Last Sunday I noticed an injured pigeon in our courtyard. It was practically crawling towards the bird bath. One of its legs was badly injured and I noticed that it had tags, an orange one on the left leg and a green one on the right. I threw some wild bird mix out to it and it was eating happily until a crested pigeon came along and started attacking it. It flew up on to the roof. Then a dozen or so cockatoos flew in and started shooing it.
The next morning it was still here, so we enticed it down off the roof with a little bowl of seed and a bowl of water, well out of sight of our 'residents'. Hubby managed to pick it up, we got the numbers on the tags and, after several phone calls, later that evening the owner contacted us and said to let it rest for a few days and then it will fly home, or we could keep it. It is a racing pigeon and was released last Saturday hundreds of kilometres away in New South Wales.
'Stooly' has so enjoyed his recuperation in our barn and now we have the big clean up.
I just managed to get him in flight as he flew out the door of the barn, heading for the shed roof.
An hour later he's still here, flying from one roof to the other, so we've left the barn door open. Happily his right leg is now healed and he's standing on it without pain. The owner said that they get attacked in flight by hawks and eagles.
Update:He flew around in short bursts for a couple of hours and went back into the barn. I think he loves this place!
After 14 years of drought, we're certainly hoping it has broken. We had non-stop rain last weekend and floods have been extensive in some parts of Victoria, forcing hundreds of families to evacuate. In some areas the water has yet to reach its peak and, with another week of rain expected, the inevitable is very worrying for some.
See that row of trees at the base of the mountain? They fringe the Goulburn River, which has temporarily been 'switched off'', so as not to exacerbate the plight of the flooded areas further up country. It is the main irrigator to the 'food bowl' in central Victoria and has been filled from the man-made lake, Lake Eildon, since the 1950s.
We are a couple of metres above the flood plain here so basically high and dry. Three little ponds appeared last Saturday so I took a few shots for the record.
The autumn leaves you see in this pic are left over from autumn. The tree is beginning to bud, so they'll soon drop off.
In two days we had 92ml in the rain gauge, which is just over 3½ inches.
Half an hour away is the little town of Bonnie Doon at the Northerly stretch of Lake Eildon. A time worn catch cry from people in the big smoke is, "Is there water under the bridge at Bonnie Doon?" We'd heard a whisper there was, so yesterday we drove up to see for ourselves.
A bit of a mess after the heavy rain. This area has been dry for years and the rubbish has been pushed to shore. Looks like a letter box lying there in the flotsam and jetsam! The lake is presently at 54% capacity and is 45 metres below full supply level; the fullest it's been since 1996.
The swollen Rubicon River down the road broke the bridge!
off-piste - (awf-peest) - adverb, adjective meaning skiing away from regular ski runs.
Back country skiing is skiing in a sparsely inhabited rural region over ungroomed or unmarked slopes or pistes, including skiing in unmarked or patrolled areas, either within the ski resort's boundaries or in the backcountry, frequently amongst trees ('glade skiing'), usually in pursuit of fresh, fallen snow, known as powder snow.
Hazards: Backcountry skiing can be highly dangerous due to avalanche danger, exhaustion and mountain weather. Other hazards include cliffs, rock fall and tree wells. Source: Wikipedia.
I'd never heard of the term 'off-piste' (not being a skier) until I read an article on our very own 'singing budgie', Kylie Minogue. Recently she's been turning up at the odd venue, unannounced, for an impromptu performance.
Rufus Wainwright and Kylie Minogue
Kylie recently performed with Rufus Wainwright (who?) at the Watermill Centre Concert in New York and was quoted as saying, "I absolutely adore doing these types of one-off gigs. To share these moments with fellow artists, to be able to go off-piste and perform different songs and different styles is like food for the creative soul."
I've also read that it can refer to parenting - 'consciously choosing to parent your children different to the way you were parented - off-piste parenting'.
So, apparently 'off-piste' can relate to anything that is apart from the norm.