Australia · birds · clouds · in my garden · Mount Warning · native Australian birds · subtropical weather · summer · sunset · Tweed Valley


This afternoon, I had another visitor in my front garden, right near the front door. Yesterday it was the Pee Wees and a Butcher Bird – today, a Kookaburra. It’s my guess that the birds enjoy the coolness of my front garden, which is why they have been spending time there during the afternoon of the past two days. The weather has warmed again, but the humidity isn’t too bad at all.

From the amount of brown dirt smeared on his beak and feathers, I’d say this beauty has been foraging for worms recently. He patiently posed for a close-up photo session though, so I had to reward him with a small morsel of food.

This boy features in a few of my photos. I recognise him because of the bare patch in his upper chest feathers. He’s fairly tame, but just a tad reluctant to take food from my hand.

He listened intently to every word I said to him though. Some birds look deep into your soul – this particular bird can definitely connect on a spiritual level.

Connections between humans can – and should – be the same. We are all human beings, and when I read the words of Maya Angelou today, her wise words seemed more profound that ever –

“It’s very hard to hate someone if you look them in the eye and recognize them as a human being.” ~~ Maya Angelou.

This afternoon as the sun was setting, I noticed a few interesting cloud formations. Rain is predicted overnight, so I’m hoping we have a dry day tomorrow. Who knows – I might get some early morning gardening done, before the heat sets in again. πŸ™‚

This cloud looks to me like a dragon flying across the sky, its wings expanded to either side as it sours across the mountain. Does anyone else see that, or am I reading too much Harry Potter? πŸ˜‰

Australia · birds · in my garden · photography · summer

Kookaburras – Mates for life.

Today – the 1st March – is recognized as the first day of autumn here in Australia. Thank goodness!

The 2018-2019 summer season has been brutal, with this summer being Australia’s hottest summer on record.

After a dunk in the pool.

Where I live on the coast we’ve been lucky. Our maximum temperatures have remained, on average, around the low thirties (or the high eighties if you go by the Fahrenheit scale). It’s the high humidity of our sub-tropical climate that has really knocked us about though.

A bad hair day.

Right through summer I’ve been refreshing the water bowls every morning that I leave strategically placed where my beautiful feathered visitors will find them. I worry about the birds constantly, wondering whether I’d lose any of my regulars, but most of them continue to show up every day.

It’s a relief knowing the worst of the heat is behind us. Last night we had quite a bit of rain and this morning the air felt cool, fresh and still. My resident kookaburras came to visit, singing their raucous territorial song in my front garden, and in the distance I could hear another flock of kookies staking a claim on their territory in reply.

Learning to trust.

It’s been a few weeks now since my original, Larry, visited and I miss seeing him. His lady friend, Shilo, who would once hide behind Larry, peeking out to see if I’d noticed her, visits still with the rest of the flock. But I’ve noticed a change in her manner. She flies down to sit close to me when I feed the others. And when I pass her food, her super-timidness has been replaced by a confident gesture – by Shilo’s standards at least – she now grabs food from my hand before joining the others.

Larry. Photo taken December 2018.

She’s not as gentle as Larry. Larry had a confident air, a steadiness of eye that I’ve never noticed in any other bird. I could pass the tiniest morsel to him and he’d peck it gently from between my fingers. But Shilo wouldn’t dream of allowing me to hand-feed her when Larry was around.

I wish Shilo could tell me what has become of Larry. My fearless friend has been visiting for over ten years, and given the lifespan of a kookaburra is around 11-15 years, maybe Larry didn’t make it through the heat of the summer. I prefer not to think about that possibility though. Kookaburras mate for life, so what is Shilo to do now?

A new addition to the clan.

Thankfully, Larry and Shilo’s clan has grown in numbers over the years. Now, every afternoon when they visit, I do a head-count. I have seven regulars visiting. Hopefully some of the younger birds are noticing the trust Shilo has in me. Perhaps in her timid way, Shilo is doing the same as Larry, by setting an example of trust.

Maybe over time, the youngsters will learn to trust me too.


Postscript: I have to wonder, are birds psychic? Three hours after writing this post I went outside to feed the kookaburras, just as I do every afternoon. Today, as I approached a kookaburra waiting in Shilo’s usual place, another bird flew down … the waiting bird was Larry, and Shilo sat beside him. As usual, she took her food, then joined the others. Larry stayed, gently taking each small piece of meat from my hand as I passed it to him.

I wonder where he’s been? He looked fantastic! Clean, bright eyed, and as calm as ever. πŸ™‚

Australia · authenticity · Mount Warning · photography · summer

The Storm after the Heat

8pm tonight, after an electrical storm.

What a hot day it has been today! We’ve had a series of days of higher than expected temperatures since the new year began, and I’ve had enough!

In keeping with my word for the year, authentic, I am staying true to my feelings, and announcing that I’ve had enough with this heat. I’m not happy.

About 5pm, after the rain, with the thunder still rumbling in the distance. This kookaburra wanted his dinner!
About 5pm, after the rain, with the thunder still rumbling in the distance. This kookaburra wanted his dinner!

The truth of the matter is, I’ve tolerated our hot summer days rather well for the last two summers, although they have been unusually cool for here. When I say cool, I mean less humid. Temperatures have still reached up to over thirty degrees celsius, but with less humidity. This summer though, the humidity is back, squeezing the oxygen from the air and leaving us all dripping with sweat!

The Noisy Miners were all atwitter on the clothesline.
The Noisy Miners were all atwitter on the clothesline.

Today, I made a decision of mammoth proportions, totally out of character for me, whilst at the same time being authentically me ~ I’ve ordered a small, portable air-conditioning unit, which will live in my office/sewing room. The cooler air will make me feel a lot happier.

The sky turned an eerie bright yellow colour as the sun began to set.
The sky hadΒ an eerie yellow-green glow as the sun began to set.

How can anyone be expected to work with a clear head, whilst battling to think straight with their melted brain? It’s simply impossible to do so. I have work related sewing to do and so many sewing and craft projects that I can hardly wait to begin, but not in this heat!

The Butcher Bird had been flitting back and forth for food all day. I think he must have been stocking his larder, knowing there was a storm approaching. Here he is at 8pm.
The Butcher Bird had flitted back and forth for food all day. I think he must have stocked his larder, knowing there was a storm approaching. Here he is at 8pm.

I’m not a big fan of air-conditioners. Ceiling fans cool the air very nicely, however I don’t have a ceiling fan in my office. Tomorrow, however, I will be collecting my mini air-conditioner. The money spent on the unit and the extra electricity used to operate it will be earned back tenfold through work production, which has currently ceased, and peace of mind; no more being agitated by the hot days. And I’ll only use it on the hottest of hot days.

One of the kookaburras enjoyed a view of the sun setting from the clothesline.
One of the kookaburras enjoyed a view of the sun setting from the clothesline.

There is often a display of something very special indeed to be had after an unbearably hot day, and that is the cooler relief that an afternoon storm brings. And even more special is the sky….just look at those colours!

A picture paints a thousand words! This sunset is straight out of the camera, free of any editing.
A picture paints a thousand words! This sunset is straight out of the camera, free of any editing.

No one can control the weather and it’s no use trying to fight the heat. I think I may have just worked out a solution to staying busy, which I want to do, whilst tolerating the heat….perfect! πŸ™‚