Gypsy

Roaming free as the breeze
What’s to stop me and why?
I can live as I please
Open road, servo pie…

With apologies.

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My history has made me train wild animals but I’m more famed
Because I’ve really trained myself to be as spry as any elf
The circus life taught me a lot, now the circus is finished – but I’m not.
For I’m not afraid to potter round the dark
I’ll breakfast on tomorrow’s question mark
Adventure is in my blood why any lion could smell it well
But I always hold the whip and I’ll never let it slip
Whatever comes I’ll take the good and send the rest to hell

Roaming free as the breeze
What’s to stop me and why?
I can live as I please
Open road, open sky!

My lion taming acting was enough to create quite a buzz
From Timbuctu to Samarkand I wowed them in the hinterland
I was king of the king of the beasts on the stage
Why, the public wouldn’t let me out of my cage
They loved it when the lions licked my paws
And I got the lion’s share of their applause
I follow with the bold and the brave when the bold are gone
Whatever I wish I’ll be when the wish appeals to me
For there’s a thing worth more than gold
My creed! I must go!

English words by Anne Ronell (1939)

The music for “Open Road Open Sky” was originally composed by Johann Strauss for his 1885 light opera “Der Zigeunerbaron Wikipedia16“. The English version of this song became popular in 1939 after Ann Ronell adapted Strauss’s music and wrote new lyrics.

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Alarm

At 5 this morning in the early lightening dawn, the raucous call of kookaburras sidetracked me from sleep.  I awoke with a headache and very sore back and hips.

I have heard kookaburras several times here, in Halls Creek but I’ve only seen one once before.  Despite my aches and pains I grabbed the camera and came out for a look.  There were several calling, but only one was in view.  The light was poor and I had to wait for it to brighten a little before there was sufficient for the camera at last to focus.  I do not trust my own eyesight to focus manually with any accuracy any more.  Technology usually does a much better job.  The first shots were blurry as the camera vainly tried to distinguish the bird and the tree from the dim background of the sky.

Fortunately the bird seemed to be in no hurry to move on and sat surveying the scene around it long enough for the camera to finally grasp it, and outline it in yellow in my viewfinder.   Isn’t technology wonderful these days?

I then discovered I could transfer the photos from the camera to my MacBook via wifi.  More technological wonder.  What a time to be alive.

I made coffee, took my pills and retired for another hour or so sleep.  I awoke at 11:30 still aching and figured I had better phone in sick.

Despite the circumstances, capturing this noisy little bugger cheered me up.

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Here is the kookaburra call, if you haven’t heard it before:

And Another Goodbye

I only just heard on Friday that someone took Sadie the camel out into the desert just before Easter, and shot her.  They cut her up for meat.

I’d wondered why I hadn’t seen her for a while.  She used always to be around my place. She seemed to be very fond of me.  Probably because I was nice to her, and fed her.

I feel shitty about it, because I’d had a suspicion this might happen.  I’d made only a preliminary enquiry into finding a way to get her shipped to Broome, where she would have been happily received and could have been trained to carry tourists up the beach.  Sadie loved people’s company (if they didn’t hit her or throw stones). She would have been a terrific riding camel.  If I knew how, I would have trained her.

In Billiluna she was seen as an edible nuisance, her novelty value and cuteness as a calf now negated by her size and intrusive behaviour.  She was intelligent but untrained.  She could have been a great domesticated animal.  Damn.

Vale Sadie

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Zeus&Sadie_n

One Fine Day

Keke rane leana
Haele la sa vineki
Hake koa sa basioto
Meke zama si asa
Qetu hola si asa.
Meke hegere sa basioto. 

One fine day
The girl climbs up
Perching on the crocodile
And she says
She is very happy.
And the crocodile laughs.

