Whatever might be happening for the denizens of this planet, it carries on regardless, waltzing its way with its partner, the Moon, around the Sun. As the Northern Hemisphere tilts away from the sun’s heat, the Southern Hemisphere leans in closer. Up there, fall is on its way. Down here, we’re heading into spring. (Not that ‘up’ and ‘down’ have any real meaning in solar system terms – but it’s a convention.)
Here in the sub-tropics spring means warmer temperatures and more humidity but not a lot more. There’s no grand transition, no profusion of flowers. Oh, we do get some. Callistemons and grevilleas put on a show, the bushes covered in bloom. But they do spot flower throughout the year. And of course, if you plant bulbs or spring-flowering annuals, this is when they’ll put on a display.
We have a lot of different varieties of callistemons (bottle brushes) and they’re VERY popular with birds and insects.
We do have new tenants in one of our nest boxes, though. The pale-headed rosellas have been around here for years, often checking out the available accommodation. For some reason they don’t like the man-made boxes. That’s probably her – doesn’t like the décor. But this year we put up a piece of hollow log (that we bought, not found in the bush). That seems to have done the trick. We did have the log up in a tree but I think it can’t have been high enough for them. This time, it’s high up on a palm tree.
There has been a pair of rosellas around as long as we’ve lived here, and every year they’ll be looking for a nest. The first year we lived here was interesting. The house had one of those pot-bellied space heaters, with a round metal chimney up through the roof, fitted with a raised cap like a Chinaman’s hat. That sort of arrangement was perfect for birds who nest in hollowed-out branches in trees. The female bird slipped under the gap between the raised ‘hat’ and into what she would have thought was a log – and slid right down to the bottom. We couldn’t reach her in the stove – she was above a flue. What to do? Pete got up on the roof and took off the cap, but the bird had nothing to climb up, and of course couldn’t fly. So we lowered down a thick rope with a knot on the end, hoping she would cling to it and we could draw her up. The male bird was watching all this from a nearby vantage point, no doubt worried out of his little bird brain.
It took a couple of goes. She caught on quite quickly, and Pete drew her up almost to the top. But she let go too soon. The next attempt was a success. As soon as she could spread her wings she and the hubby were off.
We always thought the heater was a waste of space. I think we lit it twice in all the years before we got rid of it when we replaced the roof. The interesting thing is the log they’ve picked is pretty much the same diameter as that chimney.
So, we look forward to the clitter-clatter of tiny claws.
I’ve obviously tried to avoid too much commentary of the covid-19 saga. But I’ve got to say something about the truly disgraceful story of the Canberra nurse who was denied exemption from quarantine in Brisbane to attend her father’s funeral. Canberra has had NO covid cases for weeks. If the Premier and her cronies can come up with exemptions for a bunch of AFL officials (coming in from Victoria), surely this girl deserved some compassion? I said last week I was worried about what’s happening in this country. This is an example. Premier Palaszczuk labelled PM Morrison’s call to ask her for a reconsideration of the nurse’s case an attempt at bullying and intimidation and then promptly blamed Chief Medical Officer Dr Jeanette Young for the decision to deny the nurse an exemption.
No wonder three Labor Ministers have given notice of resigning at the October election. One can’t avoid thinking of rats and sinking ships.
Meanwhile in Victoria two elderly ladies sitting on a park bench were surrounded by five (5) police officers. They were arrested for failing to provide identification. Here’s the story.
I wonder what this country will look like in a year’s time, when covid-19 is (hopefully) under control?