Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Yesterday, much to my son's horror, my cocky (read foolhardy and dopey) Cocker Spaniel ate a Yellow Monday whilst it was still alive!

"Why?" you ask.

If only I could answer that question.

We do feed her dog food.

LJ, October 27 2010


Last Saturday afternoon, in awesome summery weather, I happened across a pair of Dollarbirds on the corner of Penrose and Quarry Roads.

Dollarbirds are the only representative of the roller family that visits our shores. With their red bills, deep purples and white, coin-like, underwing markings, they are one of the most striking of Australia's migratory birds. Each Spring they arrive from PNG and islands close to PNG. I was most fortunate to see the male of the pair bob his head, cackle and carry on for a minute, then attempt to copulate with his mate. I've never seen this in over twenty years of birding. The literature I have accessed speaks nothing of a Dollarbird's courtship theatrics/rituals.

At the markets on Saturday, I bumped into local birder Tony Stanton, who informed me he's got Dollarbirds hunting cicadas in his backyard near Morton NP.

It's great to know Bundanoon is a preferred destination for these wandering gems.

LJ, October 27 2010

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


October is mercurial. Serene, warm days wrestle with days that bring ice-winds and darkness and memories of Polanski's Macbeth. It seems an early Summer feel has been shunned yet again. Still, Spring has brought Channel-billed and Fan-tailed Cuckoos, Shining Bronze-cuckoos, Common Koels and Black-faced Monarchs, those migrants I look forward to hearing in Sep-Oct each year. The local male Satin Bowerbird is renovating his north-south aligned bower with blue bottle tops, blue feathers, blue Lego pieces (!) and blue magic, then dancing and whistling to attract a mate.

Last Thursday, the world was bursting with cicada hymns and for the next few days I had cicadas the colour of oil and curry (Yellow Mondays: great name; saves a Monday from being blue or manic or disliked) lying upside down in the middle of roads, dead and eaten by ants, buzzing in trees, staggering from their birth-shells like wounded knights and on my jumper as brooches. My young boy is scared of them. Cicadas are our sun heralds, telling us that heat and a time of winding down is on the way. Our years, and perhaps our Australian identities, would crack without them.

Lorne Johnson, October 2010

Monday, October 18, 2010


Welcome to WILD BUNDANOON, a blog exploring the verdant side of the town of Bundanoon, located in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales, Australia.

Bundanoon is an adored honeymoon destination, place of healing and rejuvenation, mecca for cyclists and the first town in Australia to ban the sale of bottled water. Its homes are known for their sprawling, resplendent gardens. The town sits next to Morton National Park, a wilderness of jagged scarps, almost bottomless valleys, glow worm havens, gum kingdoms and hypnotic creeks.

As a local of Bundanoon, writer/poet, avid birder and nature tragic, I thought the glories of Bundanoon should be celebrated online. Regularly, I will pen observations, comments and musings on all things natural, whether info on Superb Lyrebird calls or the way pines talk to late winter winds. It's all about tracking down and truly inhaling the pure world we often miss, then recording its poetry.

Check out the beautiful quote from Emerson on my profile page - I feel his timeless words define why I wished to start this blog. 

I hope you get something from the passages you find yourself in. Please email me if you'd like to discuss Bundanoon's flora, fauna and wondrous aesthetics, or if you have any specific wildlife questions/info.

Lorne Johnson, October 2010.