THE HOLIDAYS ARE OVER

at work 1

The holidays are over and it’s back to work dreaming, plotting and planning and writing.

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SWOOPING DOWN TO GET A DRINK

drinking bat

Photo by Ofer Levy

To drink, flying-foxes swoop down and dip their belly in the water. They then fly back to a tree and lick the water from their belly fur. I’m just excited and fascinated by the diversity of Australian wildlife.

We know they’re not really foxes but apparently when first discovered by Europeans it was thought their faces looked like the face of a fox and this is confusing because they are no relation to foxes at all.

We at Pipeline Calendars are pleased to have the opportunity to help raise funds for the research and conservation of Australasian bats. We decided to give a helping hand by producing a calendar which traces the year in the life of a Grey-headed flying-fox. It’s full of great information, fantastic photographs, a giant poster and fun things for the kids to do.

If you would like to help our cause click on over to the Pipeline web site and buy your copy of the 2016 Grey-headed flying-fox calendar. $5 from every sale goes to research.

A few of the things we learnt about flying foxes.

  • they are not foxes.
  • a bat is a flying mammal, not a bird.
  • they do not use sound, or, echolocation to find their way around.
  • they have excellent eyesight like ours in daylight they see better than we do at night.
  • they do not suck blood.

OH MAN WHAT’S HAPPENING HOUSEPLANTS HAVE RIGHTS TOO

full scale flower power

I woke up this morning to see these “flower power” guys protesting out on my deck. One of them was yelling “we know where you live” Apparently they didn’t like my last blog about their new-found friend Larry.

I didn’t know weeds had access to the internet, must be those little webs hidden in among their leaves. I’m going to find their spokesleafperson and give him a spray.

Cowards. They’ve sprinted off.

I’m giving in. It’s back to eating meat with chips

ring ring ring.

It’s my phone

“who’s that?” I ask.

“The Potato Union.”

” How did you get my number?”

“We heard it on the vine.”

“Are you with these guys?”

“No we’re a different branch.”

“Ok I’ll forget the chips. I’ll have a Vegemite sandwich instead.”

LARRY MY LETTUCE IS NOT AS DUMB AS I THINK HE IS

Larry

I’ve known Larry since he was a seedling. I’ve nurtured him like he was one of the family and although it’s true that I always planned to eat him that doesn’t excuse his current behaviour.

reading bench

With the onset of the warm weather Larry began to grow quickly and a week or so ago I inadvertently left a bottle of salad dressing on the table. Well by the next day his size had rapidly increased and he had befriended these two flower buddies.

the threeflowers

The three of them are as thick as a hedge and have taken over my reading bench. There’s hardly any room for me to rest my coffee when enjoying a book and I can feel them collectively waving their leafage at me. I feel intimidated, bullied and generally apprehensive.

When I sit in the lounge room enjoying a bit of television I know they are staring at me. As a result I’ve been forced to lock the balcony door and at night I leave the deck light on just to be safe.

He pretends he’s a flower and I reckon he probably thinks he’ll escape the salad bowl if he hangs around with these guys. I don’t get fooled that easy. I can tell green from blue and I know his frilly ruffled leaves are meant for munching.

Trying to see his side of the argument I went to the ultimate authority, yes Wikipedia, and as it turns out Larry the Lettuce isn’t as dumb as I thought he was. Apparently Larry the Lettuce is an annual plant of the daisy family. Yes a DAISY!!!

He’s doing my head in. Is he a flower or is he a meal?

GREY-HEADED FLYING-FOX GIVING BIRTH

GHFF.October.200mm 2

This is such a fantastic photo taken by Nick Edards. Pregnant females congregate in maternity camps a couple of weeks before giving birth around October and November after a six-month gestation period.

At the top of the picture you can see the baby flying-fox being born. Can you see its eyes are wide open?

GHFF.December 2

For the first few weeks of life females carry their young while they forage . In this photo taken by Ofer Levy you can see the baby flying-fox clinging onto its mother as she heads off searching for food.

Pipeline Calendars is giving a helping hand by producing a calendar which traces the year in the life of a Grey-headed flying-fox. It’s full of great information, fantastic photographs, a giant poster and fun things for the kids to do.

If you would like to help the cause click on over to the Pipeline web site and buy your copy of the 2016 Grey-headed flying-fox calendar. $5 from every sale goes to research.

 

 

 

 

 

 

SEE THAT MOON, LOOKS LIKE GOOD POTATO WEATHER.

sun set lets the moon arrive

The sun disappears so we can see the moon. The foxes are silent.

Crookwell Moon

Paddock Princesses spin their milk-white alpaca wool into a giant rounded orb that floats silently over the fence and across the field.The rays lick the grasses of the paddock.

The moon has a gentle influence on all that we do but as gentle as it is, it has the power to pull the ocean from coastline to coastline.

photos by Susan Reynolds Crookwell

RUSTY WATERFOWL

rusty warerfowl

As  a person who identifies and studies birds in their natural habitats you can imagine how excited I was when I spotted this Rusty Waterfowl on a farm near Crookwell, NSW.

The Rusty is closely related to the goose. We observe that it has the classic markings being a black rusty neck and head, with the characteristic blue-black crown.

The underparts are blue, with contrasting brown edges on the underwing. The bill, legs and feet are orange.

Unlike most waterfowl this species have strong clawed toes that are only partly webbed.

Any study of waterfowl will find that the Rusty is an early and distinctive offshoot diverging after screamers and before all other ducks, geese and swans. Fossils suggest that the family  spread across the globe during the late Paleogene period.

Apparently they make excellent watchdogs and pond sentinels and rarely move from their territory.