I’ve been thinking about labyrinths a lot in the past couple of weeks. I’m not really sure why, but suspect my impending mindfulness workshops happening every Monday in May could have something to do with it. The Labyrinth is a peaceful and inspiring place to be, and thinking in a mindful way has the same result.

Walking the labyrinth is a magical thing I know I could be doing far more often than I have done. I can count the number of times I’ve walked a labyrinth on one hand. But I’d need many hands to count the number of times I’ve thought about walking a labyrinth.

I’ve written about walking a labyrinth, here is a recent article about it. There’s a poem in the article, a poem I wrote some years ago. I’ve searched my computer to try to find out how long ago it was I wrote the poem, but beyond ascertaining it existed in 2013, and was created earlier than that, I really don’t know how long it was …

I won’t stress myself trying to find out – the fact of the existence of the poem is all that matters. I will be at peace with the ‘not knowing’ and will think no more bad thoughts about it. The ‘beingness’ of the poem is enough. The main thing I get from walking the labyrinth is the calm and peaceful contentment of just being in the moment. Not doing, just being.

In this so busy day and age, just being is such a glorious thing. If my readers are interested in knowing how they could make their own labyrinth, this website seems like a useful one. So there you have it, the labyrinth is a wondrous thing, calming, not confusing. Please don’t confuse labyrinths and mazes. A maze could stress you out, a labyrinth will calm you down!

If you’ve ever walked a labyrinth, I’d love to read about it! Leave a message so all can know how it was for you …

I was going to use this as an article for the front page of the Mallala Crossroad Chronicle. It was too long though, because if I was going to use it there, it would have to have photos, and it would have taken up at least one and a half pages. Instead of that, I’ve decided to put it on this blog instead. It’s part of who and what I am.

I live in rural South Australia, on a small property with the four dogs, and I watch the birds when I have spare time, and if feel like sitting aroung on the veranda, front or back. You see, in my spare time, I am a twitcher, or birdwatcher. I know there are twitchers who take this role far more seriously than I, but there you are, I’m perhaps a casual or spare-time only twitcher.

 

13 February 2015

A report on the avian activities for the afternoon. Birdwatching from the seat on the front verandah I’ve seen more native birds than non native ones and I find that to be a huge win for the session!

Non native birds seen – 2 sparrows one in our old bird bath, one flying from roof to pine trees on western edge of our place. I can hear a spotted turtle dove but haven’t seen it. Oh there were two of them a few metres in front of me. They’ve flown off now, but there’s one 15 metres away, and there’s still an unseen one I can hear,

Native birds – the first seen for this session was a crested pigeon. It seemed it was going to use our new bird bath, but only walked around it and near it before strolling off, head nodding, to have a drink from the old bird bath. Then it flew away, with that characteristic call, so beloved of small children, who delight in chasing them off, so they’ll do the call!

After the crested pigeon was a small group (5) of white-lined honeyeaters who all flew into the odd bush we have which is about 5 metres from my seat. They then left the bush and all drank from the old bird bath before splashing in it briefly before flying into one of the pine trees.

It was the other honeyeater species next new holland honeyeaters. A frolicking little flock of them went merrily from bush, to pine tree, to old bird bath. They briefly stopped on the edge of the bird bath before the six of them jumped into the water for a fun splash, fly off, return and splash again. None of them drank the water, they just splashed and bathed in it.

muAH7rk(1)New Holland honeyeater

A sparrow joined them at the old bird bath, but he only had a sensible sip and then he flew away. I was having fun watching them frolic, but they flew away from bird bath to bush, to pine tree and then gone. I thought that was it, but joy of joys, oh my is that? Yes it is! A crimson rosella landed in the old bird bath, then another and then another! Oh wow, how wonderful is that!?

crimson rosellacrimson rosella

These three gloriously red parrots bathed and then sipped and the bathed again. I stood up to go inside to tell my husband, hoping they wouldn’t disappear, so he’d be able to see them too. The three of them flew away from the old bird bath, but only flew the few metres to the pine trees, and they were still there when Graham and I were outside again. I’d brought my phone with me an took some snaps, but don’t know if the parrots will be visible. Finding out will be a task for tomorrow. As it turned out, the photos were no good, but this is a close up picture of what the bird looks like. I couldn’t get as close to the wild birds as this one is whoever is the person feeding it.

