Hard yakka

First cob of corn for dinner

It was a perfect afternoon to get into the garden, sunny enough with a nice breeze. I was working in the front garden, planting out some daisy cuttings and pulling out a dead shrub.

The biggest issue was whether the bull ants (inch ants) were still nesting next to the dead shrub. And yes they are. However I did manage to dig out pretty much all the dead stuff before the ants came charging out. Having been bitten earlier in the week I was being quite careful.

I rounded out the afternoon by harvesting all the good sized Blue Lake climbing beans and picking our first cob of corn. We are now getting a steady feed from our tomatoes and fruit from our fig tree is making dessert choices easy.

Fig tart for dessert

Although we are not the only ones lining up for a feed. Our resident Grey Currawong loves our figs as much as we do.

Not bad for a bird with only one eye! We gave him/her this one.

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Rainbirds and Christmas flowers

It’s been raining overnight here. When I let the cat outside this morning I saw something I’d only witnessed once before, birds washing themselves in the trees. They do this by flying into the thickest leaves and then ruffling their feathers and pushing themselves onto the leaves to get thoroughly wet.

Our semi-resident Grey Currawong is thoroughly 'wetted out'
Our semi-resident Grey Currawong is thoroughly ‘wetted out’

Our semi-resident Grey Currawong was in the thick of it, along with a Pied Currawong. They started out in the branches of our Omeo Mallee (Eucalyptus neglecta) and Kurrajong (Brachychiton populneum), but by the time I got my camera they’d moved into our neighbour’s Chinese Elm (Ulmus parvifolia). They were clearly having a ball!

The Grey Currawong having a post-bath preen
The Grey Currawong having a post-bath preen

In my ongoing annual Christmas quest for non-traditional Christmas flowers I bring you a really worthy candidate. This is my Pomegranate bush, which despite its small size still managed to give us several large fruits last year.

My pomegranate bush in flower
My pomegranate bush in flower

I don’t think you can beat that for Christmas colour!

Orange and Grey

I was completely blown away by a wonderful gift from one of my friends this week, a lovely pair of warm orange lace and cable patterned socks. Wow!

My lovely new socks!
My lovely new socks!

And I can confirm that they keep my toes very warm indeed.

One of our regular visitors has also dropped by this past week, a Grey Currawong (Strepera versicolour).  We have seen this bird – there is only ever one so we presume it is the possibly the same bird – for the past two winters. Here it is sitting in our Japanese maple tree.

A Grey Currawong blending in with the winter scene.
A Grey Currawong blending in with the winter scene.

Thankfully the bird seems quite happy to allow me to move in to get a closer photograph.

The Grey Currawong.
The Grey Currawong.

According to my Atlas of Australian Birds, the Grey Currawong is a solitary bird. There is some indication that these birds are altitudinal migrants, ie moving higher or lower in altitude depending on the season. Although the authors also suggest that we may notice these birds more in autumn and winter because they forage in more open country at this time of year. No matter ‘Greywong’, as the bird is known in our household, is always a welcome sight in our garden.