birds in garden, Life Roles, Uncategorized

Into My Front Yard Today!

Yes, today, I was in my front yard today, not just looking at it through the window from inside. I saw two Magpies, one a youngster, the other a parent, judging by the begging sounds coming from the smaller bird.

I’ve been housebound for weeks and weeks, since fracturing my right ankle at the end of September. I spent some time in hospital having the ankle operated on, with instructions not to walk at all on that foot. Now I am able to use a walking frame, and a moon boot, putting very, very, very little weight on that foot, and yes, today, I managed to get outside, Yay to me!

 

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(my front yard)

 

I’d decided after I had lunch, that I would see if I could actually get through the front door to sit on the seat that’s on the front veranda, and I managed to do it! Very happy news! I walked our there, saw something to deal with, and was able to do it – I removed two dead baby birds that somehow managed to be on the ground of our car port. I don’t know how that would have happened, they were very new babes, no feathers at all, so they wouldn’t have been trying to fly.

And I don’t know what kind of bird they were, I couldn’t tell, someone more learned in baby birds could well have known, but not me. I managed to pick up both birds, and put them out on the front lawn, where Nature will deal with them, in the best way. Dead baby birds make me a little sad, but I know Nature does what it does, some live long lives, some die young, and that’s just the way it is.

I hope I live a long life, and I hope my family and friends do too, as long as they are living lives that feel good for them. I’m thinking here about assisted suicide, and such things, and have to admit, I’m yet to properly find how I feel about such things. I don’t like people suffering, I know that for sure.

So the idea of ending suffering that has no way to end other than by dying, that seems to be a good idea. But many people who commit suicide were not in the best mindset to properly look at their lives to work out what options were available for them to consider. Death when there are other options, better options, that seems a terrible thing to me.

But I very much doubt those two baby birds were lying there, dead, in our car port were there because they committed suicide. I suspect the reason was not of their own making. A predator bird might have taken them from their nest, and somehow let go of them. It’s a very windy day today, and perhaps carrying a baby bird in claw or beak was too much? Who knows.

I’m glad I saw the happy scene of the young magpie being cared for by its parent, after seeing those poor baby birds. It gave me the opportunity to think on the ‘give and take, life and death’ ideas that Nature always presents to one who will look, and think on such things. I don’t know everything, but I know enough to know that, and in this is wisdom.

If you’ve enjoyed reading about my thoughts here, thank you, I’d love to discuss these ideas with you, if you wish.

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birds in garden, flowering plants, Uncategorized

Why I Love My Garden

At the moment, I would be unable to actually go out into my garden, unless someone helped me get outside, and into it. I fractured my ankle a month ago, and the surgeon who operated on my ankle, putting in various metal things to strengthen the joint, told me I was to put no weight on my ankle, my right ankle.

This means I can’t walk down the step to get from inside to outside. I can’t even walk inside the house. I have a few mobility aids to help me get around the house, but they don’t help me with that vital step down to ‘Freedom’! I can however, sit on my sofa, and see parts of both my front and back gardens. I can see various of out flowers growing, and I can see some of the birds that live in and around our place.

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these flowers all came from our garden

Gardens bring birds to a garden, because there are so many things in a garden that birds need – food, and shelter. Flowering plants attract insects, which some birds eat. The flowers are also a precursor to fruit and vegetables, and seeds, which some birds eat. It all goes together the way Nature intends it to go, and I love to see it going on all around me!

I’m a birdwatcher, and I love to see birds all around the place, well through the window, anyway at the moment, when they fly or walk into view. It makes me very happy to see these marvellous creatures enjoying my garden, and makes me enjoy the garden too, even more!

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almond growing in one of our almond trees in the garden

So even though I can’t get out there in the garden, I know it’s there, and I’m so looking forward to the time my ankle is healed,and I can get out there walking around the garden again!

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snow peas growing in our garden

All of these garden-related things bring me joy, and I am so grateful to have them here where I live! I love my garden, do you love your garden too?

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birds, birds in garden, Uncategorized

Birds in the Garden

When I go out into our garden, I might be out there to let Missy out for ‘a run’, ie a toilet break, if she needs it, but I will also be looking and listening, checking out which kinds of birds are out there.

We’ve just come back inside, Missy and I, and even though I was busily cleaning up what Missy went out there to do, I can report that I saw many Sparrows, and one Willie Wagtails. The Sparrows are by far the commonest bird we have here, and everywhere else, I suspect, they seem to be pervasive. I doubt I can go outside anywhere around during the day, and not see Sparrows.

If you’re not from Australia, you may not know the Willie Wagtail. They are a smallish black and white bird, native to Australia, with a long tail that they do indeed ‘wag’ as the name suggests. They have a sweet call, and are delightful birds to have around the place.

Last breeding season, we had a nest built by Willie Wagtails, on the old satellite dish attached to the side of our house. There were eggs laid, and hatched, and I like to think some of the smaller Willie Wagtails here may have been born in that nest.

