Friday, March 31, 2017

Remembering Gratitude

Our shipment of belongings arrived from the US on 10 March. This time there were some broken and damaged things. We do have insurance (and it was dear). We will be filing a claim. But we are grateful that most of our more cherished things arrived intact. Since then, we have been sorting our stuff into this tiny house. It is becoming homey, but many things that are precious to me are now packed away in storage tubs and being kept in our dear friend, Carolyn’s, garage. I am not sure what we would have done without her generous offer of this space. I am very grateful.

I have managed to occasionally get out for some brief birding outings here and there. I have not done a full day of birding since the pelagic on 5 March. There were some wonderful birds on that trip, including the most excellent Australian tick of a Long-tailed Jaeger, which was identified afterwards from our photos. Arctic Jaeger was also an Aussie tick for us (Parasitic Jaeger it is called in the USA, but it is the same Stercorarius parasiticus). The seas were very rough and even wearing the patch, Lynn was sick part of the time. I did not feel great, but gratefully I did not get sick.

Black-faced Cormorant

Cambell Albatross

Arctic Jaeger (Parasitic Jaeger)

Long-tailed Jaeger

I have been able to pop over to the WTP several times. I am still in awe that it is just across the highway from our home. It takes me about 5 minutes to reach the Avalon Airport which is just at the edge of the Poo Farm. It’s perhaps 10 minutes to get to the Beach Rd. gate. The WTP is, as my dear friend Ash put it, my natal birding grounds. It is the place where I really fell in love with birding. I never dreamed I would live so close to it, and for that, I am very grateful.
Great Egret 

Common but gorgeous Welcome Swallows


Western Treatment Plant with the You Yangs in the background. I love this place!

White-faced Herons poking up through the grass

A recording shot of a Pectoral Sandpiper at the WTP
I have also been over to the You Yangs a couple of times. These lovely “mountains” are also only 10 minutes from here and there are Koalas! We later found that this one’s name is Anzac. He is wild, but known to Echidna Walkabout's Koala Research Department and is recognizable to them by the skin pattern on his nose.

Anzac, the grand old "man" of the You Yang Koalas

It has not been all skittles and beer as they say (actually I do not know anyone who says that). Moving is always stressful and this move has been no exception. I will state that I am one hundred percent positive that I want to live in Australia full stop. I love it and plan to live out my days right here in the Land Down Under. I put aside any doubts that I might have had about that during our year of travel. Oh and I do miss the traveling more than I knew was possible. I actually ache to get out there amongst it, but things must be done within a budget. We are heading out for a couple of weeks in May. I can hardly wait.

Finding the time and headspace to write the “book” of our year of travel continues to vex me. I AM working on it now, very slowly. My head has been a bit off for a while now. To be honest (and I see no purpose in writing these if I am not honest), I have been depressed. And for me, that means anxious as well. And that can be a shit combination indeed.

I also have a few physical things that have been going on for a while now. In no particular order they are… screeching tinnitus 24/7, many dark cobweb-like floaters swirling through my vision, my left fibula occasionally popping out of my knee joint so that I have to “snap” it back in place with a painful, loud “clunk,” my continuing Chiari Malformation adventure (headaches and dizziness with very rare, and fortunately brief, memory lapses) and lastly, acid-reflux that is manageable, but still very annoying.

And that will do for now, although there are a couple of other things that do not bear going into. They are all nothing compared with what some of my friends and others are going through, and or have gone through. However, these things do wear on me. I have referred to the floaters as “tinnitus for the eyes.” For me it is much easier to ignore the sawmill in my ears than junk constantly floating in my field of vision. I do realize, with all my heart, that things could be much worse! I am grateful that they are not. I truly am. It is sort of a sideways kind of grateful, but grateful I am. Here are a few more photos...

Superb Fairy-wren beginning to "blue" up

I love Brolgas

And lastly, a beautiful Common Copperhead minding its own business as they do

There will be more to come. I need to write and I need to share. I enjoy this sharing and it helps to give me perspective and to better understand my life and who I am. The other day, I received a nice compliment and Lynn said, “You should be proud of yourself.” Without even thinking I responded, “I don’t know how to do that.” And that is absolutely true, but I am working on it and I am grateful.

Peace. Love. Birds.

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