Monday, October 29, 2007

Daurian redstart

I've had a few days of lazing around on the sofa trying to get rid of a sore throat and an extremely sore arm - according to the doctor I somehow managed to inflame all the ligaments in my forearm while I was digging peanuts.... I think I am on the mend now and managed to get into the garden to start clearing it up for the big onion planting (on mother-in-law's "request"). I had quite a big harvest day with sweet potatoes, chillis, basil and beans among some of the goodies. Of course I forgot to take photos so that will have to wait till tomorrow.
One thing I finally did get a photo of (from a distance...) is a little bird that has been following me around for the last few days. The close up picture is from a different homepage... I have managed to identify it as a male Daurian redstart (ジョウビタキ) - also known as an old world fly catcher. Whatever it is I could sit and watch it for hours. It reminds me a bit of a waxeye in New Zealand as it just plays around and lets me come quite close - unless of course I am holding a camera. This is why I tried to make my birds table.... to attract some nice birds. Unfortunately the only birds that ever came to the bird table were crows mixed in with a few preying mantis! I guess I need to work out what it likes to eat and see if I can find it a friend.

When Beth was here she commented that there was so much Halloween stuff around. She was right - the shops seem to be overrun with Halloween things and cake shops and flower shops seem to take it to the extreme. The only problem with this is that no one has any idea at all about what people usually do on Halloween .... another great case of commercialisation! Despite this we showed the kids a little bit of what Halloween is about with a small dress-up party (despite spending a long time making a pirates costume for my son he refused to wear it.... ) at a friends house. The children went trick or treating in different rooms of the house rather than going to different houses. They seemed more than happy with this - I guess chocolate is chocolate wherever you get it!

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