Mid-summer, Canberra (Australia) – Incidents and grass aplenty, as well as much catatonic lounging.

I suppose if you want a quiet life you wouldn’t have pets, children or partners. You certainly wouldn’t have Covid and all the stress and interruption to life that involves. Thankfully there has been an absence of Covid in Canberra over January, otherwise how would we have dealt with all the medical appointments and emergencies. Carefully, I guess.

I don’t suppose my True Love (TL) and I would have gotten out of bed before noon during January if it weren’t for the week of doggy diarrhoea from the red dogs, followed by days of hospital visits to take our other dog (Makea) from the emergency vet (for nighttime care) to our regular vet (for daytime care) and back again, then repeat. Meanwhile, the vegetable garden continued to need tending despite the veggies refusal to grow. Rainy, grey days put a dampener on the veggie patch. Our pumpkin vines have not produced a single pumpkin and many tomatoes have split as a result of the last downpour. The most delicious looking tomatoes have been consumed by hungry rodents. However, the grass is green and nearby dams are full so that is something. As the month ends, all is well.

January was all about small pleasures and golden waves, and making photos when the sun finally shone.

Afternoon sun shines through smoke bush and warms me inside.

A lot can change in a year. Then

and now.

I can’t see the snakes through the grass and the trees, but thankfully the only thing biting into my ankles are spiky grass seeds. I much prefer curls and waves.

Endangered Superb Parrots nest in the hollows of trees in our city reserves. Recent research indicates that there may be far fewer suitable breeding hollows for superb parrots then previously estimated (see here).

Shy and delightful, superb parrots find and provide respite.*

Speaking of hollows, this one is just right for baby galahs.
Heavens above, what is that noise?

On the other hand, you can have too many Noisy Miners. The noisy miner is bold, abundant and demands hollows too. Actually, it demands dominion over all. ln 2014, native noisy miners were declared a Key Threatening Process under Australian environmental legislation (the EPBC Act). Last year, my TL and I visited a local site where a critically-endangered Regent Honeyeater had been seen. This year the same site was inundated with noisy miners. I cannot imagine a Regent Honeyeater being permitted to stop over now.

Shortages be damned, I’ll take what’s rightfully mine. I’ll have it all.*

It has been a good year for magpie-larks.*
Baby magpie-larks stand their ground.
Strut their stuff like miniature storm troopers.

I continue my love affair with Eastern Rosellas (second photo taken by my TL).
Watch and learn.

After a day at the office, juvenile red-rumped grass parrots pull up a perch.
It’s thirsty work.

My TL found some native bees tucked inside some tiny bluebells in our lawn. Shortly thereafter, my son mowed said lawn. Now that was a surprise …. We found more elsewhere.

Now, about those snakes …

Afternoon sun breaks through canopy and warms me inside.*

As day ends, the scent of peppermint eucalyptus leaves on morrow’s rain keeps me going.

Ladies and gentlemen, I urge you to find whatever keeps you going.

This is my response to The Changing Seasons โ€“ January 2021 photo challenge hosted by the lovely Su at Zimmerbitch (link to be provided shortly). Iโ€™m also joining in with the Ragtag Daily Prompt.

Stay true, stay kind and stay safe, everyone.

Kind Regards.

*Photo taken by my TL.

72 thoughts on “The Changing Seasons – January 2021

  1. Those superb parrots are gorgeous (and what a delightful series of photos to celebrate mid-summer).

    But that snake…….hmmm…….stay your distance and keep safe won’t you ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Talking of telephoto lenses……I didn’t last more than 2 days when mine broke in Jan 2019. I had to get it fixed (as I couldn’t afford a replacement new lens at that time…..but it still cost $760 to get it repaired withnew barrel and glass if I remember rightly). Sigma don’t make a f150-500mm lens any more, only the newer f150-600mm. Still love my old one though. Quite heavy, but strangely, I find the weight easier to hold steady.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Where to start – I went for a walk on my place where I haven’t since end of Spring. The grass and vegetation was almost waist high and I was glad I had my sock savers on otherwise they would be in the bin by now.
    I don’t have Noisy Miners on my place but they are across the road. Vegetation and bigger bullier birds over here lol
    Easter Rosellas – Same
    Not seen any snakes yet. Did expect to when I went through the long grass the other day.
    My “lawn” mowing is more like creating pathways. Always dodging flowers. Wee small things. Most no more than 10mm. One part of the “lawn” had a mix of Native Leek Golden Lily and Australian or Tall Bluebells. Photos don’t do it justice. I should have done a video.
    Great post โค

