General chat

“Is there any way we could have a thread for the more lightweight stuff like music and general chat?”

Do it here. Please no personal attacks or bickering. Anything abusive, provocative or inflammatory may be deleted.

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29 Comments

  1. Gezza

     /  October 26, 2018

    I was in the kitchen at 9.10 am giving the microwave and bench-top a wipedown (I must mop the floor later) when Sweety Pook just appeared and silently flapped up to the top of the kitchen trellis, pacing back and forth and looking very pretty and hopeful (in that coy way of hers).

    There’s no sign of the murder suspect & it was lovely to see her. I threw some wheat grains out for her. I’ve only got to show her the little Bank coin bag of the day’s treats and she flaps down below the open window. Then I went outside by the patio just to watch over her. Lately she will walk away some distance, warily so I don’t approach her.

    But this morning, to my surprise, when I said some gentle soothings (she likes hearing her name softly repeated) she walked up to about 4 feet away from where i was looking over the fence at the stream, and when I asked if she wanted some more the body language was obviously “Yes, please”, so I threw some more wheat down about 3 feet away and turned to look in the stream again she was much closer, happily pecking them up, as I looked round occasionally and smiled.

    When she finished I asked would she like some bread? (I have a fully equipped jacket with supplies I prepare each morning of both food treats in bags in the pockets, so all I have to do is put it on and if birds turn up I’m already prepared to feed them where I can watch over them, rather than leave them exposed to any hiding predator while I come back inside and get some treats.)

    Again she was silent but the endearing body language and steps closer showed she would indeed like some bread. I took out a chuck of quality wholegrain and held it out, expecting she would stay back and make it clear she wanted it tossed to where she was, but to my great delight, she walked up and took it from my outstetched fingers. Ok, she snatched it and instantly retreated, but she always did that.

    The stream is subsiding to normal after rain, slightly murky, but translucent enuf to see stones and debris on the stream bed. Sweety flew up onto the fence and flapped down again and walked cautiously down the foliage. She disappeared and then she reappeared, swimming hard in the stream (not having webbies, altho they’re good swimmers, they have to work twice as hard as the ducks when the flow’s strong just to get where they want to).

    I heard Pooklet Alex asking for her when she got to the other side and she dipped the bread into the water, ate a little bit, and silently scrambled up and disappeared into the bushes, taking it to him.

    Got interrupted finishing the above. Heard a very recognisable “I’m” here shriek, from Bluey at 9.40 am, probably just come off Pook Caregiver shift. I went back outside and pretty much repeated the exact same routine for him, and he took his bread chunk “afters” down the bank too. Didn’t reappear in the stream, so he possibly is going to eat all of itself. Probably hungry. He always does the night shift with Alex.

    So, all’s well this morn with my two surviving pooks and their bubba, I’m happy to say.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  October 26, 2018

      * “I’m here!” shriek
      * eat all of it himself

      Reply
    • Gezza

       /  October 26, 2018

      Well Blow Me Down !! 😮 😍

      I am delighted to formally announce herewith – for the information of any persons whomsoever may wish join with me in celebrating it – the arrival of a 🐥 new baby brother or sister for Alex the Pooklet.

      Mother well. Father needs a talking to about not threatening me. I didn’t know.

      Sir Gerald Ormsby Battersea Bradders, UE, HRV, & UFB
      🐧 Avian Aviation Authority 🐧

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  October 26, 2018

        4.15 pm

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  October 26, 2018

          They don’t waste any time, do they?

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  October 26, 2018

            No. There was only two months between Pickles and Jojo. The new pooklet’s about 1 day old and just fallen down a bank and can’t get up past the clay into the foliage. There’s a bit of a crisis here. Bluey won’t pick it up for some reason, maybe would hurt it, & Elvira’s below them, circuiting. He’s plonked himself down 3 feet up to stop it falling in & he’s not listening to my suggestions.

            Reply
            • Kitty Catkin

               /  October 26, 2018

              Talk about ‘nine months and ten minutes’.

          • Gezza

             /  October 26, 2018

            Ok, he’s managed to move it some 20 metres to a bigger bankside beach, and he’s plonked down like a duck and attending to it. I first saw it not long before I reported it earlier this arvo, & thought it was Alex but then realised its too small.

