Changes · gardening · Mount Warning · new beginnings

Welcome to my new WordPress address! :)

The self-proclaimed “King of the Garden” ~ The Kookaburra.

Welcome to the new address of Home Life Online!

When I began blogging at Home Life Online, the very first blog that I ever had, I didn’t know a lot about blogging at all, so every decision I made was based upon the advice of other people.

From all the accounts I read, it seemed that the way to go with blogging was to have a self-hosted website, which would allow me to have complete control over my website.

Well that was nearly three years ago now and during the last three years I have started up another three blogs, each with a different purpose all of its own, and each one being a free WordPress blog. You will find the links to my other three blogs right under the header at the top of this page.

In all honesty, I have yet to find the advantage of paying to host my own WordPress blog! And what is more, I find the free versions easier to navigate around!!

The overseer of all things “garden” ~ Miss Tibbs.

I’m absolutely sure, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that if I were a super-techie type, who knew website code and could decipher programming mumbo-jumbo, I would be singing the praises of the self-hosted website, but unfortunately I’m not techie, or code savvy at all.

For ages now, I’ve toyed with the idea of transferring all the content from my self-hosted website to a free WordPress blog, and today I have finally bitten the bullet. I’ve spent the afternoon signing up, importing, exporting, re-adding, colouring, contemplating, deciding…and finally…it’s all set!

And here it is ~ the new home for Home Life Online!

To make the transition a little easier, I’ve stayed with the same theme, same header, same background, and all the content has been transferred from the old site. It may sound really quite involved, but it wasn’t at all. Even an un-computer-savvy blogger like me could do it!

At my new blog, right here, I will continue along in just the same way as I always have. The kookaburras and the garden, the river and the ocean, in fact everything that has always been there, will now be over here!

Pretty in pink!

There are just two requests I have, with moving my online address ~ firstly, if you were subscribed at the old site, would you mind subscribing again here? You will find the subscription link just to your right, near the top of the column, under the heading “Keep in Touch”. I can’t transfer my subscribers, and would hate to find that I had lost (or misplaced!) anyone during the move. You know what it’s like when you’re moving….

And secondly, if you find that there are any glitches in the new system, could you please tell me about them in your comments? I’ve checked everything from my computer, and all seems well, but you never know about those unwanted gremlins….

Over the next month or two, I will be asking my ever-so computer techie friend if they can help me out with a few things that I would like to do with the old website, but until then, I will leave everything there as is. And you will all be the first to know when my new plans for the old site are up and running!

It will be a whole new revamp, in fact a full-scale renovation, and once I get the ball rolling, the old domain will be a blog no more, but I promise, you will hear about it!

In the meantime, just so as you know you are really at the right address, here is a photo of my beautiful view from my home, of the majestic Mount Warning. 🙂

Mount Warning
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!


Australia · ducks · freedom

Free to Come and Go ~ Choosing to Stay

It was back in February this year that I first introduced my pair of very welcome visitors to my back garden. They have been the most elusive couple, and extremely camera-shy, but I recently had the opportunity of encouraging them so stay just a little longer.

Each morning I feed the birds when they visit my garden. The visitors, including kookaburras, magpies, minors and honey eaters, have all become progressively more and more trusting of me, these days congregating within a metre of my feet as I drop a few crumbs of bread for them all to nibble on.

Out of the corner of my eye a few mornings ago, I noticed a flash of “something”, followed by a huge splash! into my swimming pool. The ducks are back!

Mr. Drake

Needing some form of encouragement for the ducks to stick around, while I quietly dashed inside to grab my camera, I flung a few chunks of bread down to the pool area, which the ducks noticed immediately.

Exploring the yard.

The camera I have used during the past month has become my new best friend. I’m totally obsessed with photography since getting this camera about a month ago. (Obsessed to the point of neglecting my blog, you may have noticed!)

Sharing the birds bread.

The zoom on my new camera is brilliant! There are so many options available to play around with that I’m feeling like quite the photographer these days! My camera is rarely far from my side, and it’s not unusual for me to take at least fifty to one-hundred photos each day.

Well, the chunks of bread throw into the pool area did the trick, the ducks lingered, whilst I clicked away, photo after photo, from this angle and that. Even when the cute little couple waddled down further into the garden away from the pool, pecking at the grass, I still clicked away, the result being around eighty photos of, well, just the ducks!

So close to the house.

This story gets even better though. (I’m hoping at this point that I’m not the only person in the world who is extremely excited by a pair of ducks choosing my back yard to hang out in!) The ducks came back the next day, but this visit, they came right up to the house, sharing the birds bread, just a few steps away from my back door!

Surveying the yard ~ A new view of the world.

It doesn’t get much better than this. Okay, maybe it could; imagine if they will eventually become so trusting that they would eat out of my hand! Am I being too optimist?After quite a bit of research I have learned that this handsome couple are “Australian Wood Ducks”. The breeding season is around November, when the female lays eight to ten eggs. I wonder if they will one day bring their ducklings to visit?