Monday, April 22, 2019

Distant Vistas

I had a problem - I had not been able to get out and see or photograph anything new and interesting around here. BUT then I remembered I did have a stack of photos saved up that put a smile on my face whenever I looked at them. They were not my photos but when I checked with my brother he told me to go ahead and use them if I wanted to! So these are not taken anywhere near here and are not my story either - but they are Australian
My brother lives down in Victoria and he loves the water and the sea as much as I do and possibly more! Where I am content with slowly puttering around on a kayak and close in-shore he likes a big fast boat that will take him out on the ocean where there are lots of fish! At present he has a Kevlacat. He (and his son who enjoys the sea and boats just as much) usually put the boat in at Port Welshpool in SE Victoria.

Of course, the very best time to get out on the water is very early. Before the wind starts to blow or the seas start to get up.
Even after that it is still very beautiful. I think what I like the most are the colors of the ocean and the wide open spaces.
I get told lots of lovely "fishie' stories but in those moments no-one thinks to take photos! I was told a week or so ago they were catching some nice eating fish when a VERY BIG fish unexpectedly took a hook and bait and got unhappy. The first they realized there was something wrong the big fish was jumping towards a motor looking as if it would take a big bite out of it with its big mouth full of teeth! At the last moment it snapped the line and took off in another direction."Of course we didn't leave! The other fish were biting too well and we wanted a few more!"
This was a few days ago - They stopped the boat in behind a little island called Rabbit Island where it was a bit more sheltered while they waited for the tide to turn and the fishing to get better again. Fresh fish are good for breakfast especially when cooked immediately - "but I forgot the bread and butter, Sister!!"

For more photos from around the world visit Our World Tuesday

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Birds - Up Close

In reality - up too close! Plus I am getting slow and the camera was not even close!  I was sitting reading next to my glass doors when I saw movement and looked up to see three White Ibis calmly stalking past right on my back patio. My house has become one of those I used to write about - no children and no pets!! The birds must know!
N.B. Keep the camera closer and ready to go!!

For more pics from around our world go to Our World Tuesday.

Monday, April 1, 2019

Worth waiting for!

I moved up here to live here just over 15 years ago,  One of the first things I started to do was plant a garden. I wanted lots of greenery around my house.  Some of the first things I planted were strelitzia - commonly called Bird of Paradise.  The first one I planted was the orange flowered one - strelitzia reginae - but the plant I put in did not do so well so I got another couple of plants and put them in a different part of the garden  I also bought the blue flowered one - strelitzia nicolai. This is a very tall plant and it has done well but I seldom get to enjoy the flowers because some of the honey-eating birds such as the Blue-faced Honeyeaters - love it and tear the flowers apart. It must have lots of nectar! All the strelitzia reginae have kept growing but never a sign of a flower. I admit I am not a great gardener - once a plant is growing I just leave it alone! As I drove down my driveway the other day I noticed a splash of orange. After nearly 15 years there was a flower. I took photos that first day but thought it was not as good as I expected. A couple of days later it had opened up further .  Definitely worth waiting for!!

For more pics from around our world go to Our World Tuesday.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Early Morning

You know your days are not going to be very pleasant when the BOM (Bureau of Meteorology -the official weather place) puts out warnings that the whole of SE Queensland is going to have extremely hot weather for the next week. GET READY!!!
Very early mornings are the only really comfortable times and I like to sit just inside the glass doors in my family room and watch the morning slowly brighten.

Over the last few  weeks there have been big flocks of Rainbow Lorikeets flying around. Even before it is properly light they start arriving and like most of their parrot 'cousins' they are noisy.

To give an adequate idea of the size and noise of the flocks I need to really work on my camera skills! Until then - please use some imagination  with these still pics.  Rainbow Lorikeets always seem to want to do things as groups. I especially like to see them catching hold of unopened palm fronds and lining along the extent of the frond until one too many tries to join in and then it sways down and they all fly off again with much squawking. Also,being parrots they don't seem to mind if they hang upside down - or right way up.

