We have planted many indigenous shrubs and small trees across the rear of our yard and they are now flowering regularly. This young Little Wattle Bird and its mother claim the garden as their territory and aggressively defend it against other nectar eaters. These particular Wattle Birds are also insect eaters so they gain extra benefits when they are feeding. I can sit in our back passageway with a telephoto lens and photograph the birds through the window. Unfortunately very few other breeds of birds are feeding here because of the Little Wattle Birds and also the drought.
Every Summer for the 35 years we have lived in the Melbourne suburb of Sandringham, the call of Male Greengrocer Cicadas as been one of the most memorable sounds of the season. These beautiful gentle insects emerge from the ground under trees after incubating for 7 years. They climb into the foliage, fly from branch to branch, eat , call and reproduce. Every warm evening the males begin to vibrate their hind legs and emit ear splitting calls as loud as motor mowers, as they seek out the females. They only live a few days, the females burying their eggs in the ground at the base of the trees they have lived in. Without fail from the first week of December Cicadas calling would happen on every warm evening, sometines the sounds would continue for hours into the night. This year we have had plenty of warm evenings. After 5 weeks of Summer we have heard THREE Cicada calls. Every other year 3 calls would happen within 5 minutes of any warm evening. What has happened? I will investigate , however my guess is one more casuality of climate Change on the insect world. Pity we cannot see the disappearance of useless politicians like this absence of our Cicadas.
My last contact with Cicadas this year happened 6 nights ago. We heard our third call then silence. A short time later there was a thump at the back door. I went out to investigate and this Cicada was sitting on the veranda. I picked it up and it nestled in my hand. I carried it through the house and gently placed it on a fern in the front yard. later I checked and it had gone. We have not heard another call. I would not be as gentle if I met one of our Federal Government politicians.
responding to warmth
colour growth harmony
all bees welcomed
Today, the first day of October, the second month of Spring finally feels like that season has arrived. We had a lazy lunch at a cafe in Black Rock where Maggie had the usual fuss made of her and a selfie taken. When we arrived home I went for a walk around the garden capturing some of the different plants currently flowering on my camera. Only five are indigenous, can you identify the exotics. The one we are observing most keenly is our Blueberry bush as it is laden with flowers turning to fruits as the bees attend.
no chance for haiku
One hundred metres down the street from our home these photos show where a suburban house and garden once stood for over 60 years, where families shared their lives, where plants once grew and died , where birds, animals and insects co-existed in nature. Now all gone.A desert of flat dozed lifeless dirt. Already foundations are being created to build fence to fence double story townhouses and concrete hard surface and maybe a few plants in pots. Gone is a local history and an ecosystem, not an original one but an ecosystem that saw many indigenous life forms existing. Through the gap in the rear fence where green weeds grow the same thing happened last year and over that next street the same again. This is happening all across our suburb and in neighbouring suburbs and on and on in Melbourne Australia. Population growth demanding new dwellings and a greed from property developers to squeeze as many living spaces on a block of land as possible means vegetation and fauna loss on an increasing scale. We have noticed the little birds have disappeared from our garden and that is one small sign. Our local government is unable to limit or control this madness, this environmental destruction. As well the loss of trees and shrubs adds to global warming. Maybe these images sum up Australia’s attitude as a nation to global warming. No chance for haiku !!!!!!
Almost a year ago Jill and I wandered through the beautiful Wellington Botanic Gardens in New Zealand appreciating unusual plants and incredible views when suddenly this sign confronted us. We were aware that whoever introduced Australian Brushtail Possums to New Zealand did not do their homework about the predator food chain and as for rats !! However poison baits in suburbia has dangerous potential. In our journey across the North Island we looked for but rarely saw dogs, certainly not running free but not on leads or in front yards . I hope this sign does not explain darker repercussions.
