It is beautiful Autumn weather at the moment and lots of trees and plants are in flower. This has brought the birds out in force. But those lorikeets, although beautiful colours, make lots of noise and are very bossy of the other birds. I have an Agave in bloom out in the front garden and the super sweet nectar has attracted lots of birds, especially the lorikeets.
But they refuse to share. Oh boy, you should hear the squabbles.
Those blue eyed honey eaters are not small birds but he has their measure.
Now that I can walk, I do. Every morning and every afternoon. I walk around my island, which sits in Moreton Bay and this song keeps playing in my mind. "Moreton Bay." It is a great walking song. Not too fast and not too slow
As I walk I ponder on who walked here before me on this and the surrounding islands? There are actually 365 island in the bay from north to south. We are in the southern bay. I know Matthew Flinders stood here on Coochiemudlo and looked down the bay to the border ranges.
Maybe he could see the hollows the stingrays make in the sand below the shallow water.
I look over to Macleay Island and know that this is where the slavers brought their cargo of Pacific Islanders before they were shipped north to the Sugar Cane farms.
East I see Stradbroke Island off in the distance. The British brought the first convicts to Moreton Bay here before the settlement up the Brisbane River was established.
The Noonukle people opposed the British who sent in troops to wipe them out. But, they were warned by the convicts what was going to happen so they all "went bush". The troops were so set on killing that they went further North to Moreton Island where they set about killing just about all of those people. There were so few survivors that they were moved to Stradbroke Island by the government in future years. Only problem was that these two tribes didn't get on and still have little to do with each other.
I can just glimpse Moreton Island on the horizon. To the right is Stradbroke and on the left is Peel Island. For many years this was a Leper Colony. It's story was dark and not a lot is known of what really went on there.
My little island had no permanent water supply, so was left alone. There was water in the aquifers that run under the island but they didn't have to technology to get it up and the tribes people didn't let on that they knew how to access the water, so it was left untouched until much later. The tribes people hid much of what was precious to them here, like their grinding wheels for making flour. This was found only a few years ago and returned to the people who it belonged to who didn't know what had become of them. We were all told that aboriginal people were hunter gatherers but they grew crops as the grinding wheels show testatment to. Further north on Bribie Island there were permanent villages. Not just humpies but robust houses. How much of the true history of the original people been buried or forgotten?
All this I ponder as I walk.
So I have the new machine out of it's box and set up on the bench. I have read the manual from front to back and I now just have to start sewing. But there is a problem. The room is a mess. I need to put everything in it's right place before I can begin.
I think this is part of my problem. Nice to have it in a poster. So I spent a whole day just getting my room in order. I could blame it on the weather I suppose? The weather has been completely out of control. A drought, then the fires now more rain in a few days than we have had in over a year. It is hot and humid, rather like a sauna. The seed that I put out for the birds has grown into grass! I wonder if it will develop into flowers?
And flowers that should be finished are in bloom again.
The rate of growth is just amazing. This is the climber two weeks ago.
This is it now.
and next door's vine has completely covered the new fence behind the clothes line.
The weather has driven Larry into the house.
Some other poor person found this when they opened their sewing box. I'm glad it wasn't me.
Besides the rain we have also had King tides. The creeks overflowed and the tide rose so high there was a meeting of fresh and salty waters. Now we will have an explosion of baby cane toads and mosquitos. I'm procrastinating again. I have to start sewing!!!!
I finally got my birdbath. It has taken ages to get here and this is it's second column, my husband dropped and broke the first one. It is very solid but I kept the old one as well because it is so dry here.
The little bird should sit on the edges, but he kept being attacked so now he sits in the tree.
I am trying to stay in the airconditioning. The fires are still burning all over the place and the air is heavy with smoke. I see it has even found it's way across the Tasman to N.Z.! One thing it has done is give us some spectacular vistas. (I never realised how difficult it is to take a photo of the sun.) This shot was taken at about 3:30pm that reflection on the water is unreal.
I walked up the beach from the jetty where this was taken. The white heat of the sun is what the camera captures but that red around the edges is what the eye sees.
I ran into a couple of French backpackers who were also trying to get shots. They had come down the bank, which is about 12 metres high, nearly having a nasty accident. The actual path was only a few metres away.
I am now setting up my sewing room to sew mittens for koalas. The notice on facebook said that patchwork fabric was just the thing they needed to be made of.
So I am aiming for 50 pairs. Hope I can do that this weekend.
It drives me mad when I can't do something. This quilting with rulers thing. I looked at the classes I had purchased on line and other things on you tube, then decided just to do it. Not perfect by a long way, but if I don't start I will never get there. So I got the stitch length off right even if the shapes are not confident.
So then I took myself out to see what the wildlife was up to and there on a marker pole was the most magnificent sea eagle. (A bit of cropping went on here to get him to a good size.)