Basioto Nomana

 
 Reprise.   1st Posted on 
 

Being Green

A Green Tree Frog (Litoria caerulea).  Larger fatter, less wrinkled and a lighter green than I am used to seeing here.  (S)he’s very well fed.   Maybe it’s Eric all grown up?  I am not sure but I think this one’s nose is a little different.

I found her lurking under the outside light last night.  Looks like she had a successful time catching insects.  Maybe even a gecko.  It seems she has been climbing through spider webs or roof litter.

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Polar

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Photo by Paul Goldstein 

Once upon a time, a baby polar bear went up to his mum, as she was preparing seal flipper pie for dinner.
“Mum,” he said, “am I a real polar bear?
“Of course you are, dear.” She answered. “I am a polar bear, Dad is a polar bear, so you are a polar bear too”.
“Are you sure of that? Really really sure?”
“Of course I am sure. Your grandparents are polar bears, their parents were polar bears too.  In fact you come from one of the most illustrious polar bear lines in the arctic circle!”
“Are you absolutely certain? Is there no brown bear, or Kodiak bear, or grizzly bear in me?”
“No dear, you are pure polar bear. If you don’t believe me, ask your dad”.

So the little polar bear wandered across the ice floe to where his dad was fishing.
“Dad,” he said, “am I a real polar bear?”
“Of course you are, son” his dad answered.
“I am a polar bear, Mum is a polar bear, so you are a polar bear too”.
“Are you sure of that? Really really sure?”
“Of course I am sure. Your grandparents are polar bears, their parents were polar bears too.  In fact you come from one of the most illustrious polar bear lines in the arctic circle!”
“Are you really really sure of that?”
“Of course, son. You are 100% polar bear
“Are you absolutely certain? Is there no brown bear, or Kodiak bear, or grizzly bear in me?”
“No son, you are pure polar bear. If you don’t believe me, ask your grandad”.

So the young fellow toddled across the ice floe to the other side, where his grandfather was sitting on a park bench talking to his cronies.

“Grandad” he said, “am I a real polar bear?
“Of course you are, lad” he answered. “I am a polar bear, Your grandma is a polar bear, your mum and dad are polar bears, so you are a polar bear too”.
“Are you sure of that? Really really sure?”
“Of course I am sure! You come from one of the most illustrious polar bear lines in the arctic circle!”

“Are you absolutely certain, Grandad? Is there no brown bear, or Kodiak bear, or grizzly bear in me?”
“No lad. You are pure polar bear. One hundred percent.
Why do you ask?”

“Because I am feckin’ cold!”

Paul Goldstein
Photo by Paul Goldstein 

Adapted from a story told to me in Auckland by Billy Connolly.

Wet and Wildlife

A quick visit to Halls Creek on the weekend to collect a backlog of mail and parcels.  I was almost caught out of town once again by the Wet.

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I set off home this morning just in time.  I ran into a storm that caused the Shire to close the Tanami Road even as I was travelling on it.   Rain and flooding added over an hour to my trip.

 

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I had to wait at one creek crossing for the water level to drop a bit before I could drive through.  I took this photo just before I waded the troopy across after waiting about three quarters of an hour, in which time the level dropped almost half a metre.  Even so, the water was over my wheels.  This is why it is advisable in the Kimberley to drive a 4WD diesel vehicle with high clearance and a snorkel.

Such is the pattern of weather here that though the first part of the road from the Great Northern Highway as far as Ruby Plains was inundated by the downpour, shortly after wading the creek I was driving on dry dusty road that had not seen a drop of rain for at least a week.   At Wolfe Creek and again just before I got to Bililuna I encountered more puddles and mud.  The troopy, which I had cleaned nicely after the rescue trips out bush last week, is all muddy again.

At one point I had the good fortune to spot some brolgas dancing on the roadside.  I stopped to take photos. Unfortunately my presence upset them and they headed away into the bush.  Shooting from the car made getting a clear shot through the trees tricky on full 600 mm zoom. Most of the best display poses of the dance were obscured.

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I have not yet mastered the new Sony.