garden, Uncategorized

Which Birds Did I See?

I went & sat out on my front veranda, after I had lunch today, to see what different birds I might see. So with no preconceived thoughts on which different birds it might be, I’m very satisfied with the number and range of birds I spotted.

First up, obviously, were the Sparrows. It doesn’t matter what season, or the time of day, if the sun is up, the Sparrows are up too, chirping, poking around, and flittering from spot to spot. There were lots of Starlings too, both adults and juveniles. Earlier in the day, from my breakfast seat, I saw a Murray Magpie on the ground, just by the sliding door.

What else? Ah, of course, I frightened two Swallows as I went out of the front door, and they flew off from the usual roosting spot on the wall to my right as I walked out. And I saw a Crested Pigeon on the ground to my left/front as I sat and watched. These are all common birds, and I will see them most times I go outside, either to the front yard, or back yard.

I also saw a far rarer visitor today though. I’m not entirely certain, but I saw a large parrot that may have been a Scarlet-chested Parrot. It flew about twenty metres in front of me, and landed in one of the tall pine trees (Aleppo Pines), that we have out the front of our place. I was excited about that, and got up to see if I could get a better look, and do a proper ident …

The bird was up in the tree, and in the shadow, so I couldn’t confirm what it definitely was, but while I was at the northern end of our veranda, I poked my head around the corner. Around the corner is a satellite dish, attached to the wall of the house, and on one of the things attaching the dish to the house, Willie Wagtails have yet again built a nest.

This nest building has been going on for at least three years, as far as I’ve noticed. And yes, sure enough, in the nest was a Willie Wagtail, sitting, either on eggs or on baby chicks. I love the idea of seeing these lovely birds up close, when I’m only about four metres away from them, and they don’t get frightened away. My car is within a couple of metres of the nest, and I try to remember to say hello, whenever I go out!

I didn’t see the other black and white bird, the Australian Magpie, but I’m sure there are probably some around somewhere …

So seven different birds were sharing the front and side yard with me today, and I love that! There was another kind of creature out in my back yard today, not a bird, but a reptile. I went into the backyard after lunch but before going into the front yard and say something in our swimming pool. I went a bit closer, carefully to look at what in may be in the pool.

It wasn’t a bird, or a mammal, it was a reptile. But it wasn’t the dreaded Brown Snake I feared it might have been. Sometimes creatures fall into the pool when they’re trying to have a drink … The creature in the pool was a lizard, a Blue Tongue Lizard, so I immediately went into life-saver mode, grabbed a swimming pool tool, and assisted the silly lizard out of the water and onto dry land. While I was there, I saw another bluey, up the other end of the pool, and I helped that one out too.

I don’t know if the lizards have scurried off somewhere else, but I hope they have, because if they come into the back yard when Missy goes out there, which she does, many times a day, well, Missy is a Pharaoh Hound, and she’s a hunter, as all hounds are, whichever type of hound they are …

It’s been an interesting afternoon, but now it’s rest time for Missy and for me, as we await my (I hope triumphant) husband, when he comes home from his Lawn Bowls game, later on this afternoon. That’s it for now, birds, mammals and reptiles, as well as trees, all over and out!

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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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flowering plants, Uncategorized

Metaphorical Tulips

Life is a paddock full of tulips

 

Strong green shoots with a rainbow of colour

windblown, waving, beautiful. Then, Summer –

flowering ends, greenery dies down,

paddock appears dead, lifeless, but

underground, bulbs form, grow larger

helped by rain, aided by nutrients –

Autumn, Winter, Spring again, blooms

vibrant, precious, each flower a gift

from Nature, for us to admire in situ,

or inside – to cut & display, show off,

admire. Wondrous promises of life.

 

I don’t have tulips at my place, I have freesias and another kind of bulb that I have been growing since buying the bulbs when Mallala Primary School was doing a fundraiser when my son was going to school there.

I love the way the freesia bulbs we planted are spreading in the front yard, all on their own, via seeds being blown in the wind, and by tiny bulbs growing underground and popping up again every Spring, with beautiful different coloured flowers.

The other bulb is one that had striking red/orange blooms, and that is popping up (less often) in parts of our backyard. We don’t water any of these bulbs very much and we haven’t had a lot of rain, but still these plants go on doing their thing, grow, flower, die off, spread, grow, flower, die off, every season, as Nature decrees shall happen.

