Patra's Other Place

I started out with Patra's Place, primarily dedicated to my linen collection and stitching projects. But I kept getting side-tracked, so I decided to create Patra's Other Place for anything not related to embroidery topics. So you now have a choice. If you are interested in me, read this. If you only want to see my linen and stitching, visit Patra's (original) Place! (Please note that by clicking on any of the photos, they will be enlarged to fill your computer screen.)

My Photo
Location: Melbourne, Vic., Australia

I am married to Ken. We have no children except a cat and a collection of Australian parrots, finches, canaries and a dozen hens.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Photos taken from our back yard today.

This morning at about 8 am, we heard a commotion in the back yard. We went out to find 4 kookaburras, 3 currawongs, 2 magpies, 2 lorikeets, and assorted doves and noisy miners - all competing for space on a small table where I'd placed a bowl of water and some seed. Later in the day a pair of gang gang cockatoos came in. This is surely a sign of things to come; we used to get the occasional kookaburra here; currawongs and magpies are rarely seen together, and the other birds usually chase each other off until one species wins the battle. To see them all together indicates that they are now competing for space and food.

I chopped up some raw meat (Topsy's dinner) and took it out to the table. The kookaburras flew down immediately, even though I continued to stand there. Ken came up, picked up a piece of meat and held it out on the palm of his hand. One kookaburra approached him confidently and took the meat from his hand. Three of them had been cackling, but the fourth bird sounded as if it had a sore throat. Their feathers looked as if they'd been singed, so perhaps the bird had scorched its vocal chords. If only Ken had his phone or video camera handy! The way things are, I'm guessing we'll get many more opportunities.

I've got a bit of a variety here. The first two are of the sky and sun at around 6 pm tonight. Under normal circumstances, I would not point my camera directly at the sun and take a photo! But I was able to do this because the smoke haze over Melbourne is so thick, it has all but obliterated the sun.
The dangly bits are our Xmas lights which haven't been taken down for two years.

Same shot, but using the zoom. The galahs had come down for a drink at the water bowl I have on our verandah all the time for the birds.

Our poor garden. Along with most other people, ours looks like God took a blow torch to it last Saturday. The 100 year old Staghorn fern on the tree may come back to life, but I'm not holding my breath.

Our new 5000 litre rainwater tank, installed yesterday. The plumber is coming tomorrow to finish the job with the pipes. Then all we need is some rain to fill it up. If we'd had this installed a couple of years ago when we first started talking about getting one, our garden might have looked a lot better.

On a lighter note to end this post, here is our poor gazebo, which literally blew to bits during the wind last Saturday. I'd warned Ken that it wasn't meant to withstand high winds, but ah no, he knew better. Still, if that's all we have to complain about, we are doing well. We've still got our house and everything in it. Latest figures out today indicate that nearly 2000 (yes, two thousand) houses were burnt down last week. Seven thousand people now homeless. Is that what it was like in London after the Blitz?


Blogger Merle said...

Dear Gina ~~ You have some great posts here that I have been catching up on.Say Hello to your MIL from me.
She looks wonderful for 96 and I hope she has a happy birthday when the day comes and maybe by then the fires will have gone.
I understand how upset she must be as I feel just the same, Watch and read and have to keep watching. I haven't even enjoyed the cool spell
It has been good, but with so much sadness, that is on my mind all the time. I have spent a lot of the week in tears Take great care my friend, I pray for rain to come and help us. Love to you all, Merle.

Saturday, 14 February, 2009  
Blogger Debbie Kathy Lela and Marilyn said...

Gina I have missed you so much. I am now Region 7 director for Vietnam Vets of America. This takes me to Washington DC often and gives me no life of my own. I was really worried about you and Leah-Ann because of the fires. All of you are in my prayers.Yes I still have my teapots, linen, and bowls.........Debbie in Oklahoma

Saturday, 14 February, 2009  
Blogger Jeanette said...

gday Gina, Hope the Smoke is not causing any allergies at your place..there's not to many birds or animals thats not effected by the fires or smoke..if you keep your stag fern watered it will come back. pack the back with wet spagnum moss that will also help it come back to life. I post some of the smoke filled sky here yesterday, my eyes are sore and itchy and have a runny nose due to the smoke in the air..buts thats only minor compared to all the suffering out there...
but theres a lot of people out there suffering worse than me...

Saturday, 14 February, 2009  
Blogger Finding My Way said...

Hi Gina,
I always so amazed how can make pictures be so beautiful in the midst of the sadness.
I'm thinking about you and your family. I hope that the haze stuff doesn't give you guys health issues.
You almost make me NOT want to post about my boring pitful week. It was a roller coaster week but yours sure puts things in perspective.
Don't know if you and Ken celebrate it but "Happy Valentines Day." IF not, just "Happy Day". I hope you guys get your much needed rain. I'll be happy to send you some of mine. You can even have the snow. I woke up to that this morning.

Sunday, 15 February, 2009  

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