Dear Readers, can you believe that it is already March?  So here I am, commencing my second year of The Changing Seasons challenge.  I’m feeling battered this month, like an incumbent government that is falling in the polls even though the economy is performing well.  Don’t the punters know that they have never had it so good?  I suppose that is because we don’t live in an economy; we live in a society, and there has been a fair bit of societal ugliness going round.  So yep, although I want to crawl under a rock or hide in my own little “Canberra bubble” (sorry. in joke), March was mostly good for me.

So, let’s get started.

March 1 marked the official start of Autumn in Australia.  In southeastern Australia, it is often still blazing hot during March, but not this year.  The mornings have turned unusually cold for this time of year, while maximum daytime temperatures have hovered around the mid 20s.  Perfect.  But dry, dry, dry.  Many deciduous trees are almost bare, dropping their leaves early to reduce their need for moisture.  My vegetable garden, which was galloping along, has come to a screeching halt.  The pumpkin yield will be down this year.  Sadly my Wee Jasper Spiderflower (an endangered species) has succumbed, perhaps from lack of moisture, but more likely from overzealous pruning.  It is a winter flowering plant and never failed to attract a range of honeyeaters during the quiet season.  Shit happens.


On the upside, Ama is enjoying a return to better health and with that, some outings.  Readers who have been following this blog for a while, may remember that my little Finnish Spitz was diagnosed with copper storage disease last year.  The treatment has side effects (nausea and killing off her white blood cells).  We are now able to titrate down her dosage and she seems perkier, even playing with her pack mates.  Here she is at a country market with a new fan.


Ama’s recovery has provided comfort.  As have my birds.  Here are a few regulars.

Birds with crests.

cockatoos drinkingcrested pigeon (2)

And little birds with zest.

Silver eye 2spinebill

The silvereyes and eastern spinebills share their joy.

And further excitement.  A family of blue wrens!  They rarely visit.  Wrens and bird dogs don’t mix. We call the wrens “boing-boing” birds.  Here is Mr Bluewren in his fancy summer finery.  He boings from line to lawn, hunting for insects.  When we saw him a few days later, his colour had already begun to fade.  A sign of winter to come.

blue wren

A chick!


The fig tree has fruited prolifically.  Every bird and his dog has feasted on its bounty.  The female Saunders case moth (that sticky thing below) likes the fig tree too.  Sci-Fi fans should look up the case moth.  It is truly alien.

case moth.jpg

Insects, as well as birds, are now fodder for the camera.  Their beautiful colours and patterns are enough to inspire any fashion designer.  The native blue-banded bee is elegant in its stripes and plush coat.


My partner was taken with a shield beetle (below) and fascinated with its mitey passengers.  The shield beetles were taken with my tomatoes.  Hmmm.  Shield beetles are a tasty treat for predatory wasps.  However, we saw few wasps over summer.  Therein lies a problem.

shield beetle

All good things must come to an end (especially if one is too busy photographing shield beetles rather than squashing them).




Still, there will be an extra pop of colour in my garden this winter.  Not my usual standard.  It took four days to complete.  This compares to the months that my other mosaics normally take.  As much as I love my more complicated pieces, they can be a bit of a grind.  I enjoyed making this piece.  The lesson learned?  Simple calms the mind.


So that was March.  It had its moments.  The Changing Seasons challenge is hosted by Su at Zimmerbitch.  It’s fun.  I’m sure she would love you to join in.



Note to Readers:
Dear Readers, I will be posting on matters close to my heart shortly.  It is difficult to compose, but I’ll get there.  Bear with me.
I may also have a few more insects to show you and some native orchids, but first things first.

54 thoughts on “The Changing Seasons – March 2019

  1. The little chick is adorable! Please don’t be upset that I fly by the insects. No pun intended. I am just not a buggy kinda gal. Your mosaic is lovely, Tracy. I think I understand your ‘battered’ feeling. For all different reasons (yet all the same?) so many of us feel that same way. Like a weight you cannot shirk. I love your passion. I await your posts.

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    1. Not upset at all, Lois. The shield beetle is not on my favourites list yet. I had the traditional girlie upbringing, but my boys have given me a whole new appreciation for many of nature’s most discriminated against creatures. 🙂 But I get what you mean because I’m still not keen on rats.

      I’ll try not to get distracted and get out that hard post within a week. No more photos until it is done. I must get chocolate.

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  2. You’ve had a mixed bag this month, but that’s what happens when we live in this big world. You’re suffering drought and we’ve been blessed with enough rain to declare our many years’ long drought over, and lots of tangent problems. I love seeing what your part of the planet looks like, especially the bird photos. Is that a crested cockatoo? A hoopoe? I’ve never seen a hoopoe in person, only photos. Even your bugs are interesting – that shield beetle looks like it’s dancing.

    Your Ama is a beauty, with a loving and gentle face. I hope her health continues to improve.

    I’m off to look up Saunders case moth. Be well, Tracy.

