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. 


Book / 06.10.2019

Darryl Jones well and truly launched my book at the mountain’s Zamia Theatre in front of close to 60 people this afternoon. He recounted how his research into brush turkeys led him to the mountain over 30 years ago and that close observation of their mounds revealed previously unknown aspects of their mating behaviour. He exhorted people who buy the book to closely study its images before reading it, precisely because the images are the result of sustained observation. He spoke with a generosity of spirit about my work. The event was expertly compered by Janene Gardner, owner of Under the Greenwood Tree bookshop, who has officiated at innumerable book launches. She too had lovely things to say about the book and my project.

For me, the most important aspect of the launch was the atmosphere in the room, which, based on what I was told by those who were there, was exactly what I was after. I saw the launch of the book as an opportunity to have as many people as possible who contributed to it, attend and be acknowledged by the gathering. First and foremost was Jan Watson, the designer. Amanda Klaer read the book… Read Complete Text


Book / 25.09.2019

An order, received today, for a book from Toowoomba City Library brought the number of books sold since I took delivery of the shipment from China on August 5, to exactly 100. One box was severely damaged on arrival, two slightly damaged – resulting in 10 books unfit for sale and 5 held in reserve. I have ‘presented’ 21  complimentary copies, of which five were posted overseas. One of the reasons I was so loath to self-publish, apart from having to sell the book myself, was the absence of review copies – although people have told me how impressive the book is when first handled. Jan’s design is much appreciated. It is always pleasing to have one’s work acknowledged.


Other / 16.09.2019

This morning I posted a USB with the latest 23 species videos and a corrected version of ‘The Rainforest at Night’, part 1, to the NFSA. The NFSA has the vast majority of my 568 videos on Vimeo, which are accessed on this site. Because I have been busy with my book, I haven’t filmed much since February, so it will take  a while for me to build up footage for further videos.



Book / 10.09.2019

This evening, a week after I submitted my application form, I got a phone call from the lady who is in charge of booking the Zamia Theatre. She confirmed that I have the venue for my book launch, from 3 to 5 pm, on Sunday October 6.


Film Diary / 01.08.2019

Robyn Law, a night filming crew stalwart, showed me twin bowerbird bowers in a garden which she looks after, a short drive from my place. Twin bowers, which are separate structures that stand close together, are an even greater rarity than double bowers, whose two passages share a dividing wall. I filmed the remains of a double bower in April 2010. The builder appears to have blocked off the right-hand passage by moving its side wall next to the dividing wall. I have been unable to find an explanation for the twin bowers, which are the only ones I have ever seen. They contain more twigs than other bowers I have filmed, presumably because there was such a plentiful supply at the construction site.


Film Diary / 17.07.2019

After a six months gap, I filmed with my video camera this afternoon. I went to The Knoll to film the giant vine I had intended to film a month ago, except that the camera batteries were both flat. For good measure I also filmed the buttress or plate roots of a yellow carabeen tree I had passed many times without seeing that its buttresses were an impressive height, perhaps because the tree itself was not that big.