Many more photos in flickr folder ' Riamfada foraging '
You have seen the perches that I hung up for Riamfada to fly to.
A few weeks ago, I decided to make those perches more enticing for her.
At the pottery market at the town in Wadi Fanja, I picked up cheap clay cups at 5 for 1 Omani Rial or US$2.6 . There were small clay pots with small round hole in the side. Probably for growing little plants, but I do not really know, other than 6 of them for 2 Omani Rials.
Placing food into food dishes is so mundane. I decided to use those cups and jars as 'foraging' points and attached them to the perches to make them even more interesting for her to fly to.
The holes in the jars were too small after an initial try. So I used a plier , soaked the jars in pail of water, and the plier used to enlarge the holes considerably.
I found wood branch were too smooth for her to hang upside down to get to the jars. So I wrapped and wound coarse ropes and twine to give Riamfada grip.
The basket handle in her room was chewed to beyond redemption, so another branch was used instead of that basket handle.
I might have a strawberry, or some sunflower seeds, or half almond seed, slice of apple etc or chicken bone in those foraging points, all at random. Riamfada love foraging so much that she would even munch on chicken bone, something she rejected outright if placed in food dishes.
She would fly back repeatedly to those foraging points, just in case she missed something earlier. I add to her paranoia by placing a bit more stuff into those foraging points when she was not looking.
I will be happy if you all like to pick up on this for your parrots too.
In Riamfada's room
At the corner is the orange cat carrier with sound speakers inside covered by a large cloth as Riam still spooked by the carrier.
In the living room
At the ring
At the perch
At the bar
Many more photos in flickr folder ' Riamfada foraging '
3 days 2 nights at Wadi Bani Awf and ending of this chapter
There was another EID public holidays from 26 Nov to 4 Dec 2009. Enough food was left for the kitties and all foraging cups and jars filled with goodies for a week for Riamfada in her room. I and my wife then drove off to Dubai for 3 days and 2 nights.
It was horrendous at the Oman/Dubai checkpoint at Hatta. It took a couple of hours to get the passport stamped and then an hour to get the car out of the postage size carparks blocked by people queing up for passport control.
Dubai is still a fascinating city. The extravaganza of building during the 'boom' years have to be seen to believe in. That evening, we saw Dubai Mall , a Mall to beat all Malls and the musical fountains first from TGIF and then on the ground. Prior to that, I thought whats the big deal on the musical fountains and when that first exploded, I had to pick my jaws from the floor. Dubai Mall also had this gigantic aquarium, so huge that an ocean would feel at home there.
The next day was spend in Atlantis, at the top of Palm Jumeirah. Another extravaganza of water rides and slides with the water warmed to body temperature. I was told in summer, the water will be chilled.
Then the next day was the drive back to Oman.
We still had the rest of the week. We decided to stay again at that resthouse as the mouth of Wadi Bani Awf, for 3 days and 2 nights with Riamfada. Just chilling out and finishing the last 2 books of Dave Duncan of his 'A handful of men' http://www.daveduncan.com/books.html
I last read that 15 years ago or so, and nicely forgotten what I read to enjoy that again once more. I am not kidding you. He is another incredible writer that you must try. I read almost all his books, and not been disappointed yet. And best of all, DD is still alive unlike David Gemmell. In the trip to Dubai, I was delighted to pick up 4 of DG books that I failed to get before. I now have all of DG books.
Many more photos in flickr folder ' Rustaq Tourist Village Motel'
I was a bit disappointed at the photos taken the first time we were here. The intense sunshine made it difficult on taking of good photos to do justice to this laid back place. This lot of photos are better.
I was wondering about that beautiful friendly tabby cat who did not visit us at all the first day. I was devastated when the houseboy told me that cat seemed to be injured a short while ago and died just a couple of days before my visit. If I had known about it, I would have driven over to take that cat to a vet.
He introduce me to his new puppy, a nice lively little creature.
The next day, we drove off to Rustaq to buy lunch and dinner to take back to the motel. We first went to Al Hazam fort. That was not opened yet but we flew her outside and had coffee from the Omanis who enjoyed her.
Many more photos in flickr folder ' Al Hazm '
Since that day was early, we decided to go to Al Awabi nearby. The fort there was not opened. While not the size of Nakhal or Rustag, it was still a beautiful little place.
I first flew Riam down one end of the fort.
Many more photos in flickr folder ' Awabi '
Then I flew her down the other end.
