Monday, October 15, 2007


I'm allergic to Spring, parts of Summer and Autumn as well but the whole of Spring. This is highly unfortunate because after the cold grey of Winter, Spring looks gorgeous. There are pleasantly warm sunny days, the weeds are growing even faster than the plants I want to grow and the birds... The thicket of star jasmine (may our neighbours never become gardeners) strangling the trees on the fence line next door is alive with birds - aggressive red wattle birds seeing off anyone or anything that dares to come near, squeaking, chirruping, squawking babies, frantic parents - mudlarks, singing honeyeaters (the only honeyeaters I can recognise because they are the only ones daring enough to stay for a moment when a human approaches. The others skedaddle in a whirr of wings the minute they sight you.) and little wattle birds. Unfortunately this population explosion brings the Western ravens (known locally as crows) to feast.
This in turn causes much stress and distress for a small tan and white dog who regards it as her absolute obligation to rid the world of big black birds even if they are nearly as big as she is and armed with a long sharp beak. So there are many mad barking rushes out into the yard followed by scratching on the back door and the pleading of "I can't do this by myself. Will you please come and help?"
The ravens are well aware of her limitations so they position themselves just out of reach and stare down at her setting off another barking frenzy. They're not at all sure of me though so they fly off when they see me pick up a pebble, with a fighter squad of honeyeaters diving on them as they go. They really have no need to be afraid of me because even if I threw the pebble they are much too far away for me to hit them and I wouldn't really want to anyway. After all they are only doing what they are meant to but I just prefer not to see them doing it so let's just keep it our little secret.

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