Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Reconnect with Nature - one photograph at a time

{reconnect with nature}

A community of like minded people who see the value in understanding and appreciating the natural world.  Each week we step outside, find some nature, photograph it and learn something about it to share with others.  Just a few sentences about the tree you’ve photographed, or the bird you've seen, or how you’re noticing the seasons changing is all you need and together we'll reconnect with nature, one photograph at time.
 Read more about the Reconnect with Nature - one photograph at a time idea here.
 
 
 
Passionfruit flowers - in our backyard
In our backyard we have two passionfruit vines growing on a trellis that Dan made over some of our animal enclosures. The vines have been in the ground a couple of years now, and they've been my first experience with growing passionfruit.
It's really interesting watching the vines grow, and eventually take over the trellis.  We watch the flowers form, be pollinated by the local bees (introduced and native) and then set fruit. 
I can't get over the flowers - l don't think l've ever seen anything like them before.
The first photo was taken early in the morning when the flowers were still closed, and then by the afternoon when l returned they were all open. Dan said before l took the second photo, the flowers were covered with native bees - no problems with pollination here!
Apparently if a flower is not pollinated within a few days they will fall off the vine, and Dan mentioned if we get rain a few hours after they close they tend to fall off then too.
With the amount of fruit we have on the vine already, looks like we're in for a bumper crop.  Look out for some passionfruit recipes coming up on the blog!
 
Hope you've all had a wonderful week, and had a chance to reconnect with nature at some point.  Looking forward to seeing your photographs.
 
 


Tuesday, 15 April 2014

thankful Tuesday

{thankful Tuesday}
Linking up with my blogging buddy Katie from Life with the Crew.  
Practising gratitude and acknowledging the wonderful things in our lives.

 
Feeling thankful that we can give our daughter the opportunity to participate in activities like swimming lessons. We've been going to weekly swimming lessons since she was 13 or 14 months old. Every week, except for during school holidays when lessons take a break, l'm there on the pool deck watching her practice and learn. I'm really glad that we've gotten ourselves into a situation where we can afford these lessons, and can prioritise them in our weekly schedule. It feels really good to be able to give her what she needs. 

Monday, 14 April 2014

morning, noon and night - Sunday 13 April

{morning, noon and night}
 
Linking up with the wonderful Kim from Mothering with Mindfulness
Sharing three little peeks into our day.

 
 
8am A grey Autumn sky greeted us this morning.

1pm Like so many Australians a weekend isn't complete without a trip to Bunnings.

6:30pm Autumn means the return of Sunday roast dinners, tonight's was lamb.
 

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Special reader giveaway for Easter

Welcome to our first giveaway on Living a Good North Coast Life.

We're preparing for Easter here, and after writing this post yesterday l really wanted to celebrate the season with a giveaway for our readers.

So to celebrate Easter and the Australian Bilby, l have a hardcover children's picture book and a chocolate Bilby to give away. The picture book is a wonderful story about what happens when the Easter Bunny needs help to deliver the eggs in Australia. And the chocolate, well it's just yummy and a donation was made to Save the Bilby Fund when it was purchased. 


This giveaway is not sponsored, rather it's something l wanted to do in recognition of the support and enjoyment you give me.  Each and every one our readers is valued and appreciated, and your comments and visits make my day a little brighter.

So leave a comment below, and we'll keep the give away open until Wednesday 10am Australian Eastern Time (Sydney Time). I'll use a random generator to select the winner.  This giveaway is open to readers from outside Australia.

The giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to Julie from Sage and Spirit, who has won the giveaway.  Please email me at goodnorthcoastlife@gmail.com  to redeem your prize.

Happy Easter everyone. 

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Why you won't see the Easter Bunny at our house

Before you get the wrong idea, don't worry Bella does get to enjoy chocolate Easter eggs.  It's just that her eggs aren't delivered by the Easter Bunny.....her eggs are delivered by someone we consider a lot more special.

If you've read this blog for any length of time, you'll know that the conservation of Australian wildlife is a huge passion of mine. We're blessed in this country to have so many unique native animals. To give you an idea,  a whopping 83% of the mammals found in Australia occur nowhere else in the world. 

Unfortunately, Australia has a shocking record when it comes to protecting these species. Since European settlement, 27 mammals, 23 birds and 4 frogs have become extinct due to hunting, habitat destruction and introduced animals.  No other country can beat that number of extinctions, in a period of just over 200 years.   

