Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Some pics, finally!

As promised here are some photos of the bush fire that I took very early Monday morning.

Spreading down the valley, I would say it is around a kilometer away from where I was standing but a big valley, the freeway and the train tracks were separating us.

Here the fire is almost at the top of the ridge, check out the flare up on the very right!

A bit more of a wide angle of the prior image

If you are able to click on these and view the larger image you can zoom in and see some stars in the dark part of the sky!

Tiel stuff

This is a post focusing on Poppy my cockatiel for all you bird lovers out there, especially Nat who has recently inherited a cockatiel from a friend.

The first thing I have to say is find a good avian vet near you. I learnt this the hard way with Poppy when she broke her wing. I took her to our local vet and wasn't happy with the results, see this post, so I had a search on the internet, thank heavens for the internet! and found this site that has a list of avian vets in Australia. You just click on your state and it will bring up a list of vets for you to choose from with contact info and websites etc, very helpful! Even though the vet I went to charged more I was relieved that they knew what they were doing. I think this is really important if you have a serious injury or just really want to have that peace of mind.

Cockatiels are just such funny birds. Poppy loves to be "scratched" all around her head, under her chin and cheek patches, I can even ruffle her crest when she is relaxed. I can pet her on her wings and back too which some birds don't like. I think it is more of a matter of conditioning and gaining trust with the bird. Showing it that you won't harm it is very important. She can be very demanding by coming over and instead of climbing onto my finger she will drop her head as if to say "scratch me please", too cute to resist.

I learnt a great deal of information from a site called birdtricks, these guys really know what they're writing about and their training packages look great, I really want to try them out sometime soon but finances are a bit tight right at the moment. There is a wealth of information out there it is just difficult to know what is good and what is not.

I think the best trick I've taught Poppy is to shake my hand, it is so simple but so rewarding when her little clawed foot wraps around my finger and we shake for a moment. I'm still teaching her stuff and I think this is always be an ongoing process.

Her wing has healed and she is flapping about with abandon, she loves to sit on her mobile perch, lean forward with crest raised and flap madly. The first time she did this I thought she was trying to fly off and did a couple of times but now I'm sure that she is doing it for some exercise and attention. When she does want to get off she holds her shoulders out and bobs up and down looking intently at me to come and get her before she jumps.

Another thing I love about cockatiels is the smell of them. Thankfully Poppy has regained her tiel smell since she has started to moult. I was concerned that she would smell of butter forever. Then I was worried that she would preen that smell through her new feathers, so I am really relieved that this hasn't happened.

Any more questions regarding my feathered friend will be welcomed.

Better go now, work calls

Monday, January 22, 2007

Smokey Business

Not the best title I've come up with but it will do.

I have personally experienced my first Australian bush fire. On Sunday afternoon we drove past the start of it in Mt Kuring-gai and it was quite a sight. Later in the evening D told me that it was right up to the fence near his SIL's house and he had to go and help hose it down to avoid any embers lighting up the roof. People were evacuated but no properties lost. On my way home at 3am it was one of the most spectacular sights. Great orange clouds of smoke seemingly right behind the houses in Asquith/Mt Colah, where D's parents live. I grabbed my camera when I got home and went back to watch the blaze creeping over the ridge beyond the train station.
I was filled with a whole mix of emotions watching this destruction of nature. Wondering how it started and how far it will spread.

Today was a day of endless smoke and helicopters. Road and rail closures stopped me from getting to work on time but I had warned them with what I thought enough warning. Unfortunately an unsympathetic employer remarked that the roads were opened at 5pm and that I needed to get to work, but this was a pointless remark as those roads were clogged with traffic that had backlogged. The train was only running northbound until further notice so I still could not get to work until the southbound train was running. I just couldn't believe that this person was so uncaring about the whole situation. My supervisor who happened to be away on holiday called to see if I was ok and I relayed the situation to her and she couldn't believe that someone would say such things. She said that if anything was happening that required me to be at home then I should be there rather than work. I am so relieved that there is someone who is understanding and realistic in this world.

Hopefully I'll post pics tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


Sending out very belated wishes for a merry Christmas and super happy New Year to everyone who drops by.

Also a belated 1 year blog birthday, can't believe I missed that one, or that I'm still blogging, albeit sporadically.
Reasons/excuses for that being mainly wanting to post pics but having the computer away being fixed so no downloading the 600 odd pics and sifting through them. Major annoyance.

A belated "offically thirty-something" birthday for me. My parents actually forgot to call me this year. I ended up calling them and after a couple of subtle hints about "this time 30 something years ago you were pleasantly surprised/your life changed forever..." they caught on and were very sheepish about their oversight. NOW I know how all you folk whose birthday goes past without being recognised feel.

If January is anything to go by then we are in for one heck of a year of procrastination. I find this such a contradiction because I felt really calm about it all, getting back to work, resuming my daily routine, I felt like it was all just so easy.

I was still feeling in holiday mode to the extent that I forgot to wash D's clothes on the weekend so he had nothing to wear on Monday morning. And this was our second week back a work. Can you imagine!

I must resolve to break this procrastination habit. I write lists about what I need to do the next day/week/month and continually leave things until it is too late. That is just so pathetic isn't it. Striving to be organised and continually letting myself down. How do people go about being so on top of it all? Give me some suggestions please, if anyone is listening that is.

Here is a pic of a Koala in a tree that I took while I was in Gunnedah on holiday at the very end of last year. He wasn't in zoo or other kind of enclosure, just near a carpark at a lookout where we were told we may spot one. We had all but given up the idea of seeing one when I was walking over to take the last picture of the view when I happened to look up, the movement of it grabbing some leaves to munch caught my eye. I couldn't help but blurt out "Koala!" to everyone in the vicinity and proceeded to take around 50 pics. During this time he ate and settled back to go to sleep then sat up again and grumpily watched me take yet more photos of him up in the tree. Just like a nonplussed movie star I thought. NB please forgive me if it is a girl I'm not up on distinguishing between the sexes of Koalas.

Well better get going, see you tomorrow hopefully with some pics of the bears' outfits that I made for the charity kids.