Many more photos in flickr folder ' Awabi '
To my horror and dismay, she flew past me, around the end, and landed up on the ramparts.
more photos of trapped Riamfada in flickr folder ' Awabi '
I was afraid she might caught herself on something and I dared not pull hard. We spend 10 minutes calling and hoping she would reappear. Then I told Joy to hold the line and to keep calling while I try to locate anyone to open the fort. It was public holiday, and for all I knew, the keeper of the key might not even be in the country. But I located a government office nearby. It was not possible to explain so I got that official to get into my car to go to the fort.
He understood immediately on seeing the line leading to the top of the fort and seeing earlier photos of Riam flying in Rustaq/Nakhal. He shook his head and said the key was in Muscat. Then I saw Riamfada coming out to peek down at me and that she was not stuck. That encouraged me to give a slow firm pull to get her off completely from the top and she flew on down back to us. We all smiled, took her into the car , send that official back, and we went back to our motel to take that belated lunch.
I should have learned, but I did not. Riamfada was definately not herself that day.
It could be that I was not myself that day too for that matter. My heart was heavy, and later you will know why.
After lunch, we walked in the motel ground and flew her. She overflew me and into a tree. The houseboy got me a long branch and I raised it to Riam who step on to be taken down. The recovery was easy. But she had not flew into trees for 6 months now, and her flight into that tree was deliberate again.
Since that day Riamfada came to me, I wanted to prepare her next permanent home for her. It was clear I cannot take her with me even if she had papers, and being a rescue, she had no papers.
In taking her out, so many people approached me to buy her. I told them no but gave her name card and website to all of them, mabye 70-80 people already. Very few of them came to check her website, and none made further contact with me. Their lack of interest dropped them from my list of potential next home.
I even had a newspaper to come and take photos of us hoping that widen the net of people interested in Riamfada. That article came and went with only a slight increase of Omani visitors to the Tink/Riam website and no further enquiries. But that paper was in English and might have missed the local Omanis I wanted to reach out to.
I know Jessica would take back Riam if I go. But neither is she permanent either in Oman. I think you all agree I am the best person to train and prepare Riamfada's next home. That and only that will mitigate some of the pain in that farewell.
I liked to stay on and on in Oman. To the extent I declined 3 offers this year for me to leave Oman to other countries as I liked life here with people here and with my beasties and birdie.
Even without me, Dommie and Katie would have existed here. Same for Riamfada. Their lives would have gone on without me.
Since they came in, I hoped I added much to their lives during their times with me. And writing of those times opened my world to you for you all to enjoy.
But what you like in life, and what you get from life can be very different.
Events and rumblings made me felt that this chapter might be ending in 3-4 months or even earlier.
Search for Riamfada next family in time for me to train them became more urgent.
It was that morning I had a long talk with Riamfada.
Dommie and Katie had been spoken for. The Omani driving instructor of my wife expressed his eagerness to have them. The kitties will go with a dowry of 200 OR (which he did not know about)and more.
I told Riamfada that morning of my search and failure so far to locate, accept and prepare the next home for her.
And that it is likely our time to part will be within months or sooner.
It was not a happy talk. I was not happy, and being empaths, I think Riamfada picked the vibrations from my heart. And I being unhappy, I was not my usual observant self either.
I just wanted to maximise our remaining happiness and was not that aware of Riam's feelings.
On the 13th Dec evening, I will be flying off to Budapest to be with my son in his IM tournament and be back on 24 Dec. I wrote about that earlier.
'Ramadan & Kitties on beach// Chess -1st Saturday IM Tournament // Tinkerbell Harness for Piper'
My wife would not join us and remain to look after the beasties and birdie.
If you know of suitable family in Oman who love to have a grey in their life, let us know.
If not, wish us all luck in finding that home for Riamfada and in time to teach them how to love and live with a flying grey at home.
(edited on 4th November 2011 to include below)
To Shanlung - How to do Free Flight Outside
NEVER EVER HOLD THE LEASH BY HAND. THE LEASE MUST ALWAYS BE CARABINERED TO BELT OR BACKPACK.
If what I wrote help you and you like to help, give a thought
for the wildlife sharing our planet.
Do write that cheque to Gerald Durrell wildlife trust
I am a life member of Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust. Do join us to do
whatever we can for the wildlife that shared our planet.
or to any wildlife conservation body of your choice