A few old trees make all the difference when you’re doing a bird survey. The bare, newly planted paddocks on Carkella and Adnamira were limited to a few species, mainly parrots (galahs,red-rumps, rosellas) and a small family of magpies.
Red-rumped parrot photo by Leo from iNaturalist.org
We regularly see mistletoebirds (Dicaeum Hirundinaceum) around the house and around the hills. They’re a flowerpecker with a taste for mistletoes.
Mistletoebird (Dicaeum Hirundinaceum) photo by Leo from iNaturalist.org
Mistletoes grow all over the world, not just at Christmas for romantic kissing purposes. Unlike the area north of us, near Lake Burrinjuck, however, our eucalypts have few mistletoes. I’m not sure why. Maybe they’re too widely spaced. It’s probably for the best given all the other stresses on them. Parasitic mistletoes are a big drag on a host tree’s resources.
Eucalypt with many mistletoes, Wee Jasper Road near Yass
It’s puzzled me what the mistletoebirds are eating around here.
Meanwhile, Lesley Peden and I were jolting around the paddocks looking at the sites I want to use for tree-planting this year. Continue reading
We went out yesterday hoping that it was the perfect day for a small bushfire. We’ve had a dry couple of weeks, and rain was predicted for the evening.
Lovely. Continue reading
When the wind gets above 45km/h every gap and crack in this old house begins to whistle. The walls are two feet thick, made of rammed earth, but many of the windows are single-glazed and rattle…a lot. Even the ones that are double-glazed seem to have gaps for cold drafts.
There are lots of issues clamoring for attention in our world – war, hunger, climate change, disaster, death and despair. I find reading the newspaper a dangerous activity likely to explode a blood pressure cuff across the room.
‘Nearly two years ago I got the opportunity move back to the family farm and work on making it more resilient, to help it survive the next few decades. That means living in a beautiful old house belonging to my mother, with a view over the Murrumbidgee and the surrounding hills. It means fixing up that house and the others on the farm. It means repairing or putting up new fences to protect plants and it means working out what the landscape should look like for the long term.