A hummingbird visited my backyard today, attracted by my cold-hardy mahonia’s bright yellow flowers.
(There was a little more snow on the ground on Monday morning, but not enough to make too much trouble on the city’s streets).
Alright .. one more picture of the pink and gray cockatoo called the galah.
This one was in an eucalyptus by the tennis courts here in Bull Creek.
It is steadying itself, while sharpening its beak on the hard bark of the tree trunk.
This beautiful eucalyptus tree is by the tennis courts here in Bull Creek.
I am still trying to identify the specific name of it. The term ‘eucalypt’ includes some 900 species in the three genera Eucalyptus, Corymbia and Angophora.
And where is its bark?
In almost all types of eucalyptus, the bark dies every year. It comes off in flakes, curls or long strips. This might be the tree’s way of shedding harmful mosses, lichens, fungi and parasites that live on the bark.
Here is the New Holland honeyeater.
They are found throughout southern Australia.
I found a picture of one on the wall at the Stockland shopping center, and the real McCoy in the Ron Carroll Reserve green space.
I ran into a flock of western corellas (Cacatua pastinator) across from the little shopping center here in Bull Creek. The white cockatoos were eating the seeds of a cypress bush and did not mind me too much, as I came closer to them to take some pictures.
By some estimates the number of these birds have increased tenfold in the greater Perth area over the last 20 years. The city council is mulling how to control their numbers, and has called on bird lovers to refrain from feeding them, as a start.
I stopped at an ‘Australia Post’ post office today.
I had the poor clerk behind the counter flip through the big album, full of sheets of stamps, so that I could pick out colorful and interesting stamps to buy. She was very patient with me!
I found this western wattlebird (Anthochaera lunulata) in the Ron Carroll Reserve, a green space here in suburban Perth.
The bird is a large honeyeater, long and slender, with dark grey-brown upper-parts.
There are pale streaks and spots on the neck, chest and belly.
They have ‘brush-tipped’ tongues, with which they eat nectar from flowers. They do eat insects as well.
I finally bought the lioness figure at the Red Balloon toy store nearby, to add to my animal collection.
When it comes to lions, it is almost exclusively the females that go hunting. Their prey are usually faster than they are, so they have to first creep up to a close distance from different sides and then sprint towards their prey. Then when the prey had been caught, the males are always the first ones to eat.
They did come up: the giant red fly agaric mushrooms, in my backyard. Those other paler, smaller ones from earlier in October might be a different species or subspecies of mushroom. I made sure I took a few pictures before the squirrels took large bites out of it, the way they do sometimes.
Another type of gilled mushroom has appeared in my backyard, and as far as I can tell, these are Amanita gemmata.(No touching! These are poisonous).
Just last week, so-called ‘death cap’ mushrooms (Amanita phalloides), were found on the campus of the University of Washington here in the city. A gardener found 40 mushrooms on the east side of Benson Hall and confirmed their identity with a campus mycologist.
‘We do not see things as they are, we see them as we are’.
– from Seduction of the Minotaur, by Anais Nin (1961)
The entire Sept. issue of Scientific American is dedicated to the topic on the front page in bold letters: Truth, Lies & Uncertainty: Searching for Reality in Unreal Times. The articles are heavy on science and general philosophies about what is real and what is virtual. For example: to this day, philosophers cannot agree on whether mathematical objects (say, the number ‘7’) exist, or are pure fictions.
A summary of the article by Prof. Anil K. Seth that goes with the picture below, goes like this:
‘The reality we perceive is not a direct reflection of the external objective world. Instead it is the product of the brain’s predictions about the causes of incoming sensory signals. The property of realness that accompanies our perceptions may serve to guide our behavior so that we respond appropriately to the sources of sensory signals’.
So throw in Presidents that lie every day, greedy corporations with profit incentives, and worldwide social media networks — and holy cow: it’s more important than ever before to try to verify if something uncertain or new that we come across, is ‘true’.
I caught several beautiful birds on camera while roaming the gardens during my visit at Kirstenbosch.
The most striking ones were sunbirds and sugarbirds.
Sunbirds (family Nectariniidae) are not hummingbirds (family Trochilidae) — even though both have sharp, curved bills and iridescent feathers.
Hummingbirds are native to the Americas and are related to swifts.
Sunbirds are native to Africa, Asia and Australia and are related to swallows.