Oct 6, 2010

"Love Is Blue"

by Sharon Archer

g: Mad Men - series one

Listening: to a fantastic thunderstorm!

Reading (and loving!): The Earl's Dilemma by Emily May

Making me smile: The Italian translation of Jack and Liz's story which has just arrived in the post box! "Insieme ancora una volta"

It's spring! Signs are everywhere of flora and fauna revelling in the longer, warmer days. We were away recently, camping with friends near the Kosciuszko National Park in New South Wales. Our camp was visited by a handsome male satin bower bird on the scrounge. Spring is the time when his thoughts turn to "home decor". His sex appeal and ability to be a successful mate are measured by the beauty of his bower and the goodies he's managed to collect to show it to advantage. It's all about blue!

I looked around our camp and realised it must have seemed like a overload to his senses. Fortunately... or perhaps unfortunately from his point of view... all our "blueness" was too large to pilfer. Blue tarps, blue buckets, blue towels, blue plates, a large blue esky, a blue box of tissues.

He was a shy fellow with his glossy midnight plummage and every time I pointed the camera at him he was off! But I found a gorgeous picture on Wiki and this entertaining clip on YouTube.

What signs of spring are happening at your place?


  1. Sharon
    Spring has well and truly sprung in sunny Qld, where we've had record rainfall this last month. Inside our pool fence (away from the puppies) we have a tiny, weeny frill necked lizard just hatched. Its about 6cm long in total, and very shy. I've tried to get a photo but it sees the huge silver box coming and runs for cover. Its lovely to have a little bit of native wildlife as we're smack bang in the middle of suburbia.

  2. Hi, Sharon!

    I was just thinking spring is fashionably late here. It's almost the middle of October and I'm still wearing opaque stockings and winter woollies to work! My iceberg rose bush has a ton of buds on it, so I'll be in for a treat when spring finally arrives.

    Loved the video! I'd better keep my $10 out of view of birds.

  3. Sharon, that photo and video are gorgeous! I haven't seen bower birds around my house, but with the arrival of spring, we're being inundated with bees.

    Also, the jonquils have flowered and the gardenia bush is covered in buds. I love spring!

  4. Sharon, I love spring and I love bowerbirds too. Mum and dad get the satin bowerbirds at their place and we duly save dark blue (light blue won't do) plastic bottle tops to leave in the yard. Mum now has no blue pegs left.

    As for my place - the smell of spring whenever you go outside is gorgeous. I can hear baby birds in the trees and we've got orchids on flower sticking out over the path (I haven't cut them off!).

    Love this season!

  5. Sharon, what a gorgeous video! Gave me a giggle. I've only ever seen satin bowerbirds once in the wild when I went camping (yes, really - I hear gasps of disbelief from you, my intrepid friend!) at O'Reilly's in the Lamington National Park on the borders between Queensland and New South Wales (gorgeous place!). The bowerbirds loved all the blue stuff the campers had and he'd set up his bower just off the walkway to the ladies bathrooms. Seemed a silly place for him to choose - unless the lady bowerbirds used the facilities too! They're so gorgeous - that blue sheen on that sleek black is lovely.

  6. Oh, Fiona, how gorgeous to have frill-necked lizards sharing your yard and that they feel at home enough to have a family. It'd be great to get a picture, wouldn't it! But lots of animals seem to be camera shy. I've been trying to sneak up on our semi-resident kangaroo family - with mixed success. Thank goodness for the zoom lens!

  7. We're back to a chilly day here too, Vanessa. Spring is letting winter back in for a peep.

    Your rose bush should like it will be stunning!

    Glad you liked the video - I did laugh when I saw the $10! Obviously a bowerbird with expensive tastes!

  8. Yes, lots of bees here too, Rachel! It's great to see them going about their business.

    Our snowdrops and jonquils are out too! I love the jonquils but I find the smell of them a bit over-powering when I've tried to have them in a vase indoors. But in the garden they're lovely.

