Weekly Pet Share: A Friendly Sparrow

A Friendly Sparrow-086

Good morning from a cool but sunny Hastings day.

We are slowly heading into spring.  Officially it is spring next Tuesday. This means that our bird life is getting very active.  And very vocal.  I love waking up to the sound of the bird song and then, in the evenings they are very loud again. I have noticed a lot of birds flying around with bits of grass and sticks in their beaks.

But why is it, that whenever I grab my camera they all fly off?

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Copyright Raewyn Forbes

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Weekly Pet Share: On the Prowl

On the Prowl-9395

Good morning from a warmer, sunny Hastings day.

I just love cats, and this I have passed onto my daughter.  She now has the nickname of The Cat Lady at her university as she is always taking photos of cats.  Her flat also has a cat which belongs to another of her roommates but which now has adopted Ruth as her mum.  Her Instagram account is full of photos of this cat and other stray cats she meets on her way.

Last Sunday while we were chatting this cat jumped the fence and then took off when it saw her cellphone and my camera pointing at it. We had such a giggle afterwards.

This is for Michelle’s Weekly Pet Share

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https://hopethehappyhugger.wordpress.com/michelles-weekly-pet-challenge/

Thanks for visiting.

Copyright Raewyn Forbes

Weekly Pet Share: A Friendly Fantail

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Good morning from another very cold and chilly Hastings day.

Finally I have some decent photos of a fantail.  After several years of trying I managed to get some good shots last Friday.  Whenever I go out into our native bush or parks I have been teased by the fantails.  They literally fly around my head and then take off whenever I have my camera ready.  Whenever I speak to any Maori they are always telling me that a fantail is unlucky.  But for me they are comforting and fun to watch.

I got this information from http://www.nzbirds.com/birds/fantail1.html.  I know that it is a bit long but it is fascinating.

Apart  from hiwaiwaka, tirairaka and tiwakawaka, there are sixteen other dialectal Maori names for the fantail, many of which denote the restlessness of this little bird.

Tiwakawaka is also the name of a grandson of the demi-god and folk hero Maui (Maui-potiki). He was one of the first maori settlers to arrive in the Bay of Plenty more than 1000 years ago, well before the main migrations. This was the time of the explorer Kupe and his grandson Nukutawhiti. Tiwakawaka was captain of Te Aratauwhaiti canoe and is said to have been one of Kupe’s people who stayed on when Kupe returned to eastern Polynesia.

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When Nukutawhiti returned in Kupe’s canoe to New Zealand it was Tiwakawaka who came down to the beach to challenge him, no doubt boldly like the fantail. Kupe had seen the fantail, tiwakawaka, on his exploratory trip and noted that it carried its tail feathers erect and could spread them out like a fan. Its challenging behaviour reminded Kupe that he was entering the domain of Tane, god of the forest, and perhaps reminded him also of the mythical battle between the sea and land birds.

 

Taiaha weapon in hand, the fantail and its companion the owl, who was armed with a pouwhenua, advanced towards the forces of the sea birds. Fantail got into a towering passion and danced and glared and performed all manner of gesticulations. Indeed it is said that the war dance, the haka, owes something to this dance of the tiwakawaka in mythological times, or at least the single action in it of jumping from side to side while brandishing a weapon.

 

It is, however, in the stories of Maui that the tiwakawaka plays its most important role in Maori mythology. From its refusal to tell Maui where his ancentress Mahuika kept fire hidden, it got its very appearance. In retaliation Maui took the bird and squeezed it so hard that its eyes nearly popped out, hence their prominence now. This also explains why its tail projects so far behind its body and why it flies so erratically.

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Let it now be said that the fantail got its revenge in full on Maui for his rough treatment by not obeying his instructions when it accompanied him on his last and greatest exploit to the realms of Hinenuitepo.

 

In those far off days Hinenuitepo, goddess of night, goddess of death, lived, as she does today, in the underworld of spirits. As mother of mankind she has decreed from the troublesome earliest days of creation that man should live one cycle of life, then die. Maui wanted to give mankind everlasting life. He sought to kill Hinenuitepo and by doing so abolish death forever.

 

When Maui asked his father what Hinenuitepo looked like, he replied: “you will see that her body is like that of a human being, but is of gigantic size, with thighs as red as the setting sun. You will see eyes of greenstone, flashing like the opening and shutting of the horizon in summer lightening. You will see teeth as sharp as flaked obsidian and a mouth like that of a barracouta, and hair like a tangled mass of sea kelp”.

