Sunday, September 14, 2014

An Answer: Cute and Sad

Well there were a number of guesses for this  week’s WIIW.

Some were way off, some pretty close and one basically right on the money.

 Susan guessed: “Hmmm, a close-up of some flowering vines growing on a rock?”

Sorry Susan that is way off beam.

 Marcy guessed: “I was going to say a close up of some animal's skin...?”

It is a close up of an animal’s skin. I can award that 75%.

 Lisa Guessed: “I thought animal hide but the purple is throwing me off.”
Well hide probably earns 75% too. 

Linda Guessed, “My first thought was the skin of some animal. Hmm. Not sure what kind, though. Some sort of reptile? “

It is an animal and it is skin, but the reptile guess loses you points so 50%

Kristen M (a zoologist) guessed “It looks like maybe an animal nose?”

I guess I have to pay that guess 100%. It is indeed a nose.
So what is the critter in question?

Recently we have had some work done on our track out to civilization. Along the edges where the soil has been disturbed the Blue-Gums are doing what they do best, taking over.

In many spots the disturbed ground is being covered by seedlings already competing to race for the sky.
Blue-gums are one of the favoured foods of a much loved Oz icon.

One night coming home just after dark I spotted this guy to one side taking advantage of the tender new growth.
Perhaps it was dazzled by my car headlights, but whatever the reason it let me get out and get really close. 
A less charitable idea is that it didn't quite understand what was happening. Average Oz marsupials are intellectual midgets. Many deal with a low energy environment by having very small brains (brains are energy hungry ours account for about 20% of our calorie use).
The bulk of Oz has poor soils and dry conditions, meaning little plant food available to form the basis of  local food-chains. Koalas are almost literally "empty-headed" when compared to their closet living relative the wombats. 

Of course where Deb and I live is unusual being a rainforest area.

I had a Deb’s pocket camera with me so I had to use the flash (it was really dark in the forest) hence the odd appearance of the eyes.
Despite the flash going off in its eyes it continued eating, letting me get off a few more shots
Then it had enough, turned 
and shot up a nearby tree.
A real treat.

Usually you never see much of koalas in the bush. At best they are usually a furry lump right up near the top of a 200 foot high tree.

Now to the sad part of the post.
Although in areas like where we live koala populations are undisturbed and strong. In much of Oz, particularly South East Queensland, the spread of suburbia and farming has destroyed much koala habitat.
Some conservationists argue koalas are becoming endangered. A sad truth is around 4,000 are killed each year from being hit by cars or being attacked by people’s pet dogs.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Old Routines?

Well this makes two posts in two days.

I am keeping this short because my writing is calling (I am nearing the end of a revision of my current novel Veil of Iron).

But before I move on, a quick thank you to those of you who commented welcoming me back.

Now for the first time in months a "What is it Wednesday".

What on earth do you think this might be?
(I am not sure how hard this one is my only test subject got it half right)

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Long time no see

Well, it has been around two months since my last post.

I never wanted to abandon the blog so here I go again.

Tonight is a "Super Moon", I didn't have a tripod with me so unfortunately this isn't perfect, but I just had to try.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Well it is a bit more than a week since I last posted, but at least it hasn't been months this time.

My brother Ian has come home from England for his first visit in 18 years, so I have been rather busy catching up.

One thing we have been doing is getting out in the bush, something he has missed.

 Ian and I were out and about soon after dawn yesterday. Winter has finally really bitten down this way so it was cold and frosty.

One of the things I pointed my camera at was this grass in an attempt to catch the icy feel.

I also caught some extreme close-ups of the frost crystals coating the grass.

And even closer

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Trying again

Well it is once again weeks since I last posted.

Life has been hectic since then.
I was sick (with the cold/flu/bronchitis whatever it was) for nearly four weeks in total.

Then my mum had to go back into hospital for a few days (thank goodness for the universal health care we  have in Oz).

Since she has been out Deb and I have been spending a lot of time helping mum and Stan (mum's husband) with basic chores like meals etc.

On the plus side, my mental health continues to improve. My depression/anxiety is almost under control. Apart from the occasional moment (usually quickly controlled with my CBT techniques) I am pretty much well.

Also I am writing again, working on revisions of my second novel Veil of Iron. It is going slowly because life is so busy, but it is going again.

The novel is part of the reason this blog has been on hold. I have been loath to spend my precious writing time anywhere other than on the book.

So where to from here?

Well I am going to try posing here at least once a week (hopefully more often).

Finally I want to share a few piccies I took this evening.

Late this afternoon we had a shower of rain. that soon cleared off.
Then as the sun got close to the horizon our valley began to fill with mist.
It began to be a wonderful display so of course I had to get the camera out.

This is a sample of what I caught

Then as the sun sank lower it created some amazing patterns of light through the Blue Gums on the western side of our paddock.

This final shot as a moment later, but wider to show how deep blue the sky above the mist was getting.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Still here

Given my post of a couple of weeks ago I thought I should find the energy to explain my sudden silence.

In fact my mental health continues to improve, but since mid last week both Deb and I have been struck down by a nasty virus.

I hope to be back on deck over the next few days.

Before I go I have to say something about Lilli.
Lilli the Labrador
A usual family joke has been that she is called Lilli because she is lilly-livered.
Well she seems to have discovered that we have a dingo around (weeks after we first spotted it).
Somehow Lilli has decided she is in fact a guard dog and has taken to patrolling the garden fence and barking at said wild animal.
Something that has been totally out of character before. In the past she has been only too happy to flee dangerous animals - like kittens.
Patrolling the perimeter

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

An answer (and more wildlife)

Well it is Tuesday so I had better get round to answering last week's WIIW.

Linda G. Guessed: "An extreme close-up of a camel? (Hey, a girl can hope!)"
It certainly is camel colour, but as much as I enjoy your camel posts it is a much smaller creature!
Ann said: "A woolly mammoth"
What a creative guess, but it is not elephant sized.
Well this image came from this extreme close up piccie
Still can't see?
Well does this help? Isn't it odd looking?
Here it is, a moth lured out of the rainforest by our lights. As you can see it is excellently camouflaged for hiding in a forest.
It doesn't work quite as well on our fly-screen!