Wet and Aggressive Corella challenges Magpie

Wet and Aggressive Corella challenges Magpie

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Sunday Selections #168

Sunday Selections was originally brought to us by Kim, of Frogpondsrock, as an ongoing meme where participants could post previously unused photos languishing in their files. 

The meme is now continued by River at Drifting through life.  The rules are so simple as to be almost non-existent.  Post some photos under the title Sunday Selections and link back to River.

Like River I usually run with a theme. This week I am (mostly) going back to my avian obsession and showing birds at and near our feeders, a cockatoo to start with, crimson rosella and (of course) bully-boy corellas.

As always, clicking on the photos will make them embiggen.



 









And because I am nothing if not consistent, some shots from the garden.  A dahlia has burst into bloom to confirm that Autumn is here, and the roses are still in their final flush.





HAPPY EASTER - one and all.  I hope that the Easter bunny or bilby brings you treats.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Pecking Order

Finally, a corella obliged and I have two short videos of a corella exerting his muscle to claim the feeder.  The quality is not ideal - but the aggression is evident.  On the smaller feeder, less than two feet away two other corellas had the feeder to themselves. 


video


video

And, on an unrelated note - a friend sent me this gem today.  She knows me well.  And, despite the recent book cull, there is definitely not enough shelves here.


Sunday, 13 April 2014

Sunday Selections #167

Sunday Selections was originally brought to us by Kim, of Frogpondsrock, as an ongoing meme where participants could post previously unused photos languishing in their files. 

The meme is now continued by River at Drifting through life.  The rules are so simple as to be almost non-existent.  Post some photos under the title Sunday Selections and link back to River.

Like River I usually run with a theme.  This week I am again looking to the sky for inspiration (and beauty).  Dusk and dawn, taken over the last month or so.

I will be slow visiting other blogs and responding to comments left on mine today.  Yesterday I started two full days of training for Lifeline.  In their wisdom the organisers decided that we could cover the material in a day.  We did.  I feel like chewed string and am going to put this post up and go back to bed, and hopefully to sleep.  

Pre-dawn to start.  I took this on Friday, delighted to see a star, before it started raining again.  If you click and embiggen there will be a little detail in the sky.


And then a much more colourful dawn ten days ago




And then some sunset shots.  That moody sky had me out the door to do the mad woman with camera dance in seconds flat.  I even postponed wine o'clock.








PS:  I haven't forgotten that I promised video of the corellas indulging in pigeon battery, but they have (naturally) been recalcitrant about performing in front of the camera.  It will happen.  Sooner rather than later I hope.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Sunday Selections #166

Sunday Selections was originally brought to us by Kim, of Frogpondsrock, as an ongoing meme where participants could post previously unused photos languishing in their files. 

The meme is now continued by River at Drifting through life.  The rules are so simple as to be almost non-existent.  Post some photos under the title Sunday Selections and link back to River.

Like River I usually run with a theme. This week I am back in our garden.  As an aside, I wish I could be.  We have had wonderful, blessed, life-giving rain all week.  The garden is drinking deep, the weeds are thriving and when the rain stops I will be outside, weeding and planting my heart out.  

Our roses didn't do very well this summer - too hot and dry.  Buds formed, and if they opened at all the wilted and dropped almost immediately.  We have had some rain, and some cooler weather and another flush of roses.  Joy and bliss.  All of the roses are scented.

Click to embiggen.

Brindibella Pearl

David Austin - William Shakespeare

Double Delight (I think)


Oklahoma

Solara

Peace

Woburn Abbey
And, still in the garden, something entirely different.  One day this week the lovely Jahteh sent me a link to Pinterest, and a Japanese Umbrella Mushroom - because it was so fragile and so beautiful.  It was still dark when I read her email, but a few hours later when I went out to get the papers I found something which, if it is not a Japanese Umbrella Mushroom, is certainly a close cousin.  Serendipity at its best.  I have never seen them before, and it lasted for less than a day.





Wednesday, 2 April 2014

NaNoReMo

March was NaNoReMo - or National Novel Reading Month.  Specifically, a month for us to read a classic novel that for one reason or another we have been putting off.  Essentially NaNoReMo is a support system.  It isn't a book club and participants choose their own book - which may or may not be one read by other participants.  At the end (or earlier) participants blog or tweet about their experience.  I don't tweet, so blogging it is.
John Wiswell gave me the impetus to play and I have joined him, and others.

I chose Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children which had been languishing in my unread tower (there are too many books in it for it to be a pile).



I opened it with a lot of anticipation.  It has received the Booker Prize, the James Tait Black prize and also the Booker's Booker Prize, for the best book awarded the Booker Prize in its first twenty-five years.

It is set in India, a country I visited too briefly many years ago, find fascinating and loved.  The narrator and major protagonist, Saleem Sinai, is twinned with India's Independence being born at the same time, midnight precisely on August 15th 1947.  He is also tied in complicated, obscure and dangerous ways to every other child born in India during that fateful midnight hour.

