This title seemed appropriate for a first post in 2016. I hope it is going to be a good and productive year with fewer eye problems than last year. My specialist reminds me that I still have sight and anything else is really secondary!
These flowers are an Australian native commonly called Kangaroo Paws - from the species Anigozanthos. I think the more common one is red colored but these plants were given to me and they have grown with very little care. All the honey-eaters (birds that feed on nectar) like them and often the birds are so much bigger than the flowers that the stems are bent right over to the ground.
This flower head was growing under a palm leaf and I think that is why it has grown in this rather different shape.
The fresh flowers have this little red center but most of the ones left on my plant have dried out and are forming seed heads,
What could be more Australian than a Kookaburra? I always like the patterns of light and shade on the birds perching on the tree branches.
This bird is a Noisy Fiarbird (Philemon corniculatus) and wouldn't really be thought of as an Aussie Icon! However, these birds are associated for me with hot summer family beach camping holidays. I had grown up in New Zealand and these were not birds I had ever seen or heard before. I can't think of anything nicer than those long ago camping holidays - in among sand hills just back from the beach and under small trees which grew in that kind of habitat. Back then we called them "Leatherheads". This bird had just been cooling off in a bird bath.