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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birds in garden, dogs

Glorious Days of Different Kinds

Yesterday was a glorious day of sunshine, blue sky and fluffy clouds. There was a gentle breeze outside, the birds were merrily cheeping and chirping in their various ways, the dogs happily went from lounging around on their sofa, to happily running around outside. It was a lovely warm day, and all was pleasant both inside and outside our home. Today is also quite a pleasant day, but it’s another kind of pleasant. I have no signs of a blue sky,

aleppo pine

 

the sky is white and grey with clouds. There is a tiny amount of rain that may or may not fall. The birds don’t seem as chirpy as they were yesterday, and the wind is cold, and a little less pleasant because of the temperature of it. The dogs are still happily lounging around on their sofa. The dogs are almost always happy to do that, and who can blame them?!

pelargonium

 

My point with this blog post is to encourage myself, and others to look at our lives, and to find glory, or at least pleasant times, in a variety of situations. I’ve been thinking about my own health, after seeing my specialist yesterday, and I am convinced having many thoughts about the things that please me in life has played a part in why my chronic illness isn’t troubling me as it can trouble others (and has troubled me in the past). I am in the remission phase, and haven’t had a full-on relapse for quite some time now, I have only had what is called pseudoexacerbation. This is where previous MS Symptoms can occur again for only a short period of time. This is most commonly caused by getting too hot.

The symptoms go away again when you are able to cool down again. I’ve had this occur in a truly worrying way only once. On that occasion I was driving my car home, was feeling rushed, and got far too hot. When I got out of my car and walked around to the passenger side, I collapsed when I opened the door, and couldn’t get up again, my muscles wouldn’t work. It was a big worry, but I was in the shade from my car, on the grass, and I knew my son would be home from school eventually to help me.

I don’t know how long it took for his bus to drop him off from school, but it did eventually arrive, and he was able to get a neighbour to help and they were able to get me inside. After being in the air conditioned house, and with some cool water to drink, I was able to regain control of my body …

Anyway, that happened quite a few years ago – six years, possibly, and hasn’t been that bad again since. I am much more careful about these things now, having found out how bad it can be If I don’t look after myself. So sitting in a stinking hot car, with no cool air is a bad thing for me and for many other people with MS, or without MS, really … My favourite sitting around places outside are on my front or my back veranda, and I only sit there if I’m in the shade, or if I’m not in the shade, then when it’s a mild day with a cool breeze.

galahs drinking

Glorious days outside with the dogs, the trees, the clouds, the birds, oh what a marvel those lovely times can be! If you have places where you can rest and take in the glories of Nature, please leave a comment and tell us about it!

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birds in garden, d, Uncategorized

Winter Feels Like Spring

Outside the plants are growing green and flowers in a variety of colours are brightening our times outside. We still have strawberries popping up in hanging baskets on our back veranda, and life is certainly sweet! Nights and early mornings are cold though, and our air conditioner on ‘heat’ is most welcome to take the edge off the cold inside.

My poetry output is coming along, with another few poems written in the past week, and one of those poems in particular seems worth sharing further, somewhere, sometime. I’m not good at this ‘getting my work out there’ stage of the poetry writing thing. But for my next collection, perhaps, next year? Who knows …

Will the real Spring nudge me into action on that front? I can but hope. As I said, I’m not good at this. I have some poems that would be suitable for children, and I know an excellent publisher for such works, but I’ve still done nothing about getting those poems to that publisher. If my head wasn’t firmly attached to me body, would it say on?

Ah, self-recrimination, how could I live without you? I’d live quite well actually, I suspect. But there’s always the next thing, the new, thing, the best thing, and so old tried and tested things are ignored, opportunities missed. But as I sometimes write on my Facebook page, Life is Good. The birds outside my back door are still flying around, hunting and eating bugs and so interesting and entertaining me.

And this lovely weather we’re having! If this is Winter, then I’m enjoying Winter very much, except for the chilly times in the evening and the morning … But I look at our indoor/outdoor temperature gauge, and it is now warmer inside than it is outside (in the shade). And the sun is shining, so I don’t have to feel as guilty about using the power for the heating (air conditioner). Our solar panels are doing their job, and even if we’re not making all of the power we’re using, at least we’re making some of it.

Thinking about the seasons, and the plants leads me to the novel I’ve been playing with. I get excited and write a bit, then something else needs to be done and this work in progress stops progressing. Again. I’m much more excited about the idea of being a novelist than I am about actually writing a novel, that’s the problem. I play with little bits of writing, and the longer novel form seems like too much of an ongoing thing.

Will Spring really help me get something happening here, with this novel? Maybe yes, maybe no. But at least other bits of writing happen. I have a book that will almost certainly be ready to launch at the end of July, at the Adelaide Plains Festival of Words 2017. The text (my part of it) is almost all written and in a document, and the other bits are on their way, and there’s still more than a full month before I need to have it. Something to be proud of for sure.

And isn’t that something we all need in our lives? Something to be proud of ourselves for. If you’ve done things in your life you’re proud of, feel free to tell us about it – leave a comment here!

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birds, birds in garden

My Christmas Bird Count

muAH7rk(1)

Enter a caption

I didn’t see the bird pictured, but often a look in the backyard will reveal one of these birds. It’s a New Holland Honeyeater.

After my mother left us today, I took a couple of the dogs outside and sat on the sofa on our back veranda to look at birds. I love looking at birds, I’m a bit of a sometime ‘Twitcher’ (Birdwatcher). I don’t seem to be able to just see a bird, my brain always looks and tells me, that’s a sparrow. Or swallow, or galah or whatever it is. And if I can’t immediately work out which kind of bird it is, I don’t like it.

I think it’s within the nature of humans to name things, but I’m not certain. I’d appreciate opinions on this from others. Anyway, today I counted eight different species of birds when I was sitting outside today after our Christmas lunch. I didn’t see anything particularly amazing or rare, but I still enjoyed sharing my time with these birds. These are the different birds I saw:

I saw Sparrows, Swallows, Starlings, Galahs, a Willie Wagtail, a Murray Magpie, a White Lined Honeyeater, two Crested Pigeons and a heard and then saw a Spotted Turtledove. This was over about twenty minutes. I saw the first two different bird species in the first minute of being outside, and I always do. We have many Sparrows in the bushes and trees in and around the backyard, and Swallows like to take quick dips in our swimming pool, which is next to the backyard.

If you like to watch and take note of the birds in and around where you live, I’d love to hear from you, we could compare bird notes!

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