Moreidlethoughts Weblog

humour,art,gardens, books and whatever idle thoughts float through my mind (it's a very draughty mind.)



Ask a non-Australian to name an iconic Australian bird and you’ll more than likely get the answer “kookaburra.”

Ask an Australian the same question and the answer may well be “koel.” Or “rainbird,” which is a common name for the same bird.

Common Koel, male.

Common Koel, male.
Photo: N Fifer © N Fifer

Common Koel, female.

Common Koel, female.
Photo: N Fifer © N Fifer

The koel is one of those let-someone-else-do-the-work brood parasites, the cuckoos. They arrive, in early spring, from the islands north of here and, depending on who you talk to, either entertain us with their call or drive us bloody nuts!

Last updated: 25 August 2006

hear me!

Sure, they can tear the darkness with their constant calling, but I rather like them. Heard all through the spring and summer, but seldom seen, they are, according to experts, shy.

So there was some excitement chez Dinahmow a few weeks ago when we saw not one, but two (a pair?) in a tree right outside the living room windows! Of course, the camera was zipped securely into its bag. On the desk. In the office. Of course…

So, no photo that day, although I still see Mr. Koel quite often and I think I’ve seen Mrs. Koel, too, but it’s not always easy to be certain when I’m peering through thick foliage!


Remember, a few days ago, I said I was cock-a-hoop at finding a flower on a shrub that has, until now, defeated all my efforts?

Well, here it is. Not much, huh? Well, it is a very BIG DEAL to me! I think it’s probably been knocked about by the wind or animals because the flower should be more globular. Believe me, a well-flowered specimen is a beautiful sight. People who can’t quite manage the Latin Syzigium wilsonii just call it a powder puff lilypily.


“It’s that old Devil Moon in your eyes…” (Frank Sinatra. Harburg/Lane)

Lunacy, especially brief, intermittent periods of mental aberration, was believed to be caused by the influence of our satellite. Today, we have (thank goodness!) a much better understanding of mental illness.

All the same… if that chunk of rock up there can have such tremendous power over the oceans, maybe it can also mess with our brains…

I just love a big Spring tide! And where I now live, a big tide means water in the mangroves at the bottom of my street (say, 200 metres down the road) and flooding the salt flats a little further down.

I missed my photo opportunity on Friday, but hurried my Saturday shopping to get these pics:

This is the “island” (well, it’s an island when this tide comes up!) when bats roost. The wallabies that have managed to evade the lead-foots also lie-up here during the day.

Follow that car and you’ll be at our local beach in 30 seconds.

For this view, I only just managed to keep my feet on dry ground!

And now…only two days to bag-up some treats, ready for the kids when they come knocking, dressed as Britney Spears or Johnny Depp. Or maybe, with an election on the horizon, perhaps some enterprising child will don a John Howard mask? Hmmm…


Author: dinahmow

A New Zealander, currently living in tropical Queensland,Australia (with 2 cats and one Main Man).Old enough to remember George VI, white tennis balls and life-before-television.You want more? Read the blog!

8 thoughts on “FLORA, FAUNA AND LUNACY

  1. beautiful views Dinah – what a lovely place to live. And, being that we’re 80%+ water I’m sure the moon has a big influence over our moods – well that’s my excuse!


  2. Great photos! I would love to live near that much water again…I am for the first time in my life living in middle america, land-locked. It’s killing me!I started digging a moat around my suburban home this weekend…the drawbridge is next up.
    Lovely post and your lilly turned out pretty good too, they will look even better next season. 🙂


  3. The male and female of the species are surprisingly different, aren’t they? (I’m talking Koels here.) Their call certainly caused Zappa to sit up and take notice on this dark, quiet morning.


  4. I LOVE those pictures, dinah. you are so fortunate to live in a place like that. i have a million questions about what it must be like to garden there, to have a wallaby lolloping down the street, sunbirds in your shrubbery and all the rest…this is almost extraterrestrial to a person from the western U.S.!
    thank you once again, and in advance, for the leaf print. i have all my frames out ready to match one up!!!!


  5. ziggi…hormones or moon, it’s not OUR fault, is it!

    heather…love your moat idea!.

    andrea…well, of course Zappa pricked his ears – he is an Australian breed!

    fn…sadly, the wallabies don’t come to our place now.Too many fences and dogs and hoons in cars.Mostly, I see them as road kill these days.


  6. I loved that you gave us an opportunity to hear the koel, and what a beauty the male is. I really enjoyed your post and hearing about where you live and seeing the pics.

    hmbt and I are in the same boat (excuse the pun-ah hem), land locked in middle america. While I love and enjoy my little village here, oh how I miss the wild northeast coast of England or the chesapeake bay in Maryland. oh well!


  7. My dog perked right up at that bird call as well (it was much less obnoxious than I had expected. And what a great idea! Bird calls online! I’ve been lamenting the fact that I don’t know any local birders to help me identify what I hear just around my home – but I think this might just do it!)

    Thanks for all of your many blog comments – I’ve been absolutely buried and not very blog-responsive of late. I *am*, at your recommendation, reading ‘The Time Policeman’ a bit before going to bed at night (which I am thoroughly enjoying. The pace! The tunes! It’s such an original format, and thus far, enjoyable story).

    Oh, and Yes! Please do post about Guy Fawkes! I just don’t ‘get’ that celebration and would love to understand it better!


  8. jafa…even though I’m minutes from swimmable beaches, I still have a yen for “wild” coastline or the marsh flats in misty winter.

    tara…thankyou. Hey! Have you got an Australian breed of dog, too? Pleased you’re enjoying that book;it seemed your cup of tea!Guy Fawkes next week


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.