USING YOUR IMAGINATION…..

I’ve just spent the last hour watching 3 Superb Fairy-wrens hopping through the shady branches of the Japanese Maple growing in front of my apartment balcony.

I have so many birds coming to my little bird bath (hanging from my balcony fence) which I can’t share online as the birds move so quickly, take a sip or two, then fly off to ‘greener pastures’ OR, my camera is out of reach OR, the lens cap still on.  (I live in a windy, dusty area and I suspect the dust, continually appearing on my furniture each day, is from nearby building sites – hence the reason for leaving the camera lens cap on much of the time).

So……………. you’ll have to start using your imagination (for this post).

It was a fun and entertaining morning.

Here’s the scene……….(and this is a couple of female House Sparrows photographed last year of course).  Even though the photo was made through 3 panes of glass, I managed to fiddle the contrast and exposure enough so you can see what I see (now the Maple has its full cloak of Summer foliage).

After a heavy (dust-filled) rain, it’s almost impossible to see the birds in this tree from my desk chair  indoors.

……and here’s the male Superb Fairy-Wren below (so those new to my nature blog know what a tiny Fairy-wren looks like).

This image was made on the 2nd December.  I’ve cropped it down a fair bit as the blur of the black window frame was caught in the photo.

In recent days, I’ve seen lots of juvenile House Sparrows land on the balcony, take a drink from the bird bath and fly into the Eucalyptus on the right hand side of the balcony (visible over my the top of my computer screen).

This young sapling’s height was lower than the balcony fence when I moved here 2 years ago.  Today, it is about 3+ foot higher than the fence. If it grows at this rate, I’ll have a shady balcony garden, instead of a hot balcony garden in 2-3 years.   There are 8 trees planted in front of this side of the building in this 5-year-old housing estate and my tree is the only one that has grown wider (and not taller as the other 7 trees).

Does Mother Nature know I need a shady tree for my Avian Photography subjects?

THIS TREE FILLS MY VIEW AS I LOOK OVER MY COMPUTER SCREEN THROUGH THE FLOOR-TO-CEILING LOUNG WINDOWS. THE TREE ON THE RIGHT OF THE FRAME IS MUCH TALLER BUT HAS FAR LESS WIDTH AND FOLIAGE (COMPARED TO MINE).

All the bright green leaves in the image (above) are this year’s growth and the tree has filled out with heavy thick foliage making it a haven for birds on the hot summer days, but quite hard to photograph through.  Yesterday was 37C degrees in Melbourne (about 100F) and very hot and muggy right up til midnight, so when I got home from my appointment on the other side of the city, I could hear rustling of several birds in its depths.

Right now (11.20am Saturday), the air is filled with an amazing array of bird calls and you’d be forgiven for thinking I live in the country.  Early evening I hear Frogs croaking (from Frogs Hollow Nature Reserve behind my building).  Soon, as the summer weather heats up, I expect to hear the nightly clicking and chirping of Cicadas calling to attract a mate

I refilled the bird-bath with cold water and a few tiny cubes of ice ‘for the little fellas’ to cool them down this morning.  They seem to appreciate this cooler water on a hot day.

The light is dull, a little dreary and the skies heavily overcast as we’re expecting rain, but it’s still hot and muggy like yesterday – actually quite good photography weather.

The bushfire season has already started in my state, with a fire threatening houses on the outskirts of a large country town during the week.  Fires were already ignited in another state the previous week.

……..and I ate another 6 ripe blueberries when I watered the garden last night.  I fear there will be no blueberries for Christmas Day as I keep eating them every time I see a few ripening.

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The (first) consultation with the Orthopaedic Surgeon yesterday confirmed what I already knew – I needed a total right hip replacement.  I can only walk with considerable pain and even swivelling in my desk chair is starting to hurt (this past week).  Operating days vacant were in February and in March – methinks I’ll ring back on Monday and book the earliest.  In the meantime, I hope you’ll all continue to enjoy images from my archives.

I think we might have a flower week this week starting with some lovely Camellias from The Camellia Walk in the Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne.

Camellia japonica ‘Somersby’

When I photographed the various Camellia varieties over the years, I tried to photograph some of the name plaques at the base of the bushes, so I do have a few names for the gardeners and flower lovers among you.

