On the Seventh Day of Christmas, my True Love gave to me, Seven Prawns a Grilling, Six Priests Crocheting, Five Frozen Things, Four Collie Birds, Three Fresh Pens, Two Purple Gloves, and a Cartridge in a Bare Tree.
On the First day of Christmas my True Love gave to me, A Cartridge in a Bare Tree.
Ive had some fun with Paint Shop Pro 6 again, this time for my tounge in cheek Christmas celebration. The source photo of the dormant Frangipani tree was taken by Anonymous of Bird Anonymous, who graciously has allowed me to use and tamper with it. Heres hoping she doesnt regret it when she sees this, Thank you Anon!
As I will be on holiday from Dec 23rd to Jan 3rd, I thought Id start my Twelve Days of Christmas now. Mind you, I only have three of the twelve days done so far - so dont get too excited. I may be forced into "Radio Silence" during that time - long story - suffice it to say: Blood Sucking Monopolizing Bar-stools!
Heard a Little Wattle Bird scolding someone outside. And he sounded close to the house, so you know what I did, I grabbed the camera. Soon found him, on the railing outside the back sliding glass door. And who was he scolding? My two cats Aurora & Priapus, who were eyeing him with less than noble intentions.
Its hard to tell the chicks from thier parents now, I can only use behaviour as my guide. I know this is one of the chicks for two reasons. First, his parents learned long ago that a cat behind glass is no threat, and secondly, look how nice and calmly he sits when I show up with a camera. Good to see you, Chicky bird!
The Most DH works a shift, so although its sunday morning, we were up as the sun rose. I give him his coffee, then pick up The Guardian of the Portal so he can go out on the front porch without kitty Priapus escaping.
On getting outside, he gestures with his coffee cup and quietly says "King is here." I drop the cat and run for the camera. Except its not much of a run, first thing in the morning and without adequate caffeine, its more like a hobble crossed with a shamble.
Once outside, I carefully stalk the pair between our lawn ornament (boat) and the thicket between us and the downhill neighbor. All the while I can hear them speaking to one another, small low grunt like noises mixed with the clicking of thier beaks as they munch the nuts from a conifer. But I cant see them, so I head out to the road.
From the top of the neighbors driveway I can see the male King Parrot. He is breathtaking. He is a fair way away, and its rather dark still, so Im not happy with the quality of these shots, but I am happy to have got them.
The male King Parrot finished his breakfast and flew away, but he chose to fly between me and the thicket and not off to the other side where there was much more room. The tip of his wing nearly brushed my leg as he flew by....one of those magic moments to savour.
Course then I had to hustle to get The Most DH's lunch ready. :)
"Millennium hand and shrimp! I tol 'em! I tol 'em!" - Foul Ole Ron
Theres been a lot of hectic activity and major upheaval here as the lampworking studio was dismantled and its contents sold off. There is very little left, and the room now looks enormous. All thats left to reclaim the space, is to uninstall the ventilation system (such as it was) and repair the cieling from whence it exits.
Then I can begin to explore again. Perhaps only tentatively as the whole Annual Tree Slaughtering Celebration of Consumerism is nearly upon us. Groan. Must go before I morph back into Foul Ole Ron......
I am frequently teased by Australian Butterflys. They flit through the gardens so quickly that I usually miss them. Ive decided they are next on my 'must photo' list.
I dont even know the names of the Aussie butterflys, so there is much to learn. My local library has a few volumes on them, but they are all in the reference section, so I have to find a day to sit at the library and study this new quarry.
This little one was sheltering on the Salvia Farinacea during a stormy day. Its quite tiny, Id estimate it to only be about 15mm (1/2 inch) from wing tip to wing tip. On a sunny day they appear to be quite blue, while on this grey day, the colours are much more earthy. At this time of year they are abundant in the garden, flying low over the lawn, often in pairs.
I look forward to learning its name, and if possible, what its caterpillar looks like, and making the garden even more attractive to all the butterflys. Then perhaps they will stay a little longer, and let me get thier photo.
Heres the back of Baiter's head. See those 'pins'? They are the shafts of his new head feathers. The shaft is made of a material similar to our fingernails. Once the shaft has fully emerged, the soft part of the feather will unfurl from inside the shaft. Baiter is nearly done with his spring moult.
Please vote in the poll - see the upper right hand corner of your screen - and Have a great Sunday!
Another first time sighting late yesterday - a Musk Lorikeet! Again it was hearing an unfamiliar call that caused me to grab the camera and go on the prowl. It pays to keep your ears open, at least whenever the evil neighbor isnt playing his Ghetto Throb "music".
