Unique Aussie experiences
After a really pleasant mild winter, spring hit Brisbane with a thud today. Temperatures jumping to 36 degrees and its only the end of October. We’re in for a hot summer.
But it is still technically spring and despite the soaring temperature gauge we continue to experience the things spring brings. (Did you like all those ‘ings’?)
One of these are the magpie strikes – random, calculated and frightening if you’re on the receiving end of one of their attacks.
These black and white birds are native to Australia and for ten months out of the year are friendly, pleasant to listen to (who doesn’t like the warble of a magpie in the morning) and generally not a bother. But when it comes to the breeding season, the male becomes very protective of its female nesting partner and will swoop if it believes there is a threat to its territory.
I’ve never personally been swooped on but a few years ago I watched one of my sons cop the wrath of an angry magpie on a bike ride and it was frightening for him (and for me following.) He also tells me he was swooped the other day by another magpie when he was walking to the shops and this one clipped his ear. Their beaks are sharp and it created a cut that bled a little. Maybe the magpie fraternity have clocked my son as a target forever more?
Not likely – I know its more bad luck.
Nasty tiny critters
And then there are the paralysis ticks. These little nasty pieces of work no bigger than a pin head can latch onto your pet and within 18 – 31 hours can kill it. Our 10 year old border collie had her first encounter with one three weeks ago and I went from being an ignorant person about ticks to quickly understanding how lethal they can be if left undetected. If any of your pets succumb to wobbly legs (usually the hind legs) go off their food and become lethargic all of a sudden, take them to a vet who knows the signs of a tick and have them checked over.
Thankfully our dog survived the ordeal after a night in the vet hospital, having her fur coat shaved back to the skin (to detect if there were any more ticks hiding) and a two week recovery. And she picked this one up in the suburbs, so don’t think ticks are only found when you visit the bush!
Storms and sunsets
And with spring comes the storms. Usually during the afternoon, often timed to coincide with school pick up or office leaving time. Because I live on the south side of Brisbane, I watch these storms percolate in the west, the sky turning a deep shade of grey (greenish tinge when there is hail.) As the storm cell moves closer, the sky lights up with an incredible display of lightning and a heavy shower of rain.
Unfortunately this year there have been some nasty hail storms around the state, which have damaged farmer’s crops and property.
After the storms we usually experience a stunning sunset. Almost like a peace offering for all the noisy thunder and heavy rainfall.
My inspiration for writing this post came after reading Frances Whiting’s column in U on Sunday (September 30, 2018) about our unique magpie Frances Whiting U on Sunday magpies
Tell me about some of your unique spring Aussie experiences – I’d love to hear them.