How do you choose only one?? Wedgetail eagles are unbelievable. Wagtails are bossy. Emus are ridiculous. Get your vote in here.
Epic morning of de-hedging around the shed today, with the help of two friends. The weather was kind with an overcast sky and some light rain. The chooks over the back were clucking. There was one rather large toad which startled us a bit.
And then…just when we could see the fence through the massive bougainvillaea, we noticed Gucci. All tucked up and sleeping peacefully, right where one friend had been snipping branches. None of our sawing, clipping or heaving had disturbed his slumber…until his cover was nearly all gone of course. Then he started moving. And so did we!
There are some extraordinary people who have spent their lives fighting for the preservation of the natural world – Dian Fossey, Ron and Valerie Taylor, Steve Irwin, Rick O’Barry, the Cousteau family, Trevor Long and David Suzuki, to name a few.
They have a lot in common. Tenacity. Drive. Determination. An ability to gather supporters around them – who either volunteer or work alongside them or fund their efforts. An ability to make enemies – dangerous ones at that when it comes to the “business” of poaching. They inspire the rest of us – particularly children. It’s a rare person indeed who has earned the respect and holds the attention of teenagers.
Standing tall amongst them is Sir David Attenborough.
One month after heart surgery to fit a pace maker, Sir David made good on his promised tour to Australia. An evening spent listening to him speak about his life – prompted by questions from Ray Martin. How he got into the role we love him for, what are his favourite moments, what was scary, how has the work of nature documentaries developed and improved over the years. So much to hear about and only 2 hours to hear it in.
Some lovely stories, stunning footage and an audience rapt to listen to it all. I spent the evening next to my nephew, who didn’t miss a word – and who didn’t miss his Xbox either. To see and hear a living legend was a treat well worth the money, time and the late bedtime on a school night.
The “race that stops a nation” was run today with a reported $300m swapping hands (mostly in one direction towards the bookies, I’m figuring).
I won $100 on the sweeps at work – but for years I didn’t enter them. As a child, every teacher would run a class sweep for the Cup. I named my beloved toy donkey ‘Think Little’ as he was my very own baby brother to the mighty Think Big. I’d won a purse made out of a coconut for drawing him in my grade 1 sweep. Then I had a few lean years.
Tragedy struck in Grade 5. We all got to draw a name out of the hat for our classroom sweep. The year was 1979 and I drew a fantastic horse called Dulcify. He was a favourite but ‘broke down’ at the last turn to the straight. I didn’t understand what had happened until the tv showed him down on the ground with the vets all around him. I cried and cried.
A by-the-by line in the media gave away the news that a horse was destroyed at Flemington today.
“Oliver had a rollercoaster day after waking to headlines questioning whether he should be riding at all.
His ride in race one – Write the Cheque – finished well down the track, then in race four mount Rose of Peace broke down and was destroyed.”
And just like that, I’m back in grade 5 and I remember Dulcify. Won’t ever forget him.
I had a lovely little wildlife encounter today when I went outside to water the plants this afternoon. An adolescent magpie hunting around the backyard came running up to me with a couple of grasshoppers in his beak. He came right up close enough to pat. I think the previous owners must have fed him some mince… Very nice having him follow me round the yard though. I might have to restart the tradition.
It’s from here that the shots are called and the menu is planned, prepared and distributed to the guests. It’s important to remove yourself and sit back to consider the options. Who’s best with who and who’s not getting along with the others. Planning time. It’s very important – particularly when this place is more like a spa resort than a chook house, really.
Whoever said looking after chooks was easy has never done it. “Just chuck out some feed and collect the eggs”… as if!
Chooks need military precision! They need routine. And if they don’t get, by God, they’ll let you know about it. This is the mudmap I do when looking after Dad’s chooks. Do I overthink things? Probably. But what if one naughty hen pecks another and that one flies into the next pen with some others it’s not meant to mix with? Disaster! The boys have names, ‘cos they’re easier to distinguish. The girls in age groups for now.
I haven’t seen any wedgetail eagles around here for a few years. I believe they develop several nesting sites and rotate around them over their lives. Usually, we’ll see them in flight, waaaaay up high circling – but today was a lovely “welcome to country” from the couple.
As I drove in, over one grid, hang a right, through the boggy patch and straight on over the gravelly bit. The track veers right and down/up a couple-a hills before the last chicane down to the house.
And there they were. Sitting low on a tree’s branches – maybe they’d just fed? Unless you’ve seen them, you have no idea how friggin HUGE they are. And beautiful, just beautiful.
I turned off the engine, grabbed the camera and walked up slowly. The lady moved off to a tree further away and the man followed. They were not concerned, but sat on the far side of the next tree trunk so they could play hidey –go-seek with me.
I took it slow but knew they’d move again. Girl first, boy second. Big wings beating, but not going up at all. They flew at level over to another copse of trees. I blew my camera battery entirely – and then when unpacking – realized I’ve forgotten my charger! Typical. One battery to last a week. This will be tricky – but I’ll go for a walk up to the old nest to see if they are any signs of recent renovations. Wish me luck.
I walked past these windows quite a few times before I saw the detail added to them. My lesson – a little more focus in the here and now and I would see the kind of depth I’m craving to find in my boring daily humdrum.
There are a million gifts of beauty for us all. Made and left where we might find them if we open our eyes. How many pieces of wonder do you walk past each day?
Senna and Schumi went into the pond.
Next morning, Schumi could not be seen. I looked high and low. I moved the pots holding the waterlily, the watercress, the baby papyrus. Nothing. I eventually found Senna hiding in the log at the bottom, but no Schumi. So sad.
Until today – SCHUMI WAS BACK!!!!! The world champ is back. I don’t know how he did it, but I’m glad he did.