What a difference a few weeks can make. In late March, we had record-breaking heat and now an early snowfall!
The heavens in Australia are rarely silent: bird-song is everywhere and it pays to watch and listen for the subtle differences as they can usually portent a change in the weather. For instance the call of the Currawong of signifies approaching rain; the laugh of Kookaburras or the whip of Bell-birds in the morning signifies the day will be still and hot, or when the Kookaburra laughs during a thunderstorm it means it will soon clear.
Cockatoos are an amazingly noisy, inquisitive, highly intelligent (captive birds are easily trained to talk), long-lived bird. They are abundant whether you are in the country-side, the bush or the city.
Because Cockatoos are so intelligent, they actually suffer from a very human condition – boredom – and this can lead them to become destructive; Cockatoos have been known to strip decorative woodwork from houses, chew the lids from wheelie bins, gnaw through car antennae and generally make a right mess. One of the reasons you seldom see the light-weight asphalt roofing shingles (so common overseas) used in Australia is because Cockatoos treat the entire roof as complicated chew-toy, so we have to stick to concrete, terracotta or metal roofing.
I love them; their antics always make me smile, but understandably, few people actively encourage these birds into their yard.
Yesterday dawned bright, but when the local White Cockatoos gathered in massive, noisy, chattering numbers, I should have known that the weather would change.
And change it did!
By midday a frigid, howling gale moved in bringing sleet and snow to the Central Tablelands. With the soils still warm from summer, it didn’t settle in many places and the event was quick: all I got as pictorial evidence was the shot of the last of the snow on my polycarbonate roof when I got home from work.
But, just like the mountains bring in the leaf-peepers for autumn leaves; it also brings the snow-chasers.
I found a you-tube link of a video of yesterday’s event from one such chaser: snow in the central tablelands. The snow doesn’t start until about 5 minutes in, but still it is a nice video showing the farming areas around here.
Today is still cold and windy, and quite sensibly, the Cockatoos have all flown away.
Happy Gardening 🙂