birds

Crow’s capers…

Listen I can hear the sound of violently splashing water. With camera in hand I tiptoe to the window.

The recent heavy rain has filled the bird bath and this crow is having a great time splashing around.

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He looks up, I wonder if he has heard me…

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I keep very still, then he carries on with his morning ablutions.

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Hopping out he has a shake, droplets of water slide off his glossy feathers…

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Then, refreshed and glossy, he takes off for his day’s activities.

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Couldn’t resist adding this to Ailsa’s glossy travel theme.

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Categories: Australia, crows, glossy, photos, travel theme | Tags: , , , , | 34 Comments

Storm warning…

Yesterday a violent thunderstorm ripped through Sydney killing a man, destroying many buildings and leaving tens of thousands of homes without power. (For more details and pictures click here) Followed by hail and gale force winds. The man died when a tree fell on his car The storm was centred in the Western Sydney area where the farm we recently cared for is situated.

I received this e-mail from Deidre (who with Kim are the farm owners))…

“I’m glad we were home when this storm hit – we took a direct hit, a bit of hail and wind like you can’t imagine. Power went off of course.  But we have been very fortunate.  A tree that could have hit the house has been stopped by the dead tree (to the south of the dog pen). That tree should have been taken out after a lightening strike last year, but the contractor never turned up to do it!  Branches fell off, one hit the very corner of our bedroom but only bent a gutter that needs replacing anyway.  There is a big part of tree near the dog pen, but it fell between the wheelie bin and the gate, so if we crawl under we can still lock them up.  Other small stuff down all over, but the driveway OK.  The rented house had a tree fall between the carport and a shed, it damaged an old trailer. Andy and Raylene had a tree fall between structures too.  And, miracle of miracles, the power, phone and internet all came back on very quickly. That is a first.  (Neighbours said trees pulled down power lines locally, so I guess it was a relatively easy fix).

 Thought you might hear stories of storms in Sydney, and wanted to let you know we are OK.”

I was so relieved to hear they were ok, and thankful we never had that terrifying experience when we were in charge.

Now the storm is heading our way, 70 km per hour winds are presently buffeting our area and rain is forecast for later tonight. Fortunately the intensity has decreased so hopefully we will get some rain but not as bad as Sydney.

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I biked down to the end of the street just before the rain started to capture these images of the storm clouds rolling in.

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This sensible duck had bunkered down off the water for the night.

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The garden is in need of a good soaking rain. I didn’t do any watering today…

Categories: Australia, ducks, Goldcoast, photos, storms, Sydney | Tags: , , , | 50 Comments

Just Ducking Through…

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Look what was wandering through the garden this morning. Almost camouflaged.

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He popped out to say “Hello” when he saw me.

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Of course I had to rush inside, get him some bread, and grab my camera. Can you see all the bread in the side of his beak? And look at those lovely turquoise feathers. Almost like a splash of paint.

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Then with a “quack, quack, thank you”, they meandered over to the neighbours.

Categories: Australia, birds, ducks, garden, paint, photos, travel theme | Tags: , , , , , | 10 Comments

Weekly Photo Challenge : How close can you go…

I wonder how close can I go…

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Now this is getting closer, I can almost reach…

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Got it….

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This is close-up…

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Not macro photography, but I have interpreted “close-up” in a different way.

Categories: close up, lorrikeets, photos, Weekly photo challenge | Tags: , , , , | 57 Comments

Browsing in Brunswick Heads…

We have a new toy. Actually it is more than a toy, for me it is a brilliant piece of technology. She talks to me, keeps me on track and even beeps at me if I exceed the speed limit and what’s more, warns me of fixed speed cameras. Brilliant, a GPS system, I will never get lost on car journeys again…

Yesterday we tried it out on a car journey to Ocean Shores to meet Sue and Norm who we will be house sitting for in September.

We cruised along, under the speed limit, in complete confidence that at least the GPS knew where our destination was. I didn’t even look it up on Google maps before we left home. In 45 minutes the smug voice announced “You have reached your destination”.

Now I will “never walk alone”….

After a cup of tea and a pleasant hour meeting the pets, Mitch, a very well behaved rescue dog, and Rainy and Lenny, 2 cream coated Burmese brothers. We left and will be looking forward to coming back in September.

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What a view. This is from the “Lion’s Lookout” and down below is the small township of Ocean Shores, snuggled into the bush. I’ll look forward to dog walks all around this area.

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In the opposite direction I can see the Mount Warning range. But look at those yellow flowers, glowing in the sun and I spot small birds flitting among the blossom. I slowly inch forward camera at the ready. They move so fast and they are almost camouflaged among the flowers.

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They are the scaly breasted lorikeet gorging on the nectar. I have read in Google that this area is renowned for bird life. More to look forward too.

Time to move on and with confidence I reprogram the GPS to Brunswick Heads, only 10 minutes down the road.

Gathering information brochures of the area from the information office we wander round this  traditional seaside village  Timber bridges link the riverside to a safe, quiet beach at the mouth of the Brunswick River and to the surf beach that spans the coastline.

Lunch is our first priority and there are plenty of options, but we choose Park Street pasta bar offering alfresco dining, set in a cool, hip, relaxed family-friendly atmosphere. 

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This town has an alternative lifestyle vibe. The locals are relaxed and many have their dogs with them. The dogs lay under the tables and wait patiently for their owners. I make a mental note that I will be able to bring Mitch, the dog, here with me.

Here is a gallery of things I saw on my browse around Brunswick Heads.

After walking along the river bank we go back into the shopping area.

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Now this is a bright and breezy welcome.

