Masked lapwing plovers are oddly cute birds that have a tendency to nest in ridiculous places. Cases in point: I have seen them doing so in a carpark and on the grassy verge running down the middle of a six lane motorway. Another case in point: when I drive D to work in the mornings, we navigate through a large, multi-lane roundabout that always makes me a little nervous. Several weeks ago, as I hesitantly awaited a gap in the traffic, I spotted an adult-sized plover on the edge of said roundabout, hovering protectively over the smallest and fluffiest of chicks, merely feet away from the cars zooming past. Being the lady that I am, I immediately proclaimed “oh shit!” at which point D instinctively grabbed at his seat in a brace-y sort of way, no doubt anticipating some kind of giant accident. “A teeny tiny bird!” I said. “Loook!” I worried about those damn birds all day long and ever since then, we make a point of looking out for them each morning (turns out, there are two chicks, yay!). As we approach the roundabout, I announce “birdwatch!” and D will look in earnest whilst I kind of glance as I am driving and I tell you, seeing those two little fuzzballs pretty much makes my morning because firstly, they are just so freakin’ cute and secondly, I am always so happy that they have survived another day on that stupid, giant roundabout (why, why must they live there?!). The coolest thing is when the morning light catches their downy little feathers and they stand there on their tiny little legs, looking all glowy. It’s just awesome.
In other animal news, there was a lot of shrieking in our apartment last night (from both of us) when I went into the bedroom and turned on the light, only to see a giant huntsman spider the size of my hand sitting on the wall. Alright so maybe it wasn’t the size of my hand, but it was the size of somebody’s hand. The hand of a smaller person, perhaps. But a hand nevertheless, and big enough that we couldn’t just pop a glass over it and set it free. We both freaked out for awhile, and D then donned not one but two pairs of gardening gloves, grabbed a giant plastic container from the kitchen cupboard and set about capturing the beastie as I stood a safe distance away, videoing the proceedings on my iPhone. D repeatedly asked me whether such spiders bite. I didn’t really know (although having consulted the ever-reliable Wikipedia this morning it appears that they very much do), but ventured “they’re not poisonous, though, so maybe it’s alright.” Needless to say, this was only mildly comforting to the Doubly Gloved Man. Anyway, we caught it in the end, setting it free in the furthermost corner of the garden and I went to bed hoping that they don’t travel in pairs. Can you imagine waking up in the middle of the night with that thing crawling across your face?? It makes me sick to even think about it, eek!
Also, I have to say that our Fur Kid is just so awesome. Every night when I get home from work she is sitting on the path waiting for me, and then follows me inside (meowing incessantly all the way). It’s such a small thing but it makes me so happy! I often squish her with hugs and inform her that she can’t ever, ever die; I just love having her around.
Oh and the other day, we visited the Botanical Gardens. Here are some photos. Apparently it is tulip season!
All photographs © Natasha Calhoun