The fog..



In 5 months we will have been here for 3 years. It has flown and yet I feel as though I am just starting to become familiar with the place. Having always envied the abilities of older people to predict and forecast weather from bird behaviour or plants about the place, I’m finally putting a little store of information away for this place. For example, I know that if the wind is coming from the west side of the house and if clouds come quickly from that direction also then we are going to have mother of a storm that night. If it is dead still outside but the treetops across the road are flicking about, then I have about 8 minutes to get the clothes off the line before all the undies parachute over the fence. If the chickens are all trying to stand on each others heads and look meaningfully at the kitchen window, then it means the frost is particularly heavy and I need to pour some boiling water over the scraps and get it out there quick smart!

The other morning we had a thick fog – like pea soup (mmmmmpea soup) and as I was trudging about feeding the animals I heard an animal cry that would not have been out of place in Jurassic Park. It quickened my pulse immediately, not because of the sense of a lost world in the fog about to trample me, but I knew straight away what it was. They came a year ago, early June, with a great cry that seemed to bounce about the hills here and when I finally saw them I could not take my eyes off them. Big black cockatoos, three times the size (at least) of white cockatoos. Flying in the sky they look about the size of the wedge tail eagles we used to see in Alice Springs. They are magnificent and they congregate in the trees across the road from us in this cold weather emerging on mass and shrieking as they make forays out for water or to socialise. Going by last year, they will disappear before the end of winter, but hopefully next year I will remember to expect them and look for them instead of jumping at their prehistoric screech in the foggy morning and spilling the chooks hot porridge on my boots.

 These guys should be nervous….very nervous.

5 thoughts on “The fog..

  1. Just checked Wikipedia. Black Cockatoos are two feet long — no wonder I haven’t seen them at local pet stores.
    Those ghostly white ones in your photo are scary enough; are they Alfred Hitchcockatoos?

  2. The white cockatoos (Sulphur Crested Cockatoos)CAN be very scary (..put McMangey in the search box and you’ll see why) because they don’t care what you think and they seem to maliciously damage things for the fun of it. They are the teenage rebels of the bird world: bloody raucus things that pull your daylilies out of the ground and laugh at you when you yell at them. The Black cockatoos are so big that if they sat on the wire edge of the chook run, like the white cockies in that photo, they’d bring it all down. They are amazing. I reckon they could bite your finger clean off.

  3. We have flock of crows in our neighborhood we call “the motorcycle gang.” They tear up garbage, chase hawks, caw and cackle, and are basically obnoxious. They remind my owner of Marlon Brando in “The Wild One,” when the owner of a store asks Brando, “What are you rebelling against?” and Brando says, “Waddaya got?”

  4. Love that scene – both from the movie and the one of your crows in my head. Our cockies would be like a bunch of naughty schoolboys around your motorcycle gang crows. But when they are together and no tougher birds are around they think they are Waaaaay cool. And just like naughty schoolboys, without their buddies, they’re big wimps too. 🙂

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