Sunday, 27 March 2016

Gosh A Goshawk!

We've been enjoying the company of visitors over the last couple of weeks.  Firstly Mel and Sheila came down earlier this month, here they are at the lookout at Lowlands Beach.  And today we said goodbye to Michelle who spent a lovely five days with us.  She doesn't like to have her photo taken so you'll just have to imagine it :-)
 We went out and about with our visitors, spending days in Denmark and Albany, and of course lunching at good old Boston Brewery.  We found a lovely little art gallery/shop in Denmark, The Riverfront Gallery, that only sells the work of local artists.  We fell in love with this quirky painting, Back of Cats, and had to buy it.  Here is Neo displaying it for you.
 Here am I and the bearded one at Due South with Michelle.  The beard has now gone, you never quite know the facial hair status around here :-)
 I had quite a surprise last week when I wandered down to feed the chooks and let them out into the orchard.  There was quite a ruckus coming from their yard and when I got there I discovered this bird of prey had trapped itself inside the chook yard!  It is netted over the top but there is a hole in the corner where a large shrub has grown through, so it must have carefully made its way through the gap and down the branches into the yard. 
 I had horror thoughts of feathers and bits of chicken scattered everywhere but that wasn't the case.  The chooks were completely intact and hiding in their shed, although when they heard my voice they gathered their courage and came out, then enmasse proceeded to chase the hapless bird of prey around the yard!  We opened the main gate and the bird, which after some investigation in our bird book, proved to be a juvenile brown goshawk, took off and sat up in the top of the tallest tree until it recovered from its ordeal.  I presume it was after mice as we have an abundance of them around the chook yard at present.  I don't imagine it will repeat the performance!
 We had to say goodbye to one of the hens however, nothing to do with the goshawk though.  This poor girl has been a bit unwell for weeks, she'd lost weight and was listless.  Then she had the misfortune to fall into the frog pond last week when they were having a day pottering around in my garden.  The water was shallow enough to keep her from drowning, but she couldn't get out, so the poor love was very cold and tired when Steve rescued her.  A couple of hours on my lap in a warm towel with a hot pack helped her recover.  Sadly she slowly went downhill after this, despite nursing and hand feeding, so Steve eventually helped her on her way to that big henhouse in the sky yesterday. 
 The garden is enjoying the sunshine and showers of rain and there are flowers everywhere.  I was rather excited to spot a butterfly I've not seen before.  Apparently it is a Meadow Argus, common as muck, but I am thrilled to have another variety enjoying my garden.
 I've rambled on repeatedly about how much I love my Yellow Abutilon plant that is getting really big.  Well, when we visited some of the Open Gardens in Albany a few months ago, one of them was selling some small cuttings of plants, and I spied a Red Abutilon so I bought it.  It has had much love and care since then and I've now been rewarded with the first of its flowers, yay!
 Look at this little sweetie.  This is a baby Western Spinebill.  There are two in my back garden, they have left the nest but can't fly properly yet and are still being fed by mum and dad.  They spend their days crashing from one plant to the next, constantly cheeping, learning how to suck nectar from the flowers.  They are amazingly tame and let me come very close to them.
 Here's one getting the hang of feeding from a Cigar Plant (Cuphea).
 Here is Lucy and her new joey, who is now venturing out of the pouch for short periods.  We have named the joey Rabbit, can you see the resemblance?

 This is Rabbit about a week ago, very scrawny but capable of short bursts of impressive hopping!
 And here is Rabbit a week later, looking bigger and stronger, having a good old scratch.
 And here is the poor little disabled joey, who I've named Hook.  He is coping quite well considering his leg and is starting to hop short distances, albeit very lopsided.  His mum looks after him very well.
 It's obviously itchy in those pouches, the first thing both Hook and Rabbit do when popping out of the pouch is to have a huge scratch.
 The teenage boys are feeling their oats and enjoying plenty of mock battles.  This is the first time I've seen a threesome though!
We ventured out to Sculpture Park on the other side of Albany near Lower King.  It's wonderful, a property filled with wood carvings.  The carver has an amazing eye to be able to turn ugly stumps of wood into amazing things.

 I've been in an embroidery mood lately so have done some at home.  I'm having a go at canvaswork at present, just trying out different stitches and making up a pattern as I go along.  The end plan is to make a weighted thingy for out bedroom door so it doesn't slam shut.  It's rather fun and I always enjoy deciding what colours to put with what.
 I also made myself a wee Xmas decoration.  One of the ladies taught us how to make a Pagoda Biscornu, that's the shape of it, and I decided to do mine in red and white to make it Christmassy.
Well, the sun is shining after a week of drizzle, so I might try and bring my washing in, it's had many a rinse out there in the rain! :-)

1 comment:

  1. Wow! Lots of fun things going on in this post! :-)