2006: Radio NZ has public announcements about the precautions we should have in place for a pandemic (birdflu); there's a lot of talk about peak oil- economic growth worldwide being based on ever-more gluttonous consumption; the New Zealand economy looks like crashing; and the Chch College of Education- where I work- losing jobs, cutting back, hunkering down- and about to be swallowed by a monster....
In the midst of all this end-is-nigh apocolypse-approacheth noise, daily life keeps rolling slowly on. Cars to fix, kids to feed, horses to water. It's easy enough to blank out the noise in the hubbub chez Stowell/Mahy.
Ok, maybe I don't live in paradise- there are mosquitoes, the tide goes out and we're surrounded by mud, and I'm pretty sure paradise has a river or two flowing melodiously- while we get mighty dry.
But life is pretty good for us. There's a spot by one of our water-troughs I've sat some evenings lately- waiting for the trough to fill. There are trees, copses, forest all around, now, surrounding the paddocks. If I'm lucky I'll see the flash of a kingfisher- blue and tan. We've planted a couple of gullies in bush- and bell-birds come for the flax-nectar. Quail are everywhere this year, and a family- semi-comical- usually comes out of the macrocarpas to fossick and dust-bathe on the track.
It's a beaut place to be of an evening- dirty water swirling from tank to trough (lots of mosquito larva) and birds all settling to sleep. One day I'll work out how to post pictures. Until then, I just wish everyone could have a moment or two of this peace.
A sort of postscript: here's the spot. Sorry, couldn't catch a quail!