We’re sure you all thought it while reading, in our post of not so long ago, that 50% of the Homesteaders were (affect slightly superior tone) laid low with one of those annoying viruses. You were right to think it,too, because since then the remaining 50%, starting with The Bean Counter who ended ailing while on annual leave, predictably succumbed to that very same dreaded lurgy. Oh, how pride comes before a fall…
But, after a day in bed relieved of all duties and with nothing to do but give in to the overwhelming, aching tiredness while being ably nursed by The Bean Counter (who did the school run, swimming lesson and music class – he even took part in The Cup Song – as Tuesday is crazy-after-school day), the two stay-at-Homesteaders are looking at the world through clearer, fever-free eyes. Ignoring the clamour of honks, clucks, and soulful maaa’s as the menagerie told of yesterday’s misdemeanour’s in the care department, we pottered down the path this morning with a smile on our faces and joy in our hearts. Who would do anything else? Then we spotted this:
It never fails to amaze; the way you can feel so incredibly ill one day and, 24 hours later, the world is a beautiful place. The Milk Maid fair jumped at the chance to chaperone Farm Girl to the Kingdom of Nova, especially as she had announced she was in the mood for walking.
With the increase in wetlands as a result of the ‘quakes, we are seeing many more birds.
Some birds we already know. For those we don’t, we either accost a passerby who looks ornithologically knowledgeable or settle for consulting Mr Google.
The place was jam-packed full of birds of all shapes and sizes, resulting in a great many photos too terrible to share with such a cognisant audience, but the Homestead superstar of the bird world, our absolute favourite, is the pukeko.
We’re not entirely sure why this swamp hen enthrals us so. Possibly it’s the way they happily make themselves at home where ever they are (unlike many of our native birds who take bashful to extremes) or maybe it’s that awesome colour combination. Red, blue, black with a hint of white, you can’t beat it!
Our previous Homestead did not had such ready access to popular pukeko habitats and so spotting them going was always a bit special. One day, at The Goat Herd and Renovator’s weekly music lesson, situated on the outskirts of the gentile city of Tauranga, a pukeko was spotted staggering through the music teacher park like garden, it’s ungainly gait due to the orange it had tucked between bill and breast. Our exclamations at its deftness were not echoed by their tutor, however.
“Damn birds!” She announced in ringing tones, “They strip the orange trees making such a mess and…”
ever the musician, she observed a conversational fermata verging on uncomfortable, and then
“…so my husband shoots them.”
At the time we were horrified, but now we wonder; if one were to have a go at our beloved lemon tree we could possibly be tempted.