Posts Tagged ‘Floods’

“A bird does not sing because it has an answer.  It sings because it has a song.”  ~Chinese Proverb

There has been one constant in my “self-imposed” exile this past year, and that is the continuous play of wildlife outside my bedroom window.  Whilst the rain and floods have played havoc on the countryside, farms, roads, livestock and homes, I have been fortunate to see a parade of wildlife, well bird life visiting my garden, for which I am truly grsteful.

We have seen Masked Plovers and Pee Wee’s (Pee Wit’s), Magpies and Doves, Ibis and Purple Water hens, and a variety of ducks. I believe we have a family of ducks just started visiting and I am on the lookout to get a few pictures of the ducklings before they get much bigger. They are so cute!

However, last summer we were visited by a “Mystery Bird”.  Several of the  professional birdwatchers I spoke to were positive it was a “Pheasant Coucal”, but since I’m not certain, well I’m simply not sure.  Last week we were fortunate to see not one, but two! We have a mating pair and their colouring was much darker than last year, a beautiful russet colour.  Here are some of the photos I took then. The colour looks a little lighter than when I took the photo but you can see the intense black around his head and shoulders.

Is this our Pheasant Coucal?

Is this our Pheasant Coucal?

Checking out the garden to see what’s around.

You can see he has a much longer tail than the usual bird.

You can see he has a much longer tail than the usual bird.

Not taking any chances, we are fortunate the dogs next door can’t get in.

Very shy he creeps through the grass though he can fly

Very shy he creeps through the grass though he can fly

You can see his tail is longer than his body.

You can see his tail is longer than his body.

They seem to walk much more than the other birds and only take flight when they’ve been disturbed.

Hiding in the shrubbery

Hiding in the shrubbery

This is where he/she stayed for half an hour after the neighbors walked past and he took fright/flight.  Last year we saw them creeping along the fence line most often. They stayed under the shrubbery as much as possible and only ventured out if they felt safe – and unobserved.

If anyone knows what these shy birds are I would love to know.


Susan x

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It’s been a chaotic and tragic Australia Day here in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria. We are now in full “get back to normal” phase, thanks to all the hard working Emergency Services personnel and the hundreds or thousands of volunteers.  I’m laying here in my bed looking at a limited view of the scenery and wishing I could do more than offer  my prayers in my meditations. I have to be grateful I’m not underfoot and need to be rescued!

Green and healthy hibiscus, new yellow buds already

Green and healthy hibiscus, new yellow buds already

The jungle of vines tangled with the palms from my first floor bedroom window. I have the strangest view at times since I’m so high off the ground. Like this bud outside my window, 25 feet off the ground yet looking so fragile.

Dead palm fronds stuck in trees waiting to fall

Dead palm fronds stuck in trees waiting to fall

Dead palm fronds are hung up by neighbouring trees, just waiting for the right moment to fall. They sound like a mini explosion as they hit the ground. Too high to remove we have to wait on nature to take a hand.

Smallest of our palm trees itching reach of the house

Smallest of our palm trees itching reach of the house

You can see how tall the palm trees are. These are the smallest of those near the house. At their feet you can just make out the fallen fronds we have yet to clear away. These two came down last night.

Fronds on the ground without hitting anything

Fronds on the ground without hitting anything

The little billabong/ dam filled after the rain.

The little billabong/ dam filled after the rain.

The small dam/ billabong filled overnight with the rain. It’s hard to see with all the weeds which had taken over. It looks so picturesque at present. All the dead palm fronds have been cleared away.

Fragile lilies under the awning in full flower

Fragile lilies under the awning in full flower

Hiding in safety, my fragile lilies are flowering beautifully after the fresh rain. Nothing is better than sweet rain for them.

Pale green orchid rescued before the downpour.

Pale green orchid rescued before the downpour.

Even more fragile my small green orchid. I’ve been watching the buds form all week so my husband made a rescue dash to bring it inside to flower for me.

Everything looks peaceful and lush.

Everything looks peaceful and lush.

Red hibiscus bud framed by dead palm fronds.

Red hibiscus bud framed by dead palm fronds.

the entwined limbs of all the plants show off their different hues. Life blossoms around us, even 25 feet in the air!  This red hibiscus bud would be 35 feet high yetis surrounded by dead palm fronds waiting to shake loose. The long cane it waves to and fro on will whip it out of the way as the fronds come down. Fragile yet strong, amazing isn’t  it?

Heart centered


So from my home to yours, I wish everyone love and peace. I pray everyone finds a safe harbour in the storms. I look forward to seeing everyone well and happy as soon as possible.

With love and gratitude. Susan

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image from encwor.blogspot.com

I have spent the day, when I  have been awake, in mostly silent contemplation of what has been happening, to Queensland, Australia, the world at large and myself.  Australia Day 2013 will not go down as one of the best days we’ve had. It hasn’t been the worst, but Mother Nature has decided to remind us of her awesome power.

