A Little Australian Springtime on a Snowy Cape Cod Day

The wind is blowing and the snow has just begun here on Cape Cod. We are supposed to get more rain than snow but LOTS of wind and some coastal flooding…

So, I’m warming up with a second cup of coffee and perusing more photos from our trip to Australia from last fall. It was spring there, and beautiful.

One of the most striking things about Australia for me, was the commonality of birds we would never see here. There are cockatoos, lorikeets and parrots everywhere. When I first saw one of the these galahs, also known as pink or rose breasted cockatoos, I nearly swooned. Big, boisterous and beautiful birds, these guys can be seen all over. They feed on seeds and can be found on the ground, in trees, or in one instance, lined up on a fence by the side of a road. They are big and stocky birds, measuring 36 cm or about 14.5 inches.

Australians use the word gallah–with an extra l–to describe a fool or idiot, often in joking terms. “You silly gallah, they might say, or don’t go acting like a crazy gallah… My first sighting of a crimson rosella took my breath away. I was walking along a grassy trail heading up a hill when this one flew down and landed not far from me. They are quite large, about 36 cm or 14.5 inches, but slimmer and longer looking than the galahs. I was so excited to see one of these that I couldn’t wait to tell my traveling companions…who reported seeing a whole flock. Over the time of our visit I ended up seeing quite a few but never got over thinking they were amazingly gorgeous birds. They look like a huge parakeet, right? The sulphur-crested cockatoo is another common park bird. Noisy and communal they are often found in flocks. This guy is 50 cm or almost 20 inches long, a good sized bird. A female king parrot was found hanging out with other females. I longed to get a peek at the red headed males but alas, never did see one.Rainbow Lorikeets were everywhere and I never tired of seeing them. One of the wonderful things about traveling is being exposed to so many new things, both in nature and in culture. It reminds me that the world is large and I am small. There is always something new to discover, something new to wrap my head around. Living with parrots and cockatoos is so different than living with chickadees and blue jays. But then, the opposite would be true for an Australian I suppose.

The world is a large and fascinating place…I’ve been lucky to see what I’ve seen and to have been where I’ve been. Next stop? Who knows?

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