Squeeze Your Lemon

I have a broad range and musical likes. One is the Blues. Recently I listened to a segment on radio national about slide guitar. Apparently it originated in India, was introduced to Hawaii and then was picked up by blues players in the south of the America. That’s strange in itself.

But in my mind, what’s more strange is my buying the song, recorded in 1937, on my lap top from iTunes whilst sitting on my decking having a beer.

What would Blind Boy Fuller think of that?

Check out my “most recent song purchased” link and think of Blind Boy Fuller, the life he led and the music he created whilst experiencing hardship we could not imagine.

Just Imagine

It’s not unusual for me to stare into the distance and imagine what Australia looked like two hundred years ago.

The photograph below is of a creek at Arthurs Seat. This creek is relatively natural with a Eucalypt having recently fallen across the channel. Imagine the amount of branches and trees that would fall every year in a natural system two hundred years ago.

Just imagine the three dimensional complexity of the creeks. Decades, if not a hundred years or more of trees and branches falling to the ground, into and over creeks. The diversity of habitats would have been spectacular.



On a more serious note

It’s not often I get extra heavy but . . . . a song I recently downloaded from iTunes started me thinking.

Christmas may work for children, the retail sector and some christians but it’s not stopping the problem of greed, discrimination and global conflict, to mention just a few of the world’s problems.

And whilst I’m not generally a Guy Sebastian fan, I like his song: Get Along.

Why doesn’t our planet have a, GET ALONG day?

The beach can be a lonely place to die

There has been much said and posted on the social media regarding the recent Short-tailed Shearwater Wreck.  Allow me to approach the subject with an additional species.

Judy and I recently spent a week or so at our unit in Bryon Bay. Something I noted at Byron were the dead Shearwaters on the beach. I also saw this at Rye before we left for our holiday. Whilst I didn’t take a photograph of the dead Shearwaters at Byron, I did photograph the light house.




We returned to Rye and whilst on the beach, I once again saw many dead Shearwaters and a dead Shy Albatross. It died from fishing line wrapped around it’s legs.





Then, whilst looking for a Hooded Plover nest, I found another dead Shy Albatross in the dunes and it had a band on one of it’s legs.




As I am someone who is registered with the Australian Bird and Bat Banding Scheme, (ABBBS) I managed to remove the band and sent the number to the ABBBS.

The result was:


Band Number: 132-07431 was recovered on 17/11/2013


Latitude: 38deg 25min 41sec S;  Longitude: 144deg 50min 10sec E;


The band that you found was placed on a(n): Shy Albatross

or scientific name: Thalassarche cauta

on: 04/10/2001


Latitude: 40deg 23min 0sec S; Longitude: 144deg 39min 0sec E;

The bird  was age code: 20TH YR OR OLDER, sex code: UNKNOWN

It was banded by: DR RP GALES

The time between banding and recovery is 12 years 1 months 13 days. The bird had moved a distance of: 219 km with a bearing of 4 degrees.



Seabirds are remarkable creatures. They live almost all their waking hours on the worlds oceans and travel thousands of kilometres each year of their long lives. One can only hope the recent Shearwater Wreck and deaths of Albatross is nothing to unusual.

The beach is a lonely place to die.


The first time I saw Zebra Finch

The first time I saw Zebra Finch was at Coober Pedy. I cannot remember the year but it was around the mid 1980’s.

More recently, I saw them almost daily when traveling through central Australia with two friends, Mark and Rob. Nearly every time we stepped out of the car there were Zebra Finch zitting about.

Zebra Finch are remarkably attuned to Australia and it fluctuating climate. Their numbers can increase quickly after a period of rain. But increasing numbers is not like the Dow Jones Industrial Average. It means finding a mate, making a nest, eating enough to produce eggs and then feeding chicks. And in the centre of our great brown land. Oh,  and no child minding allowance or government benefits.

But I digress.

For a twitcher, some birds are memorable for the difficulty in finding them or their speed in the undergrowth. For me, the Zebra Finch is a survivor and we could all learn from their strategy.

All Australians should know the story of the Zebra Finch. #JustSaying


Zebra Finch male

Photograph from BirdLife Australia of which I am a member.


September at the Terrick Terrick National Park

Once again I visited the Terrick Terrick National Park recently to help with a research project involving grassland bird species. However, there is more to these grasslands than birds. Much more.


The Red Swainsonia (Swainsonia playiotropis) is a rare native pea species found in these grasslands.


Another Pea species, Broughton Pea, (Swainsonia procumbens).

Another rare species that I haven’t seen before:


Annual Buttons (Leptorhynchos scabrous).


The Annual Buttons with a keen conservationist in the background.


Mark Antos is also taking photographs of the Annual Buttons.

 Terricks Spotlighting for birds Sept 13 4

 Returning to the ute without a grassland bird. A bird in the hand is worth more than two in the Terrick Terrick grasslands.

Visit to Greens Bush

A couple of weekends ago, I visited Greens Bush with a friend (Marek).

It was supposed to be a morning of birding but in a place like Greens Bush, it often amounts to more.


Xanthorrhoea has had a moss covered log fall on it.




A strange moss, fungi, lichen thing growing on the ground.




Some small spider, mite critters that were bright red. We found them on the track. Lucky for them they weren’t squashed.



On the way back to the car park we walked along the boundary of the reserve where it borders a market garden.

If you look carefully you may notice a slight difference between the Market garden and the reserve.

Fairies in my Garden

I have Fairies in my Garden. They are are Pink Fairies

They are a common and slender little native orchid (Caladenia latifolia) that are found in many regions around Australia

As many of you will know, Judy and I have an indigenous garden and one of the plants I adore are our Pink Fairies. Every year I look forward to our Pink Fairies putting up their single leaf around June-July and shortly after a pink flower.

But this year a remarkable thing has occurred. A Pink Fairy has appeared in a pot plant on our decking.

The Pot Plant contains a Ficus and below is a photograph of the Pot Plant.

Ficus with Caladenia latifolia in pot


The Pink Fairy in the pot looks like this.

Close of Caladenia latifolia in Ficus pot

In wild they currently look like this.

Caladenia latifolia 2013 before flowering

Our Pink Fairies will be flowering soon. I hope the Pink Fairy in the Pot Plant flowers.