Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Winter in Queensland

I think I have been reading too many posts about gardens and flowers and fresh veges up in the northern hemisphere. I do wish that my garden looked lovely and tidy again but I am NOT  a dedicated gardener - and when energy levels are low it is way down on my list of important things to do. So things kind of get along by themselves and because this is SE Queensland they just grow a little bit slower in the winter, The climate here is very nice except when it gets a bit cold at night and then I have a whinge about it!!
I planted two banksia roses outside my kitchen window and they are just now starting to flower. The yellow one has fewer flowers but they are bright and beautiful. With buds like these the white flowering one should look good soon. A whole flock of sparrows came and twittered and fluttered in there close to the window but as soon as I moved to get the camera they were gone. I am not having too much luck with bird photos recently.
I planted a number of "bottle-brush" trees along the sides at the back of the yard and they always look good when they flower. Also the birds love them but unfortunately those birds are usually LBJ's (little brown jobs) that do not sit still to have photos taken.
Now this is one plant I haven't seen in those northern hemisphere gardens! In this climate when I buy a nice fresh pineapple I cut the top off it and just put it in the soil. As long as it is not disturbed it eventually grows - even when the whole patch of ground gets covered with weeds.  This pineapple is not ready yet but will eventually get a nice golden color and will smell nice and sweet! Then it is time to cut it and enjoy it.

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Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Everyday Enjoyments

Nothing too exciting or spectacular to post this time.  These are some of the enjoyable moments I see out my back window.
Sunrise is always beautiful and this kind of golden morning is especially welcome as it means a nice clear sunny day.
Some clouds are needed to make it more spectacular - but not too many please! I even sometimes catch birds flying past and I'm sure I could get lots more if I waited outside in the cold for them to fly past. By the time it warms up most of them seem to have gone.
It would be a very strange morning if there were no white cockies - Sulphur crested Cockatoos - flying by. Just occasionally they stop by to investigate something that has caught their attention. Mostly I only see silhouettes but this morning they also stopped next door where they were in the sun

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Monday, May 14, 2018

Lake Macdonald

Well it is more than time to put up another post but I just can't get motivated unless I have a series of good photos that makes a coherent story. So it takes me awhile to get going again!!
Last week I had to visit the eye specialist I see on the Sunshine Coast but this time it was only for a series of tests and not any 'nasty' injections with the associated medications that alleviate the pain but make me almost blind for a few hours. The good friend who drives me down for the injections suggested we have a few hours doing what we wanted to around that area. It was lovely! She knows the area well and drove me through areas I had known many years ago so I could see how everything has  changed! It is now so 'built up' and I am not sure the changes are for the better. - so many people and so many cars!! Oh well - I guess it's called "progress!
The one beautiful highlight of the morning was a visit to Lake Macdonald and the Fearnley Bird Hide. Lake Macdonald is located in the Noosa hinterland and is part of the South east Queensland's drinking water supply.  The part we visited looks just as if the water filled up the lower parts of  valleys and is now perfect habitat for all birds that love water! Much of the water is covered with lots of water plants - and the birds make use of these to hide! The lists of birds that have been seen there are fantastic - but as ever! - we should have been there the other day!!
These photos were taken from close to the bird hide. There were lots of birds around but most of them were away on the other side.
Ducks? No - Eurasian Coot - but still beautiful in that water.

Closer to the car park this Forest Kingfisher was sitting in a paperbark tree.

Underneath the tree were a number of Comb crested Jacana walking on the the lily pads. It looked like a couple of adults and a number of juveniles but none of them were close enough for great photos. Very young birds walk around on the lily pads by themselves but occasionally you can see adults carrying some of their young ones tucked up under their wing. Their feet and legs hang down and it looks wonderful.  I saw good photos of these birds a number of years ago and it was one of the things that first 'sparked' my interest in bird photography.

For more photos from around the world visit Out World Tuesday.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Backyard Blues!

The excessive heat has moderated a little but now we are faced with rain - non of it too heavy and not constant!  However, even showers that come and go most of the day can make things uncomfortably damp. The plants love it and my lawn is well out of control. For the last three days I have walked out on the grass first thing in the morning to check how 'squishy' it is under my feet.When I make wet muddy marks in the ground I know it is impossible for the mower!  Here's hoping for later today!
What I do not understand is why so many birds love it. The other morning quite a large flock of Lorikeets flew over. Then I heard a few that had settled in the palms along my boundary fence. No flowers there so what had attracted them? I moved slowly around hoping to get a better view. Fortunately, I did click one photo from a less than perfect angle and then they all flew off. The photo shows 4 birds but I counted 8 as they flew past me.
Later I saw that the birds were eating from the bunch of seeds these palms have grown this year.
Next day I tried for a better photo when I heard the birds again but a rain shower started again and I went inside very damp and had to quickly dry  drops off the camera as well.  Photos showed even more damp than I had realized and even the bird's plumage showed damp!

