The Changing Seasons – November 2021

Canberra (Australia) – A veil of green pools on valley floor. Grey-filled sky billows adding to uncertainty. Will I or won’t I go for a walk? We put on our gardening gear and gumboots to dig in the loam once labelled the garden bed of death. Intermittent sunlight sounds of engines thrumming, dogs barking, bees humming and tiles cracking. Beyond Canberra, on the vast flood plains of eastern Australia, rivers rise, fall and rise again.

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Grey Expectations

Each month, Jude hosts a colour challenge, Life in Colour. The colour for November is black and/or grey. This is definitely my last contribution to this month’s colour challenge.

What Next?

On the lookout for smoke tendrils in the sky,
Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike surveys the scene.
Each year lurching from one extreme to another,
What are we to make of the constant vacillation?

Grey expectations –
Hoping for a break in the weather.

There has been yet more flooding in parts of Australia. The rain would have been welcome had it come after harvest. British Columbia (Canada) has also been experiencing serious flooding this week. Please take care if you live in a flood affected area.

Kind Regards.
Tracy.

Magpie Latest

Last week we rescued a magpie chick that had become caught in the dog fence while most likely fleeing from our dog. We were so happy and relieved when we saw the the magpie family of five down the street at the park. The injured chick had recovered sufficiently to be released and was successfully reunited with its family. Unfortunately, this afternoon my True Love picked up a dead magpie chick on the side of the road near our house. It had been struck by a car. Many young birds die this way each year. Hopefully it died quickly.

A Tragedy Of Sorts

Welcome to my regular Friday song/tune day, ladies and gentlemen, where I pick a piece of music that reflects my mood or the times, to share with you.

There was a huge commotion in the backyard late this afternoon. Birds were screeching. Ama launched herself at high speed hoping to join the fray. My True Love beat her to it. One of the three magpie chicks had caught its wing in the dog fence, possibly trying to escape our big dog, Makea. Maybe the chick was already trapped before Makea arrived on the scene to complicate matters. The other magpies were screeching overhead and swooping to fend off the attackers. My True Love untangled its wing and popped it over the dog fence but it was injured and unable to fly.

In Canberra, we have this marvelous system where all vets provide a community service by treating injured wildlife. I was in two minds about whether to separate the maggie chick from its family and take it to the vet. It was pouring rain, the little bird was sodden and hurt, and of course, there was Clyde, our neighbour’s evil, cat to worry about. So My True Love and I reluctantly boxed it up and took it in. All going well, the chick should go to the wildlife carer tomorrow before being released back in the vicinity when it fully recovers. We hope its parents accept it back into the family again.

We are all in shock. We wonder whether we are now off the magpie family’s Christmas card list and will become swooping targets in future. Maybe the chick will become a swooper due to the trauma. Maybe I shouldn’t worry so much about evil Clyde and worry more about my own evil hounds. It is notable that Fynnie, our male dog, remained inside during all the commotion. As far as he is concerned, traipsing around in the rain is strictly for the birds.

How shattered ma and pa magpie must be right now! It breaks my heart. What song could possibly convey that? I dunno, but I am going with Lullaby of Birdland, performed by Andrea Motis, Joan Chamorro, Scott Hamilton and Ignasi Terraza (the latter playing a very special introduction).

Take care, everyone. Try not to worry.

Kind Regards.
Tracy.

RDP – Under the Weather

The Changing Seasons – Sept 2021

Canberra (Australia) – The ground work has been done. Life in lockdown has heightened our senses. Spring tease, you flirty dear, we’re coming for you. [I am combining my Changing Seasons post with my Friday song day post. Enjoy.]

The days grow longer, the wind blows stronger, and my energy returns. There is light at the end of the Covid tunnel. Maybe. Hopefully. Not sure.

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No Escape

From the photo archive.

A glare or stare makes all the difference in the realm of raptors. Glares are the domain of goshawks, stares are left for sparrows, sparrowhawks that is. Impending darkness obscures the form and casts confusion. The pied currawong does not engage in such esoteric debates. Nor does the raptor. There will be no escape for the hawk with no name as the currawong launches its attack. Such interlopers will not be tolerated.

It looks like a glare to me. What do you think?

Kind Regards.
Tracy.

Take Me Away

Welcome to my regular Friday song/tune day, ladies and gentlemen, where I pick a piece of music that reflects my mood or the times, to share with you.

It has been a distressing week here and across the world for many reasons. These troubles have been the subject of extensive reporting so I won’t go into those matters now. Instead, I would like to acknowledge the incredible work that everyone has been doing in Australia to respond to the growing Delta outbreak here.

The New South Wales government has made some mistakes which has allowed the virus to grow exponentially. We don’t know whether it would have been possible to contain it anyway, but they hesitated. This, however, in no way diminishes the huge effort of frontline and other essential workers, as well as Sydney residents who are turning out to get vaccinated, to try to minimise infections. Thank you all. Great jab.

Many will know that the Sydney outbreak has made its way to Canberra. Here in Canberra, we have just completed our first week of quiet time and movement restrictions. Canberrans have been re-organising their lives, monitoring the growing number of exposure sites, getting tested and otherwise staying at home.

I don’t often heap praise on politicians, but I hope you forgive me this one indulgence. I have been greatly impressed by the responsiveness and swift actions of our local government to keep Canberrans safe. It has been a huge effort and I really, really appreciate it. Of course, I cannot speak for those who have been in quarantine after having caught the virus or who have been a close or casual contact. Our youngest son’s timing was impeccable, missing “the excitement” by a mere hour. Commiserations to those who haven’t been so lucky. I hope you have friends and family who can keep the chips and chocolates flowing to you.

Speaking of chips and chocolates, my eldest son who is in his mid 20s, got tired of waiting for the Pfizer vaccine, so he got the AstraZeneca yesterday. He rang my GP and it took him less than 24 hours to get an appointment to get the jab. Despite my other son’s lucky escape, he has decided to wait for the former. It will be an experiment to see who is fully vaccinated first. There is one thing for sure, and that is, whoever wins will have to go out and get the chips and chocolates. Given the difficulties in obtaining grocery deliveries, I wonder whether this is a reason some people are breaking quarantine in Sydney?

Anyway, I need to turn off the wondering and the wandering for a while. Let’s have a song. Is Norah Jones singing Come Away With Me acceptable? Take us away, Norah.

Stay safe, stay sane, everyone.

Kind Regards.
Tracy.

Canaries, Currawongs and Cockatoos

No canaries were harmed in this story.

Shall we have a story about what really happens at Tracy’s house? It is a difficult story to tell because I’m not sure we are doing the right thing by our pet canary. He used to be one of a small flock of house canaries. The little flock had a lovely life together, with free flight across the lounge room, luxurious baths, fresh greens picked for them from the garden, and seed treats, before being tucked into their cages for the night. Life was rosy but, like us, the little birds got old, until, only one, Pan of the wild song, remained.

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The Changing Seasons – July 2021

Canberra (Australia) – Silver, Silver, Silver! It’s been another chilly month of rain and silver hues. Dreadful weather for photography really.

One bracing morning, the Crested Pigeons were hunkered down in patches of weak sunlight. Everything about the photographic conditions was terrible, but you will get the general idea.

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