Friday, February 27, 2009

After The Rain - Pt 2

Look what I found sitting in the side lawn! I am not a mushroom eater, so I would not even try to eat this anyway. Even if I were, I would be very wary about putting it my mouth. Though something has already had a bite.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

After The Rain

The gum trees in my neighbour's yard have come out in flower. I am not sure whether this is a time thing (should take more notice) or wheter it is because of all the rain we have had. Anyway, the bees are having a field day, as are the Rainbow Lorikeets. They arrive before sunrise to feed on the flowers, maybe a flock of about 60 of them. The screech & play in the trees for a while, fly away & give my ears a rest for a while, them come back again. They do this quite a few times during the day. They are pretty to see, but hard to catch on the camera as the zoom lens is not quite big enough & the trees are the height of a five story building.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Australian Contrasts & A Lizard Rescue

This last week has been one of lots of things happening in the real world. Around the country we still have fires in Victoria, there have been floods in Queensland, floods along the North Coast of NSW, and the valley where I grew up had over 28inches of rain. There was a National Day of Mourning on Sunday with a special service held in Melbourne for the fire victims of Black Saturday. This service was telecast all around the country and I watched some of it with the comfort of my tissue box. Very moving, with addresses by politicians, dignatories, and HRH Princess Anne. The music created by combinations of orchestra, didgeridoo & sticks was haunting and will live with me forever.

Here in Sydney my garden has had a drink with most of last week being wet. One morning I went to read the guage to find a lizard sitting at the bottom. Lucky we hadn't had too much rain the day before, as he was still alive with his head just poking above water, though I figured he must have been very cold. It took a while to get him out, he kept wanting to run back into the guage, even though I had emptied the water out & layed the guage on it's side. He must have just wanted to get warm first. He eventually came out & sat sunbaking on the table, only to be gone later when I came to check on him. Maybe he will be more careful next time.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Pink Flowers

I am not sure what this is, but it was pretty enough to snap. I found this growing in the bush in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney, on a recent visit. Maybe someone out there can tell me if it is a native or not. I have been trying to find reference to it but with no luck.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

A Room With A View

Being an ex country girl, I do love the bush, and can appreciate people who want live in it. There are, however, risks, and we have seen these come to the forefront of the news over the last week. As a child, I was always taught to live in a house on a hill. One reason was the view, another was to keep out of reach of flood waters. I was also taught to keep areas around a house clean & clear of rubbish & debri in case of fire.

Our country is still in recovery mode after the fires that ravaged Victoria last weekend. Current statistics are at 181 lives (still expected to rise), and over 1,000 properties, countless native animals, and thousands of people displaced. Perhaps these statistics may not have been so high if simple advice of our elders & forefathers was followed.

I wonder how the house in the pic above would survive in a bushfire?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Glorious View

How about this glorious view. Taken some weeks ago on a trip to the beautiful Blue Mountains west of Sydney. .

Monday, February 9, 2009

My Country

There is a poem called "My Country", by Dorothea Mackellar, which has come to mind after so many years. It was a poem that I learnt in Primary school, and had forgotten about until yesterday, when I woke up to the tragic news comming out of Victoria. The second verse of this poem says it all today. This past week in Victoria, the temperatures have risen to record highs, and I mentioned to anyone who would listen that this was a bushfire waiting to happen. Well happen it did. 108 lives (& still counting) and over 750 homes, this is Australia's worst ever natural disaster. My heart goes out to everyone in Victoria. Be strong.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Sounds of Summer

Cicadas are typical of summer sounds along the East Coast of Australia. At the moment there is one singing rather loudly in a bottlebrush tree just off my back balcony. I read on Wilipedia this morning that the singing is a mating call. Well, there are plenty of others to answer him as the noise is horrendous at the moment. The others are a touch quieter & seem to be in the gum tree in my neighbour's yard. I have heard that they do not sing in the rain, and only if the temperature is above 28C. I find this interesting, but cannot seem to find anything to back this info up.
A few eeks ago I overheard a conversation of an older couple in a park, and the male made the comment as to how he does not hear the cicadas any more, and how they seem to have disappeared. Maybe he has a hearing problem, or has forgotten what they sound like, because the cicadas are out every day, especially around this park , as it is surrounded by scrubland.
I tried to get a pic of the one in the bottle brush tree this morning, but he is very well camouflaged amongst the leaves. Instead, I have posted a pic of one that landed on the fly screen of our holiday unit a few years ago.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Striped Geraniums

Just thought I would share with you all a pic of one of my geraniums that are now currently in flower. Something a little different in that it has stripes ( well sort of). It is a plant that I grew from a cutting that I was given. Not hard, geranuims grow easilly from cuttings.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Pretty Fern or Noxious Weed

Well, once again I have learnt something new. On close inspection to my asparagus fern, I found it had these little flowers. I didn't even know these ferns flowered. I know ferns to have spores for reproduction, not flowers. So I have been doing some research & some reading, and found this page on asparagus ferns and this one on ferns in general. Ok, so because this fern has flowers, does this mean it is not a fern at all? I have learnt one thing today, I am growing a noxious weed ( well two actually) in a pot! Hey, it is interesting, and survives the heat.

Monday, February 2, 2009

An Experiment

A few weeks ago someone gave me a picked flower off some kind of shrub. It had a leaf like a hibiscus, and the flower looked like a hibiscus, but it was a blue/mauve shade with deep red coloured staymens. I know hibiscus come in all shapes, sizes & colours, but I had not seen one like this before. As I do with any cut flower, I put it in water to enjoy inside for a while. Well, this one fell off within 24 hours, and the leaves dried, shrivelled, and finally fell off a few days later, but the stem was still green, so I left it in the water to see what would happen. Within a week, I saw new leaves & some roots forming. So now this is in a small pot of soil, nothing special, just soil from the garden. So I will baby it for a while & see what hapens.
What do they say, "Nothing ventured, nothing gained"?