The Wing-Friends and Other Books

In Blogger's slideshows images are greatly reduced, so lose much of their impact. And captions added to them in Picasa Albums vanish, so the images shown above are: the Milky Way, the Orion Nebula, Earth, Earth with New Zealand circled, New Zealand, Auckland & the Hauraki Gulf, Waiheke Island, some native NZ forest, a Fantail and chicks, various doves, etc.

(If you want to see the first ten images in their original size, they are in a posting made on the 24th of November 2011.)

My book The Wing-Friends is an imaginative tale of a small brave boy, a magical adventure, a magnificent Pegasus and the wonderful Kingdom of the Pegasi. It has been given very good reviews, and virtually every reader on Goodreads has so far awarded it five stars. It is available here. Some of my other writings are available as e-books, such as The Lower Deck, which is an over-the-top take on Waiheke happenings--sort of.

Friday, 15 June 2012


The terror of that black cat that has been lurking close to the doves upset them for a long time. The number coming down each morning had settled down to twenty after a mother and chick had died from some fatal malady and a third one had vanished, I presume the mate of the dead mother and dead from the same cause, but when the cat scared the whole flight several times, even getting as close as half a metre from them, that number dropped dramatically, and they all became very skittish, easily terrified into fleeing back to the trees (a flight is the collective noun for a group of doves)

Any black shape would do it--even a blackbird in the gloom of the forest floor in the morning would panic at least one and they would all take off. The reason for their flight was not superb, but they did look superb: a cloud of doves flying upwards, almost from under my feet, white wings beating in the forest.

But on Friday (yesterday), for the first time in nearly a month, there were twenty again. That was a relief, because it proved that the cat has yet not managed to catch one. I had thought that was so, because there were no feathers scattered about anywhere, but it was good to see them all back, despite the fact that the latecomers were still rather uncertain.

As I write this there are two pecking about in my office.

One is one that was absent for a time. It has the amusing habit of asking for more--and specifying what it wants. It comes up to me and coos 'More' when it wants something or wants something it likes better than what it already has. If you give it more of the same, or has not finished what it already has, it ignores it, protests with more cooing, and is only satisfied when it gets what it wants. Then it will ask for something it likes even better.

It first preference is bits of dried fruit from Hubbard's Very Fruitful Breakfast, its second is the ground oats body of the same thing, and third is Quick Oats. Coo! I call it RedFeet because it one of the two that has redder feet. The other red-footed one was one that was timid for a time and has acquired a brown stain down its breast, so it is Timidity Brown or Timidity Red.

The other one in my office is snoozing under my chair. She is keeping away from RedFeet because they argue over territory and food.

But it is hard to sound extremely angry at another bird when all you can do is coo, so dovish arguments are rather tame--although when they get mad they will pull out small feathers from round the neck and breast of their opposition. Or wap each other with their wings, which is like being hit with a feather duster.

Excuse me, RedFeet wants to go out. She went and stood by the door, which is her way of saying, 'I want to go outside now.' One or two others do the same. Some say the same thing by flying up to something and looking about for the exit.

Reading the minds of doves...