Look who is back in town

A raucous bunch have been hanging around my local park. This is a group I’m always pleased to see though. I knew they had arrived from the overhead screeching that shattered the peaceful afternoon. The Galahs were back in town.

I’ve written about these beautiful funny birds before. You can read more about them here:


galah closeup

Hello my handsome

galah 1

I’ll scratch your back if you’ll scratch mine.

2014-02-16 16.08.38

Flying free

galah 2

It’s time to take a bow.


Happy Australia Day!

Happy Australia Day to all! This year, take a leaf out of the Little Corella’s (Cacatua sanguinea) book; sit up and take notice of your surroundings. Hang around with friends, walk and drink in nature, chat and swap stories or simply enjoy your own space, eat well and give yourself time to dream.

2013-04-17 14.59.40

Sit up and take notice

2013-04-17 15.01.38

Hang around with friends

2013-04-17 15.04.03

Walk and drink in nature and swap stories

2013-04-17 15.01.03

Enjoy your own space, eat well and give yourself time to dream

A festive feel in the garden

In my garden, I don’t have red holly berries and snow in December, but I don’t miss out on a festive feel. Kangaroo paws as tall as me, are a blaze of red above strappy green leaves. The shy Little Wattlebird comes to visit too, dipping his beak into the flowers. As quick as a flash, he flies away.

2013-12-08 18.24.26 2013-12-08 18.24.31 2013-12-08 18.24.38

Three black ravens and a pink cockatoo

Does it portend anything when three black ravens fly over your head? I sincerely hope not because it happened to me today. Please don’t write in to tell me it’s a sign of bad luck as, I’m going to think of it as an opportunity to enjoy their glossy black feathers. Perhaps I have been thinking about Halloween projects for my classes too much.

My last three posts have featured the colour black, so here is a blast of colour to change things up. I’m hoping to do a series of Australian bird paintings, here is the first one. It features a Major Mitchell’s Cockatoo. It is the only Australian Cockatoo that is salmon pink below and white on top. It also has a sneaky crest that appears to be white but has bands of gold and red when unfurled. It’s larger than one of my other favourites, the Galah but not as big as the Sulphur crested Cockatoo or Cockie as we like to call them in Australia. I hope you noticed that I also snuck one of my other favourite things in, the doily.

Super moon and the possum

We waited with great excitement to see the Super moon rise in the east of our backyard. I was expecting something more spectacular, it was certainly bright, but not as large as I was hoping for. However as I stood outside in 1.5 degrees Celsius air, very chilly I must say, I managed to snap a photograph of someone I’ve been trying to get for a long time. Mr or Mrs Brush-tail possum. This very aptly named possum is about the size of a cat and makes all sorts of scary noises such as grunting and gargling, it lives off leaves, flowers, fruits, seeds, bird’s eggs and young birds. They particularly like the apple tree leaves and drive Ruby crazy as she patrols the garden.

They are not my favourite possums as they tend to break my plants and thump up and down on the roof all night. I prefer the smaller vegetarian Ring-tail possum. Still, it’s nice to see them as they are one of the few native animals that successfully share suburbia with us.

Sometimes they even like to move in to people’s houses. One summer night I could hear someone breaking in to our bedroom through the half opened window. I snapped on the light in terror and flung back the blind to see a possum half in and half out. My husband manfully held the blind against the window to keep the possum there, whilst I ran for rubber washing up gloves and a bucket to catch it in, which were not appreciated by my husband as suitable catching tools. Luckily the possum, removed himself and we closed the window; firmly.

winter super moon

The super moon rises in the east of our garden


Mr or Mrs Brush-tail possum peeping out from the safety of the apple tree


The little Ring-tail possum is about half the size of a cat

By the light of the moon

When I’m home winding down from the day, feeling a little sleepy, other creatures are only beginning their night in the garden. Brush tailed  possums leap from trees to roof, thumping, crashing, making unearthly growls and hisses as they conduct courtships and neighbourly disputes. They eat my apples and parsley and break branches from the trees. Little Ringtail possums rustle through the trees, using their white-tipped tail as a fifth limb. They peer down at Ruby from the safety of the tree tops. Bats squeak, visiting the apple tree in summer, I can hear and smell them, but they evade my attempts to capture them on film. I also have not managed to photograph the Drop bear, that many Australians like to tease tourists about when in the bush. The beautiful silver Tawny Frogmouth sits on the basketball backboard and surveys his night-time kingdom.  All bathed in the light of the moon.

Ringtail possum

Ringtail possum

The Ringtail possum uses its tail as a fifth limb

Ringtail possum rustling through the leaves

Tawny Frogmouth

He surveys his nocturnal kingdom

By the light of the moon

Moon light