Sunday, August 2, 2009

Santa's Little Helpers

We were blessed with decent rains this week so we could get on with this year's planting. We finally made a much talked-about trip to the Mennonite nursery that sells some unusual stuff: peach, apple, red guavas, pomegranate, cranberry, raspberry, blackberry and mulberry (real blackberry - not the pretend Belizean blackberry that is actually a big tree full of black berries that only the squirrels will eat. We'd planted 6 of those before we cottoned on. Man, we're quick).

We were also blessed with 2 new arrivals. One came from a couple of local children who's mother was given the bird by a friend. She didn't want it and had obviously sent her boys out to get money for it. The kids received The Lecture (several times, poor things) and the promise of the reward of Bird Rescue T-Shirts on delivery of the bird. We waved goodbye never expecting to see them again. Next morning they were back with a red lored in a cardboard box. Miraculous! I did feel sorry for them though: I can imagine they faced a scene similar to Jack returning home with the magic beans.

The second bird was delivered by the owners of Thatch Caye - they in turn got it from a lady who had to return home after 5 years in Belize. Pepe is adorable - he is probably in the best condition of any bird we have ever had (apart from maybe Fiona) and he absolutely loves Jerry. I can watch and larf as poor Jerry is chased all over the house by this fully flighted and very willful bird. It's like Chili (and Mr P, Basil, Rosie, Midge, Beaky...) all over again. Except this time is Jerry that's not allowed to go to the loo by himself! At last and hooray.

I've also had helpers this week: a first for me. Dyanna is my toy-making helper but I try not to abuse her generosity. However, work-experience helpers needing to put in 40 hours to graduate are fair game. Thanks Andrew - see you next week. Seriously, it was tough for the freak to relinquish control, but I managed it. And they really did do a good job. Bugger. I guess it's not rocket science after all...
As well as constructing some amazing foraging toys, Dyanna and Andrew helped us get aviary 3 up and running so the little darlings occupying the house would have somewhere to day-trip. We still bring the babies in at night because they give us 'the look' and we are clearly a soft touch. And it means I can do the early-morning feed in my PJ's without frightening the horses. The babies are enjoying crunchy stuff, but still need the slop twice a day. Or is it that I still like feeding them??? Some mothers just don't know when to let go...

Jake must have read my last post and is behaving more like a real owl. He is no longer desperate to come in at night and has discovered that the ceiling fans on the roof-terrace make excellent hunting grounds. Thanks to BEL and a strange quirk of the wiring, every time there's a power-out, the lights come on, so Jake can be guaranteed to have a hunting light almost every night (I wonder if he knows that's illegal...?)