Saturday, January 17, 2009

Just some garden pics

Ok well I am still impressed with the new camera. I havent got into playing with it properly yet, just on the auto settings with the two different lenses, and playing around with lighting and angles and that sort of thing

Pomegranate bush has quite a few pomegranates on it and is still continuing to flower

Here is a little pomegranate bush with a flower, amongst the agapanthus

Im not sure exactly what this plant is it might be a Gazinia. What ever it is it grows well here and has lovely bright cheery yellow flowers that brightens up the garden

Veggie garden update

Despite the hot weather we have been having, the garden is going pretty well. I had to decide, now that I have stopped going away so much with work and I am home more often and can put a bit more time into the garden, whether to plant a few more things in the garden, and know that I will have to water them during the summer or to wait until after summer when the weather was a bit kinder. Well my decision was to put more in and try to keep it alive, so far so good.

The capsicums are flowering and have fruit.

There is fruit setting on the burpless cucumbers.

Something a little unusual is that a patch of what I thought was corn is actually millet, which really doesn't cook up much like corn at all but the cockatiels are not complaining, they love it when I put a millet spray in their cage, they are straight at it pulling it apart, picking the seeds apart. So shortly I will be picking the seed heads off and drying then for use later, saves buying them from the supermarket for them. This is the same spot that I tried to grow corn last year, so I thought that was what was coming up, some seeds that hadn't sprouted last year, but I had forgotten that I had thrown the cockatiels left over seed out there a couple of times. I had thought that the toppies (crested pigeon) that come in each afternoon would have eaten it, but they must have missed a bit, including the sunflower which is providing a nice bit of shade for one of the cucumber plant and a rogue pumpkin plant, which I gave up on last year because it was only producing male flowers.

The Moon and Stars watermelon I planted a while ago (the start of December), no flowers yet but it is growing well.

Visitors to the garden

In the garden we regularly have many visitors of the animal kind, mostly birds and lizards, so I thought I would share a couple of photos with you.

Here is a little skink, I haven't been able to get many photos of these guys because they scuttle around the place so quickly, and as soon as you get close enough to take a photo they've disappeared into a crack somewhere.

This is a rather large Bearded Dragon, these are quite common but this is only the second time I have seen one around the yard since moving here.

And here is one of the few resident Magpies, I love hearing their warbles, it would have to be one of my favourite sounds.

Friday, January 9, 2009

My New Toy!!

As a present to myself (well deserved I think, considering the work I have been doing out bush for the last 6 months) I bought myself a new camera.

But not just a new camera, a Canon EOS 1000D, SLR, with twin lens kit. I am very impressed with it, I haven't played with it too much yet but on the auto settings it takes very nice photos without too much effort at all. The colours come out lovely, just like what you see, even in sunsets. So I just thought I would share with you some photos I have been taking with my new camera.

Spooki sitting on the arm of the couch

At Miranda

The almond tree with Lucerne

MIL's garden

Thursday, January 8, 2009

It could have ended in disaster

On Saturday, it was a normal day, head out in the morning to do shopping that needs to get done before the shops close at midday, then spend the rest of the day around home.

While having lunch and watching some (taped) telly in the afternoon, I heard the Cockatiels playing with their toys in their cages, rattling bells, and chewing things, only one of them sounded like they were doing something different to the usual. When I checked on them, there was Squeak with toy in beak walking up and down his perch, I thought he was just being a bit more aggressive with it than usual until I realised he had it stuck!!!

So with both hands in the cage one trying to hold him still and stop him from trying to fly around the cage and the other trying to undo the clasp to take the toy out of the cage, then came the task of trying to hold him still, work out what had happened and how to get him free. It tuns out that the little dangly bit in the bell has a split in the side of the hole at the top which allows it to fit into the bell bit itself. Squeak had found this little split and worked it open with his beak trying to dis-attach it from the main bit of the bell, but in doing so it got stuck on his bottom beak so it ended up looking like he had a pierced beak (with some very funky jewelry). With him and the toy out of the cage I held him against my chest and tried to pull the piece off of his beak but it had a tight grip, and I was really quite scared of hurting him even more. I knew all that had to be done was to make the split in the metal bigger so his beak could slide out but with one hand full with a panicking bird I just didn't have enough hands.

After a few stressful minutes for everyone DP came to the rescue with a little multi tool thing and with pliers twisted the little piece of metal to open up the split and allow it to come off his beak. Free of the beak jewelry, Squeak was not too happy with the whole ordeal and proceeded to bite me, which I was actually happy about, because it meant that his beak still worked, and he hadn't done too much damage, probably the only time he wasn't told off for being aggressive and biting!!

So after that we had cuddles and kept an eye on him. He was a bit sleepy, which was understandable after that bit of stress, and kept sticking his tongue out the side of his beak like he had bitten it and it now hurt (like us humans would do running our tongue against our teeth). Back in his cage I gave him a millet spray to make sure he could eat OK and he was straight into it, so I was a little less worried about him. Now he seems fine, whistling his own combination of whistles, doing his "hops" around the cage, and squeaking back at us, when we call to them.

We have now taken the little dangly bits out of the bells, they are only a simple cut out shape and made of fairly soft metal (Spooki had already opened one of them up and removed it from the toy, but she is much stronger, and seems to destroy everything) and who know what would have happened if we weren't at home when it happened.