…to kick me into action is something like some damn’ fine camera work. Especially if owls are featured. Andrea knows this and she sent me this clip.

Love the way those feet come up, the wings go back, the talons spread and the beak opens. Smooth as silk!

So…what else provides the motivation to hit the keyboard? Well, a few other things, but right now, things are a little crazy Chez Dinahmow so the post about setting jellies at Granny’s house will have to wait. *

I’ll be back soon…

*In writing/publishing speak that is known as a “hook.” So, are you hooked?


Well, look at me! Posting again. So soon!

No, I’m not trying to set records. I’ve just been sent some beautiful owl pictures. Actually, I was a bit hesitant to open the file, given its title.In some quarters ¬†the definition of hooters can get you into no end of trouble!

But it came from a friend who knows The Man and I have a fondness for these birds so I opened the file.

Beautiful shots! See if you agree…

That’s all for now…I have work to do. (I was going to say I’m a working girl, but, along with the hooters…all sorts of cyber creeps might turn up!)

Well,I don’t know why, but I can’t seem to fix this. ūüė¶

It works for me, but that may simply be because it’s on my hard drive as a Google document.

But they really are beautiful owls.If anyone is desperately keen to see them, email me. diane dot patmore at gmail dot com


Let’s imagine we live on some far-flung planet which “has no weather. ” Too far for its parent star’s light to reach it. Absolutely no day/night demarcation. Nothing. Just…well, nothing.

Bit like here, really! 

Oh, alright! Maybe I have exaggerated a little. Just a little. All the same, meeting Vivien’s challenge has not been easy!

Those brief moments we did have blue sky…I was nowhere near a window. And now it’s raining. Again.¬†¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†¬†¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† And the scanner clearly does not think we have dull, grey skies! If the rain lets up tomorrow I’ll use the camera…

And now it’s yesterday’s tomorrow…Still grey, blustery and rainy. But often, those grey skies are more changeable than the bland days of blue. You know why, don’t you? These clouds, being at lower levels, are torn apart, blown around visibly by the winds. Usually, when we see “clear blue skies” there are no clouds to give us an idea of scale. But it’s windy up there. Just ask an eagle!

Anyway…here are a few camera snaps of some very quick sky sketches. Mr. Fujica has a better eye than Mr. Canon. ūüėČ

May 7, midday, looking north.

May 7 midday

And the same view about 15 minutes later!same view 15 mins laterWhen the rain started I rushed first to close windows, then grabbed the nearest paper – copy paper so of course it’s all cockled! (I think it is an almost-blank page that came with my Bank statement. Pretty accurate, actually!) ¬†

                                                                                                                                              May 7, around 5.30pm.                                                                                                                        

May 7 5.30pm¬†Driving home;by the time we’d gone 500m beyond this streak of colour, the sun had gone . The tropics, remember? ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†May 9, early afternoon (before 2 0’clock, as I went out then!)

May 9 early afternoon

May 12, 4pm  

May 12  4pm

¬†¬† …and 30 minutes later- another shower coming across.¬†¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†¬†May 12  4.30pm

The evening one was a colour pencil “quickie” in the car, washed with a damp brush later; the others are water colours with a brush and, apart from the bank paper, all on off-cuts of Fabriano printing paper and all through my living room window.¬†

Gee! It’s a long time since I did little studies like this. I should probably do it more often. Thanks, Vivien!


There’s been some pretty wild and wacky weather across the Tasman. A terrific hail storm dumped a thick blanket of the icy stuff on the beach town of Papamoa. Then, for good measure, followed that with snow! Not a big deal in areas famous for skiing, but Papamoa? This is bikini country Surfboards and sharks. I can remember wearing thick woolly sweaters in winter when I lived there, but snow? Never! (And if that link is no longer current I daresay googling for hail in Papamoa will get you there.)


I’ve been sifting through some old photos¬†¬† from our raptor rehab. days. Why? Well, looking for birds to depict in lino. I’ve already pulled one print of a Ninox owl* and I’m trying to get a workable sketch of a barn owl. I love them all, but think the “barnies” may be top of my list.¬†

5 barn owls at jim'sThese guys were hand-reared (by an experienced handler so there was no danger of imprinting)¬†¬†after a spring storm felled many nest trees. I think three were released and two became part of a breeding programme at a sacntuary. ¬† And now I’m trying to draw one of them!

But first – lunch!

* That print’s been submitted for possible selection in a show. I forgot to take a decent photo before I sent it off so, if it doesn’t make the cut, I’ll post it when it comes back!¬†¬† ¬†¬†


… not so very long ago and not in a galaxy far, far away, there lived¬† a couple of slightly- wacky-but-kind-hearted people. They rubbed along well enough with their fellows, but were most happy when surrounded by or working with animals.

They were  concerned for orphaned or injured animals, especially non-mainstream species.

Animals like owls

2008_1218oldiestamborine00011Five young Barn Owls

and snakes

2008_1218oldiestamborine0004a carpet snake

and possums2008_1218oldiestamborine00021“Spike” eating left-over salad that otherwise would have gone to the chooks.

With a particular interest in raptors, they learned  (from Wildlife Rangers, veterinarians and other rescue people) appropriate handling methods. They attended lectures, built suitable housing, bred suitable food species  and rehabilitated as many of their charges as was possible.

Sometimes, of course, rehabilitation is not possible. In such cases, some animals went into captive breeding programmes at a registered sanctuary. Many died. Many were euthanased.

But the biggest blast was always Release Time. You can keep your speed, your uppers, your booze. Give me the sight of an eagle, soaring aloft on a thermal to freedom and I’m riding my own joyous thermal. Every time.

Over the years, we lost a few hours of sleep, went through mega litres of petrol and became pretty good at mending literal and metaphorical fences.

As you see, these are old photographs (heck! I don’t think digital technology was even off the drawing board then!) so you may need a hand lens.

A cardinal rule in the rehab game is that wild animals should NEVER be considered as pets. Sadly, a rule often ignored by some people. But before you ask why that possum is happily scoffing salad while sitting on a sofa with The Man, let me explain that possums themselves are quick to ignore cardinal rules!

Omnivorous, gregarious and very quick to accept humans and the associated “goodies” derived from human co- habitation, many¬† possums have, quicker than any other¬† native, become tame.

Spike was one of the resident possums at a neighbours’ property. The neighbours found him one night, on the ground, with no sign of his mother. But they waited, watching from a darkened doorway, in case Momma appeared. When it was apparent that this was not going to happen they brought the little chap indoors, fed him diluted cow’s milk from an eye dropper, tucked him into a woollen beanie and called us.

Over the next few months, Spike gave us endless enjoyment and laughs a-plenty. The resident cats accepted him (although they growled if he stole from their bowls!) and he was too young (ie, not yet sexually mature) to bother the bigger possums that hissed and growled and scritched through the trees at night.


Small Cat, Sammy and Spike

Gradually, he ventured further, stayed out longer each night and we knew he would soon leave us for his real home in the bush.

One night, just after dusk, when he’d been outside for maybe 15 minutes, there was a great scrabbling and hks-hks-hks-ing (that’s possum talk for “look out, buster!” at the back door. In came, we thought, Spike.¬† Followed by… Spike??¬† Oh **#!^&! Two possums in the house equates to WW¬† III!¬† The Man lunged at one (which, fortunately for The Man’s flesh, was Spike) and I grabbed the second fluffy tail as it was racing up the curtains.Now with a possum apiece, we had to make some pretty quick decisions. Right decisions!

“Hang on to Spike and I’ll get this one outside.” You really had to be there to appreciate the comedic¬† enormity, folks. Possums have formidable array of weaponry, not least the ability to pee copiously.

But I managed to get the intruder outside, and released on a tree trunk while The Man managed to hang on to his “catch.”

Spike was desperate to get back outside and finish the contest, but a carrot and a piece of apple held his attention long enough to settle him.

The next night he went outside¬† just after dusk, as usual… and never came back.*

to be continued…


With the moon still big and bright enough to warrant braving the Night Squadron [of mosquitoes], I took the camera out twice last night. By the time I got to the gate the first time, clouds had sailed in front of  the moon. I waited for a few minutes, then, afraid of dropping the camera in my wild flailing, gave up.

So I curled up on a sofa and watched Hustle Ooh! If I wasn’t a” woman of mature age” I could see myself with that Mickey! Sadly, I’m more in Albert’s age bracket…

Where was I?…oh, yes! The moon…well, I was still waiting for Rusty to come in for the night so I thought another walk down the driveway was worthwhile. Wouldn’t you know — just as the moon, all gold-tinged and satiny, came from behind the cloud and I had a chance –three (count them! THREE!) neighbours switched on floodlights. I gave up.


*We did see him again – he’d returned to our neighbours’ property and was happily being a wild possum in their garden. How do we know it was Spike? We were having a glass of wine with B & M one evening and one of the possums sat at the edge of the shrubbery, looking at us. So I whistled; the “official whistle” I always use for the cats and dogs. The possum raced across the paving and leapt up onto my shoulder. Spike!


she’s got me fixing her muddles again. she seems to think that i will have more luck with posting pictures…

firstly, dinah is pleased that some people like bats and she hopes that one day everyone will like them. but we all know that there is no such thing as a perfect score…

and the confession is that the pictures of shona bat were really pictures of a leather- and – faux-fur bat made by our friend shona. who also is batty for bats. shona usually hangs on a curtain rod in our living room. the bat, silly, not friend shona. mind you, friend shona is sometimes very funny…

dinah supported the bat box scheme in england and had a box somewhere in essex. i think she called it effing forest. or maybe she said there is not much effing forest left where bats can roost.

i am an australian so i do not know about these things. i do know about the critters we had at our other house. a lot of critters. hawks, eagles, owls, possums, parrots, lizards. sometimes, they stayed with us a long time. sometimes, we made them well and let them go. and sometimes they died. except the possum who lived in a cupboard in the spare bedroom.

sammy, the cat-before-me, used to catch mice for the owl. the owl had to live with dinah because he flew into a windscreen. which seems a dumb thing for a smart bird to do. here is a picture…no.

clever as i am, i cannot make the blogger work today. perhaps, when she returns from school, dinah can do it.

but now, as i have this all to myself, i am going to read my own favourite blogs. i have heard that there are things called short cuts and they sound most tasty…