a seamless dance

dawn mist shifts reality

softens tall trees shrubberies,

plants of food and medicine.

autumn rain launches the ticks

no larger then a full stop.

 

sweet morning Songs

whip bird, kookaburra, lyrebird, magpie,

tuning the vibrations of Air Water Earth Sunshine

tweeting of love family and food

tiny notes of living.

 

a red belly black shares verandah Sun

as kindling is chopped,

we pass each other in the garden

no blinking, no poking tongue out,

a seamless dance.

 

a cuppa with friends

David points to my leg ‘what’s that?’

pulling the leech off ,

‘a gift’

I place it in their garden.

 

red necked wallaby soft eyes alert

grass stem poking from its mouth,

my heart listens and waits,

a tiny jelly wobble of the pouch

another addition to the tribe.

 

goanna clambers onto the verandah

tongue waggling toenails clicking,

through the open doorway

crash bump and bang

unable to find its way out.

 

in the room where I sleep a grandmother died

her body laid to rest

beyond the dam under the red gums.

babies are born, daughters wed,

placentas buried.

 

before menopause I bled on this land

red mark on my forehead,

earth heart meditation

a sacrament for the Mother,

honouring Her.

 

forest life is raw,

immediate

the forest IS without me,

a miracle I adore

a moment held within every breath I take .

 

 

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.

 

W : welcome …

welcome to the land of the mist spiders

 

Autumn:

some early morning mist shrouds the forest in a thick silver grey blanket of moisture. Slung between branches and grasses are hundreds of webs, some as small as my hand, others bigger than a dinner plate and some shaped like baskets. Dewdrops hang poised on the gossamer threads and flash rainbows when caught in a sunbeam. A swamp wallaby sits under the wild cherry tree, having a bit of a scratch. A tiny head pops out from the pouch and looks around. Mother wallaby leans over and deftly clips a blade of grass to chew. Baby leans further out and clumsily sprawls onto the ground. It jumps up, leaps on Mum tumbles off has a scratch, ears twitch, a nibble then dives head first back into it‘s warm pocket.

Winter:

days shorten and darken, very few hours of sunlight reach thru the tall canopy of gums. Under cold moonlight the wombat moves unhurriedly thru the bush pausing often to listen scratch think and munch on grass.  A superb blue wren flies into the house each day and gathers rent from the bench tops while upstairs in the roof a diamond python sleeps.  The dead trees of the forest supply us with firewood which becomes our focus, a meditation of wood gathering, chopping, splitting and stacking. Beside the fire we dream warmly and stories are told.

 

Spring:

from the kitchen window we watch two red belly black snakes dance in the garden. They raise their sleek bodies up off the ground and exerting great force twine around and around each other pushing and swaying until one gives way. Quick as a flash they chase each other across the yard before rising up again going head to head. This is a male ritual of spring procreation. Over by the pond near the lemon tree a female is basking in sunshine. One of the males has to get his head higher than the other to become the winner, the alpha male. Much later John working in the shed notices the vanquished slink away thru the hedge. The winner glides sensuously over to the pond and curls up near the female where they loiter with intent well into the evening. The next day we discover them as coiled loops of black and red gently vibrating. Unlike the mating habits of the rooster and the hen this continues for hours.

Summer:

an echidna with a back full of quivering spikes shuffling along on tiny feet stops and sticks its pointy nose deep into the earth and slurps up the ants. Goanna wearing its tough leathery coat and long sharp claws has responded to the heat and cruises the forest hunting old deaths and getting scolded by kingfisher and kookaburra.  We discover a tortoise laying eggs in a hole in the middle of our track, why there we wonder?  Kingston helps place a barricade around the spot but we never see them hatch out. The white headed pigeon flies in thirsty after its long flight south, perches on the edge of the tank beside the verandah and takes a long deep drink. Another migrant the channel-billed cuckoo an outrider of the storm fronts moving down from up north turns up with a wild screech and looks for a nest to place its egg in. Wattlebirds arrive and immediately start bossing the eastern spine bill, the new holland honeyeater and the lewins.

welcome to the forest

of the faerie embassy

where the mist spiders live…

 

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this is chewed ears , he is the father of the little mob that hang about the house. here he is in a patch of  stinging nettle which he eats. truly .two theories on the chewed ears are a result of ticks on the ears or a bit of scrapping though we have only ever seen them play fighting each other so more likely ticks….

 

***

 

a new moon

 

 

 

so much rain again this summer

places an autumn air upon our mornings where mist and her attendants swirl around the hills dancing until after breakfast.

the valley shines emerald

and here in the forest we wrestle leeches off us everytime we step off the verandah.

goannas large and small harass our hens and like to commandeer the one egg we are almost getting every day. we cant buy eggs with a yolk colour like ours even when we source them free range from the neighbours down the road.

our three girls do enjoy a diet rich in wild greens, invertebrates and kitchen scraps and we thank them for adding that richness to our diet.

