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Tuesday, 25 April 2017

The Blotched Tailed Dragon

We alighted from  the car  the area was beyond  dry, littered with rocks totally devoid of any greenery on the ground .
The trees appeared almost listless , no doubt as a result of the eons of long hot summers like the one just past.
Not a place where you would expect to find any kind of life.
We had only taken a few steps when my friend  caught a movement out of the corner of her eye and there it was a tiny  Earless Dragon possibly a Blotched -tailed earless Dragon. Such a big name for a wee little being.

Friday, 16 December 2016

Words about rain and the bush and things

Monday, 12 December 2016 at 2:58 pm
 It rained all the way from the coast, sometimes heavy. so heavy that all sound was blocked..
 Even the ragged squeak of the wiper blades was lost to the rain sound.
The misty distance was perceived as ever diminishing wavy lines fading into somber infinity. The clouds a droll grey pregnant with long awaited rain .
We stopped. impatient with the lumbering haulage truck. surrounded by a seemingly smoky smouldering fusion of fine water droplets gathered in a vortex, by the truck.
 Here I wandered, in the sodden, silent bush the sound of my foot steps hushed by the drenched soil, soil that only a brief time ago lay dusty, hungry, desperate for relief from the longed for Summer rain.
 It was for me magic !
 A spiders silken web gathered mirrored spheres, while crystals of rain drops, bejeweled the slender twigs of long dead trees.
 Last years Robin's nest masterfully crafted, by no more than a tiny loving beak lay, muddied grey and crushed, soon to be returned back to the earth.
 Sounds I did hear were soft , muffled by the rain, calls by birds I have yet to see and name, their twittering and chirping seemed to carry a tone of joy a sense of relief a belief that life could continue as it had since time began.
 As I wandered I almost trod on a fungi parting the newly softened sod .
 You see nature has no time to waste in her haste to reproduce, for all to soon that scorching, unforgiving sun will reclaim all that she has given. .

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

A BIT OF BUZZ ABOUT A BEE. Lasiglossim (parasphecodes)

The weather is pretty warm at the moment as you would expect for this time of the year on the West Australian Goldfields.
I think the bees and wasps really love this time of the year as I see  so many flitting about doing whatever it is they have on their To Do list for the day.
 But on a day like today when the temp is expected to reach 42 even they feel it, Wasps can often be seen hanging just outside the windows to catch some relief in the cooling breeze from the Air con. And there are dozens of fly's resting down low on leaves where the ground is moist.
Last week, whilst photographing bees in my garden I noticed a new comer unfortunately I only managed to grab 4 shots of it and as yet haven't seen one again.
I posted a pic to FB and wasn't prepared for the resulting interest.
It seems that this the furthest recorded inland sighting of this little creature the gentleman who identified it was very excited and before a bee could buzz, it's pic was posted on Bower Bird and the local paper was looking for me to get a wee bit of info for an article the local paper.
AS yet I have been to busy to learn much about this bee so will post again when I have a bit to say about it.

Sunday, 22 November 2015

MY DAD and the DRAGONFLY


Resting

The Dragonfly's are here again !! A sure sign  that the weather is warming up.
I could spend endless hours with my camera trying to catch the perfect pic of these fast moving creatures and am looking forward to one day getting the perfect shot of one in flight.
While enjoying this pastime a few days ago I was taken back in time to the day in my childhood when I found a Dragonfly with an injured wing .
I was so very upset and took the injured creature to my Dad, I was still young enough to believe that my Dad could right all the wrongs in the world and as it turned out this belief was well founded .
Dad took a match stick and carefully pared the finest slither with his pocket knife, just the right size to fit the broken wing then ever so carefully he applied the tiniest dot of Araldite to the wing and quickly the splint of match was added a few minutes and away the dragonfly flew away to enjoy freedom.
My Father is no longer with us but this is a memory I always love to reflect upon.

