Photographic Essay: Dad’s Rules, or Dad Rules

The poor old male Black-shouldered Kite, in the this case, Bronson, has to put up with a lot as his young aeronauts learn the ways of Black-shouldered Kite.

He gets yelled at for more food, buffeted and bounced about the sky by his inept, but over-enthusiastic young and pushed from his perch if they decide to land near him, and do it rather inelegantly.

Yet, for the most part he seems to take it all with good grace, and just gets on with the job. Perhaps he sees it as part of the drama of doing business with the young birds.

However, there are several rules that he seems to have, and enforces.

One of the rules is that there should be no in-fighting among the young ones. Each will get a turn at food, or his attention.
Another relates to landing rights, and if one of the young should knock its sibling from the perch while landing then consequences are inevitable and he’ll step in.
Another rule seems to be if he is busy preparing for a hunt, then he will not be interrupted by one of the young landing nearby and calling at him.

His major, and most enforceable rule seems to be if the young ones in their enthusiasm and lack of skill decide to take to the air to defend against passing Kestrels, Falcons and Black Kites.
He will then herd the young one back out of the way, giving it a bit of  a clip for its troubles.
Then of course he has to go and defend against the now aggrieved foe.

His major method appears to be a clip on the back with his claws.  Because he can still outfly them, well at least at the beginning, it seems to be quite a successful method.

Here are a few instances

Never knock Dad off his perch. In this case the young one had managed to get a grip of one of his legs instead of the branch, and couldn’t let go.
As the young one tried to find a new perch, Bronson came it an gave it a clip on the back
Bronson pursuing the young one back to the nesting area.
Suitably chastised the young one headed for a rest at the nesting site

Bronson had landed hoping to have a top-up meal. In a sneak attack the young one managed to get a grip of the mouse and pulled him from the tower.
C’mon Dad, time for a feed. This is the eldest of the two females, and she obviously inherited her mother’s bossy gene.
She had given him either a peck or a push to move him on.

This young one had decided to land on the same top branch as its sibling. Not enough room for two, and the first one had to yield.
Within a few seconds Bronson had arrived and a quick clip on the back, you can see a feather flying, and the young one was forced off the branch
An angry Dad with the wings down.

Foolishly this young one decided to defend against a grown Nankeen Kestrel. The much more agile Kestrel was prepared to take the attack to the young one. Dad would have to set in.
Dad’s Rules
Now he has to hunt the young one away from the Kestrel.
And a good clip on the back will be its punishment. He then had see off the angry Kestrel.

Photographic Essay: Feeding your Black-shouldered Kite

Firstly I was sent this link by a friend, and I thought it struck a similar chord to some of my recent meanderings on visualisation.  It also has some useful in-the-field bird photography advice.  Funny how it’s taken a lockdown for people to realise that ‘awareness’ is not some app on a phone.
Tiny Wonders by Jessica Martin ABC News

She talks about developing a “Sense of Awe”

Quick quote,
“In many ways, then, these tiny, simple things we’ve been savouring lately — a flower, a bird’s pitch-perfect trill, how the sun hits the wet grass after a night of heavy rain — are the big things.

There are silver linings in all this.”

Hope you find it encouraging.


Back to the Kites.
I’m just now getting to working through the images of a couple of months back to consolidate them into working groups of similar actions or events.

The young had been on the wing for a couple of weeks and had developed their in-flight feeding skills.  Poor old Bronson, had more work than a one-armed paperhanger keeping up with their voracious hunger.  The female, Belle, seems to play no part in their early training or feeding once they are on the wing.

From The Global Headquarters of the Doona Hermit

Remain

Look out Dad, here I come
Timing is right, speed is right, direction is right, eyes on the target.
Release the Claws!
Nailed it
Dad won’t let go until he’s certain the young one has a proper grip.
This one missed the speed, angle and accuracy tests. Need to go around again.
To help, Dad readjusted his grip.
More speed, but this time an overshoot.
Take Three, timing looks better here
Whoa! where did the mouse go.
Where’s my mouse!!
Hard to keep them filled up and quiet.

