It’s summer in our part of the world and it’s been pretty intense weather-wise. Bush/nature walks have been non-existent except for the occasional park early in the morning but we have had some nature finds around our garden.
Birdlife has been raucous with a few new visitors some of which I’m still trying to identify. We hear the birds here but getting a good look at them through the trees isn’t easy.
I was excited to spot a lyrebird in a tree as I was sitting outside. That’s a first for me.
A very brief spell of rain was most welcome – that was one time I got to go out walking:
“That best portion of a good man’s life,
His little, nameless, unremembered acts
Of kindness and of love.”
‘There are always two ways of understanding other people’s words, acts, and motives; and human nature is so contradictory that both ways may be equally right; the difference is in the construction we put upon other people’s thoughts…
Of all the causes of unhappiness, perhaps few bring about more distress in the world than the habit, which even good people allow themselves in, of putting an ungentle construction upon the ways and words of the people they live with…
Kindness which is simple thinks none of these things, nor does it put evil constructions upon the thoughts that others may think in the given circumstances.’
Ourselves: Kindness in Construction.
I think, if for no other reason, this is something we need to nip in the bud so that our children don’t pick up our habit in this area. Or if we don’t have that inclination ourselves, it stills helps to point it out as something to be avoided.
Moozle’s Nature Notebook:
These two book are our mainstays. Australian Nature Studies is used as a reference while Nature Studies in Australia by William Gillies is a book Moozle reads each week.
Lots of these around at the moment: Eastern Water Dragon
Stick Insect (Phasmatodea)
Architecture Notebook & LEGO model of the Eiffel Tower – Moozle did this in the holidays. So good when their ‘lessons’ extend into their free time just because that’s what they love to do.
Christmas bush leaves and flowers ravaged by the native birds and dropped on the sandstone capping on our verandah:
Summer Sunset from upstairs looking out over the bush:
Some cuttings left to grow roots on our laundry window sill: Nodding violet & fuchsia:
A late afternoon trip to the beach for dinner after a stinking hot day:
And this prayer I make,
Knowing that Nature never did betray
The heart that loved her; ’tis her privilege,
Through all the years of this our life, to lead
From joy to joy: for she can so inform
The mind that is within us, so impress
With quietness and beauty, and so feed
With lofty thoughts, that neither evil tongues,
Rash judgments, nor the sneers of selfish men,
Nor greetings where no kindness is, nor all
The dreary intercourse of daily life,
Shall e’er prevail against us…
Called out at 2 a.m. on a freezing Yorkshire night to look at a ewe that had given birth earlier in the day, he has to strip off his overcoat & jacket to examine her:
‘There’s another lamb in here,’ I said. ‘It’s laid wrong or it would have been born with its mate this afternoon. ‘ Even as I spoke my fingers had righted the presentation and I drew the little creature gently out and deposited him on the grass. I hadn’t expected him to be alive after his delayed entry but as he made contact with the cold ground his limbs gave a convulsive twitch and almost immediately I felt his ribs heaving under my hand.
For a moment I forgot the knife-like wind in the thrill which I always found in new life, the thrill that was always fresh, warm.
Herriot’s memoirs are a delightful mix of humour, nature study, relationships, and life as a young vet. I’ve been reading them aloud and they are a lovely way to include some natural history.
Eastern Coast of Australia, Sydney area: