Merry Christmas from the Menagerie!

Here’s wishing you all a very happy holiday season from summer Down Under, where we will be enjoying a mostly cold lunch (apart from plum pudding, which has to be warm)!

The spirit of Christmas, mirrored in birth and new life, arrived in delightful form here with my (previously thought to be male) quail building a nest and laying her first clutch of seven tiny eggs. Without a male companion, we presume the eggs are infertile, but…..well, this is Christmas.

Aquila Nigella, formerly known as Nigel.

Aquila Nigella, formerly known as Nigel.

Nigella contemplates the miracle of her eggs.

Nigella contemplates the miracle of her eggs.

Another new mother and child also appeared in the garden two days ago. It’s two years since we’ve seen a mother kangaroo and joey here, and I love their gentle energy.

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Western Grey doe and joey

To mothers and children everywhere, to fathers, grandparents and siblings, have a lovely Christmas. To all those celebrating Christmas alone, know that the divine child you are is always inside, ready to warm and cheer your heart.

Instead of holly and mistletoe, I’ll leave you with the red berries of the Rowan tree, which in Celtic lore was linked to the quail; both carried symbolism of protection, safe-keeping and group harmony.

Rowan berries, linked to the quail in Celtic symbolism

Rowan berries, linked to the quail in Celtic symbolism

Love, Peace and Joy to All. 

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