Caveat: Tree #87

This tree is wearing a mask (really – look at its trunk closely).

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Nevertheless, I was able to see that it was there. Its disguise obviously failed.

[daily log: walking, 2km]

Caveat: what spills out?

Below is a story circulating as a meme online – attribution is unclear to me.

You are holding a cup of coffee when someone comes along and bumps into you or shakes your arm, making you spill your coffee everywhere.

Why did you spill the coffee?

“Well, because someone bumped into me, of course!”

Wrong answer – you spilled your coffee because there was coffee in your cup. Had there been tea in the cup, you would have spilled tea.

“Whatever is inside the cup is what will spill out.”

Therefore, when life comes along and shakes you (which WILL happen), whatever is inside you will come out. It’s easy to fake it, until you get rattled.

“So, we ask ourselves…., “What’s inside my cup?”

When life gets tough, what spills over?

Joy, gratefulness, peace, and humility?

Or, anger, bitterness, harsh words, and reactions.

You choose!

Today, let’s work towards filling our cups with gratitude, forgiveness, joy, words of affirmation, kindness, gentleness, and love for others!

Caveat: Through pouring rain

We drove over to Kuranda today, to visit some of my mom’s friends.

We saw Pat, whom I’ve met during previous visits. Here is a picture of Ann, Arthur and Pat beside the Buddha in Pat’s driveway.

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We met Kirsten and Emma at their “block” a little farther west. They live in a big shed and have a dam and a small reservoir on their property. And some dogs.

Here is the dog Mickey playing fetch with a ring-shaped toy, looking cute because the ring wraps around the nose.

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Driving back, there was a lot of rain – sheets of rain like falling oceans.

We stopped in Ravenshoe, the closest town to where my mother’s house is, for a late lunch. Here is the Ravenshoe Town Hall.

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Looking the other way, here is the Bottle Shop (Liquor Store) and Motel.

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Caveat: Tree #85

Another tree. Go figure.

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[Elucidative UPDATE by Ann: That is a lemon scented gum (eucalyptus): Corymbia citriodora They, particularly the leaves, smell strongly of lemon and have smooth pinkish trunks. They slowly turn grey through the year and shed thin “dead” bark in the spring to return to the pink colour.]

[daily log: walking, 4km]

Caveat: Birds and their brains

I was just reading something that confirmed what many of intuit: birds are quite surprisingly smart relative to their size. Apparently it comes down to neuron count, as opposed to brain size, as such. Thus your average crow has the same number of cortical neurons as your average monkey, and that’s why crows seem as smart as monkeys, despite their much smaller brains. They pack a lot more neurons into that smaller head volume. And it explains why elephants are NOT smarter, too: they have fewer cortical neurons than the crow, despite extremely large brains.

My mother likes the birds that dwell around her house (and make quite a bit of noise, too). Here are some pictures she gave to me of her various neighbors.

A tawny frogmouth.

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A pair of bush thickknees.

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A king parrot.

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Caveat: Tree #81

Up the hill at the entrance to my mom’s driveway, there is an orchard of olive trees. She says they’ve never borne fruit and have never been harvested. I’m not sure how this works – did they plant the trees and forget about them? Are olive trees really slow to get around to being fruit-bearing?

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[daily log: walking, 3km]

Caveat: Poem #966

A parrot made a noise, there, leaping -
I tilted head and looked across -
it flashed some green and red, in keeping
with brightish rainbow moods; the moss,
affixed to stones below and gazing
up greenly at the raucous praising
that spilled out happy birdish squawks,
undisciplined, unlike the rocks,
whose gentle, calm enunciations
could only offer echoes, cold.
The bird was hopping upward, bold,
and tracing out complex relations
that flowers sketched against the sky,
that raindrops tapped as clouds went by.

– some kind of sonnet
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Caveat: feast on the verandah

So Arthur and I arrived at my mom’s yesterday, and today Ann invited over a lot of her “Australian” family and we had a feast of barbecued ribs and other things to eat, some of which make me nostalgic like my mom’s bean salad and potato salad. The weather was humid and summery (in my feeling of the word “summery”, despite just passing the fall equinox here). The rain broke and the skies were briefly blue.

Here is everyone (minus me) sitting around some tables set up on the verandah at my mom’s house.

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The picture shows the following people, going clockwise from the man in the foreground: “Hacker”, Karen, Aaron, Arthur, {my chair, which is empty}, Ann, Kirsten, Bonnie, Emma (mostly hidden), Gwen, Len.

It was nice to meet some of these people who until now I only knew from my mother talking about therm. These are the people who are part of my mom’s day-to-day life here. I am thankful for them and the kindness and generosity they have shown to my mother.

Here is a bird (of course my mother would know what kind, but I don’t) on the rail. [UPDATE, by Ann: The bird is a Noisy Minor, a type of honeyeater, native to Australia.]

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The electronic zoom on my camera is quite limited – it’s hard to capture things like birds because you can’t get so close to the birds before they fly away, but far away they are just pixelated specks which when zoom in on end up a bit blurry.

Earlier, we took a walk down to the river (Vine Creek, which flows into Millstream) that runs at the base of my mom’s property. Here is Arthur, beyond the trunk of a big old tree.

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[UPDATE, by Ann: The big old trunk is of a Casuarina cunninghamiana better known as a she-oak, or a river oak.]

Caveat: Tree #79

We arrived at my mom’s house in Ravenshoe, Queensland, without major difficulties. There was a lot of rain falling coming up the range from Cairns Airport, through Kuranda and Mareeba. But it’s a much warmer rain than Southeast Alaskan rain.

Here is a tree over my mom’s driveway.

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[daily log: walking, 2km]