Columns » Nature


Damsels of the deep

May 19th, 2023 - Howard Birnstihl

Getting up close and personal is something you can easily do with dragonflies, and with their slightly more elegant counterparts, damselflies.


Do not read this … it’s disgusting!

April 13th, 2023 - Howard Birnstihl

All I can say about the grub in the accompanying pic is he’s a real show-off. And definitely not anal retentive. 

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A fly on the wall

March 15th, 2023 - Howard Birnstihl

Okay, so summer’s over and you’re sick of the sight and sound of flies buzzing around, following your every move, landing on your food, crawling around your eyes; getting in your hair. And here’s some bloke expecting you to read about them. Huh, some chance.

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A small inconvenience

February 16th, 2023 - Howard Birnstihl

The two suspicious characters hanging about at the top of the pic are mosquito larvae, commonly known as wrigglers, and their companion at the bottom is a red mite.

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Flights of fancy

December 14th, 2022 - Howard Birnstihl

As a photographer, one of the most helpful gadgets I ever designed for my local welding man to bring to fruition was a pipe with a clamp at one end and lateral hole at the other. 

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Coming soon to North Melbourne

November 16th, 2022 - Howard Birnstihl

You probably haven’t been able to tell with all this rain lately, but spring has well and truly sprung, and I for one am thrilled.    

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Delicate monster

October 12th, 2022 - Howard Birnstihl

The delicate looking creature in the accompanying pic is aptly named a lacewing. But don’t be fooled by her demure feminine charm, this lady is a cold calculating killer. And she was, even as a child.

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The gall of North Melbournites

September 14th, 2022 - Howard Birnstihl

If you’re a gardener, or just wandering North Melbourne’s parks, you’ll have seen many galls in your time, although you may not know a lot about them. Non-gardeners can mistake these often colourful and attractive little baubles for a natural part of the plant, which of course they are not.   

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Busy little biter

August 17th, 2022 - Howard Birnstihl

The bull ant in the pic, photographed in the Flagstaff Gardens, is like any you might find in your back yard. He looks ferocious and dangerous, and he’s rather pleased you think so.

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Guggenheim Gumleaf

July 13th, 2022 - Howard Birnstihl

Either the owner-builder of this gum leaf structure has seen the Guggenheim Museum or influential American architect Frank Lloyd Wright paid a visit to North Melbourne before designing his famous art gallery - or so one would imagine.

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Summer drummer

November 20th, 2021 - Howard Birnstihl

Do not read this … it’s disgusting!

April 13th, 2023 - Howard Birnstihl
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