He lifted off and the heart sings. Just magnificent. Makes you realise just how insignificant my other worries are.
All these fires, high winds etc have left me very unsettled. The news of the burning of iconic landmarks and the plight of the wildlife has added to this. I think that these kind of things rekindle my post traumatic stress and although I am not ill it is just unsettling. I am on the look out for threats all the time and find it hard to concentrate on the job at hand. So I have put the jobs at hand aside, put on the sprinkler to keep the grass green and took in what was outside my window.
The sprinkler brought Larry out of his hiding place. We don't see him all that often but he came out to get some water.
My makeshift bird bath is still attracting lots of birds of all sizes and as they make such a mess and we have to clean and refill it twice a day. The native swamp lily's I planted are flowering and thriving on the water.
On closer observation I see that the bigger birds, like Mervyn the magpie, aren't real happy to perch on the lip of the tray and prefer to keep their feet on the ground.
Mervyn must have been thirsty on this occassion as he walked right past Larry to get to the water.
But he was keeping a weather eye on me. The noise of the shutter on the camera had him taking notice.
The Grevillea's are out in bloom.
They are heavy with nectar and the native birds are feasting.
I walked down the track to the beach to see how thick the bushfire haze was.
Not too good. The high country had all disappeared and there was a constant wind blowing in our direction. When we first discovered this island you could look out to the mainland and not see another house. Oh how things have changed.
It was then that the perfume of the Freesias reached me. So heady. It is over 20 years ago that I helped another resident plant these bulbs. Her husband had died and we planted these in memory of him. Over the years they have multiplied and spread along most of the steep bank at this end of the island.
This is the side of the island where the south easterly winds blow most of the year. They can be cold and these exposed cliffs take the full force of the wind.
Over the years they have spread right along this bank for over 500 feet and line the main track where we first planted them. This is the area where the kingfishers hunt and you can see there bright blue feathers darting in and out of the bush. There are other escaped plants in this area like these native orchids.
I decided to walk around the point and back home through the golf course. Here I was greeted by swarms of moths that are hatching at the moment. (All those white dots are moths.) So those birds that feed on insects are getting rather fat.
I am so glad I live here. Maybe I can now get back to those jobs.
Soon after we moved into this house on the island I saw small foot prints on the front stairs. I know there are no possums on the island and these prints were too big for a mouse. Over the next couple of years I came upon these prints again and just wrote them off as some small bush animal as we live surrounded by bush.
Then early this year my dog became obsessed with something that she could smell in the house.
Then we found some droppings. Bigger than lizards, which are everywhere but again not like a mouses droppings.
Next clue was then we found a cake of goat's milk soap was being eaten in the laundry. All the soap was hidden away. Non of the fruit was touched. Nothing in the pantry was touched. But Charlie was hyper sensitive to something being in her territory. She only has one eye and isn't a hunter at all but she knew something was there.
My husband was sure it was a rat. We have never seen a rat on the island. It it was a rat it had to be a native one.
But then Charlie got what ever it was cornered under a bookcase down stairs.
The big game hunter, ( my husband) moved the bookcase and it ran off into the bush. In the space under the bookcase he found what it had been eating. "Why didn't you store these onions in a better place so that rat couldn't get them?" he railed at me. "Those aren't onions", was my reply, "those are flower bulbs that I had put in a dry place to plant out later."
And I'm sure it wasn't a rat, it was a small bandicoot. So glad he got away, but I'm sure he will be back.
Saturday was cold and wet and blowing a gale. I travelled up to town to teach at the Guild and had a lovely group of ladies who made the teaching really easy. There had been a mix up about the date of this class so the Easter bunny (and chicken) made an appearance to apologise.
On Sunday the sun shone, as it should on it's name day, and the island was beautiful. People swam at the beach.
The Quandamooka people came and told us stories in song and dance.
They had a great young didjeridoo player, he is young but very good and the boys danced with conviction.
It is good to know that there will be a good run of mullet fish coming through soon. The Noonuckle people, which means people who's main food is mullet, say you can tell if there will be a good run by the number of parrots that fly in from the back country and there have been lots of golden crested kockatoo in the skys lately. Another thing mentioned was about the earth and the skys. They have a story that the planet Mercury had a brother who died, so they do not speak his name. In many cases it has been proved that these old stories talk about actual events that have taken place in history. Now it is believed that they have been here for at least 120,000 years. The oldest living culture on earth.
On the home front the lawns need to be mowed, but they aren't too bad. (That low letter box is a distraction. My husband ran it over with the ute.)
And looking down the bank onto the beach I see that it has doubled in size and Kerlew creek is running again after the recent storms.
We are coming into the best part of the year, when the days are fine and clear and it is cool at night. Roll on Autumn.