The bliss of a stroll in the cool of the evening after a hot Sydney day! The air is fresh and the sky is that magical blend of indigo and aquamarine, fading to pearlescent gold above the horizon. Trees loom beside the path, black lace against the fading light, and the undergrowth rustles with the scurryings of small nocturnal creatures foraging for food.
High above, cicadas drone sleepily in the canopy, and a lone flying fox glides by on leather wings. A possum barks hoarsely from a branch, answered by crickets chirping in the grassy verge.
I walk to the end of the street and turn as I hear the fluttering of wings. A young kookaburra perches on a sign beside the curb, so close to me that I can discern the tracery of stippled markings on its feathers by the light of the street lamp.
“Hello!” I say, and the bird watches me, head tilted, enquiring. What is this curious biped, and what is it saying to me?
I remark on the beauty of its plumage, its youth and boldness. The bird does not disagree.
A parent calls from a tree across the road, a burst of raucous laughter, the quintessential Australian sound. My little friend lingers for a moment before launching into the sky in obedience to the summons.
I continue on my walk, marvelling at the beauty of our world.