This head of seaweed was peacefully floating beside the Black Rock sea wall on Port Phillip Bay. It could have been torn off the growing plant by strong currents stirred up by a storm a few days earlier. Maggie and I and walk this route often and also get Jill to join us whenever she can. My practice is to carry a camera on these walks as there are many natural treasures waiting to be captured. The camera/lens combinationd can be heavy if I want close ups, especially the telephoto lens. The other challenge is holding Maggie with one hand while photographing with the other. Occasionally I leave the camera at home and of course an exceptional opportunity like a penguin pops up.
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.
a nest to be saved
standing firm in defence
spring hovers nearby
We were walking along the coastal pathway at Ricketts Point recently. This blue male Superb Fairy Wren and his brown female partner were aggressively warning all living things to stay away from the nest they had built somewhere in the bushes nearby. For small birds they are very courageous.
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 !!!!!!
enticing for a walk
Walking the track out the back of our house in Bendigo is one of our favourite places. There is a small remaining pocket of ground where native orchids still flourish from Winter across into early Spring. These beautiful tiny plants were much more abundant everywhere in this area of The Bendigo Regional Park. However 2 severe wild fire burn offs by the State Government authorities during the last decade has all but eliminated Orchids now except in our special place that lies just at the edge of the burnt areas. We have an impressive photographic record of native orchids from this entire area dating back to the 1970’s, including a couple of species that we have not seen for 30 years. Each year we return with hope and cameras. Both these photos are taken at the same spot on the track. Charlie was trusted off lead in her mature years however Maggie must wait a while before she wanders the track independently.
This is my contribution to the one a week Photo Challenge and this week for number 45 the challenge is WALK . 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/
nature wins and loses
wind has spoken
Just one of the hazards encountered on our brother and sister in laws’ bush property in the mountains East of Melbourne. They devote their entire property to the preservation of wildlife, mostly Indigenous although Deer, Foxes and cats tend to roam about. This creates quite a dilemma as they do not believe in killing any life. At times Kangaroos have become too familiar such as wandering into the garage and sitting down on armchairs. A large Brown Snake called Melissa lives under and in the roof of their dwelling. She tends to look after any mice that loiter.