Sunday, November 6, 2011

no point arguing with logic

It seems a neighbour has a family of black cockatoos making babies in his grevillea. I hadn't heard cockatoo-like noises, but then, before moving back to Melbourne I was used to having two or three hundred settle down in my gum trees every night at dusk. It's the sort of noise I'd learned to block out.
The Other, on the other hand, has been gardening and mowing and making hay before the cool change, and always has an ear cocked at this time of the year, because rainbow lorikeets love trees full of green almonds.

Around lunch time the cockatoos had moved to the other side of the court and into a tall gum, so everyone emerged from their homes in stages to check them out. Funny how babies can bring people together.

Armed with nothing but my "this'll do til I find the good one somewhere in a box somewhere in the shed" camera,  I was lucky enough to snap one clearly enough to identify it properly. 

Seems they are yellow-tailed black cockatoos. While I had long believed black cockies were, like black swans, a WA thing, surprise surprise I was wrong! [Who'da thunk!] 

A neighbour told us black cockatoos are a sign of bad weather to come. If this is true, then we have had bad weather for as many years as black cockatoos have been around. I personally thought the gathering clouds, the change in temperature and the few drops of rain were a sign of bad weather to come, but I think she was talking about global warming and the way Melbourne's climate is getting more like Queensland's. 
At the risk of offending the 6 million followers of this blog, all I can say is "tosh".

Some websites provide lists of widely accepted beliefs about weather. 'When spiders come inside, bad weather is on its way". In the summer, huntsmen do seem to move indoors when the barometer climbs, but this might mean that it's breeding season and a house seems like a pretty good tree.

Another good claim is that 'when worms come out, the rain has stopped'. I think it would be easier to just stand outside and see if you get wet than to carry around a worm farm. It's a bit like people who have been looking everywhere for something and then say they only ever find things in the last place they look. Well... yeah!


  1. Ants on the move mean rain. I think there is some truth to this one.

  2. Yes Andrew, I believe this one. Not when sugar ants are invading the pantry so much as when ants are emerging from their nests, as if they are getting ready for a flood.

  3. I like what you said about the worms...and just going outside yourself to see if it stopped raining.

    It reminds me of something; but now I can't remember what.

  4. When I lived in a hot climate some years back (sigh) Ants inside meant a lack of rain as they came in to find water, mostly invading the bathroom. It also could mean you had left food out which was a lesson you learned quickly unless you liked ants. Now I live bug free, one small advantage of a cool climate.

  5. Hi Dina, whatever it was you've forgotten sounds really interesting - in much the same way as the mere mention of a bakery can make me feel hungry. Oh well.

    Hi Big Dog, now we have a rule in direct contrast to ours. What's the ant equivalent of lepidopterist? Maybe there's a huge thesis out there listing different types of ants and the meteorological significance of their migration patterns?

  6. I have a thing that ants come indoors looking for water, too.
    Or that could be the spouse-failed-to-cover-the-leftovers-again-type of ant.
    Love those yellow-tailed cockies, they fly so slow and lazily like they've all the time in the workd and there's no rush ;)

  7. Hi Jayne, that's two votes now for the thirsty ant theory. Hmmm...isn't there a joke that goes "two ants walk into a bar..."?