Summer colds are the worst, why is that? And why do I have a summer cold, when it isnt officially summmer yet? Well enough of that, I must 'soldier on' today regardless! But Im making no promises as to whether or not I will be coherent.
Another orchid with an unreadable tag, I thought I could get a better shot on a sunnier day, but a little orange and black beetle ate holes all thru the flower. Blighter. Wonder if he brought me this cold as well?
Three pair of Red Rumped Parrot made a brief survey of my patch this week. They didnt stay to sample the lawn though. Bummer! In this pic we have two males and one female. Usually they are seen in lawns or in grassy roadside verges, where they can be practically invisible. We get a much better view of thier lovely colours here.
Everybudgie is still at some point in the moult, so Ive pulled out a pic from October to share today. I like the way Uno is sitting so perfectly upright, while her mate Goliath appears to be missing his head.
This shot was taken just moments before the one I used in Budgie Sunday - Sharing, and also gives us a good look at the feather patterns on thier backs.
By now you know my camera (a Kodak DX6490) is hopeless in less than full sun (at noon, on the equator). Last week during our rainy days I spied both our Little Wattle Bird chick friends, and the pics I got were terrible. So I had a little fun with this one.
Busily taking nectar from the Jacaranda, our two chicks look very nearly full grown. They are doing great on thier own, but whenever they see thier parents they still beg to be fed. I guess kids are always kids, eh?
I just wanted to share with everyone that they have both made it. Hooray!
And on a completely unrelated topic:
POTC3! Pirates of the Caribean - At Worlds End hits video rental stores NEXT WEDNESDAY, November 21st. Arrrr, finally!
Jacaranda Mimosifolia is a fast growing deciduous tree that I absolutely fell in love with the first time I saw one in flower. The leaves are ferny, giving a gorgeous dense but dappled shade. In my garden "Jackie" sheds her leaves in early spring, and are shortly followed by masses of these spectacular tubular lilac flowers. Birds and Bees alike adore them.
Our Jackie was just 2 feet tall when we planted her in 2000, and today she is very nearly as tall as a street light. At maturity Jacarandas are about 33 feet (10 metres) tall, and the canopy just as wide. I paid just $13 AUD for this tree, and it seems I got an excellent return on my investment.
Yesterdays mystery bird turns out to be a female Satin Bowerbird. Once I figured that out, I had to just sit back and enjoy the irony.
You may know that I make lampwork glass beads, under the business name Bower Bird Beads. (No prizes for guessing why I named a business after a bird, especially this one.) You might also know that Ive been having trouble with my hands due to an old injury. Long story short, the hands are getting worse, and I am not able to continue my work with glass. Not for a lack of trying though.
During the days I began to come to terms with this unexpected and undesireable turn of events, a Bowerbird shows up. Of course, I didnt know it was a Bowerbird till yesterday - but still - a Bowerbird! And she stays just long enough for me to get two pictures, and is gone. Ive never seen one here before. Talk about getting a 'sign'. Somehow, now that Ive got the message, I feel more at peace with it now.
So what will I do with myself? Oh, I will mess about with a few ideas...see what these hands are still capable of. Ive always said that I am a 'complusive creator'. I get very depressed if I do not have a creative outlet. So I choose to believe that there is a medium out there somewhere just waiting for me to get ahold it, and see what comes.
By the way, Im taking you all with me on this new adventure.
One of the rainy days we had last week, I heard an unfamiliar bird calling from the front garden. So I snagged my camera and went out to see who it was. Quite high up the gum tree was this bird - "Who are you?"
I got these two blurry shots before this bird took off. Then I noticed something odd hanging in the tree - "What is that?".
Its a birds toy! "When did that arrive?" Later in the day The Most DH said he had seen one of our new neighbors up in the tree a few days back.
Which gave me a nice feeling, because, they cant possibly see it from thier side of the tree. Have they placed it there for me?
But back to the original question...Who is this bird?
This little one hadnt been out of the nest long when its parents brought it to my garden to begin its hunting lessons. Its siblings were quick learners, but this little chick was not impressed with being turned out of the warm nest.
It spent most of an hour sitting in this spot, calling for its parents to come back from the hunt to feed it. It wasnt untill I was close enough to get this shot that the parents decided they'd given the chick enough 'tough love' for one day.
Momma swooped down to the chicks side with a worm in her beak, while Daddy called urgently from nearby cover. When Momma took off again, still in possession of the worm, the chick was quick to follow.
Sweet fluffy mommy bird having a break from showing her chick how to hunt in my Orange Trumpet Vine for insects.
Ive got a few things going on behind the scenes of the blog. As a result, Im still behind with visiting everyone. I should be around tonight - if I survive! LOL Will fill you all in soon, Have a great weekend!