Less than a week ago, Central Queensland looked like this:

image from brisbanetimes.com.au                         Near Rockhampton

One day ago we saw this:

image from guardian.co.uk

The view from my bedroom window looks almost peaceful about two hours ago.

Stormy weather from my bedroom window

Stormy weather from my bedroom window

I am remembering all those people who put aside their problems and head out to tackle the elements, brave the dangers and help the rest of us to survive this crazy, changeable weather we have.  It’s not malevolent, it’s not personally directed at any one person or place. It’s not a vengeful “God” or whatever deity you believe in, wishing to wreak havoc on a sinful population. It’s not man-made Global Warming or Climate Change. This is Mother Nature at her finest. It is just today’s weather.

image from tasteoflifebysabi.wordpress.com

We are being reminded of our place in the scheme of things. I am reminded that my meditations for peace and harmony, for thankfulness and gratitude are as valuable today as they were yesterday. I am reminded that I am  no more, no less than this frog, I simply AM.

What is even more important is that this is not only OK, it is absolutely fantastic because it is as it should be. Life is meant to be lived. We may not understand  all our lessons immediately. Sometimes the lesson is absorbed deep within and it is only over time that we realise the great import of that lesson. This too is as it should be. I am exactly who I am meant to be in this moment. I am meant to be the best I can be, but no more and no less.

In the midst of this chaos I am grateful that I have been reminded of this as I allowed myself the time to roam along this path. I had a blog almost completed when the screen went blank and all I had left was an “r” residing at the top of the page.  Why? my mind cried.  The answer it seems was simple – there was something else I had to say. I trust in my higher self that this is the message that is meant to be sent out tonight.

image from fineartamerica.com                                           The Angel of Thankfulness

I am grateful for the safety of our world, its people and places. I am mindful that we need to be responsible for our land, our plants, animals and all the spirits and creatures which abound on our earth. I am grateful that I can be a small part of this, that I can contribute my small part to this wondrous experience we are having. As a spirit having a human existence I will succeed and I will stumble, but I will get up again and take another breath, another step and keep moving towards that goal….. whatever it may be. With you beside me, walking along with me, I will do my part as you do yours.

image from thebaresoul.blogspot.com

I also want to let everyone know that I have remembered to thank that special person who, despite my frustration when things go wrong, when I cannot be running around but bound to my bed, who always brings me cups of tea with dollops of sympathy and understanding, that one person who offers unconditional love at any time of the day and night, my beautiful shining star, my soul mate and partner in this world and the next, my husband Ray. Thank you darling for your patience and love.

All is well with the world.  Blessings,  Susan x

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Dawn at home

“Each morning when I open my eyes I say to myself: I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today.
I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn’t arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I’m going to be happy in it.”

~Groucho Marx

My morning started as it has for the past two weeks or so. I had decided to put a kick-start to my day, and since I am often awake very early, or late depending on how you look at it, decided a meditation either on getting up, or before I get a few hours snooze time would really put a zing in my day.  It has been working out really well. I have more energy, new ideas are flowing and seeing and being a part of that beautiful calm of pre dawn and dawn has had a magical quality for me. I have been more grateful for the small things in life and that has made some of the gnarlier issues a little easier to deal with.

This morning, after all the horrors of bushfires throughout Australia, and that’s not taking into account the multitude of other issues we are surrounded by, I wanted to spend time sending love and healing to everyone directly affected by these fires, the people and animals, the land devastated by fire and the tireless rural fire brigades which save countless lives whilst standing in the front line against those same fires.

It is a daunting thought, that we are all, in one way or another, able to be affected by natural disaster.  The sheer enormity of the love and healing the land and people need at those times is hard to comprehend.  At times I struggled to remain detached from some of the scenes of the tragedies I could not avoid over the past week, knowing it was possible for it to be repeated again and again before this fire season is “officially” over.

My rainforest songbirds usually blend into my meditation with their musical song.  This morning, for the first time, they found their way to the corner where I sit meditating.  I was brought back to myself earlier than usual. That’s ok, their song is always refreshing and was a nice finish to my meditation.  I decided it was time for a few hours of sleep and curled up next to the warm body of my husband and fell asleep.

All was well, apart from an unusual dream which I will share another time, until I woke up. The crushing pan from a migraine  was assaulting me.  So, I have spent the day cloistered in semi darkness and quiet whilst this monster migraine takes itself away.  Hence, the blog I had prepared has been postponed for this shorter one.

image from diamondheadache.com

For all the myriad problems we, as Australians, have to deal with due to our vast continent, its variable and unpredictable weather, the insurance companies whose only concern is their profit margin, and those NGO’s whose only existence appears to be to make it impossible to make saving life and limb, home and hearth, wildlife and domestic animals, more difficult to achieve, I hope and pray that the good vibes from everyone meditating, from sending their gratitude for our wonderful world  back to it, has the effect I, and others, are praying for.

