My rural patch is in the grips of an unprecedented heat wave.
January temperatures haven’t dropped below 30C.
In the shade of my veranda.
And have peaked at 39C.
In the shade.
Add +5C to come to grips with the temperatures outside the shelter of my shade and into the blazing sun that’s the paddocks.
To date in January, there have been 130+ bushfires in my state of New South Wales.
Thousands upon thousands of livestock lost.
Hundreds of homes.
But fortunately. Not one life.
Not one drop of precious rain.
My nearest danger point is the fire in Lithgow on Wednesday, the 9th. A fire in the beautiful valley of the Vale of Clwyd.
The wind direction on Wednesday is due west. So the fire is no threat to us unless the wind changes direction to the east.
Which it does on Thursday, the 10th.
And at sunrise, a smoke haze hangs over my hillside valley.
The brisk easterly also brings with it an unexpected surprise.
A Wedge-Tailed Eagle, flying my Big Sky on the thermal updrafts.
They love my rural patch.
Because Wedge-Tailed Eagles use the updrafts of thermals or hillslopes to rise effortlessly. Rarely needing to flap their huge wings.
They soar to great heights in ever widening circles. Up to 2 kilometres high.
When in pairs, they engage in stunning and riveting aerobatic displays. That are to some extent a bit of puffery. They’re using the bush tom-tom to tell their eagle neighbours and other big birds of prey that this is their territory.
My Wedge-Tailed Eagle is flying solo.
And at a low height.
So low, Birdland is alarmed.
Because the eagle is a powerful hunter.
Rabbits. Young kangaroos or Joeys. Large lizards. Other birds.
Lambs and calves.
Are all his prey.
Birdland has formed a posse. To escort this eagle out of my rural patch.
The entire time I capture the Wedge-Tailed with my camera, it’s never alone in the sky.
The fearless birds charged with the eagle’s dismissal are much smaller. Dusky Woodswallows. And Cuckoo Shrikes.
And they never let up for a minute.
Even when the eagle lands.
This is a case where size doesn’t matter!
Brisk winds combined with the low light of a sunrise encased in a smoke haze doesn’t make for great clarity when photographing an eagle in flight.
But the photo story is too good not to be told.
This is a simple slide show. Click on the photo below and a pop up window greets you with slides of the eagle in flight. Then click on the arrow to advance the slides at your convenience. Nothing fancy here!
On the ground, Birdland keeps watch on the posse that’s keeping their eyes on the eagle.
This is so evocative of the families of miners who sit vigil after a mine collapse.
Another simple slide show. Click on the photo below and a pop up window greets you with slides of Birdland watching the eagle in flight. Then click on the arrow to advance the slides at your convenience.
After the posse sees off the eagle,
. . . they think . . .
. . . the eagle circles around, swoops down and lands on a totem pole.
To survey his domain.
The last slide show. Click on the photo below and a pop up window greets you with slides of the eagle on a totem pole. Watching. Then click on the arrow to advance the slides at your convenience.
And in that blur of movement, which for an eagle is like a cumbersome B52 taking off, the eagle is gone.
And Birdland rests a little easier.
Join me next time?
Tell me what you think.
Your comments are always welcome.
Your stories, thoughts, experiences add to the fabric of the conversation.
And I acknowledge your comment with a reply.
All the best,
Supporting links to websites.
Photos are courtesy of Ironing Diva and taken on her rural property in the beautiful Central Tablelands of NSW.
The simple slide show is a WordPress Plugin called WP Easy Gallery Pro. There’s both a free and paid version. I use the paid version.
My beautiful rural property is in the picturesque hills of the Central Tablelands of NSW Australia.
This is the hook I hang my heart on.
When I’m not out in the paddocks in the morning photographing my beautiful Wild Blue Yonder, I’m the purveyor of the one of the world’s finest ironing board covers, The Fitz Like A Glove™ Ironing Board Cover.
And 5 other beautifully designed textile products of excellence.
This is the hook I hang my business hat on.
For the past 19 years my partner, Victor Pleshev, an architect and de facto product designer, and I have worked tirelessly to make sure each product is a joy to use. Every time you use it.
My website, InterfaceAustralia. The home of Simple Solutions For Difficult Problems! does all the heavy lifting. You can read about all my products in great detail just by clicking the link above.
When you own one of my products, you also make a huge contribution to the surrounding rural community because they are made with love and care in rural Australia by men and women who have a disability. They put their heart and soul into everything they do. And it shows.
You will look long and hard to find comparable products that are as well thought out for their design and usability. And of such high class, that we, Victor and Carol, the designers and makers, are proud to use them too!
Go peek. Every product truly is a joy to use. I guarantee it.