Friday, October 2, 2015

More Flame

Just when we thought this year's normal two 'flushes' of the beautiful Flame of the Forest vine had finished we're amazed to see yet another flush.  We're not quite sure where it originated as googling various sources name New Guinea, the Philippines and India.  As it is in the trees where guests stop their cars when they arrive there are many oohs and aahs and lots of photos being taken!

Sunday, September 6, 2015


"Der spring is sprung, der grass is ris, I wonder where dem birdies is?  Der little birds is on der wing - ain't that absurd?  Der little wings is on der bird!!!"  One of my favourite old jokes, sorry!  But so true here in Daintree in springtime where the morning chorus is sounding louder and louder and the trees are alive with birds.  This little female Olive-backed Sunbird is patiently sitting in her nest near our kitchen and we really hope all goes well.  They so often fall prey to other birds, like the Black Butcherbird, or the eggs don't hatch or the chicks die of a virus.  Nature can be cruel.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Spectacled Monarch

Our blog has been quiet for a while as we're in the middle of a very busy visitor-season.  But by coincidence all our guests left yesterday and we finished cleaning all the bungalows so this morning I had some spare time, before next guests arrive this afternoon, to slip out for a walk along our walking-trail with the camera and just spotted this little Spectacled Monarch in the foliage.  They move so fast so it was a quick shot!

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Self-pruning trees

A common sound in the tropical north is the noise of huge branches and sometimes whole trees crashing to the ground.  Age and many years of heavy rainfall take their toll.  Sadly one of our favourite blossoming trees, a beautiful Hawaiian Peach next to the house and right outside our bedroom, has started to fall apart.  You can see the 'bending' branch on the right and the crack in the middle is widening daily so the left branch is bound to go.  Fortunately, last year we removed some branches which were overhanging the roof so when the inevitable happens we should be quite safe.  But if it happens in the middle of the night we're in for a rude awakening!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Why our blog has been quiet!

This year we took our holiday later than normal as we really didn't want to go to Europe in February!  So we've been away for a month, got back thoroughly jet-lagged and had to hit the ground running 2 weeks ago.  Not only almost full-house ever since (July, Aug and Sept are our busiest months) but finishing off kitchen renovations and, as of this morning, preps for tiling the kitchen, lounge, loo, laundry and verandah have started.  Was to have been done while we were away but didn't happen so it's going to be fun juggling breakfast preps, laundry and looking after our guests for a few days!

This is the scene now - the horrible old white tiles (I've been grizzling about them for 18 years!) have been painted with primer and the lovely new ones go down tomorrow.  The kitchen renovation is almost complete - just the splashback to be covered with the new tiles.  Can't wait for it all to be finished!

Monday, May 11, 2015


Continuing the story of our Olive-backed Sunbirds and their nest outside our kitchen, well Mum has now laid her eggs and is spending lots of time in the nest but this afternoon is the first time I've been able to quietly open the screen-door and creep out with the camera without her flying off.  It's amazing how quickly they get used to having people around.  And here she was a few minutes ago:-

Saturday, April 25, 2015


We love our Olive-backed, sometimes called Yellow-bellied, Sunbirds and always leave bits of string and rope hanging around as they like to build their amazing suspended nests from them.  A few weeks ago a little bird started building just outside the kitchen window but then disappeared and we feared she may have been the victim of a deadly Black Butcherbird, then happily this morning she came back and there is now some furious nest-building going on!  Here she was a few minutes ago:-

On the other side of the house, opposite our bedroom window, another nest is under construction and we love lying in bed listening to the morning news bulletin and watching the nest-builder.  This time she has used a bit of vine hanging from an old tree.  It's always the female who builds, supervised by hubby who has a shiny blue-black 'bib'.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Yellow Passionfruit

On my way round our walking trail this afternoon I found the path partly-blocked by vines and was about to cut them back when I spotted quite a few yellow passionfruit - we'd been wondering what all the dozens of noisy Sulphur-crested Cockatoos were into.  Unfortunately they attack them when they're still green and unripe on the vine, often taking a single bite to get to the seeds ... and the fruit has to stay on the vine to ripen!  And they are such a lovely fruit, not as acid and sharp as the purple varieties.