Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Peacock Plague (part two)

Well, the net is not going well. Peacocks are smarter than the Peacock Catcher thinks. They are bypassing the trap and are intent on taking over the house.
Last Thursday I was sitting (upstairs) in my office doing the finishing touches to my latest painting when I heard a strange noise. Looking around, I found three peahens gazing at my work of art. "Is it edible?" they seemed to be saying.
These dratted birds had come up on our back deck, entered the kitchen through the bifold doors, eaten everything they could find and then wound their way upstairs and into the office.
Not impressed, I screamed mightily, jumped up and ... showed them the door. Sounds easy but this involved some nifty side stepping of peacock poop whilst holding my nose (whew!!!) and avoiding flapping, squawking peahens. Door open, I urged them onto the top deck from whence they flew back to the ground.
Feeling  very proud of myself, I returned to the office, intent on going downstairs to collect cleaning items but upon opening the office door, I was met by several other peahens who had been investigating the bedroom, the bathroom and the toilet.
More mad screaming and arm and wing flapping and all but one peahen abandoned the upper story. One was left in the toilet and nothing I could do would persuade her that she should leave.
Unfortunately, the toilet seat was down so her attempts to use the toilet in the correct manner were a dismal failure.
I called Guy. "Come home and get rid of the peacocks!" I screamed into the mobile.
Of course, he had to tell everyone about it first and I could hear their peals of laughter as he agreed to return immediately.
In the meantime, I cleaned up the office, bedroom and bathroom and made myself feel better by swearing a lot at the peahen.

Guy to the rescue

It didn't take him more than a minute to enter the toilet, trap the flapping, yammering bird and calm it before taking it out on the top deck and releasing it.

.... and I cleaned up the toilet.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

The Peacock Plague

We enjoyed the delight of Andrew Peacock grandly parading through our garden. All right, he did eat all our vegie seedlings but he was a glorious pest, long tail trailing behind him as he munched his way through the baby carrots.

Then there were five .... Susan arrived on the island, closely followed by three baby peacocks. So cute, those little ones, with their tiny crowns bobbing as they too munched through the carrot remnants.

And now there are twenty, with more in the offing.

They have officially become a pest.

Addicted to Whiskas cat biscuits, they scurry into our house through any opening, help themselves to the cat's bowl and leave, their stinky little offerings behind them as they scoot out the door.

"Help!" we cried to the Michael, the Feral Bird Man. (No, he is not feral: the peacocks are feral) So Michael and his offsider come out with a Peacock Trap. Not just any trap but a Peacock Trap. New: from Bunnings. OK, it was really a gazebo with mesh sides to keep out the mozzies but to them it was a Peacock Trap.

Erected in our backyard, they loaded the trap with corn which they assured us was better even that Whiskas cat biscuits. We waited. All day.

The next morning, we had one baby magpie in the trap. And six peacocks wandering round the outside laughing at him. We released the magpie.

Later that day, the three large males majestically entered the tent. Sprung! The gate closed behind them! Now we could see why they were classed as feral. Not just annoyed: feral! They screamed, they flew at the mesh sides of the tent, they tore it with their beaks and their claws. We released the three male peacocks.

Set again, we watched as the females arrived. The older females had seen a trap before and no way were they about to enter. But all that corn was too enticing for the younger ones and four ventured into the tent. This time we had them! Not nearly as strong as the males, there was no escape. We phoned Michael the FBM and he arranged to collect them the following day.

Peacocks, whatever you think, are not stupid. Feral, perhaps, but not stupid. The mothers milled, the fathers advised, the babies squawked. And in the morning there was only one in the trap. The three smaller ones had escaped under the sides of the tent. (Or through the holes that the males had made earlier in the day.)

Michael and offsider arrived to remove the one remaining young peahen. They entered the cage, offsider with net and Michael with large gunnysack. Easily netted, the offsider and Michael tried to get her into the sack.

Flapping, screaming and pooping everywhere, the peahen flew towards the side of the tent. As she flew straight through the mesh, the offsider did a creditable rugby tackle and also went through the mesh.

