

I don't know how it happened but over 600 posts and 300 followers
later, I am humbled to have so many friends around the world and
more grateful than I can possibly say to have been welcomed into
the blogging community with such open arms.

I wish to thank you all for having taken me to your hearts. You all
have made this old lady with a camera, a very happy bunny indeed!

All of you have been like this shining cloud for me, pure joy.

The seasons this year are very confused, like this spider outside
my room with his stash of food bundled up to feed her babies.

Our lovely English Leicester ladies smiling after being 'crutched'
( having their backsides shorn to prevent fly-strike).
One of the chores when the grass greens up in autumn.

It is two weeks to mid-winter here and my garden not only
is bursting with spring flowers but roses as well. How on
Earth am I going to get them all pruned when they look like

Certainly not something one expects at this season of the year.

My Hyacinths are popping up like Johnny Jump-ups.

Violets are flowering everywhere,

Jonquils smile from hidden nooks,

and Snowflakes are ringing their little bells earlier than ever.

Although the sheep got into the garden and trampled the broad
beans, they have set and ripened at least four months early.

Luckily, we have had no bad frosts so our lettuces are doing
well, also very unusual for this time of year.

Most plants are well in advance of their season except these
apples, which were late in ripening and are still being enjoyed
straight off the tree.

The biggest anomaly is this flowering cherry tree which has
swelling buds when it has never in 40 years, flowered before September.

SkyWatch and Nature Notes, Memes that wave been kind to me, click on
either Logo on my side bar to join in all the fun.

Monday, June 27, 2011

MY WORLD, World Bird, Watery Wednesday & Bird Photography Weekly- Autumn Glory

A few more remembrances of our autumn colour pilgrimage to
the Victorian Alps, the caravan park at Jamieson with its magic
of autumn colour. Those of you in the Northern Hemisphere must
wonder at my excitement to be amongst all this splendid colour.

Just consider that nearly all Australian trees are evergreen,
momentarily I can only think of one that is deciduous. There
must be a few more but they do not spring readily to mind.

The combination of autumn colour and running water is just
irresistible to me so we drive a thousand miles one way to
immerse ourselves in this glorious colour-bath.

A gentle view along the riverbank.

I am particularly enamoured of trees that are baring their souls
like this willow that has shed two thirds of it's golden glory.

An Amanita muscaria doing its utmost to lift our cabin off it's stumps.

A kookaburra doing his tree-hugging impression

and a tiny Silvereye, Zosterops lateralis, posing in the light .

I just could not stop walking around the caravan park and
adjoining public parks on either side of it along the river and
snapping away.

There was wall to wall colour wherever one looked,

a few Maple leaves enjoying the sunshine

while this female Common Blackbird, Turdus merula, preferred
the shade for her worm hunting forays and had a beak full of
rich, nourishing, wriggling goodness within minutes to feed
her growing brood.

Here is the male of the species checking me out. Blackbirds
are about the size of American Robins and have quite amazing

The gold of Liliodendron tulipifera against the russet leaves
of the oak

and last but not least, a king parrot female demolishing the
buds of Camellia sasanqua probably to it's owner's chagrin.

Enlarge and enjoy!

With thanks to the co-ordinators of all four memes.

Sunday, June 26, 2011


On our recent trip we stopped in at the Portland, Victoria
Botanical Gardens to have a picnic lunch and looked over
beds and beds of beautiful Dahlias.

Although some were over their best, there were compensations

and I got a lot of exercise chasing after butterflies.

TODAY'S FLOWERS is a great meme, so click on the Logo and
join in all the fun if you have some flowers to show.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Shadow Shot Sunday & Sunday Bridges ~ Contrasts

The bridge at Murray Bridge, South Australia. Hard steel,
hard lines,

and the soft shades on my bedroom curtain with rainbows
dancing on it

How many shadows can you find? Skip to HEY HARRIET,
she has plenty! Just click on the Logo to join.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

SkyWatch ~ Here Comes the Sun . . .

This was our winter solstice sunrise . . .

here is the sun through the clouds, I have no idea what caused
the green flash, was it a gang of Leprechauns fresh over from

Thanks to Gaelyn, we now have an explanation of this rare
phenomenon. It seems I was very lucky to capture it . . .
who says it is not worth getting out of bed on a freezing morning
just to capture a sunrise?

