Moisture marvels

March 13, 2018
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We’ve had lovely rain, which caused my garden plantings to literally lift up their heads in gratitude — and to visibly grow, instead of barely surviving. In between actual wet days, we’ve had damply humid ones, where rain promises/threatens, but remains undelivered. The perfect warm moist weather for fungi. I love these very visible clumps […]

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Kooka colony

March 6, 2018
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Being bordered by a forest on two sides means I have great close-ish views of many birds. I hear and see kookaburras quite often, usually in ones or sometimes twos. This pair were on lookout duty in a large camphor laurel tree.( I have planted a small self-sown strangler fig at its base, hoping that […]

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Brush creatures

February 24, 2018
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This is one of the larger inhabitants of Wingham Brush, a wonderful rainforest pocket reserve right near the town and the river. The Brush was rescued from being smothered by weeds and vines and now attracts many visitors to wander along its winding walkway and share its cool green world. But ‘inhabitant?’ Well, I know […]

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Snakes Alive…

February 3, 2018

This is an extract from The Woman on the Mountain, Chapter 18, ‘Snakes Alive and Dead’, . ‘Once, when I was about nine, Dad and I and the leech-burning neighbour were in the bean paddock when we noticed a really big black snake sunning itself on a log beside the track. The practice then was […]

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Squatters

January 18, 2018

The Peewees own the Jacaranda out the front of my place; it gives them the best vantage point to make forays onto my verandah, foul the white railing and attack my windows. They have a go at the windows of any parked car too. So a huge fuss from them made me look up. Guess […]

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Walking sticks

January 9, 2018

Wildlife seems to find me. This impressive stick-insect right beside my front door was spotted by my son-in-law when he arrived. I think this is a female Titan Stick-insect, Acrophylla titan. She was easily 300mm long, compared here with her discoverer’s hand. I was afraid to harm those fragile limbs in trying to dislodge her, […]

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Sunkisses

January 1, 2018
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This is an extract from Chapter 16, ‘Let the sun shine’ in The Woman on the Mountain. It was also included as a stand-alone piece in an anthology by Catchfire Press called Stories for a Long Summer (2006). Summer once meant glorious, golden sunshine, for outdoor playing and swimming, from sunup to sundown if we […]

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Christmas birds

December 27, 2017
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No partridges or pear trees for me this Christmas, but Rainbow Lorikeets in a Jacaranda. Gorgeously coloured, brighter than Christmas decorations, yet unseen by me until I heard the unmistakable, unstopping whinging of baby birds… Far up in the Jacaranda where I’d not have been looking, they were just a darker blob from the ground. […]

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Soil surprises

December 19, 2017
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Somewhat disgusting? Totally amazing! The first slime mould sighting in my new place. Filaments and networks forming a weird yellowish mass on the woodchip pile. The colour caught my eye, but only after I’d been stopped by another more familiar slime mould nearby. I think this is what is often called the Dog’s Vomit slime […]

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Home is where…

December 11, 2017
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The day after my solar panels went on, I checked the Frogmouth tree first thing in the morning as usual and was shocked to find it empty, on nest and branches. It was too early, the babies were too young, the book said 25 days… yet flown they were. I was sad, bereft, felt unfairly […]

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Harnessing sunshine

December 4, 2017
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When planning to move to the bush back in the late 1970s, the main company I knew where one could get items essential for the alternative life, like a manual stone mill for grinding flour, was Self-Sufficiency Supplies, then in Newcastle. It was run by Brian England. Amazingly, that company is still going, based in […]

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Fledging forward

November 27, 2017
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The Frogmouth babies are now sitting independently – and out from under the patient parent. I have since learnt that this is mainly the male, as he does the long nest/egg sitting and minds the babies, in daytimes at least. A house husband, in fact, as Tawny Frogmouths mate for life. I see little activity […]

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