Tag: birds

Putting the ‘Ning’ Into Gardening

Despite parents who were avid gardeners – Dad even worked as a part-time gardener – and growing up surrounded by greenery, I never got into horticultural pursuits until I got a plot of my own and became enthralled, even though I’m a bloody ning-nong in the yard.

I don’t really know what I am doing and have a garden of Aussie plants that probably need a little bit of special care because of the climatic conditions they may not be suited for.

It’s a case of live and learn, but I love it. I wish my ignorance was less harmful to the plants that suffer under my care, or lack thereof, but I hope to get better at this caper. In the meantime, I am thoroughly besotted by the springtime transformation, particularly on a day like today when rain prevented me from riding and I got to savor Kangaeroo Corner from a bird’s eye view.

Don’t Think!

A good mate of mine often quotes William Shakespeare’s Hamlet by reminding me that, “There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”

Kangaeroo is prone to over-thinking, and this week is looming as a tough one.

There’s plenty on the schedule, both professionally and privately.

And it’s still bloody cold and dark.

Moreover, riding up some hills yesterday and being easily overtaken and outpaced by another old codger, then hearing my heavy breathing along the river this morning sparked another reminder from Hamlet that I am fat and scant of breath!

But in better news, the relatively mild weather of the past few days has hinted at the onset of spring.

And another heralding of the end of winter came upon seeing the neighbor’s plum tree starting to bloom.

There were only a few blossoms, but the appearance of plums mean the cherries aren’t too far away.

And Kangaeroo Corner’s wattle is poised to unleash a spectacular golden bloom soon, too.

Not Everything About Winter is Cruddy

Winter sucks….for the most part.

Winter is cold, dark and seemingly endless and colorless.

For someone whose daily routine involves rising early and cycling, winter is not exactly the pleasantest time of year.

And the cold mornings start from November and linger on until deeply into April at least, and sometimes even May, so more often than not, it’s chilly at least.

January ends today, so on the calendar the winter doesn’t have much more time to eat away at us.

Winter can’t end soon enough for the Aussie garden at Kangaeroo Corner.

Many of the plants are feeling the pinch, most notably the jacaranda, whose leaves have turned brown and brittle and seem likely to drop over the coming weeks.

Yet, it’s not like winter is all bad.

Kangaeroo’s dad always used to point out that the winter and lack of leaves on trees allowed more light to shine through.

Fair enough (despite the days being so short).

And the skies are often crisp and clear, at least in Tokyo.

This can create some wonderful sunrises, too.

For Kangaeroo, one of the features is the birds.

Lots of birds partake of the waters at Kangaeroo Corner.

The birdbath and its solar-powered super fountain (so named because of its amazing capacity to continue working despite being cheap and shoddy) attract avian life.

Waiting for the birds to come and have a drink is a morning highlight in winter.

And there are some real beauties to be seen.

Winter Welcomes Bountiful Birds to Tokyo’s Tama

Winter hit Tokyo for real.

Just less than a week away from Christmas, the mild weather has ended.

At least for today.

It’s cold and bleak.

And dark.

December in Japan is dark.

In Tokyo, it doesn’t get light until about 6:30 in the morning.

And by 4 p.m., it’s dark.

Only a few days to the winter solstice.

The days will slowly start to get longer.

But the new year also ushers in the cold.

Still, there is some brightness on the horizon.

Kangaeroo’s garden has attracted some lovely visitors.

Among them, Japanese tits and brown-eared bulbuls.

The birdbath was a great idea.

And the shoddy Chinese fountain is working wonderfully!

Lyre, Lyre, Pants on Fire

Australia’s lyrebird got its name from the shape of its tale, which is said to resemble the lyre, an ancient Greek musical instrument mastered most notably by the god Apollo.

But the lyrebird could also have been labeled the liar bird for its masterful mimicry.

The lyrebird (found in the same part of Australia from which Kangaeroo hails) can copy just about any sound, including human voices, with near perfection.

Lyrebirds are just one of myriad birds found in Australia.

Birdlife down under is amazing! Birds come in all shapes, sizes, colors and types.

Nothing can beat the amazing cacophony of bird noises that greet people as they wake in the morning in country areas.