about this blog

This blog tracks the ongoing changes of my garden, and the wildlife I try to attract to it. It's a nature blog. It contains my thoughts and musings about anything and everything to do with nature - gardening, book reviews, philosophy, travel, science, history, art, design, politics.
Catmint is my signature plant because it has all the qualities I value in a plant: resilience, beauty and the capacity to spread prolifically . Unfortunately it's not indigenous. If I was starting again I'd probably choose an indigenous plant.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

marine environment matters

I call this blog a nature blog, but this is the first post about the marine environment.

Visiting the Melbourne Aquarium is always a wonderful experience.  Like Melbourne Zoo, its aim is to help conserve animals in the natural environment, not just to be an arc for animals extinct in the wild.

I hope my grandsons will be able to see fish, coral and other sea creatures in the wild when they grow up.

Global warming, government policies privileging business over conservation and a plague of plastic bags that kill birds and sea creatures like turtles, are among the risks.

The Australian Marine Conservation Society (ACMS) is dedicated to protecting ocean wildlife and their homes. It's the organization to work with if you want to play a role in advocating for sea creatures.

One recent campaign was to protect 'local' great white, tiger and bull sharks from being killed in Western Australia. The ostensible goal of this policy was to protect swimmers. But sharks are migratory animals, and do not frequent particular beaches. This policy threatened some of our most vulnerable wildlife. Sharks are apex predators, and play a vital role in keeping the seas healthy by keeping other species in balance.

The Western Australia government drew back from this appalling policy of culling sharks using baited drum lines because of public opposition. But the ACMS is still keeping a close eye on the government to make sure it doesn't implement a shark cull by stealth. The policy still allows for large sharks swimming past the Western Australian coast to be killed on sight as they are deemed to be a 'risk to human safety'.

Another campaign is to do something about the rubbish polluting our streets, rivers and seas. Comedian Frank Woodley has made a quirky video about this topic, called Give Frank a Break.

Sunday, 2 November 2014

spring garden, and musing about possible future dilemma

Spring has returned to the garden, restoring the lush colourful wildness I missed for months. In the warm sunshine creatures fly, creep, crawl, hover, flutter and dart. The warm stone path is a highway for ants, beetles and millipedes.

I even saw a solitary ladybird feasting on the aphids feasting on the roses. Then I didn't see it any more. Maybe it died of indigestion. Too many aphids for one ladybird.

Recently a nearby property was sold for a ridiculously high price, a result of the demand for property in this neighbourhood by cashed up people. We have no immediate plans to sell and leave, but I don't imagine living here till I die. One day we will move. And what then? Probably a developer will buy it, pull down the house and destroy the garden. And he or she will make a killing - in flora, fauna and finances. If we were to develop it, we would make the killing. That would be a terrible, soul-searing dilemma. In the meantime, I continue to protect the patch and the wildlife I share it with, as best I can.

Lately I haven't blogged much, and I've been very unsociable in the blogosphere. To make up for it a bit, I'm linking this post to Carol's popular meme Gardener Blogger's Bloom Day. It's in her blog May Dreams Gardens, and worth checking out to find out what going on in people's gardens all over the world.

Saturday, 23 August 2014

awesome land of gorgeous gorges

They call it the outback, and it's a long way from the city. It took two days travelling to get to the Flinders Ranges. One day by train from Melbourne to Adelaide, half a day to Port Augusta by bus, then another four hours driving to reach our destination.

For a nature buff there's lots to see and experience - wildlife, rocks, gorges, sky, trees, shrubs and flowers.

The easiest animals to see are the large mammals. They're generally shy though, and you have to be quick or lucky with the camera.

Euro, Emu

Friday, 22 August 2014

the earth will survive us

With so many terrible things happening in the world, it feels important to share something optimistic yet realistic, from a guy who really knows what he's talking about, having seen the Earth from another perspective ...

"The world is immensely stable and ancient and self regenerating. It's withstood far worse things than us." 

So said Chris Hadfield recently.  Chris was the Canadian commander of the International Space Station.

 Let's hope he's right.

Saturday, 19 July 2014

children and gardens

 What messages do we give kids about gardens?

Thanks to a successful program getting gardens into schools, many children now know that food doesn't originate in a supermarket. So far The Kitchen Garden Foundation has established gardens in nearly 600 Australian schools.

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