Archives for posts with tag: birds

chicken and cat

The neighbours have four or five cats and come dinner time a few strays find their way to their property for a free feed as well. The moving in of our boarders must have been the talk in the cat community yesterday. Last night, they behaved themselves and only observed from the far distance. Today a few brave ones came closer. The chickens are huge and I hope the cats think it’s TV not dinner. We have been assured the chooks will be able to defend themselves, in fact they can be very vicious. The last thing I want is some casualties on either side. At this stage, the neighbours are as excited about our ladies as we are. Should one of the cats come to harm it might be a different story.

The first night in the hen house was eventless. At nightfall, they all found their way into the chook mansion, we didn’t even have to round them up. When I closed the flap it was immediately lights out and they stopped talking.  I was surprised, as they came from different pens. I would have expected a bit of fighting over the best places on the roosts. Obviously there is a comfortable space for all of them. At half past seven this morning I heard them getting restless and I let them out again, hoping there would be some eggs. Though I was told they might take a break for three or four days while they were settling in. Sure enough the laying boxes were empty. Then after breakfast three of the brown hens were hanging suspiciously around the chook house. When I looked again later one of the boxes contained three eggs. How exciting! Good girls. The two black ones we have are too young to lay. The rest are heritage breeds that don’t lay as much as the brown ones, so no surprises there.

birdy and ghost

Uhuuu, I haven’t posted for a long time. The reason might be that the blog is called Dede puppets and I am currently going astray with other types of puppets. These here are two marionettes who are currently rehearsing for a busking gig we want to perform at the grand opening of puppet festival in August.  You might notice, that I pinched L’artiste’s tunic for the ghosty figure. That seems a bit nasty, eh, as L’artiste clearly needs his tunic for confidence. But I let you in on a secret, he actually has six or seven of them in his wardrobe. So he won’t notice one missing and I just love the material for it’s colourfulness. I am not entire happy with the two characters, but only rehearsal will bring out the flaws. The bird character is too cute for my personal liking, apart from this I don’t know where the design came from. I made it from a picture that was stored in my memory. I must have seen wooden birds of that type long time ago. He would work better if he was wooden, as marionettes rely on gravity. This one is made of dry-felted balls. To weigh his feet down I glued some old coins at the bottom, for good luck. I deemed this appropriate for a busking bird and I tell you what, he tap dances like a pro.

This week will be  Black & White Week on my blog. I will even go one step further and make it Silent Week as in Silent Movie. Let the pictures do the talking! No twittering from me :). If anybody has a comment, I will of course reply.

I just came back from the Pah Homestead, where I set up my installation for judging. The artwork is finally out of the house on to the next stage. Now, it’s two weeks of nail-biting until the winners are announced on the 3rd of September. In the meantime I have so much catching up to do, not just with my blog. I feel like a Pukeko (that’s the bird shown in the image). They try to fly, but they can only go a short distance and they look even more awkward when they are running…. Very lanky.

First of all I would like to have a good night sleep.

I am sitting here before I have my breakfast trying to figure out what to write today. The sun is a pale disc behind a thick layer of clouds again, but at least one has the notion of its existence and… the rain has stopped. Last night it was pouring down again and I wondered if we will need to use the ark we have parked in our front yard some time soon. It’s not quite ready yet for the water though.

First I wanted to put up an image of a snowed-under barn in Germany, but then I thought over there it’s summer now and they don’t want to be reminded that they are slowly sliding towards the cold part of the year. It’s better to find a more inspiring image reminding me that next summer will come for certain.

So here is my little sign of spring I took last weekend. I think the little ones must have done something naughty: Papa Swan scratches his beak and Mama Swan looks at them very disapprovingly. (I just can’t stop interpreting animal expressions as human. Sorry!)

Don’t they look scruffy? This is a close-up of the shags who watched the airshow in yesterday’s post. These birds are fantastic divers. They can stay underwater for quite a long time chasing their prey like little torpedoes. They have less fat than other water birds and their feathers are less oily, therefore they sink faster and deeper than other birds. But because they have less oil they actually get wet.

When they come up after a dive they shake their feathers and spread their wings to dry. Unfortunately there was no sun last weekend, and they didn’t feel like hunting. I watched them for a long time sitting in the rain and I even went back the next morning.
The rain had stopped and I could capture one with spread wings sitting under the tree like batman junior.

Ah well, it was a wonderful peaceful Sunday morning.

This here is such a typical image when you try to have lunch at the lake side. It was raining again on Saturday and we were the only people having an outdoor lunch, so all the gulls hung around us. But they are actually well behaved. They waited until we were done before they swooped in and did their scavenging. No way the few crumbs that fell from our bread could have feed the entire flock. There was a lot of bickering going on.

The linking theme to yesterday’s picture is water and stone. I find it amazing how such a soft material like water can do so much damage to hard stone. I guess, persistence is the key.

On the West Coast of Auckland water shows it’s toughest face. The force of the element demands its well deserved respect, particularly on a wet and windy day like yesterday.  The constant pounding of the Tasman Sea has carved beautiful cliffs into the land. High on one of those natural cathedrals a colony of gannets has found their place. They usually gather on rocks just off the mainland, only three colonies in New Zealand have settled on the mainland itself. Winter is not the best time to see the birds, the colony is pretty deserted. They will come back for the nesting season in spring.

When we have overseas visitors – as we do at the moment – we like to make this our first trip for a real New Zealand experience. The beaches on the West Coast are high in iron and their colour is black, rather than yellow or white.