as observated by moi this afternoon. Spouse was doing the ‘over the teacups’ bit with a friend, which made husbands redundant so I slung my hook (and camera bag) and toddled out into the world, come what may …

First target of opportunity when I got to Winton was this bird, nesting on a fence—

Screen Shot 2019-04-23 at 20.53.16.png

—I was unsure whether it was a shearwater or a scissorbill, but he looked happy enough now that the chicks had flown.

Further along was a house that so matched the sky above I was smitten. The colour shot did it no justice so I tried shooting with blue as the only colour in a temporarily B & W world and scored this—

Screen Shot 2019-04-23 at 20.54.32.png

—which hopefully makes my point (and they say we dogs are colour blind) (sheesh).

On to the end of the road where for weeks the council guys have been updating the stormwater systems; crossed the road and was reminded that the day after tomorrow is ANZAC Day—

Screen Shot 2019-04-23 at 20.55.16.png

—and in this small sheddie thing where every December the guy has his Christmas Crib scene (Joseph, Mary, couple of shepherds and a wee infant in a cradle)(no more donkey, sadly, but that’s progress for you) I noticed his tribute to the WW1 ANZACs. Tomorrow is ANZAC Day (and I’m sure their cannon being fired at the Dawn Parade*  every year is responsible for the summer surge in births in Winton).

Moving along I couldn’t help but notice the avian demography at the Winton oxidation ponds (water treatment plant) has changed—

Screen Shot 2019-04-23 at 20.55.48.png

—normally it’s standing room only for seagulls, the wall-to-wall ducks is different. Then it clicked: the first of May is Duck Day!

Duck Day Dawn here is like listening to a replay of the opening of the Battle of the Somme, or (lacking only engine noises) Kursk. Open Season on ducks lasts for a full couple of months but the heroes only get dolled up in full camo gear (complete with face-paint, mottled suits and netted ‘hides’) for the first morning. The decay in attendance afterwards is a perfect exponential until a week later there’s only an occasional distant pop as some late arrival gets potted.

So of course the pond is temporarily crowded with ducks and the resident gulls get hardly a look-in—

—them ducks may be bird-brains but they sure ain’t stupid …

dodododododododododo                           dodo

* Too early to get up, too late to go back to sleep …

4 thoughts on “STROLLING

  1. I never read the casualty lists these days. Times are changing, but a couple of generations back there wasn’t a weekend went by without the next week’s New Zealand Herald routinely informing us that some hunter (or hunters) had potted each other in the bush. Thank the the gods that in those days most guys had only bolt-action .303 (ex WW2, surplus) rifles.

    Hunting was simple back then (they called it “deer stalking”) — you paid a fee, officially scored yourself a delineated patch of bush and ambled in with rifle, bottles of beer, plenty of ammo, and ambition. Or skimped the fee and went in anyway …
    Anything that moved was a deer so of course a few dogs, piggies, sheep, and stray hunters also went south (a bit like when you have a nervous tyro on ‘live’ sentry duty: “Halt! BANG—who went there?”)

    These days the point about properly identifying your target is well emphasised but still the occasional ‘unlucky’ hunter comes home in a sack.


      1. All over the country everybody’s home-town has a wee memorial and too many names listed thereon. Folks took patriotism (King, Queen, and country rah rah rah) seriously in those days … as for Winton I honestly don’t have a clue. I think Winton’s memorial list is in the Memorial Hall, next time I’m that way and if it’s open I’ll have a beak.

        Liked by 1 person

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