(and sometimes the beast!)

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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...

3.9.17

RAINBOW, DRAGONS AND FROGS AT COOROY...

I visited Noosa Botanic Gardens again for the first time in 6 months since retiring. I was absolutely thrilled to spot a bird I'd never seen before and managed to get a few snaps of it.  Mind you, birds I haven't seen before would number in the millions and a few fairly clear snaps from the 40 or so I took is probably nothing to brag about but I couldn't wait to get home and find out what bird it was.  Meet one of the Rainbow Pittas...
"Are you lookin' at me?" it seems to be saying...
 I used a bit of patience and then stalked it around a dry creek bed as it hopped around, carefully avoiding crunching on leaves and twigs, so as not to startle it.  Low light in the forest area meant I got lots of blurred shots and perfect shots of where it had been a split second before. It was very interested in fallen quandongs but normally feeds on insects. Maybe there was some hiding in the fruit.
 This shot shows the chestnut stripes on its head nicely and what looks like a bit of weed clinging there as well.
"Are you still here?"
I took the hint and moved on to the pond... 
... where it was apparently dragonfly time.  I'd never thought about what dragonflies (or damselflies) ate and hadn't even noticed that this one was chowing down on something when I took the shot. The bug it's eating is more colourful than it is.
 This one (no more than 4cm long) is a male dragonfly I gather after watching the large numbers of them mating. Of course they could be damselflies. After reading up on them, I am confused as these look like damselflies with the closed wings.
The males all had the bright blue bottoms and they grab the females by the back of the head to start the process. 
It's up to her to curl her tail around to find the penis. A very complicated mating dance and I've since read somewhere that the females will often pretend to be dead to avoid having to mate.  I'm sure we can human females can relate to that! 
I only found two tiny, wee frogs at the pond and this be them. They sat very still and were not frightened off by my lens shoved in their faces.
Hopefully, I won't leave it so long to return.

26.8.17

LIFE EXTENDING "HERB" IS WORTH A TRY...

 A former neighbour of my mother's came to visit us the other day and reminded Mum of a wonder herb she'd planted on their fence line some years before.  Sambung or Moluccan Spinach are a few of its names in Asia where it is well known for its health benefits.  I was charmed by the pretty flowers of course. 
She had purchased the plant at Shippards Herb Farm here in Nambour and was pleased to see it had virtually taken over the fence since she'd moved.  She said it was just about anti- everything and could be eaten fresh straight from the vine/bush and urged me to try it. I've since read up a bit about it and am giving it a go as a general tonic, taking a couple of leaves every day (for the past 2 days anyway :D).  It doesn't have an offensive taste so I will see if my very ill mother can stomach some as tea.  Can't hurt I'm thinking.
I'm told the plant can be struck from cuttings or grown from seed so am also trying to strike some myself, one in water and one in a pot.  I'm interested to see just how easy (or not) it is and whether it helps Mum.
Stay tuned...
[edit 29.9.17 - both ways of striking cuttings were successful and I now have several potted plants]