October, all my bags are packed ….

The time has arrived.  It is the time of year when, out walking, I look anxiously over my shoulder or scan the trees ahead for danger.  It is the time of year for which I have been training these last six months.  Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it is magpie swooping (ie. breeding) season.


Don’t worry.  This magpie is not preparing to swoop.  It is just baby-magpie starving.  Here is a gobful coming your way, little magpie.

down the gob

The trick with magpies is that they are less likely to swoop if they recognise you as a friend or acquaintance.  Some people feed them for that reason.  Others are just on speaking terms with some of their regulars.  Oh hello, is it me you’re looking for?


So I stick to the old, familiar routes.  Nevertheless, there has been much to see and enjoy.  The black and white birds have been out in force.

Hidden in the shadows, a chough nest.

chough chick.jpg

A male white-winged triller sings nearby.

male white winged triller.jpg

A pair of Rufous Whistlers romance one another.

It is all about the birds and the bees.  Spring is like that.

bee swarm.jpg

However, if you are more interested in the weather, I can tell you that it has been foul.  The wind has been unbelievably fierce, blowing either hot or freezing cold.  It has whipped up dreadful bushfires across eastern Australia, which — combined with an ever worsening drought — have had a devastating impact on communities, wildlife and flora.

One day, the wind and dust was so severe that I didn’t want to get out of the car, but I remembered that on a similarly appalling day, I saw the beautiful red-capped robins.  And?  Look who my True Love and I saw this time.  A juvenile red-capped robin!  I was thrilled.  It bore more than a passing resemblance to its debonair dad, don’t you think?  (See He-Red Capped Robin).

juvenile red capped robin

As for our spring flowers, no sooner do their blossoms open, then the wind turns them into confetti.   While in the local wilds, our native orchids are finding the drought conditions very tough, with scant few flowering.  However, closer to the coast and in the alpine regions, where there has been a smidgeon of rain, a few orchids remain to be found.  Not by me though.  The terrain is too treacherous for one such as I.

orchid country.jpg

Still, if I was a mountain goat, a brumby (invasive species) or a little fitter and thinner, the things I could see (and trample)  …..  Shall we live vicariously?


more orchids2

So, I have been feeling mighty lonesome.  Left all alone.  With just a few noisy dogs.  And my mosaic.  I can feel a girls road trip coming on.

Last time I went on a road trip with my girlfriend, a man at the caravan park where we stayed, thought we were ‘in a relationship’.  Not that there is anything wrong with that.  Whatever turns him on, I guess.  We must have looked like we were having too much fun.  We were.

Now, as it is Friday, we need a big song to mark the end of one month and the start of another.  I couldn’t resist.  Enjoy.

Well cheerio, I had better get back to that …. mosaic.  But first, coffee.

This is my response to The Changing Seasons — October photo challenge, hosted by the lovely Su Leslie at Zimmerbitch.  Anyone can join in the challenge.  It’s fun.  Click on the link for details.

Kind Regards.


65 thoughts on “The Changing Seasons – October 2019

  1. Enjoyed reading the story of these birds, Tracy. Lovely birds, bees, and flowers. 🙂
    Sorry to hear about the dreadful bushfires across eastern Australia. Hope November will get better.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Beautiful photos! I think it’s Ok to live vicariously to show us Australia.

    It seems to happen these days that if you hang out with a woman friend, people leap to a conclusion they wouldn’t have 20 years ago. I get it all the time but no. I told my friend Lois to tell her family all about Mr. Italy so they would understand I wasn’t hitting on their sister and I wasn’t fair game for her ex (who’d decided I’d be a good wife).