That’s probably the end of this bird watching session, except to mention the willie wagtail I both heard and then saw on the road just both of our driveway. I can hear a bird cheeping too, but that’s almost certainly a non-noteworthy sparrow. Ah though, speaking of sparrows, I did see more sparrows from time to time, mostly taking a few sips, then flying off and mostly male ones. There were a male and a female though who both bathed, and I saw some white lined honeyeaters do the same toward the end.

That’s all, it’s time to go inside with the other two humans and the four dogs!

 15 February 2015

Today galahs are the main thing with the birds. I was out on the front veranda chatting to a friend on my phone tonight, and was watching and listening to the galahs as I chatted. We have 6 tall pine trees along part of our front fence, and it seems the pine cones must have pine nuts in them. This season, flocks of galahs fly in and try to get at the pine nuts, knocking the pine cones off the tree, and trying to get at the nuts on the ground.

The galahs were there tonight, and they also took advantage of our two bird baths. I had an interesting show, and thought this would be a good further note to this blog post. And I took a photo, so I’m able to put up one of my own pics, as well as the others.

galahs drinking

this photo of galahs drinking at bird bath taken by Carolyn Cordon

two other bird photos from http://www.rgbstock.com/

After some hard work by one family member to keep the back lawn alive and well during our recent heat wave (many thanks to my husband Graham), we’ve now had an absolute deluge compliments of Nature. Our back lawn is looking lovely and green, and our trees, shrubs and flowers are looking wonderful! This free rain is always a welcome surprise, until it becomes a flood.

At the moment, we’re certainly not needing to worry about flooding. So far, our house has always been fine, water-wise. The front driveway may be an upclose water feature, but the liquid is reamining outside, with none coming in with us! The birds have a large variety of places to go for water at the moment, from the two bird baths we have, the dog’s water bowls outside, the driveway lake and the swimming pool.

We have lorikeets in our flowering gum trees at the moment too, which is always exciting (yes, I’m one of those ‘twitchers’ – bird lovers). I spent several days during the heat wave out on our back veranda, trying to work out which kind of lorikeets they were in the trees. But I couldn’t get close enough for a positive ident, because I didn’t want to get overheated from the scorching sun.

But then the weather changed, the cooler weather and then rain meant I could get much closer, and could work out from their markings that we had Musk Lorikeets in our flowering gums. There may be another, smaller type of lorikeet there too, but other things have got my attention now. Later on I may check. The weather is still lovely and cool, and it would be a bit of a shame if I don’t do my ‘Twitcher’ task with the seriousness it deserves!

I have muffins planned though. Banana muffins. With Walnuts, and other Yummy things! I’ve taken the black bananas out of the freezer where they’ve been hiding, and when they’ve defrosted, I’ll turn them, along with the things I’ve already got out, plus a few other things, into yummy muffins! Yay, I love bananas that have been cooked! These bananas are Lady Finger bananas that were left too long, and ripened to much, so that nobody wanted to eat them.

I grabbed them though, and put them in the freezer, always intending them to reach their utmost glory days, as the main ingredient for Banana Muffins! Another banana delicacy I’ve been thinking about lately is banana pancakes, in particular ones with maple syrup and a side of bacon, at the Java Hut in Gawler. The bacon added to this dish makes it totally awesome, and I hope, hope, hope it will happen on Monday!

Does anyone else have thoughts on cooking with bananas? I’d love to hear about it if you do! Now I have to go and turn the oven on, Banana Muffins want to be made!

What is a Garden?

 

A place to be, where peace abounds

A place that’s filled with lovely things

A mad place crowded with too many hounds

A place with bugs and stinging things.

 

A place with trees, looming down from above

A place with produce for us to eat

A place with flowers I truly love

A place to sit on my comfy seat

 

I commune with Nature, the clouds and the breeze

Pruning the bonsai, planting the seeds

Out there is plenty to give me ease

In the garden is where creativity feeds!

