Tree Squares | Antipodes

This month’s Square Challenge is all about trees. Now trees are not the easiest of subjects to square up, so Becky is relying on us to show some imagination in how we present them. For the fourth week I am going to look at trees from the Antipodes (that’s Australia and New Zealand for us Brits).

White bellied Fish Eagle in a Gum Tree

Tree Squares

Spiky Squares

During the month of March, Becky, Queen of the Square format, is back. This month she would like to see anything spiky, jagged, bristly, serrated, prickly or barbed in whatever interpretation you like. The only rule: it must be a square.
March Squares

Banksia menziesii, commonly known as firewood banksia, is a species of flowering plant in the genus Banksia. It is a gnarled tree up to 10 m tall, or a lower spreading 1–3 m shrub in the more northern parts of its range. The serrated leaves are dull green with new growth a paler grey green. Wikipedia

Spiky Squares

During the month of March, Becky, Queen of the Square format, is back. This month she would like to see anything spiky, jagged, bristly, serrated, prickly or barbed in whatever interpretation you like. The only rule: it must be a square.
March Squares

The grass tree Xanthorrhoea is a uniquely Australian plant and as tough as old boots. When it flowers it produces spikes which grow to 2m and then turn brown. Bushfires will burn the foliage and blacken the stump, but then it regrows.

Alternative Advent #22

In the period leading to Christmas some people buy an Advent Calendar to check off each day before December 25. Usually intended for children, it appears that in recent years there has been a rise in the popularity of luxury ones aimed at indulgent adults who feel the necessity to treat themselves on the run-up to the big day itself – from expensive candles and perfume to miniature bottles of Prosecco or Whisky and even chunks of cheese.

So I thought to balance all this extravaganza I would offer you an alternative in the form of a flower a day from Sunday 3rd December until Sunday 24th December so now on Christmas Eve this is the final offering. I think it is rather a pretty alternative to a Christmas tree.

All images taken on a mid-November day along the George V Memorial Walk alongside Copperhouse Pool in Hayle using my Olympus OM-D E-M10 and 40-150mm lens

garden photography: masked lapwing

In March I’m looking for Wildlife in the Garden

(This month I want to see photos and stories about wildlife in the ‘garden’ – insects, spider, birds, rabbits, hedgehog, fox, snake (!) whatever you can find in your garden, public gardens, lakes, parks. But please not the family dog!)

masked lapwing (Plover)

A masked lapwing or plover posing to perfection at at Church Point alongside Pittwater, a semi–mature tide dominated drowned valley estuary, located about 40 kilometres north of the Sydney central business district.

The plover is a large, common and conspicuous bird native to Australia, particularly the northern and eastern parts of the continent, New Zealand and New Guinea.  Masked lapwings are shy and harmless in summer and autumn but are best known for their bold nesting habits, being quite prepared to make a nest on almost any stretch of open ground, including suburban parks and gardens, school ovals, and even supermarket carparks and flat rooftops. Nesting takes place usually after the winter solstice (June 21) and the nesting pair defends their territory against all intruders by calling loudly, spreading their wings, and then swooping fast and low, and where necessary striking at interlopers with their feet and attacking animals on the ground with a conspicuous yellow spur on the carpal joint of the wing. Wikipedia

If you would like to join in with Garden Photography then please take a look at my Garden Photography Page. No complicated rules 🙂

  • Create your own post and title it MarchWildlife in the Garden
  • Include a link to this page in your post so others can find it too
  • Add the tag “GardenChallenge” so everyone can find the posts easily in the WP Reader
  • Get your post in by the end of the month, as the new theme comes out on the first Sunday in April.
  • Please visit the sites in the comments to see what others are posting.

Oasis in the Suburbs

Stony Range Regional Botanical Garden is an oasis of Australian native plants and located at Dee Why in the heart of the northern beaches, Sydney. It is a perfect place to take a walk through a variety of microclimates and to enjoy the shade of the many trees in Sydney’s intense heat. The main circuit only takes around 20 minutes to complete and includes a sensory track and a rainforest gully.


Native plants from all over Australia have been planted in the garden which is located on Hawkesbury sandstone escarpment – hence the name Stony Range. It is a home to a host of wildlife including brush turkeys, brushtailed and ringtailed possums, owls, rainbow lorikeets, lizards and native bees.

On a hot and humid day the garden provides a delightfully shady place to walk and also learn about the use of some of the native plants and trees. For instance gum trees have several uses: their wood was used for implements such as shields and bowls; the nectar of the flowers made a sweet drink; the gum was used for relieving toothache and when boiled in water has good antiseptic properties for burns and stomach upsets.


The stiff leaves of the Grass Trees (Xanthorrhoea) below, next to a Eucalyptus, is a very useful plant too. The dried flower stems were used for fishing spears and fire making, the resin for glue, flowers for nectar and leaves for weaving or making twine.

An impressive Platycerium superbum/ Stag Horn fern (or sometimes known as elk horn) is found outside the entrance to the garden attached to a large red Gum (Angophera costata). A magnificent plant.


More lovely walks can be found over at my friend Jo’s place.

Eurobodalla Regional Botanic Garden

I was lucky enough to be invited to stay with a fellow blogger on my visit to Australia at the end of last year. Meg very kindly took me on a tour of her region and knowing how much I enjoy visiting gardens, arranged a trip to the Eurobodalla gardens near Bateman’s Bay. It was a rather cloudy day, but we were soon lost in exploration and spent a pleasant few hours wandering around this site which has also become home to a variety of native animals providing them with new habitats; planted gardens, open grassed spaces and permanent water supplies.


The Eurobodalla Regional Botanic Gardens is situated within the Shire of Eurobodalla, approximately 270 kilometres south of Sydney, and 150 kilometres east of Canberra. The Shire extends over 110 kilometres of coastline from Durras Lake in the north to Wallaga Lake in the south. The Gardens grows only those plant species occurring naturally within the Collecting Region. Continue reading

Garden Portrait: Harmony and Balance

It was hot. Very hot. I had just had lunch and a chin-wag with M-R in Pyrmont, a suburb of Sydney only a spit away from the Harbour Bridge. I wanted to return to the Chinese Garden of Friendship, an oasis in the heart of Darling Harbour which is predominantly restaurants and leisure facilities. I first visited this garden in 1998 when it was very new so I wanted to see how it had developed over the past 16 years.


The entrance to the garden is guarded by two Foo-dogs (Chinese lions) which have been carved from rare Chinese granite. Always in pairs the female with her cub guards to the left whilst the male, with a ball of chi (energy), guards to the right.


Once through the entrance you enter the Courtyard of Welcoming Fragrance and the Penjing exhibition, which means ‘tray scenery’ and demonstrates the art of creating a miniature landscape. Continue reading