            I hope this little pooklet’s developmentally ok. Even with the binocs on it, Bluey’s body’s blocking my view of it. Seems to be alternately stroking it gently with his beak and then picking it and swinging it round into view a little bit, trying to hold it up and get it to stand on its legs. But it can’t stand up, buckles back onto its bum and quickly somehow burrows back in against dad out of sight again.

            It was doing this with Sweety earlier too. She was trying to get it to walk and have a little paddle but it can’t stand… I’m hoping it’s just too young yet, and that there’s not something wrong with it. It does have both legs and both feet. An eel hasn’t got it. It just can’t walk.

            Reply
            • Kitty Catkin

               /  October 26, 2018

              Fingers crossed that it hasn’t hatched too soon,

            • Gezza

               /  October 26, 2018

              Yes. Ok, progress. 7.45 pm. just put the binocs on him. He’s managed to get it up the bank at the new beach into some foliage and he’s above it. As the binocs focussed it looked like it climbed a little bit, so that’s a good sign. It looks to be in a safe spot and I’m sure Bluey will help it move further into a good place.

              I’m surprised Sweety didn’t come and help: unfortunately they’re down one helper – that was what Aspen was with my other two pook mokos. The pooklets have separate nest/sleeping spots some distance apart so I think Sweety’s probably bedding down with Alex. It’s nearly dusk, and this their bed time when they’re little.

              Hopefully the new pooklet will be walking when I see it next. I only realised it had been born when I heard Alex whining when I was feeding the eels. And then realised – wait a minute, there are two of them whining, in different places – and one of them is more cheeping than whining.

          • Gezza

             /  October 26, 2018

            7.32 pm
            Unbelievable. They’re both now back down on the shallow beach. If Bluey plonks down the pooklet wriggles underneath him. Probably how he keeps them warm in the nest. He’s in a better position for me to see what’s happening now. Bluey periodically reaches underneath him, grabs pooklet by the penguin wing tip, pulls him out and up, and plonks him down then stands up and walks a couple of steps away. And the pooklet promptly wriggles along on its “knees” bottom & burrows underneath him again. He’s obviously trying to get it to walk. It might be looking a bit stronger. Hope so.

            Ella is now on station poking well out into the stream from a slightly deeper area with a foliage overhang, maybe 5 metres downstream of them. She probably wouldn’t try and slide up the shallow beach to where they are. Hopefully ! 😰
            Bluey knows she’s there and he’ll stab her hard if she tries.That’s enuf to send them scooting backwards and away for a while.

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  October 26, 2018

              8pm (nearly)
              Hmm. No I am worried about this little pooklet. It’s maybe not as tiny as the other two were when I first saw them perhaps a day or two old, and they were very mobile already. Bluey is looking a bit frustrated – constantly yanking it out and plonking it down. It falls over on its side, just doesn’t seem able to stand and walk properly 😦 I can’t watch any more. it’s getting dark. I’ll just have to hope Kitty’s right and that it’s just hatched too early. If its crippled, I don’t know what will happen, it’s certainly got little chance of running into hiding & I dunno how long Bluey or Sweety will give it this level of attention.

            • Gezza

               /  October 26, 2018

              Umm … did I say here I was going into hospital? Oh yeah, maybe I’ve mentioned some annual scans I’ve been having for an issue. That’s as far as I want to go on here snowy. I’ll have a listen in a minute.

            • Gezza

               /  October 26, 2018

              8.22 pm. Barely enuf light to see down there now. Bluey’s hunkered down on the beach. That’s a risky place to be and it’s definitely not normal. They’ve never done that before. I fear for this little one.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  October 27, 2018

              They could give some human parents lessons.

              The dog sometimes gets confused as to who the parent is in this house, and becomes very protective,

  2. Gezza

     /  October 26, 2018

    Aww … that was enjoyable. It wasn’t much of a morning here at Pookden. Pretty grey and rather cool. But it’s nice and sunny right now & quite warm at the moment. I went outside at 11.45 am to put some recycling in the bin & peered over the fence to see if the water in the stream was clear yet.

    And Sweety was there, quietly cropping and insect hunting, & did a little ask if there were any treats going? I had to come back inside to get them, so she hopped up on the fence and waited, ate some wheat off the railing about 3 feet away from me, then took a bread chunk from my hand for the 2nd time today and walked down the bank, then swam over to Pooklet Alex again, who was hidden but sounded very excited to see it coming.

