« Camels & Adaptation | Main | Aborigines & Bushtucker »

Town and Country

2001 August 21, Tuesday. North Moonah Creek.

Wonderfully relieved to escape the dirty smoky city, we braved the heat and set out at midday toward Dajarra, on the Diamantina Road. Once more plagued by the tube-hungry thorns that line the more developed roads, we slowly released ourselves from the three-night grip in which the town had trapped us.


What a contrast we found! Little over forty kilometres from the city, the screeches of noisy mynas and grating calls of apostle birds, were replaced by the chatter of little lory parrots. The mess of the city attracts feral birds, rodents, and other animals who thrive in the filth left by humans, and which multiply unreservedly under the protection and stability offered by urban sprawl. The immediately noticeable difference was heartening, even by the time we stopped for stretching and to fix the day’s first flat tyre.

By the time we made camp, the dramatic change in environment from chaotic tangle to unmitigated peace had left us at one of the very best dry sites we have been lucky enough to have stayed at during the entire trip. This sweeping bend in North Moonah Creek, though it has no water, is carpeted with smoothed stones, (lovely for we who have seen more than enough dust and sand) and prettily lined with the smooth white trunks of river gums.

We make camp by a river even when there is no water, because the best (and sometimes the only) shade trees grow on the banks, where the water table is high enough for trees to reach, and to grow strong and tall. Our camp meeting had a superb accompaniment - the song of mud larks. An exquisite sound at the best of times, it was music to our ears after having been invariably within earshot of the drone of the mining works day and night for the past few days.

A sliver of cradle moon sunk below the horizon while twilight yet lingered, and nightfall came alive with a glittering dome of southern sky. There are no dogs to lick us, no lights of the town to challenge the sky, and no constant noise save the crackle of our campfire. Peace at last.

Sit quietly in your house for a minute and make a list of all the sounds you can hear. Can you hear a refrigerator, a television, your family members, pets, or the traffic outside? Now sit in a garden – a peaceful place in your back yard or school grounds will do – and make another list of sounds. How do your two lists compare? Sit or lie and relax a while in the garden. How do you feel when you return to a noisy place?



TrackBack URL for this entry:

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on August 21, 2001 8:14 PM.

The previous post in this blog was Camels & Adaptation.

The next post in this blog is Aborigines & Bushtucker.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

Powered by
Movable Type 3.35