Warning, some of these images may disturb you.
Bees are sipping nectar from fallen flowers. I am constantly reminding the children to put their shoes on, not to walk around bare feet, or in their socks. We have had one Jumping Jack ant bite already this season, they sting like crazy. Rubbing a fresh lavender leaf on the bite helps soothe the pain, but is a bit best avoided (lavender also helps bee stings).
Soldier Beetles are swarming. They cover everything but are apparently not doing any harm, in fact they are predators of many of the garden's foes. The mating swarm will disperse once the party is over, they have been around a couple of weeks and seem to be increasing in number, it's quite a sordid affair. The eldest Bowerbird is squeamish about their abundance and refuses to move the guinea pig cage that is covered in them. The beetles emit a white liquid to ward off predators, amazingly the CSIRO have discovered the same beetle juice has anti-cancer and antibiotic properties that may be synthesised for our benefit.
The little Bowerbird is not the slightest bit fazed by beetles.
Nor fashion, a look entirely her own.
Nor dead things.
The Little Bowerbird visited this poor Blackbird daily until we buried it. I'm not sure what killed it. Death takes a lot of observance to get your head around, she studied the bird closely, even poking it with a stick. I remember the other two being similarly fascinated by dead things at this age. Always asking me to stop on walks so they could study decaying creatures, wanting to know what had happened. Almost 40, I am still getting my head around death, it's just so ridiculously final, perhaps there is something to be gained from looking at it up close.
Then there is life, the summer vegies are being planted, a new cycle begins. The little Bowerbird and I were having a pause in the garden, watching ants disappear and re-emerge from this hole, some hold little seeds in their jaws, some have wings.
Our neighbour's cat comes to visit, strutting about with an air of ownership, prowling for his next feast. He has been a daily visitor since the arrival of an exuberant puppy at his home.
"Mummy mummy look what I found" pipes the little Bowerbird.
A wriggling tail twitches wildly in her hand. "Put it down, put it down", I say a little too loudly. It is my turn to be squeamish. She has caught me off guard with this offering of something to delight in. The cat has been hunting skinks and forced one to use their death defying, drop the tail and run trick. Of course it is fascinating, and there is no harm in holding the tail. I try and soothe the look of anxiety from my little ones face. Anxiety is not a good thing to share, and I calm my nerves and we talk about lizard tails. She pats the tail and feels its shiny scales. I explain the lizard has probably survived and will grow a new tail. She leaves it near the ants nest where it will be quickly found and used to sustain their rapidly increasing population.
Life goes on.
Do lizard tails make you squeamish?