    (Sweety mucked up the delivery a bit. She over-soaked the bread chunk dunking it while swimming, and it broke up into several pieces that were drifting downstream. But she managed to retrieve most of them & get them up the bank to the happy little chappy.)

    Was just about to leave the fence, when a big grey eel came splashing up through the rapids, far side – unusual for this time of day. I quickly came in, got my on-hand supply of dog roll chunks out of the fridge, and clambered down to the Eel Spot. After 5 mins I managed to get her to come over to the feeding rock for a couple of chunks, and then with a bit of gentle stroking and “leading by the nose” got her to back up to my favourite deep area Feed Spot where they’ll perform aquabatics for me.

    She was clearly visible, altho the water’s not completely pristine yet, and a quick visual check showed me the black beauty spot on her dorsal fin, not on her port side upper body, so it was Elvira, not Ella.

    Ella’s a good four feet long. I could see today that Elvira there is not all that much smaller. She’s certainly some good way over a metre, & perhaps a weeny bit slimmer. A bit more agile than Ella too, but like Els, she too has excellent table manners.

    Both the big girls like dog roll, but Eli doesn’t: he always spits it out. So does Tameiti – smaller than Eli, & not such a frequent passer-by. I’m wondering if there’s some particular instinctive developmental reason why younger eels reject dog roll because it’s not got what they need to grow properly at that size.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  October 26, 2018

      Just made my self bacon and poached egg with grated cheese on toast for lunch & took my coffee out to the fence because it’s a beautiful day & even with the banging, clanging and shouting from the nearby building site upstream, it’s relaxing watching all the various birds and butterflies there today.

      And caught Elvira, lazily manoeuvring herself into the far side channel, straightening out a bit and letting the current take her head-first back downstream for her afternoon nap somewhere. Oh, cool, I thought, I’ll watch her go right thru the shallow rapids because she’ll be mostly out of the water for that. Only … she didn’t. She only went one third of the way through and then stopped and wriggled her tail back and forward a bit and disappeared right into the bank, so I suspect that invisible hole is her hang out. She’d be safe & relaxed in there when the stream’s in flood.

      Also, the daily Boeing 777 went over just as she did that. I’m trying to get a good long video of this because they’re so big they seem to be going super slow and you wonder how anything that big can stay aloft and still hang there in the sky. I’d missed the long run in out of clear skies that I want to get on video, with the gear down and the howling the engines break into a couple of times. Pity. It was the perfect one I’ve wanted & I was in the right place to catch it and follow it all the way as it descends over the Southern Hills. Lurchy’s view from Newlands must be really cool because it’ll be even lower there.

      It’s the first time I’ve seen the flaps working, from the back, and the first time I’ve noticed how much dihedral there is on both the wings and the stabilisers. Quite pronounced. You never quite know exactly what time it will actually come over (can vary up to an hour each side of midday) or what the cloud levels will be, so it’s a hard one to catch in the right situation at the right time.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  October 26, 2018

        *Also, for the planes on landing approach, there has to be a Southerly or a Soueasterly breeze, or no wind at all (rare). The prevailing winds here are Norwesters & so most flights from the North circle round over the Strait and come in to land facing North at the Southern end of the runway, so we don’t see them.

        Reply
      • Gezza

         /  October 26, 2018

        Just had the coolest experience so far with nga tuna. Still lovely outside. Decided to summon Eli & feed him as the water’s pretty clear now & it’s pleasant down there. I cut some frozen beef stir-fry chunks into strips, then tiny cubes, micro-defrosted them in a little bag with water, as usual, then went down and flicked a half dozen springy plastic spoonfuls of the bloody water into the stream.

        Sure enuf in 3 minutes there was Eli splashing up the rapids and into the current. Only it wasn’t. It was Elvira again, knowing where to come this time. And then there was Eli, doing the same thing. And, as I knelt down, put a chunk on my lovingly-home-crafted eel feeding stick (EFS see Fig 1 below for the educationally sub-optimal) & lowered it into the wai – Ella was 😮 already there ! Looking up. Right below. Gave me a bit of a shock.

