April Photos Day

Some photo’s from today …

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Who is that shadowy person?

'Tis "The Sooty Retriever", rescuing birds trapped in the chimney.

‘Tis “The Sooty Retriever”, rescuing a bird trapped in the chimney.

Capture

A grainy image of the avian accident, taken by sticking my iPhone up the chimney to determine what was stuck where.

No joke. This really happened today.

Nominative Failure

Four years ago my daughter and I got two pygmy bearded dragons as pets, when they were just 3 weeks old. They were slightly different sizes and we named the larger one “Mr Big” and the smaller one “Little Squirt”.

As they matured, “Little Squirt” ended up being larger than “Mr Big”, but we stuck with the names anyway. As for gender, at 3 weeks old it is nigh impossible to identify the sex of a bearded dragon, so the appellation “Mr” was just a guess. Over the last four years we’ve had a number of different people tell us differently what sex they were, but the consensus seemed to be that they were both males.

That’s what we’ve been thinking until today, when discovered 8 eggs in the enclosure of one of the lizards! “Mr Big” was really “Mrs Small” all this time.

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Creature from the drain

Cycling home from work this afternoon I found this tortoise, on Bates Street Hamilton North, rapidly dehydrating in the heat of today, and in a prime position for being run over by a car. I placed her1 beside the road under a tree and verified that I was looking at a live’n and not a dead’n, and then pondered for a while.

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I’m guessing that with the recent heavy rains she’s been washed down the drain and eventually managed to crawl out in Hamilton North. I wondered what to do for a while – putting her back in the bare concrete drain nearby didn’t seem suitable, so I carried her upstream in my lunchbox, and released her in Kerai Creek in Lambton Park, which is looking pretty nice after the recent restoration work by Hunter Water.

I went back later in the evening with my daughter to see how she was going, and found her lying submerged in the middle of the flow, and my immediate thought was “oh no, she’s slipped in and drowned”, but on picking her up she poked her head out slightly and gave me a healthy but  exasperated “not you again” look.

My daughter has named her “Flo”.

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1. Actual gender unknown. Assumed gender for narrative purposes.

Spring has swooped in

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“Cracticus tibicen hypoleuca male domain” by JJ Harrison (jjharrison89@facebook.com) – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons.

Many people have various markers as to when spring has sprung. I have three, all of which have happened in the last couple of weeks:

  1. Taking my gloves off while riding to work.
  2. The smell of blood and bone fertiliser in the air.
  3. Being swooped by a magpie, which happened to me yesterday in Chatham Road, Hamilton North, just in time for the official start of spring today.

Update

I’ve been checking every day, and right on cue, on the first day of spring my mulberry tree sprouted its first green leaf buds.

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