friends

On the creek flat paddock both birds and beasts feed together amicably. Clancy the horse is the boss and keeps the two dairy steers, Salt and Pepper, in line. As usual there is a pecking order, so the smaller steer, Pepper, comes last. Why do Cattle Egrets prefer cattle to horses? Clancy does often have […]

My friend Christa lives by a river and keeps her camera handy for whatever wildlife may visit. Her rotary clothesline gets used as a perch by various odd birds. Sometimes she spots and snaps them and shares them with me. This little sequence is so good that with Christa’s permission I am sharing her photos […]

This striking silhouette met me the other morning. ‘Let me in!’ or ‘How the hell do I get down?’ The screen door wire is a bit floppy and it can’t have felt comfortable or secure for this creature. I worried that its ultra-long and delicate toes would be stuck in the mesh… Gently sliding the […]

I do miss my plentiful Crimson Rosellas, but today I saw my first King Parrot visitor for the summer fruit season here. Always stunningly attired, this was one was also most relaxed, with no cats or dogs about. So much so, that for the first time I think I saw a parrot yawn…! But the […]

As my house is on a cut-and-fill into the hillside, there is steep bank behind it, the view from my kitchen window. I am gradually clearing it of weeds and making small terraces, pockets of soil for hardy vegetables like pumpkins to spread over its clay sides. I am mulching it as I go. It […]

The three baby Willy Wagtails grew so very fast that in less than a week they were treading on top of each other in their tiny nest, and taking turns to flap their wings. Hearing a prolonged — well, perpetual — chattering from the verandah, I went out to see both parents in a right […]

This Spring the Welcome Swallows and the Willy Wagtails have both chosen to raise their families on my verandah. The Willy Wagtails built a tidy and solid new nest, a smooth cylinder of cobwebs and grass and bodily fluids. The slack Swallows just re-used the old one; didn’t even shore up the crumbling structure, just […]

Young mum Nicky Coombes is passionate about her beautiful Bundook area, her Gloucester River, and her family’s right to clean air and water. As AGL’s coal seam gas project at Gloucester threatens all of these, she instigated a Gasfield-free Community survey in her Bundook locality. The first in the Gloucester region, the results showed that […]

Last week I loaded my much-loved Gypsy camper on to my ute for the last time.  I have had to sell her due to financial problems. The first to see bought her, and I had several callers wanting me to gazump them and buy her sight unseen. I delivered her to her new home base […]

A few months ago, some necessary clearing of shrub weeds like lantana was undertaken along the fence line. A few weeks ago, the burning of the large pile of rubbish from that clearing was finally possible. What it revealed was a Satin Bower-bird’s ‘bower’ — the grass U-shaped ‘avenue’ surrounded by a mat of grass and […]

Hadyn Wilson is a friend of mine from the Hunter Valley — south of the coal wasteland, but he’s deeply aware of it. He is also a fabulous painter, a deep thinker and a sincere environmentalist.  Recently I saw an exhibition of his work at the Frances Keevil Gallery in Double Bay, Sydney. Hadyn describes […]

I have reluctantly become a grazier. These two Friesian dairy steer calves are now our permanent resident lawnmowers, and company for Clancy the horse. This block is cursed with setaria grass, introduced for cattle, but harmful for horses. That’s it towering over them on the right. It depletes horses’ calcium, so Clancy needs supplementary calcium, […]

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