Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – What’s Bugging You?

When my family got involved in the regeneration of our local woodland, I never imagined that one of our tasks would be to photograph the insects in that space. My True Love (TL) needed little encouragement as he already had an interest in insects. Suffice to say, he has found it extraordinarily difficult to get these small creatures in focus. The wind seems to blow constantly and the insects make haste to avoid being eaten or to eat others. Kudos to all the insect photographers out there. I’m not one of them. You have to take lots of photos to get one or two in focus, at least my TL does on his particular camera. Anyway, today I am featuring a few of the photos my TL has taken over the last six months. Let’s get started.

Bug eyes.

Purple-winged mantid – Tenodera australasiae

What do you think? Spider egg sacs?

Beetles seem to be the favourite prey of many insects, although to be strictly accurate, spiders are not insects.

Diamondback comb-footed spider – Cryptachaea veruculata

Apparently the Cerceris, or digger, wasp likes beetles too. My TL is lucky enough just to get the photo of the wasp, so no beetles were eaten in this photo. Cute, don’t you think?

Cerceris wasp – Cerceris sp. (genus)

My TL also took some photos of cuckoos. How about this tiny cuckoo wasp? It is only about 4-5mm long and super fast.

Cuckoo Wasp – Primeuchroeus sp. (genus)

And a Chequered cuckoo bee. Seriously, there is such a thing.

Chequered Cuckoo Bee – Thyreus caeruleopunctatus

Halictad bees are also tiny. At least, these ones are. The first one has just emerged from a tiny Wahlenbergia, our native bluebell, and the second is roosting in some grass.

My TL tried to take some photos of meat ants launching their queens. But it was a bit hard to get them in focus. I was hollering in the background because the ants were biting me as they were scrambling up my jeans. Definitely had ants in me pants. We had to move away quickly. I thought I would have to drop my dacks on the track to get them out. Just imagine if other walkers had came across a man doing the same thing? He probably would have got into some serious trouble for being a flasher. Anyway, back to the photos – a meat ant pushing a lump of dirt downhill.

Meat Ant – Iridomyrmex purpureus

Speaking of beetles being eaten alive …. We know ants gotta eat, but my TL nevertheless rescued this beetle. The ants would not let that poor beetle go. My TL had a devil of a job freeing it. You have got to be joking if you think I am going anywhere near those ants.

Well, I can’t leave you traumatised so I will finish off with this lovely photo of a Yellow Admiral butterfly on a scribbly gum.

Yellow Admiral Butterfly – Vanessa itea

Thank you to Donna from Wind Kisses for coming up with this theme. It is probably the only subject that I can talk a lot about but don’t have to do any of the work to bring the images to you.

Now bugger off (Aussie slang for “Off you go.” No offense intended.)

Kind Regards.

Silent Sunday

A grey day that melted into night.

Okay, a few words. Our cameras and the software can do magic these day to sharpen and lighten up soft photos taken in the gloom. I constantly debate with myself about using all this tech to massage the photo into what I’ve been told is the correct exposure. I confess that I did touch up this photo. Just a bit. There is no point in posting something that people can’t see, I chide myself. But I like dark photos where shapes and colours merge together.

Nothing wrong with being a bit gloomy, readers.

May you be gloomy in the best possible way.

Kind Regards.

Positive Thinking

For the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Environments. This week’s challenge is hosted by Tina. Thank you, Tina.


Sometime it is easy to forget that I live in the burbs. But then I return to reality.

However, I am soon cheered up by a change of scenery in the garden. Probably too subtle for some chaps.

I know this is a photo challenge but we definitely need a song. Let’s have a listen to LaTasha Lee singing Think On. Go, girl.

Be kind, everyone.

Kind Regards.

Glowing With Pride

This week I am joining in the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge which is hosted by a bunch of bright sparks, including guest host, Siobhan from Bend Branches. The theme for this week’s challenge is Glowing Moments. If you are keen on photo challenges, check out Siobhan’s post here.

My True Love has been taking some lovely photos lately, hence I thought I would showcase a few of his interesting (to me) photos. Let’s start with one of his recent arty farty shots.

