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.



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

The Brisbane Line was the e-bulletin of the now defunct Brisbane Institute, to which I contributed the articles featured, between 2006 and 2012.

Not The Brisbane Line contains my other essays from 2005 to the present.


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.


Film Diary / 10.01.2023

Chris Burwell, emailed me today about the ant. It is a wingless female of a species of wasp in the family Mutillidae, which is carried by the male in order to procreate. It is reckoned that just under 200 Australian species in the family have been described, but the total fauna is probably at least twice this size.


Film Diary / 04.01.2023

This morning I photographed an ant, new to me, on the metal railing in Driscoll Lane. It proved to be a tricky subject because it was moving so quickly without pausing. It was on the top rail until it descended to the lower rail via a stray wire and became disoriented. Try as it might, it couldn’t find a way to return to the top rail, failing to climb all the way on the wire or on one of the posts. While it was attempting to work out its next move, I was able to grab a single good close up. I googled sites devoted to ants in Queensland and Australia, trawling through hundreds of images without finding a match.


Film Diary / 29.12.2022

This morning, at the Eagle Height’s bakery, I was told by the owner of the house behind the tree with the first ‘green man’ apparition, that neither he or his wife created it. See FILM DIARY of 14.11.22 below. My conjecture about who made it and the recent apparition on a tree further down the street, has no supporting evidence. Their origin remains a mystery.


Other / 06.12.2022

Years ago, a unit owner, long dead, planted three trees, two next to the road out front and one next to the retaining wall in the backyard. They all flourished, growing to an impressive size. The two in the front are a buckinghamia, whose flowers have a fragrant aroma, and a golden rain tree which sheds its leaves and flowers on the cars parked beneath it. The tree in the backyard has for years dropped its seed pods and squishy, tubular white flowers onto the lid of the inground tank and the washing on the clothes hoist which is fixed to the lid, not to mention the bird poo which also soils the washing. The material falls for several months of the year. But the biggest nuisance are the roots which have moved part of the base of the retaining wall and grown between one of the protective buttresses we installed, and the wall. Nearly as bad is the fact that the tree casts a shadow over the clothes hoist, when the sun is at its highest. I wonder what the late owner was thinking, when he planted the tree. I have always been outvoted on removing it, but… Read Complete Text


Other / 20.11.2022

I attended the launch of Julie Lake’s book on Hilda Geissmann who was born in Brisbane in 1890 but lived most of her life on the mountain. She married a Curtis. The Geissmanns and Curtises were two of the mountain’s most prominent pioneering families. In her twenties and thirties, she closely observed and photographed the mountain’s flora and fauna with considerable artistry and in so doing became a social pioneer in a predominantly man’s world. The launch was well-attended. Julie was the star and the afternoon tea was a close second. I bought three signed copies of the book. Am greatly looking forward to reading it.


Film Diary / 14.11.2022

This is an unusual post because it is as much about human creativity as that of the natural world. On this morning’s walk, I noticed and photographed a face on a flooded gum tree which had all the hall marks of the most inventive entry in the recently concluded 2022 scarecrow festival, though it had nothing to do with the festival. The face occupied the slightly raised area left by a large branch which had broken off from the trunk, a few metres from the ground.  Flooded gums are ubiquitous up here, some of the mightiest specimens attaining great heights in our national parks. The face resembled the folkloric image of the green man, though incorporating strips of brown bark instead of green leaves. PS A friend told me about a face on another flooded gum in the same street, which is marginally not on the route of my walk, and had been there for many years. Its creator didn’t need a ladder to fashion the face. The second face was probably inspired by the first, but did require quite a long ladder.