(and sometimes the beast!)

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4.7.18

ANIMAL ROOF TOTEMS...

Oops! Another month passed without me updating the blog.  Good intentions, road to hell etc, will try to do better.
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I've noticed during my meanderings around Maleny that many (but not all) the stores/buildings in town have little wooden sculptures of wildlife on their roofs. I've been googling to try to find out why and whether they have a name. I've chosen to use totem but that hasn't helped in the search. The Chinese refer to similar (but mythical) animal decorations on their buildings as roof charms. The mythical beasts are set to pounce upon man and devour him should he stray from performing his duties with faithfulness and rectitude. The unicorn showing top right above was the only mythical beast I saw in Maleny but I daresay elephants and beavers aren't local to the area. 
I've yet to find a platypus sculpture on a store roof even though it's a local animal which is revered here. I had to make do with this stone sculpture, one of many by local artists, which line a local walk.
The store owners I've asked so far have no info for me either. Will keep asking though because I'm fascinated by them. The one on the local Co-Op store looks like driftwood but might just be meant as a crocodile.
 I know it's a practice that's not only done here as I noticed a few on country Victorian shops last time I was there.
These cockatoos were on opposite sides of the same roof.
This ?wombat? sculpture looks old and definitely a popular spider haunt. 
Thanks to my eagle eyed sister, Pam, I can say this is not a wombat. Got a better view and I'd agree it's probably a possum judging by the baby on the back. Wombats carry their young in pouches don't they?

Originally, I only saw one or two sculptures while wandering around, but once you really look they come out of hiding, so to speak. I'll have to keep an eye out in other nearby towns.  Let me know if you have any info on them....
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UPDATE!  Found a couple more (how do I miss seeing them time and time again??) and cat owner knew about them (they used to have a snake which was chasing the cat but it kept getting blown off).  They are purely decorative. Apparently, a former resident of the town who was a timber cutter used to carve them out of left over timber and sold them to whomever was interested. He now lives in the Noosa area so no doubt they'll be up there too.

This one isn't timber but thought I'd include it in my collection of... roof decorations. Can't  help feeling a little let down that there's no mystical reason for them. 


31.5.18

PLATYPUS HUNTING...

Since moving to the Sunshine Coast Hinterland in Queensland, I've become obsessed with finding platypus in the wild.  Well, in the urban really as all these photos and have been taken in Obi Obi Creek which winds around Maleny. I had never seen one before even in a zoo so I was thrilled to realise I could see them within walking distance of my new house. 

Unless I can find some way of getting into the creek with a waterproof camera I'll have to be content with snaps taken from above, either from the many viewing platforms thoughtfully provided by Council or from a handy bridge. 
The direction of the light and the time of day makes a big difference to the quality of the photos of course. I've had all my sightings around 4pm. 
One of the first photos I took of my favourite subject, when I only had my small camera and the animal was a long way from the viewing platform.   
I couldn't wait to get back there with a camera which has a longer zoom. Nowadays, I'm more inclined to just watch and not worry about getting the perfect shot.
Of course there are other things to see and occasionally I notice them too. This water-hen was obviously checking her lipstick...
Although I have no photographic evidence of platypus here in the quiet waters above the weir, I have seen one disappear just as I arrived, and something further upstream which I suspect was my quarry but was too far away for a decent shot.
I tell people I reckon this rainbow ended (or started) at the weir but maybe the pot of gold is the platypus, which appear to be flourishing despite dire predictions during the  uproar over Woolworths building a store beside the creek a decade ago.  Many locals will tell you the platypus numbers have decreased. I know I've probably only seen three different creatures as the photos were taken at three difference spots on the creek.
PS: I'm told the plural is platypuses not platypi...

25.3.18

SUNDAY WALK...

To be honest, I've only managed a few Sunday Walks in the 4 months I've been living in Maleny (mainly due to the weather - too hot or too wet) but each walk has been very pleasant. Lots of interesting floral, fauna and statuary around.
I was pleased to find such a beautiful example of Indian clock vine here and it's been in flower for months, prompting me to see if I could find a spot in my own garden for it...
Absolutely love this giraffe left to graze in the front garden of a local doctor's surgery...
When I left this morning with only my phone camera I should have known there would be something for which I'd need the longer zoom of a camera. These wallabies/roos were off in a distant field...
A couple of the amazing camellias that grow in the area...
This blue butterfly flower is a prime example for my Animal Crackers but decided to include it here instead...
I was thrilled to spot a cactus flower and will try to remember to go back this evening, weather permitting, to see if it opens again or if any others are out. The cactus plant itself is huge, growing up into a large pine tree. Maybe it's a dragon fruit... 
 I suppose this one is from the ginger family and is quite common around Maleny;  gorgeous... 
 I have a couple of pots still with nodding violets but think this planting I spotted in a nearby yard is so spectacular, I might replant mine into something similar... 
Strictly speaking this sweet little treefrog is a Saturday photo...
Unfortunately, not all critters found on walks are so lovely. Got this one out of my head, where it had dropped in for a feed... 

9.3.18

ONWARDS AND UPWARDS...

It's been 5 months since I last posted. Apologies, but this was initially due to major upheavals in my life, including the sudden death of our mother.  Then there was the drama of selling my house (then Mum's) and finding another residence but was topped off with trying to access the blog because I had no patience with Google. Hair tearing time.  While I wasn't looking, Google took over somehow but it seems I'm back on board, thanks to Pam. We're both getting on with our lives as orphans (onwards) and I'm now living in Maleny (upwards).  Here is a slice of the wildlife I've found here...
Some old favourites like the green cat bird...
A new one (to me), an Eastern yellow bellied robin, spotted at Ewen Maddock Dam during an excursion...
Will be going back to Baroon Dam in search of more of these little chaps. It was so hot the day I was there and my battery ran out before I could capture one of them in front of the foliage...
At the old house I had brush tailed possums dancing on my roof, here the locals are ring tailed... 
Every time I venture out the door, lots of skinks disappear into the gardens. I'm told we have black snakes too but (touch wood) haven't seen any yet...
This guy caught my eye through the window..
I've spotted a quite a few different butterflies through my lounge windows, usually flying too fast for me to get a shot. This one is a Maccleays swallow tail and is small; quite the challenge to focus on him while the wind was blowing that branch around too.

9.9.17

NEWBIES AND OLD FAVOURITES...

After last post where I was thrilled with a new (to me) bird, I must have been subconsciously on the lookout because I have been visited by a couple of Scarlet honeyeaters.  I'd never noticed them before and had never actually heard of them to be honest.  But what beauties they are (the males anyway).
I just happened to look out the window and saw a couple of very tiny birds in my crepe myrtle tree. The first one was a female of the species I realise now, but didn't twig (pardon the pun) to it until I noticed the brilliant red on the male. I nearly tripped over myself running for the camera and trying to open the screen door quietly. 
They are also surprisingly fast so all I managed was a couple of shots.
When they're so tiny, it's difficult for me to focus on them and the plethora of branches didn't help. The next time I saw them, I didn't even manage the press the shutter before he nipped off!  So, I'm grateful for what I got.
 
Even though I have hundreds of shots of these jolly fellows (Yellow tailed Black Cockatoo), I can't resist them and the minute I hear them calling, I go running to see if I can add to my collection.
Just a tad annoyed that I've missed the top of his wing in this shot...
...but got the whole wingspan in this one, lovely morning sun shining through his feathers. 
Hopefully, I'll have more newbies soon...