Monday, June 29, 2009

snake and monkey

will never trust each other :( .

Thursday, June 25, 2009

uncaptureable moment

I was watering an empty space in front of the feijoa in preparation for putting in some plants, and a most remarkable thing happened.

The dog has chewed branches off the feijoa multiple times and I was never able to catch him at it. It's a young shrub and he would eventually do a fatal chew if I didn't do something, so a few weeks back I staked up some plastic aviary net around it. It's 3 feet high and seems to have been enough of a deterrent, though he could push under -- or chew through it -- if he wanted to.

Anyway, I was watering the feijoa's area when a hummingbird came to hover nearby. He looked like a young guy (or gal), all green, and bold as hummers are, was floating about five feet away. He was all interested in the hose spray and moved the edge of the arc, dipping in and out, seeming to drink a few drops. I don't blame him; today's the first day that has felt truly summery. He tasted one of the flowers nearby, then went into the apple tree.

The hose was on the blast setting, but you can dial down the pressure, which I did. He came back and hovered at the edge again, then dropped down into the center of the spray, getting seriously wet but still hovering, for several seconds. Then the weight got to be too much, and he landed on the aviary net about halfway down, where he was still getting the full spray. He popped his wings out and was thoroughly enjoying himself, shaking down occasionally. This went on for maybe 20 seconds, and then he'd had enough and flew up into a flowering tree nearby.
Only then did I stop being mesmerized enough to take a picture. He kept shaking water off for another minute and then he was on his way.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

season's end stocktaking

The molt is on. I have a habit of not porking the bird out 24/7 but rather keeping him where I can get him to flying weight within a day or two. For Mr P, that means around 650g. It's high enough to keep the molt strong, especially if I keep quail and chicken liver in his diet. To my embarassment, I haven't broken out a single quail in the past six months. Crow is good meat for hawks, and having a glut of fresh ones all the time, I forget the importance of varying his diet. The frozen quail are probably no good now, so I'll pick some up the City sometime this week.

The chest freezer is over half full; I'm guessing I have at leat 70 crows in there, all from this season, and after I gave L about 35 to feed his crew. I don't do a game count (the wall-stamping, though, will eventually get me specific), but a conservative estimate would be 275 for the season and 340 on the outside.