My Wildlife and Environmental Drawing by Moonlight

Within my drawings, I seek to draw attention to the innumerable small creatures living within the Natural Australian Environment that are being destroyed without a thought every day. I seek to show the

Helen Duley. Tiny Feathertail Glider Possum and the Full Moon.

shimmering beauty of the Australian Bushlands bathed in moonlight, the rustle of the glider possum through the thick scented Eucalyptus, or Gum flowers, as he prepares to launch himself out into the unknown night. The song of the birds, the swooping of the owls, even the croaking of our frogs seem unnoticed.

Yet perhaps people are beginning to notice: See my previous post on Queensland Environmental Devastation.

And also this article in the Guardian, which writes that even those who have allowed this damage are now uneasy:

‘Alarming’ rise in Queensland tree clearing as 400,000 hectares stripped


Deputy premier brands Australia ‘deforestation hotspot’ after a 45% jump in her state’s reef catchment clearing

Broadacre clearing of Gidgee scrub.
Queensland now has two-thirds the annual rate of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon. Photograph: Auscape/UIG via Getty Images

Queensland underwent a dramatic surge in tree clearing – with the heaviest losses in Great Barrier Reef catchments – in the year leading up to the Palaszczuk government’s thwarted bid to restore protections.

Figures released on Thursday showed a 33% rise in clearing to almost 400,000 hectares in 2015-16, meaning Queensland now has two-thirds the annual rate of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon.

The latest Statewide Landcover and Trees Study (Slats) report showed a 45% jump in clearing in reef catchments, where 40% of all clearing took place.

The deputy premier, Jackie Trad, said the rise of 100,000 hectares to 395,000 hectares cleared was “incredibly alarming”.

“We know that the current rates of land clearing in Queensland are unsustainable. Australia has become one of the deforestation hotspots in the world – the only advanced economy to be named in the 12 deforestation hotspots in the world.

“[It’s] because Queensland has returned to the bad old days of bulldozing hundreds of thousands of hectares of woody and remnant vegetations in order to make way particularly for pasture for cows,” she said.

Rates of clearing surged when Campbell Newman promised to scrap restrictions, which his Liberal National party (LNP) government did in December 2013. Rates then reached a plateau of about 300,000 hectares for several years.

The minority Labor government tried to reverse the legislation last year, but was blocked at the 11th hour in August 2016 when its former MP turned crossbencher Billy Gordon sided with the LNP.

The Newman changes included wiping out protections for high conservation value regrowth, which made up about a third of clearing in 2015-16. The resurgence of clearing shown in the latest figures raises concerns about a fresh bout of “panic clearing” by rural landholders – primarily graziers – in anticipation of Labor’s changes going through.

Labor has promised to push through protections if returned to office with a majority at the upcoming election, while the LNP and One Nation – which could hold the balance of power – have said they will scotch reforms.

The environment minister, Steven Miles, said the latest report was “nothing short of devastating” because of the effects on wildlife, reef waters and coral, and Australia’s carbon emissions.

“It’s even worse than my worst fears for this next round of land clearing data,” he said.

Miles said that “most concerningly” 35% of clearing was of remnant bushland, “138kha of old growth native forest, the most important habitat for native species”.

“We know that each year in Queensland 900,000 mammals lose their lives due to this loss of habitat.”

Queensland Environmental Devastation.

At a fenceline

“On one side is Australian bush of subtle form and hue,
With bud and flower, fur and feather, scale and sucker, too;
On t’other is the outcome when this

Helen Duley: Tawny Frogmouth & the Moon.

happy world must bow,
An empty, sun-scorched stretch of so-called ‘pasture’ lies there now.
If folk must grub and clear, ‘twixt over there and here,
Why should it be that every twig and leaf must disappear?
Why is not bushland’s face thought good enough to grace
The furthest corner paddock of whatever took its place?
Seems nothing’s quite as dense as Homo australiensis
When he is bent on clearing bush and raising up new fences.”

Tiny, yet Suberb Blue Fairy Wren sings his out his heart amidst a clump Purple Fringe Lilies.

Is this an old poem, or one written just recently?

Sadly, this poem sums up the ongoing devastation inflicted on our beautiful and unique Aussie Bushlands over the last two hundred years. I found this on the Guardian Australia website. An anonymous poet called Friarbird   has posted this as a comment in an Article entitled “For the love of Queensland, this land clearing has got to stop.” by writer

My own drawings are created in a small way to celebrate and commemorate the myriad tiny lives of so many hidden native birds & creatures that are being exterminated thoughtlessly every day. as well as the ongoing destruction of our irreplaceable heartlands. Being destroyed on a large and small scale, from hand slashers wielded by next door neighbours, up to industrial sized bull-dozers dragging enormous balls and chains behind them.


Black Swan Dawn: Magic Of Time and Place.

Two Black swan swimming across the surface of this water, caste deep, almost troubled reflections will exist only for only a few moments.

Black Swan Dawn no 1

 I drew these two fountain pen and ink drawing of black swans gliding through dawn a few years ago. re-created them into dream-like images where the black swans becomes recurring morning ghosts. They glide through dapples of light and shadows hinting of times and memories now lost, now found. Strange and brief reflections not quite echoing the newly awakening earth and sky form in the swans passing wake, and then vanish.

Black Swan Dawn no 2

The black swan perhaps seeks the sometimes fading, sometimes perilous beauty and danger of nebulous times like the dawn, and boggy landscapes like shifting wetland swamps. Revealing and concealing brief passages, and sudden changes that go mostly unseen, and are so often destroyed by our bulldozing and indifferent minds. Fertile history, times and shifting water and lands that have forever been drained because we fear their unstable inconvenience, and their hidden often fever-ridden depths. Our memories and imagination cannot not perceive the swamplands tough, yet tragically transient magic, and its ancient senses of watery, muddy being and belonging.

The word liminality describes this fleeting junctions of brief ever-changing magical times transformation and everyday reality. The liminal times and places are gateways are the borders between these seemingly un-linked events, places or things. For me, these Black swans are the guardian of the Imagination,  “the Pipers at the Gates of Dawn.”


Tiny Feathertail Possum Gazes at the Full Moon

According to author Robert Mcfarlane, viriditas is “the spiritually invigorating power of (divine) nature; ‘truth of greenness’ (Hildegard of Bingen, 1098-1179)”. This is my first blog, so I am sharing this mixed media drawing that was drawn in my favourite mixed media blend (Fountain pen & ink, coloured pencil, and Japanese Acryl gouache).

This tiny possum is a night glider. Under the magic of a full moon he is about launch himself, and fly out into an unknown, perilous night. But this moment before leaping out is full of potentiality, or the coiled  magic of endless possibilities. This moment of transformation/transition is called liminality (more on this in later blogs).