We can admire the bulbs flowering outside, and we can cut flowers off the plants and admire them inside, bringing Nature’s loveliness into our home, both visually, and the delicious scent of the Freesias.

Natural scents bring something even more special into a home, no toxic chemical odours, just sweet natural ones. 20190925_161224

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dogs, Uncategorized

Dogs So Love Doing This

Missy is such a lovely dog, and she sure loves rolling on the grass of our back yard!

Time spent watching Missy doing this is a lovely way to spend a minute or so on a mild day when I’m at home, and she is feeling comfy on the lawn! All dogs should have a nice lawn to roll on, when they want to!

It’s almost a blissful almost Buddhist moment, watching Missy rolling on the grass, sometimes!

Missy is a Pharaoh Hound, who was bred to be a show dog, but that never happened, so she’s our loved pet dog instead.

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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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flowering plants, growing your own, Uncategorized

Snow Pea Update

I realise not everyone in the world will be interested in what I’m going to write about in this blog post, but if you read the headline and thought you’d like to know about what I have to say about Snow peas, and update, in fact, keep reading.

My husband is the one who does all of the heavy work in our garden, as well as just about everything else. I do some watering, if needed, when he isn’t there to do it, and of course, I keep an eye on what’s going on, because I let the dog, Missy, out for her outside times. When I let Missy out, I will often go out to, and I’ll look around at the garden.

It’s Spring in Australia now, just started, and we have lots and lots of lovely flowers around the place. I’ve just picked a few flowers and put them in a tiny little cut glass vase, two freesia blossoms and one geranium. It’s sitting on the windowpane in the kitchen and looks sweet.

The more important item in the garden at the moment though is the vegetable patch, where we have a fine crop of snow peas coming along.20190827_122837I love snow peas, and the couple I’ve had so far have been lovely and sweet, crunchy morsels of green goodness! The plants we have growing are fulling up the garden bed they’re planted in and reaching for the sky, helped with various sticks and strings for them to cling to, and climb up.

Anyway, I’ve done a bit of helping further, encouraging the curl their tendrils around the string in a couple of places, and also check out the growth of actual snow peas, size and numbers growing. My husband counted how many actual snow peas were growing today, and he said there were three, I think, or it may have been four. That was this morning.

After lunch today, I went out, with Missy, and looked at the snow peas myself. After taking a good look at the situation, I counted seven actual snow peas, with one of them getting close to being big enough to pick. There are increasing amounts of plants flowering, and so there will be increasing number of actual vegetables coming along after.

Snow peas are funny – the vegetable grows from the flower, and they can begin growing from where the flower was, with the petals of the flower at the far end of the actual pea pod. Well, I think it’s funny, anyway. In the photo above, you can see a little bit at the far end of the pea, that’s where the petals were attached, and fell off.

Anyway, that’s an update of our snow peas in our garden. I suspect once the season is over, I may not get so excited about them, but I certainly aim at enjoying eating snow peas regularly, I wrote somewhere recently that I thought snow peas may be my favourite vegetable, and I still think that might be true.

Another thing we have in our garden, is a few different herbs growing. We have chocolate mint, and thyme. The chocolate mint is in a pot, near our garlic plants, and the thyme is in a hanging pot, on the back patio, close to our back door. I could just be satisfied with looking at the plants, which are attractive enough, in their own ways, (the mint with its green leaves, and the thyme with its lovely little flowers growing just now).

But there is more to do with these plants than just look at them. I love having a cup of herbal tea, every now and then, as I did today, so while I was outside, I picked a bit of the thyme and the chocolate mint leaves, and brewed myself a cuppa. I was thinking about whether to put honey or sugar in my tea, and then had a brainwave. We have Cadbury chocolate powder in the kitchen, so I put about a third of a teaspoon of that in my tea, and oh my, it was delicious!

I’ve trying to cut my cups of coffee down, so knowing how good the herbal tea is, is going to make that easier for me, for sure! Speaking of coffee, I’ve only had one cup so far today, and I can have one more for sure. I’m trying to keep it down to two cups of coffee, or maybe three, if I’m going to be out late at night. So time for another cup of coffee for me. The tea was nice, but coffee has that added punch!

I’d love to know what you have growing in your garden, why not leave a message?!

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