For more photos from around the world visit Our World Tuesday.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Low Tide

Finally I am posting again !  First the excessive heat broke but in typical Queensland fashion we then got very heavy rain. Right around where  I live we escaped the floods BUT water plus heat makes a sauna! Even typing at my computer is enough to make the perspiration run!  Contrary  to  what you northerners are saying we are consoling ourselves with the thought that summer must soon come too an end!

After my last two posts I needed to show what low tide is like on the bay around here.  After  seeing what high tide looks like it is a little hard to imagine low tide in the same places. The bay has very low gradients all over so contrary to what it looks like it is possible to walk out for a very long way. I have watched fishermen wade back to shore from such a distance out that I have not been able to recognize them until they got almost back  This photo shows the little creek that the boats use to launch only a few meters further up stream.  The water now is only ankle deep - I have frequently walked all over this area.  The creek divides here and the deepest channel is over by the mangrove trees in the background.
 of course, this wide expanse of sand is ideal for shorebirds to feed. The birds roost up on higher ground as the tide comes in but then follow the water as it falls away. Sand is softer where it is close to the water and the long beaks on the shorebirds can be damaged if they are knocked on hard things. I have occasionally seen a bird with a beak pushed out of shape but I am told that they will die quickly because they can't eat like this. On very low tides one only sees birds right down along the channels in the distance. Way out close to a channel I have found there is more mud than sand and it is definitely not good for watching birds. Shorebird watching needs to be done close to one of their high tide roosts. Shorebirds use the same high tide roosts day after day - and even year after year. From our observations around the bay we have seen slight changes in the birds' preferences for roosts because of the tide height.
I don't have anything new or exciting for bird photos I WILL NOT  and CAN NOT go bird watching in this heat!! BUT there is nothing more Australian than a kookaburra. I think they have been increasing around my house because I have been hearing a group of them giving their group call very early in the morning for some mornings now. I am told that this is a group territorial call.  The first bird was sitting up on the roof of my house and the other bird was on a tree close to my friend's house,

For more photos from around the world visit Our World Tuesday 

and for more birds visit Wild Bird Wednesday

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Very High Tide 2

These are the photos I took of the very high tide around at Mullens. I had hoped to go back and get some photos of the same places when the tide was out - but -  the temperatures this week are too high to make it comfortable to wander around during the day time. 39 Centigrade  is over 100 Fahrenheit - just too hot for me!This extreme heat is predicted to last for another week but after that I shall go down to Mullens again and take some nice sandy photos to show what it is usually like.
This is the boat ramp where the bigger boats are launched,
This is the area immediately down from the car park.
Looking south across the creek where the boats go out onto the bay,
The same area but looking up towards the bank where cars usually park to be close to the water but not right in it!  All the leaves under the trees get picked up on a high tide like this.
With the tide this high more of the mangroves close to the sea are right in the water and with no wind look very beautiful.

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Sunday, February 4, 2018

Very HighTide

With two major events in one day I had to attempt to document them. The most important one - the special moon - I had little hope of really seeing it. I am NOT a night person - so the best I could do was catch a photo early in the night to at least show I tried!!
The other big event was a very high tide. Although it was too hot to want to go wandering around outside I could at least get in the car with the air conditioner going and drive to what I wanted to see and photograph. First I went to the Norman Point end of Tin Can Bay and photographed the boat ramp for small private boats.
Then I went to the other end of town to the Crab creek end,  There was more activity there with quite a few small boats lined up at the boat ramp.
There was also a group of four people enjoying the water.
Finally I saw three kayakers coming close. They were all in the kind of kayak which is moved along with paddles moved by the feet while you sit back and rest much more comfortably than in the kind of kayak I am used to where you paddle with arm movements. However I am told that these kayaks weigh quite a bit more and I think that would make problems for putting them up on my roof racks.
This is also the area that I have taken photos of all the high tides over the years. The highest tide I have seen came up and washed over this walking path - and this one this year was nowhere near that height.
The only birds I saw were these Crested Pigeons. They are pretty but quite common.
I also got some nice pics  of the high tide down at Mullens - but that can be posted in the next post.

For more scenery from around the world visit Our World Tuesday