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Woodland: Tree Silhouettes

Tree branches and half moon, Alice Springs Desert Park

Tree branches and half moon, Alice Springs Desert Park

November’s garden challenge theme is woodland — individual trees or leaves or woodland/forest views, fungi, wildlife or wildflowers. For my first post this month, I’ve gone with the striking shapes of tree silhouettes, whether snow-covered in winter, defiantly clinging to life with a few leaves, or undeniably dead.

Tree branches and cliff face in the mist, Grand Canyon

Tree branches and cliff face in the mist, Grand Canyon

Olive tree, Sicily

Olive tree, Sicily

Tree branches, Sydney

Tree (or deadly tentacled creature lying in wait for the unwary??), Sydney


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Wildlife in the Garden: Noisy Miner in Sydney

Noisy Miner in a gum tree

Noisy Miner looking for food in a gum tree

For wildlife in a garden, this week I have some Noisy Miners. According to Wikipedia, these honeyeaters are endemic to eastern and south-eastern Australia. Once you’ve encountered a few, it’s clear why are they called ‘noisy’ (!), but I’ve never figured out the miner part. “Foraging in the canopy of trees and on trunks and branches and on the ground, the noisy miner mainly eats nectar, fruit and insects. Most time is spent gleaning the foliage of eucalypts, and it can meet most of its nutritional needs from manna, honeydew and lerp gathered from the foliage.”

These ones are busy “gleaning” in the gum trees that grow in the communal garden area of an apartment building I used to live in.

Noisy Miner in a gum tree

He’s got his eye on something!

Noisy Miner in a gum tree

You can almost hear him, can’t you?

They also like hibiscus flowers! This is not a great quality photo (so-so camera, through a window, bright light behind and shadow in front) but you can see the bird stretching to get deep inside the flowers. I’d been puzzled for some time why some of the branches and flower stems were broken — until I caught this guy in action!

Noisy Miner in a hibiscus plant

Here’s one foraging in the hibiscus plant on my balcony a few years ago.


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Winter Garden 2 – Walpole Park

Exotic spiky palm-type plants in the snow.

The sunken garden, and exotic spiky palm-type plants in the snow.

I’ve gone with a large interpretation of “garden” for this winter garden post. These photos are of Walpole Park, which is in Ealing Broadway (London). I lived across the road from this 28-acre site for a year or so (not the same place in last week’s snowy patio photos).

Fountain and cherry tree

Fountain and cherry tree, a sprinkle of snow — and a bench! 😉

According to Wikipedia, “In 1987 Walpole Park was registered by English Heritage on the Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England. Within its boundaries are the Pitzhanger Manor museum & art gallery and Perceval Lodge. These buildings and part of the boundary wall are also statutory protected structures of Grade I and Grade II respectively. There is also a late Victorian ornamental lake bordering the House’s rear lawn and further west a pond which has a pair of fountains, both of which attract waterfowl. The original house which stood here, and its grounds which make up the present park, was once the property of John Soane the architect, who bought it in 1800. After several more changes of ownership it was purchased by the Urban District Council of Ealing in 1900.”

Tulips and pansies in the snow.

Tulips and pansies in the snow.

Rosegarden in the snow.

Rose garden in the snow.

“Most of the park consists of open flat grassed areas bordered by tree lined avenues.” (Wikipedia) You can get an idea of those open areas and trees in these next two shots.

Tree blossom weighed down with snow.

Tree blossom weighed down with snow.

A line of flowering trees dusted with snow.

A line of flowering trees dusted with snow.

And I just like the whimsy of this cute little guy with his flower petal buttons, and branches for arms.

Snowman with petal buttons.

Snowman with petal buttons.

“The park was extensively renovated from August 2013 onwards and reopened fully in the summer of 2014.” (Wikipedia) My photos were taken in late winter/early spring 2008, so I’ll have to go back and see how this lovely park and its gardens have changed.


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Monochrome: suspended raindrops on green branches

Grand Canyon - suspended raindrops.

Grand Canyon – suspended raindrops.

There is one thing to be said for heavy rain: it does present some interesting photo opportunities. These monochrome green photos were taken at the Grand Canyon on a dripping, fog-filled morning when the vibrant new growth was washed clean by the downpour. For a very different monochrome photo of the “view” on that day, click here.

Grand Canyon - suspended raindrops.

Grand Canyon – suspended raindrops.