My 2009 week in Cape Trib packed in most of the elements that I remember from my seven months there in 2008. This time was short and impossibly sweet, yet somehow also made me appreciate the Hamilton home I have returned to, cold as it is. It was lovely to catch up with so many friends but I prioritised spending time in nature over socialising, so I apologise to those I didn't get to see.
There were hours of incandescent beauty flooding my senses. I had solitary mornings on silky beaches where I swam naked in the sun-sparkled surf, practiced qigong with butterflies, birds and bronze dragonflies swooping around me and meditated with my breath matching the lapping of tiny waves.
Rain or shine makes little difference under the canopy, so I spent more time in the forest on the rainy days, and more time on the beaches when the sun was shining. I revisited four diverse rainforest ecologies, drinking in bird calls as though rehydrating my thirsty ears. My hard drive is now loaded with ridiculous numbers of photographs of moss, vines and fungi to inform future embroidery designs.
One of my objectives for this trip was to get footage for making a video poem of Translating the calls of the night chicken. Luckily my beloved scrub fowl were unusually accomodating models and I captured lots of film of them feeding, mound building, and chatting to each other.
Pair of orange footed scrub fowl
There were lots of other animals, most of which I didn't get to photograph, including a father cassoary and two very young chicks whose patch I stumbled into unwarily, so that I finally got to hear the cassowary's grunt of warning/aggression. Also a stray horse called Whinny (Winnie is the name of my needle felt toy horse). There were the usual big spiders, tiny crabs, jungle perch in the creeks, all sorts of brightly coloured fish in the coral and a big ol' lace monitor at Rob's.
Lace monitor (goanna) at Rainforest Hideaway
And, in human care, a kangaroo at Lync Haven, and this adorable 2 week old joey at Schomazzon's.
I heard far more frogs than I ever saw. Whenever it rained, the frogs would start their great chorus of love songs, a thrilling sound. Before heading into the Daintree forest I stayed in Mareeba where there were two frogs sharing my shower. Like most of Australia, the climate there is so much drier than the rainforest that the frogs tend to hang out in people's bathrooms.
There's more to show and tell, but its getting late, and I'll save the rest for another post. Sweet rainforest dreams...