Insect Whispering and Sour Plums – A Celebration of Native Species

“Every individual matters. Every individual has a role to play. Every individual makes a difference.”    Jane Goodall

I’ve recently returned from an attempt at hiking to the summit of Mt Maroon in Mt Barney National Park, south- southwest of Brisbane, but haven’t had time to write up a report. The attempt was “interesting.” It didn’t quite go to plan, but none of my long hikes ever seem to!  My hiking partner and I are alive which is the most important thing. Here are a couple of pictures of what is to come at a later date. Continue reading

Nerima Calling: A Partnership of Peace

 komorebi (Japanese) :  sunshine filtering through the leaves of a tree or trees.

I had a very different kind of story planned to share with you this week – a story about an Australian castle. A castle not inherited from royalty or a long line of wealthy ancestors but one built for the wife and child of a man who started his working life in a wool factory in Wales at the grand old age of nine years old. It’s the quintessential rags to riches story and like a good fairy tale, involves love, a long separation and an element of tragedy.

But since I haven’t yet received the copyright permission to share some of the pictures, I’ve pulled together a small collection of nature photographs from my weekend visit to Nerima Gardens in Ipswich, near Brisbane. Continue reading

University Daze and Riverside Ramblings

Jacaranda skies

Well, it’s been an interesting couple of weeks here. A few highs and lows which are a natural part of life. Since surfing these emotional waves is not my forte, I planned to climb a mountain for some nature therapy.

I was hoping to regale you with sweaty tales of danger and delight as I scaled the summit of Mt Maroon, a class 5 walk requiring high fitness, navigational skills, and some rock scrambling with a 360 degree view as a reward. However, my dreams were short-lived as the heavens erupted the night before and I woke up to a warm, humid day with even more showers  and storms predicted.

Storms and rock scrambling do not mix. The weather probably saved my daughter from having to write an obituary post anyway. Disappointed but not defeated, I rang my son and asked him if he’d like a walk in Toohey Forest Park on the weekend. I woke  before my alarm went off as I do every time I’m going to a new hiking destination. While dunking my sugar and fat filled gingernut biscuits  into a mug of organic, ethically grown healthy green tea (they balance each other out) I was anticipating being able to write a riveting blog post about venomous snake encounters and fluffy koalas. A twinge in the abdomen as I left the house was ignored. Continue reading

The Shortest Hike in the World

mantid

“Among the myrtles the mantids moved, lightly, carefully, swaying slightly, the quintessence of evil. They were lank and green, with chinless faces and monstrous globular eyes, frosty gold, with an expression of intense, predatory madness in them. The crooked arms, with their fringes of sharp teeth, would be raised in mock supplication to the insect world, so humble, so fervent, trembling slightly when a butterfly flew too close.” – Gerald Durrell, My Family and Other Animals.

It’s past midnight and the party is still going strong. It happens every night and I’m never invited. Instead, I lie tossing and turning, listening to their high-jinks, romantic interludes and  occasional fighting. That’s what happens when your backyard is a jungle in a street of manicured lawns and trimmed hedges. The possums move in! Continue reading