Yesterday, out walking, we saw a large black bird, with a red beak, across the field. No binoculars, no zoom lens, what is it?
This morning sitting in Paradise and Roses (in-Persian-garden) I’m peacefully eating my breakfast bowl of muesli, and chatting to the Ungardener, enjoying the morning sun. Out of the sky comes a great, dark, shape; scoops a frog out of our pond and climbs onto the island. It is a very little island, about the size of a bathtub. (The Ungardener says it is 3 x 3 metres.)
A black stork! Please excuse the soggy chest feathers. He tidies himself up, waits, graciously, while the Ungardener fetches his camera. Poses, left profile, right profile, OK? And flies away. My heart is still going pit-a-pat.
Chocolat and Aragon, although he stands about a metre high, both went to investigate. If I didn’t have the picture to prove it, I wouldn’t believe it myself!
You make your choices in life, some with deliberation, and some are just, oh but I never realised that the goldfish would eat the frogs! We wanted frogs, so NO fish. And do we ever have frogs. Even a stork passing overhead can see that. When I call Chocolat before I go to bed, in season, the frogs fire back the whole 1812 overture – from the chirping reed frogs, all the way down to the oompah brass.
All shall be well
And all shall be well
And all manner of things shall be well
- Mother Julian of
From SASOL Birds of Southern Africa by Sinclair, Hockey and Tarboton. 2nd ed. 1997 Distiguished by red bill and legs. Juvenile is browner. Feeds in streams and ponds. Uncommon resident. Nests solitarily on cliff ledges.