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.

Linking with 

Saturday, September 27, 2014

TODAY'S FLOWERS, I Heart Macro, Nature notes & Floral Friday - red and gold

Our first hot day this spring
and tomorrow is going to be hotter
with burning gale force N.winds off the desert

I hasten to post my already diminishing spring flowers

the Iceland Poppies are on their last legs

as are quite a few Tulips
although I had quite a brave showing this year

this post is beginning to look like a Spanish flag
with all this red and gold

more of the parrot tulips I showed you last year
with their needle sharp fringes

Hope everyone is enjoying a beautiful serene Sunday.

Linking with 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

SkyWatch Friday - Oh, the life of the open road . . .

The sky was blue
the company great
the road as straight as a dye

peak hour traffic
looking back

and the way ahead
if you go far enough,
a few days later you can reach
Perth in Western Australia

we however
were intent in staying in 
the desert landscape,
just a couple of hundred
miles further on,

Linking with SkyWatch

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Wild Bird Wednesday - Port Augusta Birds

I shot all these while drinking my hot chocolate
on the terrace of the 
Port Augusta Arid Lands Botanical Gardens

Unfortunately all were shot against the light
and had to be enhanced


Singing Honeyeater on left and
White-Plumed Honeyeater on right

this one dead tree in front of the
picture windows of the cafe
was a perfect perch
with upwards of 4 birds at a time

Singing Honeyeater

White-Plumed Honeyeater

and, as everywhere near human habitation,
a European settler, the ordinary 
House Sparrow

Linking with Stewart's

God willing, next week some more colourful birds 
from the same location.

Monday, September 22, 2014

OUR WORLD TUESDAY - Port Augusta Arid Lands Botanical Garden

Second instalment of my trip North.

Not too shabby looking at this during breakfast
at our cabin in the very corner of the caravan 
park with the best view and no passing traffic

nothing like being greeted by a prehistoric 
reptile, a sleepy lizard
when we hit the gardens 

the light was stark but the flowers prolific
I will be posting lots more for

grasshoppers of every type were thick
as flees on a mangy dog,
banging into unsuspecting visitors 
from all sides

with the unusually good spring rains
Sturt Desert Peas were flowering in 
the entrance area

India Flint and her very appropriate sculpture
for this arid region
of found cattle bones

vegetation nearby
I have been visiting these gardens since
the time of their planting
it has been a long and arduous process
to establish all the seedlings

Roz Hawker from Queenland
with her sculpture of a 
primitive bush tent.
Things were very rudimentary in the early days.

Quandongs  or bush peaches, were ripe
in this perfect habitat for them.
There is not much flesh on them 
but what there is, is edible 
and was a good source of vitamins 
for the early settlers

if you enlarge, you will see the red berries
on the green tree in the middle

I wonder who stuck it to the end of this looong post?
I just have so very many photos to share.

Linking with 

Saturday, September 20, 2014

TODAY'S FLOWERS & I Heart Macro - Blossom and frost

My blossom trees still persist,
this is a double flowering almond

it started out with just the darker flowers 
but year by year it had
the pale pink sports 
and, as I really liked then, 
I left them for this bi-colour effect

it was a grey day that accentuated the gentle blossoms

For I Heart Macro,
this morning's frost

Linking with


I hope everyone has a lovely day!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

SkyWatch - A bit of weather coming in . . .

Heading towards Port Augusta we had just a little weather 
coming up
so I did just a little drive-by shooting

looking towards the Flinders Ranges

and the other way towards Spencer Gulf

they looked just a little bit threatening
and when they closed up
we were in for a downpour and had to crawl until 
we had passed through the storm
not exactly ideal
as we were nearing our stop for the night and it had been 
a looong day sitting in the car

since I'm still here, we did get there safely.

Linking with 

with thanks to all who run the meme

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Wild Bird Wednesday & Nature Notes - Crested Pigeons

At the Port Augusta Arid Lands Botanical Gardens
the bird life was prolific

I have loads to post over a number of weeks

These crested pigeons were out for a stroll

attending to some adjustments in their plumage

and off on the strut again . . .

Linking with 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Our World Tuesday - Heading North

Just back from a wonderful trip up north
to the desert country

there may be quite a few instalments if anyone
is interested

first destination was Port Augusta
but here are  few pictures on the way there

Pink Lake at Lochiel

drinking in the sight of the colourful lake

a wattle in full bloom

the many shades of wonder of the lake and beyond

a rather unfortunate sign
the normal understanding of 'at large' 
usually refers to escaped convicts or wild beasts

an overgrown garden
around a deserted house

that obviously had seen better days

Linking with 

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