Monday, October 22, 2018

After the Storms

As I looked down the side of my drive I could see that the callistemon trees were in flower - and this in spite of it being barely a week since the big hail storm! I planted two kinds of  these trees - one with red flowers and one with creamy colored flowers. The red flowered kind looks much more spectacular but the flowering this year has been rather spasmodic up here. (For a really spectacular display of red flowers go and look at Diane's blog and her wonderful header photo.) Anyway the birds seemed to like the cream flowers this last week.  I even saw some Rainbow Lorikeets come down for a brief visit.
The cream flowers looked best up against the blue sky.

Most of the birds I saw on the flowers were Brown Honeyeaters. These birds are tiny. The book says they are 12-16cm and they seem to be able to reach any way they please to reach the flower they
want - all while hanging by a 'toe-nail'!
There were quite a few birds fluttering around and at first I thought they were all little Browns but then I saw a flash of yellow and realized there were also White-cheeked Honeyeaters. The book says they are a little larger16-19 cms but I could see little difference up in the trees.
Now a couple of days later and most of the flowers have fallen and there are few birds up there.

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

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Real Summer Extremes

You know it is summer in Queensland when -----
First the gentle and non-threatening evidence! You draw the drapes and turn on the lights and there is an immediate pattering of insects on the window all sounding as if they are splattering their tiny bodies to approach your light. Modern buildings are all fully screened but the screen door into my family room must not be perfectly fitting any more. I have been finding quite large beetles caught between the screen and the inner glass door. I have simply opened the outer screen and brushed the beetle out on to the path. First the magpie found these additions to its breakfast but then blue-faced honeyeaters, 'leatherheads' and 'peewees' came along and some of them even stood outside the door and scolded me when they did not find a beetle to eat.
Temperatures have been variable with the BOM ( bureau of meteorology) predicting storms nearly every day,  But it did not happen until last Thursday, There was an article up on their web site explaining why summer storms were so hard to predict too early.  There was plenty of time for the warnings but no-one predicted how bad this one would be. This photo was taken out my back door - I  cracked it open a few inches and closed it again ASAP.  That hail was bouncing off the ground. I now see that lots of palm leaves were shredded - especially the leaves which are normally fan shaped.

Fortunately this hail did not last too long at my place and I missed the big winds but I was lucky! Water poured into the big shopping center food store just a few blocks away. I was told they worked all night to clean up and dry out . There are horror stories being reported from all around. The worst I have read is a young mother who was in a car - pulled off the road because the rain got too heavy and then the hail started and broke the back window - her baby daughter was in a car seat back there so she dived over the seat to cover the baby with her own body and ended up bloodied and bruised but protected her daughter.. Agricultural damage still has to be assessed but whole crops were wiped out. Houses have been damaged everywhere. My friends in Gympie think they are lucky because they just lost one window.
This kind of summer storm is not unheard of but I am glad they don't happen too often.

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