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Brian. We had a grass fire near to our suburb recently so I get a bit nervous walking through the scrub but we took a chance on a warmish but not scorching day and it was worth it.
      My son is growing some native grasses from seeds he has brought home in his socks. I draw the line at corkscrew grass being planted in my yard.
      You must have a relatively undisturbed ecosystem at your place, Brian, to keep those noisies away, or bigger birds as you say. I do like them. I wish they weren’t so aggressive. We saw one diving into the water and then flying out. I’ve never seen them do that before. There is some debate in the household here as to whether it was a dive or more of a skim. Have you seen them do that?
      You are a good man for mowing around all those wee plants. It is so difficult to get really nice photos of tiny plants.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Love this, beautiful photos to go with your blog as well. I love going for walks and capturing photos, find it very therapeutic especially during lock down as I’m in the UK so cannot do much at the moment. Look forward to more blogs ๐Ÿ’•

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Jodie. Yes, I agree. Walking in green open spaces with camera or no camera is so therapeutic. Very relaxing.
      I really feel for you, Jodie. As a high risk individual and having two parents with health issues, I would be absolutely beside myself with worry if I didn’t live in a country where public health has been prioritised. Take care and take lots of walks whenever you can.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Definitely, we live in the countryside where we have plenty of village horses and muddy fields and it is very refreshing and therapeutic, I definitely notice a massive change in my mood when I’ve been on a walk in the fields
        Got to look after our mental health as well as physical during these times, wishing you and the family well

        Liked by 1 person

  4. The bird photos from both you and your TL are so beautiful Tracy. I envy you all those native parrots. Do they come to your garden or do you search them out? We also have a noisy minor scourge, probably the main reason we donโ€™t have small birds. Grrrr to them. I hope your fur babies are well on the way to recovery by now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Pauline.
      The answer to your question is a very sad tale and I’ve been meaning to write about it for about 18 months now but I find it so depressing. Parrot beak and feather disease is rife here. I will write about it soon.
      We have a lot of noisies on the other side of the suburb. I expect they will soon try to establish on this side of the suburb but nesting hollows are few and far between so we may avoid them. Unfortunately we have been indundated with currawongs. They are delightful birds but in these vast numbers there is insufficient food and we have fewer little birds as a result.
      The red dogs are going well. They ate too many scarabs which sets off the runs something shocking. I’ve been feeding the dogs extra so they are not so hungry for scarabs. Makea is doing well too. She seems to enjoying her fish and rice. Who wouldn’t?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It is a very sad tale about our native parrots and small birds. It is the same here. When we moved here in 1998 we had large flocks of rainbow lorikeet and many of the different rosellas, galahs, King parrots, kookaburras and no noisy minors or crows and just a few magpies and kurrawongs. But slowly the native bird population disappeared and in the drought years huge numbers of crows moved in and set up a noisy โ€œrookeryโ€ in a large gumtree across the road. then the noisy minors arrived. They ganged up on all the other birds, even the crows and kookaburras. So they became the dominant species around here. But in the past year or so a couple of King parrots have come back and occasionally a couple of pale headed rosellas pass through. And the noisy minors seem to be on the decline. Nature is a strange and interesting thing to observe. Iโ€™m so pleased to hear your dogs are making a good recovery. Stay safe, drink lots of water and keep cool Tracy๐Ÿค—

        Liked by 1 person

  5. What a fabulous round-up of birds, and bluebell and sun through smoke bush. Sorry about the gardening set backs though. The planet seems to be intent on drenching us in both hemispheres. Hope the dog family is recovered. All the very best to you and yours for the coming months.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Tish. I have been thinking about you and other northern hemisphere gardeners and feeling rather inadequate in my gardening skills in comparison. Anyway, it is too late this year to do anything about it apart from hoping that there are still sunny days ahead. I write this after we’ve just had another big storm.
      The dogs are all doing well. ๐Ÿ™‚
      All the best to you too. You must be planning all your spring plantings by now.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hello Tracy. I certainly am thinking about spring planting, though we have been having quite a bit of frost which we’ve forgotten to be used to, but it is time to get chillis and aubergines started on the window sill . Thinking of your veggie plot – is it too late for some quick growing things – superfast rocket and other leafy veg. Carrots, beetroot maybe?
        Good to hear the dogs are recovered.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Margaret. I am looking forward to a change of pace in February and hoping that we can keep the virus at bay so that the east coast can enjoy a few more warm days. The west coast has unfortunately been hit with more bushfires and a virus breakout.
      We just take it one day, one bird, one critter at a time. It seems to work. How are you coping?


  6. Your bird pictures are always fabulous and I really love the one of the miner. Stunning. I’ll continue to hope for good outcomes for Makea. Also….I absolutely LOVE this quote “January was all about small pleasures and golden waves”. On to February we go.


