August 2009 – From Her Notebook

Last night I was checking out an image of a Kite (the feathered kind) on my big Sisters wall on Facebook. It reminded me of how birds always seemed to gravitate towards Tina. I remember her taking a photo of a Willy Wagtail one day in Rocky. She was sitting on the ground with her legs stretched out in front of her when a Wagtail decided to perch on her boot. I still have the pic somewhere. He let her take a couple of pics, had a little chatter, then flew back to where I’d been digging in the garden, to chase a few more bugs.
I was also reminded of a few pages in a notebook that I found while going through our stuff a couple months ago. Back in August 2009, we were staying at certain spots along the Fitzroy River near Rockhampton. Tina had started to write a journal of sorts & this is what She wrote over a few days. Anything in brackets are my additions for clarity:

Mon 10-08-09
We moved yesterday, about 14km from town along Bowlin Rd. But that road is a 4WD track, so chewed up by blokes with their big mud tyres that it’s a 45 minute trip. There is another way to get here, along Port Curtis Road and out to the river, but it is a bit further and takes nearly as long. I don’t think we’ll be able to camp here for long. It takes too long & too much diesel to come all this way (every day). We’ll spend this week looking for somewhere else a bit closer to town I think.
*******
We had a very pretty sight to wake up to this morn. Looking out over the water, the fog hid the opposite bank up around the bend. As Brad said, “It looks like we’re on a lake.” The other bank and the mountains in the distance behind looked like a big island in the centre.
******
It’s raining! For the first time in ages. It’s not going to last long though. The clouds came over & I had plenty of time to make sure everything was covered. I saw it coming over the mountain, and it was just rolling in lazily. It’s stoped now. I can see blue sky again, but there’s still some rain somewhere between here and the mts.
The crows are flying around again after making a big deal of roosting just before it hit. So maybe they know it’s already over.
The rain barely pocked the ground. I can see tiny wet splotches where the raindrops landed, but there’s still more dry ground than wet. My fire is still alight. It’s still raining, but it’s more like mist. The rain on the mountains looks like it’s heading towards town, and the band that came through here I can see retreating Westwards.
I was going to open the back & sit on the tailgate to watch it go, but as I opened the door a scud came through. It’s gone again now but I think I’ll just sit here in the nice dry car & have rest,, in case another one comes through.
******
There’s a pair of finches in the trees next to the car. No, they’re tiny little Honeyeaters. They’re flitting through the trees., one of them performing little aerobatic manoeuvres as he goes. When he lands, he flips upside down and hangs from the branch to eat from the little upside down flowers.
*******
When we came up here yesterday we kept seeing a pair of Whistling Kites circling our car. We were wondering if they were our mates from the last campsite (8km away). When we got here & were checking the place out, the kites kept us in view, circling down close to the car several times. Now, I know that these types of bird are very common in this area, but that’s not a very normal behaviour for them. Usually they’ll fly quite high, & there’s only one bird I know who comes so close…and more recently his mate (at the previous camp, Tina had gained the trust of a pair of kites. They would perch in the ironbarks quite close to the car).
I know that it’s not likely to be the same pair, but it’d be cool if it was. This morning though, while I was listening, his call sounded different. It could be because he’s in a new territory, but I doubt it. I might allow myself to fool myself though. I told Brad yesterday, “You realise that if they’re the same pair we’ll have to name them Gryphonn & Phoenix”. I kind of like that. So from now on that will be their names…whether they’re the same pair or not 🙂  (yep, She drew a smiley face).
*******
The Wrens are in the grass, jumping from stalk to stalk as they check me out. The female was trying to attract my attention this morning, but I’ve only just spotted the male now. He’s beautifully decked out in his finest Black, his little Red vest shining as he puffs out his chest. His full breeding colours and his wifes behaviour this morning suggests they may have set up home somewhere nearby. I’ll have to have a look so we don’t disturb them.
*****
The coolest thing just happened. I took Jack (our dog) for a walk along the river. I was hoping to see some evidence of crabs amongst the mangroves, so that we would have some idea of where to drop the (crab) pot tonight, but I soon forgot about the crabs. I was looking down among the mangrove roots & saw a round, white object floating in the water, trapped. A frisbee! Bargain! “You score Jack”,I told Him. After I found a suitably long stick to retrieve it without wetting my boots, we took the frisbee up to the wide grassy flat just up from our camp. This is the cool part! I threw the frisbee a couple of times & I heard the kite calling. I looked up & he was just there above me, about 4 metres up. He just sort of hung there on the wind, adjusting his wings slightly now and then. His mate was flying lazy circles, much higher up. “Hello Gryphonn,” I said. “Want to play?” I held the frisbee up to show him & he looked at it. Then, when I threw it, he flew above Jack as he ran, then turned and came back when he did! I was spun out! So I did it again…and so did the bird. And he kept doing it, never diving on it or anything, just flying low above Jack … around 3 metres or so, racing him to the frisbee. He did it eight times – I counted. Pity Jack got tired. It was so cool! I’m sure he was playing. I even apologised for not having anything for him to eat. I told him to come back tomorrow & I’ll have somthing. I hope he does.

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2 Comments

  1. bob said,

    February 7, 2012 at 11:31 pm

    you two have lots of good memories and pics/souvenirs …..

    so important to remember those days…

    • Brad said,

      February 9, 2012 at 10:14 pm

      I cherish those days my friend.


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