wings and things






Phoenix 1



“I was here first … wasn’t I?”



Woodroffe loves having his (her?) photo taken.

Diamond, on the other hand, is far too shy and – no offence to Woody – Diamond is much prettier!


Nostalgic nuances

These pictures are of Woodroffe, the youngest of our three Sebastopol geese. He and his sister, Diamond, are about a year old now. Woody was only a few days old, but Diamond was a few weeks old, when we first got them, and it has made a huge difference in terms of my relationship with them. Woody is pattable and very tame but Diamond is quite shy and aloof.

Woody is on the far left.

 This is Woody now!

When Woody was a baby, Husband still lived here at home. Woody’s name was inspired by Husband’s family’s famous ancestor, George Woodroffe Goyder.

The trouble is, I am beginning to think Woody might be a girl!


A diamond in the rough

This metaphor perfectly describes Diamond’s position in the hierarchy of geese here.

To recap, Diamond and Woodroffe are our two Sebastopol geese. Here they are together. Diamond is on the left and Woody is on the right and has that distinguishing ‘freckle’ on his forehead.

This is what they looked like when we first got them. Woody was just a few days old, but Diamond was a couple of weeks old. Diamond is the one in the middle. (The goslings at the back and fore-front are Ola and Seli our Pilgrims.)

Well, due to the fact that Woodroffe was just a newborn, he and I imprinted on each other bigtime but Diamond was much more nervous so s/he and I didn’t establish the same sort of bond. So. lately, when Woody rushes up to me and Diamond stands back, I make more of an effort to give Diamond more attention. After all, I love them all equally!

Here is Diamond – elusive, enigmatic, enchanting. This post is for her, or him – I still don’t know!

A diamond in the rough.


Feathers in the nostrils

In the middle of this picture you see Diamond on the left and Woodroffe on the right, two Sebastapol geese (the other two, Ola and Seli – named after my nieces, Olivia and Selina, are Pilgrim geese). At the time I couldn’t wait for Woody and Diamond to grow up because I’d seen pictures of how beautiful they would become as adults. See the Wikipedia link here:

Well, now that they are nearly fully grown, they are indeed beautiful, almost magical, in appearance. Here is Woody.

And here is Diamond.

They are almost impossible to tell apart now except that Woody has a little grey mark on the right side of his forehead and is much friendlier than Diamond. As you can see, Diamond has developed a bit of the Godfrey arrogance! In fact I suspect that Diamond may well be a male, and Woodroffe might be a female, but it is obviously too late to change their names because, when I call them, they respond to these names.

I kind of miss the cute, soft cuddliness of their littleness, but they still like to have their incredible feathers stroked! The only drawback is that these curly feathers sometimes float up into my nostrils which doesn’t help the hayfever I always suffer this time of year.

When I went to the chemist the other day, he asked me what was the main trigger and I said, “Sebastopol goose feathers.”

He looked at me strangely before handing me the tablets.



When are we going to get a proper pond?

In the picture on the left, you see Pearl (Sebastopol) and Seli (Pilgrim) having a ‘swim’. In the picture on the right, Diamond has hopped in and there is now a queue – oh, that’s Woodroffe in the forefront by the way.

As you can see, the babies are all grown up now and the shell pools are a little inadequate! I didn’t want to get a proper pond too soon because I was told by one of the breeders that ducklings and goslings can easily drown, and obviously baby chickens and turkeys are even more at risk.

But finally, now that they’re so BIG, we’ve put the first pond in (I can see we are going to need a few of these!) and they are delighted, I think, although a little hesitant as you can see!

The funny thing is that when I lock them in the yards in the early evening (to keep them safe from the foxes), they still love to squish up together in the shell pools. So I still empty and refill these for them constantly, which sometimes seems a little futile as these tiny pools immediately becomes filthy again. But they don’t seem to mind; in fact they seem to find muddy water much more interesting than clean water – more bugs I guess.

The picture below is to remind you of what they used to look like, not that long ago! If I had known they were going to grow up so fast, I would have savoured these childhood moments more. That reminds me, Son graduated from high school this week. I wonder if he is going to require a bigger pond too – mmm?


Eccentric excesses

In yesterday’s post about bird nappies, I withheld my opinion to some extent because I was curious to see if readers registered approval or disapproval of such a concept. Instead, there has been a resounding silence! The news article below is about an Australian business that has had success in this ‘field’ and underneath the article there are three comments, two of which are negative.

So here is my opinion for what it’s worth: I don’t like the nappy idea at all. (Okay, I did contemplate it for two seconds). Of course there is nothing overtly cruel about it, however if birds of any sort were meant to be inside they would build houses, not nests. Occasionally our birds venture into the back verandah, and sometimes into the kitchen, but they don’t stay long because they prefer to be outside. It’s the confinement that bothers me and the more I look at the image of the chicken in a nappy in yesterday’s post, the more disturbing I find it, whereas initially I thought it was funny.

I would love to know what you think.

The image below is of the Sebastopol family that belongs to Michael who sold me our three chicks, Pearl, Woodroffe and Diamond. I cannot imagine anything more ridiculous than these beautiful creatures in nappies sitting on the couch watching television, can you?

Oh yeah, and I am not really getting Wantok, the red-tailed cockatoo, a flight suit; that was a joke!


Sebastopol sarcasm

Diamond: Hey, Woody, I think I found a wing. Can we Sebastopols fly?

Woodroffe: No, we can’t fly and what the hell are you doing now, Di? Oh, I can’t look – you are so embarrassing.

Diamond: I think I found my genitals and I might not be a girl after all.

Woodroffe: How thrilling. So what would you like me to call you now – Dick?

Dick: Why do you always have to be so sarcastic, Woody?


Father goose

Godfrey: Now, listen up, you four. We are geese! I insist that you to stop fraternizing with the ducks. They have absolutely no manners, no morals and they are filthy. Pearl, wake up – you are to stop associating with Zaruma. You’re not children anymore. You are a Sebastopol goose and Zaruma is a muscovy duck. Need I say more?

Seli: I am getting really sick of these morning lectures.

Ola: Yeah, that Godfather guy is a real piece of work.

Seli: Where is he now?

Ola: I think he’s teaching Pearl some sort of etiquette thing.

Seli: What’s ‘etiquette’?

Ola: Pearl reckons it’s something to do with standing up straight and stretching your neck up high.

Seli: What for?

Ola: Dunno – hey, there’s Zaruma. Let’s make a run for it!

Seli: Wait for me!

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