Category: Wildlife

I’ve been on a high-level training course this week, and the hotel where it’s being held has a pair of lovebirds in the lobby.

The venue is far from home, but the lovebirds make me smile and think of bebe and all our monster birds.  🙂


This is obviously not the Riviera Maya photo post, but it occurred to me that I haven’t mentioned the other little monsters that I’ve been caring for these last few months.  Not only was I ignoring my jet lag to sort us out last week, but I also ignored it to care for my vicious little garden gang: three dunnocks, two magpies, one insanely aggressive robin, a pair of blue tits, one male blackbird & a wood pigeon.  🙂

Suet Cake Production Line

The ribbons became necessary after the first batch.  Magpies, they prefer takeaway.

Hanging in the Garden


Señorita is my favourite bird.  We first saw her the day we moved in, and dunnocks are a sedentary species, so it’s likely she’s lived her entire life near our back garden.  She’s easily recognisable due to her missing left foot and the fact that she hops to the door every morning to say hello.  She also likes to sit on the step when I’m in the kitchen cooking.  She is one cool little bird, though I’m not looking forward to Spring.  Dunnocks practice polyamory and have other. . .unusual and graphic mating behaviours, which are on You Tube if you’re brave.







Another fun part of Summer in Tennessee: giant insects!  😀

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leaving france

Budelli Island

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sea urchins!

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Spargi Island

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our favourite swimming hole

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Not Entirely Sure Which Island (possibly the other side of Spargi, possibly not)

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. . . with a fly swatter.

We woke this morning to find a pigeon stuck in one of our window sills.  The space is about two inches wide, bordered on one side by window and the other by iron railing.  I have no idea how long he’d been there, but I do know that he seemed resigned to the thought that he could never again leave.

So what does a pigeon look like when he thinks he’s made a huge mistake?

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We managed to open the window wide enough to give him more outside space (but not enough that he could get inside), but he still didn’t seem to want to move, so I slid a fly swatter under his little clawed feet.  He then just stood on the fly swatter, so I started lifting, and eventually I managed to get him to a height of his liking.  At this point, I guess he no longer felt welcome, because off he flew.

This was not my first bird extraction.  One day, ask me about the Pied Currawong that used our dining table as an ice rink in Sydney.  That. Was. Messy.


This year’s post is not comprehensive.  We just went too many places, so I’ve had to edit.  I’ve left out most of France, the UK, and quite a few places in the US.  Here are some leftovers. . .  🙂

Barcelona, Spain

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Annecy, France

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Saronic Gulf Islands, Greece

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Milan, Italy

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Johannesburg, South Africa

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Portland, Oregon. . .USA

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Atlanta, Georgia. . .USA

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Brussels, Belgium

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Bruges, Belgium

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Amsterdam, The Netherlands

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Now on to planning 2015!  So far, we’re tentatively looking at London, New York, Barbados. . . and maybe Sardinia.  🙂

Srsly.  We loved it there.  I’m not sure I’ve ever felt more comfortable in any foreign city, and it was the best trip we’ve taken in ages.  Part of it certainly is that we chose to stay in El Born: a trendy, artsy neighbourhood that reminded us a bit of Melbourne- except that all the awesome bars, restaurants and boutiques in its laneways were a fraction of the price.  🙂

All of the locals were friendly and laid back.  There were vegetarian craft beer bars, an Asian dumpling bar, artisan jewelry designers, Aussie/American brunch restaurants (!!!!).  Here’s a small selection of our favourite neighbourhood haunts.  All of the glorious tapas, Gaudi and CAVA! pics to follow later in the week.  😉

Parc de la Ciutadella

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Cat Bar CAT

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Brunch @ Picnic

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Fried Green Tomatoes, Eggs Benny, Duck Hash & an Oyster Bloody Mary.  It was soooooooooo nice to eat a warm, runny egg in the daylight hours.  I’m looking at you, France!

Ale & Hop

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So nice, we went twice.


There are no photos from Mosquito, but they have xiao long bao, a hand pump and sake.  All of your bases are covered.  😉

Mercat de Santa Caterina

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Thank you El Born for an awesome visit!  More Barcelona neighbourhoods to come. . . 🙂