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

Organ Pipes – Let The Music Play

I remember vividly that freezing cold day in 1991 when I went to the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland.  It was more than the cold that sent shivers down my spine.  There was no-one else there.  Just us.  We were so small next to that massive geological formation.  I thought I would never see anything like it again, especially not in my own country.

Smaller in scale, but just as awe-inpiring.  In Gamilaroi Country. 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

Miracle Garden

In 2003, bush-fires ravaged the old Nil Desperandum homestead.  After the fires, the historic rammed-earth cottage was re-built to the original 1896 design.  Nil Desperandum forms part of the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve (near Canberra).   Amidst the devastation wrought by the fires, a part of a commercial camellia plantation somehow managed to survive.  Surrounded by dense bush on all sides, it truly is a miracle garden. 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

Just An Old-Fashioned Love Song

Happy lovey dovey day, everyone.  It sounds like I’m not sentimental, but first impressions can be deceiving.  After nearly 25 years of marriage (drats, I think I forgot my last wedding anniversary), I am still as much in love with my gorgeous man as the first time I ever saw his face.  We don’t do the whole Valentine’s Day thing, but as I forgot our last anniversary, I’m going to have to make it up to him somehow.  My love wouldn’t have forgotten the big day, but as it coincides with another apparently important anniversary, he would have felt it rude to overshadow the other event, unless of course I happened to mention it first.

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To get in the mood for this lovey dovey day (and in the interests of this post), I’ve been listening to some of my favourite love songs/tunes (see my list below).  I fear this list may tell you more about me than you would care to know, but I thought I would share it with you anyway.  Here goes: Read more

Tiny Treasures

This is my response to the Ragtag Daily PromptManufacture.  I’ve finally come up with the an idea for my next mosaic.  After my last huge effort, I am looking to do something small, literally.  I like to make mosaics from my own photos, but in this case I won’t be able to.  I should be so lucky to see an endangered mountain pygmy possum! Read more