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The architecture is old world style and has a friendly welcoming feel. This looks like Another place to try…

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There are a number of op shops, antique and boutique places to potter through.

 

This artistic layout caught my eye, very “olde worlde” which matched the display of retro clothes inside.

Look at the shadows...

Look at the shadows…

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Now this gate would suit our garden…

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It was an interesting day with a promise of more to come in September.

But now it was pressing the “favourite” tab on the GPS and we drove stress free home…

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Here’s my weekend walk with Jo and her cyber walking group. Also link (a bit tongue in cheek) to Ailsa and her theme of “toys” this week.

 

Categories: Australia, Brunswick Heads, Jo's Monday walks, lorrikeets, New South Wales, photos, toys, travel theme | Tags: , , , , , , | 53 Comments

Weekly Photo Challenge : Symbols of Australia

When you think of Australia what pops into your mind?

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This land down under has unique flora and fauna and I think the kangaroo is one of the symbols that people associate with Australia.

Everyone who comes here thinks the Koala is so cute and cuddly.

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They look so harmless, but beware they have very sharp claws.

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Never smile at a crocodile, they can jump and also run, so keep well away from the water’s edge in the tropical parts of Australia…

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The dingo looks like the family pet, but don’t be tempted to pat him, he has a nasty temper.

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As for the Tasmanian Devil, he is devil in name and devil in nature.  Its oversize head houses sharp teeth and strong, muscular jaws that can deliver, pound for pound, one of the most powerful bites of any mammal.

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The snake is another of the scary creatures that live in Australia. This one was living in a  tree in my back yard.

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Python

There are also birds and maybe one of the most colourful is the lorikeet. They travel in large flocks and though they look beautiful they have a very loud screechy voice.

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The kookaburra’s raucous laugh is, to me, the symbol and sound of Australia.

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Categories: Australia, kookaburra, lorrikeets, photos, post-a-day, symbol, Weekly photo challenge | Tags: , , , , | 58 Comments

Look who came visiting…

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There are a family of 4, Mum, Dad and 2 babies live around here some where. I think this is one of the youngsters out on his own, he looked a bit nervous.

They wake us early with their raucous laugh. Have you ever heard the call of the kookaburra?

Here is one I found on You Tube. Be warned they are very noisy…

Categories: Australia, Burleigh, kookaburra, photos, Queensland, travel, video | Tags: , , , , | 20 Comments

Kookaburra in the rain.

Kookaburra

Kookaburra

It has been steadily raining, mostly in the evenings, for days now. Look how green the garden looks in the background. But I think this fellow was a bit fed up of the continual damp weather. He looked a bit dejected sitting on the bird-bath.

Categories: Australia, birds, kookaburra, photos | Tags: , , , | 36 Comments

A Word a Week : Two by Two

Major Mitchell Cockatoo

Major Mitchell Cockatoo, I’ve got my eye on you

 

Young magpies

Young magpies

Jabirus

Jabirus changing of the guard on the nest

 

I love our beautiful Australian birds and many of them mate for life so I immediately thought of these birds when Sue of “A word in your ear” opened her dictionary at TWO this week.

 

 

Categories: A word a week photo challenge, Australia, birds, two | Tags: , , , | 13 Comments

Voting, windows and exquisite art work

Atherton is the commercial hub for the southern Tablelands. Unlike our small village of Malanda, Atherton has Woolworth’s, Big W, Target, all the banks, many other shops along its main street, 3 pubs, and of course MacDonald’s.

Saturday was election day here in Australia and because this is not our home electorate we went earlier, last Thursday, to register a postal vote at the courthouse. As we went in to vote I just had to take a photo of the courthouse windows. The challenge from Dawn of “the day after”  to show windows we have seen keeps me always on the look out for different or unusual windows. So just one this week.

Windows of Atherton courthouse

Windows of Atherton courthouse

On the way home we stopped at the Art Gallery to look at the latest exhibition. It was amazing. It is only a small gallery next to the library but we were astounded by the quality of the art on display. “Portraits of birds by William T Cooper”. They were world-class. So perfect in every detail, I almost expected them to fly away as we approached for a closer look at the exquisite detail, the colours, the feathers even the bark, moss and lichen on the trees vibrant and flawless.

“Sir David Attenborough believes Bill Cooper is “Australia’s greatest living scientific painter of birds, he is possibly the best in the world.” Sir David made a film about Bill in 1993 called, “Portrait Painter to the Birds” and it showed around the world. In Australia it was released as a Video after its TV debut. His bird paintings are scientifically exact, no wonder they end up in so many publications in collaboration with leading ornithologists such as Joseph M Forshaw.

Bill now lives and paints from his studio in the tropical rainforest of North Queensland. His resume is the stuff of dreams. He has worked with Sir David Attenborough. The Australian National Library and Papua New Guinea Government have purchased entire collections of his work. He has designed two sets of postage stamps for the PNG Government.

William T Coopers Originals and Limited Edition Prints of beach scenes, eagles, cockatoos, riflebirds, cassowary and kangaroos have to be seen to be believed. They are simply awe-inspiring.”

This reproduction cannot come any were near to the beauty you see when standing in front of the actual work of art. Bill Cooper is self-taught and has painted for over 50 years. I consider it a real privilege to have seen these paintings. Click here to see more images of his art.

The cats, of course had a very busy day while we were out…

Mungo

Mungo

 

Good friends

Good friends

 

 

 

 

Categories: Atherton Tableland, Australia, birds, Lingering look at windows, photos, Ragdoll cats | Tags: , , , , | 17 Comments

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