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05 2013

Fri, 31 May 2013

Autumn Fragments

Autumn fragments -- snatches of memory, like shards of broken glass. A fragment only, but still reflecting a patch of blue sky, a portion of cloud, a snatch of tree. A fragile diamond, shattered on the tarmac.

The leaves are turning. Frome Road, heading into the city, is lined with plane trees, and their leaves are slowly changing from green to yellows and oranges. Dead leaves, and the spiny remains of fruit, line the pavements. A hint of winter in the air, just a promise so far of later cold.

Autumn scene

I am surrounded by lorikeets. They screech and shout, garrulous, raucous. At first, I can't see them. They're surprisingly hard to see, up there amongst the branches. Then, with persistence, a glimpse of orange or purple or yellow, a flash of green, an orange beak, warm feathers. Maybe one pursues another in a mad dash through branches, down out of the trees and back up again, retribution for overstepping territorial lines. Perhaps others join in these mad mid-air chases. But always their loud, harsh calls.

Evening. Crossing the Torrens, I see a pelican in the evening light. Against the liquid darkness of the evening river, its white feathers seem to glow with some remaining rays of lost daylight.

It is hunting. It moves towards the bank, and back out, then back in, in a zig-zagging motion. At certain points it plunges it beak into the murky gloom, and moves it through the water in a fluid searching motion, looking for fish. Its beak balloons with water. With one swift movement, it raises its beak up in the air, water expelled, any fish caught presumably trapped and swallowed. I try to see if it's caught something, but can't quite make out. At one point, I think it's moving a fish around in its beak, repositioning it headfirst to swallow it, but I can't quite see.

I don't leave until it has drawn level with the bridge I stand on.

The winter rains have come. All day the sky is leaden grey, and streetlights burn tungsten orange all day. The rain is implacable. Some leaves are still green on the plane trees, but soon their branches will be bare.

At night, the city lights make blurred signals on the wet streets, splashed with red and green, orange. The rain persists.

Autumn scene

posted at: 12:53 | path: /soporific | permanent link to this entry

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