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

The Fearsome Mountain Devil

I have waited so very long to see a Mountain Devil!   The very name mountain devil conjures visions of some huge fearsome creature lurking in the deep dark depths of a cave hidden in a lost valley.  But the reality is so far removed and in fact it is a small lizard just 20 cm in length that inhabits the arid inland areas of Australia.
Yesterday my friend and I were traveling along a gravel road when I fortunately saw this little fellow just in the nick of time.  We luckily missed it by a whisker.  Excited and armed with cameras we rushed back to see if it was ok and to take some photos.It must have wondered what on earth was going on.
A view from above displaying both the beautiful pattern and thorns
The poor thing was there, swaying back and forwards as they do, and only proceeding forward with slow jerky movements and then only a short distance at that. When we were satisfied with our photos it was decided that for her own good we should get her off the road and under some sort of cover.  It is best not to handle wild creature's but this was necessary as we were on a well traveled road. As it was I saw a dead goanna and two other lizard victims during our 40 km trip.
I was surprised at just how prickly it was and what a good defence system it is to have.  It is also possible for them to blow themselves up so as to appear larger and in an effort to  dissuade any predator from eating it.
In freeze mode
I thought our prickly friend may be a female as it was so fat.  It is around about this time of the year that a clutch of up to eight eggs are laid.  A tunnel is dug by Mum that is carefully back filled once the eggs are laid .
Ants are the staple diet of this lizard who it is thought lives for up to 20 years.
Profile displaying the mock head
In the photo above you can get a better idea of just how thorny the Mountain Devil is and also you can see the mock head behind the eyes (this one is quite small ). Another method used is when under attack the head is drawn down between the legs and the mock head is instead presented .

P.S. I almost forgot to tell you how this arid land dweller gets a drink !! Dew and rain is collected on it's back and then channeled between the thorns to the mouth. How wonderful is that!?

Saturday, 3 October 2015

The Beauty of the Sun Orchid ( Thelymitra)

A colony of Lemon Scented Sun Orchids
Two of my friends and I were over the moon a few days ago when we were witness to the most beautiful display of Sun Orchids .
WE were fortunate to arrive there at just the right time .One week either way and it wouldn't have been so exceptional.
It is at least an hours drive the best part on a gravel road to see these beauties so you can 't just drop by to check on their progress and to  see what stage they are at, a few warm days and you have missed all the action !
The first ones we saw were The Lemon Scented Sun Orchid and not just one or two but small colonies of them.
I am sure there would be larger displays in area's closer to the coast where the rainfall is better but I think this is pretty spectacular for this arid climate.
Then to our joy we discovered that quite a few had hybridised with the Blue Sun Orchids. Joy !!!


Two colours on the one stem

From my understanding this is a common occurrence between these two orchids.
  I am new to this interest and until a few years I didn't know that there are orchids here and also that they grow on the ground and not in trees.
The Lemon Scented Sun Orchids are found across the lower part of Australia and take their name from the fact that they open on sunny warm days.


The shades of colour we saw on that day were just beautiful ranging from almost white to lemon, lilac to blue, apricot and deep coral 
Below I have added just a few of the orchids and the awesome range of the pastel colour they displayed





Monday, 21 September 2015

A Glimpse of Life on a Salt lake

Dawn arrives on the slumbering lake

A few days ago I fortunate to go camping in a beautiful spot on our Great Western Woodlands.
 Looking east was this beautiful salt lake and to the west an awesome backdrop of a Granite dome covered with boulders of all shapes and sizes.
This is  home to abundant flora and fauna but as you can see by my photo above, this wonder is about to come to and end those sticks marring the beauty of my photo have been placed all across the lake by a mining company and soon this will be part of a ugly mine.
Now you may think that this harsh salt lake would be void of life and useless but I was only able to spend a short time on the lake and here are a few of the creatures I found.
I would love to spend a day or more to see just what might be there.

I think this beauty is a Jewell beetle it is 6cm or almost 2 1/2inchs long
This Tiger Beetle is building a nest in the wet salty lake

A small Wolf Spider

This spider is either very well fed  or soon she will hear the sound of hundreds of spiderling's toes times 8