Tag Archives: crimson rosella

Season’s greetings and blogging in the Bush Capital

Season’s greeting from the bush capital of Australia.

I began blogging about 18 months ago, to write a low key kind of diary about our garden.

Before long I realised that the blog was really about my place in the world: Canberra, the bush capital of Australia.

img_6891-1024x611

The National Arboretum in Canberra….. 100 trees in 100 forests

The word Canberra is often used to explain the workings of government….”Canberra raised taxes this year…”

img_6943-1024x626

Parliament House Canberra

But of course, behind the workings of Parliament there is a city of people who call Canberra home.

Since I began blogging about green spaces in Canberra, I have met many gardeners, volunteers and ordinary Canberrans who are very knowledgeable and proud of their place in the world.

 

nla-obj-140407919-1-copy

Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony Griffin. National Library Australia copyright

The gods were smiling on this lovely part of the world when Chicagoan Walter Burley Griffin won the competition to design Canberra, and his wife Marion Mahony created the beautiful drawings of his design.

He dreamed of a city in green spaces, and that is what we have today… a city in a big bush garden.

img_0791-1024x701

Lake Burley Griffin and Parliament House

The land around the lake is reserved for all people to enjoy..

 

This kangaroo was photographed five minutes away from our house, on the edge of Mt Taylor. Not long after we moved to Canberra, 30 years ago, a kangaroo from Mt Taylor hopped down our suburban road. A great introduction to life in Canberra for our family!

img_0471-1024x824

a young kangaroo on Mt Taylor

I’ve shared the blog with some big personalities

img_4478-1024x917-1024x917

A Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo

and some colourful ones ….

img_5605-1024x850

King Parrots

 

IMG_1537 (1024x947)

A Crimson Rosella

 

and some that are just plain cute.

img_4315-1024x819

young Kookaburras

I’ve had the pleasure of following many blogs, in UK, US, Canada, Italy, France and of course, Australia and New Zealand. The Northern Hemisphere seasons, especially the autumn and spring are a delight to see. As an armchair traveller, I also enjoy the breath-taking snowy winter photos….happy in the knowledge that I won’t have to go and shovel snow at any time!

Thank you very much to the all the people who have visited and followed Canberra’s Green Spaces, over the past 18 months, I appreciate every visit, and every comment.

Geraldine Mackey: Copyright All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Autumn.. and I’ve got the empty bird bath blues

As soon as spring arrives, our garden becomes a playground for families of birds.IMG_8097 (1024x650)On this cold spring day the Cockatoos have perhaps given up on flying lessons for this big family……far too cold ….

IMG_8095 (1024x813)

But on a brighter day, the babies are growing up…….. parents of all persuasions  are a pretty tolerant bunch.

This sweet looking Crimson Rosella, no doubt a parent, is watching on from the Japanese Maple, while the young ones enjoy the birdbath, and even better……..

IMG_1537 (1024x947)

………a sprinkler shower as well!

IMG_0661 (1024x648)

This little one is a Juvenile Crimson Rosella, and she is moulting and changing from green to red. At the moment she has nice red pantaloons, but is looking a bit awkward…just as most teenagers feel at times..

IMG_0637 (1024x662) (864x637)

This one is also changing colour, but she is a real water baby and spends all her time happily in the birdbath..

IMG_0415 (1024x606)

The young Wattlebird is as hyperactive as her parents, and the mere thought of the water is sending her into a spin!

IMG_0631 (1024x745)

Kookaburras are not that common in our area, but this young one has, perhaps, come down from Mt Taylor in search of water.

IMG_1569 (1024x738)

She turned her head to give me her best side as if to say……”‘you’ll catch me soon @kooka.burra’

IMG_1705 (1024x768)

IMG_8115 (1024x714)

Galahs are always found in family groups, but this little one has found his way here to our Bottlebrush bush on a very hot day…but waiting politely for his turn in the birdbath..

These young Eastern Rosellas are blending in nicely to the Japanese Maple

IMG_0671 (1024x887)

Lovely to see these colours on a hot day..

IMG_1477 (1024x835)

But the regulars in our garden are the Magpies, and this year a pair arrived with these three babies. Very soon it is obvious there are two fast learners…..

