The ornamental grapevine leaves are now red, so the little green tree snake who visited it in its summer green is no longer camouflaged.

The best it can do is mimic stems. Here it looks as if it has green frog fingers as well.

Although its head is teeny, thumbnail size, as you can see, its body is very long and fatter. Too fat to be a grapevine stem.

And way too active, although when it freezes in mid-air-curve, it could be a large tendril seeking a new hold.

I love the way it peeps out at me every now and then; or is it posing?

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Most times I am awake and risen early. Some days it’s more worth it than others. Like today, as the sun rose in just the right spot over the escarpment to be split into morning glory rays of benediction by a perfectly placed tall tree.

Within minutes the sideways rays grew longer, the view brighter. The day was here.

All too soon it settled into the more usual lovely misty layers gently steaming skywards, with only a faint ‘hand of god’ ray visible.

Worth getting up before sunrise to catch that moment? Oh yes.

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The delicately feathered lilac curls of the native Melaleuca thymifolia are a relief as well as a delight to see, as these swamp-loving small shrubs have only been in for about six months.

They will only grow to about 2 metres and will hide my shed from view for verandah sitters.

Willows love water and my little willow is now taller than me. I did plant it to help soak up a wet spot, and so it does. It will be a magnificent summer shade tree in years to come.

I had bought the cheapest ($30) little fountain I could find online, as a tester. I am amazed at how much it enhances my little pond, adding sparkles and ripples and splashes, varying its spray height with the strength of the sun. I have come to regard it as a little creature, part of the pond life, and I enjoy watching its varied moods. It even works in a sun shower.

The mosses are thick and glowing like furry jewels, with tiny golden fungi flowers bringing bursts of sunshine on a grey day.

While appreciating the bonuses it brings, I am as sick of the rain as this Willy Wagtail, who may not be able to see the watery wins as I do.

But of course with the sort of showers and sun roundabouts we’ve been getting, we are at least blessed with a rainbow now and then.

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The time has come for me to leave another beautiful mountain area. After only two and a half years here, I am not embedded in the country as I was at my Mountain, which owned me for 36 years. I still grieve for the loss of the Mountain.

I had thought four acres would be a downsizing from 135 acres, but I had overlooked the difference between semi-alpine bushland and subtropical ex-dairy land. I became primarily a landscape gardener instead of a writer.

Writing is my priority in the next stage of my life, especially the fourth book that has been proving so difficult, but that must be written.

The peace and natural beauty of here has gently weaned me away from living amongst wallabies instead of people and I have made good friends (humans) within this unusually vibrant and sympatico community. I won’t move too far from them, but I feel I may now be able to cope with having houses next door.

So if you know of anyone looking for a green haven, please pass this on!

Information here.

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In one week, another 416mm of pounding rain fell, flooding the creeks and closing the roads, strewing logs and stacking beaver dams at fences and bridges and crossings that got in its way.

The skies cleared one evening and the moisture began to separate into creeks and clouds, as they should. It heralded the dawning of our one fine day… which just happened to coincide with our village Fair!

But the wet returned with soggy monotony, more of the driveway gravel came down the hill to visit … and even more fungi appeared, so large and so many that they were obvious even from a distance.

They popped in gold flushes out of palm tree stumps, in pale lilac ripples out of grass.

Parasols opened in pure white profusion while on the opposite side of beauty, two sole fat white drumsticks turned black and crusty overnight.

Daintiness returned with tiny white pinheads on an exposed dead root.

Mysterious red moss-like filaments on a long and alive casuarina root caught my eye… but is this fungi?

Wet, wet weather and just enough warmth still in the air to cause a whole new aspect of life to come forth and blossom … fungi.

This beauty unfurled out of the top of a palm stump that has sat there unadorned for two years.

Way down in the paddock, a smattering of white glimpsed from the house, demands investigation. Up close they are cinnamon coated narrow domes as babies, maturing to large cream umbrellas still carrying their cinnamon, as flakes.

Walking back up to the house level, a very large single white blob proves to be one that I know, the stunning parasol, Macrolepiota dolichaula.

Its pure delicacy and detail still amazes me, as does the charm of that faint toasted marshmallow blush on top.

On the soggy house lawn there are drifts of smaller lemony circlets that turn up their edges and flash their gills as they age.

I thank Nature for the unexpected flashes of fungi of whatever colour, size or quantity!

It’s autumn, and I welcome the cooler mornings, but we are also having daily deluges more like tropical summer storms.

In the first five days of March we had 124 mm — or six inches if you’re my age — and that’s on top of what we’d already received in 2017. 

By New Year it had become so dry that small native trees were dying, citrus were turning up their toes, my creek had stopped running and its isolated pools were becoming stagnant. 

But from January 2 we’ve now totted up nearly 15 inches!

These brief but astonishingly intense autumn rainbursts make a joke of my carefully planned drainage systems, with pop-up waterfalls taking much of my soil down to the creekflats below. 

They have filled and overfilled the ‘pond’ that has been bone dry for months.

Up close, they looked more like aquatic mini rats, with their pointy noses and long tails.

Next day they seemed to be less often swimming under the water than hanging from the surface vertically, blowing bubbles, opening and closing their mouths in air. 

Clearly not fish nor rats but growing amphibians… froglets, frogs, soon to be adding to the frog chorus here!

My verandah is a great spot for watching the sunset light up the escarpment or the sunrise blush the sky over the ridge.

But only twice have I been lucky enough to be out there when the moon rose early enough for me to catch it creeping up past the ridgeline.

Once it popped into the sky it proved to be a glorious golden globe of a moon, a smiley one too, but its progress is what fascinated me.

It seemed a surprisingly slow moonrising until the trees released it to the sky. Then it soared, in its element.

Fleeting fungi

February 28, 2017
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You have to be quick to capture some fungi at their best. This beautiful, delicately stippled and pleated limey-yellow trio appeared one morning in my mint pot at the back door. The next day they had wilted to an unimpressive brown. About a metre away these little Chinese-hatted soldiers had popped up in another pot. […]

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Vine Snake

February 20, 2017
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My verandah is fringed with an ornamental grape vine, in full summer bright green leaf at present, its stems twining and curving and constantly reaching out to new holds. Last week a familiar and faster twiner and curver was using it as camouflage. I have seen this Green Tree Snake each summer here, but on […]

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Welcome Greenie

February 13, 2017
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This gorgeous Green Tree Frog is probably the best known frog in Australia, but no less special for that. He’s the source of the very deep and monotonous ‘wark-wark-wark’  that I hear at the bottom of a nearby downpipe, presumably when he reckons rain is coming. This one was quiet, post-rain and dozing on a […]

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Grand bad design

February 9, 2017
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A second Willy Wagtail decided to start a family on my other verandah. She made such a messy job of nest building, compared to the neat cylinder of my usual family, that I decided she must be a novice nester. Not only was it sloppy and sprawling untidily over the edge, but it seemed as […]

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