After the Rain

Last year was one of our wettest winters for many years. After a decade of drought, it seemed as though Mother Nature was trying to making amends in just one winter. In my part of Australia winter is the wettest part of the year. However, as winter continued it appeared as though the rain was not going to stop.

When winter became spring (at least by the calendar) the wet and cold weather continued. Spring was disguised as winter.

But, Mother Nature made amends by giving us some of the best showings of our Australian Native trees and plants. I had never seen such displays of beauty!

One of my favourite trees, the Red Flowering Eucalyptus Tree (Corymbia ficifolia) was no exception.

Red Flowering Eucalyptus Tree

Red Flowering Eucalyptus Tree

The Red Flowering Eucalyptus Tree is native to south coastal Western Australia. These photographs were taken in the Colac Botanical Gardens, in regional Victoria. The tree does very well in this area and is also used by the local Council for streetscaping.

Red Flowering Eucalyptus Tree

Please Note: All photographs appearing on my blog were taken by me. They are copyrighted and all rights are reserved. If you would like to purchase a print please contact me by leaving a comment below with your order and contact details. I will then get back to you.

 

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2016 -The Year with Birds

This is a type of pictorial diary record of the birds I have photographed this year.

January – Red-browed Finch (Neochmia temporalis)

Red-browed Finch

One of my favourite little birds: 11 – 12 cm in size. It is also known as a Firetail.

February – Pied Currawong (Strepera graculina)

Pied Currawong

41 – 51 cm in size. They have a noisy distinctive voice.

March – Superb Fairy-wren (Malurus cyaneus)

Superb Fairy-wren

This photograph is of a male in moult. The breeding season has come to an end so he has begun to lose his brilliant colours. Below, I have included the Superb Fairy-wren during the breeding season so he can be compared with the one moulting.

Superb Fairy-wren

April – Red Wattlebird (Anthochaera carunculata)

Red Wattlebird

33 – 37 cm in size. Wattlebirds are raucous and territorial. They attempt to chase all other birds out of their territory.

May – Black-shouldered Kite (Elanus axillaris)

Black-shouldered Kite

Black-shouldered Kite

This pair of Kites were spotted on the side of the road as I drove home.

June – Australian King Parrot (Alisterus scapularis)

Australian King Parrot

King Parrots are 40 – 45 cm in size. This is the male who landed in a tree near my wood heap. I was actually gathering fire wood (June is the middle of winter here in Australia) and had to rush inside to get  my camera.

July – Satin Bowerbird (Ptilonorhynchus violaceus)

Satin Bowerbird

The Satin Bowerbirds turned up in my garden in July. They are very flighty birds and difficult to photograph, the slightest moment can send them scurrying off to hide in the bushes. The male is glossy blue-black in colour, and 27 – 33 cm in size.

August – House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)

House Sparrow

During the 19th century,  House Sparrows were introduced into Australia by the early settlers. I have a small flock which calls my garden home.

September – Little Raven (Corvus mellori)

Little Raven

Most people will errorously call the Little Raven a crow. There are three types of ravens in Australia, the others being The Australian Raven and the Forest Raven. The Little Raven is the smallest at 50 cm while the other two are 52 cm.

October – Silvereye (Zosterops lateralis)

Silvereye

There are eight continental Australian races of Silvereyes. Five races are found in south-east and eastern Australia and are grey-backed; hence their alias Grey-backed Silvereyes.

November – Laughing Kookaburra (Dacelo novaeguineae)

Laughing Kookaburra

An iconic Australian bird, no album of birds would be complete without the Kookaburra or Laughing Jackass as it is also known. It is also the largest of the Kingfishers.

December – Spotted Pardalote (Pardalotus punctatus)

Spotted Pardalote

Pardalotes are tiny foliage foragers that breed in small burrows or tree hollows. The Race punctatus is 8-9.5 cm in size. The male bird has white spots; the female, yellow.

I hope you have enjoyed the photographs I have chosen. I have published each one under the month I took the photo. Many of these birds will be found in my garden all year round.

Please Note: All photographs appearing on my blog were taken by me. They are copyrighted and all rights are reserved. If you would like to purchase a print please contact me by leaving a comment below with your order and contact details. I will then get back to you.

 

 

2016 -Coming to an End

2016 is fast coming to an end. I thought it might be interesting to share with you some photographs I snapped over the course of the year.

There is no rhyme or reason to these images, they are more a pictorial diary of my year.

City Skyline

No1 – The city skyline of Melbourne.

During the school holidays I was called upon to look after two of my grandchildren. I snapped this shot from the waterfront at Williamstown, looking across Hobson”s Bay, while we were talking an evening walk.

Murray Street Bridge

No2 – Barongarook Creek Bridge.

I had seen a 19th century postcard taken from almost the same spot I stood to take this photograph. It was my intention to attempt emulating his work.

