The Penthouse Deck

Hi Peter and Margaret, sorry not to get to see you to say goodbye and thank you in person Sunday. We really enjoyed our stay in both the penthouse and the cabin for the last few nights. I attach a short ‘story’ I wrote at the penthouse and some photos I took during the stay. Hope you enjoy them.

Best wishes for a sweet life, Hilary & Tricia.

I enclose a nice story from the Penthouse.

Kookaburra at Adobe Holiday Flats, Mallacoota, Victoria, Australia

The deck has me in its thrall. Days upon days drift one to the other and I waft from the deck to the kitchen to the bedroom with occasional bathroom forays. But it’s always back to the deck… it’s a world unto itself perched high over the inlet… eye to eye with the pair of eagles that drift lazily on the winds, eyes on the unsuspecting prize below. The wind gently buffets them this way and that, a languid tail twitch and they’re on course again.

The deck itself is alive with birds come for a snack, staying for a chat. Some share the space more easily than others. The teddy boy galahs in their spiffy grey and pink suits with tinted crest come in droves, shoving and squawking – announcing their arrival, more concerned with creating a display than actually feeding… guess being admired is food for their souls…

A lolloping bronzewing pigeon arrives quietly and takes up residence in the feed box… spreading herself out to deter any interlopers… her iridescent wings glisten in the sunlight as she chomps daintily.

A distinctive whirrrring announces the arrival of the crested pigeons…neat and inquisitive looking with their distinctive serrated crest…. they sidle up to the feeder and casually hop in hoping not to be noticed. The bronzewing lazily lifts one wing and delivers a resounding slap to the new comer sending him and his mates to the end of the rail to regroup… heads together, strategies laid out, a plan hatched,… they approach the feeder again… each from a different angle… the bronze wing anxiously eyeing them darting from one to the other… wings raised for another slap but where to strike?

The galahs loiter on the wire below look on, placing bets on the outcome… murmuring encouragement or threats depending on where their money is… a mob of red polled finches arrive in the midst of the standoff and colonise the bottom of the feeder – a quivering mass of tiny bird life oblivious to the tension around them.

Crested Pigeon

The crested pigeons take the initiative and swoop on to the feeder… the flustered bronze wing splats a wing this way and that… scattering the finches but having little impact on the crested three who’ve taken up feeding rights under her nose… Affronted, she stalks off to regain her composure.

A moment passes and she sidles cautiously along the rail to the feeder causally looking away in the hopes her progress will go unnoticed… no such luck… she’s spotted… puffy chest leading out… a crested pigeon marches huffily towards her… that’s it enough with the drama, she’s gone… plump body dropping off heavily of f the rail, then easing into a gliding drift towards the trees below.

Peace reigns for a few moments… pigeons and finches… clacking and cracking seeds in the feeder… galahs soaking up the sunshine…

Sunrise in Mallacoota from Adobe Holiday Flats

My gaze is drawn to the clouds stretched across the sky, some huddled for comfort over the hills beyond the lake, others progressing resolutely high and stately, … yet more lightweights pulled this way and that as they play the wind… stretched and rolled and rent asunder to regroup in breathless huddles… waiting for the wind to catch them again and dance the dance of another winter’s day in Mallacoota… with me on the deck a witness to it all play out around and through me… . and here come the lorikeets… rainbow wreathed harlequins with ninja hearts.

Hilary 14/06/2012