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15 thoughts on “USING YOUR IMAGINATION…..

  1. Went out for dinner last night in Olinda and outside the restaurant, there was a flock of swallows catching late afternoon bugs. Eventually, they roosted on an electric cable just outside the front window. I didn’t want to draw attention to them in case the owner didn’t like them being there, so no photo, but my friends loved watching them come and go and finally settle for the night — the whole episode made me think of you and your ‘visitors’. Terry

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    1. What a treat, Terry. I hardly ever see swallows – well, maybe once of twice now I’m living in Maribyrnong.

      I’m sure you could write a book about my visitors and their daily activities (being an author). But you have to love bird watching to appreciate how fascinating they can be.

      Thanks for your comment….. 🙂

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  2. It was kind of you to put a few ice cubes in the bird’s water. Sure sounds strange from here though. I installed a water heater in the birds and wild things water tub just the other day. It was -13 (C) here.

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    1. Back in the previous apartment on the north-east of the city the Spotted Turtle-doves used to play and splash in the water bowl of course. The little birds don’t seem to do that (well, not that I’ve seen).

      Gosh, it sure is cold over your side of the world. Good to hear you installed the heater. I’m sure the avian and wild critters appreciate it.

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    1. Thanks Peggy – I must admit I’m not looking forward to it. The surgeon didn’t paint a very attractive recovery, especially as I’m having the ‘worse case’ scenario. I think the easiest thing to do is just stay home and not bother getting dressed for about 2 months LOL, each day living on some healthy frozen meals I’ve sourced, together with packs of kale/spinach coleslaw and fruit/nuts. One bowl to wash. Haven’t worked out how to change/make my bed with crutches yet, but started working my way around the apartment changing layout and the access of frequently used items already.

      I know from 2 lower back surgeries, the more planning you make with small details, the easier it is to recover when you live on your own.

      Has it been hot up in Canberra? The ice cubes do help I can assure you.

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  3. I’ve been known to add some ice to the birdbath in summer, too. Of course, now that we’re moving into a colder time of year, I’ll reverse the process and warm it from time to time. It’s funny to see their behavior change when they find warmer water in winter. They’ll drink even when it’s cold or has a skim of ice, but when it’s warmed? It’s bath time!

    Great to hear about the progress on that hip business. Get you some new parts, and you’ll be good as new! At least, that’s what I’ll hope for.

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    1. I try to think what improves my days in the heat when filling the bird bath. I’ve just put my enormous shallow 15″ plant sauce on the balcony with a tiny bit of water in case the birds want to try ‘a splash in the shallows’ (like toddlers down at the beach).

      It’ll be months before I’m out walking again, Linda, but keep your fingers crossed nothing goes wrong. (why do surgeon’s give you typed notes on how many things go wrong with this type of surgery). He did say it would 6-12 months for full recovery (not 3mths) and I may never be able to do some activities again, but as long as my finger can press a shutter button and I can resume my nature walks I’ll be happy.

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    1. Thanks for the link to your blog Peter. I’m lucky to have good imagination.

      I had no idea about my hip as I have very strong bones, but I HAVE had 2 lower spine surgeries and with severe disc disease (undiagnosed and untreated teenage spinal condition), I just assumed the pain and inability to go for my usual nature walks was spinal. After another U/S, then a new MRI of my spine, and a 2nd opinion from a different Neurosurgeon who suggested I have my hip scanned and investigated, the true problem was found. Since I’ve had a severe chronic pain/fatigue condition for over 38 years, it can be hard to pinpoint exactly where an exacerbated pain site originates from.

      It’s a ‘wear & tear’ osteoarthritis. I might suggest the way I used to kneel to take photos low down and twist to get upright after taking a 100,000+ photos over 8 years, and then, constantly swivelling back and forth in my desk chair might have exacerbated what started out as something minor? All pure conjecture on my part. My expertise is in Nutrition and Alternative Therapies, although I have done a lot of physio and exercise after orthopaedic injuries over the years, (and anatomy lectures when I studied Soft Tissue and Lymphatic Massage in the early 1990s). I was both shocked and surprised when I saw the right Hip MRI.

      Thank you for your suggestions of Tumeric (and dried sour cherries).

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