Saturday, July 10, 2004

Night birds

Who would know it was the middle of winter. I lie here in my bed, windows open onto a still, still night. The sea is calm like a mirror in the inky dark - the perfect dark for, without the moon, the stars can star - and star they do tonight. The Southern Cross hangs high above, the Milky Way sprawls, Scorpio coils... And, if you stand at the water's edge, you can see them again, a twinkle in the sea. The islands are barest dark mounds out there in the darkness. But occasionally one can hear the birds on Wright Island, a disturbance or a fairy penguin squabble. A while ago some cockatoos flew over. I wonder what marauder set them into flight at this hour. Queale and I walked down onto the beach a while ago to soak in the perfection of this winter night. There were lights of the fishermen out on the jetty beneath The Bluff - and there was a white shape drifting in the water close to the shore. But as it came closer, it divided and one could see that, oh so bright a white, it was two pelicans silently gliding down the shoreline. I did not know they cruised about by night. They seemed to be in perfect harmony - ghost birds in the dark. Beautiful. And now I shall put aside the computer and fall asleep to the sound of the water lapping, the occasional thud of a sweet it is.

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