Hello Again and Happy 2020! Perhaps this will bring its own special inspiration and insights, which would be welcome in the face of much that is ailing here in Oz (most immediately the unprecedented bush fires) and in the world at large. I feel blessed to be able to balance this by staying ‘present’ in our immediate environment, which offers up a variety of treasures. Bird life takes precedence in recent months
Amongst the many birds we supplement feed through this great extended dry, three Butcherbirds grace us with their presence daily. Two of them are operatic virtuosos. For the most part, they make their little cheeping sound requesting food. Two take it from the hand, the third, younger or shyer, comes within a metre of us. He is expert at catching on the fly, never failing regardless of where we aim.
Today’s delight –one sings to us for about five minutes, then the second takes over and fifteen minutes later is still at it. It is spellbinding and I sit with him and interact making the odd whistle. For those of you unfamiliar with this bird, do yourself a favour; go online to seek their song. It is remarkable for its variety of sounds which are clearly generated from different parts of the body-beak, throat, chest etc ranging from tiny squeaks to chirps to lyrical unfurling passages.
A few weeks ago, two baby Kookaburras left their nest in the hollow of the eucalypt on the foreshore. We had been feeding the family members for about four weeks, watching them eat a little and conscientiously take the rest back to the nest. Within a week or two, I spotted the first tiny fledgling perched in a high branch on my morning walk. Then I spotted a second one. The family continues to come to our balcony railing for hand-fed treats to take to them and in the last few days the babies have come much closer to the house, perching on the Poinciana trees at the back of our garden facing the sea. Next step was to see the babies landing on our railing, bit by bit allowing us closer, still being fed by a family member. Thrillingly, it was graduation day a few days ago when for the first time I threw some meat to the far end of the deck where one had landed and watched it tentatively hop to and then take the food. Its sibling flew from the railing to the same place and followed suit!
Finally some rain! 45mm over the last few days after nothing to speak of since March!
Already new leaves, citrus blossoms and tiny shoot of grass emerge. And the frogs. There will be more insects for the birds and we can reduce the hand feeding. We are in a rain shadow here so, as per usual, Airlie Beach & Proserpine, less than 50 km away, have had over 200mm in the same period.
So that’s the rap but also to let you know that I have added another six poems to the poetry section today and about the same number a few weeks ago. Poetry fans please enjoy.