We had a beautiful sunny day here today, warm and almost cloudless.

I went up to the top of the driveway in the late afternoon putting out the recycling and took some photos.

When the sun went down the still cloudless sky was a beautiful, deep orange colour that the camera could not do justice to.

The lambs are coming quickly with 20% of the ewes having birthed.

Those that have birthed have been separated from the rest of the flock and kept near to the house where they can be more easily observed.

Already there have been a number of problems with one ewe having lost her lamb and trying to steal a replacement.

Another old ewe has given birth to twins that she can't look after. Currently we are trying to get the twins fostered onto the former ewe.

8 lambs from 6 ewes.

Arriving on the farm, seven-plus years ago, we found a lemon tree, struggling to survive, growing in the shade of tall poplar trees that line the driveway as it goes down to the sheds.

With the application of some chook manure, mulch, and water in the dry of summer, it has begun to flourish.

Recently raided the tree and ate the skins off many of the , those most accessible at the top of the tree.

I have picked a few and there remain perhaps 40+ fruit still ripening.

I frequently see Fantails, and often in quite close proximity. But I seldom get a photo or a video of them as they flit about so frequently, erratically, and quickly that it is almost impossible to capture them on the camera.

Hence, when I managed to get about a second's worth of video of one recently I processed the file to produce a slowed-down version of the capture.

Today is the last day in July and already we have our first lamb of the season. It is a good, healthy lamb and the ewe is in great shape also.

Most of the ewes are expected to have twins and with 28 ewes the crop maximum is now 55, but more realistically, around the 45 mark.

Lambing is always an exciting time and the lambs are adorable, but there can be some traumas and disappointments too.

It's been very wet here with double the average rainfall for the month already.

Recently our granddaughter rescued a Bumblebee from the concrete in front of the house and I took it and let it go onto one of the Orchids I have under the deck. It seemed to know what to do and crawled in amongst the dry pseudobulbs where it would be partially protected from the wind and rain.

This is a Buff-tailed Bumblebee, of which there are many to be found in my wilderness garden.

Today the rain eased off but the wind continued to blow, so I got out one of the children's kites and had it flying.

My eldest granddaughter, who has been home sick, decided to come out and join me in flying the kite.

My cellphone camera captured some of the action but the file is large, so I reduced the scale by 50% and then converted it to .webm format, reducing the size by 94% to 1.9 MB

Recently I visited my garden and made a special point of looking for insects holding out in the wet and cold July weather we have been having. To my delight, I not only found two bumblebees taking shelter in a Buddleia Bush, sheltering on its flowers and under its leaves but, to my special delight, I discovered a Monarch butterfly doing the same!

During the summer I accumulated a lot of branches that were too small for use as firewood but needed to be burned to clear the ground.

I had to wait until the summer fire ban had been lifted and then, on a clear, still day, I put a match to the pile.

Since the branches were very dry and I had made the pile quite compact, it went up in flames very quickly. In fact, it became like a giant firework!

Taken 3rd May 2022


In just over a week's time, I will be having two very different experiences.

First of all, we are expecting the arrival of our third granddaughter. This will be a scheduled delivery at the local hospital as there are some complications that require more assistance than the home birth, that our daughter wanted, can provide.

The next day I will be celebrating my 81st birthday. Well, maybe celebrating is not the right word, but you get my meaning. I'm feeling my age!


My wife, Marion, is visiting her family in Brisbane for six weeks, so things are rather quiet here.

I did have a visit from my youngest granddaughter, Melissa, this afternoon, though, and then Charlotte came and asked me to rescue a Monarch butterfly caught in a spider's web on the house. I played with them outside for a while until Vanessa got home from work in the city. She is heavily pregnant and due at the end of June.

I've just rediscovered old, forgotten photos, after doing a search on "Panorama*" and turning up lots of information.

This brought back memories of our old place, in Glenfield, where we overlooked a valley that sometimes was filled with mist in the winter.

On this occasion, the mist remained after the sun had risen, leaving a scene that resembled an ocean view.

I took a number of hand-held photos from the one focal point and used Hugin to build them into a panoramic view.

The continuing warm weather has been conducive to a large number of Monarch caterpillars growing, pupating, and emerging as butterflies. Our eldest granddaughter has sharp eyes and keeps finding the caterpillars and bringing them to me.

One such find eventually pupated and emerged only to drop down onto the ground where it was unable to unfurl its wings. She found it and brought it to me and I put it onto a Swan plant where it could hang its wings down, but had little hope for it.

Earlier in the week, I took one of the children's kites out to try flying it further up the driveway where there is usually some breeze even when it is quieter near the house.

I had the kite flying high above the tall trees and let it out to the end of the string. Alas! The cord was not fastened adequately to the plastic handle and the kite sailed away and disappeared.

The sharp eyes of my granddaughter spotted it the next day and yesterday I went up armed to recover it.

Here's a still photograph that was taken afterward when the butterfly was on the Swan Plant. It is a female butterfly as it has broader black markings on the wings and lacks the two black spots on the rear wings.

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Yesterday I found one of the last Monarch butterflies of the season, freshly hatched but down on the grass and struggling to get up. I extended a finger to it and it climbed on board, letting me lift it up onto a nearby Swan Plant.

There are still caterpillars about but as the weather gets colder their chances of survival are rapidly diminishing.

While I was working down the farm the other day I heard the distinctive call of the Laughing Kookaburra. I was surprised and could hardly believe my own ears, but the calls have kept coming and others in the household have become aware of them too.

This afternoon, just before sunset, we were out on the rear deck listening for the calls and I managed to get a sound recording of this distinctive call.


Just to give some idea about the Paper wasps swarming around warm surfaces, here is a short video I took this afternoon of the activity around a gateway, in the warm sunshine.

After the rains, we have been experiencing an Indian Summer with blue skies, scattered high clouds, and lots of warm sunshine. I have been harvesting crops from my garden and preparing beds for planting autumn crops.

The Paper wasps have been swarming around warm surfaces, such as gate tops, fallen logs, or woodpiles, with the prospect of even heavier populations next summer.

Tonight when I took the recycling out I got some spectacular from the top ridge by the main gate.

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