  9. Annie, I had a chuckle about your mum's blue pegs being selectively pilfered! Perfect size and colour for the discerning bowerbird! Actually, with your blue offerings, the bowers around your parents' place must be positively sumptuous!

  10. Anna Campbell, I nearly fell of my chair when you said you'd been camping! But the I read O'Reilly's in the Lamington NP and I turned green with envy instead! I've heard about it and it sounds wonderful! It's on the must-do-on-day list!

    I laughed at your bowerbird building near the ablution facility. What a considerate fellow!

  11. Fantastic post Sharon. I love spring! Our frogs are back croaking their melodious tunes night and day for me. I just love them - my husband doesn't quite share my passion (and neither do most visitors).


  12. Oh, I agree, Cath! Isn't frog-song fantastic - and LOUD! When we contemplated our move to the country, many years ago now, we were thinking how much we'd enjoy the 'lovely quiet nights' - but it was late August and the little frogs were positively rowdy to our city ears! They've been quieter with the drought for the last ten years but this year, we're back to a lovely chirping chorus at night.

  13. Sharon, loved that bower bird movie! It was the baby's dummy/pacifier that made me laugh. I guess he really was, uh, setting the scene.

    Ah yes, spring has sprung in my neck of the woods too. Our entire backyard is overlaid with jasmine. Which I adore, but when the air starts to cool of an evening I sometimes have to close the back door as the scent can become so overpowering. Oh, and all the bottlebrush trees in our surrounding streets are so heavy with red the branches look as if they might just touch the ground. Hmm... heavenly!

  14. Good point, Michelle! LOL A forward thinking bowerbird - he's bound to be hit with the ladies!

    Your jasmine sounds glorious! And the bottlebrushes groaning with blossom! Beautiful! We've still got a fair amount of golden wattle around too. Definitely heavenly, isn't it!

  15. Marvellous post, Sharon! Ooh, I envy you that thunderstorm -- I love thunder and lightning!

    You can definitely tell it's spring here -- there are ducklings everywhere on the river. They don't last long, though. I'm not sure what gets them. Rats? Cats? Eels? (I've seen black-backed gulls swoop down and pluck them from the water.) Poor things, they have a very short life expectancy!

  16. What a proud bird he was of all his blue goodies. Bet he thought alll his christmases had come at once at such a sudden proliferation of blue. Wonder what he thought when the producer moved in and took back some of them?

    I have to agree with everyone, love spring and all the new life it brings (and the warmer temps, lol).

    Anna, Lamington is just a wonder isn't it. Sharon, definitely a wonderful place to visit!

  17. Hi Sharon
    What a marvellous video. I had to laugh at how romantic the male was setting up all those wonderful blue offerings. Then when his lady said a ladylike bower-bird "yes" he just leapt on her!
    My flowering peach at my farm is in full hot pink flower and has special significance--for the last six years my DH has photographed me and my cat Albert who is now a very frail 19 and a quarter (three months count at his age!) in front of the blossoms. He is still here for this year's shot and I'm so hoping he'll be with us for next year's...

  18. It was a great storm, Emily, and another 7.5mls in the rain gauge!

    Oh, what a shame about the ducklings around the river near you. The wood ducks around here are reasonably successful, I think, but they do take some awful risks on the road!

  19. Ah, but, Anita, he'd had his wicked way with the object of his affections so perhaps he didn't mind too much when the blue goodies were retrieved! Mind you... I don't know that I'd have wanted the toothbrush back... or the straw... and especially not the baby's dummy! LOL! Yes, to getting the car keys back though!

    And you're another recommendation for Lamington NP! Yep, must go!

  20. LOL, Kandy! Not a lot of finesse to his technique once he got the nod, was there? Maybe in bowerbird-dom, collecting the blue offerings is enough foreplay!

    Your flowering peach sounds magnificent and I do hope your precious Albert is with you for more of your annual photos.

  21. Isn't that fascinating, I remember watching that show with the hoarding of anything blue. A little bit romantic in an Aladdin type of way (g)

  22. Great, isn't it, Mel! And you've seen the whole show? I rather like the gravelly voice of the narrator - very easy to listen to.