Meg Mooney

Contributions

Brown quails

May 31, 2011 | Discuss

By Meg Mooney   I first see them scuffling around between the lettuce and broccoli   plump little birds black and brown hieroglyphs on their bellies mosaics of triangles along their backs streaked with moving lines of silver   they don’t dally move quickly around the vegies briefly risk the open one or two at at time all their wild beauty on display   four, six, maybe ten now they’re in the saltbush I can see it wiggling occasionally a head appears with a bright red berry...Read more

The Bush Plants Trip

May 19, 2011 | Discuss

The Bush Plants Trip

The Bush Plants Trip is taken from Alice Springs writer Meg Mooney’s recently launched book, The Gap, one of the winners of the Picaro Poetry Prize at last year’s Byron Bay Writer’s Festival. Out of  8 finalists, including locals Leni Shilton and Meg Mooney, four collections were chosen for publication by Picaro Press. The Gap, which is the title poem of the book, was inspired by Meg’s observations and reflections on the significance of the Gap, which has long been a sym...Read more

Butterflies up to their capers again

Dec 06, 2010 | 1 Comment

Butterflies up to their capers again

By Meg Mooney When I get up in the morning now, I go and check on the butterflies. For around 2 weeks the bush orange (Capparis mitchellii), which I planted 12 years ago, has been home for dozens of caper white butterflies. Well, for a number of them it has been home for some time. They’ve been living in 50 or more papery cocoons on my little teenage tree. And they’re the reason for all the visitors fluttering around. Caper whites are so named because they lay their eggs and their caterpilla...Read more

Did that dingo really bark?

Aug 26, 2010 | Discuss

Did that dingo really bark?

  By Meg Mooney We were camped at the beginning of a little gorge, up Birthday Creek from Stuarts Pass, our way blocked for the night by a deep pool. I looked upstream into the darkness between walls of rock and thought I saw eyes at the height of a human reflect from my torch. My heart raced, but then I saw the faint outline of a dingo, its eyes reflecting yellow-green. The dingo padded quietly along the sandy creekbed toward us, keeping a handful of strides away, splashed through the silv...Read more

Budgies back in town

May 30, 2010 | 1 Comment

Budgies back in town

By Meg Mooney After the summer rains and all the grass that’s grown since then, walking on the plains and low hills behind Kilgariff Crescent is like walking in a wonderful outdoor aviary. You hear the ‘queel, queel’ of cockatiels, small grey cockatoos with white ‘shoulders’, as they zoom overheard singly or in groups of thirty or more birds. I don’t think I’ve ever seen cockatiels in my ‘backyard’ before and it’s unusual, in my experience, to see flocks this big, except occa...Read more

Easter frogs and other delights

Apr 11, 2010 | Discuss

Easter frogs and other delights

By Meg Mooney Summer rains mean frogs and the Centre, unlike some parts of Australia, still has lots of them. I spent Easter at Newhaven Wildlife Sanctuary, several hundred kilometres northwest of Alice Springs, with the Alice Springs Field Naturalists Group. The annual animal surveys had just started at Newhaven, which is a joint project between the Australian Wildlife Conservancy and Birds Australia. The first morning we got to go out and help check the traps. After staggering awake (me anyway...Read more

Meet the Easter frog

Apr 04, 2010 | Discuss

Meet the Easter frog

Easter has its own feeling in the Centre. That feeling isn’t always accomodated by a good rain, but there’s a widespread expectation that it should be. When it does, this brief, sweet period of cooling-down allows the thirsty earth time to absorb the gift  rather than the sky reclaiming it in evaporation. Stranded in Adelaide, I bought an Easter bilby today because it reminded me of home. But I have to admit this endangered bandicoot has never struck me as the most appropriate antip...Read more

Don’t can our lizards

Mar 24, 2010 | 1 Comment

Don't can our lizards

Guest post by Meg Mooney I’m just getting to a place on my walk in the hills behind Kilgariff Crescent where there are two spreading mulgas beside a little creek a couple of metres wide. I love these mulgas, always cross the creek beside them, so you can see my track there now. The mulgas keep the creek near them clearer of buffel grass, and so clumps of my favourite golden beard grass still grow there. Each clump has tangles of ribbon grass at the base and thin, chest-high stalks with ‘bear...Read more

Have the grebes gone again?

Feb 28, 2010 | Discuss

Have the grebes gone again?

Naturalist and writer Meg Mooney wrote this lovely piece about Ellery Gorge in December last year and I put off using it in the hope I could go out to there and take some pictures of grebes. Floods and other events have made it impossible to do so but I found this snap of the beautiful gorge I took on my mobile while there with friends a bit earlier in the summer. Ellery is one of the biggest permanent waterholes in the Centre. When this picture was taken, it was at the end of a long dry spell. ...Read more