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 / 16.11.2019

At a housewarming today, I caught up with a delightful Cornish man I have not seen for many years since he left the mountain. He had been shown my book by our hosts and wanted to buy two copies. One copy was for his sister’s two-year old grandson Miles, who lives in Cornwall. This is the second copy I know of, which was bought for a child. A third copy was bought with children in mind. These purchases echo a point I made in the introduction. “The book’s illustrations are ideal for children to explore or be shown, in short, they are for people of all ages to savour”. It is extremely gratifying to have this point borne out.


Book / 13.11.2019

As expected, local sales, though not necessarily to tourists visiting the mountain, are the mainstay of my book sales. However, sales to libraries are clocking up, helped by the fact that their remit includes supporting Australian authors. I have contacted libraries along the Queensland coast – as a local author in South East Queensland and as a South East Queensland author elsewhere in the state. The library in Mount Isa, which is close to the Northern Territory border, has ordered a copy. Subsequently, I have contacted libraries in New South Wales to whom I describe myself as an Australian author, and today I received my first order from over the border. An advantage in selling my book to libraries is the multiple readership per copy.


Film Diary / 21.10.2019

Passing the garage on my walk this morning, I noticed a geometrid moth on one of the window panes. On closer inspection it was a species already represented in my album. However, there were numerous, unfamiliar smaller moths. Fortunately I had my camera with me to photograph a splendid foliose lichen on the trunk of a cycad I happened to see yesterday. One of the moths was tiny. I photographed it at 6 or 7 times optical zoom. I have emailed the lot to Peter Hendry and am eager to see what he comes up with. I can’t explain what brought the moths out last night because there was no rain.


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.