Spring Has Sprung

It’s October, and we’re now in the second month of spring. Days are warmer, and the air is full of the sound and smell of growing things, both flora and fauna.

Everything is incredibly green, which is such a marvellous change from last year’s dusty dryness. It seems as if everything is celebrating the rain that has fallen, and the year that is passing rapidly by.

Yesterday, the willy wagtails who have been frequenting our garden kept bustling around one particular limb of the biggest tree in our backyard. That tree is now about sixteen years old. When we built our house, the block was completely vacant of trees. We set about remedying that as soon as we could, planting a variety of natives, and a few fruit trees. This gum tree is a survivor.

Our german shepherd (Anzac) was at that time, a puppy. And he was a puppy with a penchant for chewing things. Every tree or shrub we planted, he chewed. We drenched them in tabasco, chilli powder and cayenne pepper as all the books told us to do. We concluded that he liked hot things. Eventually, we had to surround each little sapling with its own fence.

This particular tree had been chewed to a tiny stump. Now it’s huge, full of leaves, and full of birds who visit on and off all day. So far today I’ve seen willy wagtails, magpie larks, rainbow lorikeets, crested pigeons, and a female satin bowerbird who likes to have a drink and a wash in the dog pool most afternoons.

But yesterday, I saw this:

You can see the little black and white bird, standing above a few strands of what look like spider web, and some bits of stuff.

A bit later, it looked like this:

This morning, it looked like this:

And now it looks like this:

And they’re still adding more.

Because our block is on a slope, the back patio is elevated. This little nest is clearly visible at ‘eye height’ when we’re out on it. I’m going to be absolutely fascinated to see if they raise any babies once it’s finished. They do actually hold the nest together with spider webs, and fill it with soft stuff. I remember one year, when another pair of willy wagtails would collect our german shepherd’s winter coat every time I brushed him. They took so much fluff, I suspect the whole nest may have been made of it.

I have some videos of the building process, so I’ll pop them up on my facebook page.

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