Saturday, 24 February 2018

An advertisement:

Greetings - some of you may know that I run a second (and much neglected) 'wordy' blog as well as my photo-blog.

This is the opening section of a new post:

"There are times when all I remember of my dreams is the colour green.  Neither detail nor narrative survives my awakening, but a colour does.  And even that is not entirely true, for no single colour represents the green of my dreams.  I would not be able to stand in front of the walls of colour swatches, beloved by paint manufacturers and often raided by my daughter, and say, ‘That one.  That’s the green from my dreams’.  It’s not the livid lime green of Ash trees, spring fresh, growing on grey northern limestone.  It’s not the sheened English Racing Green of ivy, inch-by-inch destroying my fence, or smothering a building.  It’s not the smoky blue-green of Gum trees, fire prone and sweating oils in the summer sun.

The dream green feels calm, but not passive.  It’s alive and moving, but so far it’s never been frightening.  Other things do wake me in fright, spiders mainly or loud voices in darkened rooms; but not colours.  The green is neither a distinct memory nor an unspoken wish, but it feels like both.  I think it’s leaflight rather than sunlight.  I think it’s the reflected light of a million woodland walks. Or long summer afternoons, doing nothing in fields busy with crickets.  It’s the ghost of dampened moss, clinging in mist to the dwarf forests, high on Mt. Gower. It might even come from kelp, thrown on to the beach by wind and waves, adding a flavour of brown to the green, and bringing with it a hint of uncertainty."

If you have the time and inclination, I'd love you to pop over and read the rest:  You can click on the "My Other Blog" tab at the top of the page.  Or you can just click here.  Cheers, SM

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Wild Bird Wednesday 291 - Summer Lapwings.

One thing I am trying to do this year photographically is to take more pictures that are not just portraits of birds.

When I was in Devonport, on the north coast of Tasmania, it was a hot day and the everything looked dry and crispy.  As I was looking for a place to stop, I saw this Masked Lapwing (Vanellus miles) in a dry paddock.  The whole scene seemed to present itself as a picture of a hot, dry Australian summer.

As ever, to join in with WBW just click on the blue button below the thumbnails - feel free to share a link to this page on the many and varied forms of social media that we now use every day!

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Around Dove Lake

Dove Lake is a rather special place.  It's a corrie lake that sits below Cradle Mountain in Tasmania.  Corrie lakes - also called known as cwms (pronounced 'cooms') or cirques - are glacial lakes and that triplet of names seems to be beloved of geography teachers.

There is a very popular walk around Dove Lake - its the kind of walk that puts you in the mountains rather then up them.  Having said that, the parts of the walk furthest from the car par were hardly busy.

We were there on what may have been once in a year weather - perfect blue sky and clear light.  To be honest, a part of me wanted just a little cloud to bring some interest to the sky.

The twin peaks of the mountain are called Little Horn and Weindorfers Tower.  The actual summit of Cradle Mountain is behind the highest of these points.  With luck I'll be standing on the summit of Cradle Mountain at the start of December this year.

I think you can see why this place is famous.

It was a remarkable walk in a remarkable place.

More pictures from around the world at Our World Tuesday.  SM

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Wild Bird Wednesday 290 - Black Currawong

The Black Currawong (Strepera fuliginosa) is another species that is endemic to Tasmania.  On first glance you would think that these birds are a form of crow - but in reality they are more closely related to butcher-birds and the Australian Magpie.  It's a large an impressive bird, with a length of about 47cm.

Although it does not show up in these pictures, this individual either had a damaged (or very dirty) right eye.  However, (s)he seems to be doing OK.

These pictures were taken just outside the Cradle Mountain National Park in Tasmania.  This is classic summer, upland territory for this species.

As ever, to join in with WBW just click on the blue button below the thumbnails - feel free to share a link to this page on the many and varied forms of social media that we now use every day!

Only in Australia (and and a small part of New Guinea)

The Short-beaked echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus), generally just called the echidna by most people, can be found over all of Australia and small parts of New Guinea.  Some people from outside of the the Australian region may have been introduced to this animal as a Spiny Anteater.  However, this animal is not closely related to true anteaters, and it has an unusual biology.

The Short-beaked echidna is a type of mammal known as a monotreme - an egg laying mammal.  Probably the most famous other monotreme is the Platypus.  So, the echidna lays eggs which after ten days in a pouch hatches and starts to feed on milk produced by the female.  This gives rise to the joke that monotremes can make their own custard, as they produce both milk and eggs!

We saw a good number of these remarkable creatures in Tasmania, most often just feeding on roadside verges.  This individual seemed to be very settled as we drove past, so we went back for a better look.

You can see the face of the animal here, with its long nose that is used to find and eat ants.  You can also see its classic defence posture - ie dug into the ground with its spines bristling!

What a great animal.

More pictures from around the world at Our World Tuesday.  SM

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Wild Bird Wednesday 289 - Pied Oystercatcher

The beaches near our accommodation in Freycinet were perfect for Pied Oystercatchers (Haematopus longirostris) with a mix of sandy beaches - which are the classic habitat for this species - and rocky platforms, which rich beds of muscles and such like exposed at high tide.

I spent a while with this pair of birds, and while they were a bit flighty on the sand they seemed to settled down on a rock platform.  At that point they seemed to start ignoring me.

One of the things I have found is that birds often seem more calm if there is a stretch of water between you and them - and this was certainly the case here.  It would be reasonable to say I took a lot of pictures of these birds, so it would not surprise me if some more from this little session show up on WBW at some time.

I rather like the first image, as it does not look like most of the other oystercatcher shots I have ever taken.

As ever, to join in with WBW just click on the blue button below the thumbnails - feel free to share a link to this page on the many and varied forms of social media that we now use every day!

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

On the Beach

Freycinet in Tasmania has to be one of my most favourite places.  The combination of Pink Granite rock, blue skies and sea and the orange lichen that grows on the rocks make it really rather colourful. When I went down on to the beach all of these colours were being bathed in late afternoon light.  


More pictures from around the world at Our World Tuesday.  SM