Sharing Early Literacy Learning Journeys

Archive for the ‘Nature’ Category

Weekly Photo Challenge: Letters

Letters leap out at me  – whenever I walk, wherever I walk…

A 'v' spread onto the beach sand

A ‘v’ spread onto the beach sand

The stick 'r' was found on the beach

A stick ‘r’ was found on beach sand

An f was found on the sand too

An ‘f ‘ was found on beach sand too

A 'Y' is easy to find in trees

A ‘Y’ is easy to find in trees

Letters from nature are also found on driveways and streets…

After rain, worms wriggled onto the driveway

After rain, worms wriggles onto the driveway

Not quite what Cheri spoke of – but fascinating for young children learning letters  on their literacy journeys…

Blossoms for breakfast

A pungent sweetness pervades the air this morning as creamy-white blossoms adorn the Melaleucas or ‘paper barks’ near our balcony.

Rainbow Lorikeet in paper bark

Rainbow Lorikeets chirp and chatter as they breakfast
on the beautiful blossoms.

Little camouflage for Rainbow Lorikeet

Happily for photographers, there’s little camouflage
for Rainbow Lorikeets against the long, leathery leaves and
pale, brown branches of the massive, melaleuca.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections

‘Like water which can clearly mirror the sky and the trees so long as its surface is undisturbed, the mind can only reflect the true image if Self when it is tranquil and wholly relaxed.’ Indra Devi

Some of the best reflections I’ve seen have been over lakes in Canada…

Sunrise 1
Getting up early is worth it for the spectacular sunrises and quiet reflections…

Sunrise 2
sometimes spotting a white vapour trail against the clear, blue skies.

Canoe at the dock

A sunny canoe waits patiently at the dock and
the smooth, wooden paddle is ready to dip into the still, cold water.

The calm canoeist

A lone canoeist lingers and reflects
on miriad memories of his special place…

Turtle reflection
whilst on an adjoining lake, a turtle reflects
on his special place and ponders, “What’s for lunch?”

View more interpretations of ‘reflections’ here.

Kookaburra comes a-calling

It’s a bright and sunny morning


when ‘kookie’ comes a-calling.


He ad-mires the view…


and looks for a bug or two…

PicMonkey Collage - Copy
He spreads his left wing out,
spreads his right wing out,
he ruffles
 back feathers out
and he shakes them all about,
He does the Hokey Pokey,

then kookaburra flies off again…

Stranded Stars

Alone on a sandy beach. A leisurely walk on a sunny afternoon.
Suddenly, spot a stranded starfish.

Two weeks later. Another beach.
Another leisurely walk on a sunny afternoon.
This time, with our son (Let’s call him Fred).

It’s hot. 34C. Wear flip-flops. Burning sand, too hot for bare feet.
See washed up coconuts, dried seaweed, assorted shells and sticks and twigs.

A fallen tree trunk, now a giant, sun-bleached log, rests on the sand.
I rest on the log. Fred walks over and rests beside me.
We watch a man on a paddle board glide into shore. Three small children run to meet him whilst their mother waits in the shade of the trees.

Suddenly, Fred gets up from the log and takes several steps. He stares at something on the sand. I get up and look too.
A blue-ringed octopus?
Fred pauses.
No. Only five legs. I thought it was a snake at first.

The stranded creature looks hard and dry. Using a long, thin rock and a flat rock,  Fred carries it to a shady part of the beach. It looks brittle and we don’t want to break it. Fred places it gently on a brown leaf. The mystery creature is beautifully preserved, I assume by the sea salt and the sun, flat and hard like a pressed flower.

Britttle Star

We find out later, it’s a Brittle Star  – in the Starfish family.

We also find out that marine scientists are trying to rename ‘starfish‘ as Sea Stars – because they are not ‘fish’.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Beginning

Beginning of the day...

Ahhh… beginning a new day

Beginning of life

and beginning new lives…

To see how others interpret ‘Beginning’, click here.

A Free Lunch at the Beach…

Leisurely Saturday. Revisit  Palm Cove.


Walk along the jetty. Look over the sea to Double Island. Look back at the shoreline at the sand, sea and rocks.


What’s that? A white bird stands out against the dark rocks. Zoom in with my camera lens. See the white bird more clearly. A white heron?


A white bird with a fish in its beak. A largish fish but a long, thin beak on the bird. How did these two come together? Was the fish in the water? Did the white bird pierce the fish with its long sharp beak?

Was the fish dead in the water or on the sand and the white bird found it?

Did the fish drop from an osprey or hawk flying overhead?


Take more photos and watch … it looks like a big fish. Sometimes the bird has the fish in its beak. A free lunch. And a solitary lunch, except for us watching from the jetty…


Sometimes the bird stabs at the fish and tries to pick it up again.

I haven’t seen this bird before. Exciting…  New… Interesting… What is happening now?

What bird is it? Not an ibis – they have black on them and a different shaped beak. A white heron? An egret?


Later. Look up online and find out the bird is an Eastern Reef Egret (Egretta Sacre)  Also called a Pacific Reef-Heron.

Wonder how much fish the Egret ate…

Was it enough for lunch?

And…  how did the Egret get the fish?

Comments welcome…

Weekly Photo Challenge: Grand

‘The grand show is eternal. It is always sunrise somewhere….’
John Muir reminds us…???????????????????????????????

 and what better way
to start the day
than with a grand sunrise…
this one, over Beaver Lake,  Ontario

Meanwhile, Ansel Adams points out that,
‘Both the grand and the intimate aspects of nature
can be revealed in the expressive photograph.’

Grand rock formations
in the North Dakota Badlands …


…and this grand rock 
at a highway pull out,
in North Queensland,
invites us to touch the iron-red rock face,
and the fine, intimate grasses.


Then there’s the grand view…
from grandstand seats
on cliffs,
in Victoria.


and a grand vista…
of the horizon
where big sky
meets open spaces
of vast American prairies,
making us feel small and insignificent.

Or, as Jill Ker Conway says of an outback Australian horizon, ‘On the plains, the earth meets the sky in a sharp black line so regular that is seems as though drawn by a creator interested more in geometry…’ and where, ‘Human purposes are dwarfed by such a blank horizon.’

See here for more grand pictures…

Ker Conway, J. (1989). The Road from Coorain. William Heinemann Australia

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