Winding back for summer

I can feel the hot weather is just around the corner. This week we’ll be reaching 36C by Friday (just short of 100F in the old money). The flies have started in earnest and there are already swarms of mosquitoes around. I’ve stopped doing my early morning Yoga practice under the grapevine – too many mozzies and the insect repellent only works for a little while.

The magpies are very busy feeding their fledglings – most of whom are larger than the parents. The family that live in our garden have one very big chick with an insatiable appetite. His name is Kwocky – I know it is because I heard his mother calling him. The three birds, mother, father and Kwocky were foraging around in the garden and mother found a tasty morsel for her baby. Kwocky wasn’t in sight so she ran (maggies often run instead of flying … not sure why) down the driveway with the food in her beak calling, “Kwocky! Kwocky!” Sure enough Kwocky came running and made his loud “Feed me now, I’m starving” squawk; opened his beak very wide and mother popped the worm right inside!

This is the website on which I found the photos.
So now I watch out for Kwocky everyday. Some people feed the magpies but I don’t. I believe it is irresponsible to do so because the birds become dependent on being fed and it leads to all sorts of problems. Magpies can be quite aggressive especially in the nesting season when the males dive-bomb suspicious looking people and animals; they are only protecting their nests but it is scary being dive bombed. I have been mugged by a maggie who was after the piece of cake I was just about to pop into my mouth! I got a real fright and also because my 3-year-old grand daughter was right next to me when it happened. Those beaks can do a lot of damage.
I greet all the maggies in the garden everyday – and also the ones we meet on our walks! “Hello Maggot!” I say, “Hope you’re feeling well today?” The birds cock their heads to one side as if to say, “You silly old woman!”

Gardening in the heat of the day is not pleasant with the flies, mosquitoes and hot sun so everything has to be done early in the morning; watering the garden, tending the herbs, weeding and so on. The birds empty the birdbath quite early in the day. We are only allowed to water the garden twice a week with the reticulation. I try not to use it as it is quite a wasteful way to water. Handwatering with a hose or watering cans takes time but at least the water is carefully directed. The fishponds are dropping quite quickly now. The two big fish that we had in the top pond were caught and killed by cats so we restocked with little goldfish – they are very skittish and sometimes we don’t see them for a couple of days. Tiny or not, they have started breeding already because I thought we had tadpoles but on closer inspection discovered that they were baby goldfish.

Yoga classes end next week at Contours Gym in North Mandurah where I teach on a Tuesday evening. I wasn’t going to start teaching again but find that I am enjoying it a lot. I hope we don’t have such a long, dry, hot summer as we did last year … time will tell.

Winding back for summer