Feral Bird Catchers 0 : Peacocks 1 (or is that won?)

(To be continued........)\

Monday, January 31, 2011

Australia Day 2011

We sailed to Peel Island in Moreton Bay for an Australia Day picnic with the Tingira Boat Club.
Our boat "Bonnington" took a while to get there with no wind at all so we had to rely on our motor.

Crew included Julia, Eddie, Tane and Ranui Harmer and Helen and Sam Wells.

Julia found a native plant growing which she said the Aborigines had used as a form of cocaine. We tried it but perhaps stuffing it up your nose is not the way to go. My nose went numb ... but not in a pleasant way.

On the island, the club organised a damper competition and a best dressed Australian outfit.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Rose Coloured Glasses

I was doing the washing up this morning with my new dishwashing liquid - Pink Frangipani.

It looked and smelled so beautiful that I decided to rinse my spectacles in it.

When I put them on, they had a faint film over the lenses which made everything look slightly out of focus.

Is this what looking at the world through rose coloured glasses means?

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Two sides of the coin

The Christmas spirit is alive and well in the Halfwit Sundays. Well, in some of us at least ...

Just got back from attending a firies call out. A lady had fallen off her scooter and had minor injuries. Yes, firies also attend motor vehicle accidents in the Halfwits.

Once assessed and loaded onto the ambulance to be taken to the mainland, the lady was understandably concerned about her scooter. If we left it by the roadside, who knows what would happen to it.

Spotting a woman across the road in her garden, I walked over and introduced myself.

"Would it be possible to put the scooter in her garden behind the gate?"

Wearing firies yellows and having an ambulance in the background, it was pretty obvious, I thought, that this was no prank.

"No" was the reply. "Get someone else to help."

"And a merry Christmas to you, too." I thought as I returned to the scooter.

Busily writing a note which I was planning on attaching to the handlebars, I heard a call from the house next door. An elderly gentleman came out and asked if he could help. On learning of the problem, he immediately offered to push the bike into his yard, under the house to protect it from the weather. He even apologised for not coming out sooner but he was extremely deaf and had heard nothing.

Thanks Harry. People like you make the Halfwit Sundays a lovely place to live.

Georgetta, I only hope you are never in need of assistance. What comes around goes around.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Scribbly gum

Our garden is covered with huge pieces of bark shed from our scribbly gums. Pieces up to 2 metres long dangle from the higher parts of the trunk, waiting for a high wind to tear them off and sail them through the air.

I love the scribbly gum - the smooth pale trunk, the spreading canopy which protects our garden from the fierce Queensland sun. The brown scribbles are amazing - caused by the larvae of the scribbly moth. It doesn't harm the tree and appears in many eucalypts. However, it is more apparent in the scribbly gum.
I love to pick up the pieces I find on the lawn and look at the markings. Like some ancient hieroglyphic language, they speak of the journey of the larvae climbing up the tree trunk, moving sightlessly to find the smoothest route and finally coming to a halt when they reach the pupa stage. Here they burst from the tree to pupate in the litter at the bottom of the tree.
I've never seen a scribbly gum moth ... very small, only 1-2mm in length ... but I'd like to thank them for their artwork in my garden.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Extreme measures

Just spotted a shocking news story in the Brisbane Courier Mail online.

A bomb detection robot has rolled off the back of a police van at the Brisbane jetty where a man has threatened self harm, prompting officers to close down part of the city centre.

A 100-metre exclusion zone was set up around Eagle Street pier after the 54 year old man moored his boat to the inner-city wharf and alerted police about 5am today.

Police have refused to confirm if any explosive devices have been reported on board the yacht.
However, the man has been seen holding a jerry can and a 30cm long bayonet.

A police officer said at the scene the man had requested a bacon and egg McMuffin.

However, the request has been made after McDonald's 10.30am breakfast cut-off time.

Police say they are trying to fulfil the request.

Will McDonalds give in this heinous demand? I wait with baited breath ...