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Dec 31 2012

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Watching the sunrise

Early morning with a pre-sunrise orange glow lighting through the gum treesI’m sitting here with a cup of coffee watching the sunrise.

One set of Christmas lights are still flashing, though very languidly. Like me, they’re waiting for the sun to recharge their battery, to make them bright again.

It’s peaceful rather than quiet. Despite – or perhaps because of – the lack of city noises, it never really gets quiet in the country. Right now, there are birds singing, and the wind is rustling through the trees.

And it’s cold.

I’ve been up for over half an hour, just sitting here, watching and listening.  If you’ve never watched a sunrise before you’d be amazed how long it’s light before the sun finally makes an appearance. Right now there’s an orange glow through the gum trees, but no sun yet.

But it’s not far away now.

And when it gets here, the bird activity will increase. I can hear it starting now.  Crows are calling to each other, first one, then the other.  And there are myriad other small birds chirping away, singing their songs to the sunrise. Soon the cockies will be out as well, screeching from treetop to treetop.

The sun’s up now, but hiding behind some cloud. There was no blaze of orange or purple today – too many thick clouds for that, but they’ll burn off soon. I can already see patches of blue where it’s clearing, and a yellow glow through the clouds where the heat of the sun is already dissipating them.

It’s going to be yet another beautiful day. I’m already starting to get warm sitting here in Doc’s big, thick jacket.

Close up photo of brown grass with grasshoppers jumpingSoon it’ll not only be the birds, but also the grasshoppers and beetles who are up and about. You can’t take a step anywhere in the grass without dozens of grasshoppers jumping up around your feet, all through the farm. If you stay still long enough they jump on you, small brown grasshoppers. I’d always thought grasshoppers were green, but I guess it makes sense that when the grass is brown so are the grasshoppers, they camouflage very well. Except for that one large, bright green one that hopped on the black binoculars.

Yesterday while I was lying on the mattress in the sun two of them hopped right up next to me. I don’t know much about the mating habits of grasshoppers, nor their social structure, but they were either mating or it was a mummy grasshopper giving its tired baby a piggy back. They got a bit camera shy when I started clicking away, turning their back on me before jumping off the mattress and wandering through the grass. But the one on top never lost its grip, clinging away for dear life. That’s concentration for you.

Two christmas beetles in flight, wings whirring, in the tree topsAnd the Christmas beetles are everywhere, on the ground, flying through the air and up into the trees. They can fly right up to the tallest branches of the gum trees. And if you walk through them with your mouth open they might fly right in!

It feels like a real Aussie summer Christmas. Though if I was a farmer I mightn’t be so happy about it!

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