With time various topics, most connected to the 'ancient ways,' will be covered. Some of these might be controversial in nature - you're most welcome to contribute.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Dollar Bird ...

I'm happy … saw a Dollar Bird for the first time on Wallaby Creek ... a very impressive bird in flight.

The Dollar Bird arrives from New Guinea, in northern and eastern Australia in September each year to breed … returning in March or April to spend the winter.

They are very hard to spot as they prefer the higher tree tops from where they hawk insects. They are known for their unique acrobatic aerial rolling and twisting displays during courtship.

 

Cottage in a Storm ...

One day I'll build a small cottage out of stone, high up in the mountains.  There will be a single bed from where I'll be able to view the fireplace/kitchen ... my bows on the wall.  There will be one door and a window, accessible to my horse ...

This very moment I do live in a cottage ... with a view of a dam, filled with Bulrush ... black Moorhens darting about the shadows like Ninjas.  The odd Catfish and Yellowbelly breaking the surface.  My horse appearing at the cottage door ... my hound on the timber floor ...

There's something about a small dwelling, close to Nature ... a humbling experience.  Right now an angry storm is belting the cottage ... heavy rain on the thin tin roof ... heavy winds knocking on doors and windows.  The frogs and Moorhens hiding from all the violence.  It's summer but I'm cold and my dog is curled in a bundle of fur and tail.  The horses feeding with their tails into the wind ...

Nights like this ... nights like this ... a small fire ... a Soul out of the wind, but very much aware of it all.  Awareness is what it's all about ... you'll never be aware of your Awareness in your Concrete Jungle ... there where you don't have to worry about horse, hound or Soul.  Stuck in a little cottage with the storm knocking fiercely to enter ... you open the door to the elements ... checking on horse and fowl, making sure the little fire will be there when you and hound return.

Corrugated sheets rattling above, galloping hooves outside, oilskins waiting for you.  Coming back from outside, wet and cold ... memory of the warmth ... the nose of your horse in the hollow of your neck ... the nose of your hound on the back of your hand.  Ripping the oilskins off in front of the small fire ... forever rabbit and duck stew in the black pot ... hound already curled in a ball of fur and tail ...

Relaxed bows and red-feathered feathers on the wall ... the storm trying to break through roof, window and wall ... such is the life in a small cottage ...

Thursday, December 25, 2014

The Apostle Birds ...

   “An abode without birds is like a meat without seasoning.”     
~ The Harivansa  

Here in Australia, the Apostle Bird can be found ... often in groups of twelve … or close to twelve.  Some people believe they're invested with lice, therefore a threat to poultry. I've met a few property owners who shoot them on sight.



I just love watching the these birds … true clowns in feathers and always willing to shout the alarm.  Research indicates that they actually play a role in the control of lice and other pests ... the lice thing just another urban myth. 

They're also known as Lousy Jacks or CWA birds (Country Women's Association = constant chatter) or Happy Jacks. They love to bath in rain puddles and have no fear of man nor his poultry ... feeding time they just jump in and eat as much as they can. During heavy storms they hide under Tea tree in front of the cottage. I now have a birdbath just for them, right under the Tea tree, in front of the cottage door. 


A few days ago, late afternoon, I saw them high up in the trees ... upset and very vocal. Snake or cat, I thought ... carefully making my way to the tree. Then I saw them all staring to the west …I turned around to witness one hell of a storm approaching.  A blue green sky … then one large lonely hailstone and all hell broke loose. 

I don't know much about the Apostle bird's breeding habits. Although they are very territorial, I've never seen their nest or nests. It will be interesting to know how and where they construct their nests. The hillbilly neighbour is a breeder and keeper of millions of feral cats ... no friend or benefit to those of feather. I'll have to plan a massive cull ... I already have the game cameras in place. 

I'm the protector of the Apostle bird. Last night during the storm, I retrieved the game camera … I saw a breeding pair of Wood ducks, with ducklings on the lower dam. Right in the middle of this cat colony. We have very few birds in this area ... no breeding plovers and very few of the smaller bird species.  Cat hunting it'll be ...