Daily Life

Be Careful What You Wish For…

Brown-eared bulbul

One of the highlights of Kangaeroo Corner is the Fountain of Strewth, which I placed with the hope of attracting birds to the garden, but the role has been served so well, I’m now drawn to the idiom used in the headline (which stems from a passage of Aesop’s fables that says “We would often be sorry if our wishes were gratified,” according to Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations Sixteenth Edition and as I learned today).

Sweltering heat and fierce sunshine has made the Fountain of Strewth a popular part of the neighborhood’s avian residents.

And I’ve been delighted by this, sitting in the living room and watching as the birds have enjoyed bathing and drinking in the fountain.

Even though Japan gets nothing like the delightful array of birdlife in Australia, it is still a great joy to have our feathered friends frolic in the garden.

Among the visitors are the brown-eared bulbul, ヒヨドリ, with a couple making frequently daily visits over the past few weeks.

Japanese tit

Japanese tits, シジュウカラ, are less frequent guests (despite being magnificent clickbait by virtue of their name), but we usually get one or two pairs come in a day.

Easily our most frequent visitors, though, are the city’s avian symbol: oriental turtle doves, キジバト. I like the birds, whose markings always remind me of yakuza tattoos, but the neighbors don’t. And that means that when I see them, I’ve got to race out and shoo them away. And that’s when I start to think that maybe trying to attract birds wasn’t such a great idea. More so when I realize all the time and effort I am putting into maintaining a lawn is struggling to bear fruit because the turtle doves are eating all the lawn seed I have been laying and trying in vain to coax into becoming grass.

But even then it would have been OK because I accept them as a nuisance. Today, the brown-eared bulbul, which I am proud to attract to the garden because the neighbors are OK with them, incurred my wrath as I realized it is also eating all our blueberries. Bloody nuisances! (Not really! They are welcome to race me to them.)

Watching the birds devour the blueberries reminded me to be grateful. And drew my attention to the dinosaur who is my near-constant mate. No bloody fruits, vegetables or warm fountain water to cool her down on a boiling summer’s day. For Dino, it’s an icy pole or nothing.

Rosy-faced lovebird (and icy pole!)