Sunday, August 15, 2010

Curious Cows, Flat Pears and Buzz Saw Insects

I woke this morning in time to watch a beautiful buttery yellow horizon turn to pink and then to the clear blue that stayed all day. I am in Queensland and it’s like a different country. It’s warmer and clearer and even the birds sound different. As I watch the dawn I try to count the species of birds I can hear and there are just too many. I can hear the familiar squeaky toy sounds I have heard before but it is backed up by scores of little staccato tweets and chirps and twitters of smaller birds. It is a marvellous way to wake up and helps set the tone for the day. After the disappointments of the day before I begin to feel much more positive about what is really just going to be an extended holiday. Even better I find my phone charger so if I get a little credit I might be able to use it to go online

It was so hard to say goodbye to Phil this morning, especially since I probably won’t see him for another six weeks, so I went for a ride up the road with him to get the last few minutes together. I then spent almost three hours walking the five kms back because I kept stopping to take scores of beautiful photos. The trees are twisty and wild looking and it has been raining so there is water in the streams and in puddles next to the road. Along with the many bird calls there is the insistent drone of buzzing insects that sound like intermittent and muffled chain saws.

There are termite mounds and duck ponds and little muddy creeks and fields of tall dry grasses. There is a farmer on a tractor ploughing his field while about twenty crows circle and land as he passes. There are tree studded paddocks with cows of muddy brown or patchy black and they all turn to watch me as I pass, and there are two steer on the property where I stay. I am happy to see them as they are part of my stewardship here at the farm but they are less than happy to see me walking along the dusty road towards them.

They watch suspiciously and turn and run off when I get too close. At one point they attempt to hide behind a few trees. They have to weigh four hundred kg’s each, it beats me why I should look so scary to them; or how they can think I will not see them behind a coupe of scraggy old trees.

I have one more look in the cemetery but the only thing I find is an unusual tree that seems to be hung with pictures of pears. They seemed far too flat and shiny to be real, but on closer inspection, turn out to be pairs of green seed pods. What an amazing country.

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