Category Archives: Out and about

Frog story


At the moment I am enjoying listening to and recording frogs – the last two places I have stayed at in Sydney have frog ponds and the Australian Museum have a FrogID app that I can record them with.

I have recorded Striped Marsh frogs both in Sydney and in Maitland where I live. They are not an endangered frog but they are very interesting. After the last big lot of rain the main frog in the pond out the back called in every frog in the neighbourhood I think – there were heaps of frogs and a lot of noise. Not long after that there were egg rafts everywhere in the pond and a few days after that tons of tiny tadpoles. I felt like a kid again and was so happy to see them all.

There is another frog out the front of the house in a drain – it is quite a nice drain but sadly he hasn’t enticed any females into it which I think is a bit sad. These frogs can live for 8 years so that would be a lot of calling for a mate with nothing happening. I have seen a few cats around out the front and I’m wondering if that’s why there aren’t many frogs there. At my sisters I caught her cat with their frog (they only have one frog, also a striped marsh frog) in its mouth – luckily the cat dropped it and the frog survived.

I think the frog out the front needs to weigh up his options and find somewhere else, probably somewhere out the back or in the pond with the other two frogs. I’m keeping my eye on him.


Image of the Striped Marsh Frog by the Australian Museum




Tahitian frangipani – taken with my phone in the evening with the moon in the background

I love this frangipani tree which I walk past every time I walk the dogs. It is a beautiful tree – pink frangipanis are my favourite. I always look forward to walking under it when it is in flower as the fragrance is exquisite and it always makes me happy. The owner gave me a piece of it a while back which I planted out the front of my house although it died. I didn’t properly prepare the soil and it just shrivelled up.

There are many scents in the air at the moment on our walks – citrus blossom, roses and murraya and all equally delicious.

We had a lovely yellow frangipani growing next door and my daughter and I used to pick up the flowers from the ground and bring them into the house. Someone on their body corporate didn’t like the tree because it was messy and chopped it down. We were really sad to see such a beautiful thing go. So was our elderly neighbour whose windows it shaded in the summer.

“Scent is the most potent and bewitching substance in the gardener’s repertory and yet it is the most neglected and least understood.  The faintest waft is sometimes enough to induce feelings of hunger or anticipation, or to transport you back through time and space to a long-forgotten moment in your childhood.  It can overwhelm you in an instant or simply tease you, creeping into your consciousness slowly and evaporating almost the moment it is detected.  Each fragrance, whether sweet or spicy, light or heavy, comes upon you in its own way and evokes its own emotional response.” –  Stephen Lacey,  Scent in Your Garden, 1991

“It is a golden maxim to cultivate the garden for the nose, and the eyes will take care of themselves.” –  Robert Louis Stevenson

“Perfumes are the feelings of flowers.” –  Heinrich Heine 

Addit: We had a super storm since I wrote this and sadly the frangipani tree was destroyed. It’s a shame mine didn’t grow but I’m sure others had cuttings of it. It was a big tree, I don’t think they will replant it. I will miss the tree but I am glad that I have a photo of it and the memory of its fragrance will linger on.

PS: I was walking my dogs and got talking to the neighbour of the lady that owned the frangipani tree. We were talking about the storm and she said another neighbour had lived there for 80 years and had never seen another storm like it. We have had regular flooding events but nothing like that supercell that hit us. I said how much I missed the tree and that I had a photo of it in full flower taken earlier in the year. She said her neighbour had kept pieces of it and will replant it from the cuttings. I was thrilled to hear this and I look forward to a new tree.


In search of the Budai

         Budai – The Laughing                             Buddha.

Someone told me that to rub the tummy of a Buddha brings you good fortune. I don’t actually have a Buddha myself, maybe because I was raised Presbyterian. I discovered when cleaning clients homes that most of them have a Buddha here or there. I thought, I could do with some good fortune, it must be working for these ladies if they can pay for me to come and clean. So every visit at a house that had a Buddha I would rub the Buddha’s tummy. Eventually, I thought I could buy myself my own Buddha. I like the symbolism of the Buddha and the gentle nature of the Buddhist faith – no fire and brimstone and I enjoy the benefits of practising yoga. So I was going on an errand to the post office and went past a couple of my favourite op shops. I had a look and I found two Buddhas but they were wall plaques just of his head, so I would have to keep looking.

