The bush is beautiful today.
Quieter than normal, hushed.
Even the little birds are quiet and so I sit in my Toyo, 400 mil lens at the ready. The car seems to attract the pardalote, so all I need to do is sit quietly…and they will come to me.
But they don’t. Ten minutes is lost to the hush-continuum and the silence is deeper than normal. So too is that sense we have …of our immediate environment.
It is true, my skin crawls. I am being being bloody watched!
It’s that tiny dot high in the white gum,coming from there. Slowly reaches the arm to the camera, my constant companion and my super-vision enacts. Auto focus prefers the greenery all about that dot. OK, adjust to manual focus, adjust…yes, my head-hair crawls to the reality of a set of eyes, as black as the universal carbon-dusting that made us all.
Jesus! I am about to photograph a grey.
But will I be zapped to a craft in the stratosphere before I can get this photo to the front page of the TT? Click, gotcha, you sneaky bastard owl, watching me on high.
But in the daytime? An owl! In full daylight? Aha, all is revealed. The stumpy branch of an old she-oak directly before my Toyo…is not a stumpy branch. It has moved, ever so slightly, but movement. It is not one either, It is three! Triplet Tawny Frogmouths…click!
My first-ever Tawny frogmouth photos.
I trust my beating heart will not scare them off as I swing the Toyo door as I might open a vault to another world.
Amazingly I am frightened of these things and am virtually levitating by the inch toward them; their eyes, slits in the she-oak bark, fixed upon my every delicate movement as is theirs, super-slow-mo, absorbing the entirety of my existence, as though reading my mind, and mine speaks, assuring these new-borns that here they are safe; from a terrible earth that would bulldoze their tree with not one gasp of an apology…” I will not harm you” and I wondered if perhaps John Gould may have uttered silently his appreciation to those he painted to bring us the wonders of the world he so must have loved.
I am so close now that at any time I expect them to fly. But do owls fly in the day-time? There is much I do not know and owls is one subject of which I am ignorant. Click, clickety-click and I have digitised and immortalised this creepy silent young family from numerous vantage points in under a minute.
By the time I have photographed these scary youngsters, the mother is craning and seems to be silently importuning me to piss off. And I do. But just three more close-ups, click, click, click…thank you guys,
The Toyo kicks into noisy action and yet they do not flinch and I am gone, as too are they, the next day. These fuglies (feathered uglies) have left their nest. The old she-oak, now an empty nest. But it is on private land and I am sure once Robert and Jane of Pelicania see the piccies, the old she-oak will remain as a shrine to everything beautiful in an oft-times ugly world.