Saturday, August 30


Today we had the priveledge of having a Kookaburra visit us, in our Lily Pily tree.

Leo barked when it first landed on the branch, but Ms/Mr/Mrs Kooka, just regarded him with scorn, & continued to sit.

Knowing my love of Kookaburras, Gom came rushing in to tell me it was there, thinking I could get some photos.

Of course, I rushed out, with camera in hand, I clicked away. With largely dismal results. Too shakey I suspect. I tried to steady the camera on the top of the fence, but still discarded more than I kept.

Here is the Kooka on the ground. I took this, just as it took off again, to perch back on the branch, so it is a little blurred.

I got very daring, & ventured out, to stand under the tree, to try to capture the perfect closeup.
The horrible Indian Mynah birds kept dive bombing the bird, & I believe the Mynahs destroy the nests of the Kookaburras.

It is such a shame, as the Kookaburras, though large, seem to be gentle birds with little, or no agression, towards other birds.

Our resident Black Shrikes took offense at Kooka's presence, & came to screech at him. He was seemingly unimpressed.

The Magpies came to inspect, & scold also, but the Kooka remained inscrutable. He/she continued to land on the ground to peck worms or beetles, & return to the Lily Pily branch.

I managed to capture this photo, which I think is the best of the bunch.If you click on the photo, the feathers appear quite sharp, the colours defined.

It kept fluffing it's feathers, which made it look so fluffy -dare I say, cuddly. Of course, they are not. They are wild, beautiful birds. I do think they are my favourite, of all Australian birds. Not wildly pretty, but somehow majestic, & dignified.

Though their wild maniacal 'laughter' may herald rain, I love to hear the sound.


Another Other Life.

This is a true story, learnt as I got to know the star, as I lived another life, as a Dollmaker.

I find it endearing & wonderful, that groups of women can meet, for a common purpose, or interest, hobby, craft, & form such caring covensclutches.

We join this girl at 16, with older siblings- so much older. To the point she felt she had been the 'menopause child', resulting, mistakenly, when her parents were 'old' & had had no intention of adding another child to their family.

She did well at school, was a little indulged, & adored, as the 'baby' of the family. Loved, doted upon.

Her mother, dropped dead when she was a mere 16, before her eyes, on the kitchen floor. A massive heart attack.

She grew to adulthood, with the ever present memory of her mother's death. The thought of how precious family were. How much she loved her remaining family.

She met a wonderful man. They married. She became the mother of 3 beautiful sons.

Her husband was a builder. They built their own house, on a difficult block. They later discovered termites, had invaded the wood of their carefully built home. They had been assured the land had been treated, the timber they used was treated. There turned out to be no legal comeback, on anyone. They had to spend all the savings they had, to rectify this scourge. Struggled back to equalibrium. Gave the sons all they could offer in love, emotional support, & inevitably, monetary support, for educational opportunities.

We listened & learned every step of these travails, in our group. Much emotional support was offered, of course.

Son no. 1 decided he wanted to become an Architect. Wonderful, the parents said.

They had good friends, close, to the 'nominal relative' point. Their son fell in love with the friends' daughter. They had, after all, grown up together, loved each other, for all their memorable lives. They wanted to be married, in the urgent way of young ones.

The youngsters had little NO money, the parents little more. But they endeavoured to give the young ones a beautiful wedding. Sharing the costs, our heroine making the wedding dress, the bridesmaids dresses. Doing the floral arrangements, sharing the food supplies with the Best Friends/soon-to-be In laws.

Where would the penniless, studying, young couple reside?

Why, in the wonderful cosy flat, that our heroine & her husband built & created on the top of their garage. A true work of cabinet-maker's art. No spare inch was wasted. It had a wonderful stove- collected from a roadside throwout, compete with added extractor fan, when the donor learnt of the circumstances of it's future home. A giveaway fridge, a wonderful throwout shower alcove. All lovingly integrated into a beautiful small home for the newly weds. A donated washing machine, for the small laundry alcove. Perfect.

Of course, you can all guess what happens next...beautiful young bride is... unexpectedly/accidentally, pregnant! how did this happen? we were being so careful?.

Our heroine's group rallied. Gifts were made, we were excited to learn what the progress of the baby was. We all donated what we could. We all gasped in admiration at the stunningly beautiful hand embroidered blanket our friend made for the baby. The beautiful sheets she embroidered for the cradle, which was hand carved, & crafted, by the Grandfather-to-be.

The Granddaughter, of indescribable beauty, was duly born. How we shared in the joy of our friend. We shared the pictures of this perfect, wonderful granddaughter. We all felt as if we 'shared' her, her progress, her Christening, in the Heirloom gown our friend created, in beautiful hand work. Her walking, her first words. We all oohed & aahed over the gorgeous photos, this sunny golden, curly haired, perfect child. The sun shone golden upon them all.

Then the chinks began. The young couple were moving. They had always intended moving to another State. For the young father's career, we were told. No surprises.

