Monday, November 28, 2011

OUR WORLD, World Bird Wednesday & Nature Notes - A Rainy Day

The night before I left for Melbourne, It drizzled, a Scotch
mist obscured the view and dusk sent the birds into one
last baby-feeding frenzy. A family of Galahs was making a
racket directly in front of the house.

Nothing unusual you might think, except that galahs
normally keep a respectable distance . . . they will silently
sneak into the almond tree to steal the nuts while you are
weeding under it but this was different.
Here they were flying in again and again and making
encouraging calls.

I watched as the runt of the litter blundered around in the dense,
wet undergrowth in my rose bed. The parents kept calling but
not feeding it, so, out I trotted with camera of course . . .

it trustingly made a beeline for me at my approach. I picked
it up, unsuccessfully tried to make it fly, and sat it in the
cherry tree hoping the parents would take it from there . . .
it promptly went to sleep.

Later I saw it had flopped back to the ground and was heading
into the dripping weeds again. I was in a bit of a quandary,
with rain and darkness setting in, this was no place for a
fledgeling to spend the night. My morning it would have made
a feast for a cat or a snack for a fox.

Out I trotted again and it once more made a beeline for me
and clambered onto my shoe . . .

from foot to hand to shoulder it went and, 'though I seldom
feature myself in these pages, here is the old bird-lady herself
imitating a tree.

The little chap settled in for some serious preening

really getting into the swing of things

until he was ready for some conversation.

All well and good, but what now. He was hungry and
as yet unable to feed himself, his first flight was not a
great success and I was leaving in the morning . . .

when in doubt, 'look to the hills, whence cometh my salvation'
so, piratically perched on my shoulder, we crossed the paddock to
my dd's* house where grandson lit up like a Christmas tree,
a large cage and food materialised and young Biggles was
settled in.

* dd = darling daughter
All photos featuring me, by courtesy of obliging husband.

My thanks to all of you, my fellow bloggers who left encouraging
messages for my sister and wished me well on my pilgrimage.

A big thank you to the hosts of all three memes, it is good to be
back in the fold again.

Monday, November 21, 2011

OUR WORLD, World Bird Wednesday & Nature Notes

I don't like lumping a number of memes together but since I am
off again tomorrow to be with my sister for a couple of days plus
two days travel, this is the best I can manage.

Last week's bird post (two posts down) showed Horsefield's Cuckoo
and my consternation at the appearance of this bird on our farm.
Here is precisely what I was afraid of : - a begging cuckoo baby,

more than twice the size of it's host parent, a tiny superb blue
wren hen working her butt of to rear this monster in her nest.

I don't hold with irresponsible parents inflicting their young
on others and am concerned at the prospect of our Superb Blue
Wren population taking a backward step just when they had
managed to build up their numbers a little.

On a happier note, on my walk across our cows' favourite
paddock last night, three Quail lifted into their low lumbering
flight at my approach. I was pleased to see them as I had not
spied any for a few years and feared they had fallen to the
imported foxes to this country that have been the bane of native
ground-nesting birds.

If you see this, please leave a sign of life as I appreciate your
comments so very much and my own visits will be even more
restricted than usual this week.

My thanks to the hosts of all three memes which can be accessed
through the relevant Logos on my side bar.

Saturday, November 19, 2011


I grow my orchids in a shade-house but unfortunately I have
no covered area to protect them under as they come into bud
and flower. This hanging basket, 14" in diameter, I put into my
studio and hey presto!, perfect flowers for the first time.

The little orchid at the back of the pot is doing well because
it is sitting on the moist mix in the hanging basket

and this is the bigger one complete with cobwebs.

TODAY'S FLOWERS showcases flowers around the world, click
on the Logo to join in or just wander at the botanical wonders
others bring to this meme.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

SkyWatch ~ Sunset Contrails

The sun has set, yet leaves it's passing written in the sky

like a plume of golden smoke

dispersed by a passing breeze . . .

Time for more skywatching, click on the Logo, be brave and
join in the fun or just go and feast your eyes on the skies of others.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

World Bird Wednesday & Nature Notes - Around the Farm . . .

New boy on the block and a lifer for me, Horsefield's Bronze-
Cuckoo, Chalcites basalis, conveniently sitting on the power
line to our house. I heard the unfamiliar call and made a dive
for the camera.

Much as I like to see a new addition to our home birds, this
is one I would prefer to see elsewhere since the dear girl lays
her egg into our little Superb Blue Wren nests just when our
blue wren population has increased again and we dearly love
those cheerful streaks of blue in the garden.

I tried to get a shot at the wing that has a shimmer of green
but the bird was unobliging and did not turn around.

With warm days and rain, the weeds have grown to high heaven
but even so I spotted this Stumpy-Tail Lizard having a feed of,
and this surprised me, of all things the sharp and spicy green
seed-pods of the wild radish.

I had never before given any thought to what these creatures eat.
I am always happy when I see them in the garden since they use
the same nesting holes as snakes and if you know a lizard inhabits
a certain hole, it is unlikely that a snake does as well. Of the two
reptiles, the lizard usually manages to protect the hole.