Little Visits from the Couch: A Morning with the Young Kites

I really feel I’ve been remiss working on the blog of late.  I guess if anything it has pointed out to me the very nature of the “now” of the running a blog.

Birds as Poetry has always been for me about our interactions, or visits with a limited range of birds.
So no visits, well, not postings.

Still, as I wander back through the most recent trips we took in mid June, there are certainly moments that need to be shared.

So expect to see a few Photographic Essay of our days with the young kites.   It either shows how dedicated to a clutch of birds, or how narrow our travel and bird experiences were during that period.  Be kind, we weren’t able to travel very far.

The evil thing is cutting such a swathe of agony for so many people.  I fully expect we will be limited in movement for quite a long time to come.
So enjoy the little interludes as I sweep out the library files, (figuratively of course)

Not often we saw all three on the same branch
After so many weeks with them, they were now very comfortable with our presence, and simply carried on around us
This picket was the only landing spot near me, and the young one came in quite deliberately to land. I’d like to think it wanted a closer look at my camera.
The clever one foot landing
They had spent more of their lives all together in the small nest, and still were happy to share the smallest branch area. One just about losing balance to make room for the interloper
It’s mine, no, mine, no mine.
One mouse, two hungry mouths, and not the ones Dad was interested in feeding. He would let them get close, but then turn away. He delivered it to the third one.
Still getting the hang of taking from Dad’s claw. This one has overshot the mouse and crashed into Dad’s tummy

Little Visits from the Couch: A Moment of Connection

Greetings from the Couch.  Snuggled under the Doona looking out the window in afternoon.  I don’t look out in the morning, else I’d have nothing to do in the afternoon.

During one of our forays with the young kites a few weeks back, this young bird was getting more and more anxious about Dad returning with a snack.

The area has a mound of earth, left over from an old bridge removal over the nearby freeway to Geelong.  Several gums have grown in and around the mound and it has made a most pleasing studio in which to work.

The tree in this case grows out of a lower part of the mound and I was standing at the top nearby, which gave me an eyeball view of the bird only a few metres away. It was quite relaxed about my presence and had chosen to fly in for a better view over the paddocks, waiting for its share of the morning’s food.

Then, it all  happened, leaving the branch it landed on nearby leaves and after steadying itself took off. Straight toward me!

It sailed by in full cry just past my shoulder, and the poor old camera/lens af combo gave up after about the third frame, and my old body gave up a second or so later as it rocketed by.

Too much fun.

From the Doona Hermit

Remain.

Comfortable with a great view of the paddocks
Here I come
All systems go
I always enjoy that heraldic pose. This was getting a little to close
And a bonus of the three together after a meal.

Little Couch Visits: On the trail of growing Black-shouldered Kites

Added the “Couch” heading to my normal visits and journeys.  We are as it happens, at home on the couch, iPad in hand.

So come with me on a journey back in time. Shades of “Back to the Future —another couch-time activity.

We had been, in early Feb and March, working with a pair of Black-shouldered Kites at nest. The day the first lockdown took effect, the young had only just flown. And then we didn’t see them for over three weeks. By then they were well advanced.
It was a bit of a missed photographic opportunity as the nesting site lended itself both from great light and open areas, for some really clear shots of the birds as they began their life on the wing.

Time passed, and restrictions lifted and we went back to the usual haunt to see if they were still around.
No. Well gone.

A couple of weeks later we returned with Flame Robin arrivals in mind.
EE spotted way, way, way down the paddock—even for her— a flash of white in the sky and declared that the young kites were probably way down the fence-line in the distance.

Robins, or Kites?
We set out along the fence-line.
The mice population among the bracken must have been very good as all three quickly scored a meal while we were approaching.
They settled down in among some of the small trees to enjoy a feast.

