31 August 2012

Once in a ...Blue Moon

Some of us will remember the song 'Blue Moon' and tonight, right now, up there, is this blue moon looking down, though it's not really coloured blue. 

When a month has two full-moons, the second one is known as the blue moon.  This will happen every two to three years according to universetoday.com

30 August 2012

...do you know this flower?

 with a subtle honey-scent?  

Too hard? 

Well let's just forget about it for a moment.

Since I've been spending some time of late with the back gardens, here's a few pics from a little section near to the back door..

 Nandina (Sacred Bamboo)

 at front,  Kalanchoe thyrsiflora 'Flapjacks'

 not sure the name of these succulents?  Anyone?

 Back to the mystery flower now? It was .....

Clover!  Did you know it?

29 August 2012

Black-faced cuckoo-shrike, Galahs, Rosella.

Each taken with the x1.7 tele-converter lens, in the bush-corridor "out the back".  Spring is nearly here and the birds are more active again ...

late afternoon snapshot
Fact sheet from Birds in Backyards, there is an audio there also (right-hand-side)

early morning sunshine

Fact sheet on Galah compliments Birds in Backyards

the air cool still explains why we're fluffed up some

 and the Rosella

26 August 2012

a few more bird pics


rainbow lorikeets

grey fantail

25 August 2012

Common garden skink

atop the retainer wall; contemplating a three-foot downhill march

not while you're watching

Sharing with Camera Critters

Pre-Spring flowers





24 August 2012

Do you know more of ...the barking owl?

What got me up near to midnight? I woke to hear an owl h-O-O-ting  in the bush corridor and thought ... I should get up and record these sounds on my camera.  Knew I had the tele-converter lens on, so that meant firstly getting my glasses, changing settings (turn off tele-converter), and dial to 'video'.

Firstly though, here is a quick snapshot of the narrow bush corridor in daylight.  It would look pretty odd finding a snapshot of an all-black image (the video that follows), in your blog-list wouldn't it; you'd hardly think to stop by and check it out.

By the time I had my camera at the ready and hit the shutter button, the sounds by then had become a little eery; you might think awesome, if you have a sense of humour.  I wondered for a moment if it was a fox?  At around 38 seconds there is a single more familiar fox call.

The bush-corridor is about two house-blocks deep, and at the end of the shot clip you will see car head-lights go by, and that put stop to the noises.

Emailed this audio to a friend, and with some referencing through various bird-books, she thought perhaps this could be, the Barking Owl. (linked here to Birds in Backyards factsheet).  There are various sites with the more familiar sounds from the barking owl, but not this possible variation.

Some descriptions offered to the sounds that the Barking Owl makes:
a wavering human-like scream
the screaming-woman bird
a loud high-pitched tremulous scream

Would appreciate confirmation; so  please pass this along to anyone you think can help out; is this the Barking Owl, or ....??

Later addition:  Discussion on Birds in Backyards forum suggests not that of the Barking Owl.  Most popular belief is that it is that of a fox.  Now I'm interested to know what is the significance of this particular call??

Latest addition: On this video clip, partway through, there are two vixens fighting; it is pre-empted with a title.  This seems the closest to what is in my audio. 

23 August 2012

Cockatoos and Rosella

 the start of a new day,  in the morning sunshine, up high in the angophora tree, a Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo

 on the roof-top; I just happened to be having a cuppa break out in the garden, with my camera alongside, when I heard this Rosella

 later in the day, raucous cockatoos with some ritual.  Lots of screeching and head bobbing...

they sure know how to get the attention

Sharing with Wild Bird Wednesday

19 August 2012

Weekend Reflections: Munmorah

Some final pics to wind up my recent Munmorah State Conservation Area posts.

Chestnut Teal.  When editing the photos I was surprised to see all the bubbles from where he'd been paddling.

It was difficult to discern where the waters edge was sitting in amongst the reeds.  Those reflections sure became confusing with my eye pressed to the viewfinder.

often referred to as the Egg and Bacon plant


Sharing with Weekend Reflections

18 August 2012

Cabbage tree palms

Their leafy canopy provides heavy shade within a rain-forest pocket in this section of Munmorah State Conservation Area.  Visitors to the Palms picnic area are informed by signage that "the growing tip - known as the 'cabbage' - was either eaten uncooked, or roasted, by Aborigines and early settlers.  Unfortunately this killed the tree."

For those of you still battling with high temperatures on the other side of the world, maybe these will offer a momentary cooling-off, state of mind.

 bracken-fern undergrowth