A little Madness in the Spring

“A little Madness in the Spring Is wholesome even for the King.” Emily Dickinson

It was with great amusement, that we have been watching some rather unusual behaviour from our neighbours. We observed neighbours exiting and entering their house under large umbrellas on a sunny day, a business man, whirling his suit jacket wildly above his head, people ducking and weaving, a woman holding a clipboard on her head and my father, visiting with magazines atop his head.

It was all very funny, until, the swooping magpie parents, turned their attention to our side of the street. Going out to check the mail box has become a thrill seeking adventure. You cast your eyes about, then swiftly run to the mailbox. To your horror you hear tck tck and feel a brush of wings stir your hair. I now wear a hat to collect the mail.

In order to share my experience with you, I have been fairly brave. I stood photographing the magpies, standing my ground, until the last moment, I ran shrieking inside.

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A magpie in our tree, with me hiding under the safety of our porch.

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Magpie pretends not to be observing me.

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Here she comes, I hold my ground.

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A blurry magpie but I was not going to stand and focus.

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Hidden safely in the shrubbery, the prince or princess awaits their lunch.

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Ah, lunch is approaching…



Winter morning

We’ve gotten used to fairly mild winters in Melbourne over the last few years. So Antarctic winds, hail and even snow on the nearby ranges have come as a bit of a surprise. It’s perfect weather for snuggling in bed but sadly, for me, I had to get up early on a Saturday, to drive my son to cross country running. It was lovely though, to see in the soft morning light, the garden gilded with rain drops. The promise of spring to come, in the little nodding Jonquils….

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Gilded with rain drops

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Jonquils promise of spring


Raindrops hang like precious jewels

Look who is back in town

A raucous bunch have been hanging around my local park. This is a group I’m always pleased to see though. I knew they had arrived from the overhead screeching that shattered the peaceful afternoon. The Galahs were back in town.

I’ve written about these beautiful funny birds before. You can read more about them here:


galah closeup

Hello my handsome

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I’ll scratch your back if you’ll scratch mine.

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Flying free

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It’s time to take a bow.

Happy Australia Day!

Happy Australia Day to all! This year, take a leaf out of the Little Corella’s (Cacatua sanguinea) book; sit up and take notice of your surroundings. Hang around with friends, walk and drink in nature, chat and swap stories or simply enjoy your own space, eat well and give yourself time to dream.

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Sit up and take notice

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Hang around with friends

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Walk and drink in nature and swap stories

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Enjoy your own space, eat well and give yourself time to dream

Birds do it too

On our nature strip, we kept finding wire coat hangers. In the bin they’d go only to reappear. The mystery has finally been solved. Our street tree was pruned by the council and sadly that included our magpie’s nest. Luckily the chicks had flown the nest already. We had marvelled at how it had stayed in the tree through a wild and windy spring storm, but now we know why. The ingenious nest maker, was also an upcycling master. The nest was interwoven with wire coat hangers, string, and various pieces of wire. Sometimes, I feel clever, and a little virtuous too I suppose, when I upcycle. This nest though, has put me in my place. Fancy making your whole home from upcycled materials!

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An entirely upcycled home

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Look closely and you will see all sorts of materials being repurposed.

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A little getaway part 1

It was our wedding anniversary on Monday, we celebrated with our family of five (two teenage boys and Ruby the naughty dog) by staying overnight in Daylesford. Daylesford is an old gold mining town, in the foothills of the Great Dividing Range. Our accommodation was a dog friendly cottage called Maple. It was lovely, old wisteria vines covered the front verandah and it was high above the town. You might be interested to see the solar panels on its old tin roof.

My teenage son drove there, he’s learning to drive, which I find a little nerve wracking at times, so we started our stay with a strong coffee, in the main street to recover (don’t tell him I said that).  Later in the afternoon we walked with Ruby, and found the mineral springs which Daylesford is famous for. You pump the gently fizzing water out of the ground, it was lovely. We walked along a dirt track, surrounded by towering gums and breathed in the clean bush air. At the end of the walk a beautiful fungus caught my eye, softly gleaming like polished gemstones.

I love the old buildings in Daylesford. There are grand buildings but I really like the tiny miners cottages. We came across the tiniest house I think I’ve ever seen. I wonder who built it and who lived there? It makes me think, that we really have made our lives over complicated in modern life.

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Pink and grey, a perfect colour combination

One of my favourite Australian birds is the Galah. I think its colouring of pink and grey is a very elegant one and I might just have to paint some. Its voice is not elegant though, more of a high pitched screech. I love hearing that screech though, I rush around looking for the flock. Sometimes it’s just on the nature strip, other times in the local park.

It’s an intelligent, long living bird that can be taught to mimic human speech. My great aunt had one as a pet, that lived to be eighty years old, it had a few different phrases from memory. These though, are living free. I found a flock of about twenty of them in our local park. Can you see how dry the grass is? That’s because I took these photographs in January during our Australian summer. Grass is not green in Melbourne in summer, more like dried straw really.

“Galah”, was commonly used as derogatory Australian slang for ‘fool’ in earlier generations, or even “flamin’ Galah” for someone really silly! But not so much these days, luckily for this beautiful bird.

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Pink and grey, the perfect colour combination

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A juvenile Galah

a pair of galahs

Galahs form lifetime bonds with their partners

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Taking a little stroll