Late afternoon chores in Nimbin

It is cow time, it is dog time , it is chicken time and above all it is butchie time. And it is around 4h30 PM.

What is a butchie? Very simple …Butchies are 2 little butcher birds, black and white one male and one female, I suppose. I will never know. Morning and night and especially lunch time they are here on the balustrade of the house chirping incessantly for food. I wonder wether I trained them or they trained me. Sometime I feel proud that they are here wanting me to feed them. They come and eat from my hands and they are so delicate when they pick the food that is offered to them. Or love to catch the food in mid air as it is tossed to them.  One of them in particular is ever so gentle and friendly. The other a little more shy and not quite ready to come too close. But I am sure that in due course he will follow. Their little song is there to remind me that they are around and that I should not waste any time to get to the fridge to bring their meal.

But Sulma, my son, is not at all  keen on this idea. Bad habit says he. Their diet is changed and they will not foraging and will get dependant on me. Which means that in the long run they could die of starvation if they are not fed.. Well, he has a point. But I can’t help myself. I can’t resist. I rationalise that if they are around (which they are) they do eat a lot of insects close to the house. The other day I saw one of them catching a huge grasshopper. These bugs are a real menace for my vegetables in the garden. So, yes I  feed them, but they help me also keeping the cabbage moths at bay and all the grubs that eat my broccoli and cabbages.

Today in spite of the rain the cows bellowed for their daily bread and allowance of hay. Eager they come running close to the house to demand their ration. A heap of hay and meal is offered to them on their tray. The rain is study and penetrating and every time that fine steady drizzle falls your bones feel damp and the cold comes deep inside your clothes. Let’s get it over and done with and get back in next to the heater with a warm cup of green tea.



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