Sunday, September 30, 2007

Meet the Budgies: Wattle & Daub

Wattle (yellow faced blue boy) & Daub ('normal' blue girl) are brother and sister best friends, just four months old. You've already met thier big sister Greywing, and little brother Napoleon.

Still very camera shy, they spend the whole day together in a world of thier own. Yesterday I watched them play 'keep away' with a twig. One would pick up the twig in thier beak and run, the other chasing behind. When the chaser caught up, there would be a brief tug of war, with the winner of that becoming the runner for the next round.

Since they are near inseparable, I thought it would be nice to name them something that went together. Hook & Ladder? Peanut Butter & Jelly? Wattle & Daub? Sure, why not!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Nest Watch, day 6

The Little Wattle birds first egg has arrived. Its a pretty brown egg with rust coloured spots. Now we wait to see how many she will lay before she begins to sit on them full time.

Tommorrow we will break from Nest Watch '07 for Budgie Sunday, and return to the Little Wattle Birds nest on monday. Have a great weekend!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Nest Watch, day 5

More lining, you can even see a strand of my hair now, along with some soft fluffy bits like from a dandelion seed. Id say this nest is ready for eggs!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Nest Watch, day 4

Now she has begun to add the soft lining to the nest. It wont be long now.

Mr Little Wattle Bird is watching me photo the nest, and he doesnt look too impressed, does he?

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

WW: Nest update, day 3

After the third day of construction, its really starting to look close to completion. She hasnt started lining the nest yet, so there is at least one more days work to go.

Im Busted! Shes seen me poking my lens in the tree and has given me a scolding I wont soon forget. I will have to be extra sneaky tommorrow.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Schmooze & 8 Random things!

BetteJo of A Bead a Day has kindly awarded me The Power of Schmooze Award...Thanks BetteJo, Im tickled pink! (Many apologies for not having shared the news sooner!)

Today I was tagged for the 8 Random Facts Meme by Patty of News from the Left Coast! Thanks for choosing me Patty!

So now, in the spirit of Randomness - I give you 8 Random Things About Me as fast as I can - so that they are as Random as I can get them.

1) Im a big chicken when it comes to tagging people for memes.

2) I have blond hair and blue eyes, but wear black mascara. I hate the way I look without my mascara. (I even wear it to bed!)

3) I once had my hair cut very short and dyed it black. For a week or so everywhere I went people said to me "Oh, I see youve decided to go back to your natural colour!" and Id scowl at them. When I saw these same people several weeks later, my blond 'roots' were showing...and I just smiled at them - vindicated!

4) I say "Meow" alot. This used to drive The Most DH crazy. He would ask me a question, Id say "Meow", he would say "But, what do you mean by that?". After many years together, he has figured it out. (It means many different things, much like when a cat says it!)

5) Im Loveable!

6) Im energetic, always doing two or more things at once. If I sit still, I fall asleep - whats up with that?

7) If I could have one piece of technology implanted in my body - it would be a camera. Seems Im always missing great shots while I go to get the camera or wait for it to turn on or 'process' the last shot....having one "on board" would be terribly handy!

8) CYCLING!! Im so loving the new bike and am doing 10K (a bit over 6 miles) a day 5 days a week. Next goal is to do 10K a day 7 days a week - after that - MORE!!!!

Have a great night everyone - tommorrow we go back to the Nest for an update - Cheers!


This shot was taken sunday evening. Hope everyone is keeping thier fingers crossed, Have a great day!

Monday, September 24, 2007


Took this shot saturday morning. Can you guess whats going on here in my Banskia Serrata tree?

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Meet the Budgies: Greywing

Greywing is a yellow faced greywing budgie (parakeet) who hatched just last may. She hatched first, and her best mate Napoleon last, so she is Napoleon's older sister.

Her breast colour is hard to describe; sometimes she appears pale sky blue, and other times, a slate grey. Her yellow colour is also darkening from sulphur to taxicab, just like Napoleons, as they get thier full adult plumage.

Greywing loves to hang upside down and swing, which seems to fascinate Napoleon to no end. I havent seen Napoleon try it himself yet. She has just begun to explore me when I visit the aviary. She especially enjoys attacking the sleeve of an orange sweatshirt I often wear to the aviary. She either loves that colour or hates it, I cant tell which.

Have a happy day Everybudgie!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Aurora in the sun

I sometimes think it would be a pretty good gig to be a housecat. Sleep all you want, play when you want, demand delicious treats, bathe in sun puddles till youre drunk with it, etc. Im off on another whirlwind day, hope your saturday is more relaxed.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Dendrobium, unknown Rock Orchid

The last of the Australian native orchids in bloom this week. Its a Dendrobium, but the name on its tag has faded in the sun, so I dont know which it is. Oh well, such is life, right?
Enjoy your day!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Pink Rock Orchid

From the Dendrobium family, which I think were recently re-classified as Thelychiton...perhaps just to keep us all a little confused. But no matter which latin you use, the common name for this one is Pink Rock Orchid.