Since I complained about the Blue-Banded Bee nipping me between my toes, my TL has been stalking these little creatures to get a nice close-up of their mandibles. Check ’em out. In the overall scheme of life, they are very small mandibles, built for respite and cause no lasting harm.

My TL has now gone a little insect crazy. Nothing wrong with that. He spotted a Tailed Emperor (Charaxes sempronius) in our garden. We’ve never seen one before so it was a pretty exciting moment. The Tailed Emperors are not rare but neither are they common. We learnt that they feed on fermenting fruit. Yum, yum.

My TL also set up a night trail camera in the backyard. The fig tree has been attracting a lot of critters, including Grey-Headed Flying Foxes. Can you see the flying fox’s eyes glowing in the dark?

I’ll finish off with one of my favourite, bittersweet, photos that he took in the summer of 2019.

Flame Robin – Namadgi National Park (2019)

We live in interesting times with interesting people. Perhaps I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Take care, everyone.

Kind Regards.

The Bluffer

A poem and an Australian native plant photo.

The Bluffer

Is a nondescript plant unworthy of the lingering gaze?
Must the ugly duckling metamorphise
into that beautiful swan? Does a light shine
with none to see it, invisible when eyes are closed?

The winter woodland keeps its secrets. Echo
chambers climb from forest floor until – tendril –
summer’s fertile heat provides the desiccant,
the bluffer and ephemera of nature’s final call.

Clematis microphylla in seed, Australian National Botanic Gardens

I read a recent disparaging comment about the lovely Australian native climber, Clematis microphylla. Perhaps you are yet to discover it or if you have, perhaps you have been underwhelmed? Be patient, dear Readers, and look again.

Kind Regards.

At Last

Philosophy by photos.

Sometimes you have to start small, very small.

Insect eggs on a blade of grass.

And sometimes things can get a little hairy.

Hairy Appleberry (Billardiera scandens)

Sometimes it is best to sway with the breeze.

Red Anther Wallaby Grass (Rytidosperma pallidum)

Every year is different, not yours to decide.

The blossom of the Olearia phlogopappa survives a small hailstorm, unlike the previous two years.

Stop for sustenance,

Crimson rosella eats the bluebells growing on my verge.

Speak, but also listen.

Currawong chicks

Your time will come to shine.

Daviesia mimosoides – my landcare group has planted two seedlings in the park.
Hopefully they will survive and grow as beautiful as this one.

This is my last chance to participate in the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge for 2022. This week’s theme is Last Chance and the brief is to publish for the first time some favourite photos taken during 2022. All but one of the photos was taken in my garden or my local park. Many thanks to the Lens-Artists hosts for their hard work and thoughfulness, and also to you, dear Readers, for joining me here.

Happy holiday, everyone, and see you next year.

Kind Regards.

The Verge

Work on the verge, or the nature strip as some like to call it, began about a year ago. It began as a folly because our family normally call this area the dead zone. Growing a native garden under a gum tree can be difficult but hopefully not impossible with the right plant choices. We live in a frost hollow so that adds further challenges. It is winter now so not much is happening. Still, I am like an expectant mum, bursting with excitement and ready to bring home the baby. But as you know, these things cannot be rushed.

The design concept evolved over the course of the year from growing whatever would grow in the dead zone under our brittle gum, to instead targetting plants that were native to our local area (Canberra, Australia); there being quite a lot of overlap in these groups. Unfortunately my enthusiasm was not matched by my knowledge and so occasionally I planted some non-local native species in my haste to get plants in the ground before dry weather was upon us again. The definition of our local region is also very broad covering both sub-alpine temperate forests through to natural temperate grasslands on the plains.

The garden is finally starting to take shape, albeit mostly in my head. To narrow down my plant choices, I began to incorporate a number of species found growing in my nearby local park or plants that perhaps ought to be growing in the park if it had been left in its original natural state. I suspect I have over-planted but I anticipate some losses. By popular demand (a couple of people), below is a list of the plants I’ve jammed into this small space. This list and accompanying photos will be updated from time to time.


