Friday, October 15, 2010

This has been a great spring; loads of soft spring weather, with only a short burst of nasty storms in late September and since then just day after day of balmy conditions. The sheltered subtropical microclimate that Point Wells and the Omaha Flats enjoys was really brought home during the stormy period. We are fortunate to have ranges to the South, the West and the North of us to protect us from the worst of the storms, and Omaha Beach takes the brunt of any Easterly storms. While the rest of the country suffered major damage from high winds and rain, we barely noticed it. Only the sheet of roofing iron on the compost heap shifted. When we get a really good NE storm coming down from the tropics we get hammered though, but fingers crossed this hasn't happened for a while.

With such a mild spring, I've managed to get loads of gardening done. All the veggie beds have been weeded, fertilised and planted, the strawberry beds are nicely mulched and netted, with the first berries colouring up, the raspberries are more or less tidy and coming into flower, the plums and peaches have had a good prune and are in full bloom now. These trees are always a spectacular sight, and many gardens at the point boast a tree or two, which is a boon for the Kereru.

After a leaner autumn than normal and a hungry winter, these normally fat complacent birds are looking quite skinny, and several have died around the area. This is particularly sad as for weeks afterwards the remaining bird mooches around looking all forlorn. Once the plum trees start flowering though, things look up, and all spring we have a pair or two of these beautiful birds feasting on the plum blossoms. I should be worried about my crop, but having these birds around more than makes up for the losses and anyway, we usually have way more plums than we can deal with. As you can see in the photo, Kereru have almost no fear of humans, and we can quite often come with a few metres of them.

The other delight of spring in this area is the awesome amount of birdsong each morning. Before dawn the thrushes and blackbirds start up, followed by the tuis. Occasionally a Kookaburra will join in, but like most Aussies, only once the sun is out. The chooks start cackling once the sun is up as well, (luckily for us we got rid of the roosters last year) and finally the Kaka swoop in from the offshore islands, whistling and screeching.