Australia · enchanting · freedom · pecan nuts · photography

Ethereal

etherial.jpg

“To hear never-heard sounds,
To see never-seen colors and shapes,
To try to understand the imperceptible
Power pervading the world;
To fly and find pure ethereal substances
That are not of matter
But of that invisible soul pervading reality.
To hear another soul and to whisper to another soul;
To be a lantern in the darkness
Or an umbrella in a stormy day;
To feel much more than know.
To be the eyes of an eagle, slope of a mountain;
To be a wave understanding the influence of the moon;
To be a tree and read the memory of the leaves;
To be an insignificant pedestrian on the streets
Of crazy cities watching, watching, and watching.
To be a smile on the face of a woman
And shine in her memory
As a moment saved without planning.” ~ Dejan Stojanovic.

???????????????????????????????The first day that a flock of Sulphur-Crested Cockatoos invaded my Pecan Nut Tree was indeed a happy day for this bird-loving, photo taking blogger. For weeks I had listened to their raucous screeching sounds as they flew through the ether, bypassing my garden and heading off to parts unknown.

???????????????????????????????These are large native Australian birds, and whilst some may regard them as pests, there are many more, including myself, who love the personality, character and appearance of cockatoos.

During one of my early morning photo session I could hear my next door neighbour calling out “shoo, shoo” and when I looked towards her garden, there she was, running around her yard, waving a stick and obviously attempting to remove these angelic beauties from her garden. Not that she had many in her yard, and they were my pecan nuts they were munching on.

I chuckled to myself and continued clicking away with my camera. The cockatoos ignored the stick-waving human. The stick-waver gave up.

???????????????????????????????We planted our pecan nut tree about eighteen years ago, so you can imagine how large it is now, and we have enjoyed many seasons of munching away on the pecans ourselves. In fact, I’m sure I have a post, somewhere in the archives, of my delicious Pecan Pie…..

"Wanna share....?"
“Wanna share….?”

…..Here it is!  And look at that, I added the recipe on June, 18th, 2010, almost three years ago to the day! And I’m more than happy to share my pie recipe with everyone, unlike my cockatoo friends, who are very possessive with what they regard as their own, as you can see here!

"Gimme that now!"
“Gimme that now!”

During the silence of the early morning, with around two dozen cockatoos breaking open the hard shells of the pecans, the collective cracking of shells being broken open resembles the sound of a fire burning. You know the crackling sound a fire makes when logs are burning in the fireplace? That’s the noise that the cockatoos make with the shells.

???????????????????????????????Their white feathers are so pristine in appearance and with the birds being so large, between fifteen to twenty inches in length, when their wings are spread they seem to look as I imagine an angel in flight would look.

???????????????????????????????Oh okay, yes, you’re right, I don’t imagine an angel with a rounded beak and black beads for eyes, but you do get the picture, don’t you? Their white wings look like gossamer, cascading through the air. I suspect in reality those wings hold power, though my heart wishes to believe they are gossamer.

A white flurry of gossamer wings....
A white flurry of gossamer wings….

Cockatoos can be tamed and kept as pets, even taught how to talk. Apparently they are very demanding pets. I’ve also read that they are very affectionate birds, which doesn’t surprise me, after having been privileged to watch them interact with one another in the wild.

Pretty Cocky!
Pretty Cocky!

The long yellow feathers on their head, the crest, has its own set of muscles, allowing the bird to lift their sulphur crest when happy, excited or playful. As I have watched them, I’ve noticed that when something catches their eye somewhere in the distance, they will raise their crest before flying away.

???????????????????????????????My neighbour, who also feeds the wild birds, (not the stick waving woman!) has a huge pine tree in her garden and the cockatoos love chewing on the pine cones too. In captivity, they can destroy furniture, as they love to chew on wood. Perhaps the stick waver thought they were plotting to destroy her trees…..?

???????????????????????????????They seem to be quite partial to the exotic orange blooms of my African Tulip tree too. I’m guessing there must be seeds inside the flowers that they enjoy eating. I’ve also watched and wondered, as they shake their heads back when they have a mouthful of delicious orange-ness, just as this next cocky is doing.

???????????????????????????????I must admit, I wondered whether the cockatoos had left me any pecans on the tree at all! Not that I needed any, as I already have two buckets full on the veranda, waiting to be shelled, so I took another bucket down to the tree last weekend only to find that there were heaps of pecan nuts left for me! These gorgeous white-winged angels are not greedy at all. 🙂

An angelic pecan muncher in action.
An angelic pecan muncher in action.
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13 thoughts on “Ethereal

  1. Another great group of photos! Do you suppose your tulip tree flowers have a nectar the birds like? I’ve seen birds tilt their head back like that when they’re drinking water.

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  2. How wonderful! I can’t imagine seeing cockatoos in my backyard! The only place they are seen here is in captivity, mostly in pet stores. If I ever get the chance to visit Australia, I’d love to come sit in your yard and eat pecans and watch cockatoos! 😉 Thank you for sharing these photos!

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    1. It is wonderful! We have black cockatoos here too (have I mentioned that before?) not as pretty as their white cousins, but also full of personality. I will write a post one day and show you some of their photos too. Or you could just come for a visit….. 🙂

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  3. I cannot imagine Cockatoos as pests, much less imagine seeing them in the trees in the wild. They are so exotic to me, and I’ve only seen them as pets. (I’ve never understood keeping a bird as a pet unless it can’t survive in the wild.) Wonderful images, Joanne. 🙂

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    1. I feel the same way as you about birds Robin. When you see them soaring through the skies, how can people take away that ultimate freedom? There are exception though, when birds have ended up in captivity and need care. I know of a lady who lives locally who has a pet cockatoo. She isn’t the birds first owner though and she took the bird into her home as it had been treated badly and had plucked out its own feathers as a reaction to being ill-treated. How people could harm any bird or animal is beyond me. Seeing this flock of cockies in the wild is unbelievable and magical. I wish you could all have seen them here with me. 🙂

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  4. These are amazing pictures, Joanne! What a thrill it must be having such lovely, angelic birds visiting and feasting in your garden! The fourth picture is especially wonderful, what a stunning profile! I also love the Dejan Stojanovic poem… Thanks for sharing these!

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