Out of nowhere, Dad arrived on the scene and took station on one of the higher branches.  But rather than welcoming him, they harassed him for food.

However he wasn’t taking any orders. His Uberfood days were over.

The interesting thing that we noted was the colour change, each one was well into moulting the subtle grey and white and the ginger colours were being replaced.

I guess having some more time at home, I can work through the files and find some images, or sets that normally I’d just leave to mellow on the disk.  A  tweak here, a slider or two there, a brush on a mask there, and ‘hey presto’.

Enjoy

Remain.

The Doona Hermit.

They were down in a tree-line, and it took EE awhile to locate them
Perhaps pretending not to be there. It is starting to replace the juvenile feathers with the adult grey.
Easy to see how the grey adult feathers are moulting in
Dad dropped in to see how they were doing and immediately they all thought he should be hunting for them.
Fully able to look after themselves
Not a good idea to knock Dad off his perch
Feed me, feed me. That look on his face says that he is not hunting any more for them.
A Hunting We will Go
Hunting like the professional it has become

Saturday Evening Post #91: It’s About Time

One of my fellow blogosphere inhabitants, the Chronicles of  A Blogaholic, posted just recently a quote from Martin Luther King Jr.

“We may have all come on different ships,
but we’re in the same boat now.”
Martin Luther King, Jr

Now to be honest, I am not that familiar with the writings of MLK, but this one struck a chord with me, as we settle into a six week enforced stay at home.
I am, truth be told, not that enthusiastic to the “We’re all in this Together” media blitz that keeps coming over the gunwales, I think that most of us more identify with “I am in this Alone”. However to a much broader term, the MLK quote I think carries its own special message for the here and now.

Time it seems, doesn’t stand still, we have been working with a growing trio of young Black-shouldered Kites, they are not going to sit around, frozen in time, if you will, waiting for me and my lens to get back out and pickup where I left off.
They will be gone. Following the ways of a Black-shouldered Kite. I’ll have some photos and some memories.
They will have their lives, a day full of moments, each filled with intent.

Time it seems, is Now!
When it comes to the images I make, to the people whose lives I’m gifted to share, to opportunities to learn about myself and others, there is only now.
Inspiration is not just two more pages over in the book I’m reading, I may never turn the page and miss it. It’s not another 1:34 along in some dotube that I’m watching. I might click ‘stop’ before I get there.

Robert Capa, had an amazing life, made some awesome photographs and experienced more than most.  Many will know of his Falling Soldier killed in action.  The irony I think of that photo is it was made on the last day of the conflict.
Time or chance or…

He once said, “If you photographs aren’t good enough, it’s because you are not close enough”
I think he means, not so much a physical proximity—today, of course, abiding by the 1.5m rule—but rather an experience with the subject. As nature photographers, we buy the longest lens available, or at least that we can justifiable afford.  Although I suppose some lenses I’ve owned over the year stretch your definition of ‘justifiable’ to a new horizon. 🙂

The question was once asked of a nature photographer, ‘Do you think it’s possible, to some degree, to translate the experience of a close encounter with a wild animal—in this instance it was the Kyutzeymeteen Ghost Bears—into a photograph?”
And a second part of the question, “If it is, how come so few people achieve it?”

With our long lenses, it becomes I believe a lot harder to provide a close, almost intimate invitation into the world of our subject, the narrow lens might fill the frame, but it doesn’t necessarily bring the right feeling. They compress lines, shapes and distances. Rather then drawing the viewer in, the long lenses exclaim, “This was a long way away, don’t you feel safe.”

Establishing that closeness, is first and foremost I also believ, is about respect for the subject, taking time to build the relationship, building on a fascination for the subject, a thread that is extended to the viewer.

Recently, as we approached the roosting area of the three local kites, I spotted one on the ground behind some bushes.