 

 

my bedroom verandah on the north west corner of the house has become a shortcut for creatures to use such is the wild growth all around us.

why fight your way thru that jungle when you can step onto the boards beside the bank of batteries and meander across exiting down a couple of steps near the paper maiche room?

in the night possums take time out from galloping along our iron roof to shimmy down a pole and muck up outside our bedroom. they have  so enjoyed the grapes this season.

wallaby and wombat make use of it  and if we forget to shut the hens in at night they will make a beeline for our verandah and cackle loudly until one or other of us blearily hunts them off.

early dawn also sees the swamp wallaby sitting on the verandah eating the leaves of the pink salvia.

quite a highway out there – just waiting for one of us to trip over someone when we go out for our nocturnal visits.

a rasping scratching sound on the boards had me looking out the window just now to see goanna has also cottoned on to this pathway.  I think it has fled hassling the hens because John went after it with the rake.

I got up and pulled the door shut so it wouldn’t get any ideas of joining me

perhaps I am mistaken but it does seem as if they are all very interested in what goes on this side of the glass and mudbrick walls. or maybe they are trying to find ways to avoid the leeches and the ticks.

we made a scoot for the kitchen door the other afternoon when Jess saw red belly black snake sidling along behind stanleys stove wood and I managed  to close it closed before it could take a slide  thru the fly screen  and investigate.

on two separate occasions we have had a red belly check out our pantry/kitchen and then there was the rather large  goanna that could not find its way out the door out of our lounge room for simply ages.

suffice to say the forest is in awesome form – wildly chaotic and flourishing pushing fungi thru in any number of places…

dams are full and frogs are plentiful

turtles have had a great breeding season and wallaby babies poke heads out of every pouch.

 

 

indeed this spring/summer has been the season of the baby

and we have been blessed to welcome two new beings into our family

two girls born to two sisters

will they be warriors like me? queries Kingston John who has an obsession with warriors star wars and lego.

he insists on warrior training with his dad carrying shield and wooden sword and both return sporting bruises,

obviously no quarter is given.

of course they will be earth warriors we tell him just like you but right now it is milky breasts and cuddles that they want .

the miracle of new life

of attending to the journey of nurturing a tiny being.

possibly one of the most awesome tasks we ever undertake and yet a career is deemed more valid.

the twenty four /seven sacrifice of parents with a baby lies unseen beneath the text of lives.

all of us have sprung from a womb some of us suckled and some of us were deeply loved .

not really something one thinks about as life takes us on into the next stage and the next and the next 

and then as a grandparent it all gets revisited  

and I observe  the girls doing it differently.

I become  privy to discussions about parenting ( oh how I went ‘wrong’) and learning new terms like ‘co- sleeping’ and ‘supervised tummy time’ and and .. ‘lactation consultants.’

whaaattt…the…

all a bit heady for me.

I am not sure how I did it but I ended up with healthy adult children despite ticking most of the no-no boxes.

 

 

the wee king has started school-

a steiner school with soft curves, grace and gentle harmonics splashed with colours of the rainbow and cubbies in the yard with chooks and veges and songs

rooted in the notion that the child is a spiritual being.

sort of wets my eyes to take him there and reinforces that change is possible when I contemplate my start at the age of five.

sobbing … in a long corridor without end and being yanked  off my mother and shoved  into a classroom where I was scared and nervous for the rest of my school days.

one early memory involves being made to stand in front of the class

– hold out your hand – and then wacked several times with a ruler because I had done the ‘wrong’ page of arithmetic for homework.

I thought I was five but others in the family insist I was six.

oh well thats alright then isn’t it?

and then at ten I was made to sit outside a classroom again that long austere corridor because I refused to take my cardy off when the teacher told me to.

yes always rebellious – never did like to be told what to do.

eventually got carted off to the principals for a chat where by virtue of being a girl I avoided the strap.

And so when goanna and wombat and wallaby like to make my verandah a short cut I secretly applaud them,  I admire their I’ll do it my way style and I absolutely wish for all creatures the right to Be 

 

the right to Be themselves.

 

 

April A to Z begins in

Autumn

 on some of these early dark mornings mist shrouds the forest in a thick silver grey blanket of moisture.

Slung between branches and grasses are hundreds of webs, some as small as my hand, others bigger than a dinner plate and some shaped like baskets.Dewdrops hang poised on the gossamer threads and flash rainbows when captured by a sunbeam.

this can only be the Realm of the Mist Spiders.
        under the wild cherry tree sits a black swamp wallaby having a bit of a scratch. A tiny head pops out from the pouch and looks around. Mother wallaby leans over and clips a blade of grass to chew. Baby leans further out and tumbles head first  onto the ground. It jumps up eyes bright with  mischief  takes a flying tackle onto Mum and sprawls back onto the ground .

a bit of a scratch, twitch then a  swivel of the ears,  a nibble at the grass and then dives head first back into it‘s snuggy warm pocket.