Australia · blessings · ducks · freedom · friends

It’s All a Matter of Trust

An adult “Honey Eater”

It was only fairly recently that I noticed a new breed of visitors to my garden. At first I thought that my eyes were playing tricks on me, or the varying light of day changed the colour of the birds, as some seemed to have a brilliant blue colouring around their eyes, whilst others didn’t!

With the help of a few Google searches, the mystery was solved. “Honey Eaters” develop the beautiful blue “eyeshadow” when they reach maturity, around the age of sixteen months, whilst the younger birds must stay content with a rather dull beige eyeshadow in their youth.

Whatever did we do before the days of Google for research? (Oh, now I remember, we used books for research! I must invest in a good Australian bird identifier book.)

A young Honey Eater. The day will soon come when he can wear the “adult” eyeshadow!

At the end of June, The “Australian Wood Ducks”, who have chosen my swimming pool as their own personal duck pond, were still rather timid, and all the photos I took of this charming pair having breakfast near to the back of my house were taken through the window, so as not to frighten them away.

Well, the good news is, we are now old friends, and they seem quite content to walk around my paved area, pecking away at the bread scraps that I leave out for them, even when I’m out in the garden with them!

Sir Drake

These two photos were taken as I sat quietly on the pavers, with the pair of them only about three metres away, taking photo after photo! They occasionally looked my way (especially Sir Drake, who is rather protective of his lady friend!) and continued with their pecking.

Mother Duck. Well, she will be a mother one day later this year, when the breeding season begins.

The ducks have become rather possessive of the garden, and seem to think they have first dibs on the bread too. When a pair of “Rainbow Lorikeets” visited last week, the ducks wasted no time in making sure the lorikeets knew who was there first!

Setting the ground rules!

The lorikeets rarely visit my garden, and when this pair dropped by for breakfast I had hoped they would return. Unfortunately, they haven’t, so I wonder what the ducks said to them? Perhaps the ducks offended the lorikeets!

Rainbow Lorikeets

Mother and father magpie have visited me for a long time now. This pair are my “old faithfuls” and swoop down to me when they see me walking out of the back door. They are so tame, have their own individual personalities, and bring me so much pleasure with their regular visits.

Mother Maggie

The magpies brought their three baby magpies to us when they were old enough to leave their nest. I always knew when the babies were in the garden, they made so much noise! My maternal instincts delighted at the sight of the baby birds squawking at their parents, as the pieces of bread were passed from parent beak to baby beak.

The three siblings, who have visited my garden since baby-bird-hood.

If you compare the black of the adult magpies to the black areas of the babies feathers, you will see that the babies feathers are mottled black. The mottling will eventually become full glossy black, but even then, I will recognise “my” babies. They are the birds who know me, trust me, and walk straight up to me when I’m in the garden.

As much as I enjoy using words as a means of communication, and writing words in my blog posts, birds and animals bring something extremely meaningful to my life. It’s a form of communication where no words are needed, yet friendship and trust are developed over time.

All that is needed is a feeling, and a heart. 🙂

One of the young magpies, coming just a little bit closer to the house.
Australia · friends · laughter

Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree….or on the clothesline!

Since I started feeding the wild birds who visit my garden, on a regular basis, word must have got around among the Feathered Friends Kingdom that easy to come by food is available in the backyard where the magpies congregate.

When Kathy from Lake Superior Spirit paid me a virtual visit the other day, she told me that she would like to hear a kookaburra laughing.

Well Kathy, rarely do you ever hear just one kookaburra laughing! Even if you only see one kookaburra in the garden, as soon as one begins to laugh, before you know it you have a whole symphony of Laughing Jackasses (the largest members of the Kingfisher family) going hard at it! The whole family is never too far away.

Some days I have eight kookies perched on my clothesline. They prefer meaty treats, but also seem quite content to settle for sharing the bread with the magpies, and various other feathered visitors.

I found this link to the laugh of kookaburras, which sounds true to the real sound. You don’t want to be too close to them when one of them cracks a joke, because their laughter will deafen you!

What’s so funny, eh?

I had intended adding more photos of my other, not so loud, birdie visitors here today, but will save their photos for tomorrow, (or Thursday), for the simple fact that the kookaburras prefer to steal the limelight!

I’m sure all the other birds will thank me for allowing them their own moment in the spotlight, without those comedian kookaburras overshadowing them! 😉

challenges · gratitude · happiness · Mount Warning · winter

On sunsets, fireplaces, books and plans….

How does a “non addictive” personality type become totally, utterly, completely, ridiculously addicted to taking photos?

“My name is Joanne, and I am a photo-holic”.

Do you think that may help me to overcome my addiction? I’m not so sure myself. Photography is such a fulfilling pass time, so why would I even consider “getting over it”? And it is a well-known fact that to make the decision to change something, you have to want to make the change!

And you know what? I don’t want to give up photography!

I do have one teeny-weeny problem though, that my addiction to photography has created; my blog is suffering, and that is something that I do want to change!

So tonight, even though the hour is late, and all good photo-holics should be taking themselves off to bed, to curl up, keep warm, and read some more of the new book they have just begun, here I am, adding a photo or two here, because they are too beautiful to not share.

We have seen some magical sunsets over the last few days. Perhaps not the stop-you-dead-in-your-tracks type of sunsets, with the brilliant dazzle of reds, oranges and golds, but more subdued sunsets.

The sky has just a subtle hint of colour, the air is cool and the fireplace is keeping the house comfortable and warm. They are the kind of nights when all you really want to do is get up close, as close as the heat will let you, to the fireplace, curl up in a ball and go to sleep.So here’s the plan ~ even if time does not permit, even if all I want to do is curl up in a cosy ball with my really good book, even if I’m tired, I will take a few moments to add some photos here, most days.

Perhaps not every day. Some days become crazy and I really need forty-eight hours instead of twenty-four. Don’t we all have days like those?

Oh, but before I take myself off to “cozy book reading land”, here’s another photo of the sky. Doesn’t this winter moon look incredible? My new camera is just the best gadget I have ever owned in my life!