Sunday, June 25, 2017

The Return

An aptly named title!!  It is March since I posted to my blog and so much has or has not happened since then. I'm not sure why I have neglected my blog. Maybe the cold!!  We have had a very cold dry autumn and winter this year and sitting at the computer has been a chilly operation.

We have had a new slow combustion fireplace installed and that has made a difference to the temperature in the living rooms, though I am not sure that we have saved on wood as promised by the salesman. Maybe because Don still builds the fire up as if it was still an open fireplace.

We have also repainted the three main rooms in the house - similar colors, but fresh and clean with sparkling white woodwork.The last time they were painted was in 2000, so we were due for a  new paint job. 

The very large tree that came down in the storm in January has finally been removed by the insurance company - after 5 months of havoc in the garden. The tree is gone along with two others that had been weakened by the fallen tree, but what a mess the tree loppers have left with their large machinery. The assessor came out on Friday and now begins the probably lengthy process of getting the insurance company to foot the bill to put the area back to rights. Hopefully not another 5 months because as soon as we get the winter rains, the area is going to be a disaster area.

It has left us with enough wood for the next few years and a mountain of mulch for the garden.

More later. This has caught us up a bit, dear readers - if there are any of you left - which I doubt.

Liz Needle

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Wild Bird Wednesday

A visit to a local wetlands this week gave me a chance to snap some of the water birds. To my surprise I also saw a new honeyeater, but the little devil played funny games with me and would not stay still long enough for me to identify it, let alone get a picture in focus. Next time maybe.

Laratinga Wetlands  at Mount Barker in South Australia is a great spot to see birds, especially water birds, or just to walk and enjoy the scenery. Easy walking paths also cater for wheelchairs or prams so the area is very family friendly.

There are a number of the more common water bird species and they are quite used to people walking around, so there are many photo and observation opportunities. This first white ibis pair I spotted in the front paddock at home on my way out.

A pair of Spur-winged Plover. This is a sub species of the Masked Lapwing. Both subspecies interbreed so that many of them share characteristics of both breeds. The plover has a black neck band and smaller wattles.

A purple Swamphen.

Another White Ibis.

A Dusky Moorhen in non-breeding plumage.

And to my delight  on my way home, I spotted this black swan with two youngsters on a large dam.

All in all a pleasant hour snapping.

Liz Needle  -  linking with "Wild Bird Wednesday" and "Outdoor Wednesday".

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Colour in the Garden

With the coming of Autumn, the garden is looking a little tired, but there are still some spots of beautiful summer colour.  Before long the trees will show their autumn colour and then we will be into winter. So, let us enjoy these vibrant colours for as long as we can.

Liz Needle  -  linking with "Our World Tuesday".

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Discovering Adelaide 4 - The Rundle Mall

Rundle Mall, originally Rundle Street is the main retail shopping strip in Adelaide City Centre. I remember it as a child as a busy, bustling street with tramlines down the centre and buses, including double decker buses.

The picture on the left was taken in 1938,  some 40 years before the street became a pedestrian mall.  Rundle Street was named in 1837 after John Rundle a member of the British  House of Commons and the original director of the South Australia Company which planned and set up South Australia as a new colony in Australia -  a colony of free settlers, not convicts.

Rundle mall is home to some 1000 retail businesses and services, including all the major retail shopping complexes and smaller chains and boutiques. There are also numerous arcades and plazas housing smaller retail shops.

Back before the Mall was created in 1976, a favourite landmark and meeting spot was the  Beehive Corner on the corner of Rundle Street and King William Street.

On the opposite corner was Lawrence's tobacco shop and just a little way down was a milkbar known to every teenager and young adult in Adelaide. Sigalas's made hot dogs, hamburgers, milkshakes, sodas, nut sundaes and the most amazing Banana Splits. It was Adelaide's first American style milk bar and it took  us by storm.

The sculpture "The Spheres" by Bert Flugelman (affectionately known as The Malls Balls) is now the favourite landmark and meeting place. It is also a great place for reflection photography.

Probably the most beloved sculptures are the 4 bronze pigs - Horatio, Truffles, Augusta and Oliver. Few can resist patting the pigs as they walk past and children just have to sit on them . When  it was mooted a few years ago to move the pigs from the Mall, there was an enormous outcry - the pigs stayed!!

Rundle Mall is a favourite place for buskers and there are always some there - all ages, talents, sizes.

Dotted along the strip are small outdoor cafes where old friends can meet up for a coffee.

And overlooking these small concerns are the large department stores, some of which have been there in one form or another for a hundred years.

I really love Rundle Mall  -  it has great shopping, restaurants, street art, music, pop up eateries and best of all it doesn't get as crowded as the big regional shopping centres. It is my go to place for Christmas shopping. Visit Adelaide - visit the mall.

Liz Needle  -  linking with "Our World Tuesday".

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Mellow Yellows

I love the simplicity of yellow or white daisies - surely one of the best loved of the flowers. They take me back to my childhood when we would make daisy chains with the 'dandelions' or play "Loves me, Loves me not" with the petals.

Whether they be plain yellow - these are actually weeds

or mauve and yellow

or the classic white and yellow -  double or single

There is something about a daisy that tugs at my heart strings.

Liz Needle  -  linking with "Monday Mellow Yellows"  and   "Macro Monday".

Sunday, February 05, 2017

Country Reflections

  Our still summer days have produced very clear reflections in the local dams. Usually we have blue skies as well, but this summer has been very mild and often overcast and wet. These were taken in early summer after a very wet spring.

Liz Needle  -  linking  with "Weekend Reflections".

Stunning Skies Wednesday evening Adelaide was blessed with a stunning sunset which brought out the cameras all over the state, especially along the beaches. I think our Hills sunsets are just as special on nights like this one.

Liz Needle  -  linking with "Skywatch Friday".

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

White is not White

After a very wet spring and summer our front and side paddocks are still very wet and muddy, made even worse by the neighbours cattle that we agist. The water birds however, love it, especially a trio of Australian White Ibis who have moved in.

I have trouble calling them 'white' as they are permanently muddy off white from the mud.  I don't find them particularly attractive birds and the noise they make is quite ugly. The dogs hate them and as soon as they (the ibis) take flight from one dam down to the other, honking and screeching, the dogs race the length of the paddock, looking up at the ibis and barking fit to kill. The noise is atrocious.

Here is one of our trio resting in a tree near the dam. Note the "white" feathers!!!  The straw like feathers hanging from the neck indicate that the ibis is breeding, which may also account for the scruffy condition it is in.

Here is a shot I took at the Botanic Gardens where there are green lawns for them to roam on. These are really "white"and look in better condition than the one above - probably better fed by visitors to the Gardens.

These look much more attractive than our friends.

Similar though not related are these Spoonbills taken at a local wetlands. The black-billed birds are Royal Spoonbills while the others are Yellow-billed Spoonbills.

Liz Needle  -  linking with "Wild Bird Wednesday".