No Ordinary Day

Happy National Eucalypt Day, everyone.  23 March is the national day for Australia’s iconic eucaplypt trees, of which there are around 900 species.  Eucalypts were known to have existed when Australia was still part of the super-continent Gondwana.  The oldest known eucaplypt fossil specimens (flowers, fruit and leaves) date back 52 millions years! Read more

The Silo On The Truck

I’m a big fan of road trips.  There is always something new and interesting to see on the journey.  Being stuck in slow moving traffic is no hassle, but instead a photo opportunity (provided one is not doing the driving).  Here is a photo I took a few years ago.  It is perfect for Frank’s Tuesday Photo ChallengeRound.  The silo on the truck goes round and round. Read more

The Changing Seasons – February (Part 1)

My February Changing Seasons post will be divided into two parts.  Part 1 covers the serious stuff.  Part 2 will be more lighthearted.

February – in the dying days of summer, danger lurks.
The shrill wind blew of the calamity to come.
But no one was listening.

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Did you know that the UN declared 2010 to 2020 the Decade for Deserts and has called for urgent action to fight against desertification?  The main reasons are land-clearing for agriculture, over-grazing and other land uses (eg. mining), unsustainable land management practices and climate change.  In a vicious cycle, degraded lands hold less carbon and less surface moisture.  It is estimated that it takes 1000 years to generate 3 cm of topsoil and if the current rate of soil degradation continues, all the world’s topsoil could be gone within 60 years.  No topsoil.  No life. Read more

Framing Reality – Looking Below the Surface

This post contains images that may offend my mum some readers.  Sometimes, ladies and gentlemen, it is difficult to distinguish between reality and fakery, especially in the online world.  How many of us can say, hand on heart, that we are completely honest about our online persona?  I present myself as an environmentally conscious person, nature lover, mother and artist.  My blog is called Reflections of an Untidy Mind, but some of my devoted readers, have been kind enough to comment that my mind does not appear as untidy as I make out.  Maybe I’m just using the old reverse psychology trick to make myself look good?  (That’s a rhetorical question, folks.) Read more

Animal Farm

Once upon a time, yellow box and red gum grassy woodlands stretched from Toowoomba to Victoria (Australia), providing a continuous wildlife corridor 100-150 kilometres in width and 1,500 km in length.  Since colonisation, vast swathes of grassy woodland have been cleared for agriculture.  Now there may be as little as 1-5 percent remaining. most of which has been modified in some way by grazing.  Many birds and animals have become trapped in isolated communities, reducing valuable genetic diversity and leaving them vulnerable to threats of local habitat loss.  It is not surprising then, that yellow box and red gum grassy woodlands have been declared a critically endangered ecological community. Read more

Not So Creepy Crawly

I would like to thank Frank at Dutch Goes the Photo for his Tuesday word prompt, crawl.  It allows me to post about something near and dear to my heart.  Yes, I know.  Everything is near and dear to my heart, but that can’t be a bad thing surely?  You have probably all seen the news this week about a recent insect study review.  The review found that insect numbers have plummeted, experiencing a 2.5% loss per year.  Now one can argue about the rate of decline, whether it can be applied uniformly across the globe and to all insects, but one thing is clear, our insect population is in trouble. Read more

Keepsake

In the interests of posting more flower photos and sharing memories, I present to you some rose photos.

I have four lovely rose bushes at my house.  All but one was given to us.  One by our mum/mum-in-law — a treasured possession.  Friends gave us another (Homage to Barbara) when she (the mother-in-law, not the friend) died.  Ever practical, like the woman herself, the flower heads just drop off when they are done.  Barb would have appreciated the joke.  The third rose was also given to us by a friend.  It was one of the roses planted in the Rose Gardens at Old Parliament House (Canberra), but it was culled from the garden to make way for more healthy stock.  Their loss, our gain, don’t you think? Read more

The Changing Seasons – January

January —  the season of abundance.  It can’t help it if it so hot.  Temperature records were broken again during January, including in my little part of the world.  Our town had four consecutive days above 40ºc, a new record.  Due to the bushfire hazard, many of our nature reserves were closed to the public.  So I’ve been housebound and cabin fever has set in.  Hence, this month’s post focuses on the small haven that is my garden. Read more