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.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012


Birds grow up at astonishing speed. If we were the same we would complete our entire education and be married in six months flat.

The photo shows two doves that were eggs only a few months ago. Now they are fully grown and have chosen a mate. The one with the well-feathered feet I have dubbed BigFeet2, because the feathers make her feet look big (I think she is a female), and because there is another dove amongst the twenty-one that now live in this forest that also has well-feathered feet, albeit not so much, but was born before BigFeet2, which I call BigFeet1.

The photo shows the male bird (if I am right about gender) grooming his beloved.

My guess about their genders is based on seeing BigFeet2 mounted by her mate. That seems conclusive, but BigFeet2 also does the cooing and bowing behaviour typical of males, although that may only be the warning cooing that means 'Move over, that food is mine!' But I expect they know which is which, and there will in due course be eggs then the flutter of smaller wings.

As I write this the pair are wandering, and occasionally flying, round my office.

But a few days later, as if they knew my doubts about their genders and wanted to put me right, they made their beautiful fluttering unions three times on the floor of my office, and BigFeet2 was on top every time. So he is a he. And his mate spends more time grooming him that he spends on her, which makes it conclusive.

Friday, 16 March 2012


Up till  the 10th of March the greatest number of doves I had seen on the ground at the same time was twenty-three, although the usual maximum to fly down from the trees in the morning to feed on the ground and from my hands was twenty-two.

That was haw many there were on the morning of the 9th, but two were noticeably off-colour. They were hunched down, not eating with the rest and looked very sleepy. The other twenty were their normal vigorous selves. At night I saw that two were hunched together well under the office part of the building, and in the morning to my dismay one was dead. The other one, a fairly recent chick, died a few hours later despite my attempts to revive it. I assume the first one was its mother. Perhaps she ate something she should not have, such as a poisonous karaka berry, and passed it on to her chick in her 'milk'. I buried them in the forest at the foot of large boulder--Dove Rock as I call it.

So now, somewhere round here, there are twenty-one doves but since that day no more than twenty have arrived on the ground at once.