Thursday, June 9, 2011

SkyWatch & Nature Notes ~ A Walk in the Park

Except for the bare Birches, one could think it warm, serene
and summery. Think again, it is a wet, windy, winter's day.

Don't let this patch of blue fool you although my resident
Grebes are happily chasing each other about making cute
gurgling noises.

Moments later, the dam reflects another story but they still
have fun.

The sun has briefly lit up the clouds but one of them has decided
to go deep sea diving.

A moment of warm sunshine to enjoy while hiding from me
amongst the reeds.

Just so you can getter a better look, enlarge the cropped version
to see how cute they are with their fluffy bustles.

Meanwhile in the next paddock, part of our population explosion
of kangaroos. Since we planted some Bluegum forests, they have
moved in and are multiplying like rabbits. They are lovely to have
around being one of our national emblems, just not in great
numbers and I don't at all mind sharing our pastures with them,
if only they did not turn our fences into sieves. Due to this
destructive habit of theirs, our sheep now roam at will . . .

Here is the cropped version, in case you could not spot them
in the above. These last few years we seem to be having the
biblical plagues not just singly but overlapping. As though an
eight year drought had not been enough, when the rains came
and we relaxed as our dams filled again, it did not take long to
see that blessings come with conditions. First a plague of Locusts
and Crickets last summer, concurrent with Earwigs out of
control invading houses, as did the Portuguese millipedes.
Powdery mildew stripped the leaves the Locusts had left only to
be followed by a second wave of them coming through.

You might be forgiven for thinking that was the end but wait,
there's more, at present we have a double whammy of millions
of tiny white snails munching their way through everything
including the bark on fruit trees and, waaiit for it, another
pet the settlers brought with them, yep, now we are tripping
over field mice by the hundreds. The cats are so sick of the
sight of them they don't bother any more and prefer
cat-crunchies. After all, one can only stomach so many mice!

If you think me rude not visiting your sites, think again, you
can 'put the blame on Mame' or rather blogger, if I am lucky,
I can open 3 consecutive sites and if I am even luckier, leave a
comment on one. Sometimes comment boxes don't upload, at
others it just revolts at sending the comment and I cannot
even copy it! Small wonder I am tearing out what few grey
hairs I have left. If this goes on you will have one bald blogger.

Please leave me a sign of life that you have been here lest I
feel like Shirley Valentine talking to the wall.

I encourage you to click on both the SkyWatch and Nature Notes Logos
and join in.


  1. Winter may not feel as nice as the warmer months, but it can warm our hearts with its beauty. You seem to have the same love/hate feelings for kangaroos that I have for white-tailed deer.

  2. Wonderful sight and scene! I love water shots..

  3. loved your tour and explanations of the plagues your lands have been enduring there!

    love those grebes - they look like the pied-billed grebes we keep here over winter. just love their fluff tails. :)

  4. Oh how exotic - Kangaroos in the garden - I am so envious.

  5. What a beautiful place and perfect for nature notes and sky watch. Always fun seeing what's going on in your part of the world.

  6. A wonderful tour, gorgeous captures! Cold or warm it looks like such a peaceful, beautiful place and skies! Always love the water shots! Sorry about the computer problems, I've been having some, too! Hope you have a great weekend, Arija!

  7. yes, blogger is giving us a hard time. perhaps try using a different internet browser, like firefox or chrome.

    wonderful to see your world
    your kangeroos are like our dear, they sure can multiply and other years they don't make it through our hard winters or cars hitting them and there are not as many. Your Autumn seems like my Spring, cold and wet.
    sending light

  8. Oh my, your lyrebird sounds incredibly entertaining!!!! Would LOVE to hear a bird do rifle shots and whip cracks!!! :)

  9. i almost fell off my chair when he started up his chain saw!!! thank you SO much! that was amazing!!!

  10. Hiya,
    Yes, hopeless when things are sluggish on line. I am losing patience.
    Like the reed and brown grasses. Still, am happy with our colourful times over here :-)

  11. Wonderful impressions of nature!Thank you for sharing and have a great weekend!

  12. I don't visit as often as I'd like, Arija, but I do enjoy it immensely when I do. Love the grebes and the 'roos--and envy you both.

  13. the grebes look like they were making the most of whatever sun they could get.

  14. OK, wet, windy, but still beautiful!
    Have a nice weekend:)

  15. Beautiful reflections and I love the roos!

  16. Lovely photos, Arija. Those little grebes do have cute little bustles!

    Your annoying wildlife is kangaroos while ours is mule deer, which eat all of our landscaping, expecially roses.

    I had trouble leaving comments lately, too. I unchecked the box labeled "stay signed in" (after I signed in) on my Google home page and that solved the problem

  17. O you poor thing! I've been having my issues with Blogger too! Even signing in to my blog is a marathon!

    Your photos are delightful! I am surpised about your plague of earwigs, but I've heard about the locusts!

