Wednesday, December 19, 2007

A Timely Escape.

The cleaning lady allotted to me by the TAC for the time I can't wield a broom or a mop is not the best conversationalist. I dread the weekly visits where she talks at me and doesn't listen to my answer. I have become a bit of a captive audience, so much so I begin to desperately look for somewhere else to be for those two hours.

This week, in desperation, I got into my car for a wander, around to a winding road nearby I hadn't been on for a while. My man loves to take me 'the long way round', where we disappear into the depths of the Strzelecki Ranges, with him pointing out places of interest and the people linked to them. He is a huge encyclopedia of local knowledge, not just because of the 40 odd years he has lived here, but because of his work as a Pest Plant and Animal consultant for the State Government.

After 11 years with him, I have heard most of it before, and do remind him of that, but sometimes he takes no notice, just like my cleaning lady.

So, I pottered at low speed around the road, stopping to break off some poplar branches for propagating. I love the sound of the wind through poplars, so will try and get some trees going to plant.

The terrain around here is often very steep, with lots of cosy gullies. You can see the green grass where the water collects.

I passed through a forested area, where the owners had built a gravel path amongst the tall gums and lined it with tree ferns. They also had done a no-no, and planted rows of agapanthus along the edge. Agapanthus are noted as an 'environmental weed' as they do spread. Not the thing to plant in your forest ........

I took a turn off the main road onto a 'no through' road and discovered an abandoned house with some equally abandoned cars in the field next door.

There was also a nice view out to the hills in the south.

Leaving there, I drove onto a the road I recognised, to work my way back home, stopping to pick up a bag of pine cones to dry as fire lighters.

We have Yellow Tailed Black Cockatoos in our hills, and some live just down the road from us. They are a huge black parrot with yellow flashes on their tails, cheeks and yellow edges on their feathers. They call to each other with a loud moaning sound.

A John Gould Print

When my man sees them flying he always says 'it's going to rain', citing an old farmer's saying. I tell him if the poor cockies were only allowed to fly when it rained, they would be very bored, and hungry.

Back to the pine cones. The cockies love to eat pine cone seeds and make a real mess as they travel from tree to tree, leaving a trail of crunched up cones on the ground.

Standing there on a quiet road, I heard Lyre Birds, Eastern Whip Birds, and lots of other familiar calls. The 'silence' was deafening, and beautiful.

The secretive and beautiful Lyre Bird can imitate most noises it hears and can be heard barking like a dog or 'chainsawing'.

The Eastern Whip Bird is rarely seen, and it's distinctive whip crack call is actually made with its mate making the second note.

Back in the car, the clock still didn't tell me to go home, so I called in to a friend for a coffee and a chat, finally getting home with only half an hour left. I could cope with that .......

We talked for five minutes and I escaped down to the studio to clean my desk. It's funny how when you want somebody to leave you can steer them to their car and with body language, move them to get going.

I say each week, I will put her off and do it all myself, but with surgery in the new year, it's probably wise to bite the bullet and keep going.

"Everybody should have his personal sounds to listen for;
sounds that will make him exhilarated and alive, or quiet and calm....
One of the greatest sounds of them all;
and to me it is a sound,
... is utter, complete silence."

... Andre Kostelanetz

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

wow..thanks for the road trip. Beautiful place where you live.