wings and things

Another little blog break

One of the unexpected bonuses of blogging for me has been the very real friendships formed, the mutual support, the shared humour, the shared grief. The lessons of life that I have learned through other people’s stories, and interactions, have taught me how to better do empathy and sympathy, and forced me to feel the difference.

Thanks so much for those of you who have commented, ‘liked’, and given me your friendships. For those of you who are bloggers, I am struggling at the moment to keep up with your writings, so please forgive me for that. For Facebook friends, same thing really!

Ming goes to court in three days. Apparently he and I simply appear, his charges will be read out, and the case will be adjourned by our lawyer until the end of February. So I really need to concentrate on all of this at least until the beginning of February, and blogging will go on the back burner for the time being.

Hard to believe now that when I began blogging it was all about the birds.



Greener pastures

Yesterday I made a snap decision and gave the emus away to neighbours who run a farmstay up in the hills north of here – not very far away. The Emerys will now be able to run around more freely instead of being penned in and taken for ‘walks’. I am going to miss them so much!


Spot the difference

Here are two photographs (I concede that these are not very good photographs but that isn’t the point of this game). Okay, so you know those newspaper games where there are two pictures that, at first glance, look identical and you have to find the differences? Well, here are two photos that are different from each other in numerous ways but there is only one significant difference. Can you find it?



Walking the emus

Our three (now adult) emus – ‘the Emerys’ – are very tame, however their natural curiosity and wanderlust means that we keep them in a big yard of their own. Many blogposts ago, I described how we lost them for a few days because they wandered onto an adjacent farm. So now, when we let them out of their yard, we don’t let them out of our sight.

It’s not an unusual request for me to ask Son to take the Emerys for a walk. He does so rather reluctantly but he is much better than I am at herding them back into their yard after they have eaten all the roses.


Emu chicks

In about three weeks I will get my emu chicks. I have decided to get two and this time I am getting them newly hatched so that the imprinting thing will happen and they won’t wander off as our three adult emus like to do. Here are some photos from the internet:

Instead of calling the new ones ‘Emery’ I am going to give them different names. Any ideas?

Here are two of the Emerys we lost to that rotten fox:

And (yes I know I’ve put this picture up before), my very first Emery, also killed by that fox.



For those of you who don’t know the emu back-story, here it is in brief. We got our first little emu as a chick and he bonded with the other babies – ducks, geese and turkeys, and with me. I named him Emery. I bought him from a hobby farmer who said all of Emery’s brothers and sisters had been bought and he was lonely.

I subsequently bought a couple more emu chicks from another hobby farmer, so we had three little Emerys. But, as they were, like all of the other birds, free-ranging, I lost all three to a fox in one afternoon, when they wandered off into a back paddock. It’s difficult to describe the horror I felt at the time.

Fast forward a bit: I then found a proper emu farmer who was willing to bring me six adolescent emus and, yes, I named them all ‘Emery’. It took me awhile to tame them, and we have lost three – one on arrival, one to digestive problems and another to paralysis (again, all of this was horrifying for me), but the remaining three are wonderfully happy and settled.

Several of my previous posts include various emu stories and other pictures, but the exciting news now is that, because the proper emu farmer ‘owes’ me a chick, I will soon be getting another baby Emery and this time I will be much more careful.


Emus and doudou!

Due to the interest shown in doudou’s bird sculptures I herewith copy/paste a more direct link to her site

I have never met doudou in person, so have only gotten to know her via the blogosphere but, ever since she made these emus for me, I have followed her work and her blog. Sorry, doudou, if you didn’t want the attention!

I think you can see from the pictures of my very first emu (Emery, who got killed by a fox, which devastated all of us), that doudou’s sculptures do a pretty good job of replicating the real thing.


Is the grass always greener?

I’ve just counted it up – the emus were gone for seven days – a whole week! Well, we now know they weren’t exactly gone and they were just in the next door paddock but wow! You have to realize that these paddocks are huge and the emus are still relatively small at one year of age. Also they blend in and, from a distance, look like tree stumps or branches. Or perhaps I need glasses!