I stopped and sat on the ground, maybe I’d make a great takeoff shot against the sky. To my surprise the young bird stepped around the bushes and moved closer to me. The light changed, a soft and mellow melding light that draped like a poem over the form of the bird.
It was time.

 

Little Journeys: The X-Rated Story

We had as the story is told, been shopping early in the morning to beat the rush before Metro Melbourne is forced into lockdown because of the stupidity and thoughtlessness of people.
As a friend of mine has put a sign in his window, “Welcome to Melbourne. The home of the stupidous people in Australia”.
Dictionary definition of stupidous: One who knows how stupid they are and still continues to act stupid; hence the ous at the end.

On a whim, as we had indeed packed the cameras, you know, on the off chance, wink wink, if the light was good, we might make a last journey to the beach area at Point Cook.

So, as The Banjo did write,  we went.

As soon as we arrived, EE called, “See, Black-shouldered Kite on the highest branch”, and of course she was right. Not that anyone would doubt.

Within a few moments of getting out of IamGrey, it was obvious that this was the female of the species, as very quickly the male swept in first with a mouse, then with a stick for the nest and then for pro-creation purposes.

Unlike the pair we’ve been working with locally, these two are pretty much about the same size, she being a bit better weighted.  They have a much more robust relationship too, as he is quite capable of giving as much as he gets. She might rule the roost, but he is definitely not subordinate.

Time passed, and as we hadn’t thought about lunch or any snacks, we were just as refreshed watching the birds going about their important business, and sitting in the sunshine enjoying the serenity around us.
We did make it to the beach, but not before an interlude with Cassia of Cinnamon, the Brown Falcon that featured here with her two young last year.  No doubt she is back and establishing a nesting territory.  Time will indeed tell.

By late mid-afternoon, with a full memory, and a full memory card or two, it was time to head for home.

The lockdown this time seems to have enough flexibility for a return visit or two so we might be able to follow the new Kite family in a bit of detail.  Just going to have to buy a set of golfclubs or a fishing rod or surfboard, to carry around, as such activities are gazetted.

Here is a few from the day, and a link here to the X-Rated Material on the webpage.

Looking remarkably refreshed after two successive nestings, the female is preparing for another round.
Meanwhile down in the forest the male is collecting the necessary building materials.
Personally beak picked and ready for installation. It took me a few minutes to locate where he’d settled.
Heavy lifting done, time for the next step in baby-making
His next mission it to provide some top-up snacks
She has the casual one legged approach to landing
This was an interesting transfer, as he bought in the mouse, and then set for quite a few minutes before she flew in to wrestle it from him.
The handy dandy workman at work.
Each twig or branch has to come from just the right spot, and he often has a hard time getting the branch to break off.
In bound with just the right piece.

 

Photographic Essay: Three Up

If a picture is worth a thousand words, I’m just about to save you from reading 6,849 words.

The young kites are well on the wing, and just about able to look after themselves.  Dad is more a mentor than a ready-food source.

While a kite’s life is usually one of isolation, sort of makes sense in the current lockdown pandemic: Note I did not say pandemic lockdown :-), the young kites have spent more of their young lives together in the nest and around, and so are often quite happy to sit together.  They rarely squabble over food, although are prepared to put their case for the next meal quite forcibly.  Fortunately Dad has his rules, and they are followed.

But getting all three together is not a regular occurrence.

So here are a few that I’ve been fortunate to capture, and on this link, https://adobe.ly/3eSgpC3  
there are several more variations.

Enjoy.

Photographic-Essay: Annoying Relatives

It happens just about every-time.
You settle in for a quiet meal-in peace, and a hungry, noisy relative drops by looking for a little bit of the action.

One young Black-shouldered Kite had just recieved a top-up from Dad.
Time to find a quiet branch.
Then, with the usual racket, one of the close relatives drops in to see if there is a handout.

