Peter’s Blog

I need to place on record my feeling that overwhelmingly throughout my life, my contact with my fellow men, women and children has been a total delight.
It is a recurring pleasure which I experience each day and is among the precious things which makes my life rewarding and worth living, not least because moments of the keenest enjoyment can as readily occur with a complete stranger as with family and friends.



A cherished dream, my book   One small place on earth …  discovering biodiversity where you are,   self-published in August 2019, has been long in the making. Jan Watson created its design template nine years ago. The idea of doing a book seems to have occurred during my stay with Clive Tempest, the website’s first architect, when I was visiting the UK in 2006. By the time Steve Guttormsen and I began sustained work on the book in 2017, much of which I had already written, the imperative was to create a hard copy version of a project whose content is otherwise entirely digital.


People may wonder why there is little mention of climate change – global warming on my website. There are two related reasons. Firstly, if former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s 2007 remark that climate change is the “great moral, environmental and economic challenge of our age” is true, we have not acted accordingly before or since. Rudd’s statement is only true if we collectively live as if it is true, Rudd included. Instead, our politics has wasted decades favouring business as usual, and a global economy excessively dependent on fossil fuels – in the wilful absence of a politics intent on achieving a low carbon economy. Secondly, although it is open to individuals to strive to live the truth of Rudd’s remarks, the vast majority of people, myself included, do not. I salute those who do. The precautionary principle alone makes me regard climate change as a current planetary crisis, but because I have only marginally changed the way I live, and still wish to fly, I am not inclined to pontificate on the subject.


The ‘Film Diary’ entries are selected items from the diary I keep whenever I am filming. To check location references, click on ‘Tamborine Mountain’ on the top information bar then hit the ‘Tamborine Mountain’ button on the map. 


Other / 02.04.2020

Today I picked up my new glasses, after only having had my eyes tested on the Monday. Presumably the lens maker isn’t as busy as usual because of the pandemic. Talking of which, I was fortunate to have the cataract operations before elective surgery was halted, so that hospitals could focus on the pandemic. My eyes were tested exactly  four weeks after the second operation. The first was performed two weeks before the second. By the time of the test, my vision had recovered to how it had been before the operations. I had not felt colour-deprived with the cataracts, but after they were removed, the world was brighter and more vibrant. The main benefit post op, was that reading and writing without glasses were restored to how they had been before the cataracts took hold. However, my new distance lenses had the greatest impact of all because of the clarity of detail, which I had not known for years. It was revelatory.


Other / 30.03.2020

During the weekend I completed a questionnaire about, inter alia, my project, why I came to Australia and a day in the life of Peter Kuttner, for a local filmmaker who contacted me via mutual friends. She graduated from film school a few years ago and is putting in a submission to a funding body charged with commissioning a short documentary about inspirational older Australians (not that I consider myself to be one). Is my age catching up with me? We will see what happens.


Film Diary / 25.02.2020

I filmed the impatiens hawk moth caterpillar in March 1999. This morning, nearly 21 years later, I photographed the moth. It is found as various subspecies, from India through to China, Japan, the Philippines and Australia, where it occurs in every state and territory other than the Australian Capital Territory. The caterpillar attains a length of 7 cm and is more colourful and  spectacular than the moth. Wingspan of the moth is up to 8 cm. 


Other / 21.02.2020

Ever since the removal of a large tree and adjoining vegetation from one side of the drive, I have bemoaned the absence of abundant moths at the garage, though other factors, such as the prolonged drought, have played a far greater part than the missing vegetation. Since Christmas, we have enjoyed frequent rain, which has revived gardens and trees and filled water courses and rainwater tanks. The drought was such that the grass didn’t grow and the stressed trees covered the ground, including the forest floor, with their shed leaves. But  moth numbers at the garage were slow to reflect the rainfall. Today, there were more than I recall ever having seen. Overwhelmingly, they were small, pale brown geometrids. Numbers flew off as I approached to take photos. The night had been warm and humid, as had previous nights with a good showing of moths, but nothing remotely like this.



Book / 21.02.2020

The book sold well over Christmas. I promoted it in our local papers as ‘A unique and beautiful present from Tamborine Mountain’. The expected lull has been in part stemmed by sales to libraries in New South Wales. Most seem willing to order the book. I am currently working my way through councils in Sydney. My campaign had to be suspended because of the bush fires. Today I posted two parcels, one with two books for The Book House in Noosaville, the other, with five books for James Bennett in Sydney.


Other / 05.02.2020

I am on the last day of a six day course of antibiotics to combat a mystery infection I picked up god knows when, god knows where.  Last Monday week I woke with a slight temperature which returned to normal the next day. The following morning, I felt a sharp pain on the shin bone of my left leg, but didn’t see anything untoward. Fortunately, I had a doctor’s appointment the day after. My GP confirmed that the leg was infected. There were small blood bursts below the skin and the leg was swollen. Last week’s pain had gone. I took the antibiotics but couldn’t see any change for 5 days. Because I am shortly due to have a cataract operation, I urgently wanted to see a doctor. My new appointment was for today at 11.30 am. The doctor confirmed that the infection had gone, but the swelling worried her so she sent me to have a scan for a blood clot in my lower left leg. For a few hours the implications were scary to contemplate, until the scan result proved to be clear. But some critter or vegetation had it in for me. The leg remains swollen…. Read Complete Text