A couple of days later I read that Buddhists find it insulting that people rub the Buddha’s tummy. It is folklore that says the Budai’s tummy brings you good fortune. The Budai was an eccentric Chinese Chan monk, born during the Later Liang dynasty, who was poor but happy and loving. The Chinese people affectionately call him “The Laughing Buddha”. Often he is identified as an incarnation of Maitreya, the future Buddha.

I thought, all those tummies I’ve rubbed and I’ve probably insulted people. I’d better find out what the statues are. First house I went to – Budai doorstop laughing as I entered. Phew, I gave his tummy a rub and went in. Next house, where’s that statue? There you are on the top of the bookcase – red Budai laughing down at me. I rubbed his tummy for good measure. So far all the houses have had Budai statues, just one to go. I hope it’s a Budai.

My search continues for my own Budai and I can polish up his belly whenever I feel like it. He is such a happy looking character, I can see why he is displayed in so many homes. He makes me laugh and if the legend isn’t true, then I guess that’s why he’s laughing at me.


Flash Fridays – October 24th

Today's Chapter

For this weeks Flash!Friday we had to include bankruptcy in a story about the following prompt, which I sort of forgot to do – oops!:

Title: Mr. Hydrick, county supervisor, and Mr. Melody Tillery examining mouth and teeth of his mare, which has mule colt. Pike County, near Tray, Alabama. Public domain photo by Marion Post Walcott.

Mr. Hydrick, county supervisor, and Mr. Melody Tillery examining mouth and teeth of his mare, which has mule colt. Pike County, near Tray, Alabama. Public domain photo by Marion Post Walcott.

A Hard Bargain

Hydrick casually strolled around the colt, “He’s a fine looking horse. I’ll give you $500 for him.”
“$500? Is that a joke? I’m worth ten times that!”
Melody coughed loudly as Hydrick exclaimed, “I beg your pardon?”
“Nothing sir, must have been the wind.” Melody kicked Charlie in the shin, achieving the exact opposite of the desired outcome, “Really? You want to start a kicking contest with me?”
“What ever is wrong with your voice, you sound terrible!”
“A little hoarse perhaps?”
Melody tried pinching Charlie’s mouth shut, but Hydrick…

View original post 71 more words

Networking and old times


Sea cave NSW from the inside looking out – taken on a field trip with the geology club.

I went to a geology discussion group last night with my geology friends and met up with my old boss who I hadn’t seen for a long time. He asked what I was doing and I said casual teaching so if you have any work to throw my way. I had a very good government compliance job in Mineral Resources, but I was bored stupid and not terribly well either when I left. He said when you left I wandered around in a daze for two hours wondering what I had done. I reassured him that it was not him – he was a good boss and had endeavoured to make the job more interesting although with a backlog and short staffing that was very difficult. I said I left for personal reasons with my dad dying and my senior and very good friend diagnosed with a brain tumour on his retirement. I thought there’s more to life and did some travelling and volunteer work plus study – all the things I had wanted to do for a long time. Currently the work at the department has cut back along with staff due to the recession and slump in the resources industry.

I look at last night as a positive as normally my old boss doesn’t go to the talks but it was something that he was interested in – the Marianas trench south of Japan and work being done on a drilling ship to determine the age of the plates and geological history of the area. I’m interested in palaeomagnetism being used as a dating tool – when the earth’s magnetic field flips between the north and south magnetic fields. This occurs randomly but is recorded in rocks at mid-ocean ridges (spreading ridges where basalts come up through the ocean floor from magma below).

There were many people there from my geology groups and also people that I used to work with plus a few new faces. They are always happy to see me and it’s good to hang around the old traps – you never know when things will change, sooner rather than later hopefully.