This looked like a good branch to enjoy a quiet snack
Hey, hey, here I come, any for me?
I’m here, are you going to share?
Short answer is obviously No!
Checking that it didn’t leave anything behind.
Now to find a better spot
Lunch in the sun. More than picnic.

Photographic-Essay: Landing Right(s)

As the young local Black-shouldered Kites have continued to grow, they reached the point where all the necessary training had ended, and they needed to take a leap-of-faith and step off the trees and taste the thrill of flight.

It is interesting to watch how they tackle this major step, and I’ve often wondered if there isn’t some internal brain function that kind of switches on the ‘Let’s Go’ signal, and they finally ease their grip on branch or leaf, and suddenly find themselves free.

However.

All the training does not prepare them for the next event.

HOW DO YOU STOP THIS THING?

With no aeronautical skills to speak of, they resort to a simple, crash into the leaves at the top of the tree. Surprisingly, they are not very heavy, and the whole momentum thing doesn’t seem to harm them in anyway.  After a little they even begin to figure out how to slow things down a bit, and sort of just ‘lob’ into the leaves.

Within a couple of days, they have most of the skills for landing on branches, and soon they can practice high-speed manoeuvres and swing in on just about any branch from any angle.

So here is a week or so’s worth of flight and landing shots.  They are but a smallish collection as we’ve had a few good days with them over the past week.

I’ve also begun to make some Shared Photos Albums on Lightroom Web.

Here is the address for this current set.  https://adobe.ly/2N38chS

I’m thinking in future to put the bulk of the story pictures there, and then insert a link in the weblog. This means I can share a few more of the event without filling up  the page here on WordPress.

Hope it works for you. Feedback welcome.

Before you can fly you must stretch the wings and build up the muscles. Not easy when you siblings won’t give you any room.
EHHHH yaaaa!
Help!!! Look out here I come
No speed control, and not much finesse.
Error of comedy. The top one had landed successfully, its sibling wants part of the action. But landing on a vertical branch offers new challenges
Ok, locked on, now to fold up the sails, trying not to knock off the other bird
Simply not enough room for both to balance, the first bird yields the space.
This one missed the branch and tumbled through the gap.
Balance, balance, balance, hold tight, balance. I think I can do it.
Full on hit the leaves, and get close to the other bird
It couldn’t get a grip and nearly knocked the other bird from its precarious perch.
Long distance shot. The little bird had wanted to get close to Dad, but knocked him from the stick, unfortunately it grabbed his foot as a landing spot. The big fella was not happy.
Rocking back and forward trying to right the body angle.
Trying to land on the top of close comms tower.
Up, Up, Up, but.
It ran out of lift before it brushed off speed and hit the tower sideways
Two weeks on the wing, and the smallest of targets are achievable.

Photographic-Essay: Training Your Black-shouldered Kite, an Attitude of Gratitude.

The blog has been a bit quiet of late.  And as one of my mentors David DuChemin says, “My heart has run out of words.”  Between social changes, and restrictions, to a world-wide outpouring of grief and cry for justice, it has left some with mental whiplash.

Yet as David says, “We’ve got so much, we are healthy, safe, and have gratitude for what we do have.”  For those who don’t know David’s work, he has been involved for over twenty years with several NGOs (Non Government Organisations) at work in several countries, including Africa, India and Afghanistan. And he says of the current situations, “I hope it has long been abundantly clear that I will always fall on the side of compassion, justice, the oppressed and the broken. I just don’t have words right now.”

Words just don’t seem sufficient.
So while I’ve been quiet, in-fact there have been a few things happening in the field.
All of them items for which both EE and I are grateful that we have been graced to enjoy.

  • My Flickr friend, and commenter on our blog, David Nice, was kind enough to advise of the location of a nesting pair of Black-shoulded Kites.
  • We managed a week of really great weather.
  • Shivering cold mornings and glorious sunny days.
  • Windless weather.
  • Right in the middle of the young Black-shoudlered Kites fledging and learning to hunt.