 

Maui chose several bird companions besides the fantail to accompany him on his great quest. Because he had the ability to change into many life forms, he was able to travel with these birds to the underworld as a sparrow hawk.

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Maui’s objective was to enter the womb of Hinenuitepo when she was sleeping and by passing through her vital organs to her mouth, to destroy death. He said to his companions, “My command is that when I enter the womb of Hinenuitepo, you must on no account laugh.”

 

So Maui, having taken on the form of the noke worm, then entered the womb but as he disappeared within, Tatahore, the whitehead, burst out laughing whilst the fantail rushed out and began dancing about with delight. And then was roused Hinenuitepo who closed her legs and strangled Maui and killed him.

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– See more at: http://www.nzbirds.com/birds/fantail1.html#sthash.XXvwv8nk.dpuf

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Thanks for visiting.

Copyright Raewyn Forbes

Weekly Pets: Friendly Feathered Friends

Time for a speech

Good morning from a warmer but grey Hastings day.

I have been going through my archives on my external hard drive and rediscovering some totally forgotten photos.  So they will be popping up a bit more. Then I went to my Flickr account and found some of my photos that were on my Time Capsule so now I can show some of them as well.  It is like finding old friends really.

So these photos today were taken a couple of years ago at Cornwall Park.  I love shooting birds as they are more of a challenge and teaches me to move quickly and also to be more aware of what is around me.  Talk about living in the moment.

Golden beak

I wanted to show some common introduced birds today.

The law of nature

The sparrows do get up close and personal with the ducks, particularly when people are throwing bread to them.  Actually bread is the worse thing to feed both birds and ducks.  It clogs up their insides.  But most people don’t know that, and I must admit that I was guilty of heading to the park with old bread.

Feathered Friends--3

This chaffinch is eating a snail or something meaty.  That is their diet.  Not our diet.

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https://hopethehappyhugger.wordpress.com/michelles-weekly-pet-challenge/

Thanks for visiting.

Copyright Raewyn Forbes

Weekly Pet Share: A Friendly Blackbird

A Friendly Blackbrd-108

Good morning from a cooler Hastings day.

One thing I have noticed lately is that our bird life has been getting more and more active, not to mention rather noisy at time.  I have seen birds flying around with twigs and grasses in their beaks.  I like to think that spring will be coming early for us.  Some trees are out in blossom already and it is only the end of July.  And we have been having some warm balmy days which is great. But then winter decides to tease us and come back to bite us.

This photo was taken last Friday with my social snappers group.  What I like about Hastings is that it is more like a country town and there is a lot of active bird life even in the centre of town.  Which is where this photo was taken.

I must get organised  one night and actually record some of the birdsong. It is deafening at times and the birds are just so active.  I have decided to learn more about the birds in general so that I can recognise them when I shoot them with my camera.  I am finding that I am not just helping these ladies with their photography, but also teaching them about fauna and flora so I do need to up my game a bit.

This is for Michelle’s Weekly Pet Challenge.

https://hopethehappyhugger.wordpress.com/michelles-weekly-pet-challenge/

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Thanks for visiting.

Copyright Raewyn Forbes

Weekly Pet Share: Me and My Shadow

Me and My Shadow-028

Good morning from another cool and frosty Hastings day.

One thing about having such frosty starts is that the day is generally nice – it just takes bit longer to actually warm up.  But the light in the mornings are amazing.  I have my camera ready trying to experiment with the lighting.  The day before yesterday my guardian cat wandered past.  I loved the way the lighting highlighted his back and then of course his long shadow.

weeklypet

This is part of Michelle’s Weekly Pet Share.

https://hopethehappyhugger.wordpress.com/michelles-weekly-pet-challenge/

Thanks for visiting

Copyright Raewyn Forbes

Weekly Pet Share: Curious Socks

Curious Socks-051

Good morning from a slightly warmer Hastings day.  Yesterday was a very frosty day and it didn’t really warm up to much.  It has been like that over most of New Zealand.  Ah, the joys of winter.

So another photo of Socks, my parents cat.  I just love the expression in his face as he wonders what on earth is this person is doing with the camera.

My father is now chasing him around and taking photos too.  He took a really good one with Socks stretched out on his back on a chair in the sun.  Poor Socks.

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Copyright Raewyn Forbes