Sunday, 28 April 2013


There are some days when it all becomes too much to take, not the hustle and bustle of traffic sounds rising up from the streets, or airplanes overhead, but the sheer diversity of experiences that bombard the senses on a simple walk around a tropical garden on a warm Sunday morning.

A morning that begun brilliantly clear and sunny, followed by a sudden and torrential downpour, in turn gave way to a parting of the clouds, sunshine and clear blue skies; and so it has continued. Now at 11.00am, the sun is making yet another bid to show itself, and all around great plumes of steam gently rise from the dense green foliage across the valley - I feel as though I'm in the Costa Rican jungle.

Here we are in the last few days of April and there is no doubt that spring has sprung, as several pairs of 'newly weds' busy themselves in searching for nooks and crannies to call home.  What I cannot fathom is the fact that although surrounded by acre-upon-acre of virgin woodland, the bird population seem hell-bent on making their nests in my home! Several pairs of bullfinches, each armed with a beak full of straw, are bickering and jostling for pole position to land the perfect spot.  Unfortunately, the prime location appears to be the space between my windows and fly screens.  Many of the upstairs windows are left slightly ajar, 24/7 to keep a good air flow through the house. For some reason (perhaps because of the good airflow?), the bullfinches have deemed that this is indeed a very good place to call home.

Sadly, I've had to evict two pairs (before they had time to complete their nest), because at some future point I will need to open the window on warmer days, which would result in their nest falling out; or need to close the windows, in the event of heavy rain/strong winds, which would be disasterous if the nest contained eggs or young.   So, I have to be vigilant, and chase away my would-be tenants before they get too comfortable.

Thankfully, one pair at least have seen sense, and moved their efforts to the self-seeded West Indian Lime, where they will be safe and dry. However, the much larger pair of Turtle Doves who keep appearing at my bedroom door may be a little harder to deter.   One of my Facebook friends commented that perhaps the birds just 'long to be close to you" - which made me laugh out loud, and ever so slightly disappointed that I hadn't thought of making use of that song title myself when I posted the status about the birds! :) 

And whilst all this is going on, and as if not to be outdone by all these sights of steaming jungle greenery, and sounds of battling birdlife, the olfactory receptors have also been treated to warm, steamy, sensuous and provocative scents wafting from nearby blooms of Gardenia, White Ginger, Rosemary, Jasmine, Citrus blossoms and so many other plants that I have no notion of their name, or how they came to be in the garden.  I guess I have to thank the birds for that too?

As I upload a teeeny, tiny glimpse of some of these wonders, through photographs that barely do justice to the 'real deal', I can hear the sound of raindrops again on the metal roof, and know that it is probably now too wet for me to plant the carrot, beets and radish seeds as I had planned:

Throwing open the bedroom doors, and thinking today would be a good day for seed planting...

Bullfinches in the West Indian Lime tree

Greeted by the sight of every cashew nut plucked from the tree, chewed by my canine dastardly duo and disgarded - grrr!

The new garden is slowly becoming a riot of colour, even on a grey day

Heleconia (variety unknown)

A much-loved poster I have from a visit to the South of France; but who needs perfume factories when you have all this on your doorstep?

Arriving home just after a rain shower, and had to capture how green is my valley!