Ecology Quest 1 – Bush turkey holes, and finding a bat wing coral tree

Bat Wing Coral Tree – June Perkins

Yesterday I read the following from David Attenborough

“Where in 1945 it was thought that the way to solve the problem was to create wildlife parks and nature reserves, that is no longer an option. They are not enough now. The whole countryside should be available for wildlife. The suburban garden, roadside verges … all must be used.”

I agree.  We have bush turkeys, ibis, crows, and cockatoos frequent our back yard.  They enrich our lives.

The down side is that we can’t start a vegetable patch outside because of the bush turkeys digging holes everywhere. However  the upside is that they love eating all our scraps and it’s kind of cool they  are protected and have the run of the neighbourhoods. We are going to start a vegetable patch on the veranda.   I’d love to attract more butterflies to the backyard, perhaps because I miss the beauties we had in Feluga and Murray Upper.

I was thrilled this week to discover an interesting and attractive new plant not far from home. In my ecology quest I’m making a point to find out the names of unknown plants and animals. Today I present to you the Bat Wing Coral Tree – and here is a photograph where it does look like a bat wing!  A friend who lives in Mission Beach, but who knows heaps about the natural world, helped me identify it from a photograph I posted.


I hope to use my ecology quests to develop my poetry and stories.  It will be fun  and empowering to look at things and be able to name them.  

Whilst living in North Queensland I learnt a lot about the variety of  palms – which prior to living there I had a limited knowledge and interest in.  Being surrounded by them I could see so much variety, it became intriguing.

Returning to Brisbane after an eight year absence I am determined to know more about the more obscure looking plants in the garden, parks and streets.

(c) June Perkins words and images

Postscript – A friend has suggested that I can create raised vegetable patches and bush turkeys won’t touch the vegies. Looking into this and may post the garden in process.  Spring is in the air.

Country to Coast, Dunes to Highway


The weekend was full of sparks – from nature and events – for stories and poems.  It was a time for reconnecting with ABC Open.

I met Jo Joyce  (producer for the South Coast) in person for the first time.  I had worked with her ‘virtually’ for ABC Open when editing with the 500 words project and had viewed  her stories, photographs and videos. The local producers from my old home area who I was mentored by were: Mick Bromage, Leandro Palacio (now in Tassie), and Suzy (retired), but ABC Open feels like a family and it’s very cool  meeting more producer sisters and brothers, and keen ABC Open contributors.  We all love ABC Open.

The family headed up to Noosa to check out the From Country to Coast exhibition which Jo had put together.  It consisted of local contributors work from  various ABC Open projects, particularly Now and Then, but with samples of others like photography challenges and 500 words.  The excited buzz of contributors with their families and friends, and the public who had come along to support them, filled the exhibition space.

Jo introduced me to quite a few of them, and some introduced themselves.   They’re a friendly bunch!  They told me which were their contributions.  An ABC reporter was taking photographs of each artist next to their works!

ABC Open has been building momentum since it began in 2010.  More and more locals are building a relationship with the producers, their town and other contributors.  Contributors, who are from regional communities, share a passion for their home, photography, writing, storytelling, video, documentary making,  and where they may have had limited skills to begin with, they grow in confidence and take more risks than when they began.  They discover more about their camera, themselves and their community.

The exhibition is still on for anyone heading to Noosa, just go check it  out  at the Noosa Regional Gallery in Pelican St.  Allow some extra time if you want to watch the video selections as well.

It was the first time I had been to Noosa in over 19 years, and I didn’t remember much about the place.  It reminded me of Port Douglas and Cairns in its shop fronts and road winding by the coastline. One way it was massively different was the crowds, which were enormous, partly due to a food festival but also because Noosa has a beautiful beach and it’s still not full winter yet.

We tried to go and visit the National Park and local beach but there were absolutely no parking spots for kilometres.  So we ended up going to a beach called Castaway, which had sand dunes and windsurfers and less than 20 people.

I loved feeling the sand and the wind (which was giving the wind surfers lots of  blissful flight) – and watching my youngest son have a great run up and down the sand dunes with his older brother.

David was a bit concerned about how long  it took us to find the main highway again, only because it might mean travelling 60 km an hour for the 120 kms we still had to make home.  Not to worry we made it back to the main highway with sand in our toes and the memory of wind singing in our ears.  We made it home to Brisbane metropolis, or as some like to call it Brisvegas.


Mother’s Day Inspiring Stories

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Violinist bats (sculptures in the park), goannas and ducks attract the attention of my children. We all enjoy the reflections of the late afternoon.

The ducks pose.  Birds feed on the flowers. Sound of Music classics from the band’s free concert fill the park. ‘Climb Every Mountain’and ‘My favorite things.’We all like different songs from that one.

The garden is so full of green, colour and people.  A mother walks past and says, ‘if you just stay calm I’ll give you chocolate when we arrive at the car.’ Friends meet and the Dads tell each other’s children to be excellent to their mother, not just today but everyday. I store the day in photographs, poetry and this blog.

I like days like these as stores for future short stories.  Perhaps I will have a mother with curious children trying to make her away around the garden. She learns to be patient and see the world through their eyes again.

Perhaps however the children are impatient, and it’s the mother who wants to stop and look at everything with her brand new digital camera. Perhaps I could write a story about a bat who wanted to join the orchestra and went in search of a violin maker. They are sick and tired of being in photographs, but are happier if they can take photographs just like Mum.

Now, I am seven again, watching the ducks – writing a poem.  I am a child with my mother walking under a bridge as she tells me tales of ancestors and bridge spirits who will look out for me.

Creatavist – a place for digital stories


Time for Saturday writing sagas to begin again.

I have discovered the joys of building on creatavist.

You can check out my creations there by visiting Gumbootspearlz Creatavist.

Now keen to start putting sound and media into the next creations.

I have been working hard to understand ebook formatting options and ereaders and applications.

Finally after two weeks of solid googling, I feel I’m making some progress.

Conclusion, we need a universal language of ebooking, that also allows for fixed page format that can cope with complex graphics, but also encourages people to innovate and extend their online storytelling and embrace scrolling text and addition of video that is integrated into the reading experience.

The possibilities are exciting, and I was born to experiment with stories. How about you?

Saturday writing sagas is about to begin explorations of the digital publishing art forms and applications.

Stay tuned!