 

pelargonium

 

 

What is a Dog?

A friend

An ally

A reason to get out of bed

 

A walk buddy

An asset

But the source of those hairs been shed.

 

A dog is all of these and more

A dog can be different things, for sure

But a dog is a treasure and source of pleasure,

Without a dog, what fun is leisure?

A bundle of little dogs, with friend!

puppy and friend!

Less than half an hour ago, I saw the most interesting thing. I’ve lived in this house, with dogs here too, for about twenty five years, and this is the first time I’ve seen this thing.

We’ve had Willie Wagtails here, always, as far as I can remember. But tonight was the first time I’ve seen this happen. I’d let all four dogs out into the back yard for a toilet break after they’d had tea. The Pharaoh Hound girls did their usual trick of racing toward the back fence to catch something.

The boy dog, Lah Dee squatted for a poo, and then a brave little Willie Wagtail swooped him over and over again, chattering its anger at the dog. The dog ignored the bird and wandered off when he’d finished. Then I did my pooper scopper lady thing, wondering if I’d be swooped too. I was safe from the bird, which had flown off over the fence and into a gum tree nearby.

Then the two girl Pharaoh Hounds went down that part of the yard and they were both swooped too. I was ready to get involved and convince the dogs to go away if they tried to catch the bird, but fortunately, they didn’t seem to notice the bird either. This really surprised me, because both of these girls have caught and eaten birds before. I don’t mond it so much it it’s a sparrow or starling involved, but I love these cheeky Willie Wagtails, always have and always will!

I know it’s nature that makes the dogs want to catch things and eat them, but dogs came to Australia, whereas the Willie Wagtails are native birds, and I figure this gives them right of way here. Does anyone else have thoughts about these things? I’d love to know whether or not you agree!

When our dogs are in hunter mode, I try to look away, but I couldn’t ignore our youngest, Missy, when she was victorious and pranced around with her prey today. Was it a native bird or just a sparrow?

I couldn’t tell which, but from her chomping into it, it must have been tasty, to her at least. I’m ameat-eater too, and I know, with the pharaoh hounds especially, hunting is in their bones. They go outside, they look for things to chase and eat. I can’t stop that instinct – they’re certainly fed enough that they don’t need to catch their own.

If I ever actually became a vegetarian, I still wouldn’t try to stop them from eating birds and other creatures, no matter how much I wished they wouldn’t do it. The dogs are limited to just the back yard, and the dog run. This is only a small part of what we have …

It’s a small thing, knowing the other creatures have places to go, still on our property, but away from the dogs. I know that, the dogs know that, but the creatures don’t realise it. One day, when I’m old, perhaps we’ll only have small dogs, ones that don’t have overwhelming desires to catch and kill.

I like the pharaoh hounds though. They’re quite different from the schnauzer, the breed I’ve been involved in for nearly thirty years. A schnauzer can kill creatures too, but they’re not as intent on doing it, the way the hounds are. The two breeds were both created to do different things.

The schnauzer was bred as a general farm dog, helping farmers around the place, herding, guarding and so on. The pharaoh hound has been a helper for farmers too, but their role was to keep down the rabbit numbers. So sitting around and chasing and killing rabbits has been their role for many hundreds of years.

Our dogs can’t get at the rabbits around the place, the creatures don’t come over the dog’s side of the fence. So the birds, lizards and snakes, if they come too close, are chased and caught, and eaten, or at least attacked, sometimes. The snakes frighten me. They’re brown snakes, and yes, our dogs have tussled with them.

Most recently, one of our dogs, Missy, was bitten by one of these killer snakes. She was seen in time, and my son and I raced her to the vet, where her life was saved. It was expensive, but I’m glad she’s back with us, still racing around looking for things to catch, whenever she goes outside. It was expensive, but with her being our youngest dog, I’m glad she’s still with us.

Do you have dogs? Do they have any habits that you’d rather they didn’t have?

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,212 other followers