Posts Tagged ‘Kookaburra’

A friendly Bird.

March 5, 2019



For two days now this bird has been perching itself around our garden. It keeps staring at me as if looking for an answer. Most living creatures main aim is food. Last week, the same bird was on the garden-shed’s roof while I was trying to fasten some trellises to help grow a Jasmin against it. It wasn’t at all shy. Did it escape from a cage? I never heard of those type of birds inside birdcages. I think that keeping birds in cages is cruel, and always felt that the singing of a canary inside a cage was more the sound of dreadful agony than an expression of joy. Still, don’t some men break out in songs about jails? Johnny Cash and Elvis  spring to mind.

When the same bird arrived for the second time I felt it might just be hungry so went inside and got it some rye bread. Of course, I was assuming it was a bird being brought up its parents to be vegetarian. From the start when seeing this bird I felt it belonged to the Kingfisher variety under which the well known Australian Kookaburra falls. This is of course a much larger bird, well known for its Australian rollicking sound totally synonymous for its fondness of the Australian suburb.


Of course, The Kingfisher family are meat eaters so I should have got the bird some anchovies but not an easy task for they come in small tightly packed glass jar. Are those responsible for the pickling of anchovies afraid they might escape? We assumed the bird was asking for some food and we now have some mince ready for next time.

It was one of the sweetest moment of men and nature. With all the political drama and the imprisonment of a top-notch cardinal on sexual abuse of children, the appearrance of this lovely bird was most welcome.

It does help to restore faith in life, doesn’t it?

Mid Summer is close when the cicadas start singing.

January 7, 2017


The Australian summer is now buzzing with hot days following hot humid nights. The restless tossing around with whirring of fans, I get woken up by an early light that’s causing an orange tinge around the trees outside. It brings back memories of many summers ago when I was sixteen or so, sleeping outside on the concrete path leading from the back-veranda to the outside dunny. (For outsiders, a dunny-can or dunny is an outside toilet of earlier times.)
The day time temperature was over 40C and the night not much less. The mosquitos were murderously bloodthirsty but the coolness of lying on the bare cemented foot-path beckoned, and concrete won.

The dunny was an Australian toilet before sewer was installed. In the haste of accommodating hundreds of thousands of post WW2 refugees and migrants flooding into Australia, the installation of sewers by the ruling Governments were not a prime consideration. Bulldozers were roaring over the country-side as far as the eyes could see, building roads, and making way for sub-divisions on which to build houses. Own home was the Australian dream and the priority. My mother back in Holland had this dream about Australia of having a house with a real bathroom. A house with an outdoor bathroom wasn’t on in her horizon, let alone a toilet whereby all urinations and defecations were done in a drum which would be collected once weekly by a ‘dunny-man.’ The dunnies did not have water taps!

This job of collecting the dunny can was a much coveted profession. It entailed (through many years of traditions) many lurks and perks, not least were the short work days. The faster those cans were collected, the earlier the dunny collectors could knock-off to go home. The collecting was always very early in the morning before the steaming heat would make the stench of the job very challenging, almost impossible, even for the hardiest. The only requirement was to be strong and able to hoist those cans on the shoulder and able to make a run for the truck on which the cans would be placed in, rows after rows. No slackness would be allowed. By ten o’clock in the morning the men would be home for a shower and a change of singlets. I remember those blue singlets well. They had runs of browns stains. There were rumours of some of the dunny-men to have formed dalliances with lonely widows or divorcees. The mind boggles, but love overcomes all.

It was, while as mentioned before, I was prostrate outside on the cool concrete during the late 1950’s or so, finally asleep, when the dunny-man arrived. Without as much as a side-way glance he ran past me, collected first one and then the second one ( we, with six children were a two pan family) , one at a time. I remember the slushing. We accepted it as normal and part and parcel of having migrated in quest for owning our own home.

The cicadas will soon make their presence known. A small chorus is practising already while I am penning this. The kookaburras are keenly waiting for their appearances when the cicadas will start clambering cautiously above the soil. They will start their arduous climb back onto the eucalypts. Many will make it for the cycle to continue. Many will feed the Kookaburra too.

Yet, their singing goes on.