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2001 August 15, Wednesday. Holy Joe Creek.

As the team passes through the clear flat land in our little cluster, we are one of a system of little communities of humans and other animals which inhabit, temporarily or otherwise, this area. From the small family groups of kangaroos, to flocks of hundreds of rose-breasted cockatoos, most creatures belong to some kind of community.

The sense of security in large gatherings is instinctual - there is safety in numbers – and birds of a feather flock together. Whether the animals stay in one place throughout the year, or are nomadic, following available food sources and temperate weather, you will usually find several of a species wherever you can find one.
Cockatoos set out sentinels to keep watch for each other at drinking time, giving loud alarm cries at any mysterious approach, which send disorderly coveys into flight. Crowds of fifteen or so apostle birds team up to intimidate other animals and birds in defense of good feeding grounds and water sources.


Camping near water whenever possible, we have had a parade of animals which come to drink each morning and evening. Each has their appointed time, and one species occupies the waterhole for only the few minutes it takes to drink, then moves away without disturbing the drinkers next in line. These parades have included kangaroos, wild pigs, flocks of birds, and domestic cattle.

Each community is a cluster of family groups, and every creature has something to gain through being a part of one, by way of food source, security, breeding, warmth, and learning from one another.

Write a list of the different things that you can benefit from by being a member of a community. Which of these do you have in common with other animals you can think of? Which of these are unique to humans? Can you think of something that is unique to your own community?



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