Thursday, 31 January 2008

Animal -- Yes

In February last year I wrote in "Animals - not" of an ill fated trip to Euroka Clearing in search of Kangaroos. We decided to give it another go this time.

Photo: Kangaroo, Blue Mountains National Park, Glenbrook


Words to walk with:
From Kangaroo by D H Lawrence
"Her sensitive, long, pure-bred face.
Her full antipodal eyes, so dark,
So big and quiet and remote, having watched so many
Empty dawns in silent Australia."

Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Christmas Bush

I spotted Christmas Bush flowering beside the path to Jelly Bean pool. I had planned to write of this flowering tree in December but didn't come across any on my walks.

Photo: Christmas Bush (Ceratopetalum gummiferum)

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Jelly Bean Pool

This weekend we did some exploring closer to home by taking a drive to the National Park at Glenbrook. It was warm and sunny so it was a busy day at the popular swimming hole, Jelly Bean Pool.

Photo: Jelly Bean Pool, Glenbrook

Sunday, 27 January 2008

Lyrebird

The Lyrebird is an iconic ground dwelling Australian bird, so named after the tail of the male, which is said to form the shape of a "lyre". However, this bird is also known as a "liar" because of its extraordinary ability to mimic the calls of other birds and the sounds of machines and other noises from the built environment nearby the forests where they live.

Photo: Superb Lyrebird (Menura novaehollandiae), Katoomba

I took this photograph a year ago but held off posting it because I hoped to get a better one. That didn't happen, despite Lyrebirds being quite common in the mountains.

Words to walk with:
From Lyrebird by Les Murray
"Liar made of leaf-litter, quivering ribby in shim,
hen-sized under froufrou, chinks in a quiff display him
or her, dancing in mating time, or out. And in any order.
Tailed mimic aeon-sent to intrigue the next recorder.
I mew catbird, I saw crosscut, I howl she-dingo, I kink
forest hush distinct with bellbirds, warble magpie garble, link
cattlebell with kettle-boil"

Tuesday, 8 January 2008

Crested pigeon

Plump crested pigeons wander along the path picking at this and that, then take off to the sky with a noise that always reminds me of a squeaky wheel. I have just discovered that this characteristic noise is made air passing over a modified primary feather on the wing.

Photo: Crested pigeon (Ocyphaps lophotes)

As they are a common visitor to my garden, I am surprised that I have not written of them before. I also notice there is currently in residence a new pair of birds feeding a young one. I have not identified them properly yet.

Wednesday, 2 January 2008

It's summer at last

The rain has gone for a while. The sun is shining hot and bright. And this little duck is going camping (Sweet Wayfaring). See you when I get back.

Photo: Ducks in park near Scenic Railway, Katoomba


Words to walk with:
From The Buladelah-Taree Holiday Song Cycle by Les Murray
"It is good to come out after driving and walk on bare grass;
walking out, looking all around, relearning that country.
Looking out for snakes, and looking out for rabbits as well;
going into the shade of myrtles to try their cupped climate, swinging by one hand around them,
in that country of the Holiday...
stepping behind trees to the dam, as if you had a gun,
to that place of the Wood Duck,
to that place of the Wood Duck's Nest,
proving you can still do it; looking at the duck who hasn't seen you,
the mother duck who'd run Catch Me (broken wing) I'm Fatter (broken wing), having hissed to her children."

Tuesday, 1 January 2008

New year, new direction

Happy New Year. At the moment the trees a shedding their bark and showing fresh new skin and it is the right time for me to do the same.

Photo: Trees on Lawson waterfall walk

Last January I resolved to start a blog and to post every day for a year. At the time I expected to be full time in the mountains but, some months ago, I returned to daily commuting to the "city and alleys" so it has been a challenge keeping up the pace.

This year we plan to travel regularly on short trips beyond the mountains so it seems right to start a new blog with a new theme. Please visit and subscribe to Sweet Wayfaring where I will be recording my new discoveries. I hope to also occasionally post here.

What a wonderful year it has been. Today's poem sums it up perfectly.

Words to walk with:

From The Forest by Judith Wright
"When first I knew this forest
its flowers were strange.
Their different forms and faces
changed with the seasons' change --

white violets smudges with purple,
the wild-ginger spray,
ground-orchids small and single
haunted my day: ...

Now that its vines and flowers
are named and known,
like long-fulfilled desires
those first strange joys are gone.

My search is further.
There's still to name and know
beyond the flowers I gather
that one that does not wither
the truth from which they grow."