Autumn noodling


A glorious autumn day, the kind that makes you feel glad to be alive. The grass-cutting crew was out and about.

Huge clouds of swallows swoop around the tidal pool. There have been large squadrons of black and great cormorants on the litter boom but in the last few days they’ve all gone, to be replaced by one or two little pied cormorants. I’m not sure whether the pieds prefer saltwater to the brackish and fresh water but I rarely see them this far upstream. But I did see this lonely Ug boot.

Here’s the answer to one of the missing cormorants. I didn’t see it; of course it was Jambo who sniffed it out. It’s been dead a while and, from a distance, blended perfectly into the bleached dead stems of a lantana bush laid flat by blades of the tractor slasher.

I also found a lucky rabbit’s foot. I’ll bet the three-legged rabbit it belongs to doesn’t feel very lucky.

On the way back, a tale of contrast. Firstly, this little sprig of broccoli. (Sprig? Node? Nub? Clove? Nodule? Stalk? Stem? Please advise.) I’ve seen just about everything in the creek but this little piece of bright green vegetable just looked plain weird. It was so bright and fresh!

And so, secondly, this inspection cap. Not only did it have the usual spangled, tarry, bituminous gump coming out but today a sick-looking kind of frothy ooze.

The benefits of working for myself are many. I can go to aikido at lunchtime, for a start, though the down side is that it can cut a two-hour hole in my day by the time I’ve cycled there, been flogged around, gotten home, showered and back in front of the glowing monitor. I had to catch up on a job and I was late finishing, and so late walking Jambo.

Dusk fell on the gasworks just as we arrived. This picture doesn’t do it justice but the gloaming through the seed heads of the grasses created a mauve carpet that hovered three feet above the earth, foregrounding a spectacular sunset pierced by a single vapour trail.

It’s soon dark in May; a quick circuit and we were in darkness, without even the waning Super Moon to guide us. Just the floodlights in the ELGAS depot.

A cold change is forecast. I’ll soon be pining for days like these.