I was so busy observing a couple of these male parrots yesterday, hoping they would hop out into the sun (that moment when the sun reflects in a bird’s eye making a good photo), I didn’t realise several birds were gradually working their way towards my back.
Over the years, I have learned to move very slowly and wear black, or very dark, colours when out on a bird Photography field trip, so as I turned (to walk up to the Pipemakers Park historic garden), I was able to catch a couple of males from about 7-8 feet away.
I never did catch a shot of this species with the spot of sunlight on their eye yesterday.
For the first time ever, the males were on their own, grazing in the flat newly mown field between Pipemakers Park and Frogs Hollow Nature Reserve. I’ve only ever seen couples grazing – with the plainer olive-coloured female being a little harder to see in this location. They were only grazing in the deep shade of some Eucalyptus trees so I’ve lightened these images so you can see them a bit better.
I naturally assume the females were at home sitting on nests?
…..and for those new to my Nature Blog, here’s a couple of old images made when I lived on the north-eastern side of Melbourne in Abbotsford (next to the Yarra River).
Different light and different camera as you can see. I seem to remember they were grazing in the sun on this particular day, not shade.
…..and the first time I ever saw these lovely Parrots was in the Royal Botanic Gardens in 2012 – in the shade of a few old trees on the western side of the large Ornamental Lake.
There are actually 5-6 Australian Parrots that are fairly similar in feather colour, but this Red-rumped variety have a lovely warbling song – unusual for parrots.
One day there are buds on the branches, then the tiny feathery fronds of foliage appear and next minute………………..a young tree full of leaves a couple of weeks later.
My little friend Mr House Sparrow and I looked over the scene today and agreed…..Spring really is the best time of the year.
I beckoned him to come down to look over the last couple of days of hard work I’d put in. (Not really days per se, afternoons are about as much as I can manage when it comes to re-potting and bending over with a bad back).
Well, it took two days plus some intermittent showers.
Italian Parsley, of which I had far too much a few weeks ago, has been replaced with one of the new Tomato Plants.
The English Parsley had grown so well all through the winter, I’d had to give it a haircut several times.
The pink Argyranthemum had been tossed around by the winter storms, but continues to bloom since it was planted on 4th November 2016 – wouldn’t it be grand if it bloomed for ever & ever. We’ll see.
The Lemon Thyme had died back and I’d cut it down to 1/2″ woody stubble, but today, it was back and well and truly on the way to the height of Summer.
The Sage…..well, I almost thought it was dead over winter, but today, the leaves are fighting for space and I’m wondering if it will burst out of the pot.
My mediocre Rosemary which never really grew in the (mostly) shade when I lived next to the Royal Botanic Gardens, nearly split in half during last week’s wind gusts. I’ve been waiting for a few branches to get near to the black top of the balcony fence, but about 15 branches are now about 2-3″ above the fence line.
The Polygala is almost in full bloom, despite being blown over with the wind a few weeks ago.
Remember the gale force winds a few weeks ago. The 3 big pots which were blown over will need to be well watered to weigh down the pots in future, despite the fact that the Rosemary prefers dry(ish) feet.
A closer shot of the Polygala flowers.
The Sorrel is doing much better since I removed the Perpetual Spinach which shared its pot.
This will be the only Mint I’ll keep as it grows like wildfire.
The Blueberry ‘Nellie Kelly’ was lovely a few weeks ago, but I suspected a House Sparrow had snacked on its flowers?
Not a good shot, but the Blueberry is covered in flowers. I wonder if they’ll all set fruit? I’ve never grown a Blueberry before.
The Rosemary which nearly split in half with the gale force wind was released from its corset of twine and bamboo stakes today to let it breathe.
The blue Bacopa was looking its best today, but I think it needs a wee haircut. As I mentioned in a previous post, it has bloomed non-stop since the 4th November 2016, although there were a few battered blooms amidst the good ones in the gale force winds Melbourne has been having.
Pelargonium ‘Survivor’ had many crops of toadstools during the winter and some sort of leaf rot so hopefully these new leaves and some hot sun will dry it out.
The Red Capsicum which I’ve never grown before was a tiny seedling when I bought it last Sunday, but already has several new leaves. I only staked it just in case the wind blows it over.
Yesterday I planted one ‘Patio’ Tomato and today, the other two. Unfortunately, I broke a few leaves in re-potting them in to the final resting pot, but hopefully they’ll recover.
Another shot of that Sage that had so many new leaves, they are fighting for space.
….and another shot of the Polygala.
Note: none of these plants need staking, but with our ongoing fierce winds in Melbourne in the past few months, I figure I may as well put the bamboo stakes in now and tie the trunks loosely just in case of another gale.
It’s that ‘paperwork’ time of year for me and I have to empty & re-pot some of my balcony potted herbs/plants to make way for 3 new tomato and 1 new capsicum plant(s) I bought last Sunday. I’ve never grown Capsicums before, so we’ll see how they like this hot, west-facing balcony this summer.
…….and clean all the bird poop off the balcony fence and floor surfaces.
So blogging and blog following will be intermittent.
In the meantime……
When I moved to this apartment building a year ago, the young tree in front of my apartment balcony had bare twigs for the top 12-15″. The other week I caught the culprit stripping the new tiny shoots (again) this year!
I took a random shot of some movement in the deep shade of a tree in Frogs Hollow Nature Reserve on the way home this afternoon. I’d been over to Pipemakers Park to do an hour of ‘lazy’ weeding in the ruined garden and was absolutely exhausted. Note: Lazy weeding means standing up in front of a waist high concrete pipe which has weeds growing in it and where I don’t have to bend.
I’VE BEEN WORKING ON WEEDING THE WAIST-HIGH PIPES WHICH HAVE TREES GROWING FROM THE CENTRE shown on the far left and far right of this image’s frame..
Anyway, imagine my surprise when I cropped down the first image in this post by about 85% and lightened the shadows and found a New Holland Honeyeater (Phylidonyris novaehollandiae). Not bad for a random shot where you can’t see the bird clearly.
Over at Pipemakers Park, the Tuesday morning volunteering Gardening Group have made some amazing progress with weeding, planting some hardy Lavenders and Salvias and mulching. Unfortunately, I noticed a couple of small Lavender bushes and a succulent had been stolen from the Herb Garden area (in the centre of the image below). What a shame.