    1. Thanks, Natalie.
      That miner photo was the result of incorrect camera settings. The ISO was set for full sun rather than shade! I do love how the stuff ups can produce a magical photo.
      The paddocks surrounding the city are rippling with gorgeous golden grasses. It has been very windy so the countryside is in a constant state of motion. It is just beautiful, Natalie. How did February get here so quickly?


  7. I hope Makea is recovering well! January always feels like such a loooong month! Despite the struggle of January, you managed to capture some lovely photos. Here’s to February and little more harmony between the sun and the rain!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Heather. February is off to a good start. January was long but it is hard to believe that February is here already, don’t you think?
      It is getting darker earlier here now. I love the long days but hopefully that means that there is a little more light in your day.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I am so delighted that you and your grandson had a chance to see our beautiful birds, Victoria, and that you enjoyed the walk. ๐Ÿ™‚ There is always so much to see and learn in the outdoors. My boys, particularly the oldest, thrives in the outdoor classroom.
      A snowstorm sounds rather wild to me. Exciting! Stay warm.


  8. Amazing photos, Tracy. And wise words, “find whatever keeps you going.”

    Like you, I’m feeling a kind of fatigue from life in general, I guess, and the fact that my glasses are so far out of whack I’m not sure I should even wear them. I’m sorry to read about the dogs. I hope Makea is better now. Teddy is being a philosopher at this point and encourages all dogs to do the same, but I don’t know how long that will last. Meanwhile, I’m painting the front door… Yeah, if you want a quiet life, don’t have dogs, but would that be life?

    Liked by 2 people

  9. B.C. is in the grips of winter. Not trying to be overly whiny…it is cold, overcast and wet. Your photographs are a delightful tonic to our winter! Thank you Tracy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is getting darker earlier here and the crickets are chirping which is normally a sign that the season is turning, or maybe it is a sign of the rain. So your greys days may be coming to an end soon. Glad you liked the photos. I always enjoy sharing them with you.


  10. A simply wonderful post, Tracy, very uplifting. Arenโ€™t we lucky to have those birds to cheer us? We get a lot of pleasure from the birds in our garden. Behind us is a paddock with a lonely horse and several dead trees, which galahs enjoy. Those galah babies are astonishingly noisy and demanding.
    I wonder if anything can be done about noisy miners…they are natives after all. But such a nuisance, living up to their name and creating havoc wherever they go.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Jane. I really enjoyed those couple of little outings too. Hopefully we will get to do a couple more soon. It is going to be a wet week here. Now that I don’t have any reason to procrastinate, I might try to do a couple of drawings. I was thinking of maybe doing a drawing the galah chick in the hollow. It could potentially make a nice mosaic. I don’t know how galah parents put up with all that racket and begging! You must think there is a firing range over your back fence when the chicks are hanging about.
      The miners are protected but I think there is some talk about culling them. Research in the link I provided suggests that new noisies quickly re-colonise. It is a tremendously vexing problem.


  11. Lovely images as always Tracy. I’m sorry about your gardening woes. Rain? I seem to remember that as a feature of the past, but I’m no longer sure. My tomatoes are in a wicking garden, which has been wonderful in terms of water consumption. The small orange ones are prolific and tasty, but the particularly delicious beefsteak tomatoes have almost without exception fallen prey to the birds. Sigh.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Birdies! โค I'm sorry that the dogs were needing so much medical attention. So stressful to see them like that ~ that's definitely when you wish they could talk. I hope they're better now? And despite it all you noticed that the grass is literally green. Good for you, take care, xo

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Those DogBuddies do keep you busy and very much on your toes this month! Hope they are all feeling well.

    Lovely lovely captures of the birds – those Eastern Roselles are so pretty.

    Hope your pumpkins appear soon, and that them critters leave some tomatoes for you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Ju-Lyn. The dogs always ensure it is a mad house here.
      I am very happy to spend time the Eastern Rosellas, particularly as it is still very slow in the garden. I think 2021 may not be as successful as summer 2020 despite all our bushfires, hailstorms, etc, in that year.


      1. To be surrounded by critters … divine!
        We are fortunate to live right by the Botanic Gardens – so instead of just traffic sounds, we are regaled by bird-song & rooster calls. and we are very entertained by it.

        Keeping fingers crossed for your garden.


  14. Your birds always make me so happy, Tracy! Baby magpie storm troopers – hilarious! ๐Ÿ˜ The superb parrots are exactly that – superb!! And the rosellas are cute as always. That’s a huge lens your TL’ s handling! Ever since I got myself a mirror-reflex I started training my arm and back muscles in order to hold the damn thing. ๐Ÿ˜‚ Take care and stay safe!


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