Jenny, the farmer who owns the paddock, and I, had a big laugh on the phone about why they would prefer her paddock to ours, and Terry’s wife, Kaye, quoted the old saying, ‘the grass is always greener’, but what I find most interesting is that, instead of running for the hills, the emus stuck around.

It’s such a strange feeling to have actually let them go, in my heart and head, and now they’re back. For days, I comforted myself by imagining that they were frolicking in the forests, drinking from the streams, making friends with wild emus, and I actually accepted they were probably better off. Now I realize they didn’t want to go. The paddock they were in was on the corner of two roads and very easy to get out of (much easier than getting back into our paddock – go figure!)

With only three Emerys left (and the death of the fourth haunts me), the happy ending is a little tainted, however it is a beautiful thing to have them back. Once back in their yard, they went straight to the water trough and then to the bowl of wheat, then looked at me, and my container of cabbage, with glee!

This one is much more interested in my ring than the cabbage (they love anything shiny).

My beautiful Emerys! I will take them for a SHORT walk later today.



The emus are back home!

It’s a long story how this happened and is all due to my new hero, Terry, who single-handedly herded the Emerys through the fence back into our paddock.

The reunion was wonderful… when I said ‘Emerys!’ they looked at me expectantly and let me hug them briefly before they drew away. It was then that I realized that my communication with them suffers a certain amount of semantic confusion; ie. they think ‘Emerys’ means ‘Cabbage’. It’s all sorted out now.


Thank you so much, Terry!


Emu adventures

Yesterday’s emu fiasco went like this:

  • 6pm: Joyous discovery that the three Emerys were still in that paddock adjacent to our paddock (on the corner of two roads)
  • 6.10pm: Son and I cancel dinner with my mum and make a plan to herd emus back into our paddock
  • 6.15pm: We drive down our road and turn right into the other road and park near the gate to the paddock
  • 6.16pm: Son walks into the paddock to herd emus to the gate and out onto the road. The plan is to herd them, with me in the car, and Son on foot, up the road and around the corner into our road and up to our driveway and into our property
  • 6.40pm: Son gets the emus out of the paddock and into the road and, with my car lights flashing, I follow as Son walks them to the corner
  • 6.45pm: Two cars going in opposite directions on the road are forced to stop to allow us our slow journey. I have to jump in and out of the car to stop the Emerys from coming back. This is difficult as emus can run backwards!
  • 6.55pm: We eventually reach the corner and the people in both cars get out and help us to get the emus to turn into our road. Hilarity and thank yous are exchanged, then they all drive off
  • 7pm: With Son walking in front of the emus, and me driving behind, we gradually get them close to our driveway. Dusk is falling.
  • 7.10pm: The emus get to a little bridge and won’t cross it, so begin to run back towards my car. I leap out and shoo them back up
  • 7.12: The situation repeats itself
  • 7.14: And again. They will not cross the bridge
  • 7.15: Again – back and forth, back and forth. By now I have abandoned the car and I, too, am on foot
  • 7.30: Success at last; I have them running towards Son who is right next to our paddock. We decide to open a gate into our paddock instead of trying to get them all the way to our driveway, which is just past the stupid bridge
  • 7.31: Just before they get to our gate, they all push through into the same paddock (adjacent to ours) where they were in the first place
  • 7.32: Son begins to yell in frustration when I follow them (getting a nasty shock from the electric fence – I’m not quite sure why this didn’t deter the emus)
  • 7.33: I try herding them but, because it is now getting dark, they go all skittish and run in all directions. I have the vague hope of herding them through the fence into our paddock, but it doesn’t work
  • 7.40: Son screams ‘give up, Mum – it’s not worth it!’
  • 7.41: I walk back to the road and get into the car with Son who is exhausted in his back brace and in a rage
  • 7.42: We drive the tiny distance home in a frenzy of frustration
  • 8pm: The howling begins and ends
  • 8.30pm: Son and I agree that one day, in the far-off future, this might be a funny story….
  • 9pm: I find photos taken previously, during emu-walking, that illustrate this post
  • 9.05pm: Son tells me I am crazy and I tell him he is right
  • 9.10pm: We exchange a reluctant hug and begin to plan tomorrow’s emu adventure