Often we expect things to be the same, just because they were the previous time.
Take for example my recent trip to the Pilbara. I love the hotel I stay at and happily got an opportunity three times in two months to do just that. I’ve mentioned before, the hotel is an oasis in rugged mining country. So, of course, I was expecting the frangipanis and birds to be as abundant as they were on previous trips. Sadly, I did not anticipate seasonal changes. I spotted only two honeyeaters in the hotel grounds. I found the zebra finch enjoyed skimming the road side verges along the highway, in preference to the garden lawns. Perhaps what was growing there is what they need at this time of year. At 70 km/hr and no safe place to stop, I could only catch a glimpse of them as I sped along. There were changes in the frangipanis too. The brilliant white flowers took a step back and the beautiful pinks have taken centre stage. I also noticed some in shades of peachy mango but leaving early in the morning, did not get a chance to see them respond to the sun command, “Bloom!”
But, this trip, I saw the Pilbara in her natural beauty. The rugged landscape. The native resilient flora. The Sturt Desert Pea was growing in the scrub near the car park. These had a red centre and not the distinctive ‘black eye’. And, a tree caught my eye. I thought I saw tinsel streaming off branches. It looked stunning under a fierce afternoon sun. So I turned around and although I could see the shimmering sparkle with my eye, the camera could not pick up the sun on the long seed pods that glistened tantalisingly. Nature can be a beguiling seductress! On the way to the airport to pick up a colleague who arrived on a later flight, I stopped about a kilometre away from the entrance, in a small area near the salt pans where I know is frequented by birds. While texting a friend to while away the time I took a few photographs. In the vastness of the landscape I found, some subjects add delicacy while making a bigger contribution to the overall moment.
On the flight home I scanned through my photographs. The perfection in a frangipani, yet to bloom, came into sharper focus. I leaned into my seat satisfied I had got the pictures I wanted. Glancing outside the window I found the colours I had seen in the flower were reflected in a Pilbara sunset. I returned home with more than what I anticipated.
Like I say, it’s how you see it …
May your eye see ‘it’ today.
a dawn bird