Wednesday, January 26, 2011


There's the usual hoopla going on everywhere about the day Governor Phillip set up a penal colony in No Man's Land, except it wasn't. Are we so bereft of honesty, with so little else to be proud of, of which to be proud, yunno.

It's breathlessly hot in the bush. The morning was deceptive, overcast and spotting. In spite of the forecast for a stinker, it was pleasantly mild. They're wrong again I thought, failing to notice that I was the only one out. Except for an English Blackbird (they are around - how did it know it was the day for trespass) trilling itself stupid and me awake just as the sun rose, there was nothing about. Even the dogs hung close to the house. By late morning the sky was a radiant hot blue and the temperature soared. Inside the house was comfortable, doors and windows thrown open all night now well shut. Nothing stirred - not a cockatoo or parrot in the trees, no whipbird to be heard, no wrens on the grass, no swallows near the house.

As if they'd known, and I'm sure now they did, the Cockatoos had been around in larger than usual numbers late yesterday doing whatever they do before weather like this. A large flock of Suphur Crested, high overhead, screeched their way south. Parties of Yellow-tailed Black (Funereal) Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus funereus) winged back and around in the receding afternoon. Just outside the study window one landed in a Hairpin Banksia (Banksia spinulosa) bobbing it over the driveway with its weight. There's green tight new buds emerging, still a month or two from opening into flowers, but it was one of the last years few remaining nutty brown seed pods he was after. Sitting confidently, the pod held up in one hand, dropping as much as he ate, he cleaned it up in no time.

With a cheeky glance, I know you're there, he was away.

Times like this I think Banksia not such a bad name at all.

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