Archive for the ‘Australian birds’ Category

Autumnal Oaks
June 17, 2016


This week I had the opportunity to draw this picture in soft pastel. I had been waiting for weeks for the oaks in one of my favourite sections of Castlemaine’s Botanical Gardens to reach the peak of their autumnal glory.

It is early winter and the oaks are among the last of the deciduous trees to acquire their autumn colour. It was fine, but chilly, when I commenced the drawing on Monday morning, but Wednesday morning was just glorious. There were plenty of people out walking – many with their grandchildren or dogs. Nearby, a small group was practising Qi Gong.

Crimson rosellas, Australian magpies and Bronzewing pigeons enjoyed the bounty offered in the gardens that morning.

This picture gives me a lot of pleasure. I hope you enjoy it too.


Forest Edge – Muckleford
December 8, 2014



I have been visiting ‘Forest Edge’ during Castlemaine Garden Festivals for many years now. It has been strange coming to the garden since my Aunt Anne died in 2012. ‘Forest Edge’ was our favourite garden and we noticed how it had expanded and developed on our visits. We spent many happy times picnicking in the shade or sitting on one of the garden seats admiring the view across the gentle valley. We both loved flowers and there is an abundance of blooms in spring. The property backs onto bushland so many bush birds visit the garden. Blue wrens (Superb Fairy-wren) hop about the lawns and flit among the shrubs. We would stand or sit very still to see how close the blue wrens would come to us. The males are like jewels; tiny with bright blue and contrasting black feathers.

My aunt could not resist the plant stall and we enjoyed chatting to the friendly owners, Jill and Graham Hiscock.

There was nothing about this garden we didn’t like.

This year, I visited ‘Forest Edge’ on Saturday, the 1st of November. It was typical ‘Cup’ weather – short periods of sunshine, great, black clouds sweeping across preceded by gusty winds then followed by brief down pours or scatterings of hail.

The garden has something to offer everyone including a large, organic vegetable and berry garden, fruit trees, ponds and rock features. However, when I reviewed the photographs I had taken on the day, I found the majority were of flowers so this is a very floral post. I hope you enjoy.


Garden art among the flowers.








Groupings of pots add interest to paved and newly gravelled areas.








Creative use of a colander.




These fierce creatures are a new addition to appeal to adults and children alike.



The garden is watered from dams on the property.

The Big Tree, Guildford
October 8, 2014


We slowly circle the giant,

This locally revered landmark.

A cockatoo and corella are facing off

Screeching louder and LOUDER,

Adding weight to its claim for dominance,

The corella snips off small leafy twigs

Which flutter to the ground.

There is the quiet sound of buzzing,

A hive of bees is resident in a hollow.

Unseen, a pardalote ripples its call.

We gaze up into the vast canopy

In awe.

5th of October 2014, Guildford









 This photograph shows two branches which have fused together.







The Big Tree is a River Red Gum, Eucalyptus camaldulensis.

For those of  you interested in statistics, the tree is 30 metres high and its trunk has a circumference of 9.35 metres. The canopy has a spread of 34 metres.

The tree is more than 500 years old.

In the 1990s, two roads were realigned and power lines relocated to help preserve the tree.

The cockatoo is the Sulphur Crested Cockatoo, the corella, the Little Corella and the pardalote, the Striated Pardalote.