Ooh! Fecundity!

16/04/2014

I usually map out a blog post as I’m walking with Jambo. I use the VoiceMemo app on the phone to record bits and pieces as I think of them; for a strange reason that I haven’t been able to fathom I always start each memo with the words, “Something about …” as in “Something about the huge eel under the railway bridge” or “Something about the way all the aerosol cans washed up in the right order, like a paint chart”.

Unfortunately, while I had it all sorted inside my head, I didn’t record any of the brilliantly articulate and witty thoughts that were going to be the contents of this post. The only thing I can remember was the title, “Ooh! Fecundity!”, which in my head was uttered in the kind of voice Frankie Howerd used in Up Pompeii!

I know. I blame my English childhood.

I think the forgotten post was all about the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness that’s going on at the moment. The other night the sky was filled with flying foxes against the full moon, squadrons of them swooping to catch great gulps of water from the creek.

flying_foxes_by_moonlight

Around dusk on another evening I came across a sight I’d not seen before so far upstream: a large school of mullet bottom-feeding in the shallow muddy water of the beck. They were so densely packed that their fins jostled and bumped against each other, their tail fins sitting vertically out of the water as they nosed the rich slurry of the creek bed. They barely stopped even when Jambo waded in to investigate.

jambo_watches_mullet

It is nearly Easter after all, which in my mind will always be a springtime event but in Australia is a signal for the onset of cooler nights, of ANZAC Day parades and dark mornings. And, for these guys, the mullet runs up the coast.

A pair of falcons whizzed overhead to perch on the fuel depot towers. I recorded their call but I don’t know what they were; by profile I thought they were peregrines (with the distinctive scimitar-like wing profile) but they had pale underbellies and seemed too small. Hobbies, perhaps? Or grey falcons? Do we get grey falcons this close to the coast? Either way, they’ve been busy.

dead_birds_april_2014

And this morning a gigantic fungus!

jambo_w_big_mushroom

My mole at the CMA thinks it might be “an Agaricus of some sort”. Which means nothing to me. But it does rather sound like a character from Up Pompeii!, some sexy Nubian slave lady whose top falls off whenever Frankie Howerd shakes his sistrum.

Madam! Titter ye not!

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Have you lost your grommet?

12/04/2014

When my kids were little we had a children’s book about a teddy that falls out of a stroller*, gets picked up, loved, lost, found, lost again and so on until, eventually, it finds its way back to the doorstep of the house of the child who lost it in the first place, with the parents just thinking it had fallen out as they were leaving the house and never knowing the many adventures wee ted had undertaken.

I think of this story whenever a toy washes up in the creek, an event that occurs with surprising regularity. I don’t normally comment on them, this army of lost toys, but this little fellow (is he Grommet from the Wallace and … series?) looked so clean and new that I had to rescue him.

grommet1

Was he dropped off Griffiths Road bridge by someone on the way to the Jets vs Adelaide game? Even Jambo wanted to pull him out.

grommet2

So we sat him up, comfy and slowly draining, against the banking.

grommet3

There are other things that I’ve found in the creek, things that I know are driving someone somewhere mad looking for it. Where the hell is the gate key?

gate_key

The end bit off my outlet pipe: where is it? I know I put it down here a minute ago and now it’s gone!

broken-off_pipe_end

For goodness sake, Jeremy, we’re late enough as it is. Where did you put your other shoe! Not that one: your other shoe!

jeremys_other_shoe

No, this is ridiculous. I am not going to the uniform shop and buying another hat. Did you look in the lost and found box? Yes, I know that they have a “no hat, no play” policy; you’ll just have to have no play until you find that hat.

blue_school_hat

“Just leave it. Use another one.”

“No! This is bloody ridiculous. I could see it on the fairway. It can’t have rolled far.”

golfball_under_chinchen

Can’t have rolled far. Ha!

It rolled into the Styx, my friend, and once it’s in the Styx, well …

 

* I know, there are hundreds of books on this theme, including Jez Alborough’s Where’s My Teddy?, which I can still recite in full 15 years on.