Friday, September 30, 2011

Weekend Reflections - Puddles, big and bigger

Just a couple of shots from our trip last autumn (May), this
one is a depleted farm dam somewhere in New South Wales

and morning fog on the recreational lake in Wodonga, Victoria.
Autumn is my favourite time of year so sometimes, in the middle
of a flower filled spring, I like to think of quiet autumn mists . . .

Pop over to Weekend Reflections hosted by James, just click on
the Logo and bingo, you are there.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

SkyWatch ~ Softly Goes the Sun . . .

The white hot sun sinks over the hill,

gently colouring a few clouds,

shedding its light over a few little clouds with it's last rays,

and leaving some pastel gold in farewell.

Watch the sky, whether blue grey or rosy red and when you have
enjoyed it's wonders, share them with the rest of the world on
SkyWatch Friday!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

World Bird Wednesday & Nature Notes - A Thrilling Find

This lovestruck pair of NankeenKestrels, Falco cenchroides,
that were doing the 'John, John, - Marsha, Marsha' thing, I
would have missed except for the noises they made.

I was more intent on walking home and scanning the trees
on the road verge not on the paddock. It is amazing that at
this range a) I saw them, and b)managed to sneak up to the
fence and steady both elbows on a fence post without
alarming them.

Luckily I had carted my 300mm lens all the way up the hill
like the grand old Duke of York, and then back down again!

Here is a mighty smug Nankeen Kestrel (I hope! I spent a while
on the identification), just chilling out . . .

contemplating the world and having that soothing cigarette,

while her Ladyship elected to have hers on the other side of
the tree.

This is our resident pair that has not nested in the Lombardy
Poplar on the road verge for more than three years, ever since
I have had my SLR. I had misses them very much and am very
glad they are still in residence, even if in some other tree.

Hope you enjoy my meagre efforts, at least the tree is pretty sharp.

Do post your birds on World Bird Wednesday and show us what graces
you skies. Thanks to Springman, we can enjoy so many birds around
the world.

Hop over tho Rambling Woods and post your Nature Notes to show
what is going on in your neck of the woods.

Monday, September 26, 2011

OUR WORLD - Mt.Arapiles

Driving home, we came upon this sea of gold and could not help
ourselves, we just had to detour to Mt.Arapiles. Himself wanted
to drive to the summit but ran into a solid veto.

I desperately needed a walk and found this prostrate Acacia
along the way.

We pulled into a camping area where I bagged this Common
Miner bird.

Being very self-serving, I suggested the Prof walk to the top
while I went birding. Looks like I only bagged a tennis ball
sized fungus.

I headed up to the foot of the cliffs where there was tree
cover and I could hear some chirping . . .

The wattles (Acacias) were out in full force, whichever way
you looked was covered in gold,

with just two exceptions, one of them, this native hop-bush.

Higher up in the scrub, I met these Kangaroos and companion
sat with them for a while.

There were many straw flowers in bud but only this one patch
in full bloom.

This mountain is renowned for it's climbability. There were
groups of climbers everywhere. A lot of people come here to
learn the art of climbing, the rocks have good holds and do not
crumble under your weight. A really good beginner's mountain.

Gold, gold and more gold . . .

and just one patch of the Native Mint Bush.

Sitting high up on a pillar of rock sat this leader of a climbing
group, encouraging the other climbers.

Last but not least, a native clematis. There was so much more
but my post was already getting too long.

Although I heard a number of birds and especially the Fantail Cuckoo
with his mournful, falling trill, not one presented itself to have it's
portrait taken in the three hours I was lucky enough to spend there.

Do join Our World and show us what is dear to your hearts.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

TODAY'S FLOWERS - Birthday Wonders

On this special day for me, when I reach my first
three quarter century, I went around the garden
and park to show you the wonders mother nature
has blessed me with on this one day. This is but a
selection of all that is flowering at the moment.
My shade-house full of scented and other orchids
is not even touched upon here.

The wisteria along the house is in full bloom.

On first waking very early, this Adelaide Rosella was nipping
off the new shoots of my rose bushes.

