Canberra (Australia) – Autumn delivers and April visitors.
I haven’t contributed to The Changing Seasons since December 2021. A lot has happened over the past four months, including health issues, poetry, completion of a major mosaic project and the start of a new front garden. Apart from the health matters, the garden has taken priority because we have to get it in now ahead of the next, inevitable, drought. In the regular garden, we had to abandon the tomatoes and beans to the rodents this year. They have been very hungry (we caught three and Makea, our dog, caught one). Nevertheless, we still managed to harvest three pumpkins from vines we did not plant. The fig tree went bonkers and produced two huge bumper crops. The rodents got stuck into the first crop but we managed to score some figs from the second batch by securing Elizabethan collars around the trunk of the tree to prevent the rats from climbing up the tree. I also collected a small tub of feijoa today, our first ever crop in more than two decades that we have lived at our house in Canberra.
We also had many predators visit, including butcher birds, kookaburras and a kingfisher. One of this season’s three magpie chicks died last year, but two remain and refuse to leave home. The currawong deluge continues. I took to spraying them with the hose because every morning a particularly noisy one would sit in the tree next to our bedroom window and crow louder than any rooster. Plus, they like to eat little birds so I don’t want to encourage them. The crested pigeons sit on our front lawn each day, enjoying a kip, and the wattle birds have been successful parents more than once this season. The various thornbills and the spotted pardalotes have also been regular visitors. But this month belongs to the silvereyes and the eastern spinebills. They have both raised broods nearby and have delighted us with their presence. I think it is time for some photos.
A magpie chick has perfected its warbling. That is our kangaroo grass (Themeda triandra) in the background. It has been lush this year.
My new little garden is doing well. I might re-jig my blog so I can document its progress.
Out back, the salvia has overgrown the garden. There is hardly any room left for people or vegetable gardens, only critters. The pink salvia (not native to Australia) is a favourite with the honeyeaters. I’ve also planted it outside the dog yard but the birds persist in visiting their old haunts.
The spinebills are tricky to photograph in the abundant foliage. Also, they like to visit in the late afternoon when the plants are in deep shade. Although they prefer the backyard, the spinebills have begun visiting the grevilleas in the front yard. The grevilleas will be blooming more profusely over winter. The salvia dies back when the first frosts hit. Unusually, we haven’t had our first frost yet, so the backyard remains a frenzy of activity.
I wish I could show you the parties in the fig tree. You can hear the little silvereyes barnstorming in. They twitter excitedly and swoop and dart from one fig to another. From a distance, the fig tree trembles and shimmers as dozens of silvereyes and the occasional wattlebird bombard it.
I hope you enjoyed seeing my friends. They have been an absolute delight in difficult times. I hope your April was filled with good friends too.
Take care, everyone.
About the photos:
The first photo in both the spinebill and silvereye galleries was taken by my True Love. All other photos were taken by me.