Life has some unexpected moments.   I recently created an image, to symbolise an event/situation that occurred to me a few years ago, that changed my way of living quite radically.  My intention was to use it in a book that is being compiled with contributions from people who have also had a similar experience.  To that end, I had the image printed out this morning, and was just leaving the shop, when I had another shattering experience.  Quite ironical really….

My belief is that nothing happens in this life without a reason, even if it’s not clear at the time.  Time will tell…….one way or another…..

I gain solace from remembering this old story…..

There is a Chinese story of a poor farmer whose only horse ran away. That evening the neighbors gathered to commiserate with him since this was such bad luck. “Your farm will suffer, and you cannot plow,” they said. “Surely this is a terrible thing to have happened to you.”

He said, “Maybe yes, maybe no.”

The next day the horse returned but brought with it six wild horses, and the neighbors came to congratulate him and exclaim at his good fortune. “You are richer than you were before!” they said. “Surely this has turned out to be a good thing for you, after all.”

He said, “Maybe yes, maybe no.”

And then, the following day, his son tried to saddle and ride one of the wild horses. He was thrown and broke his leg, and he couldn’t work on the farm. Again the neighbors came to offer their sympathy for the incident. “There is more work than only you can handle, and you may be driven poor,” they said. “Surely this is a terrible misfortune.”

The old farmer said, “Maybe yes, maybe no.”

The day after that, conscription officers came to the village to seize young men for the army, but because of his broken leg the farmer’s son was rejected. When the neighbors came again, they said, “How fortunate! Things have worked out after all. Most young men never return alive from the war. Surely this is the best of fortunes for you!”

And the old man said, “Maybe yes, maybe no.”

You never know, really.

The Silencing of Nature

Can you hear the sound of these birds when you look at this image?  No….of course you cannot.  If you’re familiar with these two iconic Australian birds – galah and magpie – you may ‘hear’ in your mind their individual sounds.  Imagine for a moment, that you may never hear your favourite birdsong ever again…..

Yesterday I listened to an impactfull presentation on ABC by Bernie Kraus who records soundscapes.  His website is Wild Sanctuary .  I thoroughly recommend paying him a visit after you’ve listened to his presentation on ABC.

For over forty years, he has been recording in habitats all over the world and he says many of the sites of his early recordings are now silent.  Such has been the impact of human activity.  His recording of the sounds of snowmobiles in the landscape compared to without them simply must be experienced.  Please listen, and then think about how your own environment is being impacted by noise, and what you can change in your own behaviour to make it a more harmonious soundscape.

I cannot live in towns or cities these days, and even visiting them is injurious to me.  Noise is a major factor.

It is well known  that plants will grow better when certain types of music is played to them and will die with other forms. Scientists have conducted numerous experiments documenting this.

Why should humans be any different?

Time is running out…..

Wriggling in the rain

There was a storm here early in the week, and once it was safe to venture out, I was on the road having a walk around.  I was hoping to find some earthworms and yes, sure enough several were out crossing the road.  It reminds me of the old joke – why did the chicken cross the road – because I have no idea just why the worms behave in this manner.  Once, a couple of years ago, the road was absolutely swarming with them!  The verge is quite broad along this section of road and that gives them a decent habitat, as the paddocks have all been treated with artificial fertilisers and that’s abhorrent to worms.  Perhaps one day humans will wake up to the fact that they are destroying the very land they need to live on. 

Getting a grip!

For days I’ve tried to get a decent close-up of a caterpillar living on a low branch of a gum tree growing further down my country road.  It’s either been too windy, too overcast or too late in the day.  Until today.  The early morning rain cleared away to a gently sunny morning, with minimal wind.  So down I went, ever hopeful of perhaps getting the shots I wanted.

One of the things I learnt from this process, was that the caterpillar tended to stay in the same vicinity on successive days and that made locating it relatively easy.  Lady Luck stayed with me, and I had lots of fun shooting the caterpillar in various poses.  I was thrilled to see just how it was able to travel so easily along the branches and leaves….its feet have a wonderfully designed appendage that grips the surface firmly.  On this occasion I chose not to have it walk over me as some can emit rather toxic defence tactics.  It would have been an interesting sensation though……

Hey the river’s up!

After a week of above average rains, the river has risen considerably, and the crossing over the road is well and truly closed.  It’s the highest I’ve seen the river flood, although I’m told it used to come up this high several times each winter, but ceased it a decade ago. It’s wonderful to see it having a good clean out.

My horse is not impressed though, as she prefers to graze on the other side of the river…..and looks at me as if to ask me to do something about it!  She’s certainly not going to attempt to cross it herself.