If you’re interested, you will find lots of information about this jaunty bird here. I love the Willie Wagtails, and I was so thrilled they nested right where I could see it all happening, just a few metres away from me, as I looked over the fence from the backyard to the front.

I have also seen Sparrows in the front yard, as well as seeing a Black Bird there. There are often Black Birds in the front yard, poking around on the front veranda, or on the lawn I can see from my comfy sofa seat on the lounge room, where I and seated right now, typing away on my lap top.

When I went out earlier today, I say a Forked-tail Kite, up above the Light River, just a few kilometres from where I live. These birds are big, impressive looking birds that are open up in the air, looking for prey that is on the ground. They will dive suddenly downward when they spot something, then carry their prey away, held only with their claw, or beak. Exciting but deadly stuff!

So life around my place and beyond is an exciting but comfortable place, with plenty of feathered friends to enjoy!

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birds in garden, Uncategorized

A Poetic-Bird Related Challenge

I mentioned the Adelaide Rosellas in my front yard here recently, and have been challenged to write a poem about these visitors. I like writing poetry, and do it often, and I’m always happy to take on a poetry prompt. So, thank you John Malone, this will be a poem you encouraged me to write!

I’ve begun writing this as yet untitled poem. I don’t know when I will have it finished, or exactly how the poem will be by the time it is done, but I want it to be a poem suitable for children, and I want to send it, with other writing, to my favourite publication for children, The School Magazine. They aren’t accepting submissions at the moment, but they will be again sometime …

If I want this rosella poem to get published, it will have to be appealing to both the editor of this Magazine, and to children too, of course. The Adelaide Rosella isn’t a bird children in other states are likely to encounter unless they are from South Australia. They may have seen other kinds of rosellas though, and if I can make my poem appealing enough, it may find favour …

At the moment I’m thinking about the way the two words rosella and fella both rhyme, and that may lead me into a good path for a humorous poem, who knows? And the fact that the grey cat that’s been hanging around our place was in the same place I saw the rosellas may add an interesting hint of possible danger for the birds … Who knows? Well, hopefully I know, this is the poem I have to write!

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birds in garden, dogs

Watching the Birds …

Well, it’s Spring in Australia, and in the garden, Spring means lots of new things are coming along, both plants and creatures. One of the things I’ve been noticing much more than usual is young birds …

I’ve seen various birds doing their natural thing, courting, mating, nesting. And now I’m noticing the baby birds first, and now the adolescent birds. One bird species in particular has connected with me, and I was thrilled to see a pair of Willie Wagtails building a nest, and then obviously having laid eggs in the nest. The nest is only a couple of metres from where I park my car, and I’ve been thrilled to see the pair of birds taking turns at sitting on the nest.

About a fortnight ago, three baby Willie Wagtails could be seen in the nest, and then, a couple of days ago, they took flight! They didn’t fly very far, and they are still hanging around not too far from where that nest was that was their first home. These babies slowly  growing their tail feathers, practising their flying, and learning to wag their little tails!

I’m thrilled these little babes are living in and around our backyard, where I can see them and their parents whenever I go out of the backyard! I love seeing Nature so close to me, and I wish this family of lovely birds well! I don’t think there is anyone who doesn’t love these cheeky-seeming little birds!

Anyway, I have finally written a poem about these little new residents in the yard, and here it is, a little Haiku poem for the little baby birds:

Keeping watch
Willie Wagtail
babies all flown the nest –
parents still care …
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I will go on watching this family of birds, and I hope they keep on staying around. I am worried though that Missy, our dog, might decide to make a snack of one of the baby birds. They are getting better at flying though, so I hope they will be able to keep on flying high above Missy’s reach, so they can stay safe. Missy usually only goes outside if someone goes outside too, and that means we can keep watch. I hope that will be enough.
At the moment, Missy seems mostly interested in hunting for, I suppose snakes … She hunts around the fence line, where there is some grass, and sheets of fencing panels, where snakes could be hiding. I so hope she doesn’t ever catch a snake, I don’t want to lose our beautiful and silly hound. But she’s a hunter through and through, and she doesn’t listen to us when the hunt is on …
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birds in garden, Uncategorized

My Weather, Beautiful, not Crazy

semicascade-jade

Today I had one task I had to complete, and am glad to say, the job is done, and well done! What was my successful task? Well, all I had to do was to water the potted plants in the backyard, including this jade tree in a pot. This involves letting Missy our into the backyard, to run around, sniff things, and do what she had to do. If she does what she had to do, it was my task to deal with that in the usual way (pooper scooper).

So yes, Missy and I went outside, into different parts of the the garden – Missy sniffing thing, running around a little, and mostly having a fun doggy time (and yes, pooper scooper duty promptly done). Once that was done, I switched on the tap, which has a hose attached to it, then I look the hose fitting to spray the things that needed to be watered.

