That’s slang in Aus for relatives. In case you didn’t know.
Moving to a new place involves a lot of things but seeing new nature and meeting new creatures, the relatives, is what I am concerned with here. Eprapah, the name of the scout grounds down the road, is apparently old Hebrew meaning bountiful or fruitful. Nature is surely that.
Around the house the most striking change is the Geckos. They came here to Aus in a container from Thailand, so they say, and never looked back. Nature never looks back. They loved the place so much they have populated the entire coastal region of Brisbane, evicting the indigenous Gecko along the way. They do love the light to which the other insects are attracted, instinctively clever fellows, and fast. And they can walk on ceilings upside down, amazing that. These Geckos are not shy, there’s a baby one two foot above my head right now waiting for something to move so it can eat.
They often track across the flyscreen as I look out the window, stacatto gait, going this way and that. Not a lot of colour in these fellows but look at those fingers, two kinds, stickers or grippers and hooks. Intelligence has given them an advantage, as it does in the little niches of survivability.
There is some colour in the woods, a lovely greeny yellow – in the setting sun – trumpet flower, a small wild passionfruit flower, a white flower with pink-purple spots. And a host of others, including the creatures – cicadas, dragonflies, flies, butterflies and company. And an elephant beetle.
There is a flowering bush in the garden, a big red showy one. I had to laugh. I saw this small black bug, a young shield bug maybe, making its way along one of the petals. It had a little yellow dot attached to one foot and I wondered what it might be. Then I noticed the stamen/anthers and thought it must have been feeding. I wanted a picture of it feeding on the yellow stuff so I put it back where I thought it had come from but it was not so. After it climbed out of the pollen jungle it was obvious why this creature would avoid the place like the plague. The pollen? balls stuck to its feet and it could no longer walk in a balanced way. It kept slipping because the pollen was sticking to its soles but sliding on the other surfaces. After a while I took pity on it, the predicament I had got it into, and watered it down to wash away the pollen. Then off it went into the other jungle of nooks and crannies of the deck around the old Queenslander of a house. Not a sign of recognition, or complaint.
On a moonlit summer’s night the breeze comes across the cool water from the islands to wash my face and arms as I walk along the shore. The sound of it in my mind overlapping all others. In my vision grey clouds play around the near full moon as they sail swiftly west. The grass a soft carpet beneath my feet. A simple pleasure it is to be in the sense of nature, my nature.
© Mark Berkery ……. Click any picture and click again to enlarge