Then the younger sister of the bride, wanted to rent the flat upon the garage. "Well no" said our friend. "I don't want the responsibility of worrying about a teenage girl" "I have my two remaining teenaged sons to worry about"

Umbrage was taken. Bitterness set in. 'Best Friends' became hostile. The Bride had a miscarriage. Accusations were levelled at our heroine. The son, incredibly, blamed his mother for the miscarriage! WTH.

The young couple moved to the other State. Bitterness & spite were rampant. They denied the son's parents access to the beautiful little girl, who had come to regard her paternal grandparents as second parents. The former 'Best Friends' relocated to the other State. With bitter & hateful innuendoes, remarks, accusations.

We all watched, & listened as our broken hearted friend relayed the latest hideous nastiness. The young couple had another child, then they had triplets. Our friend & her husband were informed their gifts were 'Unacceptable," & returned. It broke their hearts.

One member of our group was a Barrister. She offered to represent our friend free, to get access to their grandchildren through Court Orders. It was so sad, so ugly, none of us could believe that 'sod' of a son, who bit the hands that had lovingly fed him & provided for him.

During the course of all this our heroine's husband, lost his job, found another. Then in a terrible accident he lost one of his fingers. The son, though informed what had happened, never once contacted his father, never once offered sympathy.

I couldn't help but think what a self-centered ar*eh0le that boy had become. I refrained from commenting, to anyone, on my thoughts, but I know they were echoed by more vocal in the group.

Another true story, stranger than fiction. Another life, I am glad is not mine.

I am so lucky my children are not so selfish. They are loving & giving.

Neil Diamond, Brooklyn Roads


bluemountainsmary said...

Kookaburras ARE amazing - and seem to not be too perturbed if you get close.

My heart went out to your friend. Sometimes these things are so sad and just plain stupid all at the same time.

Anonymous said...

My grandfather was visited daily by a kookaburra which would eat mince meat from his hand. I have a soft spot for them too.

Pauline said...

I was happily humming Kukkaburra up in the old gum tree until I read the remainder of the post and then I was too sad to sing. I will never understand people as long as I live, and will probably always struggle to accept that some of us can be so horrible to one another. Like you, I am blessed with children that love me and keep in constant contact, who welcome me into their homes and who are happy to include me in all things family. Your poor friend!

daysgoby said...

Wow, Meggie, those photos are amazing!

I am always so thrilled to see these 'exotic' (well, they are to ME) animals that you have residing near you!

I hate those kinds of stories - where you stand in the middle of the rubble, blinking and thinking 'now what on earth happened there??'

I have a few of those myself.

ancient one said...

Loved the bird. I've never seen anything like him/her.

The story breaks my heart. I know people who will not even speak to their own brothers and sisters. Over such Petty stuff..

Christine Thresh said...

Laugh Kookaburra laugh. That song will be running through my head all day long.

I'll try to forget about the sad story. Oh, dear.

Ali Honey said...

We don't have them Meg but we did learn the song at primary School.( Music for Schools on the radio )

"The Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree.
Merry, merry King of the woods is he.
Laugh Kookaburra, laugh Kookaburra,
Gay your life must be."

Is there a second verse?

Tanya said...

I have never seen a Kookaburra so I am really excited to meet my first through you! Lovely creature! And your pictures are great! I have known that song (Ali's) too but I never had any idea of what it meant! Thank you.

Lilly's Life said...

That is one gorgeous kookaburra and I am so glad I found your blog - as an Aussie its good to stumble on other Australian blogs. I will be back again. Great pictures and posts.

Mike said...

Another beautifully told story Meggie. We don't have Kookaburra's here, but I think we need them.

Marja said...

I have heard about this bird mbut never seen one. Looks great

Another hardbreaking story. This story makes it hard to understand life. Hope the ty will turn for your friend

Marja said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stomper Girl said...

Great last shot of the kookaburra, I am always thrilled when I see one in the wild too!

Tanya Brown said...

It was neat to see your Kookaburra pictures. He looks like a sweet fellow. We used to sing the song Ali Honey refers to in first grade. (In Alice.) Guess it's been around a long time!

Regarding the son and daughter-in-law with the supreme entitlement issues - yikes. The worst part is their denying access to the grandparents. But you know, perhaps it will do them some good to have to make it on their own without the parental support net. Perhaps they'll fall flat on their faces a few times and realize what great favors they were done. (Or, equally likely, they'll just continue to be jerks.)

VioletSky said...

My laughing to myself with Laugh Kookaburra Laugh ended abruptly as you story went on. I am so grateful my current generation's squabbles never amount to such animosity, though my father didn't speak to several members of his family, ever. Made me desperate to know them when I was younger.

Kellie said...

There really is something special about a kookaburra!

Thimbleanna said...

What a sad story Meggie. You're just the best storyteller -- you had me glued to know what happened.

And how fun to see a Kookaburra! Thanks for posting your pictures!