There are a lot of images here. Mind, it is but a tiny part of the bulging folio of photo-story that EE and I have been able to make over the past couple of weeks.

Let’s begin at the end, today, and see how these amazing little creatures are beginning their lives.

Dad herding one of his young back to the nesting area. It had decided to see if it could join him on a hunt. Not likely. To move it along he gave it a wing clip as he went by.
Suitably chastised it headed for the tree.
The rich colours are impressive
Dad arriving with a mouse and getting plenty of attention
This snack goes to the nest area, and the young are quick to follow.
Next food top-up he hovered out in the open, dangling the mouse. But the young one’s didn’t quite get the idea
Another delivery and this time one of them decided that it was worth the effort to get its own snack.
Locked on and speed slowing down.
Hard to imagine the calculations going on in the young head.
Looks like its locked on to use the left claw for the contact
At the last moment, instead it swings in with the right claw. Also Dad has repositioned the mouse so that it will make contact.His legs are closer together as he moved the mouse over.
Target acquired
Dad waits until its all secure before releasing
Success!
“My work here is Done”
To the victor the spoils.
Here is another transfer, this time on a branch. A dangerous move as the young one can easily knock him from the branch.
Again he waits until it is secure before letting go.
No mouse here!
Youngster mantling over its successful transfer.

Moments: The Little Warrior

This series was shot a couple of years back.
EE and I had been working with a pair of Black-shouldered Kites for over a year, and they had managed two successful nestings.

The nest was at the very top of a small pine tree inside a farm paddock, the birds would often fly out over the roadway where we were parked.

Just about fledging time a troupe of Black Kites moved into the area and took great interest in the young ones sitting high-up out in the open.  This resulted in some great aerial battles by Mum and Dad, yet the Blacks persisted in coming back and getting closer.
Of the three young in the nest, one was obviously a few days ahead of its siblings, and while not a great aeronaut yet, it could fly well enough to look after itself.

On this morning the Black Kites were even more intense on their attack, and swooped right over the remaining nestlings.

Mum and Dad flew frantic missions to see them off, but were not having much success.
It must have gotten all to much for the Little Warrior, as it burst out of the trees and joined in the foray.  Dad then had a new problem, and that was to hunt the young one away from the far more skillful Black Kites.

However the young warrior was not having a bar of that and continued to press attacks against the larger birds. What the big birds thought of it would have been interesting.  But it tired quickly, and needed to drop down on to the tree for a rest, followed very closely by one aggressive Black Kite. Fortunately nothing came of the attack, and the bigger birds became bored and like teenagers in a shopping mall, moved on to see what else they could find.

Dad flew out and caught a mouse, and quickly returned to reward his Little Warrior.

Black Kite over the nest.
Leave my family alone.
The big birds would not take NO for an answer.
Dad doing his best to keep the young one away from the bigger birds
Swinging in past Dad, and heading for an attack
Well if noise was enough to intimidate the Blacks, the young one certainly gave its best shot.
Defending upside down and Dad watches for other danger.
After a few minutes in the air, the young Warrior needed a rest, but the big birds did not stop their pursuit.
As a reward Dad arrived with a nice fresh snack to reward his Little Warrior.

The Fine Art of Feeding

Over the past few weeks I’ve managed to collect a few Black-shouldered Kite feeding routines.

It always involves the male of the pair doing the hunting. Often times the female will fly out meet him and take it from him in the air.

It seems to me there are at least three techniques used by the birds.

1. Scary:  He hangs motionless in the air with the mouse presented on an extended foot.  She sweeps in at a great speed, flips upside down, claws out, and takes the mouse. The stress on his leg must be quite large as this a non-stop movement.
2. Dainty:  Again he hangs midair, she lines up from underneath and plucks the mouse with her beak.  She is practically motionless at the point of contact.
3.  Easy, but under pressure.  This is always a branch transfer. The main reason I think is that it might be easier on the male, but most times its because of prying eyes circling about to see what chance they have of taking off with a free lunch. Usually once it has been transferred she will sit mantling the food until she feels safe to deal with it.

