A Photo Every Day from the Sunshine Coast - Australia

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

"Where the pelican builds"

No one knows yet, how the pelicans know that there are floods several thousand kilometres away, but they do, and they are joined by all manner of other sea birds. In the past week or so, we've encountered Ibis, Spoonbills, Herons, Pelicans, Ducks of all varieties and others that don't come to mind right now. In a few months the waterways will once again be desert, and the birds will find their way back to the coast, but in the meantime, we're having fun trying to track down some of their movements.

This photo was taken on the banks of the Diamantina River near Birdsville, still flowing but within weeks the sand bed will be all that is visible.

Back to the coast pictures tomorrow!

The horses were ready, the rails were down,
But the riders lingered still --
One had a parting word to say,
And one had his pipe to fill.
Then they mounted, one with a granted prayer,
And one with a grief unguessed.
"We are going," they said, as they rode away --
"Where the pelican builds her nest!"

They had told us of pastures wide and green,
To be sought past the sunset's glow;
Of rifts in the ranges by opal lit;
And gold 'neath the river's flow.
And thirst and hunger were banished words
When they spoke of that unknown West;
No drought they dreaded, no flood they feared,
Where the pelican builds her nest!

The creek at the ford was but fetlock deep
When we watched them crossing there;
The rains have replenished it thrice since then,
And thrice has the rock lain bare.
But the waters of Hope have flowed and fled,
And never from blue hill's breast
Come back -- by the sun and the sands devoured --
Where the pelican builds her nest.

Mary Hannay Foott

Sunshine Coast Daily Photo - Australia


Julie said...

That is a lovely sounding word, fetlock.

Is that white bird in the foreground an egret? They are all quite gorgeous ... and so is the thought of being on the banks of the Diamantina Creek just out of Birdsville.

Hope the truck and the tent are holding up ...

Babooshka said...

I waited and waited and now so many I could burst. My handful at the wildlife park will never look the same again.

Jacob said...

From the point of view of a Floridian, these are some special-looking pelicans...ours are pretty dull brown in comparison.

Very nice photo!

Joan Elizabeth said...

Great poetry selection ... and nice picture to :-)

Lois said...

Birds are such fascinating creatures!

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