Autumn advances …

Back from the dacha, and for any that are at a loss as to where that is, it’s in the central goldfields of Victoria.

Autumn is a splendid time of the year, nights are cold but if there’s not much wind days are generally warm.

First thing in the morning, I resuscitate the fire, take the lovely Gayle (name changed to protect her identity) a cup of coffee and then a walk around the house, through the vineyard ending up at the stable as the sun comes up. Until a couple of weeks ago there were two retired ponies to feed, sadly Taffy has shuffled off this mortal coil, so now it’s a moment shared with Katie. Whilst she begins the long chomp through a manger of chaff, Fifi the fox terrier checks out the storage and tack areas for rodents. Katie and Fifi have a relationship that would lead to divorce or even murder between humans. When Fifi was a pup Katie actually landed a kick on Fi that those who saw it could never imagine she would survive. Katie keeps trying but the dog is pretty quick and always careful. I have no idea what offence she started the war with, but Fifi McGee is, these days, the epitome of good manners, no barking at the pony, no nipping at heels.

The change of seasons brings a change of birds. I always look forward to the arrival of the Flame Robins. They have been back for three weeks now, the boys are resplendent in red from in front or black with striking white wing bar from behind. Numbers are not big this year and I anticipate that it will stay that way because of the lack of rain since December.

Despite the dry the eucalypts are flowering strongly, the nomadic nectar feeders are making the most of it. In the last couple of weeks the regular Musk Lorikeets have been joined by both Little and Purple-crowned Lorikeets, beautiful flashes of green dashing about, easily heard but often difficult to get a good look at. On Saturday a group of Purple-crowns decided it was time to present themselves for a photo shoot. I have never had such close views. The light was splendid, they were apparently unconcerned at my presence … all I needed was the camera.

Today I took the camera and the birds reverted to form, beautiful flashes of green dashing about, this was the best I could manage …

Purple-crowned Lorikeet




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