I went to the farmers' market and on my way back, saw this
amazing tree peony. The elderly gentleman kindly invited me
into his garden to photograph it and insisted on presenting me
with a bloom for my birthday!

With these few hardy tulips, I would like to thank all those of
you who so kindly prayed for us, sent kind thought and light.
Your intervention on our behalf has already paid dividends as
the prognosis for my wonderful sister has changed from an
impossibly frightening one, to a more hopefully operable
contained brain tumour close to the scull.
The operation is scheduled for Monday so please if you can,
continue with your support a little longer.

Below is my birthday tree that never fails to have at least a
few blossoms on the day. This year it is in full flight and a joy
to behold

I thought with all the turmoil in the family my birthday would
pass unnoticed but to my great surprise, suddenly last night
my son, daughter-in-love and youngest granddaughter
materialised on our doorstep!

Above, a close up of my birthday tree and below a mountain
of gold . . . am I rich or what??

Everyone should have a daisy a day . . .

Heading into the park, I was greeted by Sam who excitedly ran
towards me faster than I could get his tail into my sights.

The Judas tree is full of pretty pink buds,

This ash that I cannot remember off hand has bright pink flower
like leaves.

the Choke CHerry, Prunus padus, takes me back to my Latvian
childhood with it's wonderfully heady scent.

The Banksia is covered in golden birthday candles just for me

and even the young oak that I grew from an acorn is flowering
for the first time

and lucky last, these deep pink blossoms on my red-leafed

And that is not the half of all that is in bloom at the moment.

I wish each and every one of you a happy day!

Just click on the Logo and fall into a wealth of flower and show
your own as well.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

SkyWatch ~ I Look to the Hills

I look to the hills whence cometh my salvation . . .

Our family is sorely troubled so I may not be able to visit for a while.
If some of you wish to pray for us I would dearly appreciate a prayer
'for the greatest good of all concerned'.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

World Bird Wednesday - Rainforest Adventure

While visiting in Melbourne I spotted a couple of ducks in the
wetlands and thought 'yea, right, same old, same old . . .'

but to my surprise, when uploaded and looked up, they turned
out to be pair of Chestnut Teals, Anas castanca, a lifer for me!

We also headed up into the Great Dividing Range and it's
temperate rainforest, a magnetic attraction for us who hiked
these mountains extensively in our salad days.

Stopped at the Mt.Dom Dom saddle recreation area where himself
wanted to climb to the top as any good mountain goat would do
and yours truly, camera in hand, had other intentions.
First (unavoidable) catch, the ubiquitous magpie at my feet as
soon as I opened the hatch to get a mandarin.

Hearing lots of bird sounds in the Acacia re-growth scrub,
I headed to the thicket but the dense growth totally foiled me.

I tried the steep descent towards the creek where a lot of tweeting,
twittering and chirping was going on . . occasionally I spotted
a fleeting glimpse of tiny feathered things flitting across my path
but nothing at all that I could even try pointing my shooter at.

Pretty exhausted, I shlepped my trusty hand extension up the
hill again. Huffing and puffing like a steam engine I wormed
my way back up . . .

and just when I had accepted my empty handed fate, this
little Silvereye moved enough so I could see it and landed
close enough so I could land it too.

Where there is one, company soon appears. I have no idea
what this little one is but I was grateful for anything barely
within the range of my 135mm lens.

Pretty indistinct, yet definitely a bird not a kangaroo.

The flash of a wing caught by pure chance as it fluttered to
another twig.

Thank the Lord fasting for the photoshop cropping device,
Can you pick the little bird in this?? I could definitely not see
a bird that sat still and when it moved, I often could not find
it in my sights. Pretty useless being addicted to stalking when
you are blind as a bat and can't carry a decent sized lens with
you. Yet still, like a blind chicken, you sometimes find a barley

Hiding behind a branch and heavily cropped, my lucky
last shot before I stopped to give my eyes a rest.

Hope you all had fun birding this week and show us the results
by adding your posts to World Bird Wednesday!

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