"Watching birds has become part of my daily meditation, affirming my connection to the earth body." ~ Carol P. Christ ~
We have always fed the birds that come to our garden, but for the last two years, we have dedicated one section of the garden solely to providing a safe and well-stocked larder for their exclusive use.
As it has been a while since I last escorted you around the garden, I thought we could pull on our gumboots (wellies, galoshes), wrap up in a waterproof jacket and enjoy today's rainy, if somewhat chilly, weather. It's a perfect opportunity to do this, as the birds have been exceedingly active.
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|We can start by strolling along the top path in the front garden and work our way around to the wetland area, where our feathered guests reign free...as you can see, our mountain is completely enveloped in cloud, today!|
|Mayflower, azaleas and lavender are adding some colour to this area of the top terrace.|
|I have several groupings of clivias growing in the garden. Those growing in this little island bed in the pathway are beginning to flower.|
|The May bushes (we have several around the garden) are all bursting into blossom now. In a few days' time, there should be many more flowers than greenery on this bush.|
|Looking back towards the way from where we've just come.|
|I love the way the smooth bark on this tree turns ebony and glistens when it rains.|
|The camelias have largely finished flowering in this part of the garden.|
|These clivias are lagging a bit behind those elsewhere, as they grow in deep shade all through the summer months.|
|I also wanted to show you the actual plant of the unusual bromeliad flower featured in an earlier post http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-l4_fI0cCMMM/TklECdxKBFI/AAAAAAAADe8/ftjrrQiuIQ0/s1600/DSC_3866.jpg, since it raised a fair amount of interest.|
|As you can see, the flowers hang downwards. That's why Coco's eyeview was so perfect!|
|Do you see the squirrel hastily leaving after it had just about finished off the contents of the nectar feeder? I sterilise and refill the nectar feeders every couple of days, but this one goes down the quickest every time!|
|The White Stinkwood tree is coming into leaf. It's a perfect perch for the many birds that flit backwards and forwards between the various feeders strategically positioned in this area.|
|The tree growing in this pot is a Milkwood, which my husband grew from seed. We keep it severely trimmed as we rather like the faux Bonsai effect it has, although it is naturally far larger than a Bonsai would be! We scattered seed in the pot on Sunday while photographing our visitors. Here, a pair of Swee waxbills are tucking in! I have an Ivy Pelargonium (Geranium) growing around the base of the tree. It provides so much colour in summer. I cut it back ruthlessly at the end of each flowering season, as it spills over the sides and hangs down low on to the paving beneath and begins to look scruffy by the end of the season.|
|We also like to ensure that some seeds are scattered on the brickpaving for those birds that like to peck and forage.|
|Many doves and pigeons visit. This is a Red-eye Pigeon (taken with a macro lens by my husband)|
We'd hung both a seed and nectarine feeder in the Milkwood tree this past week and, on Sunday, my husband was delighted to discover the birds comfortably accept his presence. He found he could stand right up close to where they were actively feeding. Instead of having to remain content with sitting at some distance to photograph them, he was even able to stand close enough to be able to use his macro lens...the following random selection of images (he took over 60!) were all taken within arms' reach of the birds.
|"Birds are a miracle, because they prove to us there is a finer, simpler state of being which we may strive to attain." ~ Doug Coupland ~|
By ensuring that our bird table and feeders are regularly replenished, we are gifted with a constant stream of visitors throughout the day. Hearing their ever present twittering and singing and watching them flit, hither and thither without a care, makes any financial outlay and extra effort involved in keeping this area well-stocked and clean, well worthwhile! The pleasure and joy they bring us is immeasurable and their presence adds a valuable dimension to the overall functioning of our garden.