The postcard photographer would have been standing in the middle of what is now the Princes Highway. There were two reasons I chose to stand on the footpath to take my shot. The first is the busyness of the highway (the main carriageway in and out of Colac) and the tree to the left of the bridge would have blocked out the old Post Office and the old Shire Hall.

Lake Bullen Merri

No3 – Lake Bullen Merri.

This lake is near Camperdown, a small town near where I live. Though reasonably close to my home, I had not visited the area for sometime.

Sunrise Memorial Square

No4 – Memorial Square.

This Memorial is situated on the main street of Colac, near where I live.

Otway Range

No5 – Otway Ranges

The seaside town of Apollo Bay sits at the foot of the range of mountains simply known as the Otways. Here the houses seemed to be dwarfed by the mountains behind them.

Lake Colac

Lake Colac

Lake Colac

Lake Colac

No6,7,8,9 – Lake Colac.

By the autumn of 2016 the lake had almost dried up. No decent rain had fallen for a couple of years and it seemed that Lake Colac would dry up completely for only the second or third time since European occupation.

Lake Colac

No10 – Lake Colac.

However winter and spring gave us some of our wettest months for a long time. And, though far from being full, it, at least, looks like a lake again.

Prince of Wales Hotel

No11 – The old Prince of Wales Inn.

The bridge in the foreground of this photograph was washed away by rushing water after a deluge that lasted all one night and most of the next day.

Storm Front

No12 – Storm Front.

I took this photograph from my front verandah. Just minutes after I clicked the shutter, the heavens opened up and I watched nature at her most fierce. I spent the next few hours in darkness as the electricity failed.

Please Note: All photographs appearing on my blog were taken by me. They are copyrighted and all rights are reserved. If you would like to purchase a print please contact me by leaving a comment below with your order and contact details. I will then get back to you.

 

 

Sunset at Lake Colac

Lake Colac, situated in the south-west districts of Victoria, Australia, has a surface area of 2,778 hectares, with a circumference of 33 kilometres. It is a shallow lake with an average depth of about 2.5 metres. In 2009, the lake completely dried up for the first time in 173 years. With below average rain during the winter, and very low water levels, the lake is under threat as forecasts tell us we are about to begin a sustained dry period. Scientists have warned us we are about to experience a severe El Nino.

Bird Reserve, Lake Colac, Victoria, Australia

Bird Reserve, Lake Colac, Victoria, Australia

The Gulidjan clan of Indigenous Australians have called home the area around Lake Colac for tens of thousands of year.

Lake Colac, Victoria, Australia

Rotunda situated on the southern bank of Lake Colac, Victoria, Australia

Sunset is a good time to visit the lake. It is easy to see why the Gulidjan people have a spiritual connection to Lake Colac.

Sunset at Lake Colac, Victoria, Australia

Sunset at Lake Colac, Victoria, Australia

Please Note: All photographs appearing on my blog were taken by me. They are copyrighted and all rights are reserved. If you would like to purchase a print please contact me by leaving a comment below with your order and contact details. I will then get back to you.

The First of Spring

Spring has arrived in Australia and all the signs are there:

The Welcome Swallows (Hirundo neoxena) are swooping around my house, Dragonflies are seen in the garden, and of course the first Butterfly is fluttering around the spring flowers.

Australian Painted Ladies (Vanessa kershawi) are one of the first butterflies to emerge in spring. Their flight season ranges from August to May.

My first sighting of an Australian Painted Lady this spring.

My first sighting of an Australian Painted Lady this spring.

Please Note: All photographs appearing on my blog were taken by me. They are copyrighted and all rights are reserved. If you would like to purchase a print please contact me by leaving a comment below with your order and contact details. I will then get back to you.

Little Aire Falls

On Saturday I returned to the Great Otway National Park to visit another waterfall – the Little Aire Falls. With such a wet spring this year all the falls are looking very spectacular. It is my first visit to these falls and I must admit I was very impressed.

Little Aire Falls

Little Aire Falls

Little Aire Falls, Otway National Park, Victoria, Australia

The bottom section of the falls

Please Note: All photographs appearing on my blog were taken by me. They are copyrighted and all rights are reserved. If you would like to purchase a print please contact me by leaving a comment below with your order and contact details. I will then get back to you.

Outside my Back Door #2

In keeping with the theme from yesterday’s post, the following images are of a pair of Superb Fairy-wrens (Malurus cyaneus) which visit a small bush outside my kitchen window every day. There, when they aren’t eating insects, they cozy up to each other and go through the courting process. The male, not yet in his full breeding colours, is starting to change colour. Soon his head will be a brilliant blue colour.

Closeness - enjoying the sun together on a cool Spring morning.

Closeness – enjoying the sun together on a cool Spring morning.

Over the past few weeks I have taken many photographs of these birds. I feel so honoured and privileged that they have allowed me the opportunity.

Something for the nest perhaps?

Something for the nest perhaps?

Please Note: All photographs appearing on my blog were taken by me. They are copyrighted and all rights are reserved. If you would like to purchase a print please contact me by leaving a comment below with your order and contact details. I will then get back to you.