  18. well you are having a day there. or many days I ought to say. your land is beautiful I only wish you didn't have so many out-of-control pests to share it with! creepers, the tough time of it all. but you've brought to mind a favorite movie that I had long since forgotten and I'm now off to watch. thank you very very much for that, and for the gorgeous photos. and happy SWF by the way. don't despair, tomorrow's another day, and all that. yeah, right. :)

  19. you are not alone...talking to walls or snails or cats or were they kangaroos? Your photos are lovely...sorry for the plagues, oh my!

    sending you peaceful energy!

  20. Beautiful reflections and lovely scenes. Very nice. Mickie :)

  21. Beautiful reflections and lovely scenes. Very nice. Mickie :)

  22. Grebes: are they also called Australian coots?

  23. Beyond My Garden

    Our winter has some cheerful spots, my violets, the first Hyacinth, Early Cheer Jonquils are already blooming and the late roses are still there to grace my table. You are quite right, some animals can be both a blessing and a bane.

    Icy BC

    Thank you.


    Thanks, it has been a bit of a tough year.

    Weaver of Grass

    Thankfully only on the paddocks, NOT in the garden.


    Thanks, I really love living here, even with the drawbacks.


    you are such a brick to leave all your lovely comments. Thank you my friend.

    Tammie Lee,

    Yes Tammie,

    it is a very peaceful, out of the way place on a road that just comes to us and it is so wonderful to share the place with our daughter and grown up grandchildren with their partners.

    Our Kangaroo population never goes backwards even in a severe drought they may not multiply but have hibernating babies in their pouches that will instantly start to grow when a good season is in the offing.


    glad you enjoyed it.


    we still have some autumn leaves hanging on, our paddocks are green and the first spring flowers are already up even though we have hardly entered our winter.


    than you for visiting and enjoying my post.

  24. Great view of your seasons. Boom & gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

  25. Outstanding catches of the sky reflected beautifully in the water -- in fact, the relections are actually superior to the real sky. Quite unusual and wonderful.

  26. 'Tis good to see the other side of the coin, we consider your lifestyle
    to be idylic maybe and your shots would suggest this is the case, beautiful views indeed!....:)
    We do not see locusts in the wild and mice rarely, I'm happy where I am!....:)

  27. While it's fascinating to see kangaroos in the wild, I imagine it's a bit like deer are here - they lose their charms when you have to deal with their damage.

    Lovely post.

  28. I love all your pictures Arija, and I'm so sorry for all your unwanted critters too. This Spring has been a strain for this area also. Way too much rain making for millions of mosquitos, and now all the hot temps they are all multiplying faster than a rocket. No fun going on my beloved trails.
    We're going away next week for a few needed days of rest. In the meantime take care.

  29. Hi Arija ~ Your reflective photos do certainly spell summer ~ it's hard to believe it's really wintertime there. One of my favorite photos is almost impressionistic with the sweet grebes behind the reeds. That one is very, very lovely.
    Wishing you a very relaxing weekend! ~Maria

  30. Your grebes are delightful! Sorry about the plagues and the problems with Blogger. I have several of my own of the latter though thankfully we don't seem to have any plagues here.

  31. Dear Arija, thank you so much for leaving me a comment. I have been away from blogging for a while, want to take it a bit easier!
    "when a whole nation is roaring patriotism at the top of its voice,
    I am fain to explore the cleanness of its hands and purity of its hearts."
    Ralph Waldo Emerson. Many thought and still do as we do, Arija.
    How is the garden going? Keep in touch.

  32. Dear Arija, thank you so much for leaving me a comment. I have been away from blogging for a while, want to take it a bit easier!
    "when a whole nation is roaring patriotism at the top of its voice,
    I am fain to explore the cleanness of its hands and purity of its hearts."
    Ralph Waldo Emerson. Many thought and still do as we do, Arija.
    How is the garden going? Keep in touch.

  33. If I try to take photos of little grebes I usually only get the water surface and they are gone diving again. So you are very lucky getting that many photos!

  34. Wonderful place. The reflection of sky in water is beautriful.

  35. These photographs are beautiful and a treat for sore eyes. For a moment my twitching eyelids were at rest! Tsup!

  36. You make the winter look beautiful.. I am so sorry to hear that you aren't well. After battling all spring with respiratory illness and fearing pneumonia, I understand. Please rest as that is the best.. I am sending you some sunshine as it is cool enough to sit on my deck. hugs... Michelle

  37. Hi there - I like grebes, with their square cut, sawn off bottoms!

    Your right, the paths in Tasmanian were a bit of a shock - it shows how many people must use them in peak season. I still miss the open fells and hill sides that I was brought up with, where you could more or less walk where ever you wanted to. Navigation was by skill rather than nose following!

    Cheers Stewart M

  38. Wonderful post, love the grebes and the kangaroos. The scenery is beautiful, thanks for sharing.


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