Wednesday, 26 November 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 change 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.
 
 
Seeking refuge in the river
 
Heat wave conditions have continued here, with temperatures again hovering above 35 degrees Celsius.  On the weekend there really wasn't much else to do but to seek refuge in the river at our back door.
 
How amazing that we now live on the banks of the Wilsons River and can, whenever we like take a dip to cool off.  Although not everyone shares our enthusiasm for swimming in the river. 
 
Local stories abound of Bull Sharks in the river, seemingly just waiting for an unsuspecting person to enter the water.  While Bull Sharks can penetrate into freshwater systems, usually the females only come into the river mouths to breed.  The young can remain in freshwater areas until they are grown, but really these small sharks would be more interested in chasing fish than taking a nibble of a human being. 
 
People who live along the river swim in it all the time, and in almost a hundred years there has only been one attack in the Wilsons.  But still people show an illogical fear of the water.  Truly you are more likely to be bitten by a snake walking to the river, than you are of getting bitten by a shark in the water.
 
Jaws certainly has a lot to answer for.
 
I like to think of it like anything else in nature.  Inform yourself of the facts and take the necessary precautions. We don't swim in the river after rain or after flooding, we don't swim alone and we don't swim with our dogs.
 
Do you get the impression that nothing is keeping me out of the water?


 
Hope you've all had an opportunity to reconnect with nature.  Looking forward to seeing all your photographs.  

Note to readers participating in the link up.

Please use the following points as a guide:
  • Share with us something you've noticed in nature. 
  • Only share one post per week, and link to that post rather than your general blog address.
  • If you can, please include something about your find that allows us all to learn more about the world around us. Just a few sentences about the tree you’ve photographed, or the bird you've seen, or how you’re noticing the seasons change is all you need.
  • Visit as many links as you can, amazing things are shared every week.  
  • And finally, please include a link back to Living a Good North Coast Life in your post.

Wednesday, 19 November 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 change 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.
 
 
Weekend heat waves kills thousands of Flying Foxes

This past weekend our region experienced its first heat wave of the season.

Many locations on the North Coast experienced days of 40*c plus, including a town called Casino which is just to the west of us. 

On Friday Casino reached 36.5*c, Saturday was a scorching 44.1*c followed by Sunday which reached 40.6*c. 

Temperatures towards the coast were cooler, tempered by their proximately to the ocean. 
 
But, the heat impacts upon us all.  The Health Department issues warnings and identify that children, the elderly and people with compromised health are at risk.  Of course so are all the animals, domestic and wild.

As mentioned a couple of weeks ago here, our local Flying Foxes are particularly vulnerable during heat waves. 
 
Our local Flying Foxes are simply not equipped to deal with such high temperatures.  They’re a sub-tropical or tropical animal, so they are used to sustained high temperatures but accompanied with high humidity – which generally restricts temperatures from going over 35 degrees Celsius.

I grew up locally, and to be honest l can’t remember experiencing these sorts of heat waves as a kid.  Sure we had hot days, but these more frequent and prolonged events of temperatures sitting around the 40 degree Celsius mark for days on end is (in my opinion) not normal for here.

Experts have been advising that climate change will lead to an increase in the frequency, intensity and duration of temperature extremes.  Are these heat waves the start of such extremes?

Our worst fears were realised on the weekend, when the temperature soared on Saturday Flying Foxes started to die from exposure.  At the Casino colony, they started to drop from the trees in their hundreds.  By Sunday, the estimation is that around 5,000 adults died from the heat.

You can see local media coverage of the event here

At this time of year, most of the females are either pregnant or are carrying small young.  As their mothers die, they are shielded from the heat wrapped in her wings, and continue to suckle on her milk even after she dies.  For these reasons many of the young survived.

In total 450 baby Flying Foxes were rescued from Casino on the weekend.
 

I wasn’t involved with the rescue effort, but some of my friends and wildlife caring volunteer colleagues were.  I’m so proud of their efforts, of their selflessness and resilience.

The orphans have been shipped out to wildlife carers across the state who have all answered the call to assist with the mammoth job of hand raising these babies.
 

But what is to come for these species? 

If these heat events continue, they’ll pose a significant threat to threat to the survival of this vulnerable species and the important ecosystem services they provide.  The species simply cannot reproduce at a rate high enough to compensate for the loss of thousands of individuals each summer.

