I step into the sweet gloom of forest shade, the sun not yet highlighting the tips of the trees.
Alone quietly, the forest is giving me shocks. A Swamp Wallaby, hidden among the Smilax and Bracken beside me, thumps the earth as it bounds away, dark fur scratching the top of the spring. Unlike the Eastern Greys, they are solitary, and I disturb two more as I move east. A Whipbird, very close, darts into a thicket of vines, pokes its head out to see if I am still here then skips out of sight staying low.
I move a large branch off the track, Yesterday I was crook and took a RAT test, but I can smell greeny growth breathing. Cicada Bird calling are curled in distance, a pair of yellow Robins silently ferry to and for, unable to settle in front of me. Lorikeets are flying over towards the village gardens, ignoring the forest trees for now. Wrens ferret though the low scrub between curled up leaves, no sign of the White-cheeked Honeyeaters that boss this Pink Bloodwood, nub of the reserve.
My camera is anxious for first light, watches for formal properties, light’s progression, textures, compositional possibilities.
On the hind dunes, a clap of thunder just above my head jumps me, a frightened a Bar-shouldered Dove wakes and shoots off, wings banging, but not a peep of an alarm.
I am in a continual state of worry about the environment, about global and local issues, about forestry felling to the south west and not hearing a tree frog for many months in our garden, and we hadn’t seen any Koala Bells until this one, today. Survival is the game.
Coming back through the garden I hear a splashing, a Satin Bowerbird is having an early bath, whirling wings spraying water compelling a grin.
‘Unusually for spiders, males and female leaf-curling spiders form pairs and share a leaf retreat. Females may cannibalise cohabiting males, which occurs independently of whether the female has been deprived of food. After mating, the female makes another curled leaf retreat in vegetation away from her web.’ Jess Marsh, ‘Leaf at first sight: how leaf-curling spiders pair up and build a family home’, The Conversation, 7 Jan, 2022.