Friday, September 23, 2022

Springtime Garden surprises


Spring has brought many visitors to the Red Cardinal Garden of Neglect:

Here is Bob, surveying 'his' domain, while enjoying our red Bottle-brush tree,

and keeping an eye on this unusual visitor, a Little Corella.

While commonly seen in our area, they rarely visit our bird feeders.

A sub-species of white cockatoo, they are mostly white, with a blue eye-ring and a pale rose-pink patch between the eye and bill.  This makes their eyes look huge, and slightly menacing.

A few days ago, we had another new arrival...

A young Bush stone-curlew has been visiting a bushy corner of our garden.

I have heard their cries at night from the bush for years, but never seen them here among the houses.

A ground-dwelling, mainly nocturnal bird, Bush stone-curlews tend to stand very quietly during the day with their large eyes half-closed, unless they are disturbed.

They are mainly known for their ghostly, eerie, wailing at night.  To the unfamiliar, it sounds like a distressed baby or a crime in the neighbourhood!  

These days I find it can be quite soothing when going to sleep..

I wonder how long it will stay...

The list goes on...

A few weeks ago, despite all our usual precautions and careful closing of screen doors, I was stunned to encounter one of these in our walk-in wardrobe:

Google image. I was too shocked to take my own photo.

Yes, a blue-tongue lizard, about 18 inches long, on its way to the bathroom for a drink.  It scuttled back under our hanging clothes.  I screamed for help. 

Mr. Red Cardinal came to the rescue and took it back outside to the garden.

It must have come into the garage when the door was open for a longer than usual period, and at some time the door between the garage and house has also been left open.  We had been out, so the place was quiet.  The blue-tongue lizards move quite slowly, and it had a long walk down the hall, and around a few corners, to where I encountered it.

They are not dangerous, but the concern is that if it got in, so could a snake.

Attention to closed doors is now a priority in this house...

Apparently we have not had enough excitement, because today I went out the back door, and encountered a loud buzzing sound, and hundred of bees swarming around a corner of the house.  They were going into weep holes in the bricks.

Another Google image - it was difficult to get a picture and not get a bee sting!

It is Friday, and after a quick phone call, just on dusk Mr.  Bee and his trusty helper arrived.  We hid like the cowards we are, inside, behind closed windows, while they dissuaded the bees with whatever magic they possess.
The fee: $700.00.

Oh dear.

In an odd coincidence, just last week we bought a couple of these rustic Bee wall hooks, inspired mainly by the cute way our twin grandsons call all bugs and insects 'Bees'.

I hope you have a great weekend.

We are just hoping for a little less excitement and a bit of sunshine.



  1. Oh dear indeed! You've had a time if it with critters. Maybe close curtains so bees don't see the wall hooks. :)
    Beautiful bird photos. Those eyes are creepy on such a beautiful bird.

    1. This has happened once before. I think the bees like our garden which has many flowering shrubs and trees. A deterrant was sprayed into the wall cavity to make them decide to fly elsewhere to nest. Little Corellas are a bit creepy in general :)

  2. Dearest Patricia,
    What a lovely red bottle brush tree you have blooming!
    And those birds are incredible to watch and listen too.
    Did look up the cry of the Bush stone-curlews.
    But blue-tongued skink is as friendly and intelligent as you can imagine—it reads. What I would do, grab a big towel and pick it up for releasing outside. I've rescued lots of lizards and such, also big frogs. Our kitties do bring them indoors; through the cat door from the garage and through the one in the staircase area...
    But having to pay for those bees to be removed... Here there is a beekeeper who comes and gets them; it's his gain!
    Enjoy spring time!

    1. Hi Mariette, we always enjoy the bottle brush tree. The lorikeets also love it, and are feasting happily. Mr C picked the blue-tongue up with his bare hands and had no problem - I just do not want them in the house! We once had a cat which brought in small but deadly snakes. That was fun. Mr. Bee said it would have been cheaper if he could just remove a nest, but because they wanted to nest inside the walls of the house they had to spray with something they dislike. They all disappeared before he had even left the premises. Springtime is quite fun here, lol.

