Monday, April 28

Cockatoos Invade Lemuria

Just before the sun came up, I opened the curtains and there was the city, sihouetted against a stunning red sky with the sun poised to show itself at any second. Aah! Fabulous! what a start to the day.

And then I saw them - two big sulphur-crested cockatoos, having their breakast in my flower boxes on the balcony.
One was delving into the oregano and thyme, and the other had it's beak full of marigolds. The marigold-muncher was facing me through the window and looked quite absurd with its crest sticking up and a shocked expression on its face.

Caught red-handed! Or red-clawed. And the poor marigolds were quivering, half-mangled, the planter box almost emptied, whole plants snapped off and their petals scattered over the tiles and far below on the path.

Now, I'm all for the concept of sharing, but those marigolds were superb - in a spectrum of warm colours from yellow through to deep gold, orange, crimson and burgundy. What I really loved was the way you could look over the marigolds to a swathe of gold-toned autumn leaves on the plane trees lining our street.

Beyond these two bands of colour was the sunrise, if I was up early enough, as well as sunset, which stretches across the sweep of sky from the west to the east and is reflected in the windows of the city buildings. Layer upon layer of glorious colour as far as the eye could see.

So, the foreground of my autumn layers is a mangled mess! Grrr! Before I sent the pesky birds packing, I must admit I had to admire them for a few seconds. They are stunning to look at, with their startling white feathers and that crazy yellow hairdo.

They're so destructive - I know people who live in the Royal National Park, south of Sydney, who have had their wooden verandah rails ruined by cockatoos, whole flocks of them chomping away every morning.

Mind you, another of my autumn layer has gone now - the fresh winds of the past week have blown most of the leaves off the plane trees. Oh well, it is winter after all. At least there's still the sky colours - the wind and the cockatoos can't destroy those!