Since 1994, over 30,000 flying-foxes have been killed during 19 heat exhaustion events. This past weekend, we added another 5,000 to the total.

Hope you've all had a more positive experience this week reconnecting with nature.  Looking forward to seeing all your photographs.  

Note to readers participating in the link up.

Please use the following points as a guide:
  • Share with us something you've noticed in nature. 
  • Only share one post per week, and link to that post rather than your general blog address.
  • If you can, please include something about your find that allows us all to learn more about the world around us. Just a few sentences about the tree you’ve photographed, or the bird you've seen, or how you’re noticing the seasons change is all you need.
  • Visit as many links as you can, amazing things are shared every week.  
  • And finally, please include a link back to Living a Good North Coast Life in your post.
  •  

Wednesday, 12 November 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 change 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.



Meet 'Tim Tam' the Masked Lapwing (Vanellus miles)

This week we've welcomed yet another animal into our home.  Meet Tim Tam the Masked Lapwing chick.

 

Masked Lapwings are commonly referred to as a 'plover' by most Australians.  In fact ask the average Australian what a Masked Lapwing is and you'd most likely be greeted with a "huh?". Even though there's some confusion over its name, they are one of Australia's most well known and feared birds.
Why? well because when adult plovers are nesting, they defend their eggs and young with real gusto.  If you're a regular reader of this blog, you might be noticing a trend here with our native birds!


Here's a typical scenario of where plovers nest.  They are ground-dwelling birds, so lay their eggs in a shallow depression on the ground.  But they are really predator aware, so choose to lay their eggs in places with large expanses of short grass so they can see anything coming.  Can you see the problem? So a plover comes across a school play ground, a sports field, oval or even a front yard and thinks this is a great place to nest.

Then if anything or anyone comes to close, they swoop the intruder like as shown in this You Tube video.


Not sure if you noticed in the video the spurs on the front of its wings?  Urban myths abound about those spurs, you'll hear they're poisonous or that they try to stab you with them when they swoop.  It's all untrue, in reality plovers are really just a lot of noise and bluff and rarely make contact...but they sure can get close.

If you're new to the blog, we're licensed wildlife carers and we rehabilitate and hand raised injured and orphaned wildlife at our home.  Tim Tam (named by Bella after her favourite type of chocolate biscuit) came to us after he was separated from its parents.  Attempts to reunite the little guy with his family failed, and so he'll now be handraised. He'll be with us for a while yet until he's old enough to be returned to the wild.

Hope you've all had a chance to get outside this week and reconnect with nature.  Looking forward to seeing all your photographs.  

Note to readers participating in the link up.

Please use the following points as a guide:
  • Share with us something you've noticed in nature. 
  • Only share one post per week, and link to that post rather than your general blog address.
  • If you can, please include something about your find that allows us all to learn more about the world around us. Just a few sentences about the tree you’ve photographed, or the bird you've seen, or how you’re noticing the seasons change is all you need.
  • Visit as many links as you can, amazing things are shared every week.  
  • And finally, please include a link back to Living a Good North Coast Life in your post.


Friday, 7 November 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


"All l want for Christmas is my two front teeth........"

 Don't forget my blog link up Reconnect with Nature will occur again on Wednesday 12 November at 9pm Australian Eastern Daylight Savings Time (Sydney time). See here for more details.

Wednesday, 5 November 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 change 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.


White Mulberry (Morus alba)

The other weekend we took our boat out on the river. 

After spending the past few months looking at the river from our riverbank, it was really different to get out on the water.  It gives you such a different perspective. One of the things we noticed during our trip was the  number of Mulberry Trees growing along the banks.
We have a few Mulberry Trees in our backyard, mainly along the bank and one in the chicken pen. It's a new thing for me, l don't think l've ever lived anywhere with Mulberry Trees before.
Apparently in our region they only fruit for a few weeks in Spring and considering how much the local wildlife like them, you need to be quick to enjoy them.
The trees growing out over the water seemed to have the best fruit, so we pulled up the boat close and l grabbed a handful of berries.


Don't you love it?  Both front teeth missing and Mulberry juice all over her face.


And then we picked some of our own.

 
Apparently the trees are originally from China, but have become naturalized in many places including eastern Australia. I'm not surprised to also read that it's regarded as an environmental weed locally and known to grow along watercourses.
 
