26 April, VIRUS 2020

Coronavirus is continuing its spread across the world, with around three million confirmed cases in 185 countries. At least 200,000 people have died. BBC

Bushfires leave 470 plants and 200 animals in dire straits. Guardian

Walking through scrub darkness, always excited to see Pacific light. Jogging down onto the sagging sand and into the water so warm this week. 

Two magpies caroling, then preening, one leaves a white pendant hanging.

The Sooty sometimes looks like it is eating rock.

A Little Pied Cormorant seems a little lost. I keep my distance. I don’t see them here. Occasionally the larger Pied Cormorant flies past.

A straight edge catches the eye, the colour of ochre but compacted. A stubborn material shipwreck with machine-made holes.

A shell holed by the waves becomes a basket for sand.

 

A pair of Great Egrets, a rare sight here.
A Brahminy Kite, seen nearly everyday, is always  a delight,

‘I can see a bird. What is it?’: a beginners’ guide to backyard birding. Guardian [1]

A large seabird flying past, caught it late, unsure which species.

Two optimists stand inside the genius of the sea,
a horizon fishing for breakers, pale sky still waking.

These glistening channels riffle gold, strain
back down the slope leaving brown, spilling
over the sandbank, occasional embroidery,
the restless beauty whispers and holds me.

The groove in the sand made by a snail’s tongue
traces a pattern, a method maybe, a picture, a trace
of ancient ritual. The lines in the sand split, branch
to deltas, fractals, the ferns in our garden,
the Garden of Eden, God’s consecrated colour.

The surface of the beach is like a book, the paper
perforated and inscribed with the wash, tide lines,
flotsam, the graveyards of shellfish.

I pick up the tracks right on the sea’s end,
a roo hopping back up towards the trees.
What top they make of something so unearthly,
as if something as large as a planet has burst.

The finger bones of Old Man’s Hat.

~

Let’s not forget the last crisis, the bushfires: More than 400 plants and nearly 200 invertebrates need urgent attention after the bushfire crisis, new analysis for the federal environment department has found. The Guardian. I am forwarding an email from Georgie asking contacts to raise their voices and write to Council about the logging. She has a decade on me but so much energy.

~

Lunch on deck. A Crested pigeon comes round the corner surprise by me jerks the rudder, is carrying mouthfuls of nesting material. It is a sunny day like spring in Europe.Two Galahs are screeching as they clean out the nesting hole, others have tried to use, but it sits horizontally high on a Blackbutt and is easy prey.

Judging the poetry competition for Bellingen Birders lockdown, I get confused. I am trying to be objective and thinking of the context, but perhaps should just vote for the three I like best.

Wyn has a two hour cocktails Zoom with her girlfriends in Sydney, a 2 hour session. I don’t know how women can maintain a conversation that long. I ring a friend. She has broken out and driven down to Sydney to see her elderly mother, who has dementia. They let her into the care home and they had a picnic in the grounds. She says the city is eerily quiet, worries the police might stop her on the way home.

 

[1] https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2020/apr/26/i-can-see-a-bird-what-is-it-a-beginners-guide-to-backyard-birding