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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Frogmouth family

November 20, 2017
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From my deck the familiar Frogmouth lump in the tree seemed to have doubled. She-oak bark camouflaged as this bird is, my eyes always need to peer hard to work out this lump’s doings. But there were two of them, one on the nest and one on an adjacent branch. Great; a pair! And then […]

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Passion in the Pilliga

November 13, 2017
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Last weekend about 300 people gathered from farflung parts of the east coast to show that they cared — about the unique Pilliga Forest and its flora and fauna, about the Great Artesian Basin, about the farmers of the North West — and about the Santos CSG Narrabri Project that threatens them all. Most camped […]

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Reclusive visitor

November 6, 2017
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We’ve had rain, and the rocks in my back yard path are a bit slippery. But not slimy with weed, so this rock caught my eye. And then I saw that it had back legs. A tortoise; but was it digging in or out? Right next to a cement slab didn’t seem a smart choice […]

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Familiar faces

October 25, 2017

As at my last two homes, I see a lot of wildlife just from my decks and verandahs, perhaps because I choose homes that are part eyrie. Not having heard kookaburras here yet, I was delighted to see this one last evening, just metres away from my side verandah. Such a handsome fellow! Next day, […]

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