red deer

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P1180537.jpgThe Isle of Skye in north west Scotland is known for its abundant wildlife. The Red Deer are the largest mammal in the UK and the largest population is on Skye. While I wasn’t able to photograph the male as they prefer the higher ground, this lovely female and two others were browsing under a tree near the road. October was a lovely time to visit Scotland, with trees, grasses and animals all colour complementing each other in an abundance of autumn hues. p1180763


the elephant-ray

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Left over from the shedding of bark on the Spotted gum, this elephant head/manta ray shape is one of many shapes that seem to embody the Indigenous perception that the gods are evident in nature.

brown cuckoo-dove 2

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This capture shows the beautiful russet-brown feathers and part of the lovely long tale. These birds love the wild tobacco tree and seem to swallow the berries whole as in this past capture.P1130125

rainbow lorikeet on the Coffs Coast

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These birds are prolific and loud, mostly hanging out in large flocks they can be very vocal about who gets to feed on which flower. This one had opted for a solo meal and was happily feeding on a grove of flowering banksia by itself in the Moonee Beach Nature Reserve on the Coffs Coast, NSW Australia. If you like the coast environment of beach and ocean on one side and nature and mountains on the other, this stretch of coastal reserve, tucked between the city of Coffs Harbour and the village of Emerald Beach on the north coast of NSW, is a great place to walk, wander, swim and surf and has great accommodation options to suit all budgets.

olive-backed oriole

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These slender, long-tailed birds are omnivorous and have far-reaching calls. They are of medium bird size, around 25-28cm, and are common nomads in north and eastern Australia. I spotted this one on the edge of a nature reserve on the NSW north coast where it was feeding in the top of a she-oak.

the same backyard

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Old man of the forest -Dorrigo National Park NSW Australia
Old man of the forest -Dorrigo National Park NSW Australia
As a passionate environmentalist my Facebook news feed is a constant reminder of the madness that is being undertaken in the name of corporate greed. Must the human race descend into anarchy and chaos? Must future generations fight each other for decent food and clean water? Can we not aspire to a sustainable future where respect for other species is born out of common sense, compassion and self-interest?  When a government gets into power on certain agendas it doesn’t mean they then have a mandate to do whatever they like with the environment. Here in Australia the Abbott government seems intent on destroying the UNESCO listed Great Barrier Reef and Tasmania‘s old growth forests in order to appease those with the money and the power to keep them in government. Then there is the sell out of our agricultural land and water to Coal Seam Gas mining .. to name only a few… there must be a better way to govern.
Autumn leaf - Yosemite National Park CA US
Autumn leaf – Yosemite National Park CA US

Does this require a cosmic shift in thinking? Yes. Does the human race need to  redefine its relationship with other species? Absolutely. Might we have to accept a different lifestyle? Quite possibly … but different can be better. The idea that Earth is separate to Humans, and that humans have the right to rape, pillage and plunder for short term economic gain or pleasure (think Shark Cull in WA) is out-dated, short-sighted and incredibly selfish.

Moreover, if we think the human race is the preeminent species, that is even more of a reason to take custodianship seriously, not abandon it altogether. The Earth does not exist in bits, it cannot be sliced and diced. Our backyard does not end at the bottom of our garden or at the horizon line.
Fish - Fiji
Fish – Fiji

Our backyard includes every living thing on the planet: the droplet of water rushing down a mountain stream, a decomposing leaf on a forest floor, tiny fish darting through coral reefs.While ultimately we are affected by what happens globally, what happens in our own nations will be felt quicker, and it behoves us to watch over our immediate backyard with a keen and discerning eye. Forgetting our regional, national and global codependence has consequences for us all. Progress means evolving into a new form, but this can be achieved in a positive way, it does not have to mean the end of hundreds of species and our health.