Author Archives: Joy Window

A bower for the lady

It’s the time of year when birds go a’courting. I noticed a female satin bowerbird (Ptilonorhynchus violaceus), and then a male, in the backyard this morning. I’d never seen the two of them together so was interested to watch their … Continue reading

Posted in Birds | Tagged | 2 Comments

The giant spear lily

Sometimes you walk past something and don’t even recognise it – that’s often the case with me and plants. I don’t know as much as I’d like – and the more I know, the more I realise I don’t know … Continue reading

Posted in Plants | Tagged | 7 Comments

Bizarre bezoars

Humans are generally a superstitious lot. Take the case of the bezoars displayed in our local museum, where I volunteer a couple of days a week. The provenance of the largest one is: ‘Ball found in stomach of horse 1885: … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | 6 Comments

Flash! Aaaah!

Cue Queen’s theme music from “Flash Gordon” and replace the zooming spaceships in that film with fireflies! Firefly season started a couple of weeks early this year and lasts only for a fortnight or so each year. It’s lovely to … Continue reading

Posted in Insects | Tagged | 6 Comments

A study in contrast

The weather has warmed up and snakes are on the move. Here on Bundjalung Country, late July and August are called ‘Coming Out Season‘: Getting dryer and can be strong winds, first hint of northerly winds. Birds starting to sing … Continue reading

Posted in Animals on land, Birds | Tagged , | 2 Comments

The introduced Mexican beetle

This pretty little beetle was in the backyard last week. I couldn’t find it in my reference books or on the ‘net so I asked the ever-helpful Queensland Museum, who identified it as the parthenium or Mexican beetle, Zygogramma bicolorata. … Continue reading

Posted in Animals on land, Insects | Tagged | 2 Comments

The reptile and the monotreme

I heard the first boobook of the season the other night, and the first cicada. The mulberry tree’s leaves are growing back, and the whipbirds are going nuts with their call-and-response mating calls. Some frogs are even calling, and soon … Continue reading

Posted in Animals on land, echidnas, Lizards | Tagged , | 4 Comments

A tale of two herons

The Pacific reef heron (Egretta sacra) and the white-faced heron (Egretta novaehollandiae) are both commonly seen on Australia’s east coast. This reef heron at Ballina was the dark morph – they also come in white. It was busy searching for … Continue reading

Posted in Birds | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

The swamp rat

Sometimes it is educational to see a dead body, and sometimes it is just sad. I found this native swamp rat (Rattus lutreolus) at the front of my house. The body was very fresh and just the head had been … Continue reading

Posted in Animals on land, Uncategorized | Tagged | 7 Comments

The rakali

The rakali (Hydromys chrysogaster) is one of Australia’s native water rats, active in both freshwater and saltwater habitats (wetlands, streams, farm dams, lakes, estuaries, beaches). They have been seen by neighbours in my area, but unfortunately not by me. So … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | 6 Comments