"She seemed to come suddenly upon happiness as if she had surprised a butterfly in the Winter woods"
(edith wharton)

Thursday, 26 July 2007

seasons & a sensitive new-age bird

these are our official seasons down here:
December, January, February are summer. March, April, May are autumn. June, July, August are our winter months and September, October and November are springtime... of course Mother Nature takes no notice of this official calendar on the whole.... I hope to take you through a seasonal journey through my garden and life, as the wheel turns. Just by observing what is happening around me. Our seasons are so different to many of my friends in the Northern hemisphere. I am adding information to my Book of Shadows... about my garden and what I observe.. it is coming along fine and it sits right within my soul.... at last I am feeling a belonging here.

yesterday, I got together and had coffee with my friends down the road, Marion and Eric. We had Marion's home-made shortbread which was delicious, we sat and chatted for an hour or so until we realized it was nearly lunchtime..... after Eric went home, Marion wanted to show me something in her garden..

it was a male Satin Bower bird and his bower. These birds make a bower out of reeds and grasses, to attract a mate and they decorate it with all manner of bright blue objects that they beg, borrow or steal from all-over. We have blue pegs go missing, bits of plastic, plastic lids from milk bottles

and apparently, this Mister Bowerbird has many lady admirers because his bower is so wonderfully creatively decorated...I went back and took some photos. He sat in a tree watching me.. after I took the photos, I left a little offering, just a little way from his bower... some bright blue ribbons, some blue feathers and a button... I don't think he was too pleased with me, when I arrived, he was busy courting a miss Bowerbird... showing off and making a real noise of it too!

next time I go back, I will see what he did with my gifts. I took a few photos so that you could see just how he places all the bits n pieces around his bower. The larger pottery pieces were made by Marion who is a potter. She has an amazing garden, all built on the cliff face. She has a pond with frogs in it, a resident snake and lots of birds. She doesn't have children and spends most of her time in her garden, cooking and potting. She buys most of her clothes from op-shops and always looks wonderful! She scours cleanup campaigns for all types of stuff and comes up with the most amazing creations. She grows most of her own vegetables and fruit and this year she had 26 pumpkins on her vine, which is a mean feat, given the sandy soil of our area.

aren't these birds amazing? I think they are native to Australia. They feed mostly on fruits throughout the year. During summer, which is their breeding season, their diet is supplemented with a large number of insects, while leaves are often eaten during the winter months. I quite often see mother bowerbird flying through my garden in summer with my lovely cherry tomatoes in her beak. They can be quite destructive in the fruit and vegetable garden.

(Click on images for detail ~ you will see the bower in the middle of some photos)

*~* I hope your day is filled with butterflies, magick, colour & fripperies! ~*~


Sheila said...

I've seen documentaries on the birds. How exciting to have them so close to you.
Your friend sounds like she lives the perfect existence.
Your sense of belonging..that's great news. Perhaps working with the seasons as they are there, and not fighting it has helped...?

Julie Marie said...

This was so fascinating. I had never heard of the Satin Bower Bird. I know that crows like bright, shiny objects but I never knew of a bird who collected only blue items.

Thanks for this post.


Bimbimbie said...

Early yesterday morning I glimpsed a blue feather and then another amongst the dried brown bracken and leaf litter I did hope for a moment that it might be the beckoning path towards a male satin bower bird's love nest but fear it's more likely to have been a dastardly crime scene!
.... lucky you to have spent time with him. I'm enjoying my neighbourly visits and comparing notes to what's going on in my patch across our state's border *!*

AnnieElf said...

What fascinating birds to be fixed on one color. Makes you wonder about the adaptation and what urged it on.

LisaOceandreamer said...

I've never heard of this bird but it sure does sound fascinating (if not a bit cheeky sometimes). You have to wonder why the color blue - although I am one to collect blue for my nest as well. heehee

Peggy said...

What a nice bird! finding and decorating blue colorful items for his future mate. Can't wait to see what he does with your gifts.

A bird in the hand said...

I really enjoyed reading this.

Rowan said...

This is such an interesting post, blue is an unusual colour for the bower bird to go for but very pretty. I think I've seen something about them in a wild life programme at some stage.
I love the idea of keeping a journal of the passing seasons - maybe I could do something similar, I've never been good at keeping journals, I start off full of enthusiasm then get to the 'no time' or 'too tired' stage and everything fades out. Maybe I've been approaching it from the wrong angle.
Your friend Marion sounds as though she has made a wonderful life for herself.

mrsnesbitt said...

Amazing to think that whilst here in UK it is supposed to be Summer yet Winter with you.
Such is the global pattern of life eh?
This must be the worst summer on far! I wonder what is yet to come.


Garden girl said...

my blog's adress/url is what a coincidnece...having lots of thoses lately! interesting...

judie said...

Oh wow, Robyn. You KNOW I am loving this! Please keep us posted. xoxoxo

Tracy said...

Marion sounds enchanting. I enjoyed reading about all she does and the Bower bird, too!

amelia said...

What a lovely garden and a beautiful post!

Gina E. said...

I just love stumbling across a bower bird's nest in the bush! Fuuny girl - putting more blue things there for his renovating! Did he use them? Yes, they are native to Australia (all the best birds are, lol!) and I believe they are fairly widespread.