        So next thing I knew I had 3 of them below, weaving & sliding around each other, while I’m trying to figure out which one is which & whose turn it is next. (I try to be fair, but Elvira’s had plenty so it doesn’t matter if she gets a bit less.

        They got along well for about 5 minutes but then Ella pulled rank and size and the other two got chased off before she came back and took up position, eyes up, mouth opening and closing, tail gently waving, hovering, patiently waiting. This is HER dinner time, she was obviously saying to E&E.

        Both the others did hesitantly swim back a couple of times, but they stayed hovering in shallower water, well behind her – and I did scoot along to a slightly more easy-to-slip place to let young Eli have some more off the EFS, knowing Ella would wait.

        However I got a perfect opportunity to see Ella and Elvira side by side for a good 5 minutes, beauty spots both visible, and heads aligned, stretched out, so I could compare their sizes. If Ella is four feet long, as I reckon, Elvira is 3 foot 10″, but slimmer. Both have very large heads that are wider at the base than their “necks”. And Elvira – not Ella, as I had thought – is easily the lightest grey of the two. So that’s that sorted – and recorded here.

        Fig 1

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  October 26, 2018

          I keep hoping to see eels in the stream down the road, but it runs quite fast at the part I can see, so the visibility isn;t very good, Boys go eeling there, I’ve seen them. But the eels are nothing like 4′ long.

          Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  October 26, 2018

            The perfect description of mynahs from a Canadian (they don’t have them there) from my unflattering comments; they sound like the kind of people you wouldn’t want to have as neigbours living next door. What a hideous thought. Human mynahs (faints)

            Reply
  3. phantom snowflake

     /  October 26, 2018

    Hey Gezza: Have you listened much to Australian band ‘The Church’? Still going strong 25 trippy albums later and I can’t recall a musical misstep. This track is haunting me today; probably for symbological reasons I suppose… (This version has an irrelevant fan-made video but I chose it because it comes with lyrics which IMHO are pretty damn good poetry.)

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  October 26, 2018

      Hang on, I’ll just add something above and then have a listen, snowy,

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  October 26, 2018

        I really like this snowy. I’ve paused it, I’m still listening. I really would love to korero with you offline about anything of mutual interest if you are ever interested enuf to take me up on that.

        I chat away from time to time via my anonymous avatar email address with 3 posters here. I’ve shared a lot about my history with each of them, and they with me, that will never be shared with the others or anyone else. I’ve even had the great pleasure to meet and spend a many days on a holiday at Al’s cabins up in Northland with him and his wife & family, and with Possum & her man, although meeting them isn’t something we’d originally planned or that I’d want to do with you as you clearly value your anonymity & privacy.

        I think you and I would have quite a few things we might talk about that few if any here would really understand & I’d probably enjoy that, it’s nice having pen friends you only chat to when you want to or who let you know when something important or cool is happening, if they want to. You sound like you’re in a good place at the moment. I’d like to repeat my offer of korero any time you feel like it. But I won’t say it again because I don’t want you to think I’m pressuring. I’m not. I just like you.

        Reply
        • phantom snowflake

           /  October 26, 2018

          Thanks Gezza, I really appreciate your offer, and what lies behind it. It’s triggered some serious reflection concerning how compartmentalised and ‘dis-integrated’ I am in some ways…
          While I’m thinking about it; did you say a while back that you were going into hospital? Any update on that?

          I’m quite fond of The Church’s acoustic version of their only real ‘hit song’:

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  October 26, 2018

            Oops interim reply went in wrong place. Worrying about my new pooklet. Not looking good.
            https://yournz.org/2018/10/26/general-chat-440/#comment-320868

            Reply
          • Gezza

             /  October 26, 2018

            Oh yeah. That’s nice. Caught me from the very first note. So simple, and yet so lyrically and musically captivating. Sounded like a 12 string with a slight touch of flanger on it. The video’s great and whoever’s doing the engineering on these is totally acing it. Crystal clear. The vocals go ever so slightly below key in places but climb back up & it just adds to the way it pulls you in.

            Reply
    • Gezza

       /  October 26, 2018

      What an extraordinarily nice song that is. The musicianship, instrumentation, melodies, timing, timbre, cleanness, resonance effects, drumming, pauses, vocals, lyrics & production are all superb. That is a really tight piece of work. In my book, that one ticks every box.

      Reply

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