30 November 2011

Masked Lapwing (Plover)

Equipped with a thorn-like spur on the wing shoulder, and being reputed to having an aggressive nature, this Plover Vanellus miles, went every which way to avoid being "shot at".  With an  "o.k. then, I'm not looking at you while you've got that camera pointed at me" attitude happening.

"She's still doing it; I'll just wander up under this parked car"

"Looks like she's driving off now; I'll go over the other side here"

I can hardly believe that Plover was eating those grass-heads; I rather think it was another decoy moment.  According to Birds in Backyards they feed on insects and their larvae, also earthworms.  You can also listen to the Plover's alarm-call MP3, found on this same link.


29 November 2011

Australian King Parrot

This little stunner in Christmas colours was seen at the Bird Sanctuary in Healesville, Victoria.

Birds in Backyards informs that the King-Parrots lay their eggs on a bed of decayed wood-dust at the bottom of a deep hollow in the trunk of a tree.  Often the entrance is high in the tree (10 m), but the eggs are near the ground (0.5 m); goodness, that's quite a drop; what a lot of work!

The loud call of a King Parrot can also be heard in MP3 format at the above link.

Linking to: Work of the Poet for

28 November 2011


Location: Lake Macquarie, N.S.W.  According to Australian National Botanic Gardens, there are 76 Banksia species. All but one occur naturally only in Australia, and were named after Sir Joseph Banks (1743-1820), who, in 1770, was the first European to collect specimens of these plants.

27 November 2011

Weekend Reflections; Tranquility

This elevated view opposite the Japanese Pavilion, looking across the pond, definately evokes a feeling of peace and serenity don't you think?

Hunter Valley Gardens, N.S.W.

...this one was my long-time screen-saver, especially lovely to look at through the searing summer temps.  

...and I just love the rocks around the waters edge here; all the irises and water-lilies, the trio of stones nestled on a ledge set under the water.  The Japanese sure have a very unique and special gift in landscaping.
Location: Japanese Gardens, Adelaide, Sth. Australia

26 November 2011

Scribbly Gum

Bonnie suggests for this weeks Photo Art Friday, we use a photo from our archives that never received the attention it deserved. Nature-study was one of my most favourite subjects in primary school years, learning and drawing inside our botany book, maybe various leaf shapes, or insects. Sometimes our teacher would take us on a walk through the bushland near the school, to return with a small collection of treasures to put on display in the classroom.

I'll forever be fascinated with nature, and decided to bring this photo to the fore demonstrating the charming 'drawings' on this Scribbly Gum eucalypt.  When the larvae of the Scribbly Gum Moth tunnel under the bark, this is what they create.

Bush Graffiti

Linking to Bonnie's Pixel Dust Photo Art Friday

Photo Art Friday

25 November 2011

Happy Hydrangeas; just loving the rain

With my Sony DSC-H1 back in action, I decided to take a punt and experiment, with the macro settings.  Not something I'd tried with success in the past; instead, cropping the subject from the larger photo seemed to achieve pretty much good enough, I thought.

Setting the zoom all the way to the W side was recommended.  The in-focus range becomes narrow, and while the complete subject may not entirely be in focus, the AF speed drops.  This is what the Read This First instructions told me.

Well I found to go that little step further really proved to be worthwhile.  In between steady showers of rain yesterday, and again today, the hydrangeas just starting to flower (ready for Christmas), were my target.

A bonus was finding this Senecio moth Nyctemera amicus!  Thanks to Don Herbison-Evans and this id-link courtesy Coffs Harbour Butterfly House.

Senecio, my macro-moth

Linking to Studio Waterstone for

and Tina's PicStory for

23 November 2011

Paddle-Steamers from yesteryear

Something for Watery-Wednesday now, and looking through my archives, a reminder of a stopover in the historic river-port of Echuca, in Victoria.  Claimed to be the busiest inland port, Echuca, on the Murray River, is said to have the largest collection of operating paddle-steamers in the world.  In the late 1800's paddle-wheelers were in demand to pick up wool (and no doubt other commodities); now instead, they carry passengers for that taste of days of old.

accounting for when the river's in flood; all those timbers

Linking to Watery Wednesday

The Japanese Gardens, Cowra, N.S.W.

This visit took place during their Spring Festival period, held each September.

 cascading wisteria blooms

 wonderful weeping cherry

 such colourful musicians with amazing woodwind instruments; see in the middle of next photo; it looks like a little bamboo parasol

 with magic hats

appliqued wall-hanging made by a local quilting group
adorns the restaurant

 a typical Japanese home

this sweet calligrapher was writing my name for me


Linking to A Southern Daydreamer: for

Channel-Billed Cuckoo

Having migrated from New Guinea and Indonesia, between August and October, the Channel-Billed Cuckoo Scythrops novaehollandiae,  makes itself evident by a loud, raucous, and to me, a somewhat eerie scream-like call.   Often heard at night also.   Birds in Backyards informs that this is the largest parasitic cuckoo in the world; you can listen to an MP3 on their link.

It was just this alert, that had me out the back door with my camera recently to try and get a photo for World Bird Wednesday. The cuckoo was way high in this huge angophora, showing its lovely peeling bark at this time of year; looking glorious and revealing all the rustic tones in the process.

There was an ever increasing mob of Noisy Miners Manorina melanocephala, causing chaos and wanting the cuckoo 'out' of there.

Photo of Noisy Miners taken in differing location.

From a distance I could only try and see if I'd be lucky enough to capture the cuckoo seemingly hidden in part, by the network of branches and  foliage.  I'm sure he was watching me, and being determined not to budge and make it a better shoot.  As I'd look up into that tree to sus out which crop of foliage he was inside of first, aiming the camera and then trying to relocate to kind of where I felt he was, wasn't so easy.

In the end it was just do it, and hope for the best.

Now if I could just pull away that foliage hanging in front of your face.....

Ah!  That's better but not quite there; your tail .....

This one was in my archive folders, a channel-billed cuckoo in the very same tree.

Birds in Backyards informs also that, "this cuckoo lays its eggs in the nests of the Australian Magpie, the Pied Currawong, and members of the Crow family".