Sunday, 24 July 2011

Cold, wet and windy at the beach

Sydney, and pretty well all the east coast of NSW and Victoria, have just experienced days of torrential rain and gale force winds. Hopefully over now but you never know. I love storms but it did get a bit scary as I watched the water rising into our garden and hoped the chicken pen would survive. Of course the chickens themselves were fine; they just moved onto the doormat and gazed at me sadly as Basil the Beagle and I sat huddled by the heater. Keeping their food dry and feeding them on the deck has meant that the local birds have stepped up to the challenge and tried a bit of pilfering when my attention strayed.

This is a Sulphur Crested Cockatoo, one of about 50 that attempt to steal the chook food. However, these two Rainbow Lorikeets, way smaller but very bold, chased the Cockatoos and kept them at bay until they'd had their fill. These are wild birds, and I don't think should be fed, but they are accustomed to handouts from campers and spend their afternoons casing the neighbourhood for possible snacks.

The beach has been covered with seaweed and a wonderful collection of sea animals, most of them dead, but if I think they may be alive I toss them back in. Sea urchins of many varieties, starfish, small fish, all tumbled together out of the maelstrom of waves and onto the beach. For the first time I found a sea mouse Aphrodita australis. This is a polychaete, and I've read that the spines may be stingers but I had to pick it up to put it back in the water, and I didn't get stung. The photos show the top and underside of this weird little animal, which was about 4 inches long. The link is to the Sea Slug Forum, and this is NOT a sea slug. It just happened to be the best link I could find.

I finally finished my edition of books for BookArtObject and posted them off. I had worked on a spiral version but had a change of heart and instead made 15 copies of a Blizzard Book. As I'm not at home I don't have photos to show you but will post pics in a couple of weeks. Two more weeks to go here at Basil's house and I'm hoping for lots of dry weather.


  1. we didn't have quite the torrential conditions experienced elsewhere along the south eastern coast this week - but I could hear the roar of the ocean from miles away at our creek home... gosh it must have been frightful to be right up against it!

    thanks for sharing the weird and wonderful sea creatures ... I've never seen a - what did you call it? a sea mouse? and those naughty cockies and parrots.... gosh they are cheeky!

    hope the weather is nice and calm for the next couple of weeks

  2. Thank you for posting pics from your beach trip! I can't quite imagine having those cockatoos and lorikeets around - they are so beautiful! We don't have what I think of as such gorgeous birds here. The sea mouse is also very different. I'm glad the spines were not stinging!


  3. Love the post and the photos. The birds are adorable....yes I know they are theiving, but still....I am such a softie!
    I have never seen the sea creature you posted and if it doesn't look like a throwback to the prehistoric age..WOW! Amazing.....
    Enjoy the rest of your time there!


  4. Have a lovely time with Basil and the chooks. Our native birds are nothing if not bold! I hope you have some decent weather for the rest of your stay. Rain at the beach can be lovely too, but not for the whole time!
    I can hardly wait to see your book photos when you get home!!!

  5. Ronnie: I'd never seen a sea mouse in the flesh either, just in books. After saying I hadn't been stung I did get a bit of a sting the next day when putting one back in the water, but nothing to worry about.

    Judy: See above re stinging! The chooks are tending to stand over their food, even when they're not hungry. The cockies sit in a row watching them, ready to move in when the chooks give up.

    Anne: Prehistoric is right! So many of the animals thrown up on the beaach looked either prehistoric or like aliens. Fascinating.

    Amanda: Weather is stunning this week, like a different world. T-shirt weather, I find it hard to believe it, though it's jolly cold in the morning still. This is perfect NSW winter weather as I choose to remember it.

  6. What amazing wildlife you have and how very different from ours.

    Nature is wonderful but very scary at times, storms in particular. I hope you have seen the worse of it.

  7. I'm glad to hear that you (and the chickens) came through the storm o.k. Loved the photos of the birds -- what colorful little thieves you have in your part of the world!

  8. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


I love to read your comments and I do reply to each. I've turned off word verification and comment moderation for the moment but will see how that goes.