  3. Oh my gosh, I would have been so startled to see that lizard in my house, and you saw it in your closet, Yikes! I used to see the lizards in the garden areas during the Summer when I lived in my hometown, but since I moved to the mountains, I haven't seen one. I'm so glad that the Bush stone-curlew is soothing for you when you are going to sleep. And Bob is such a loyal visitor. Those Cockatoos are beautiful. So good of your husband to rescue that lizard out of your house, and give you some peace of mind. Enjoy your Spring days, dear Patricia.


    *I wanted to mention that it was hard for me to read your small font with these tired eyes. I love your posts, they are wonderful, but at times, they are just hard for me to read. : )

    1. I'm glad the lizard is out of the house too, Sheri. He is a bit too big to be hanging around in here. You know, I never noticed my blog was small font, I just went with Blogger. I will try to make it larger - I usually work on a large desk-top computer which makes it bigger for me. My eyes are also finding it harder to read small print and I set my Kindle to a large font. I hope I can fix it for everyone.

  4. The blue tongued lizard is quite fetching, somehow, but I can well understand the horror of thinking a snake might get in.I am fine with snakes - we don't really have any deadly ones in Britain - but I believe you have some pretty poisonous wildlife where you live. That cockatoo is indeed unusual, looks as if he has has a bad hangover!

    1. Good morning Jenny Woolf, thanks for dropping in. Yes, the blue tongues are friendly and shy, just not welcome inside! Snakes are another story, and our most common, the Eastern Brown, is arguably the deadliest in the world (its competitor is the African Black Mambo). I think you are absolutely correct - Bob has a hangover from too much nectar from the red flowers. Naughty Bob.

  5. I have a large red bottle brush tree in the garden too - mine will be flowering again next July, but sadly there will be no Bob to perch in it.
    I don't like strange creatures in the house either so I understand how you must have felt.
    The Bush stone-curlew is a handsome bird and he looks very much at home in your garden.

    1. Twins in the bottle brush tree department! I'd send Bob or one of his mates over if they were cooperative - they fly very strongly... The curlew is an interesting guest. He now appears every few days, spends a day here, and disappears. He most have a few other 'hotels' in the area.

  6. Aussies are are much braver than I am. I'm be so terrified of snakes everywhere I stepped outside. But for snakes to come into the house, so I'd be afraid in my own home, yikes! I've heard of them slithering up pipes onto windows and also through the plumbing popping out of the toilet bowl. Now that's too much too worry about. :)

    Oh the births and flowers are so beautiful … and make up for those slimy, slithering snakes!

    1. The snakes are very shy and are not here all the time, they move around the area. They hide under vegetation, so the rule is always wear protective shoes and gloves when gardening. We keep the edges of the garden beds carefully trimmed, especially when grandchildren are coming. Nobody is permitted to walk into a garden bed. Our house is fully screened - there is just a little problem when visitors ignore the rules! Springtime brings lots of birds, some of the new, which is very nice. I like waking up to hear their pretty calls in the morning.

  7. Ooh, Trish. I understand your concern about snakes only too well. As for the bees, I too would have stayed inside, but yikes, the fee for ‘dissuading’ them was pretty steep! Your garden is so colourful now. How lovely!

    1. Yes, the fee was very high, and I hope this does not happen again any time soon. However, Mr Bee came very quickly within 2 hours, and we live out on the edge of the city. I suppose he might only get one or two calls per day and has to make a living. I do enjoy the Springtime in our garden.

  8. Hi Trish
    I was enjoying your post and being jealous of all of your beautiful birds and flowers and different landscape than here...and then it all took a turn. Lol Big lizards - chances of snakes. Not to mention I've heard about the spiders you can get down there. And then a bunch of bees too. I'm suddenly okay with my frost warning overnight and boring old birds and nature. Lol 😂 But I will continue to keep enjoying all your beauty there through you and your posts. 😉 💗

    1. Ha, Carrie, it has been a bit dramatic here, hasn't it! All is quiet this week, and we do not have a spider problem here. (Dare I say, they are probably eaten by the snakes, he he). Birds are by far the most loved and plentiful creatures around us. I just went outside and there was a chorus of so many different birds, all at once. Just lovely. Keep warm, and don't let the frost get your toes :)