Monday, March 2, 2015


This beautiful weather we've been enjoying (what Wet Season???) has brought out masses of butterflies.  This lovely male Orchard Swallowtail (the female is more colourful) was fluttering alongside our walking-trail yesterday afternoon.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Bridal Veil Fungus

Peter's been mowing the grass and spotted this Bridal Veil Fungus just in time - I tried to remove all the grassy bits but a few have stuck!  We often see amazing fungi during our rainy season, although after all that torrential rain last week we are enjoying beautiful fine sunny weather, while central and southern coastal Queensland, and also the Northern Territory to the west, are both bracing for cyclones.  It's a crazy country - parts of inland Queensland are still in drought.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

A symphony of Frogs

The wet season has well and truly arrived although we have so far escaped the torrential rain a little south of us, but the forecast is for a lot more rain to come.  It's such a relief after what must have been one of the hottest, most humid, energy-sapping Januaries for years - now the temperature is much lower and can even feel quite cool while it's raining.

The dam is gradually filling up and the frogs are going mad!  There is an amazing frog-chorus, 24/7!  I took this little video a couple of years ago but the sound-effects are exactly the same.


Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Breadfruit again

Such a strange season for many of our fruit trees with several which have not produced for years suddenly deciding 'this is our year'!  These are Breadfruit on a huge tree near The Shed.  White firm flesh, very starchy, but sliced thinly and pan-fried in a little oil they make very nice crisps and cut into chunks can be roasted alongside the Sunday roast.  Other trees making a come-back include our one and only Mangosteen, one of our favourite fruits, and one of our several Carambolas (Five-corner, Star-fruit are other names) which hasn't produced for about 10 years.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Sulphur-crested Cockatoo

These guys look like real characters but I'm afraid they're not really our favourite birds as they are VERY partial to all kinds of tropical fruits, especially the ones which have to stay on the trees to ripen.  We're lucky indeed to salvage many Rambutans, Passionfruit, Star-fruit etc etc for ourselves!

I've been trying for ages to take some photos of our many Buff-breasted Paradise Kingfishers - heard a couple calling to each other down the driveway this morning, crept down just in time to see one fly off.  Looked up and spotted Cocky eyeing me!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Another new bird for us

This one had us, and local birding experts, scratching our heads.  We found it, late at night, on the verandah outside the front door and it had obviously flown into a window or the door.  We were just off to bed so I took a couple of very quick (and fuzzy!) photos, meaning to check it out in the morning.  After hours of searching apps, books and the internet we all agree it must be a Spotted Crake - colour of legs, size of tail and bill all indicate this but the plumage seems very dark.  If we'd thought(!) to check under it's tail, white feathers would have confirmed it.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

A Turkey named Fred

An update on our visiting - now seemingly resident! - turkey.  He belonged originally to our Vietnamese neighbours (who are growing passionfruit and very kindly insist on giving us buckets of them - I think we're starting to LOOK like passionfruit), escaped from Lon, moved next door to another neighbour before apparently deciding life was better here as we, unlike the neighbours, don't have chickens to constantly peck him!  I'll post another photo of Fred soon - freedom obviously suits him as it's incredible the amount of condition he's put on in the past few days.  He looked pretty scrawny when we first saw him.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

A new species for our bird list?

When a guest told us yesterday he had seen a turkey on the property we really did wonder if he'd drunk perhaps a little too much festive cheer.  Then this morning I looked out of the office window and this is what I saw - it looks as if someone's Christmas dinner has escaped!  Not being familiar with domestic turkeys we weren't sure at first if it's male or female but a Google search assures us that only males 'gobble' - and this one is certainly very vocal!  He's now enjoying munching through yesterday's thrown-out veggie scraps (also enjoyed by our Bandicoots, Wallabies and assorted other wildlife).