Look this way!

Much like cyberspace, early morning in Big Swamp is noisy.  It is filled with tweets and squawks.

During my recent trip I found the air was filled with the high pitched squeaks of honeyeaters, the melodic songs of the Willy Wagtails, and the pained cry of the swamp hens as I approached.  The musk duck was being chased by another, the paddle speed of webbed feet on water, fast and furious.

I slowed my pace as I approached the boardwalk.  It is the intention, that slowing down of body and mind, that brings me here each time.DSCN9061.jpgI know the Welcome Swallows love sitting on the rails, facing the sun.  Sometimes they get used to my presence and accommodate my curiosity.  I’ve learned to extend the lens only when they look away, as movement is always a signal for flight.DSCN9089.jpgTo my surprise I found some Swallows on the ground near my feet. DSCN9091.jpgFear set aside, they were busy with nest building, focused on task.DSCN9115.jpgA slight movement from the corner of my eye caught my attention, a fairy blue wren darting and hopping among the foliage.  No matter how many times I see them, the flash of blue always makes my heart skip a beat.  DSCN9126.jpgThe male wren stood still for a moment.  So perfect.  It looked like an enamelled ornament, with blues upon blues found in sky and sea.DSCN9128.jpgIn contrast, the female’s beauty, is subtle.  Perhaps this is nature’s intention.DSCN9131.jpg While the male distracts she tends to her family, almost invisible, among debris.

Distraction is a powerful tool.  These tiny little creatures know this instinctively.  They use it for survival.

People in power know this too.

As I read today’s news headlines, I wonder …

Do we?

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

What is normal?

I was in Kununurra in the far north of Western Australia, walking and talking photographs in my favourite park alongside Lily Creek Lagoon.  It was nearly dusk and, after hours of sheer pleasure, I was headed back to my hotel reluctantly.  Always on the lookout for birds, my gaze is usually, and was, upwards.  But this time, something caught my eye as I neared the grand old boab tree.  It is a icon in this park.  Ancient and large.  Tourists will stop and wrap their arms around it.  Their fingertips never touch.  You would need several people to circle the girth.

The movement of fluttering caught my eye at the base of the tree.  As I neared it, I realised, it was a mother honeyeater desperate to keep me away.  I moved away to ease her distress but could not see what caused her behaviour until I zoomed in.

DSCN7694.jpgAt the base of the massive boab tree was the tiny chick she so desperately tried to protect.  If you look closely you can barely see it at the juncture of the base and the longest root that extends from it (to the left of the screen).DSCN7697.jpgSo young, it still had feathers on the crown and eyes that were barely open.  In a park where dogs and children played with careless abandon, the vulnerability of the chick, fired my up protective instinct too.DSCN7702.jpgThe chick relaxed and stared at me with curiosity.DSCN7696.jpgThe mother did the same, no longer flapping her wings furiously.  She flew away time and again, returning with a morsel each time.  She fed her chick with utmost patience.DSCN7707.jpgI stood guard until the park was nearly empty.  The protective instinct of the mother was memorable.  No longer anxious, the mother and chick relaxed into their respective roles of nurturer and one being nurtured.  The impact of trauma on a developing brain is well documented, especially for learning, emotional regulation and attachment issues.  It came together for me in one fleeting moment.

So my blog this morning is not about pretty pictures.  It is about instinct.  What is normal and not.  I can’t help be shaken by the lack of distinction modern politics promotes.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird