river

flowing tidal water
filtering reflections
eternal nature

Dawn on the Moyne River at Port Fairy last September. This was an early morning walk Maggie and I took on the town side of the river. The sun was just rising over Killarney Bay behind the sand dunes. Port fairy is a beautiful little town however all relevant Climate Change scientific predictions have almost the entire town inundated by the ocean in the not too distant future. Whenever I now visit this town of my early childhood and where I first met my wife Jill and reflect on the happy memories I struggle to feel optimistic about Australia and most of the world addressing emissions reduction and restricting the looming dangers of decades of ignorant selfish political inaction on climate change.

no ordinary duck

deceptively pretty
carniverous hunter
no ordinary duck

This is Australia’s carniverous Musk Duck. These photos show a young bird on the Moyne River at Port Fairy. They are solitary birds and spend almost all their time floating on the water or just below the surface with the bill and head partly above to breathe. They spend a lot of time diving to catch crustaceans and also stalk and grab floating fledglings of other water birds. The duck worlds Crocodile. I have only seen 2 of these in my lifetime. They rarely come out of the water as their legs are barely able to support what is a stocky, heavy body. Certainly not just another pretty duck

daily walk

river and path
race to the ocean
water wins

Recently we took a short holiday in Port Fairy down on the Victorian South West Coast. This was a favourite holiday place for Charlie and Maggie was keen to explore the town as probably the next Afghan Hound to visit the place since 2013.

In the mornings I had to be up early as Maggie expected to go walking. Port Fairy has a unique location as a fishing fleet and tourist town at the mouth of the Moyne River with a long sand dune parallel on the ocean side for the last 3 kilometres to that mouth. A causeway connected Island on the other side of the river is home to a lighthouse and nature reserve that is a Mutton Bird rookery where thousands nest after their return Winter feeding migration from Siberia. They are late this year, in fact none have arrived yet, the worst scenario being they have all died on the flight. Hopefully they are just late however climate change effects from the feeding grounds in Siberia to rest and feed stops down the East Asian Pacific coasts could mean they have all starved on the way.

This haiku is my contribution to Ronovan Writes #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #277┬áRiver&Path hit this link to see all the other poetic contributions to Ronovan’s challenge

wintery weather

dark water
winter evening shrouds
smoke like cloud

Some bad weather coming up from down in the Southern Ocean a few weeks back. Usually we get a lot of rain in Melbourne when clouds this dark arrive. The sun was setting across Port Phillip Bay as we looked out towards Geelong with apprehension. This is my contribution to Ronovan Writes #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #276 Smoke&Water by hitting this link you can see all the other creative haiku shared from around the world.

When I first saw this challenge I thought Ronovan was calling out to all those Baby Boomer Rockers from the 1960-70’s. My memory went back to Smoke on the Water, the classic Deep Purple anthem written one confusing night on Lake Geneva. So I came up with another themed haiku for all those old Rockers.

wild rockers
smoke on the water
hotel burns

I have a Japanese friend who thinks he may have been at the Osaka leg of the famous Made in Japan tour on the 15th August 1972. They don’t create music like this any more. Do they?

sunfish

sudden appearance
mysterious and lifeless
decomposing

Earlier this year Maggie and I were taking a walk along the Black Rock coastal path as we often do in the morning when a rich odour alerted us to something as yet unseen on the other side of the sea wall. Leaning over we observed an object that was clearly animal but of a shape and size that confounded me. As I was taking photos other walkers arrived and someone announced we were looking at a dead Sunfish.

Once home and on Google I soon established this was a young Sunfish and it had clearly come in through the heads to our Port Phillip Bay and arrived at the eastern end up against the sea wall . How the poor fish had died and when could only be guessed. They are ocean dwellers and why I knew this was a young one is because the big adults can weigh up to 1000 kilo. This one was probably around 150-200 kilo. They are the heaviest bony fish and very strange being the shape of a huge fish head with a laterally flattened body. They have large rudder like a tail however something had eaten the tail and fins from this dead example. The body remained floating at this site for a few more days slowly rotting and being eaten by predators then suddenly one morning 5 days after these photos were taken it had disappeared

between two worlds

floating torii gate
guiding shinto pilgrims
and tourists also

This Torii gate is the entrance to Itsukushima Shrine, a 16th century Shinto shrine built over the water from the shore of Miyajima Island just across from Hiroshima on Honshu in Japan. This great Torii is the boundary between the spirit and human worlds and with the shrine has long been one of the most significant Shinto Pilgrimage sites in Japan. The entire shrine complex is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. To stay at least 1 night on Miyajima Island and wander around the Shrine at night is one of the most peaceful experiences one can have. I have visited Japan four times and always planned a night on Miyajima.

stay away

a nest to be saved

standing firm in defence

spring hovers nearby

We were walking along the coastal pathway at Ricketts Point recently. This blue male Superb Fairy Wren and his brown female partner were aggressively warning all living things to stay away from the nest they had built somewhere in the bushes nearby. For small birds they are very courageous.