Easy

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dog on a surf board

lets think about that

for the time being

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One place Charlie can roam free off a lead without any mishaps is Merricks Beach on Westernport Bay. Lots of time and space for a dog to take in the scenery, think about life and generally enjoy being a dog without restrictions.

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no patience

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summer fishing focus

crowding annoying seagulls 

one angry spoonbill

Water birds at Ricketts Point Marine Park will always offer surprises if you have time to wait and watch. This solitary Royal Spoonbill seemed to find  a fish or perhaps missed catching one or maybe just became fed up with the constant chattering and agitating of the nearby seagulls. Whatever the reason it suddenly lifted one leg, pivoted and turned lashing out at the nearest gull with its beak and receiving  immediate verbal abuse from another seagull. This all happened in a matter of seconds. Luckily I was focussed on the Spoonbill and with the advantage of instant snapping from my digital SLR was able to catch the sequence.

Hi there

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a hungry blackbird

begging trusting depending

cherries in season

 As I promised on January 16th here is an update to the blog, “I’m here”.  When mother blackbird transferred daily feeding responsibilities for her 3 fledglings we took on the task with hesitation but sympathy although Charlie encouraged them to move on and beg elsewhere. Hoping these young birds would start listening to their genes and focus on worms, insects etc as their bulk nourishment we agreed to supplement with half a cherry each a couple of times a day. This worked reasonably well for a few days but as they grew bigger so did the sibling rivalry for each others cherries. The male  gave up and disappeared first then gradually only one fledgling remained. She was going nowhere and set up a daily routine greeting the early riser at the back door, hovering outside windows, establishing fixed eye contact to anyone sitting in a window, any tactic as long as a cherry changed hands eventually. This bird has spent  every day in our back yard for a reasonable amount of time. She now does forage for other nibbles and gets excited if given a worm occasionally. Sometimes her sister turns up and we throw a grape or cherry to her however she has become very wary and flighty, maybe of us but certainly of big sister who will grab and sit on 2 cherries if possible. Very occasionally mother turns up and resident daughter attacks her . This is one dominant blackbird. She is very helpful and accompanies me on foot as I water the veggies and herbs. We have set up a personal water bowl at the back door and she often sits in it cooling her feet on hot days. Birdie as we have come to call her is now taking talking lessons to keep her brain active. This involves me making blackbird like noises to which she replies to which I reply to which she replies etc etc. Charlie tends to break this up if within hearing distance. A big test of our relationship will soon come as the last of Tasmania’s summer cherry crop has been and gone this week. In fact we have 4 fresh cherries left as of today. Will birdie accept tinned North American black cherries as her parents did last Autumn/Winter or will we face adolescent tantrums? An update  will happen.

A wall for all seasons

sometimes effective

human struggle with nature

how long will it last

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SPRING

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SUMMER

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AUTUMN

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WINTER

This is the great wall of Black Rock, one of many such sea barriers spaced around Port Phillip Bay. These walls were built in the 1930’s depression as a public works project to positively utilise unemployed men. Bluestone material was used in the construction with quite a bit coming  from the demolition of a large section of the Old Melbourne Gaol, where Ned Kelly (the Australian folk-hero or criminal depending on your interpretation) was executed in the 1860’s. The destruction seen in the Winter photo is the second recent attempt by the natural elements to question what may eventually be a human folly. Climate change, global warming, rising sea levels and increasing extreme weather events all leave the future of this wall and eventually one of Melbourne’s great scenic roads a few metres above the wall uncertain for the moment.