Wednesday, 25 December 2013

the tennis ball tree is in fruit again

How glad I am that Penny doesn't chew the tennis balls she finds. Otherwise, when December comes and the 'tennis ball' tree - aka in human terms as the plum tree - comes into fruit, Penny might chew her way through to the dangerous pip in the middle of the plum.

I hadn't realised the plums were ripening, until I glanced at Penny relaxing near her mat...

with the ball she stole from her friend Jabari last week...
and a new ball.

Hmm... what new ball is this?

It sure looks like a plum.

But, to misquote Shakespeare, what's in a name? That which we call a plum by any other name would smell as sweet. Or taste as good, if it hadn't been first chewed by a bird and then carried in Penny's mouth.

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

sunset and fruit bats

Two days ago, Penny and I strolled down the road to enjoy the beautiful summer sunset. Well, I enjoyed the sky and Penny enjoyed the smells on the ground.

Tonight, we set off with Penny's Other Human for a Christmas Eve walk, and I predicted that the sky wouldn't be interesting, because there weren't any clouds.

Was I ever wrong! The sky was filled with thousands (dare I say perhaps hundreds of thousands?) of fruit bats gliding past in surprising silence, headed who-knows-where? Pity the poor fruit farmer if his orchard was their destination!

It was the most amazing experience to see so many of these little mammals streaming across the sky for such a long time. We watched for about twenty minutes and they were still soaring across the night sky. I was interested, but as you can see, Penny thought it was totally uninteresting.

Happy Christmas, everyone!

Saturday, 14 December 2013

enjoying a little park with the dog

As I've said before, living with a dog makes me more aware of local places to enjoy nature. I was driving through Heidelberg recently and noticed a teensy little park and stored the information away in my 'can't-be-bothered-going-for-a-proper-walk' mental filing cabinet.

Today was one of those days, so we drove to the minuscule park and Penny showed me that you don't have to cover a lot of ground to have fun.

You can chase tennis balls and then lie on them.

You can mooch around smelling the smells.

There's always the pleasure of surveying the local scenery.

And, of course, you can just enjoy the ownership of a really, really grotty old tennis ball.

Monday, 9 December 2013

the solar powered butterfly

We have a new garden toy - a solar powered cabbage white butterfly that is supposed to scare off intruding butterflies.

Penny hasn't shown any interest in it, which is great. But of course we humans can't leave well enough alone, so I threw a treat into the garden to lure her in there and see what she would do.

The butterfly fluttered right in her face and she ignored it. Hooray!

And I think it's doing its job. If you look carefully at the last part of the clip, you'll see a cabbage white fly to the tomato plants and go away when it sees the artificial butterfly moving around. The idea is that these butterflies are territorial and a female won't lay eggs on plants if she thinks another butterfly has already laid eggs there.

Look how delicately Penny backs out without damaging the baby tomatoes and basil. What a clever dog!

Sunday, 8 December 2013

dog given life-saving treatment by firefighters

It was wonderful to read that firefighters would spend 45 minutes resuscitating a whippet who had nearly died in a house fire in Melbourne recently.

Here's the link to the article about this report that will make you feel good.