Monday, 4 August 2014

The Birds Have Got To Go.....

Don't get me wrong, I love birds. In the very early days after Clinty's death, the one thing that got me out of bed was feeding the birds and sitting for hours watching them sitting at the feeder eating and chirping. On a really bad weekend day, Mark would call me to come and see the Grey Lourie (commonly known as the Go Away Birds) eating the fruit especially bought for them, to get me out of bed and to stop the sobbing and crying. Feeding the wild birds cost more than feeding our animals, because I was feeding them fresh fruit and seed all day long, until I realised that all I was doing is enticing them to the feeder to be bait for the cats next door to feed on. The people next door are the kind of people who not only hate dogs, but believe cats cannot be kept at home. They have three or four feral cats that are more in the street and on other properties than they are at their own homes. Moving the feeder to the other side of the garden where I could not enjoy watching the birds did not help, because all the cats did, was run right across the garden to get at the wild birds. Garfield who lives in harmony with all birds and who has never wandered off our property saved our budgies on more than one occasion when those horrible feral cats came right up to our patio to try and kill our budgies - we don't live in a complex, we live in a stand alone house and the property is about 1000 sqm - that does not stop the cats. Garfield's warning cries alerted me and I chased them away. That's why so many people dislike cats - cat owners who believe cats can't be kept at home. I soon gave up feeding the birds and left them to forage for food in the trees and grass. We still have hundreds of birds in our garden and of all different species. I took these photos in May - there were at least 20 baby Lourie in the thorn tree and about as many Starlings - I think they are called Starlings, noisy buggers who seem to have moved on to warmer pastures. The Louries are still here as are all the others.

So why do I want to get rid of the birds so badly all of a sudden. For the past two weeks our garden has become one one big bird toilet. My prompt for Photo A Day for Friday was #Landscape - after a hellish day and week at work there was no motivation for photo a day or any photo. Day one of the new month and I had already lagged behind. I had to use a cheat photo otherwise I would just lag further and further behind. I used one of our garden, because it was on my tablet, which is my photo taking device for Instagram. I do not know what has happened, but there is no landscape, our garden is just one big shitscape. Sorry, I don't normally swear on my blog, not because I don't swear - I can swear and do swear worse than a drunken sailor if my emotions and temper are slightly pushed. I just don't think it is appropriate or polite to use bad language on a blog or other Social Media. Call me old fashioned and the one thing that I am very conscious and knowingly guilty of double standards is when it comes to swearing. I digress, back to our garden. This photo that I used for Friday's prompt was taken in Summer.

We have a colony of Olive Thrush that have taken over not only the whole garden, but Clint's garden too. Our pond looks like a cesspit and sadly all of our Koi are dead or rather eaten by the horrible Hadeda's. Even Monster who we have had for seven years. I grew quite attached to him and he just ended up being Hadeda Sushi. We won't be getting more fish - our pond is too shallow.

I tried to take photos of the Olive Thrush, but there is just too much bird shit around that has me not only disgusted but also ashamed that Clint's garden now looks like a shitscape. I don't know if it is because we have banned our gardener from watering the garden - he wastes water and not only is water very expensive - our water bill alone is between R1500.00 and R1800.00 a month for three people - four if you count Sheila, but water is also a very scarce resource and it just blows my mind when I drive up our Cul-De-Sac and see water running down the road from our gardener wasting water. So he is not allowed to use the hosepipe. He is becoming more of a liability than an asset as our garden now looks terrible. I washed off all the bird mess in Clint's garden last week and it is even worse this week. We have never had this problem before. We have this berry tree by our front gate that is a hive of bird activity and I think is the reason for the mess, but the tree is old. It has to go - Mark loves trees - I don't. I believe there is a place for trees and it is not all over my garden.

 This tree must go - who plants trees on top of fences and walls. I have moaned about it before in this post over here. If you ever buy a brand new house without a garden, remember trees grow huge and get old and their roots get bigger than your whole body. This tree's roots have lifted our paving, it has damaged our sewerage pipes twice and Mark thinks it is such a lovely tree. I am going to tell the old man next door to complain to Mark that the berries are ruining his car (he never complains about anything - there is always a first). This is feeding the Olive Thrush and Clint's garden has become the watering whole and toilet for the whole colony. Poor Garfield will not even go in Clint's garden - she sits on the patio in disgust.

My car gets full of berries and bird mess everyday and has to get washed everyday - there is nothing worse for your car's paint than bird shit - the acid eats away the paint and there is nothing more gross than driving around in a car that is filthy. I just cannot understand why this has happened all of a sudden. we have always had trees, we have always had birds and they have never been such a problem.

We have just redone our roof, fixed all the leaks caused by the torrential rains in the beginning of the year and painted it, it looks all nice and new, but soon will be ruined by these dam birds. I cannot wait for it to rain - me who hates the rain as much as the cold cannot wait for it to rain and wash away the dust and dead of Winter and turn our garden from a shitscape to an almost landscape. One of the new blogs that I mentioned in this post over here  that I love reading is My Life On A Wine Farm. I am just so envious, in a good way, of her life working on a beautiful wine farm in one of the most beautiful parts of the country - if not the world - The Cape Winelands. I love reading her blog and looking at the photos she takes during her lunch hour - imagine having lunch with squirrels popping by to visit - sounds like Cinderella's lunch breaks :) Right now any part of the world would be better than a life in a Johannesburg Suburb - I just can't find much inspiration in this cold drab town of ours. The best photo inspiration I can find is an Olive Thrush destroying my memorial garden.

Hope you had a better Sunday than I have had

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