Whitsundays Islands 3rd entry
Jet lag has gifted our entire time here with the magnificence of the moments just before dawn. First, a cacophony of jungle noises. Calls and screeches permeate the air. They seem to warn nocturnes to return to their lairs. Once the sun shows the noise immediately dissipates to the occasional rant. Humidity streams on glass, but the unrelenting equatorial sun burns it away moments after rising from the sky. The flying foxes are now in their roosts. They rule the skies at night. White with a yellow splash rules the sky by day.
Cacatua galerita…the Sulphur Crested Cockatoo. Downy-white acrobats with a row of about 7 distinct yellow feathers separated by ample space on the crest of their head. The vertical separating of these feathers seems to be part of a routine they repeat when they land- a form of introduction if you will. Each has its own personality. Sometimes you get a "good day mate", other times "how do you do". Some are more hood but even they have an air of underlying civility. A delightful surprise comes during flight when flashes of electric-yellow inner wing feathers appear. They occasionally share the sky with the local gulls and to see them alongside these fellow creatures of the sky is to watch a squirrel alongside a noble working dog. The full spectrum of their capability is revealed at the dining hour. They arrive at the table with a swagger and say, "pardon me, will you pass the gray poupon"?
They can lift cover plates and place them aside without a chip and sort through to select just 1 sugar packet being careful all the while not to upset the other packets. They are real economists. When they do get food they do not tear it apart in a mindless feeding frenzy. They hold it skillfully in their hand and take small thoughtful bites consuming it most delicately and often leaving the crust. In a strong breeze they dare-devil with lift and hang upside down on dancing fronds to enjoy a natural bungy jump. These jewels are more like monkeys than birds. There have a distinctly elevated intelligence that is extremely evident and enjoyable to watch in their behavior. Goodbye Freddy. I'm going to miss you the most.
The natural world has been good to us; we leave this space in a good place. We are gelling in new ways as a family. I have been surprised to learn things about my kids I never knew, and those annoying things my husband sometimes does are actually quite handy and attractive in this setting. We still love our packing cubes. We are ready to go and test some city living- have always wanted to see how urban life would work for us.
From the Whitsundays, goodbye to 148° Longitude East
Suggestion: If you are vintage 1960s now might be a good time to take a quick surf on youtube and listen to Keep Your Eye on the Sparrow in honor of Fred.