When the young are very small, Mum will prepare the food, and then go to the nest and feed small pieces to each of the youngsters.  As they grow, she delivers, but they feed, and before fledgling Dad will deliver straight to the nest. The young will share the meal.

Once they are on the wing, some feeding takes place on the nest, and as they grow more confident in the air, the male will hang the mouse down and give the young a chance to hone their flying skills.  It has to be said that a hungry young one is more enthusiasm than skill, but that improves rapidly. In the end they can gracefully take it from his dangling claw.

So let’s illustrate some of those techniques.

Lining up for an approach
All systems Go!
Precision
And away

 

Another mid-air claw to beak transfer.
Transfering from a branch. She has rushed in and nearly knocks him from the branch.
The female, mantling over a mouse as a squadron of Black Kites waits for an opportunity to help themselves.
With no flight skills to speak of this is not going to go well for the young one.
Juvenile, “Hold still Dad, I’ve got it.”
Missed by… That much…
Turning back for a second run
You can’t fly through Dad to get to the mouse
All wings, legs and loud voice, but the angle of attack is all wrong
Sailing past, but no mouse.

Monday Morning Musing: Surprise!

Funny how somethings just catch up on you, when you least it expect it.

A few days ago, I’d left the Black-shouldered Kite nesting area with a few shots of the two just-fledged juveniles sitting on top of a tree.  Also had the feeling that it would be the last we’d see of them due to the travel restrictions and the like that were about to settle in.

However as  EE had not been out for the week, I had need to do both grocery shopping and also we were both in need of some well earned ‘exercise’, and we decided to combine both activities into the one trip.

We thought the local park to crowded and restricted, so to relieve the pressure on that location we motored on a little further.
I must admit to feeling much more secure in the middle of a 40 acre paddock than pushing a shopping trolley around a bustling supermarket.
No one at the carpark on our arrival, so we set off through the scrub.

Well, fancy that. What a surprise; we were in the area of the nesting Black-shouldered Kites.  🙂

What was even more astounding, and taking tongue-out-of-cheek for a few seconds, was that there sitting in the tree together, enjoying the morning sunshine, was not two juveniles, but three!

The one on the left in this shot, seems much darker and richer brown, so I suspect it is a couple of days behind the others, as they have already begun to lose some of that lovely ginger colour.

So clever mum had not only survived all the heavy rain, hail, strong winds and cold snap, but had hatched three young ones for her trouble.
We waited a few minutes before moving on, and one of the older ones took to the air.  Bonus.

It made our journey home a much more enjoyable time, and I quickly dashed through the Woolies lines—that’s why I pick Woolies.  🙂
and we were home in isolation in no time.

I recently came across, a link to the benefits of “Forest Bathing”, shinrin-yoku (Japanese) 

Here’s a quote:

This is not  hiking, or jogging. It is simply being in nature, connecting with it through our senses of sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch.
Shinrin-yoku is like a bridge.
By opening our senses, it bridges the gap between us and the natural world.

And if someone should challenge you here is a detailed scientific study on the benefits to the body.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5580555/

Jon Young’s “Sit Spot”, is another example of such a practice.

I am not disputing the Government’s current stance, as firm action is needed, but a touch of wonderful chlorophyl generated good-will makes the heart sing.

A proverb I read somewhere said, “A merry heart does good like a medicine”.

May your time of isolation bring you harmony and the opportunity to enjoy the small things in your around.

Remain

Davyyd

The wonderful rich ginger colours will fade so quickly, but so good to see them on the wing.
Hard to pick from a single image but this one is practicing hovering.
Tricky stuff for the over enthusiastic but clumsy flying young one. In the end, dad took the mouse back to the nest for safe and easier transfer.