CROWS! They start squawking at 4.45am. So big and loud! (These are Qld Torresian crows, much bigger than the Victorian ravens).
There are about 20 of them and they don’t perch so much as fly around a particular stand of trees about 300 metres from our place. They fly and squawk all through the morning – sometimes all day. And I am sick of them.
Nevertheless, I am still pleased that we have birds around us. Even crows!
Daily, when I am sitting outside eating breakfast, a friendly magpie comes and sits beside me – on the veranda tiles or on the chair next to me - and I share some of my toast with him (or her?). He eats some and then gathers up a few extras and flies off to a tall gum tree over the back fence.
Babies, I presume.
Then another one comes, sings to me, and looks for a handout. They are beautiful, these magpies, and I almost forget the noise of the crows.
Then come the noisy miners, to feed on nectar from the grevillea bushes. They are soon joined by the blue-faced honeyeaters. The noise they make is loud, but not annoying as the crows.
A little later, rainbow lorikeets fly into the grevillea and the miners and honeyeaters leave the bushes to concentrate on bath time.
We have three bird baths – all used frequently. The miners splash around in the baths, but also dive into (yes, into) the swimming pool, quickly immersing themselves before zooming out to the pool fence, pausing to fluff up and dry their wings.
Blue-faced honeyeaters do the same, but a bit more cautiously.
While I’m watching the birds, I will often have an extra visitor, in the form of a dragon.
Eastern Water Dragons live in and around our garden and sheds. They disappear over the winter months but are back with us as the weather warms up. One or two of them will also share my breakfast… and sometimes lunch…and I know it is time to start making safer food for them and the magpies to share.
Too much bread is not the best for either of these creatures. (Even home baked!)
The crows are still squawking but have settled down a bit.
Despite the crows’ noise (Now I know why it’s a “murder of crows”) I am contemplating how fortunate I am to be surrounded by birds and nature every day, even though I am not living ‘in the bush’.
It can’t be good to be a city slicker, apartment dweller, if there are no birds – not even crows.
What has happened to us?
Kevin Rudd, speaking after Australia’s 2009 ‘Black Saturday’ fires:
“…In some countries, tragedy exposes the fault lines in a nation.
The strong abandoning the weak; one region indifferent to the sufferings of another, one culture uncaring as to the needs of another.
But ours is a different nation. Our nation has been as one.
Australia - a nation of compassion. Courage and compassion…”*
IS AUSTRALIA STILL A ‘DIFFERENT NATION’; DIFFERENT FROM OTHER, MORE DIVIDED PLACES?
ARE WE STILL A NATION OF COMPASSION AND COURAGE?
I’m not sure anymore.
This is what we have:
State against State.
Region against Region.
‘Haves’ against ‘have-nots’.
A worshipping of money by those in power.
Imprisonment of (genuine) refugees.
Persecution of folk on ‘Welfare’ – (that use to be called ‘Social Security’)
The use of the National flag as a sort of weird nationalistic authority, accompanying rampart racism.
I feel there is a nastiness that is unlike anything Australia has seen – or felt - before.
I don’t like this ‘new’ Australia.
Should we blame it all on the mental fatigue presented by the COVID19 virus?
I don’t think so.
*Address on the National Day of Mourning for the victims of the Victoria Bushfires, Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne. 22/02/2009
I choose to comment on social issues and write creatively on a variety of subjects - for a variety of audiences.