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Martha. I think I’m recycling the same old birds though. Not that I care. 🙂
      And I agree. Lots of women I know regularly have trips away with their girl friends. So much of this speculation is tied up with how a woman is meant to look and behave. The way I look has more to do with being a pet owner and doing grubby art, so I mostly look like a hobo. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Admirable meeting of the changing seasons challenge! When I began reading your post, I realized that as many times as I have read about magpies, I have never actually seen one or a picture of one. Now I know what they look like!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Your photos are beautiful Tracy. It is heartbreaking to read about your weather. Although it’s green and lush here, the gardeners I’m meeting in Taranaki have also had huge problems with wind desiccating the soil. No fires thankfully.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you, Su. ❤
      Spring is our windiest season normally. I can't find any stats on changes in windy days. I found this though – https://phys.org/news/2018-07-stronger-west-ill-climate.html and https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/dec/11/global-warming-will-weaken-wind-power-study-predicts . I wonder if this increase in westerlies could apply equally to Australia and NZ?

      It finally started raining here this evening. We cherish every drop. I wish it was more widespread though.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Love, love, love the magpies and the youngster red-capped robin!!! 😍 And I can’t wait to see your new mosaic!!! Will it take long to finish? If you don’t mind I can come over and cheer you on. 😉 Though that might probably more distracting – lol! And who knows what the neighbours might think – not that I would care anyway. 😄 Funny that women having fun are suspiciously eyed nowadays.
    So sorry to hear about the windy and dry weather, hope there will be some rain soon!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Sarah. 🙂 I’m having a week off to go on the fun trip. Unfortunately, I haven’t finished sticking down yet. I’m probably two thirds there. I am aiming to be finished by end November. Hope you can wait that long. 🙂 Goodness me, I’m so distract-able as it is so more distraction probably won’t make much difference. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Our fall is rapidly shifting towards winter. Cool nights some with frost. The Snow Geese have arrived from the Arctic to winter over in the Fraser Valley. They clean up all sorts of pests. They are so magnificent no one complains. The Bald Headed eagles or American Eagles are congregating at Harrison Bay in large numbers to eat the dead spawned out Pacific Salmon. The bears are there too getting fat for hibernation. Winters are mild compared to most of Canada. The sea otter has found his way for a second year into the fish pond at the commemorative Chinese classical garden via waste water pipes that flow into Vancouver Harbour. So resourceful and cunning. Can not be caught. This otter has a fan club! Images of Snow Geese, Eagles and the fish pirate are on Google. Tracy I do enjoy your images Spring flexing its muscles!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It would be a sight to behold, that’s for sure. I bet you get lots of sightseers. I remember you telling me about that otter. How cheeky of it to return for another year.

      Massive bushfires further north today, Sid. Absolutely heartbreaking.


      1. This fire news is devastating. Recently many areas in Alberta and British Columbia were ravished by wildfires. Our future prospects are for more out of control fires. California is currently in the grips of wildfires. It is so sad to see the spread of fires in Australia. Our prayers are with you.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I recently learned about this magpie swooping business–do they just swoop close by or actually attack humans? It’s so crazy to imagine–we have a lot of magpies here too but I’ve never heard or seen any swooping.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Australian Magpie is a different species to Korean and European magpies. Some, but not all, Australian Magpies will swoop during breeding season. They may just do a low pass overhead (you can hear the beak clicking), some close enough to feel the wind in your hair. But some do actually make contact and some people have been seriously injured. An elderly person died this year when he crashed his bike due to a magpie swooping him. Mostly we are told to avoid those areas for six weeks, while others in some areas, like schools, may be relocated. This often doesn’t work as the magpie often finds its way back to its home territory. Despite all this, we love our magpies.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Such a wonderful post, Tracy. Your photos are beautiful. I especially love the pictures of the magpies and the young red-capped robin. And I love K. D. Lang too. Hope you will soon get some rain. Fingers crossed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Dominique. As I tell my children, you can never take too many photos of magpies. 🙂
      Prospects for rain look fairly dim at the moment. The Indian Ocean Dipole is forecast to release its hold on us by mid summer. Hopefully we will get good soaking rains then.

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