December 10, 2006

Just peachy

Now that I am able to clonk about on crutches in my giant metal boot thing (feeling like Frankenstein's monster), I have resumed my former computer position near the French doors at the back of the house.

These open out onto the deck with the home-made but very pleasant water course trickling past. We all enjoy sitting (or lying) here, particularly in the mornings before it gets hot.

There's an old peach tree here, that was close to death when I bought the house, but has responded to my inexpert but well-meaning efforts at pruning by being laden with fruit each year. Unfortunately the last few years the whole crop has fallen victim to fruit-fly, so this year I set aside my principles about not using toxins in the garden, and sprayed. It really should be done several times, but once was all I was prepared to do, and it certainly made a difference. There are still lots of fruit-flies, but only about half the crop is affected this time, leaving plenty for me to share with local birds, lizards and the dogs.

The tree is so close to my chair that I can take photos without staggering to my feet, which is just as well, because crutches are not a very effective way of stealthily approaching wildlife. I've uploaded some of my favourite photos from over the past 2 weeks, and they can be seen here.

This female Red-capped parrot has been particularly entertaining, because despite being perfectly able to feed herself, she maintains a constant plaintive chirping which eventually persuades her mate to fetch the best bits for her.
But an awful thing happened 3 days ago. She took off from the tree and flew straight into the glass of the kitchen window with a sickening noise. She flopped to the ground and was making pathetic efforts to fly, but unable to co-ordinate or gain height. By great good fortune the dogs were inside, so I hobbled out as quickly as I could to try to throw a towel over her so she didn't injure herself some more. She managed to lurch up into the tree, however, and I couldn't reach her. She was calling piteously for help and it was all very distressing. I watched her for ages as she sat there panting and crying, until something startled her and she flapped off in a very wobbly fashion. I did not expect to see her again, but to my huge delight I heard her petulant chirping yesterday and sure enugh, she was back, tucking into a peach with gusto. It made my week!

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