Summer in Australia has few joys to recall this 2019/2020 season.
The bushfires raging in many parts of our beautiful continent are unprecedented.
I have lived in four states of Australia (NSW, QLD, ACT and Tas) during my life and bushfires have always been a threat.
I offer my condolences to the people who have lost their lives, homes and livelihood. I salute the firefighters and support personnel who are fighting the battle for all of us.
I ask that we all take a moment to count the blessings that each one of us has in our lives.
I want to look at summers that have rolled around before and offer some lighthearted diversion to bring a smile.
The cricket image featured is probably a relative of the ones that my elegant blue-point Siamese cat Yindee would crunch on the back step.
That was the sound of summer for me during the years 1976-1992. Yes, she was nearly 17 when she died.
POULTRY DEAD OR ALIVE
Yindee, the prize winning pedigree, would drag a turkey bone around the house – her favourite treat. It was important to keep an eye out for her treasure cache placements.
Turkey legs are not nice if left unattended for even a day.
The worst present Yindee and my brother’s cat Earl (he was having a holiday with us) gave ME for Christmas was the sign of white feathers all over a very green lawn (it is hot in Brisbane in December).
They had formed a raiding party and brought home a young hen! I had lived in that place for 2 years and NEVER heard a chook cluck or a rooster crow!
So how far the excursion took them I don’t know. I would have sadly gone to the owner and offer condolences/compensation but I didn’t know which point of the compass to take – in suburbia!
MICE BEWARE! HUMANS COME ON IN!
Jacko (the ageing Ninja black cat) – 2000-2017 was a fierce territorial fighter and mouser extraordinaire.
In Queanbeyan NSW, no mouse was safe within our fence boundary neither were any dogs or cats but he was a party animal with people.
He loved potato crisps, pate and cheese. He would graciously escort people on their morning walks past our place. One woman started to time her breaks so she could sit on the driveway and chat and pat with Jacko.
I only became aware of this activity after one of his trips to the vet (war injuries). He was confined to the house with sutures and antibiotics.
There was a knock at the door. I opened it to find a charming woman asking about my lovely black cat:
‘Is he OK because I sit and talk with him every morning. I was worried about him.’
So I explained what had happened, Jacko was chirruping around her legs. I wrote out a poster and asked her to put on on his favourite bush at the front fence.
JACKO IS CONFINED TO BARRACKS FOR THE NEXT WEEK TO RECUPERATE. HE WILL BE BACK OUT NEXT WEEK.
Jacko passed away at 17, still attempting to jump out windows like a Ninja.
Mr Smee Jacko’s buddy (they were both rescues from a shelter) was not a skilled hunter but he did enjoy jumping about attempting to catch butterflies.
I still wonder if that tiny hicking sound was the butterflies enjoying the spectacle of a substantial tabby leaping and failing to catch them.
Skinks are the favourite summer past time of Frodo my current feline companion.
He is strictly a catch and release hunter.
After his ‘I have brought you a trophy’ yowl, he chases these wonderful animals all over the house.
Once the tail is dropped, he focusses attention on that.
The neighbourhood skinks probably know me by now. I retrieve said skink from whatever hiding place and release them BACK OUTSIDE.
The creatures Frodo presents me with, range in size from 15 cm (6″) to 10 (4″) or less.
All of them have been lively and given me a spirited race to get them BACK OUTSIDE.
What are your Sounds of Summer?
Is it that special yowl and then a crunch or swishing/slithering sound?
Share your audio-visual events that have shaped your Summer.