Friday, March 22, 2013

Regent Bowerbird – King Orchids

Regent Bowerbird – King Orchids, originally uploaded by maxful.
In the 1950s we lived in a rural setting on the outskirts overlooking Brisbane – on the edge of a rainforest. Grandad presented me with a 410 gauge shotgun on my fourteenth birthday and I began shooting rabbit, hare, duck, and quail for the table.

One day in the depths of a cloud forest near Mount Glorious, I raised my gun to fire as an incredibly beautiful gold-and-black bird descended between me and the pigeon prey. Stopped me in my tracks. Not shy or timid, the dazzling creature swung upside down on some overhead vines and appeared to look right down the barrels of my gun.

Shaken I watched the golden bird, a Regent Bowerbird, watch me watching it perform. The moment of awakening. I put down the gun and never fired a shot again.

That was my one encounter with this wonderful species. Sudden awareness. Birds are wonderful creatures and I was not sent here to destroy them.

Never having actually seen a bower, nor the shiny trinkets the male bird collects to attract a mate I took some liberties with this sketch. But the image of that one early encounter burns bright as day these sixty-something years later.

No comments:

Post a Comment