Friday, July 15, 2011

Like a sedative, rain falls in outback Queensland

After the harshness of repeated frosts and extreme dryness, soft rain is falling throughout outback Queensland. It's almost as if a light sedative has been sprinkled over the land; softening the vegetation, yet at the same time heightening the colour of red dirt and green foliage.

The family of apostle birds (affectionately known as squarkers) that live in our garden here in Mitchell, are happy about the rain. Together they forage for food; together they raise their young; together they protect their territory. Cheerful chatter makes up for their drab plumage. The name -- apostle birds -- came about because these birds usually live in groups of about twelve, like the disciples of Jesus Christ.

'My' willie wagtail is also telling me about the rain, going from window to window and chattering excitedly. Birds give me great pleasure and as I watch their behaviour I find myself learning more and more about their unique place in the web of life that surrounds me in this semi-arid region.

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