25 November 2010

wols

I was going to say We have Wols! but actually, Tawny Frogmouths are nightjars, not owls.

looking a bit cross that there are no more worms

Whatever they be, they be rather special, and we have four of them in our garden at the moment. (No, I don't know why I'm talking like Cap'n Birdseye Hagrid a pirate either. I'll stop now).

I went out to the clothesline a few days ago and heard that distinctive vroom vroom noise. I put down my laundry basket and looked around, not really expecting to see one as they're notoriously difficult to spot, spending their days sitting stock still, pretending to be a bit of branch. But I saw one, then spied another in the next tree, and then a third - a juvenile - in the branch above. I talked to them for a minute or two and then reached up to pull a bedsheet off the line and jumped back in fright as there was this little baby sitting on the fence a foot or so behind where the sheet had been hanging, gazing solemnly at me.

strange expression

He gave me a quizzical look as if to say, I'm a poor wee babe who mistook a fence for a branch and hey now you're here ...

ridiculous hairdo

... give me something to eat?

I called the children and, Son #2, who you may remember is something of a junior Dr Doolittle, obliged. (Do follow that link for some lovely shots of a koala, taken by Son #2 at extremely close range).

yum
It looks like a muppet in this shot, don't you think?

We raided the worm farm and that wee bird gulped down at least half a dozen worms.

Son #2 plays at being Dr Doolittle

I'd like a worm, please

After a few minutes one of the adult birds vroomed again so we popped the little fella back on the fence to guard the laundry again.

a little visitor watches over the clothesline

on the fence by the clothesline

(I excitedly told a friend who rushed over the next day to commune with the frogmouths herself, but of course the two babies went awol [ha, pun not intended] and the adults stayed up high for the duration of her cup of tea. The minute she left the babies reappeared. Of course).

Moving on but still speaking of wols, remember these?

sue's wols

The very talented and generous Sue sent me one of her owls, and either by clever design or marvellous serendipity, sent me the very one that happened to be my favourite. Thank you so much Sue.

Also speaking of more wols, there's a fabulous new shop in town, owned and run by a lovely friend of mine. If you are fond of all things owlish, do drop in and have a look at The Seventh Owl. Among lots of exquisite things, you might find some very beautiful pinnies and bags made from vintage kimonos, stitched by another clever friend.

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In non-owl related news, I updated the soap post to answer some questions that were raised in the comments, and more importantly to update the safety information. Please have another look at it if you are planning on making your own soap.

In further unrelated news, last weekend Son #1 went to the Year 10 formal (like a prom, for the Americans in the audience) wearing a $15 suit from the op shop, an op shop shirt, his father's tie and shoes. He looked very handsome yet slightly uncomfortable and he has forbidden me to mention milestones and time flying etc or upload a photo here or on Flickr. (He didn't mention Facebook, ha).

And Son #3 made a mighty fine Menelaus in The Tale of Troy last night, in his papier mache Spartan helmet and little calico tunic. Thankfully the fight scene between he and Paris was spectacular yet uneventful, unlike a rehearsal during which he gave Paris a black eye and she (yes, Paris is played by a girl in an impressive display of disregard for gender-dictated casting) took a chunk out of his nose. I forgot to take my camera to the class play so will be relying on other parents' uploads to Facebook, or we'll have to dress him up again and re-enact the crucial scenes in the backyard. That'll freak out the tawny frogmouths.

27 comments:

shadygrey said...

Oooh snap, I did an owl post too. I love those photos of the Tawny Frogmouth- you can see where the name comes from!
Except for the owl bit, that is.

Tania said...

I have so many (no doubt witty and pithy) things to say in response to that post but at the same time, really only one small thing...

That was a Pea Soup post, cooked to perfection. (I've been missing you, lady).

Lesley said...

Aren't you lucky?! Wonderful photos, Suse. I'm going to show my grandson when he comes over.
We have baby birds here, too , but turtle dives, not your characters.

Stomper Girl said...

That bubsy owl has the most intense gold eyes.

I really enjoyed this post too, lots of smiles x

rachel said...

What an amazing post! Tawny frogmouths, who'd have thought.....

BumbleVee said...

well they certainly look like owls to me ... .... I've never heard of a frogmouth..... and so cute too.

Mary said...

I must say that your garden has bred very handsome frogmouths ..the only ones I have seen have been impressively ugly.

A lovely catch up post..

Fairlie said...

The owl pics are just gorgeous. How lucky are you to have them in your backyard?

herhimnbryn said...

Stunning images Soup Lady. I am amazed that baby owl just sat there and let Son feed him!

We have two such owls in our garden and all the other birds go beserk when they see them. Lots of baby magpies around at present so perhaps protective parents are telling the owls to sod off.

PS. Do you actually carry your camera in the laundry basket?:)

Elizabeth said...

I loved this post. The shot of the bubba wanting food is extraordinary, I love TFs and mopokes too but ours just sit high up in a tree and sulk. Your kids are soooo lucky! This year the backyard magpie clan seems to be feeding two babies, I haven't seen that before.

Duyvken said...

Beautiful. We have those in our yard but only very high up in the trees. How lovely to have the chance to hand-feed one!
There are minah (minor sp?) birds nesting in the low branches of a camellia and the kids have been enjoying that but now that I've seen your frogmouths...

shula said...

Wols!

zephyr said...

such a sweet marvel!

silverpebble said...

Wow. They're stunning, and their feathers look like lichen! We have small brown nightjars here but not very many of them. To see your lad feed that frogmouth is amazing.

k said...

I have never seen frogmouths but they are quite incredible - and you are right, in that one shot he does look very much like a muppet.

Donyale said...

What wonderful photos - the one with the little guy with his mouth open made me gasp out loud with joy. SO lovely.

fiveandtwo said...

Oh, goodness, I'm deeply envious of your close quarters with the frogmouth youngster. What a beautiful baby. To hand feed a wild bird...sigh. A damn splendid experience.

Meggie said...

Lovely pics! What a gorgeous pretender to the owl family.
I love my owls.

Janet said...

How did I miss this? (stamps foot and blames google reader - I love it when you post Suse!) Those (not )owls are so gorgeous and it all looks so green in the background. Special.

Thimbleanna said...

Wow -- what a great story! And, as always, your pictures are gorgeous. It's so cool that you'll have them to relive such a wonderful memory!

christinelaennec said...

Amazing photos. I wonder if you've read Stacy O'Brien's Wesley: the Story of a Remarkable Owl? She had a nightjar (tawny owl) as a pet and although you have to get used to reading about her chopping up mice to feed him, it's a fascinating read and I thought very spiritual.

Linnea said...

Wow, those birds are crazy looking! I hope they find their mother!

Mossology said...

Oh my. I love tawnys!

victoria said...

Jealous!!!!!!!!!!!! of you having those new fluffy friends.

The Coffee Lady said...

Oh, thank god. A blog without pictures of snow on it.

Sorry, what were you saying?

jen said...

Are you absolutely certain that thing ISN'T a muppet????

Di said...

Oh wow- I LOVE frogmouths! They are amazing- very cool to see some babies in your backyard, and to be able to hold one and feed it!

We have baby birds near our washing line too, but they're just some noisy miners who have been nesting in our eaves (on the top floor, so we can't actually see them or get anywhere near them) every spring for several years. More annoying than anything.