Bird O’Clock

Everyone likes birds.

I sit with Hubby, each with a cider in hand, at our new pondside terrace.

It has not been what I would call a super-productive day, and yet between us we have completed the next stage of the Viking shield project, done a load of washing, painted the staircase, sanded 1/3 of the front deck, added another level to a retaining wall and commenced the pond slate décor project. Another day in paradise!

As we finally relax, enjoying the fruits of many similar weekend’s work, the birds arrive.

First, a Spotted Pardalote lands on the top section and finds a perfect dry spot to sip from the small drinking hole it finds there. A couple of Eastern Spinebills come next and fly in and out of the bottom part of the pond, seemingly enjoying a bath. Two tiny grey wrens rock up next and bathe in the top level. A Grey Fantail flits in and out of the pond, making several trips back to the nearby tree. At one stage, he cheekily joins us at our table!

They love this pond… the little birds. It offers a safe haven to play, drink, hide out, hang out. The bigger birds like the water bowl on the deck, although they’ll occasionally enjoy a bath in the pond too. We never feed them, and yet we always have a multitude of birds here.

Hubby and I laugh about how we have created such a lovely oasis for these birds, a polite cover for the pride we feel for our accomplishments. It has taken a lot of hard work… so many weekends we could have spent doing other things that “normal” people do (btw, what do normal people do on weekends?)

It’s good to occasionally relax and enjoy it!

Today I am grateful.

A world made whole

Love for this Earth

He’s such a nature boy – the Munchkin.

I would say this at any time, but this week it has really struck home how much his love for nature has become part of his imagination, his play and his personality.

The first incident happened over breakfast.

“Mum, Dad, we have visitors! Come quickly.” It’s holidays, so I rolled over and half opened a sleepy eye. Hubby grunted. “You have to come, there are a whole heap of King Parrots on the deck!” We dragged ourselves out of bed, got dressed quickly and headed out.

Sure enough, five young parrots had come in to investigate our water bowl, which sadly, was almost empty. Munchkin had the situation in hand though… “Get the water jug, Dad. I’ll grab my camera.” And as Hubby slowly, carefully, approached the birds, the Munchkin snapped away. (This may have the been the result of me missing the perfect photo opportunity previously when Hubby hand watered a King Parrot!)

Thirsty Parrot

A day later, at a friend’s house, four young boys (the Munchkin, plus his friend and two brothers) created the most imaginative mini-pondscape, complete with toy lions, a waterfall, and lush vegetation. It’s amazing what a plastic shopping bag, a few rocks, a pipe and a piece of guttering can produce!

Every day brings a new adventure. A yabby dug out from his hole (they hurt when you don’t hold them properly), researching cicadas on the internet after finding them all over the garden, watching the tadpoles nibble at lettuce leaves, trying to catch skinks to feel their smooth skin, climbing trees and scaring the possums, observing bugs, bees and birds go about their daily business.

Not that he’s always keen on getting on heading outdoors. He is a normal 7 year old after all, and the appeal of his new Wii game, Geronimo Stilton or his latest Lego creation will often win out, even on a gorgeously sunny day. Some days I have to force feed him dose of “Vitamin N”. Some days I deliberately play “mean Mummy” and deny all digital privileges, in the hope he’ll get bored and head outside.

However, he is starting to realise for himself how important it is to his mood to have some “green time”. He is fortunate that we have chosen to live in a place where he is completely surrounded by nature.

It is weeks like this one that all the hard work we have put into building ponds, landscaping garden beds, creating ferneries, planting natives, tending the herb and veggie garden, seem all worthwhile. Childhood is so short, and yet the memories he will carry through life… of the freedom, the adventures, the discoveries, the stories and the simple joy of being a part of it all, will stay with him forever.

Do you do “green time”? What nature activities do your kids love the most?




Happy New Year!

It is not with a little trepidation that I am choosing my Word of Wisdom for 2014…

You see, last year I chose the word Grateful. Such a good, noble word – a worthy pursuit!

Choosing a Vision Word or Focus Word, like Visioning and Goal Setting, is a pretty powerful practice… Just the act of writing something down seems to have flow on effects. It might seem a little weird and mystical (and it is), but there seems to be something in it, which is why I decided to ditch New Year Resolutions a few years ago and go this way instead.

When I chose the word Grateful last year, this is what I thought I was signing up to…

  • A nice little gratitude journal project to launch and share (Mindful Moments)
  • A new blog, celebrating my tiny moments in life and reflecting on them with gratitude (finally it is up and running, yay!)
  • A greater appreciation for the many good things I am blessed to have.

I did not see it as a challenge to God, The Universe and anyone else out there, to make sure that I learned what the word REALLY meant!

2013 certainly had its highlights (a cruise on the QM2 anyone?), but it also rocked me to my core, as so many aspects of my life came crashing around me. What I learned was to be grateful just for the basics – my home, my marriage, my family, my friends, my skills and knowledge – in other words, the rock solid foundation upon which my life is based. Nothing else really matters.

So how does one follow up such a year?

Well, if the saying, “Gratitude is the open door to Abundance” is true, I’m ready for the Abundance part now, thank you very much!

Abundance… what does it mean?

Far more than just piles of money (although that would be nice too!), it is more about tapping into the flow of love, joy, prosperity, success, generosity, vivacity, kindness and all the other good things of life.

It is the opposite of scarcity – something that has underwritten too much of my thinking for far too long. So many great ideas quashed because someone else already does something similar. Too many opportunities lost because “that’s so-and-so’s field – I can’t possibly impose on their turf”. Things I should have done were left undone, for fear of competition, fear of not being the best, fear of failure.

My challenge for 2014 is to discover and explore what it might mean to accept that there IS enough to go around… enough joy, success, happiness and opportunity for EVERYONE, including me. In short, Abundance.

Of course, after the lessons of the past year, this terrifies me, in a “Be careful what you wish for” kind of way. What if it’s not all good stuff coming my way? What if I wind up receiving more than I bargained for? What if I can’t cope?

Well, I suppose that will make for an interesting post next year!

Here’s to Abundance… Cheers!

Do you have a Focus or Vision Word for 2014? Care to share?

Fortunately, I am off to a good start. That gorgeous sunset in the image above was taken from my front balcony. If that’s not abundant, I don’t know what is!

PS. Did I mention I am linking up with the lovely Bron from Maxabella Loves for our One Word posts? Check out some others here. Originally published at Spicycat Creative.

Page 12 of 18« First...«1011121314»...Last »

Hi, I’m Cath

Cath Connell

Creating my amazing life one tiny moment at a time. Bringing the Hubby, a Munchkin and about a dozen tomato plants along for the ride.

Keep in touch