This is only a teenager at most, isn't he/she cute?

Moving to the dam in the park, a White-faced Heron and
Wood-Duck companion sitting on the children's diving platform.

On the vantage point of one of the birches we lost in the drought,
an Adelaide Rosella poses. The beauty of my new camera is that
I have a much longer reach as these birds are notoriously shy here.

My evening walk bagged this Shrike-Thrush with it's late
supper. I really thought it was too dark for photos but the
camera surprised me

and lastly, a Sacred Ibis, again at the dam. This is the first
time in 20 years that I have spotted one on our home turf.

Who knows what I shall bag next week? As you see, I have been
exercising my new Canon EOS 600 D and am reasonably pleased
with it.

Wonder over to WORLD BIRD WEDNESDAY and Nature Notes and
check out what else is going on. Both memes are accessible from the
relevant Logos on my side bar.

Monday, November 14, 2011

OUR WORLD - 1 Hour in the Flinders Ranges

Treasured memories from last year's trip to the North Flinders
Ranges and Wirrealpa Station. A number of you have asked
about the stove in my header. Unfortunately it is not mine, I
wish, but has seen service in the shearer's quarters of Wirrealpa
Station for well over 100 years. There was of course also a new
electric rage which we scorned in favour of the real thing.
Two great kettles for innumerable cups of tea and some large
aluminium pots that we used for natural dyeing under India
Flint's guidance.

Fate decreed it was time to leave and here is a selection of
just one of the wonderful hours we spent on the road.

Do enlarge for more detail.

Above, a natural wall of China wends it's way over the hills
and below, the hills folded and kneaded like puff pastry.

It had been an unusually wet spring so the normally dry and
sere country side magically burst with colour.

My favourite kind of road . . .

and unexpectedly vibrant shades of gold and green along the way.

A consolation as we again hit the tarmac, was the exposed
geological features of these ancient, weather-worm mountains.

The further south we came, the more grasses had already dried
off, but there were plenty of colourful patches still left to feast
the eyes upon

and Emus, too many to fit in one frame, grazing in a veritable
Garden of Eden. All shots from a moving car in the space of
just one hour as one of our number had to catch a flight back
to the US.

I revel in these memories and only wish I were back there now.

I hope you enjoyed a little of what my world has to offer the intrepid traveller.

If you haven't yet, do put up a post and add to the wonders OUR WORLS offers!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

TODAY'S FLOWERS - Flowers of Hope II

In the same Rehab. Centre as last week, I discovered these
wonderful delights in a number of enclosed courtyards.

Beautiful Rhododendron specimens which I certainly appreciated
but was surprised that only one patient took advantage of this
lovely sheltered spot and he had been wheeled thereby someone

Whenever I have been in a like situation, I have always sought
out any little place that had vegetation to regenerate the soul.

Another courtyard had these warm colours in it. Oranges and
glowing reds and still no-one taking advantage of all that

Thanks to Luiz Santilli Jr. we can all share the most beautiful flowers
with each other so click on the logo and join in.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

SkyWatch ~ Yet Another Sunset

Time to see what the sky is doing and what better way to try
out my new camera. Here are some of the first ten shots I took.

I just went outside to shoot at anything and the sky decided
to put on quite a little show for me.

The clouds changed their character virtually in moments,
creating an unexpected softness,

only to blush a deeper red the next instant.

Hope you all can enjoy whatever the heavens bring your way
and share it with the rest of us on SkyWatch Friday!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

World Bird Wednesday - Feeding Time

I am slowly coming to terms with my new Canon EOS 600D.
Haven't got it quite set up to what I want but here are a few
rushes from yesterday's trial run.

An uncropped view of a Magpie youngster waiting to be fed

and here comes mom with MacDonald's take-away.

A high-wire balancing act as they change places

and a bonus of a Galah feeding session.

Not quite as sharp as I would like them but, given a little time,
even I will get my head around the myriad possibilities of all
the settings.

Meanwhile, Happy birdwatching and sharing on World Bird Wednesday!

Monday, November 7, 2011

OUR WORLD - Angaston in the Barossa Valley

I dug into my archives again (not quite conversant with my
shiny new Canon while my trusty Nikon is languishing in
hospital), to share some photos I took for a MyWorld post.
So, in memory of Klaus, whose brainchild the meme was, I
post them now for the sequel.

Angaston is one of the old towns in the Barossa Valley wine
region. We go there on Saturday mornings to the farmers'
market but this time we just went for a walk and lunch.
Most of you will know that I have a great love of oaks so,
what better place to park, than under this magnificent
golden canopy?

Sometimes I like to explore what lies behind the facade of the
main street. We took a little path along the creek just off the
main drag to discover this storm-felled giant resting on the
grassy bank.

An old shed I have had a soft spot for for a long time

and chimneys reflected in the gold strewn creek.

The Angaston Hotel where we lunched,

sun shining through these forerunners of modern gladioli

and back to the golden drapery of one of my favourite oaks
to retrieve our car.

The end of a pleasant walk, that I hope you have enjoyed as
much as we did.

Share what you love or even dislike about your world to give
everyone a broader picture.

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