Sunday, January 15, 2006

From my balcony this morning

Continuing yesterday's wildlife theme, we get a lot of cockatoos around our place. This morning in particular, they were in fly-by squawking mode. Cockatoos have the most rawkous, unpleasant shriek of any bird on this planet and they are not conducive to Sunday morning sleep-ins.

The first day we arrived in Australia, we set out from our hotel room to walk the short distance to campus. It was early April and still over 30 degrees. The previous day we had been in Denmark where the snow had not yet melted. Half way to uni, we looked around at the miles of dead brown grass, dusty paths and complete lack of people and wondered what planet we had landed on. (We also vowed never to leave our house again without carrying a couple of litres of water).

Then to add to the alien planet theme, we suddenly heard a noise like nothing on earth. Turning my head, I saw that it was coming from a cockatoo perched on someone's balcony railing. It fluttered over to a tree in the garden to take a closer look at us (they have no sense of self preservation, these birds). Geekman and I stood and stared. We were just discussing whether we should call the SPCA, because obviously someone's prize parrot had gotten loose, when a woman came walking towards us. As she passed, I got her attention and pointed at the cockatoo. "Look at that!"
"Um... yeah," she replied with a puzzled expression. And kept walking, throwing us nervous glances over her shoulder as though we might start frothing at the mouth.

It took me a few days to realise why she had been so baffled. Posted by Picasa