I have been moved lately by the little joys of life in my garden. As I lift my head I see five white butterflies flying by in close formation.
Two metres away from me a pink and grey galah has swooped onto the hanging basket which serves as a seed feed for our avian visitors. The first visitor of the day there is usually the beautiful Indian blue ring-necked parakeet, obviously an exotic escapee, who stridently whistles at us to replenish the dish with sunflower seeds.
We stand guard otherwise he is chased away by the numerous outrageously coloured rainbow lorikeets who perch in the nearby cabbage tree like Christmas decorations shrieking and murmuring. They are tough characters: I saw one back down a magpie on our lawn, hop-charging it until it moved on. They have just chased off the galah which is a much bigger bird too!
After the lorikeets have scarfed every remaining seed, they depart shrieking raucously, sometimes skimming close past me to show their lack of regard.
Then, if we are lucky, the beautiful King parrot arrives, usually the scarlet headed male, but occasionally his beautiful shamrock green lady.
At my feet, I hear an indistinct squeak, squeak – Lulu is dreaming in her bed. She is our new puppy. Although when our beloved Schnauzer Mooshoo died, we said never again, we couldn’t last without a dog, so we found Lulu. Such a grinning delight! She is cute and feisty, demanding and energetic. Quite a challenge for 60+ year olds!
Finally, more joy: we had four of our five children together for Mum’s macaroni cheese dinner last night, along with puppy, grandchild, two cats and three partners.
They live spread out across Australasia, so it was a rare opportunity to check out our big babies and introduce them to Lulu. My heart is full.
*King parrots painted by Fiona Lumsden
P.S. Last night we were honoured by a visit from a slighter longer joy than usual: a carpet python hung about a tree above a fence line hoping for an engagement with a possum or a rat. Isn’t it a beauty!