Early morning from my balcony

“Through my love for you, I want to express my love for the whole cosmos, the whole of humanity, and all beings. By living with you, I want to learn to love everyone and all species. If I succeed in loving you, I will be able to love everyone and all species on Earth… This is the real message of love.”
Thich Nhat Hanh, Teachings on Love

Love and Happiness

Be beautiful, let your soul shine.  ❤

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Too many times we stand aside and let the waters slip away, till what we put off till tomorrow has now become today. So don’t you sit upon the shoreline and say you’re satisfied. Choose to chance the rapids and dare to dance the tide.” – “The River”, by Garth Brooks

floodwater rising

image courtesy of worldculturepictorial.com

This is a blast from the past for anyone old enough to recognise the title. It’s the opening line from an old Johnny Cash song of the same name. The strange thing is that it came to me as I was showering last night.  It had been a frustrating day in some ways, and yet in others really beautiful.  I suppose that’s to remind us to see both sides of the coin.

I am in the midst of getting a website developed, something quite new and unique so there are lots of challenges in trying to get my/our ideas across and the finished product to do what we want it to.  Getting it built overseas adds to the challenge and occasionally is almost too much.   To be expected in some ways.

Lets set the scene. It’s Saturday evening and we had finally decided it was time for some ‘us time’.  Curled up on the lounge, DVD at the ready and a cuddle to really make the mood beautiful.  We made the mistake of checking that message we heard come in on the mobile.  Bad, bad mistake.  The web developers wanted accounts opened in a hurry and details forwarded to them, and this is 9pm our time, but of course, not theirs.  I was miffed, I was annoyed, I was downright frustrated and angry by the time I reached the computer  because we had a Skype call the evening before to get all the urgent matters sorted out before the weekend.  To add  insult to injury I am an acknowledged ‘babe in the woods’ as far as this level of technology is concerned. We hired these guys because they are experts and to guide us through this maze. Not what I expected after a very big week and ‘late’ on a Saturday evening.

If this was related to the song, the previous struggles were  “How High’s the Water, Momma?  Two feet high and rising”. I’m in the shower and relating to a song about a flood and the water rising rapidly!  Hmmm,  perhaps I’m being given a sign and things are getting out I’d my depth – not too far off the mark here!    Still, we  got the accounts opened and the information sent, with a very terse email regarding lack of forward planning , especially late on a Saturday night! (The grump was out!)

water marker from Brisbane floods
Then the urgent request for more information from the “happy, happy camper”. This was ruining my cuddles, DVD and rest and relaxation time. I had earned this!   “How High’s the Water, Momma? Four feet high and rising!”

Rising higher
image courtesy of  bloomberg.com

I am really starting to fade under the onslaught by now and my evening is startling to lose its lustre.   There is a raging beast just waiting to be let loose and destroy anything I can easily get my hands on. The flood water is raging and sweeping all in its path, I had visions of last years floods and felt guilty I was comparing my problems with something of that magnitude.

riising to the roof

image courtesy of water-fire-damage-restoration.com
Another mammoth tussle to get the computer to do a simple thing for me – sometimes computers are so obtuse! My  evening was almost shot to pieces and the raging torrent was about to sweep me away. I’m hanging on by my fingernals and feeling the water pulling me away!  Thank heavens for French Earl Grey tea. A pot of tea later and a semblance of sanity prevailed.  Fortunately, my tersely worded, yet polite email seemed to do the trick. We didn’t hear anything further from the developers  that night.

So, here I am showering away the dross of the day, the song flying through my mind, unusual in itself since I hadn’t thought of that in years, and wondering what the message was for me. I turned off the tap and suddenly, in front of me was the beautiful scene of a peaceful a lake.  The storm is over?  I’ve managed to navigate the floodwaters and all is now well in my web developing world?

I’m not one hundred percent certain but I’ll take my vision as a sign that I’ve navigated the rapids and smooth water is ahead.  “Cool, clear water”  (Burl Ives). Seems old songs are trying to teach me a lesson here tonight.

placid lake

image courtesy of senecatraillodge.com
Patience never was my strong suit, so it looks as though I need some more work on it!  Ok, message received and understood,  if I want the placid lake I need to ride the rough waters occasionally and it’s only how I approach it mentally that makes it a rough ride or slightly inconvenient.    I need to remember to “Ask and it is Given,”( Esther and Gerry Hicks.)

I’d like a smooth ride please, easily handled and with the signs and lessons easy to understand and put into practise. I’m willing to learn, with help and I’m sure the Universe will supply all that and more. Roll on the next chapter.

Our real blessings often appear to us in the shape of pains, losses and disappointments; but let us have patience and we soon shall see them in their proper figures.” Joseph Addison (1672-1719);

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