Its another crazy day here behind the scenes, I hope your day will be more leisurely - have a good one!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

WW: Cats love boxes

In this older post several readers noted that the cats preferred a cardboard box to the whizz bang bed I made for them. Here is Priapus in the currently favoured box. Sigh, no fashion sense at all.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Dendrobium Linguiforme "Feather Orchid"

Another Australian Native Orchid, Dendrobium Linguiforme is often called the feather orchid. One look at its flowers tells you why. We grow this just like D. Striolatum, mounted to a slab of timber under a tree.

This picture was taken when it bloomed this time last year. This years buds were all eaten by those pesky slugs and snails. You can bet next year there will be a nasty surprise waiting for those blighters when this sets bud again!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Dendrobium Striolatum "Pencil Orchid"

Dendrobium striolatum is an Australian native orchid. We grow it mounted on a timber slab hanging under a tree. These tiny blooms, (less than an inch wide) appear each spring. It is sometimes called the 'pencil orchid' based on the shape of its leaves.

The leaves themselves are interesting as they are fleshy and tubular, the profile shot will help explain what I mean. The unique form makes this little plant interesting even when not in flower.

Most of the Australian Native Orchids are not very showy, but they make up for that with thier hardiness and diversity of form. Have a great day!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Budgie Sunday - Meet Napoleon

Long time readers might recognise this little budgie from when he first fledged from the nest. His adult plumage is still coming in, changing the yellow from a pale sulphur to a much brighter shade. He has the orange beak and pink feet of a recessive pied parakeet, but his pattern is not standard for that variety. His mum is Goldie and his biological father is Gorgeous George.

Napoleon was last to hatch, and a very small bird in stature. He is still missing his tail. When released into the main aviary, he set about being a giant nuisance to everybudgie. He would deliberately land on other birds heads, push anyone out of the seed dish and then just sit in it, and pick fights with everyone - including his parents! I decided that he had "little bird syndrome", and dubbed him Napoleon. All the other budgies didnt take too kindly to this obnoxious behaviour, and soon had him sorted out.

In the last picture he is talking with his surrogate father Freebird. Being closer to the camera he doesnt look as small as he actually is. But you can see what a difference a tail makes. I suppose I could have named him "Canary" instead.

Have a great day Everybudgie!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Wild Ginger

A recent excursion took us through the Royal National Park, where we spotted this interesting plant growing along the side of the road. I think its a wild ginger, but couldnt be sure. I didnt venture into the brush to investigate, but was happy to just have spied it.

Have an adventurous day!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Banksia Rose, Blue Sky

Yesterday was a glorious spring day, and I snapped this pic when I visited the aviary. Pity the clouds are back again today.

Behind the blog, life is in one of those crazy busy cycles, but Im still making time to get out on the bike everyday. The escape it offers is essential for my mental health. Physically I think Im overdoing it. But tough nuggies, Im going to keep at it. There are growing urges to light my torch and see if I can resume work making beads, knock on wood.

And thats all the news thats fit to share here, hope you are all well and happy.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Everybudgie Loves Uno

Uno must have "it". All the boy budgies want to chat her up when her mate Goliath isnt looking, and sometimes even when he is! Here its Magellan who is chatting her up. And look at her! She is definately interested in whatever he is saying to her. Tsk! Tsk!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

WW - Johnny Jump Up!

If its spring where you are, get yourself a punnet of seedling Johnny Jump Ups. Pop them into your garden where ever theres a bare spot. Enjoy the flowers, and let them run to seed. Next spring you will be rewarded with twice as many of these little charmers. As they spring up from the earth you will see how they came to be called 'jump up'. The 'johnny' part of thier name? That I cant explain.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Common Myna, Surprised

"What a lovely little spot for a bath!"

"What the? What are you doing taking pictures of me in my bath?"

"Right! Im outta here!"

The Common Myna is an introduced species, and outcompetes Australian native birds for habitat and nesting sites. For more information on these birds, visit thier factsheet at birds in

Monday, September 10, 2007

Lovely Bearded Iris

Katie was the little old lady who lived next door. For several years we admired each others gardens and swapped plants and cuttings. When the day came that she had to leave her home, she sent a box of mixed bearded iris rhizomes over the fence. This one was among them.

Katie, if youre out there, the garden is going well and we miss you.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Budgie Sunday - Meet New Friend

This handsome lad is a four year old Dark Blue Budgie (parakeet). When Magellan, Verdigris and thier siblings were nearly finished being hand reared, this fellows mum kicked him out of the nest. So I brought him in and introduced him to the group as thier "New Friend".

Since he didnt have as long a bonding period with me before he was ready to join the main flock in the aviary, he wasnt as tame as the other hand reared chicks. Its just recently that he has decided he'd like to have a go at thumb wrestling with me. He starts out innocently enough, but then he begins to bite. Then bite harder, and harder. My solution to this is, when he starts to bite my fingers, I pet him with my other hand. Since he doesnt like to be pet, he flys off.

Below we see New Friend with Uno. He has his head feathers all fluffed out, and is leaning in toward her while speaking sweet nothings. She seems unimpressed, doesnt she? And sure enough, her beau Goliath arrived about a heartbeat later to chase New Friend off. Better luck next time, Mate!

