Well, come December we took our show down and had frantic time finishing our years printing. Then breathing out, we stepped out into the hottest summer in years. So hot and it still is, we live in hope of no forest fires.
Studio maintenance this year has meant painting our windows.
Fast little birds, they 'clean' tree foliage of thrips sap suckers and other tiny critters.
They are heard more than seen.
While slowly marching around with a paintbrush we began to notice a few beautiful birds bursting out of tunnels at our feet. These birds are Striated Pardalotes. Tiny and beautiful. Length is around 40-45mm, they nest in small tunnels they dig in soft earth. These tunnels can be 250 - 300mm long culminating in a small nest chamber. They lay 3or 4 eggs. How they successfully do this amazes me, as they seem so helpless in the face of countless enemies. The other surprising feat is that they migrate to mainland Australia every Autumn returning here in Spring. Around the studio they dig tunnels in soft sand left by the stonemason when building the wall.
In Pardalote land its watch out for snakes and bigger predators like birds who catch parents coming and going.
The nice thing about country living is that you get to see all these changes going on around you. I notice now that state planning laws will prevent people from constructing dwellings near forest because of fire risk. I'd rather take the chance thanks!
Jo in her painting outfit
A sandy bank for Pardalote nests!