Friday, July 6, 2012


The Kookaburra - like a fluffed up bundle of old rags with a sharp beak was sitting on the fence post laughing at me last night as I rushed about doing the chores (Barbs is working until 6-7 every night, and James leaves home at 7.15 and often doesn't get back until 6.30-7 every night, so it's very quiet here on the farm. Dogs bark and the kookaburra laughs and blasted kurrawongs make a racket passing through. Human chatter, not a lot.

I've been told that people are very superstitious about killing kookaburras. That explains why they're not extinct :-). I've got quite used to it and almost fond of it, but the first time nearly made me jump out of my skin. I do begin to appreciate, though, why they said that the early Flinders island farms were really tough on the women. While it's not universal, I think women are more gregarious, and this must have been a very lonely life if you liked a bit of a chat. Fortunately I like people and can see them once a week even if I don't need to. The internet too makes a big difference. But I understand why some people talk back to the kookaburra


  1. Not had the 'pleasure' of a Kookaburra laughing at me (I have heard them at the zoo but not while I was close to them) but I have had a guinea fowl scare the bejeezus out of me late one night picking up a gallon of goats milk from a family friend's farm in the sticks.

    nearly dropped the gallon bottle I was bringing back.

    1. Sigh. Now you have me missing guinea fowl, or at least, eating them.

  2. Kookaburra's are wonderful. We have a family of five that visit our clothesline from April to July each year. They really appreciate fish guts, they are soft and easy to feed to the fledglings.

    We have two types of snake that are endemic to our area - pure green and pure black, else identical. Each is about the thickness of a pencil, about two average pencils in length as an adult. They are harmless, but tend to scare the heck out of you when trod on in the hallway at night. Kookaburras keep them down to about 50 on the property as far as we can see, which is a good thing as 5 kids each three months makes for an horrendous geometric progression.

    The best birds are crows. They kill cane toads by biting through the back of the neck. They then leave them in a bird bath for 24 hours for the poison to leach out, rip them to bits and take the bits back to the nest. The skins are left - smart birds, crows.

    Its a bit of a nuisance, as I have to thoroughly clean each bird bath every day to avoid the toad poisons killing our smaller birds. But anything that kills toads gets my vote.

    About a year ago my cat was mewing very loudly and I went to find the problem. A toad was sitting next to the cat's feed bowl, picking up the cat crunchies one at a time in its hand and eating them.


    1. Thank heavens cane toads have not yet made it here!

  3. Just wait until you get to enjoy the dulcet tones of the male koala in spring...

  4. Kids

    Off topic, of course.

    Well, I'm astonished. Alex, the younger, talked to us for over six hours, all interesting, no signs of a stoush at any point.

    Michael, the elder actually got jealous enough of the conversation to take himself away from his computer games and talk to me till almost 2 am. Not sure what time I'll wake up today, but I hope its late.

    Mike has never before spoken to me on a home visit without it feeling like he was visiting the school Principal.

    Thank you Alex for talking to your parents as beloved friends. Thank you Mike for catching the vibe and doing the same at last.

    I'm in heaven.