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.


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. 


People may wonder why there is little mention of climate change 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 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. 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.


Book / 15.12.2019


It was apparently during my 2006 visit to the UK, less than a year after the initial publication of the archive in late 2005, when I was staying with Clive, that we came up with the idea of a book and made notes about its scope and presentation. We visited bookshops and wrote down the dimensions of illustrated volumes with a likely-looking format. In 2008, Clive produced a Preliminary Draft Synopsis, which I still have, together with a list of natural history publishers I gleaned from a visit to Waterstone’s in Leeds.


The year was pivotal. Angela McKinstry, a graphic artist who designed the DVD covers and locations map for the 2005 published archive, designed and printed a mock-up of the book in 2010. The title was ‘One small place on earth …’. There was no subtitle. Later that year Jan Watson, the book’s designer, produced a design template which has been followed for the published book. By then there was a subtitle – ‘Celebrating biodiversity where you are’. At some point thereafter, Clive came up with the transformative improvement ‘discovering’ biodiversity.


In 2012 Steve and his wife Paulina, dumbfounded… Read Complete Text


Other / 10.12.2019

On my walk this morning I was startled by a crashing sound. Looking around I just caught sight of a kookaburra smashing into a hedge, emerging with a small, dark snake, wriggling in its beak. The bird flew onto a tree branch a short distance away, where I was able to observe it for several minutes. The snake tried to wrap itself around the bird’s head while held in the vice-like grip of the very large beak which is a distinguishing feature of the species. I eventually saw that the victim was a juvenile green tree snake. Adults can grow to a length of two metres. The bird suddenly flew to the ground in the garden next door, the better to overpower the snake by bashing it on the hard surface of the car port.



Book / 05.12.2019

Four months to the day after the books were delivered to the storage unit, we shifted another 24 boxes to my hall cupboard this afternoon. It is gratifying when things go according to plan. We each made 8 trips from car to cupboard. Handyman Brian carrying two boxes at a time to my one. I’m just off to replace the book I borrowed from the post office at North Tamborine.


Book / 03.12.2019

I got an email from a resident who wants a book which she would like me to sign, as a present for her partner, agreeing to meet me in the library tomorrow morning. Normally I would have dropped the book off at her home. Because I have temporarily run out of books, I dashed into the post office at North Tamborine and ‘borrowed’ one of the books I delivered yesterday, vowing to replace it on Friday, all being well.



Other / 03.12.2019

As I set out on my morning walk, a fallen bunya pine cone stood out on the grass of the park opposite my unit. Just an hour before, for the first time in months, the grass had been cut. Otherwise the cone, large as it is, would not have been as visible. I have never known a cone to fall in December. Usually on the mountain, they fall in the second half of January and in February. A group of bunya pines graces the side of the road further along my route. Two of the trees grow on each side of a drive at whose entrance the property owner was adjusting a shade cloth. I told her about the cone in the park and she showed me three which she had found this morning. A very fierce wind blew all yesterday, which may have dislodged the cones. There are several other bunya pine trees in the park, yet I only saw the one cone. Because we are enduring a severe drought, all the vegetation is stressed. The trees are shedding leaves as never before and I suspect that is why the bunya pines have shed cones early in December…. Read Complete Text


Book / 02.12.2019

When the books arrived on the mountain from China, I was relieved to discover that I could store 24 boxes of 10 books, in my hall cupboard. Today, I delivered the last box, containing six books, to a mountain customer. I am now, unexpectedly, left with no books for sale. The plan is for a handyman I know, who is as strong as an ox, to help bring another 24 boxes from the storage unit, on Friday. He doesn’t get here from Tasmania until Wednesday.