Dramatis persona*

helenhead Helen Chick

I've always wanted a bumper sticker that said "I'm a female, LDS/Mormon, Scout leading, geocaching, piano-playing, bicycling, mathematics educator with a PhD in maths ... and I VOTE"!

I think this makes me a minority group of cardinality 1!

* Since there's only one of me and "personae" is plural (I think), I've gone with dramatis persona.
July 2020
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Is it a bird? Is it a stick?

My office is near the tea-room which overlooks the carpark and the nearby bush, and a birch (?) tree. I have been delighted to find that most days one of the branches of the tree is occupied by a pair of tawny frogmouths. These nocturnal birds (kind of like owls, but not) are about 40cm long and the inside of their mouths is bright yellow. I haven’t seen the yellow yawn because the pair of them are always asleep with their broad triangular beaks stuck up in the air, pretending to be somewhat chubby and rather feathery tree branches. Their camouflage is actually very good; it’s just that I know they’re there and this tree is not the usual native gum tree against which they’d be all but invisible. At night they offer a baleful sequence of “ooms”, sort of like a rapid foghorn.

Anyway, if I need a respite from the marking which threatens to drown me at the moment, it’s nice to steal a quick glance out the window to see if they’re “home”.

I think they need names.


3 comments to Is it a bird? Is it a stick?

  • Susan C

    Yes, need names. The two butcher birds which hang around our yard are Sausage and Mince, and the heron (which I thought was a crane initially) is Ichabod.

    The first two are just noisy neighbours, the later is an absentee landlord who comes from time to time to inspect his properties.

    • Helen

      A friend has suggested Norman and Edna, for Norman Lindsay and Edna Walling. Norman Lindsay was an Australian artist and Edna Walling was an Australian landscape designer. My friend May noted that both of them knew the importance of connecting the inside with outside, and that’s what came to her mind when I wrote about the natural view from the window.

  • […] frogmouths who hang around my work building—have returned from their spring disappearance. When I first learned of their existence nearly three years ago they lived in the birch tree, but at one stage they disappeared for longer than usual, and it took […]

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