Sunday, February 16, 2014

The Family Just Keeps Growing ......

Not long after we moved into 'The Park' we noticed that there was quite a variety of bird life also making its home here - including a few magpies.  Even at Ziegler Parade, we had tried to coax the resident magpies down for a feed, but with no success.

So, we thought we'd give it a go here.  After placing tantalising tid-bits out for some time, we eventually succeeded in getting one to land and take our offerings.  It must have headed home and said "Hey, there's some good nosh available over at that house," because a few days later it was joined by what was obviously its mate.  They continued to feed from our offerings and the next season, all of a sudden, they were joined by a third, obviously their only young being reared at the time.

Magpies at Tiffen
This year the three have continued to be regular visitors, and then all of a sudden there were five - clearly they have had two youngens' this time around.  So, now we have five.

They are very demanding, arriving in morning and evening, perching on the sunroom roof, guttering, a light pole or anywhere else where they get a good, close-by vantage point.  If we are tardy, they will fly down and just look at you, as if to say, "Come on, where's our tucker?"  Occasionally, one or two will even wander into the sunroom, obviously in the hope of hurrying us up.  One of the youngsters that lands on the roof will pace backwards and forwards, even coming over to look down through the kitchen window.  If you go out to the sunroom and walk about, it will follow in your every footstep from above.

Just another experience from paradise.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

New Water Feature .......

View from Sunroom
Robbie loves water features.  Over the years we have purchased various units to be placed inside - so you can hear the pacifying sound of running water throughout the house.  We even had a pond and fountain in the aviary at Ziegler Parade, so the birds could also benefit from the soothing effects of running water.

Mt. Tambourine Feature
On one of our trips North, we went to Mt. Tambourine, in the Gold Coast hinterland, where we bought a fancy wall-hanging type of cascade.  This now sits proudly in the sun room, where we occasionally fill it with water so that we can hear the sound of the running water.

Well, we no longer need to rely on that feature, or any other, for that matter.  We now have a new water feature, effectively in our back yard, that far surpasses anything we may have bought.

The Park has installed a Resort Style pool, complete with cascading mushrooms, a cave, waterfall and water slide.  The first photo, above, shows our view of it from the sunroom; the second shows a closer view from the other side.  We love it, as it certainly adds interest to our view 'out the back' - botanical gardenish most of the year, with he added bonus of the pool.

Close-up of New Pool
Chloe loves both the older, conventional pool here, but she is absolutely rapped in the new one.  She has probably been down the slide 100 times of more.

I have even tried it out - ONCE.  I had a knee operation in November, and it is just refusing to come good.  When I tried out the slide, I wrenched the knee when I hit the water and tried to turn around.  Saw my whole life flash in front of me, but did manage to get to the side where I could hang on.  The slide, like the knee operation, is something I will probably never try again.

Friday, February 07, 2014

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes ........

So far this Summer, that ever present danger of grass and bushfires has, fortunately, kept clear from us.  But this is not true, of course, for many others in this fire-prone State.

Even when fires are burning elsewhere, we sometimes see the resultant atmospheric indications.  This was the case on January 17th. when major fires were burning in the Grampians.

Even though we were over 100kms from where the fires were burning, a northerly wind brought home one of the realities or dangers of such large conflagrations.  Although never in any sort of danger, from either fire or smoke, evidence of the fires was clear when one looked to the skies.

A salutary warning - if we experience a lot of smoke (admittedly high in the sky) from such a long way away, what must it be like in proximity to the fire itself.