Written in the Sky

I watch the sky for smoke, for dust and (in vain) for rain clouds.  The sky tells many tales.

This week has been  hot in an unusual way.  The air feels heavy and solid.  At 9am yesterday I watered pot plants and felt the cling of this unpleasant wrap and couldn’t wait to get inside.  The sky was a sulky yellow grey.

No matter what the weather, a flock of pigeons has been out grazing on the oval.  Yesterday when it was 42 degrees and the magpies were sheltering in the hollows between tree roots or in the arms of forked boughs, the pigeons were out in the full sun still grazing.  Are they starving or stupid?

This morning at the farmers’ market, I looked skyward and saw a flock of smallish birds (in silhouette) pursuing a wedge-tailed eagle.  I pointed them out to my friend.  “What’s a wedgy doing here?” I wondered.  We pondered whether the fires and driven him into town.  No wonder the little birds were panicking.

I feel sad that our pear tree is almost bare now and wonder what else we can offer the local bird population.  I picked a cob of our home-grown corn (which has proved inedible for us) and cut most of the kernels off it and spread them around the yard for the birds.  I called to my friendly magpies and they came swooping in, bringing a smile to my face.  They pecked at the tough kernels and sipped from the birdbath.  Later, I saw a wattle bird, a mynah bird, a grass parrot and a pigeon on the bird bath.

In the papers, there are multiple articles about aging populations in wealthy/educated nations and the problems this trend will have economically and medically.  I want to write to the editors and say “Who wants to have children when the world around us is going bonkers?  I risked it nine years ago and now the guilt is almost unmanageable.  Fix the planet and people will feel safe to have children again.”

Carbon Emissions.   Pollution.  Corona Virus.  Gas Masks. Dust Haze.  Birds behaving strangely.

The answer is written in the sky.


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