22 May 2009

Charity

"There is pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but Nature more"

-- Lord Byron

I went to Harbour Beach here in Mackay and felt like I stepped into a parallel world. It was low tide so I was able to see more landscape than previously. En route to the ocean I noticed odd pellets that looked like bunny terds, but could see no animals over the vast stretch of sand. I wondered what could have made these balls of gravel?
The ocean here in Queensland is breathtaking! You can see the hues of blue as the water spans to the sky and islands break up the flat horizon. As I walked the shoreline I began to realize it was a happenin' spot. What looked so beautiful and peaceful from a few feet away was, in reality, a metropolis for marine life.

I saw an anemone-look-alike buried under the surf. After I powered up my camera to photograph it, the thing had disappeared even though I hadn't moved a millimeter! I waited, closely scanning the area. Still nothing. Only after a few more waves washed up & receded did the pseudo-anemone reappear, still half-buried like I lhad last seen. This made me realize how much nature we are truly oblivious to & question everything I was walking on!? Now I was aware of all the activity so I surveyed more meticulously as tens of sand-sucker fish darted away from my every step. I couldn't see them as they were quick and practically transparent, but I could see their dark shadows cast in the inches of water.

Seeing a slight break in the water, I stumbled upon what I shall call the onion jellyplant (because I'm not sure if it's a variation of a jellyfish or just a water plant!?) With vertical lines, sprouting at the top end, and being a faint -- but translucent -- yellow, it really looked like something I'd find in a kitchen; not the ocean.
...but the best surprise was finding my crustacean equivalent! I sauntered back toward the parking lot and noticed an unpredictable, random line in the smooth sand. I followed the tiny path with the fervor that Gretel followed those bread crumbs! I did not expect the line to lead me to its maker: Ms. Hermit Crab, moving a tad faster than a slug. It must have taken her two hours to make the small path I stalked in three steps, and she obviously got lost because the trail zig-zagged.... but there she was, carrying everything she owned on her back! Where was she going, heading across my beach that was her desert? I was mesmorized by her trekking through the middle of nowhere, to seemingly nowhere. I moved the sand that was building up around her and causing her more resistance. I helped one life today breathe a little easier. A life similar to my own in a lot of ways. I continued to the car and left Ms. Hermit to her unknowable journey.

06 May 2009

Inventory

THINGS AUSTRALIAN GROCERY STORES DO NOT HAVE:
  • macaroni & cheese
  • Manwich
  • limeade
  • Polar Ice flavored gum 
  • graham crackers
  • chunky/real? guacamole
  • that classic yellow box of Cheerios (oat)
THINGS AUSTRALIAN GROCERY STORES DO HAVE:
  • Easy Mac
  • crumpets
  • Vegemite
  • eggs that are not refrigerated
  • minced a.k.a. ground kangaroo
  • shortbread + cream biscuits a.k.a. cookies -- addicting!
  • smooth, light green "guacamole" that more resembles flavored cream cheese
  • Soya crackers
  • 1 flavor of Cheerios (rice, corn, what + oat that are sugar-coated)

01 May 2009

Roundabouts

Michelle is on the RIGHT side of the car, driving; Bree is in the passenger seat as they are approaching a roundabout, headed for home...

Me: Okay, almost home.

Bree: Uhhh, that was our turn-off. You just passed it.

Me: Oops, no problem. We'll go around again.

Michelle jerks the car, tires screeching from the centrifugal force, and the car continues in a full circle as the drivers at every turn-off stare & watch. Michelle finally turns off...

Me: There we go. Haha now we're straight!

Bree: [giggling] This is the wrong street!

Michelle & Bree burst into laughter.


It's easy to get confused about where you entered & where you're supposed to exit, and after an entire revolution, everything just starts looking the same!