Nature Study in Australia: Winter

These are some of our recent nature gleanings. On a visit to a local park this very tame rabbit was having breakfast and remained totally oblivious to us and we were able to have an unplanned nature study observing him/her feeding.


We\’ve used Nature Studies in Australia by William Gillies this year for studying Natural History in Australia and finished it the other week so now I\’m reading The Wilderness by Amy Mack (1922) aloud. It\’s only 26 pages in length but it fits in nicely with the course from U of N. A free online version is available here.


Last week we had a walk down near the creek after quite a bit of rain. We have a waterfall that gives a spectacular display after a good amount of rain and this was the first time that these two had seen it like this. My granddaughter (who\’s nearly 3 yrs old) pointed to it and called it a shower. 

Here they are having a good splash in a puddle. My grandson (nearly 2 yrs of age) calls any body of water a puddle including the river we visited a couple of months ago.

Miss 15 yrs and I signed up to do the free University of Newcastle\’s Natural History Illustration course. Hails had already done it about 2 years ago and wanted to do it again so I joined her this time.

This is my rendition of an echidna. We usually see about one a year around our area and I sketched this from a photo as they don\’t hang around for very long and start to burrow if they sense people are near.

This was this week\’s lesson was about \’developing good observational skills and accurately recording every detail you see in front of you; looking at both positive & negative spaces, breaking down complex subjects into simplified shapes & depicting a three dimensional object on a two dimensional surface.\’
This is my drawing from that:
And this is Hails\’ drawing of a fox and the stages she went through in doing it – yes, she leaves me for dead, but she is very encouraging and likes me drawing (well, trying to) with her. 
A wattle in bloom… a little earlier than usual
Some fungi after all the rain

We\’ve seen some new birds on our birdfeeder or on the camellia trees nearby but haven\’t been able to identify them yet. Our lyrebird makes an appearance from time to time and today we saw a black cockatoo in a tree just up the road. and we\’ve had our yearly sighting of an echidna.

8 thoughts on “Nature Study in Australia: Winter

  1. That’s great, Brian. It’s sad that keeping a sense of wonder is often lost when we become adults. That’s one of the things I love about little children – everything is so interesting to them. 😊


  2. Thanks Mudpuddle. I’ve been trying to get some photos of some of the birds we’ve been seeing but I’ve not been very successful – doesn’t help that I’m only using the camera on my phone.


  3. Hello Margaret! Lovely to hear from you. 🙂I’m only three weeks into the course but so far it’s been very good. I’m hoping to make some progress with my neglected drawing skills.I did 18 months of a fine arts course way back before I was married & drawing was a large part of that but you’d never know now!!It’s definitely a skill you need to practice & if you don’t use it, you really do lose it. ☹️


  4. Lovely photos! I didn't know you had two grandbabies! Wonderful that they can grow up together. Your drawings are wonderful. Your kids' surely got that talent from you. I'm always so impressed with what your 15 year old draws and paint for her school work. And for sure, practice does make one better – at anything! 😀


  5. Thanks, Ruthiella. We have two grands with another due in January. I'll head over to your blog now. I haven't been getting around the blogging world much so will have to play catch up.


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