Rural and the abyss

It's been awhile, and still its the sheep that bring me here, and the cockatoos : their din is unholy, insistent, rowdy, their coupling behaviour a beauty to watch, as is their flight and the curving rise of each eponymous sulphur crest as they land on the ground or a tree branch.

'Species that feed on the ground are very vulnerable to predator attack. The cockatoo has evolved a behavioural adaptation to protect against this: whenever there is a flock on the ground, there is at least one high up in a tree (usually a dead tree), keeping guard. This is so well known that it has even entered Australian slang: a person keeping guard for sudden police raids on illegal gambling gatherings is referred to as a cockatoo or cocky for short.'

More on them later. Rural fencing is what has taken my research skills the last several days, and anxiety the last several weeks. I've just requested a price for a 200m roll of 2.5mm FarmFence™ wire, said to be the best in the trade. Meanwhile, there are videos to upload of the cockatoo flock, can i be bothered? Probably not. I long to do-have something more compelling to do, a writing project say that I MUST do each day to survive this hill of anxiety. I haven't visited the sheep, clearly I'm a crap shepherd. What's my resistence, embarrassment at 'my' stupidity? Snakes in the grass? Yes both of these and more problems to solve, the aim-better drive to solution. In the end what moves me is the horror of the image that appears: there lies a bag of bones and skin, or the second version, other (rumoured) sheep heavy with wool like the one found in the hills near Canberra.


lands at the food source in the verndah gutter. Small


gives spatial context to the ribs of grapevine at the top of the opposing hill. Such an

urban creature

am I: sure I grew up in the country, but in a house, an enclosed arrangement of boxes in an accumulation of other like boxes. It's not wilderness here, but the logic of it escapes me, it is wild. Something always pending, circling, threatening disaster. And the fire season has started. Surely erecting fences is what helps to allay the anxiety of an encroaching wild, penning and dividing and claiming a space fit for purpose.

'It's not that I'm afraid of becoming an animal, that would not be so bad, but a human never can be an animal, we rush past the animal in us, toward the abyss.'

— Marlen Haushofer, The Wall/Die Wand

'Rural and the abyss,' though it sounds like an 80's cover band 'rural abyss' with the adjective in correct position to the noun is a loaded gun and not at all what I'm after. Rural and the abyss is not any closer though at least it arrests the flow of information and signals that time is other than clock driven here.

rural adj.

early 15c., from Old French rural (14c.), from Latin ruralis "of thecountryside," from rus (genitive ruris) "open land, country," fromPIE *reue- "to open; space" (see room (n.)).

In early examples, there is usually little or no difference between the meanings of rural and rustic, but in later use the tendency is to employ rural when the idea of locality (country scenes, etc.) is prominent, and rustic when there is a suggestion of the more primitive qualities or manners naturally attaching to country life. [OED]

Bio-creature update

a deer walked purposefully up the olive grove coachhouse path into the garden: we looked at one another for awhile

the snakes have for now moved away from their nest under the house; #11 was taken away a week or so ago

the rats too have found other homes

the sheep found a flock to join on crown land at the top of the long stem L of property belonging to this lot

i – digihuman [that will do for now while i work on something more apt]– would like to get a cat but fear the responsibility of caring for it when i am not here, and is it fair to make it stay inside

i'd like a dog as a companion but the fences and gates aren't secure – a task to be faced

many chunky-on-mosquito skinks dart around low foliage and rocks, two blue tongues emerge from time to time from under the verandah

and the avians: corvids, magies, kookas, sulphur-crested cockatoos, black shouldered kites, wattlebirds, rainbow lorikeets, eastern rosellas, honeyeaters, corellas from hell, galahs, fairy wrens, others as yet unidentified

insects are another list for next time dragonflies, milipedes, mosquitoes, flies (many kinds), arachnids, beetles - those stuck together stink bugs joined at their read ends – large in front leading small at back: what's it like i wonder being led around by your rear end – the world receeding before you?