For more pics from around the world go to Our World Tuesday

Monday, February 25, 2019

Very High Tide

When it gets excessively hot - as it has been recently - I retreat inside, turn on the air con, and hibernate! Fortunately I have good friends that keep me up-to-date on what is happening outside! Early last week I got an email and some photos reminding me that it was one of the highest tides of the year. As well there was a tropical cyclone coming towards us which was pushing tides even higher. These are a couple of photos Sarah sent me showing the height of the tide along the shoreline towards the Mullens bird roost. I always appreciate Sarah's photos as she captures angles and details that I often miss!
The next day I went out in the car to at least record where the tide had got to in the parking lot.  In previous years I have seen the tide completely fill up this area and even surround cars that had been left parked by owners that had not realized what can sometimes happen down here.This photo shows the parking lot towards the south and also the track usually used to get down to the boat ramp on the creek.
This photo is the opposite end of the parking lot and when the tide is lower this is a favorite place to park where you are not likely to be boxed in!
After seeing the height of the tide here I decided it would be worth it to check Tin Can Bay at the Crab Creek end.  There was a lot of water lying around on lower parts,
I have used  the amount of water over the path as a guide to just how high the tide really is but this year the path was new concrete and I think it was moved slightly as well - so it was a bit hard to guess the height.
I should also tell a bit more about that cyclone. They are notoriously hard to predict and this time the worst that happened was higher than average tides and big seas - which made the surfers happy but caused life savers lots of trouble when people went out to try the waves for themselves without enough experience to manage the waves or to get themselves back safely to the beach!!!

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Friday, January 18, 2019

Unexpected!

It is obvious from my recent blog postings that I have not been out in my local environment the way I used to be.  Fortunately I have several friends who keep me informed about anything unexpected. Over the last few days I have been hearing about a very large die-off  in the mangroves. This is a  photo sent to me by a friend.
Yesterday morning Sarah offered to go down to the bay side with me so I could see for myself. The bay is still as beautiful as ever but the heavy clouds looked like rain - but it did not rain and we are still as dry as ever. 
The devastation is everywhere! This first photo is taken from the picnic area looking down over the creek.
All the people I talked to think this must have been caused by that hail storm that hit the area on the 11th of October.  (That is more than three months ago.) Sarah went down to the bay the next day and saw lots of damage then - trees stripped of their leaves and lots of leaves and green foliage floating in the water.  But as usual I am left  with more questions than answers. Was there more damage done to some kinds of mangroves than others?  Was the age of the plant/tree a factor? How much can the different kinds of trees rejuvenate?
These leaves are new growth on a Grey Mangrove.
These are close photos showing hail pits on the trunk of a mangrove tree. The first photo was taken soon after the storm when the pits were new and showed the damage with color as well as the pits.
To document most of the damage to the trees I need to be out on my kayak to get up close - and I have not been on the kayak for some time. Still Hoping!

For more scenery from around the world visit  Our World Tuesday

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Local Trivia

Very local! around my house and yard!
After the big hail storm it took me a little while to discover the amount of damage that had been done to the trees and plants around my yard.  This Leopard Tree is mid way across my back yard and very visible from my back window. Every year it loses some of the leaves but this is what the hail storm did - I could get a good view right through all the leaves and see all the birds that usually hide somewhere in there.
Slowly the dead looking branches flushed with new color and soon after that leaves covered everything again.
This palm tree is in front of the Leopard Tree and shows the hail damage. Some of the fronds were totally dead - many more badly shredded and right in the middle is a new green frond. However it will take a while for some of the palms to look really good again.
It was the palm trees out the front garden that were the most surprising. I assume it was a response to the severe weather and then the soaking rain we got a few days later. They all put up flower stems and then set seeds at a similar time.
This is an appropriate place to say that when I had a tradesman go up on my house roof he found a lot more hail damage than I had expected. Both sky-lights were broken, the roof itself pitted quite badly in places, the solar hot water system damaged, and the two roof vents on the shed roof broken.  Now I am waiting for the insurance to make up their minds!!! It will all have to be replaced. Anyway there is no water coming inside so no-one seems in a hurry
 I have recently passed another milestone. It is 5 years since I was diagnosed with macular degeneration and started getting injections in the eyes to control it. I am very grateful that I can still read and drive the car and I guess the rest is not important in the long run. I must say that the injections are never comfortable. When the eyes are too uncomfortable I retreat and remind myself that ' this too shall pass'!
Enough of the doom and gloom. The other day there was a heavy rain fall and much of the property next door to me had a few inches of water lying over it. Australian White Ibis found this and came down to poke their beaks into the softened ground and hunt for whatever they could find. These birds have got a bad name because they are very good at finding all the rubbish that we humans discard - they are commonly called 'dump chickens'  .  On nice clean grass like this they look too good for that name!

For more pictures from around our world visit Our World Tuesday.