After long deliberation (sleep) I am sticking to my guns. No
one has actually seen The Green Flash close up sooo my
theory has not been disproved, ergo, it is just as likely to be a
rare Leprechaun migration as anything else!

By the time there was real light, the Leprechauns had

to be replaced by a few cold sparrows in the Nectarine tree.

They enlarge if you wish . . .

With thanks to the SkyWatch Team for the fun we share on a weekly basis.

Monday, June 20, 2011

MY WORLD and World Bird Wednesday - A Mindful Walk

On our last trip to the Australian Alps we stopped at a lookout.
While the Prof. shot the view, I went into the bush where there
were rustlings and twitterings. I spied a few of our tiny red-
breasted robins, probably a Flame Robin; this one almost
sat still and lots of, even smaller, blue wrens flitting about
in dark, shady place.

This is the meandering path I followed for a little, stopping,
listening and hoping to get a clear shot at some warm blooded

Although I kept my eyes peeled, I did not spot this little,
probably tree-creeper, I need Stewart M to set me right,
about 20 feet up a Eucalyptus regnans. He was working his
way up the tree, hanging on with his tiny claws and seeking
out some protein under the loose bark.

PS as you can see from my comments, Stewart M has kindly
identified my cute little tree-creeper as the Red-browed Tree-creeper,
Climacteris erythrops. Where would I be without him?

The large trees here were a mixture of Eucalyptus regnans
or Mountain Ash, and Stringybarks, also a Eucalyptus but
since there are so many of them, I could not tell which one.
Our mountain trees grow at different altitudes and this was
obviously a transition area.

The Stringybark was bleeding and I was surprised to see that
it's sap was water-soluble. Where it is black, it is rain washed,
the bright red was crisp but a little tacky due to the light drizzle.
I collected a sample to take home as it is useful as dye on paper.
Apart from that, how could one resist that gleaming red!

The Prof was anxious to move on so . . . oh yes, There was
also a view but I much preferred it through the trees rather
than naked from the lookout.

All photos enlarge as always.

Thanks to the sponsors of both memes for the opportunity of sharing my post.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

TODAY'S FLOWERS ~ Pincushion Hakea

Hakea laurina, the pincushion Hakea, at present flowering in
great profusion in our park. One of the many endemic flowering
plants we planted some 18 years ago that have grown to large
mature shrubs feeding both birds and bees.

Above, two stages of the bud and below, just as the flowers
unfurl to their beautiful pom-poms.

Photos of course enlarge.

TODAY'S FLOWERS is sponsored by Luiz Santilli Jr., click on
the Logo to join or just enjoy the great flower show.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Shadow Shot Sunday ~ That which is not.

If we only look, there is beauty in even ordinary rubbish . . .

You may well ask 'what is it?', enlarge and have a closer look.

After eating the little bunch of grapes, I was fascinated by the
coloured shadows the overhead lights threw on the counter.

A post for Shadow Shot Sunday, sponsored by Tracy at HEY HARRIET,
click on the Logo to join in the fun!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

SkyWatch & Nature Notes ~ The Inimitable Magnificence of Nature

Leaving Second Valley on the coast of South Australia rather
later than I had planned, I noticed the developing sunset.

The road was long and windy and the light augured well for
something spectacular to follow.

There is one gap in the hills before you can get a view of the sea
and only one place where you can safely stop, so it was pedal to
the metal as I held my breath and hoped to make it.

Around the last bend and into the lookout car park.
This first shot, as I wound down my window.

By the time I was out of the car, the light had changed
dramatically and the shadows were lengthening.

The sea turned into a cauldron of molten gold,

sea, sky and earth were suffused with golden light . . .

Looking up the coast, the sea was so blue while the coastal
grasses turned red.

At my feet all was golden, I could have mined my shoes.

Again, the sun bounced off the water

and turned it's molten magnificence into a different tone
of gold. When is too much not enough? When you stand there
bemused by all this glory . . .

They all enlarge should you wish to do so. All straight off the camera
except for re-sizing.

With thanks to the sponsors of SkyWatch and Nature Notes.
The Logos on my side bar access both sites for you to join or just enjoy.

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