  1. Cymbopogon refractus (Barbed-wire grass) – despite its name, very soft and beautiful but highly flammable when mature. I may need to reconsider although that choice may have been made for me as it appears to have died over winter 2022.
  2. Enneapogon nigricans (Nine-Awn grass, Bottlewashers) – a small, buxom grass.
  3. Poa sieberiana (Small blue Tussock Grass) – beautiful.
  4. Poa spp (Snow Grass) – I think I have Poa helmsii. Maybe too big? Doing fantastically well.
  5. Rytidosperma spp. (Wallaby Grass)
  6. Themeda triandra (Kangaroo Grass) – growing in nearby park and elsewhere in my garden.


  1. Billardiera scandens (Hairy Apple Berry) – local bush tucker.
  2. Glycine clandestina (Twining Glycine) – growing in nearby park.
  3. Convolvulus angustissimus – another species that occurs naturally at the park (where there are fewer snails!)
  4. Hardenbergia violacea (Native Sarsparilla) – limited success previously but wrens seem to like it so I am trying again. Barely survived winter 2022.
  5. Ziera prostrata – non-local threatened species. Unlikely to survive.


  1. Eremophila ‘Piccaninny Dawn’ – non-local but an eremophila that survives in Canberra! I’ll take it.
  2. Eutaxia obovata (Egg and Bacon Plant) – non-local. Shade-loving. Doing well.
  3. Olearia phlogopappa white (Dusty Daisy Bush) – often found locally in alpine areas and/or moist to wet forests.
  4. Pimelea linifolia (Slender riceflower) – a favourite of my son.

Herbs (Forbs)

  1. Arthropodium milleflorum (Pale Vanilla Lily)
  2. Arthropodium minus (Small Vanilla Lily) – eaten by cockatoos
  3. Bulbine bulbosa (Bulbine Lily) – fire resistant, bush tucker
  4. Bulbine semibarbata (Leek Lily) – fire resistant
  5. Calocephalus citreus (Lemon Beauty Heads) – grassland plant doing really badly.
  6. Chrysocephalum apiculatum (Common Everlasting/Yellow Buttons) – keystone grassland plant.
  7. Chrysocephalum semipapposum (Clustered Everlasting, Yellow Buttons)
  8. Craspedia variabilis (Billy Buttons)
  9. Eryngium ovinum (Blue Devil) – spiky but beautiful, dies back in autumn. Seen previously in nearby park but no longer present. Also elsewhere in my garden.
  10. Leucochrysum albicans (Hoary Sunray) – threatened species.
  11. Rutidosis leptorrhynchoides (Button Wrinklewort) – endangered, heartbreaker, ie. difficult to grow. I’ve not had much growing it elsewhere in my garden.
  12. Stylidium graminifolium (Grass Trigger Plant) – because I like them.
  13. Thysanotus tuberosus (Common Fringe Lily)
  14. Vittadinia muelleri (Narrow leaf New Holland Daisy) – growing in nearby park.
  15. Wahlenbergia stricta (Native Bluebell) – native bee loves them. Prolific.
  16. Wahlenbergia communis (Tufted Bluebell)

It is difficult to get the big picture of the garden from the small seedlings in the garden. I will post more photos in spring.

Happy gardening, everyone.

Kind Regards.

*Photos from plants growing elsewhere in the garden.

Last Updated 30/10/2022

Lens Artists – Picking Favourites

During July, the dedicated, hard-working hosts of the incredibly popular Lens-Artists Photo Challenge take a well earned break from their hosting duties and co-opt five guest hosts to take on this important responsibility. Wrapping up the final week of the month, is guest host, Sarah, from Travel With Me. Sarah has chosen the theme ‘Picking Favourites’. She has asked that respondents pick three of their best/favourite photos, one each from three different photographic genres. Sarah has also requested that respondents outline why they chose a particular photo. Tough assignment but I’ll give it a go. Here is my response.

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Public Menace?

Welcome to my regular Friday song/tune day, ladies and gentlemen, where I pick a piece of music that reflects my mood or the times, to share with you.

Yesterday I was as mad as hell when workers down the road parked on my new garden. So I spent a good five minutes looking for some lipstick to write on their windscreen. But I decided against that and instead stormed down to where they were working and asked them to move their, ahem, vehicle off my, um, garden, or words to that effect. No really, I was very polite. Unfortunately, there was a fatality.

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