Wednesday, February 2, 2011


The heat continues. During the day, and especially in the afternoon, there's very little coming and going, at least that you can see or hear. On Monday friends driving south popped in mid-afternoon. Although inside the house was marginally cooler, we sat with cold lime drinks under the big gum overhanging the lawn. The shade and the stillness, with just the slightest of air movement, surrounded by the hovering heat, was almost exhilarating. It was certainly peculiarly Australian.

Later we walked through what will hopefully one day be a canopy of scribbly gums. They're about four year olds now, and were planted as tube stock to evolve into an avenue of creamy white wandering trunks with widespread protective arms over the new gardens. More on them later. To get there you walk over the little stone bridge near the dam where two skinks live. One is always on the lookout, whatever the weather.

By the time we were back to the house, another visitor had appeared, someone I hadn't seen in all the years we've been here. Out came the book. It could be the common but rarely seen, secretive and shy, Scaly thrush (Zoothera dauma), a beautifully disguised forest floor dweller with brown and cream marbling, striding alertly across the lawn grub hunting. Or maybe it's the Spotted quail-thrush (Cinclosoma punctatum), equally wary.


marcellous said...

Very evocative.

Of the two you suggest, the scaley thrush seems a better match, judging by the pictures I have tracked down on the web.

wanderer said...

Yes, I think you're right - the darker wings and crown and the marbling extending up into the throat suggest the scaly thrush.