So far so good.   Rushdie captured the India I experienced superbly:  the vitality, the chaos, the noise, the beauty, the dirt, the wealth, the poverty, the cruelty, some kindness, tradition, the superstitions, the food, the religions and both the complete unpredictability of some things and the predictability of others.  And, much later in the novel (for complicated plot reasons) the smells...

But.  And it is a big but.  I kept putting it down and found it harder and harder to pick it up again.  I always have at least two books on the go at once, but in the time it took me to wrestle this one into submission I had read four other books.  And yearned to start others.

Character is important to me.  I don't have to like the characters, and I certainly don't have to approve of their actions, but I do have to be interested in what they will do next.  And I wasn't.  As Saleem lurched from crisis to crisis I just didn't care.  Occasionally I would develop an interest in one of the multitudinous sub-plots - and then the novel would skitter off into another direction.  And I have had more success in herding cats than I did in maintaining my interest long enough to track down and follow that plot to its conclusion.

I did finish it - though will admit to some skimming.  There is one less book in my unread tower, but a part of me resents the time I expended on it.  It is a huge and multi-layered book, from every perspective.  There are nearly 650 pages in the edition I read, and it covers a tumultuous period in India's (and Pakistan's and Bangladesh's) history.  Rushdie tidied away an impossible (albeit self created) number of loose ends.  However, I would classify my experience with it as a D minus.  There are some undeniable strengths, but they aren't strong enough to make me like it, much less love it.  I would be interested in hearing about other peoples' experience with this book.  And I hope that other participants in NaNoReMo had much more joy than I did with their chosen classic. 

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Sunday Selections #165

Sunday Selections was originally brought to us by Kim, of Frogpondsrock, as an ongoing meme where participants could post previously unused photos languishing in their files. 

The meme is now continued by River at Drifting through life.  The rules are so simple as to be almost non-existent.  Post some photos under the title Sunday Selections and link back to River.

Like River I usually run with a theme.  This week my theme is greed.

Each day at least five or six bird species visit us, and many of them eat from our feeders.  The pigeons are particularly insistent about their need for sustenance - and cram a quite astonishing number onto the feed trays.



The corellas, who are also greedy but not nearly so numerous are unimpressed.  They watch for a while...



and then take quite exceptional measures to get all the food to themselves.  They squeeze onto whichever of the feeders they can - and then throw the pigeons off.  Violently.  Dragging them  by the tail feathers and dropping them over the side is not uncommon.  And any pigeon who has the audacity to turn round and challenge the corellas is soundly rapped.  When I can watch without laughing, I will take a video of the scene.

The other greed I am featuring this week is mine.  Two sorts.

When the plumbers destroyed two garden beds and after some plant death in our long hot summer I felt justified in ordering a few spring bulbs.  As did my smaller portion.



And now we have four boxes of Spring bulbs to squeeze into the ground.  I am not going to admit just how many - but three figures is insufficient.  Oops.  Much weeding is underway.  Much work is required.  And, come spring when the blood, sweat and tears are a dim memory I will rejoice.

Yesterday afternoon, after I had weeded the back garden into a semblance of submission, the skinny one planted 50 liliums (twice flowering Matisse lilies and twice flowering Oriental liliums) since they were already shooting when they arrived.  The rest of the lilies will be squeezed somewhere into the front gardens.  

Some of you will remember I did a book cull recently.  The Lifeline book fair took place this weekend.  I wasn't going (really I wasn't).  Then my youngest brother rang and asked me to do a favour for him and pick up a dictionary when I went to the book fair.  So I went.  And picked up his dictionary.  And one or six other books too.  Oops again.




Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Parliamentary Rose Gardens

When we were leaving the balloon festival I stopped to admire some roses outside Old Parliament House.  They were thriving, and reminded me it has been toooooo long since last I went to the Parliamentary Rose Gardens.

The Senate Rose Gardens are perhaps better known, but there are also House of  Representative Gardens.  (And, a few hundred metres away the National Rose Gardens).  So, last Friday we went to check them out.

It was a hot day and has been a hot and dry summer.  The gardens were not at their best - but still lovely.  And the air was perfumed delightfully.  We limited ourselves to the Parliamentary Gardens, and will go to the National Rose Gardens next season, when the roses are in their prime.  The Parliamentary Gardens are free and open to the public.  They can also be hired for special events, and weddings are often held in them.

As usual, many, many photos follow and will happily embiggen if clicked upon.

First the Representative Gardens:
Sadly I don't know the names of many of the roses.  There were tags, but some were missing and some were obviously wrong.  Next season when I am planning to buy more roses I will go back and take detailed notes (and hope that the tags have been updated).











This is Gold Medal - and I think it deserves one.

It's a Winner
 

Starstruck
 




Just Joey
 




Solfaterre
 
Perle d'Or
 


I thought these gardens were delightful - even at the end of the growing season.

Then onto the Senate Gardens - which are on the opposite side of Old Parliament House.  I think I prefer the House of Representative Gardens, but was very happy to wander around in them both.  Interestingly the red roses in both gardens were looooong past their prime.


Jude the Obscure

 








I have no idea what these berries are - but really liked them.


Falstaff
 
Golden Celebration
 




Mme. Alfred Carriere



Gloria Mundi






Lots and lots and lots of roses.  A delight for the senses.