In the past year we've had what seems like a zoo's worth of wildlife visit our home - some being more welcome than others! - culminating this week in something rather spectacular and very unexpected!
Firstly we had a baby owl fly onto our deck last Winter and become disorientated after flying straight into our glass door! Dad was all for keeping him as a pet but we thought it would be best to let him go. I picked him up to keep him safe from the dogs but man were his claws sharp!
A few months after that we were visited by a baby brown snake that had slithered into our office, only a few metres away from one of our sleeping dogs! It took us and the snake catcher a few days to catch him as he'd slithered into the recess of a sliding door. Although he was very small - only around 30cms long - we were told that brown snake babies are just as poisonous as their full grown counterparts, so were rather unnerved by the visit!
This summer we awoke in the middle of the night to the frantic barking of the dogs, but it wasn't until the next morning that we discovered this furry friend resting on our fence! He stayed for the day and wandered off through the vines the following night.
Around that time we also noticed that a bird had nested in one of the climbing rose bushes along our fence and laid two eggs. We checked them over the following weeks to see them hatch, grow feathers and eventually fly away! It was amazing to see how much they changed and grew over such a short period of time.
Over the past week I've also had the unusual job of rescuing two birds, on separate occasions, from our wood heater, where they had flown down the flue and into the - thankfully empty - heater. Perhaps it was due to the heat wave - maybe our air-conditioner was blowing cool air up the flue? I'm not sure, but I managed to coax them out of the fireplace and guide them towards an open door, although they had a bit of a tour of the house in the process!
We've also had an unpleasant visit from a couple of rats who have decided that our chook pen - together with our pear, lemon and peach trees - were a great source of food, and decided to return on a somewhat regular basis! That is until our traps put an end to that!
And perhaps the most unusual guests we've had have been a swarm of bees on our backyard pergola. They've been harrassing us for the past few weeks until we discovered the reason for this just last week.
I know that in order to remove the hive we'll have to move the queen bee, but have no idea how to do so without being stung by thousands of bees! Time to call the professionals I think!