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    1. Thank you, Sharon. That is a sulphur-crested cockatoo. We have a number of different cockatoo species, the others being black. The sulphur crested cockatoo is the most common I think.

      That shield beetle is sucking the life out of my pumpkin vine. The sod!

      Ama is a toad. Butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth. 🙂

      Thanks for chirping in, Sharon. Enjoy your spring.

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  3. I love your bug photos (the actual bugs not so much); and the birds are a joy to see. I think your mosaic is wonderful in its simplicity and its subject.
    It seems that many of us are feeling a bit beaten up at the moment — for reasons that appear diverse but are probably all tied up with trying to be a decent person in a messy, troubled and sometimes downright nasty world.
    Sending much aroha to you as you find the words you want to convey.

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  4. An interesting month Tracy and I so envy you having the gorgeous and perky little wren taking up residence. I think your mosaic is beautiful, love the colour combinations. We are just back from 4 weeks in NZ were the north island is in a drought and very brown. No rain during the time we were there, unlike back here were it rained almost every day. The house sitters kept a record for me, 193mm to yesterday, and the garden is like a jungle. Pleased to hear dear little Ama is getting better.

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    1. Hello Pauline, welcome back. I hope you had a good holiday. Who would have ever thought that there would be such an awful drought in NZ? I read recently that water shortages were expected to become common there in future due to climate change.

      I bet Jack is looking forward to chopping his way through your jungle. 🙂 Have your birds missed you?
      Cheers, Tracy.

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      1. Sad to see NZ so brown, yet the west coast of the South Island is being deluged with torrential rain. The son is coming over this weekend to help with the big prune. The butcher bird arrived on the doorstep the day we arrived home…

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  5. Beautiful images Tracy and I love the mosaic 💜 We’re so happy to hear Ama is more comfortable and you’ve been able to reduce the dosage and side effects. It can be such a difficult balance and quality of life counts for a lot. Please give her a big pat from us all 🤗🐾💖🐾 xxx

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  6. Lots to see in your garden Tracy. I’m a bit envious about the wrens, which we have, but I’ve never seen any chicks. The bird photos are splendid, esp the one with the cockatoos. It has been so dry here, but suddenly in the last couple of weeks, we’ve had much rain which has been wonderfully welcome. The southerly came in this afternoon and it’s cold, as I expect is down there too. Your mosaic is so cheerful and bright.

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    1. Hi Jane, good to hear from you. Dry here too. Last night was our first decent rain. Hooray!

      There were two wren chicks all up. I was so excited. There have been an amazing amount of birds over the last month. They must all be coming into town. All the dams are dry. We are now freezing. Maybe I should pick the last couple of green tomatoes. I’m worried we might get a frost tonight.

      Thanks for your kind words about the mosaic. It might be brightening up the garden sooner than I had planned at this rate. 🙂


      1. Frosts are certainly not far off, Tracy. I’ll have to wrap bandages around the trunks of my two bay trees if I don’t want to lose them. I meant to add to my comment that I’m glad to read that your beautiful dog is recovering.

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  7. Spring has finally arrived in our area. Winter seemed to linger forever. I wish I had a picture of the solitary Bumblebee in my yard collecting pollen, with her saddle bags visibly orange. Bumblebees are a rare sighting in our area with so many having been devastated by pollution. I enjoy your photographs and look forward to your posts

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    1. Thank you, Sid. I appreciate your comments.

      It must have been so nice to see the bumblebee. Perhaps a few might show up as the days warm up. Hopefully. We’ve seen the odd one in Australia. They are not meant to be here. Imports. But they don’t do well here.


  8. wow!you have a wide variety of birds there. The ones with crests look very exotic. love your mosaic. simple or complex, you have a lot of talent

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  9. Love your new mosaic, Tracy! The colours and forms are truly perfect to calm the mind, like something you could watch whilst meditating (which I’ve been trying for half a year now and boy is it tricky! 😂).
    As always your birds make me want flying down under rather sooner than later – so much joy to be had in your corner of the world by simply looking out of the window. 😊 The cockatoo are especially lovely! And that chick is adorable!
    So glad to hear Ama is doing better now and busy making new friends. 😄

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      1. Aww – that would be just so perfect, Tracy! But I will probably let you do the mosaics and just watch you work – love watching an artist doing her thing and getting lost in it. 😀 😉

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  10. Lovely and interesting Tracy, thank you. Now i am off to look up the case moth! Fresky looking fellow, very sci-fi! Looking forward to reading about the things that are close to your heart. Take care.

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  11. A seven year old Vancouver Island boy was attacked by a cougar that had the boy’s arm in its jaws. His mother saw the cougar attacking her little son. His mother attacked the cougar and forced its jaw open and released her son’s arm from the cougar’s grip. Mothers are so courageous!

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  12. Great to see your pictures–loved the birds and insects. I liked the mosaic too, and nice to learn a bit about Australia as we in Canada welcome spring while you have fall. Sad about trees and other plants not getting enough water–we have that happening here too.
    Khabira Candace

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