There are flowering things, herbs, strawberry plants in hanging baskets, and a variety of different plants in different stages of life (or in some cases, death). When you have a garden, it’s almost inevitable there will be wonderful instances of rebirth, but also deaths of things that will never regrow. I thing our two tiny little olive trees in teeny little bonsai pots are in the never to be reborn group., victims of too little water and too much heat in pots that are too small.

We have plenty of more olive trees though, popping up all over our property, compliments of the birds that eat our olive fruit, and deal with the seeds in the usual, natural way. I saw one of the strawberries was looking ready, but before I got too excited about eating a homegrown fruit, I saw that a bird had been there before me and took a bite out of it. It didn’t seem anywhere near as yummy then … I’m thinking of how I can rig up something to stop the birds from eating our strawberries. Graham brought strawberries home from the shop recently, but they don’t taste anywhere near as good as our home frown ones taste …

We have some shade cloth and I’m sure I should be able to fashion some kind of shelter from some of that. I have to check with the chief gardener first though, he may have some other plan in mind for it. I don’t really mind sharing our produce with the birds, after all, I get lots of enjoyment when I can sit outside on the comfy sofa there, watch and listening to the birds … The birds are happy, and I’m happy. Of course Missy is happy when and if she can catch one of the birds to eat, which doesn’t make me anywhere near as happy, even though that too is a natural thing … Nature isn’t all flowers and sweet things …

So that’s it, I’ve got a meeting coming up later this afternoon, and I’ll hand the house back to Graham when he gets home again soon. Missy and I have enjoyed being the in charge of everything ones this morning, and I get to be the in charge of everything person, at the writers group meeting later! I love my life, sunshine, happiness, loved ones, friends, and lots of birds flying all around! Oh, and Missy too, of course!

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birds in garden, dogs, Uncategorized

Missy in the Backyard with Me

There is something about a dog in the backyard that always brings some joy to my heart. It brings the pooper scooper into action too, at times, but the overwhelming joy a dog seems to get from being outside with Nature, also brings me some of that joy too. This morning was another one of those joyful times.

I was acting on instructions from Graham, to water particular parts of our garden. He told me or was that asked me? anyway, I was to water the hanging pots and the bonsai trees. We have some rain-free days coming today and the next few days, and we certainly don’t want our trees and plants to die. Looking at this trees and plants, remembering the processes of getting them to their various stages, these are good to remember. And if it brings memories of other plants and trees that didn’t make it through to this stage, well that’s still a good thing to think on, even if it isn’t a joyful thing.

Missy prefers to stay on and around the back lawn, sniffing around the shrubs, searching for things I certainly don’t want her to find, like snakes, I suspect. She didn’t find anything like that this time, which is a good and joyful thing! What she did find was a spot of lawn that was in the sunshine and was ready to be rolled on! Missy loves to roll on the lawn, and I love to watch Missy doing it. A dog enjoying a back massage by rolling over and over on the lawn, that’s an extremely joyful thing for them to do and a joyful thing to see!

Of course, there are birds to see and hear when we’re in the backyard too. Missy and I both like birds, but not for the same reasons. I love to see them flying free and mobile, zooming high above us, or past us, or diving down to sip some water from the pool, and then way up high again. That’s usually the swallows who do that, and they’re particularly active at this in the early evening, when there will be many swallows dive down and then away again, circle around and do it again, or disappear off somewhere else. I love to see them doing this. Missy would probably love to catch and eat one of them.

cape honeysucklethis is one of the bushes Missy likes to snuffle around the base of. Sometimes she’s found baby birds there, yum (for her anyway)

 

Because of course, Missy is a dog, a hound, and what dogs in general, and hounds in particular, like to do, is to hunt. When these bushes (Cape honeysuckle proper name Tecoma capensis) are flowering, as they are in the photo, that’s when the birds take a particular interest in them, getting nectar from the blooms. I love watching the honeyeaters in them, betting a good feed of nectar. We get two kinds of honeyeaters around our place. There are always New Holland honeyeaters around the place, and sometimes we get White Lined honeyeaters. I don’t like it if Missy catches and eats any of these lovely honeyeaters, but Missy doesn’t care what I think about that.

muAH7rk(1)  a New Holland Honeyeater

 

Watching the birds around our place brings me joy, I love to see them, both the ordinary ones, sparrows, starlings, turtledoves, but the native ones in particular, such as those honeyeaters mentioned above, and the crested pigeons, lorikeets sometimes, and often there will be willie wagtails too, I love these jaunty and songful birds! Sometimes I will spot a bird of prey circling high above, which always interests me, as I work to figure out what kind of bird it is. I’m a keen birdwatcher, and new birds to our place certainly brings me joy – I love to be able to add a new bird species to my list of birds around our place. At the moment, there are I think 43 different birds on my list.

It’s not a competition, but I’d love to hear about the different birds you can see from where you live – please leave a comment here are let us know. I live in Rural South Australia, in the lower Mid North region, I’m sure people in other areas have some very different kinds of birds, please tell!

 

 

 

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