To make matters worse, more than 1,500 mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and plants are currently classed as threatened with extinction. Without significant change, it is likely that many of these species will face a similar fate.

One native animal slipping closer towards extinction is the Bilby.

The Bilby is a lesser known Australian native animal that lives in the desert and arid areas of northern Australia.  It's a nocturnal marsupial, about the size of a rabbit with a long pointed nose and big ears.

The Australian Bilby (source Kids Britannica Encyclopaedia)
Before European settlement, the Bilby occupied more than 70% of Australia. Now it's only found within 20% of that area, and the total Queensland wild population is estimated to be only 700 animals.

It's believed that a number of factors have contributed to the Bilbies demise. Undoubtedly predation by feral cats and foxes has been the biggest impact.  Farming animals such as cattle and sheep have destroyed Bilby habitat and compacted soil, and the introduced rabbit is also thought to compete with the Bilby for burrows and food.

In recent years there's been a push to link the Australian Bilby with Easter, and as an alternative to the Easter Bunny. It's a wonderful opportunity to raise awareness of the Bilbies plight, and the impact of rabbits on the Australian landscape.

At the forefront of this push is an organisation that's very special to me.  Save The Bilby Fund is a grass roots charity, that's made real gains in the conservation of the Bilby. In recent years they've teamed up with major chocolate manufactures to produce a chocolate Bilby to sell at Easter time. For every Bilby sold, a proportion of the profit is given to the Fund. 

So, every year since she was born Bella has received a chocolate Bilby in place of the traditional rabbit.  

Little Bella aged 11 months tasting her first chocolate Easter Bilby.

She's also received books on the Bilby and some stuffed toys. The books are great, and really help explain to children why in Australia their eggs can be delivered by someone different.  


 
So next week, it wont be the Easter Bunny delivering chocolate eggs to our house it will be the Easter Bilby.  We figure by the time that Easter Bunny makes his way to Australia, he's pretty tired out and could do with a hand to distribute all that chocolate anyway.  
 
If you're interested in learning more about the Bilby and the work of Save The Bilby Fund, l'd encourage you to visit their website here  
 
And to celebrate Easter and the Australian Bilby, l have a special treat lined up for readers.  Stay tuned for further details tomorrow.
 

 

Friday, 11 April 2014

this moment

{this moment}
 
A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week.
A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savour and remember. Linking up with Amanda from Soule Mama



A wobbly tooth, and another one coming up behind it already!


Don't forget my new blog link up Reconnect with Nature will occur again on Wednesday 16 April 9pm Australian Eastern Time (Sydney time). See here for more details
 

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Reconnect with nature - one photograph at a time

{reconnect with nature}

A community of like minded people who see the value in understanding and appreciating the natural world.  Each week we step outside, find some nature, photograph it and learn something about it to share with others.  Just a few sentences about the tree you’ve photographed, or the bird you've seen, or how you’re noticing the seasons changing is all you need and together we'll reconnect with nature, one photograph at time.
 Read more about the Reconnect with Nature - one photograph at a time idea here.


 

 
Signs of Koala activity - scratch marks on a Leopard Tree
Last week l walked past a row of Leopard Trees which had been planted along a pathway at work.  At first l noticed a few koala scratch marks on the trees, but when l had a closer look l couldn't believe how many marks there were.
Koalas are notoriously hard to spot in the wild, and signs of their activity are generally much more easier to spot than the animal themselves. These scratch marks are a tell tale sign that they've been using a tree, and are made by the Koala's claws as they jump their way up a tree.
What's really interesting, is that Koalas have a very restricted diet of primarily Eucalyptus leaves so they weren't climbing these trees for food!  Looking at the the Leopard Tree's thick, dense canopies l decided they must be using these trees for shelter - from either the heat or rain.  Eucalypt trees are often very big and open and in comparison offer little shelter.  Looking up into the branches l could imagine how pleasant it would be under these Leopard Trees when the weather wasn't nice.
The row of trees are certainly a popular hang out for local Koalas, as some of the trunks were just covered with scratches(in the last photo above, check out the inside of the trunk to the far right).
 
Hoping you've all enjoyed reconnecting with nature this week, and looking forward to seeing your photos.