But they sure are tasty!

 

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Wrapping up a Week In The Life

For the past week l've joined the wonderful Ali Edwards and participated in Week In The Life.  This was my first time participating, and after watching from the sidelines for the past few years l decided it was time to join the fun. 

Week In The Life is an annual project that captures the simple, everyday details of life in photos and words.  It's a chance to celebrate and acknowledge our life right now.  Read more about the project here and see my photos from the week here.

I really am glad l saw this project through, but man it was a lot of work.  We have pretty busy lives and l generally don’t have much free time, particularly during the week.  Taking the photos, downloading them, sorting them and selecting the best ones every day was a big job and by Sunday l was feeling a bit exhausted by it.   
 
 
But l now have a wonderful collection of photos that capture a week in our life.  

When l look through these photos l see how beautiful and wonderful my life is. 
 
I see the people l love.
 
I see how much l have to be grateful for, and l am left feeling truly blessed.

Because of this project l’ve also taken some photos that l just adore, and that l wouldn’t have otherwise captured.  This photo of me reading with Bella at school is just one of these.
 
 
So what worked? As much as it tired me, the daily downloading, filing, sorting and selecting images combined with daily blogging really kept me on track.

Ali’s daily record sheets were a great way of capturing our daily routines and funny little things that Bella said during the week.  

Ali has mentioned that the project is also a chance to learn something about yourself.  And looking through my photographs a few things jump out at me.
 
 
1. We’re a busy family and our days are full.
This is something l’m becoming more aware of, and l think it’s a case of reflecting and deciding do we want to live such busy lives?  This week is possibly not a great reflection of a typical week for us because we don't always travel to the Gold Coast or Grafton.
But it’s a reminder and prompt to reflect.  I think just being aware of how much we do every week is an important step, it’s not an over exaggeration that life is full.  There’s a lot of things in our week that aren’t negotiable, like work and school.  So that makes the time we don’t spend doing those things pretty precious and l would like to be mindful of how we spend that.

2. I need to get more sleep. 
I noticed this week that l often woke up not feeling refreshed, probably a combination of a lot of broken sleep and not heading to bed early enough.  When l am tired it tends to affected everything, including my patience and my mood.  No surprise by the end of the week l had picked up Bella's cold as well. Sleep is so important, l must get on top of this.

3. I want to take my photography to the next level.  
I think l’ve exhausted the possibilities of using all my cameras on the auto mode.  I need to learn how to use my camera in different ways.  I've been wanting to take a class on using the manual functions of my camera, and l think it's something to look into next year.
 
So where to next?  In the coming weeks l hope to move the photos and words into an album, so it will be easy for us to look back upon this point in time.  Whether that be in a few months time or a few years down the track. 

Monday, 3 November 2014

Week In The Life - Sunday 2 November

{week in the life}
  Week In the Life is an annual project that captures the simple, everyday details of life in photos and words.  Developed and led by the wonderful Ali Edwards, this week l’ll be celebrating and acknowledging our life right now.  Read more about this project here

Sundays are for making our way back home.  Before we hit the road Dan washes some flying fox droppings off the bonnet of my car.  They were feeding in a tree above where we parked in Annie's front garden.  Welcome to the sub-tropics folks!

Sundays are for breakfast on the road.

Sundays are for Dan driving, as he always does.

Sundays are for quiet times on the Pacific Highway, well at least at this time of the morning.

Sundays are for folding and putting away laundry whilst talking on the phone.

Sundays are for cleaning up outside and mowing the acre block.

Sundays are for finding a home for all of Mum's crochet blankets.

Sundays are for watching the breeze catch the curtains in our spare bedroom.

Sundays are for picking up Bella's new desk which finally arrived.

Sundays are for testing our your new desk

Sundays are for finding new homes for precious items.

Sundays are for stopping and smiling at these two.  Gifts from my Mum to Bella a couple of years before she died.

Sundays are for wearing your new shoes that we bought on Friday.

Sundays are for cuddling with toys, whilst looking so grown up.  Check out those long legs!

Sunday is for ironing school uniforms in preparation for the week ahead.

Sunday is for cleaning the house, gosh that looks so much better.

Sundays are for admiring my beach canvas's new home above our bed.

 Sundays are for looking around and thinking how much l love this place.