Cape York under threat

Cape York under threat

The originator of the worldview of ‘Deep Ecology’, the Norwegian Arne Naess, argues that, “a human being is not a thing in an environment, but a juncture in a relational system without determined boundaries in space and time.” Deep ecology views the world as a dynamic network of phenomena interrelated and interdependent. Sometimes we may intuit this, sense it often in a close embrace with a landscape or place. Such a relationship may be termed spiritual, I would characterise it was more a reverent working relationship, in the past baulked by science and philosophy and aided by multiple disciplinary fields and aesthetics. Knowledge is useful for ongoing fascination and deeper involvement with natural aesthetics, but is not essential for a sense of pleasure, excitement and value. Being open to the experience is what matters.

quoll home Cape York
quoll home Cape York

For example, in the middle of dry grassy sclerophyll woodland on Cape York, we came across a young northern quolls playing in the funnel of a long abandoned steam train used in the gold mining era. They would pop up have a look at us run down gain all fighting for position. We had just been observing Bennett’s tree kangaroos. Was that watching, looking upon, gazing? Whatever it was, it was voyeuristic and magnificent, seeing animals one associates with the ground. Finding them was tough, we were stung viciously by green ants numerous times. These were weaver ants (Oecophylla smaragdina), brush against one of their pale homes woven from leaves silk and they aggressively attack en masse.
Cape York is magnificent, the bird life diverse and exotic, I saw some of the most beautiful birds in Australia, and yet Cape York, being nominated for World Heritage Status is under threat.

Cape York development plan threatens world heritage bid. Eight mines are planned for Cape York. see The Guardian, Friday 20 September 20.
Some of the birds we saw: The Victorian and Magnificent Riflebirds, Trumpet Manucode, Nutmeg Mannikin, Red-bellied Pitta, Buff-breasted Paradise-Kingfisher, Yellow-billed Kingfisher, Red-backed Kingfisher, Papuan Frogmouth, Marbled Frogmouth, Eclectus Parrot, Red-winged Parrot, Palm Cockatoo and Gould’s Bronze-Cuckoo.

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