Tuesday, September 25, 2007
The Pleasures of Nature
The birds around my cabin are a little confused. I think they should all go into therapy. Whenever I call my two cats, the kookaburras, magpies, butcher-birds and currajongs flock to the trees at my back door, the clothes line and a post at the edge of my vegetable/herb garden. Perhaps I'm being a bit hasty in calling them "confused". Smart is probably the correct description!
Each time I venture outside the birds spot me from afar, high up in their "look-out" posts. Within seconds, they've taken up their respective positions in the branches above, some milling around on the ground close to my feet, in total ignorance of my cats. Remy and Shama look at the birds of a feather disdainfully as uninvited interlopers, but they make no attempt to dissuade their expectant presence. I'm sure, though, if they, my cats, could work out a way to pick up a stone, they would kill two birds with one stone! Remy and Shama have decorum, however, and have been taught never to over-step the boundaries I've set. A guttural "ahhhh-ahhh" from me is enough warning for them. With a shake of their heads and a flick of their tails, Remy and Shama cast me looks of disgust as they walk away.
The pecking order amongst my family of native birds begins with the kookaburras, followed by the magpies, butcher-birds, with the currajongs waiting their turn after the former group have had their fill. Every now and then Mr. and Mrs. Crow make their appearance and they are always at the end of the line, which is quite amazing, really. Describing this phenomenon to friends the other day, I argued at length that this was so. My friends didn't believe that the crows waited until last, at the end of the pecking order. It is so, at least, with this particular jet-black, well-mannered family of two. Almost every day my feathered vertebrate friends receive the meat my furry rascals haven't eaten and the off-cuts. There is enough for everyone.
When the rain tumbles down, a rare event lately, and when gusty, vigorous winds cause chaos, my heart goes out to my "outside" friends, but I tell myself that somewhere out there in their homes in trees they inhabit, they have found their safe sanctuary against nature's forces.
Kookaburra drawing by me...