We’ve had a long weekend, here in Melbourne, Australia – the Queen’s Birthday holiday weekend. And with it, beautiful weather for winter. Cool, but clear skies and dry, except for the heavy dew in the mornings. We’d had family staying with us for a few days but they left at lunchtime on Monday so Graham and I headed out to continue work in different sections. There is rain forecast for the coming week so we wanted to make use of what time we could to get some more work done.
Graham was removing a couple of weedy ‘alpha female’ pittosporums by the tennis court steps and I planted some bracken we’d gotten from our daughter’s garden on Saturday. I then proceeded to go to our overgrown vegetable garden to rip out the old tomato plants, pull up weeds, accidentally pulled up a sweet potato plant and discovered a couple of sweet potatoes ready for the picking! I also pulled up about a half dozen strawberry runners and have put them in a pot for now – ready to give away to those local who would like to have them. Our strawberries grow really well here and we like to share the love. Also managed to harvest some silverbeet today, pick some nasturtium seeds to use later, picked a couple of ripe tomatoes and also collected another egg – for the second day in a row! Tilly has begun laying again and hopefully the other girls aren’t far behind. We miss our own eggs when the girls are off the lay. Hate having to go to the shop to buy eggs when we have (now) 10 chickens of our own!
I filled a large green bucket a couple of times and emptied it into the green waste bin, but as I did this, noticed I had an audience on the paddock fence nearby, and a couple of trees too. The visitors were our resident family of three kookaburras, but three others have joined them. There’s been a lot of kookaburra noise over the past few mornings. Think a bit of territorial stuff going on. We have three female kookas and I noticed a male yesterday. He was back plus a couple of other birds but I’ve not yet worked out if they’re male or female.
Anyway, I kept finding lots of grubs and a couple of millipedes so threw these nearby for the kookaburras. Two of them came down, grabbed the offering and flew back to the paddock fence to enjoy their meal. Eventually these two got more game while I was working there and flew down waiting for the next offering to be thrown to them, and to hunt for worms or anything else they could find. They were helping me with my weeding… One came real close and started to look for what she could find while I stood there and watched her, and videoed her with my phone.
I had my camera in my basket not far away, with my long lens – probably should have had a shorter one as it was a bit too long for the closeness of the birds, but I got some great closeups of them. However, I later saw a male kookaburra in a gum tree a bit further away. He was lit up by the sun and had to get a shot! Then I realised he had something in his beak and one of the other kookas came to join him to be fed. It must have been a juvenile. Can’t tell what the bug or insect is. It is striped like a wasp but looks bigger. It also has two tails or stingers. Whatever it was, the kooka enjoyed it!
So today’s photos are a combination of my camera and my phone, to share with you my time in the garden this afternoon. You know, some days I don’t get as much gardening done, as I could have, because of the distractions of nature in my garden. But I wouldn’t have it any other way, would you?