Monday, October 5, 2009

Whale walk


Looking for whales...

I left home before 8am
trying to beat
the school holiday walkers
and the sweaty joggers
on the coastal track
but they had the same idea...

however by the time
I had walked out to Dolphin Point
the crowd had thinned
the day had warmed

See that tiny yacht out there
he knows something
we do not....

can you see it
a faint spout

at least I can now say
I have seen my first whales

walking back
facing the North Shore

I could see
trails of smoke

the night before
returning from the wallum
I noticed this blaze

(as an aside,
those houses
you can see on the river
are found on the back
of the island
where I live)

and hoped it was
a controlled burn

from the river level
near home
it feels closer
but confined to bush scrub
and across the river

back on the whale walk
leaving the coastal path
I decide to detour

through a stretch
of eucalyptus forest
hoping for some surprise birdies
but all was quiet

until I entered the rainforest

and way up there
I heard the eerie cry
of the shy cat bird
who meows
like this,
almost a baby cry

wikimedia commons

the catbird
ailuroedus crassirostris
rarely leaves the safety
of the tall rainforest

and I heard the whip birds
high overhead
whipping and snapping

but I cannot see them
and my neck is starting to feel
a little knotted...

so I will be content
with a glimpse of whales
and a glorious spring walk...



  1. Where do you live that you see such variety?

    I live on the California coast. It is fun to watch for the whales. The rest of what you have displayed, we do not see. Except fires -- we get those every year!

  2. Hello Elizabeth

    and welcome to Noosa, 1/2 way down the east Coast of Australia, just north of Brisbane. I live in a small coastal town which has a subtropical climate hence beautiful vegetation and scenery...
    We have dry winters in this part of Au and high fire danger...It is starting to warm up, mostly about 25+ for spring but it was 35 on Sat...fortunately we had a shower last of the few all winter...

    Happy days

  3. On my walks Delwyn, I haven't a chance of seeing a whale in the ocean, being that I live inland, but I do have Catbirds that mew like cats though their appearance is slightly different, more slender and all gray with a black cap.
    The vines in your rainforest really make intricate patterns, looks like oversized netting.

    The woods here have their share of twisted vines too, mostly large wild grape vines, some that hang freely, which the g/kids swing on.

    Enjoyed the walk,

  4. Hi Wanda

    I walked over the hill before dusk tonight and heard some more cat birds crying - such a weird sound...I wonder what the evolutionary reason behind their call scare away other birds?

    This patch of bush is actually named The do love the tangled vine swings...

    Happy days Wanda

  5. Hi Delwyn: I'm happy for you that you have spotted your first whales. That must be so exciting.
    Once while we were vacationing in Maine - as we sat on rocks watching the waves crash in - we spotted whales very close by and they put on a show for us - jumping out of the water and doing like a body flip while in the air.
    They did it over and over and we sat there in awe and reverence knowing this was something we would never forget. It was simply an honour to be their audience.

    Love your shot of the grey smoke with the blue sky above.

    I feel so lucky to be able to take nice walks in Queensland with you every week!

  6. I enjoy these excursions so much. And that last photo top to bottom is of my wife and me as we celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary over the weekend ;-)!

    Many thanks.

    Greetings from London.

  7. What a beautiful coastline there, Delwyn!

  8. I loved the cry of the cat bird. It does sound like a meow.

    Congratulations on your whale sighting! It's always a thrill (though, thankfully not that rare in Northern California) to see whales in the Pacific.

    I have to say, the fire looked ominous.

  9. Wonderful post, Delwyn! I've barely seen whale spouts off the coast of N Calif., yrs ago, would love a much better viewing. Seeing smoke always causes a level of alarm, doesn't it? Always a relief to find it's a controlled seeing your part of the world thru your keen eyes!

  10. Whale and catbird - a lucky day for you! It's so strange to see spring there...

  11. How special to be able to see that on a walk. Whales are magnificent!
    The fire, well I hope that was a controlled burn. It looked pretty big.

  12. Thank you Delwyn for taking me along on your morning walk. The sound of the catbird is remarkably like a yowling cat. I've never heard one before. Isn't the internet amazing that it allows me to join you on your walk half the world away?

  13. We both live near the water though I live on a fairly small island in the Pacific NW--on the cliff overlooking the water. I have a beach below me-- which is all very beautiful-- but I don't have a tropical rain forest-- thanks for the beautiful walk.

  14. Your post reminds me of the summer my wife and it spent on Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia. We could look down from the great cliffs along the coast and see pods of whales swimming past. It was an unforgettable experience.

  15. Whales, how lucky you are,I've no change of seeing one of those, thats for meowing birds, not a hope, knotted trees, maybe yes. As usual, Delwyn, I enjoyed the walk with you.

  16. I'm so glad you saw a whale! You've been waiting for that one and I hope there are many more to come. What an interesting sound for a bird! Always enjoy your walks...such a beautiful place where you live.

  17. What an interesting bird calll, and so fun to glimpse a whale!
    I enjoyed the beautiful walk. Hope the fire is under control.

  18. Hi Delwyn,
    Those knotted and gnarled trees are wonderful. I like the shadows cast by the eucalyptus grove. Seeing the whale spouting was an extra bonus. Thanks for this walk!

  19. Hi Bonnie

    Yes I hope I see more of the returning mothers with calves over the next month...closer would be nice...
    One day a friend told me they were in close so close you could hear them breathing...alas when I reached to spot...gone...

