Puddles/ponds/pools

August 27, 2018

My adjoining wetland has had no wet flowing into it for ages, and the larger pool was pinkish and abandoned by the ducks because it was too dry. Rubbish was the main occupant of the various dips where swamps or pools used to be. Then last night we had a little rain — and a […]

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Native exotica

August 10, 2018
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I was sitting on my deck in the winter sun, having morning tea with my son-in-law Joe, when a flash of colour moved in the corner of my vision. I turned my head to see my first Rainbow Lorikeet in this place, right there on my railing. Stunningly exotic, as if escaped from a South […]

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Return of the Frogmouth kids?

July 26, 2018
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Poking about under the small clump of trees on my block, I was pointing up into the skinniest Casuarina to show a visiting weed controller where the Frogmouth nest was. ‘Well, there’s two up there now’, he said. At first all I could see were two odd shapes against the light. When I moved around […]

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Northern Nature

July 17, 2018
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On the far North Queensland coast, evidence of Cyclone Yasi damage abounds, seven years later. On Dunk Island, the once-famous resort is still closed, unrepaired. But even here natural survivors struggle on, like this coconut palm. Years ago I had read Banfield’s Confessions of a Beachcomber about his time there. But Dunk Island is not […]

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Winter exotica

June 29, 2018
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Plants from cuttings and broken-off bits, of unknown future flowerings, all find a home with me. This beauty came from a community fundraiser where bits from very old plants in the Wingham courthouse garden were propagated for sale. What a bold and beautiful and very contemporary blooming it turned out to be harbouring! My cousin […]

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Turtle Doves

June 19, 2018
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Ever since I moved here I have seen this pair of doves in my back yard, always together, never alone. Sometimes they are very close, as in sharing the top of a gate post. They fly up and off quickly if they see me, so without the motivation of a photo, I hadn’t looked them […]

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Wood blooms

June 9, 2018
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On stumps of felled or fallen trees and logs from such, this last week of rain has brought forth a cornucopia of fungi blooms of the strangest shapes. These ones look more like tiny shells and amber bluebottles. Others have the more expected ‘ear’ shape, when not being bubbles, so I can only assume that […]

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Duck Trails

May 29, 2018
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The swamp/pond in the reserve below my block generally looks like a smooth bowling green. But now and then I see dark tracks through the algae topping carpet. Going closer to investigate, I see two handsome Black Ducks entering the water, joining another bird that from a distance I assume will be a Purple Swamp […]

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Toxic tempters

May 18, 2018
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On a visit to my friend Sharyn’s rural property, she showed me these cartoon fairytale fungi under the windbreak of introduced fir trees. No fairies or elves were sitting on these ones, but perhaps they missed the boat when the species (Amanita muscaria) was introduced to the NSW Blue Mountains for its undeniable decorative qualities. […]

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Jack’s back

May 9, 2018
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My favourite lizard at the Mountain was the cheeky Jacky (Amphibolurus muricatus). I missed him. But after six months in my new home, I think one of his cousins has come to live here. He was stretched out across my makeshift plastic-covered hothouse for carrots, catching the last of the afternoon sun. I ran for […]

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Old friend

April 23, 2018
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I have always needed a writing work space with connection to the outdoors, and I have had that at my Mountain and my last place. Here I have had to create it by inserting two windows to give me the natural views I crave. This means I can see a fair bit of the birdlife […]

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Plant surprises

April 10, 2018
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A Colorbond garage wall is not the most inviting surface for a climbing plant. I was sceptical when my nursery lady said she thought Virginia Creeper would be able to cling to it. Never having grown one – but always wanting to – I gave it a go. The plant had tendrils which it clearly […]

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