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Jasmine, Freesia, Rain

What a gorgeous pink these buds are. Its been rainy the last few days, but this morning the sun came out for a brief appearance. I hopped out to the garden to take a few quick shots of some blooms soaked in rain gems.

I rather like that the weather has been so gloomy. I wouldnt want any of the 'world leaders' here for APEC deciding to stay longer, LOL!

Friday, September 7, 2007

"Happy" APEC long weekend, Sydney!

Im sure tons of people are writing about APEC lately, so I will only make you suffer one opinion I have on the subject: Havent any of these people heard of tele-conferencing? Video-conferencing? Net-meeting? Wouldnt any of these be a more sensible way to hold one of these things.

Now with that out of the way, here is a sign outside of a garden centre I saw in my travels yesterday. I thought that was pretty clever- even though I want to meet George about as much as Id like to meet a rabid dog....Oooops! A second opinion! Id better pull me head in...

Lets make the most of it!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Australian White Ibis nest

The Australian White Ibis population is exploding. They seem to have learned some survival tips from seagulls: rich pickins' to be had at garbage dumps and behind any Maccas*. They gather in such huge groups they look like an invading army.

But in this pic we have a more heartwarming scene. Parent Ibis in the nest with thier young chicks.

For more info on the Australian White Ibis, visit thier factsheet at Birds in

*Maccas: Mickey D's, McDonalds

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Wordless - Bee in my Buxus

Nobody grows Buxus for its flowers, but that doesnt deter the bees from gathering the pollen. Spring has arrived in Australia at last.

Happy WW, did you play?

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

"Think: Now" up on TopBlogMag

My Inaugural TopBlogMag piece "Think: Now." has been published today at TopBlogMag.

Why not make a cuppa, get comfy, and check out this weeks writers on the theme "On my mind".

Hope you enjoy, have a great day!

Something for Ces

Some Brisbane Broncos tackling
a barely visible Parramatta Eels player.
You can click the pic for a better view.
"Wink wink, nudge nudge, say no more".

Ces has awarded me the:

I appreciate it muchly Ces, Thank you!

Monday, September 3, 2007

Parramatta Eels cream Brisbane Broncos

Yesterday I was unexpectedly press ganged into going to the footy game. Im not big on watching it, primarily due to Rugby League making no sense to me whatsoever. Give me good old American Grid-Iron anyday! But I grant you this: it is a whole lot more exciting watching from the sidelines with your team winning big (Parramatta 68, Brisbane 22).

Something I do admire about rugby is, the players wear little protective equipment. This means that tackles are less like bone crunching collisions, and more like pure brawn wrestling. The fitness level of these guys! Whoa!

Incidentally, the city of Parramatta sits on the banks of the Parramatta river. Loosely translated from the original Aboriginal name for this region, Parramatta means "where the eels are". Thus the team's name. And Mascot!

Sparky the Eel ought to win an award of some kind. Ive done this sort of work myself, so I know how physically demanding it is just lugging the suit around. But he was fantastic with the crowd, and never quit being highly entertaining.

In addition to all the sideline antics one hopes for in a mascot, he also patiently held babies for photos, shook hands with every kid in the stadium, and most importantly, flirted heavily with me!

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Budgie Sunday - Meet Primo

Primo joined the flock just this last May, when we found him at a flea market of all places! I didnt need another bird, but Id coveted a Violet Recessive Pied, and he was so charming and healthy. It was love at first sight!

Its hard for a new bird to find his place in an established colony. Lucky for Primo, Georgous George was thrilled to have another mostly white pied bird to talk to, and they became friends instantly. Gorgeous George looked after Primo, and helped him smooze his way into the good books with the rest of the flock. Soon it was like he'd always been part of the group.

Primo is about a year and a half old, and like most of the other male budgies, rather fancies Uno. Here he is leaning in toward her, giving her his best sweet talk - and she is listening to him! What a floozy! I was waiting for Goliath to come along and chase him off. Lucky for Primo, a younger bird came along to see what they were up to, which rather spoiled the romantic mood.

Primo is no 'seed-junkie', he loves all fruits and veggies. If he could, he would never eat a seed again. But his most interesting quirk is that he likes to chew on a brick! He is a brick-eating budgie!

My birds have several choices in the aviary for keeping thier beak trim and providing minerals and grit. Besides cuttlefish, there is a sandstone block, shell grit, mineral blocks and oyster shells. But Primo likes the brick the best. It isnt in there to eat, its to block the clean out hole!

Now the other birds have seen him rounding off the corners of the brick, they all like to have a go. You can be sure when I am sucessful at getting shots of this, I will post them for you.

Have a Happy Budgie Sunday!

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Hidden Cave in 'Forbidden Zone'

In the center of this photo, just behind the small young tree, you can see the dark entrance to a cave. I wonder how deep it goes, whether humans used it for shelter, was it a sacred place, does it have paintings?

We could see a route to it, but as it is located in a protected area, we were 'forbidden' to investigate.

Have fun exploring today, even if only in your imagination!