    Whales seem to effect most people - maybe it's their size and grace...and we know they are intelligent too...maybe its a deeper resonance...

    Happy days Bonnie my friend

  20. Hi Mr C

    So you danced the night away...
    congratulations my friend - this is a great cause for have a little way to catch up to my 37 years...but I hope that you attain that and more...

    Happy days

  21. Hi Dan

    I heard more cat birds late yesterday as I went up THOSE steps and over the hill...

    It WAS a controlled burn on the North Shore and I found another in the Tanglewood trail too so it not only looks dry in there but black...

    Happy days

  22. I really like your style.

    I can almost smell the eucalyptus.

  23. Delwyn, I saw whales just once, what a thrill it is!

    Do eucalyptus forests smell extra fresh and clean? We pay a high price for essential eucalyptus oil here.

    Your catbird sounds much like ours.

    As for the parsley, I dried some last year and it retained its color nicely all year. I set the oven on the coolest possible setting, put the trays on the top shelf, left the oven door ajar, and fluffed it occasionally. It took just a half hour or so.

    Thank you for your kind note about Bokka.

  24. Astonishing, Delwyn. Your posts never fail to remind me that I live on a planet, not in a country or even a continent.

    And those lianas!

  25. You have such a good eye. The last picture of the fire is amazing and I love those tangles vines.

  26. OOOOhhh, A whale! Exciting! I was once going to go on a whale sightseeing trip in California, but I couldn't go last minute and my friends who went saw no whales and had very rough seas and many sick people :) I like your way of whale watching much better!

  27. Delwyn, I defy anyone to outdo you in the sights and sounds of your special place in Australia! You live on an island? And was the fire contained? I know it's been dry. let's start with the sound: the cat bird: northing like a bird, a lot like a cat, and a lot like a little baby crying. Then the sights: the diamond-shaped spiderweb--it could be worn as a necklace! the fountain from the whale's spout! and so close to the beach! The tangled cords wrapped around the tree. Oh, happy days!

  28. I had a lovely stroll this morning, felt like I was there.

  29. Hi GW
    That is is, thanks

    Happy days

  30. Hello Jann

    good news...just returned from today's walk...and guess what...yes whales...and more...

    Happy days

  31. Hi KB

    more whales today and something else...actually two surprises...I'll get tapping soon...just loading up the new pics...

    Happy days

  32. Hi Rosey

    all of the walkers get excited and we chat to each other about our whale glimpses...and share whale stories...

    The fire was controlled, and burned in order in order to protect homes over on that shore...

    Happy days

  33. Hello Joanna

    isn't this the amazing part of the internet

    that the world has shrunk so and we can all see each other's environments and share...

    I'm glad you took the time to hear the cat bird meow...

    Happy days

  34. Hello Donna

    Your home site does sound wonderful too Donna. Anywhere on water is a blessing I think...I am actually on a river yet very close to the ocean...the national park and the beautiful headland...

    Happy days

  35. Hi Barry

    It is lovely to get excited this way about nature...especially over these beautiful beasts...I'm glad you have had this experience too...

    Happy days

  36. Hi Alicia

    I saw more this other'll have to wait for those though...

    Thanks for joining me Alicia

    Happy days

  37. Hello Janie

    Fire all ok - controlled
    Bird call - heard it again yesterday and still weird...

    whales galore...

    great to see you..

    Happy days

  38. when can i experience a walk like yours?

    herm, so envious....

    keep sharing them to me, Delwyn. enjoy your day ;)

  39. Hello Barb

    this is in the Tanglewood Forest...isn't it a great name...should be a book title don't you think... It is a small portion of the rain forest on the headland...

    More whales migrating today...heading back south to Antarctica...

    Happy days

  40. Hi Polly

    thank you my new friend...

    You can smell it crunching through the forest...the air is full of warm gum leaf perfume...

    Happy days

  41. Hi Jain

    thanks for the parsley tip. Fortunately my herbs grow all year round in their pots outside... It must be good for you to have over winter...

    It has been incredibly dry so the forests are looking dusty with many fallen leaves like autumn and stressed trees...As soon as we start to get the summer rains it will all freshen up, but you can still smell the gum leaves...even now...

    Happy days

  42. Hi Titus

    thanks for popping down on this side of the planet today...

    Happy days

  43. Morning Ellen

    thanks for the encouragement Ellen...
    I appreciate your comments...

    and will endeavour to maintain the standard..just joking....I love snapping and chatting...

    Happy days

  44. Hi there Vicky

    Like you I have no ear or stomach for boats so to see them from land is such a thrill..
    Boats have been going out in Laguna Bay (where I took these shots) some days as they seem to be more frequently passing but the major whale watching occurs in the Hervey bay - north of here, where they calve....

    Happy days

  45. Hi Margaret

    why thankyou my special friend...

    Yes, my circle is a reclaimed island in the mangrove swamps but fortunately we are on the eastern side of it which is the bank of the original river, with bush opposite as you have seen, and protected from housing on the opposite banks too...

    It is the only patch of reclaimed islands in the town, which is rather lucky so as it hasn't got that man made feeling some other island suburbs can have...and being on the river is of course just wonderful...we are blessed...

    yes the fire was controlled...
    the cat bird is very vocal at the moment ...
    the rainforest dry but still green...

    the whales are a long way out - my new super duper camera has misled you there...

    Oh happy happy days Margaret...

  46. Gaia - hi there, glad you joined me today

    Happy days

  47. The Catbird is really interesting. I had not heard of one before. Gorgeous colour!


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