it's autumn

It's the start of autumn. The star magnolia has large red seed pods just like last year. Unlike last year though, there is no flock of crows cawing excitedly in their deep baritones as they messily eat and spread the seeds. In fact there are very few birds compared to last year.

Once or twice I have seen wattle birds sucking nectar from the tea tree flowers. There been no sightings of the parrots that last year feasted off the flowers high in the tall eucalypts.  I have heard they are around in neighbouring suburbs. Probably they changed feeding grounds because other suburbs have not been quite as ruthlessly efficient in destroying the old gardens and replacing them with paving and a few 'low maintenance' shrubs.

I have seen and heard a few chirpy little striated thornbills moving within the relative safety of the shrubbery.  I regularly see and hear the melodious tones of the butcher bird. But nothing like in last year's numbers. The same with the blackbirds. There are hardly any to be seen. I hoped they would return to last year's nest on the deck but they didn't.

These native  birds have been replaced by the aggressive Myena birds. I really dislike them. Last year they were nowhere to be seen. Now they have taken to strutting around as if they own the garden, threatening and attacking other birds that deign to stray into their territory. As if that wasn't bad enough, a large ginger coloured cat has appeared.  Potter and I chase it away each time we see it.

Apart from the lack of bird life the garden is thriving on my inability to give it the usual attention. My broken hand is still immobilized by a brace, and is likely to be unusable for another month or two. With only one hand I can pull out weeds, spray the nature strip with Zero, do light prunings and sweep the paths. I am getting used to doing without a hand. Typing with one hand is getting a bit faster and a bit more accurate and I have even started using caps again!

Acacia branches were shading the small grevilleas that I want to grow tall to cover the bare fence where the tree house used to be. Cutting them back was an impossible job for a one handed gardener, so yesterday dear M. climbed a ladder and did the job for me. Now it looks very bare but hopefully the gap will be filled soon.


  1. Its always confusinf gor us 'southenrs' and still rather cold here with the plants 3 - 4 weeks behind. Enjoy your Autumn.

  2. sorry my eyes are bad tonight - confusing and for!

  3. HAPPY AUTUMN Catmint! I am so sorry about your hand. As always I enjoy your writing but confess to not having a clue what you mean here . . . "spray the nature strip with Zero." I hope your hand continues to heal and that your ambidexterity continues to blossom too! You would think we might be taught, when very young . . . the benefits of being equal.

  4. Hi Catnip! HUGE HUGS! I hope time goes quickly for you unti you're able to use that hand again...when I broke mine a few years ago, I used a chopstick clasped between movable thumb and immobile fingers (cast) so I could at least hold the shift key down on the keyboard LOL helped a lot although I got lots of weird looks at work :) It's frustrating isn't it. I hoped it would teach me greater patience but it never did!

  5. OMG did I just call you catnip. Terrible. Sorry catMINT! Where is my brain today...

  6. Hope your hand will recover soon! And to have lovelier birds to your garden ;-D

  7. A stray Cat and Common Mynas will chase off all your small birds.
    To save your one hand, let me answer Carol. "Zero" is a low-toxicity herbicide - Glyphosate.

  8. hi hermes, i quite understand a little bit of letter swapping - so easy to do.

    hi carol, your comment reminds me that although we speak the same language we do come from different cultures. the nature stro is a strip of grass (usually) in front of suburban houses and zero is a spray against weeds. i try not to use it but occasionally do. thanks for your kind wishes re my hand.

    dear mrs bok, catnip is OK, especially with yourwarm supportive comment. hugs back to you. I don't think i'm more patient either, just resigned to a certain degree of helplessness for the time being.

    dear steph, thanks for the good wishes.

    cheers, cm

  9. Love, love the arrival of Autumn up here. Even though it takes a while for the 'wet' season to end, it's officially the end of our horrid Summer. There's nothing really nice to say about Summers up here ... except they do eventually end.

    I do so hope that hand of yours improves soon ... then you'll be able to get out and really get stuck into the gardening chores.

    Strange about the lack of birds. I wonder if their food source has changed? Maybe they've found greener pastures elsewhere! The birds are still searching for food wherever they can up here ... waiting patiently for the return of flowers and fruit on the cyclone damaged trees.

  10. Hi Catmint, sorry to hear about your broken hand, hope it will heal soon. I sprained my shoulder and arm last year and it took more than 2 months to heal back to normal again! Take care dont over doing it in your garden chores.

  11. Sorry to hear about your hand...having injuries is very frustrating for us interesting for us Northerners to hear it is Autumn...we are about to embark on spring...hope the winter lull helps you heal fully

  12. Well my dear, the comment you left on my flower posting touched my heart. It was whimsical and showed the kind of flower soul you are. I can just see you peeping out from under the brim of your Brugmansia hat!

    I am so happy we connected and I wish you I am your newest (and happiest) follower. It is so easy to lose touch.

    All garden joys to you and good luck with your "one-handed" gardening. That makes it tough.

    Sharon Lovejoy Writes from Sunflower House and a Little Green Island

  13. Catmint, I missed something. I'm so sorry I didn't know that you'd broken your hand? how?

    Hopefully the healing goes quickly... even though it feels as though YOU would like it to be faster.

    And Perhaps you're receiving a bit of sympathy and help? :-)

    Best wishes!!

  14. Oh, you poor thing with a broken hand! My grandmother broke her wrist while on a mission to Nigeria and had such a struggle (then had to have it rebroken and set when she got back to the states). I hope you have plenty of help with all those two-handed tasks each day.

  15. Hi catmint,Autumn where you are and early Spring in this part of the world. I wouldn't be surprised to hear that your Winter daytime temperatures match our Summer ones. Hope your hand heals soon,very awkward, mind you with my typing skills I would just as well use one hand.

  16. hi mkg, thanks for your healing wish.

    hi bernie, thanks for the good wishes. glad birds over your way are ok.

    hi p3c, thanks for your warm comment - i try to be patient but i just want to get back to the garden! mine will probably take 2 months too.

    hi donna, lovely to hear from you, one of the fascinating things I find about blogging is to discover others have opposite seasons and vastly different climates.

    hi sharon, lovely to hear you. it is easy to lose touch but it is also easy to get back in touch.

    hi shady, thanks for your concern - i hope i'm not making too much fuss.

    hi vw, thank you for your comment - i think breaking a wrist like your grandmother is probably worse.

    hi alastair, interesting point about our winter being like your summer. could be even warmer i think. sometimes it is cold but often it is mild and balmy, and lovely for gardening.

    cheers, catmint


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