This is my contribution to the one a week Photo Challenge and this week for number 46 the challenge is LETTER. As the title suggests, I see this sign as an open letter of warning rather than a simple message . For this years 52 weekly challenges planned by Cathy and Sandra visit Cathy’s blog at https://nanacathydotcom.wordpress.com/one-a-week-photo-challenge-2017/
explosions of colour
gifts of spring
Recently we visited the Grampians / Gariwerd National Park North West of Melbourne for the annual first weekend in October Spring native wildflowers exhibitions. At Pomonal the local members of the Society for Growing Australian Native Plants display flowering specimens cut from local bush gardens. These plants represent the Spring flowering plants of Southern Australia. At Halls Gap the Friends of Grampians/Gariwerd National Park display the range of flowering plants found across the park. Rangers collect specimens in the days before this weekend from the park and the friends prepare the display.
We have now regularly visited these displays across the last 12 years and always look forward to the concentrated displays of colour and the aroma of nectar. Because Maggie was with us we could not get out into the tracks of the park looking for flowering plants in their natural environments.
These 3 images are from open gardens at the Pomonal display.
rainbow of colour
A rainbow lorikeet caught in the right setting and angle looks like a Paul Gauguin painting. I have shared them in a number of haiku posts but they keep demanding new appearances. This is my contribution to the one a week Photo Challenge and this week for number 43 the challenge is PAINT . For this years 52 weekly challenges planned by Cathy and Sandra visit Cathy’s blog at https://nanacathydotcom.wordpress.com/one-a-week-photo-challenge-2017/
lake provides calmness
Whenever we travel to the Grampians or very occasionally Adelaide a lunch or coffee break at Lake Wendouree in Ballarat is planned. Charlie had many picnics by the lake and now Maggie has experienced her first two. The circumference of the lake is around 6 kilometres and it sits in the heart of this city so there are always joggers, dog walkers, cyclists or strollers on the path or adjacent road. Ballarat is the home city of my mother who was born and educated there and my father also went to boarding school there and rowed on the lake. When the Melbourne Olympic games were held in 1956 Lake Wendouree hosted the rowing events. Ballarat is freezing cold in Winter and it usually snows. Spring and Autumn are the best times to experience the city and lake. There are many nesting waterbirds on islands in the lake and this beautiful Cygnet and its sole sibling paddled past while we ate lunch recently.
This is my contribution to RonovanWrites weekly haiku poetry prompt challenge 171 Lake & Calm. To access a multitude of haiku responses to this prompt visit https://ronovanwrites.com/2017/10/16/ronovanwrites-weekly-haiku-poetry-prompt-challenge-171-lakecalm/
range of options
Maggie’s muddle includes these objects plus many others. For a pup she has more possessions than any dog we know. This pictured group include Chicken Joe who Charlie brought home one day and treasured, a glove Maggie found on a footpath and insisted on keeping as well as the cricket ball, (another of Charlie’s finds) that is of particular enjoyment to Maggie. She carries it onto our wooden veranda and drops it making a loud thud then repeats the action again and again. Regardless of these toys she still prowls the house looking for things to steal and chew.
This is my contribution to the one a week Photo Challenge and this week for number 42 the challenge is MUDDLE . For this years 52 weekly challenges planned by Cathy and Sandra visit Cathy’s blog at https://nanacathydotcom.wordpress.com/one-a-week-photo-challenge-2017/
garden needs water
Maggie has a fascination for water. It has to be splashed, drunk, flicked and closely examined usually by dipping a front foot into the water. In Summer we will see if swimming is fancied. In the background a wire fence protects remaining pot plants in the front yard ( she tried her hand at repotting very early on). Two larger fenced areas perform a similar function in the back yard. Up until this moment as captured in the images the hose and reel had been safe. Well almost. The day before these images I discovered she had unravelled the hose and dragged it across the lawn leaving the nozzle beside her water bowl. We commented on what an intelligent dog she was and how she may learn to fill her bowl and even help water the garden once the nozzle was mastered. This day she tried to fill her bowl again except the hose became tangled in the holder. Maggie is strong and she gave a few gentle tugs then became more impatient. The viewer can see in the middle 2 images how she finally located the place where the hose was jammed however by then the entire holder had given up the battle . A felt a haiku coming on and raced inside the house for my camera, it was too late to save the equipment. A new holder now lies behind the fence and so does the back yard one.
We may wait a year before training Maggie on the finer points of using hoses and nozzles.