IMG_2037 (1024x740)

and one High Maintenance Baby

 

IMG_7035 (1024x705)

 

 

IMG_7043 (1024x839)

It was a long spring and summer with HM following Mum around plaintively calling for food, every morning and every evening. Mum seems young and anxious, and she gives in every time…

IMG_7040 (1024x710)

One day, just for a little break, the whole family left HM up on the carport roof (plenty of grubs and fruit up there)

”I know you are down there!” she is calling

IMG_7011 (1024x853)

Mum is just enjoying some peace and quiet in the veggie patch

IMG_7010 (1024x785)

Dad’s having a bath…he’s had enough, he wants this baby off the payroll..

IMG_0700 (1024x793)

As we drive away for our summer break, I wonder if HM is going to make it…she has to learn to feed herself…as Garrison Keiller says about difficult kids ”Just send money and pray”

 

IMG_7039 (1024x802)

When we return from our summer holiday, the Magpies have gone…..in fact all the young birds have grown up and flown away…it’s very quiet here …I realise I’ve got the empty bird bath blues..

IMG_1721 (1024x973)

Then, just as I write this, the three young Magpies come back for a visit….they poke around the lawn looking  for some worms, have a drink in the birdbath, and stay a while as we do some gardening..

HM Baby is turning her head to show she is listening for beetles, worms and grubs in the ground…she can feed herself!

IMG_1556 (1024x882)Just look at them!  So confident, these city slickers in their sharp Armani suits…all grown up and ready to go….when did that happen?

 

May they have a happy autumn and winter before their hectic turn at parenting begins..

Copyright Geraldine  Mackey. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

 

A bee hotel and a stroll through The National Botanic Gardens in summer

 

IMG_0303 (1024x822)

Canberra has quite a few hotels, but this is special…..a timber bee hotel at the National Botanic Gardens, especially made to attract many of the native bees in the area.

(it reminds me of my neighbour’s neat and organised quilting cupboard!)

IMG_0304 (1024x629)

To attract a variety of bees the hotel features many different room decors, including hardwood logs and mud bricks drilled with holes, plant stems, fern fronds, and hotel ”rooms” made from cardboard tubes which are packed tight with paper drinking straws, the perfect size for a native bee nest.

The hotel is in a shady spot at the Botanic Gardens, and surrounded by flowers, mostly of the daisy species.

 

IMG_0321 (1024x717)

 

IMG_0320 (1024x768)

IMG_0322 (987x1024)

 

IMG_0325 (1024x768)

I arrived early in the morning to see the new bee hotel, but I’m also here to join a group who do a garden stroll through the Botanic Gardens every week. One of the first things we do is look at what is in flower….how about this Banksia Victoriae Proteaceae?

IMG_0359 (1024x858)

Near the entrance to the gardens is a bust of Joseph Banks, a British naturalist and botanist, who took part in Captain Cook’s voyage to Australia and New Zealand.

He was fascinated with Australian plants, and the plant genus Banksia is named after him.

IMG_0270 (1024x907)

IMG_0271 (1024x885)

The bust of Joesph Banks is surrounded by Banksias, and therefore we are also surrounded by birds.

A Wattlebird is feeding on the Banksia flowers, in branches just above us…..the food must be tasty! Unfortunately, the one thing the Wattlebird objected to was my camera, so no photo…..sadly.

Considering this is mid summer I am surprised at how much is flowering….

IMG_8366 (1024x821)

 

Corymbia filicifolia

IMG_0384 (1024x927)

Pandorea jasminoides

IMG_0389 (1024x939)

Rhododendron Viriosum Ericaceae

Here is a Lemon Myrtle tree flowering gloriously in the summer sun… when you crush the leaves there is a wonderful scent of lemon…

IMG_8396 (1024x655)

Lemon Myrtle white blossom

It is thought that Aboriginal people have always used the leaves for flavouring in food, and this tradition  continues today. The leaves are used in cooking,  to make tea, and are also added to  soaps and used as herbal remedies.

These gardens are a paradise for birds…this lovely Crimson Rosella is busy preening his long blue tail and wishing I would just go away..

IMG_0227 (1024x756)

Crimson Rosella

We are back at the entrance of the National Botanic gardens, what a cool and beautiful spot to spend the morning… I have no doubt that bee hotel will be booked out in no time!

IMG_0266 (1024x684)