There are so many different types of birds and animals (mammals, fish, reptiles etc) in this world. Even in the area around my home there is evidence of numerous types of birds. I may not see all of them but I know they are there when I hear their call. There are animals around too but they usually try to stay hidden, except for insects and of course, pets. Sometimes I spot a gecko or skink. At night I have occasionally seen a possum.
I often find birds and animals an inspiration. The birds around my home definitely inspire me to observe them and think about their behaviour. Why is it the noisy miners are the only birds I have seen drink from the hose fitting in my front yard? They will drink from the bird bath too but they seem nervous when they do. Crested pigeons, spotted doves and Murray magpies seem more relaxed than noisy miners when they are drinking.
Noisy miner. Author’s own photo
Owls are my favourite bird. Occasionally I hear a boobook owl hooting at night and this inspires me. Yes, I have written poems about owls. I was so excited when I had the opportunity to hold a boobook at Raptor Domain on Kangaroo Island.
Boobook owl at Raptor Domain. Author’s own photo
I also love pelicans. Recently I caught a train from a railway station near wetlands. There were two pelicans on the water, along with numerous ducks. Ducks have their own appeal and ducklings are so cute.
I enjoy going for a drive in the country, especially if I see wildlife.Near country reservoirs it is quite common to see kangaroos around sunset. In the Adelaide Hills one can sometimes see a koala.
It is interesting to see animals in zoos, fauna parks and reserves. The animals include some from other countries. These days many of these places provide larger areas for animals to roam and their surroundings are closer to their natural habitat than in the past. These places also do wonderful work with breeding programs to boost the population of endangered species.
Rhinos at Monarto Zoo. Author’s own photo
Years ago when we were on a camping holiday we stopped to look at a ruin. We came across a gecko that had so much courage and attitude. He stood on his back legs when we came close to him. If he could have spoken I am sure he would have shouted at us not to come closer. We meant him no harm so left him alone but I will always remember that tiny creature.
Butterflies are pretty. At the moment there are monarch butterflies in my garden. Their orange wings contrast with the blue agapanthus.
Monarch butterfly. Author’s own photo
I also find artwork and sculptures of birds and animals inspiring. I take my camera with me when I go somewhere ‘new’ because I never know when I will see something inspiring I wish to photograph. One day when heading for a coffee shop after reading a review I came across this lion.
Author’s own photo
Another time I caught a tram to Glenelg and noticed an imposing sculpture of a giraffe. The next time I was in the area I got off the tram to take photos. ‘Finds’ like this are inspiring and make me ask questions. Why is there a sculpture in that spot? Who paid for it? Was the person who made it told to create a giraffe or was he/she (or was it more than one person) allowed to choose the subject?
I have just discovered the answers to my questions thanks to the Internet. The giraffe is called Gene and he weighs 450kg. He was created by an artist, Chris Murphy as an entry in the Brighton Jetty Classic Sculpture Competition. Gene won the people's choice award and was bought by Holdfast Bay Council.
Author’s own photo
Birds and animals sometimes feature in street art. At the Salisbury railway station there are a number of walls decorated with colourful paintings, some of Australian birds and animals.
Author’s own photo
The wide variety of birds and animals in this world makes me feel uplifted and inspires me to write poetry. In the past when I did pottery as a hobby I made clay birds and animals. At one time I did some fabric printing featuring various animals. Other people express their inspiration through painting or sculpture.